25 May 2013
SSA = Sodomy Seeks Attention
Believe me when I tell you that I resisted posting on the latest celebration du jour of immorality that is the self-outing of the so-called "gay" priest, Fr Gary Meier of St. Louis. Why? Because attention is what the pro-sodomy lobby wants. The story, sadly, is not news, is not new, and is really, really sad.
So, why do it now? Because this misguided person, ordained as a priest of God, has kicked up the hypocrisy meter so high, and because the response of the Archdiocese seems pretty flaccid. Let's take them one at a time:
1. Fr. Meier tries to front that his actions are not an attempt to harm the Church, yet he casts his lot with those who persecute her, and consorts with the local schismatic and heretical attention-seekers the Church has had to suffer in the past several years. He also causes scandal and spreads confusion among the weak-minded. From the STLToday story linked above:
“I have tried over the years to reconcile my silence as a gay priest with that of the Church’s increasingly anti-gay stance. I have been unsuccessful,” Meier writes in his book “Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest.” “I was hopeful that I could find a way to have integrity while remaining part of a hierarchy that is anti-gay — I was unsuccessful.”
Meier originally published the book anonymously in 2011. But last week, he republished it with his own name on the cover. The crowd of 80 or so supporters who turned out Tuesday afternoon at UMSL — where Meier is studying for a master’s degree in counseling — included former parishioners, other Catholic priests, former priests (the Rev. Marek Bozek, pastor of St. Stanislaus Church was in the audience) and members of gay-rights groups.
Since his public declaration of his sexual orientation, Meier said, he has received a lot of support on his Facebook page. One woman, though, scolded him for accusing the church of a “lack of love.”
“That’s not at all what I’m saying,” Meier told his audience. “But I am accusing the church of a lack of tolerance and acceptance.”
He also wrote this:
It has been difficult to remain part of a hierarchy that has been so hostile towards homosexuals in recent years. This is especially true considering nearly 30% of all successful teenage suicides are attributed to sexual identity issues. Our church once stood for and represented the radical nature of God's love for all people. That is not the true today - especially towards the LGBT community and therefore I feel compelled to stand in solidarity with those Catholic's who have lost their jobs, have been denied the sacraments, have been excommunicated or who have been made to feel 'less than' by their church leaders because of who they love.
Oh, thanks for clearing that up, Father. Maybe a different approach might have been better. May I suggest, confession, prayer, and seclusion as you sort this out? Why do you consider it a matter of "personal integrity" to publicly undermine Divine precepts and encourage contempt for Christ's Holy Church?
2. The posture of the local Church is noteworthy throughout. In an RFT story on Fr. Meier we read this nugget:
Meier celebrated the 15th anniversary of his ordination on Thursday. He said his sexuality had never been a secret to his family and friends. He said that when he was interviewed during the screening process at Kenrick Seminary, he answered truthfully to the six interviewers (of nine, total) who asked about his sexual orientation and history. When they asked him if he believed he could be celibate, he answered, “I think so.”
As late as 2010, Fr. Meier was appointed to lead the North City Deanery. After his self-"outing", the Archdiocese issued a press release, which I post in its entirety:
The Archdiocese of St. Louis just learned that Fr. Gary Meier authored the book "Hidden Voices, Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest" which was originally released anonymously in 2011. On May 22, 2013, Fr. Meier will release a 2nd edition of this book under his name.
Fr. Meier has been on leave for the past year for reasons of vocational discernment.
As a man who experiences same-sex attraction, Fr. Meier has before him an opportunity to be an example and mentor to Catholics in the archdiocese who struggle with the same feelings. Whether he will seize this opportunity to proclaim the Gospel of Life which offers the truth about the beauty and sanctity of human sexuality, is entirely within is his control.
The Church does not condemn individuals for having same-sex attraction. It teaches that all people are called to responsibility regarding sexuality -- whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, priest or lay person.
Our Catholic faith teaches that we are defined by something far deeper than sexual orientation; rather we are defined by our identity as children of God. We agree with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when he said, 'Every human being is loved by God the Father. No one need feel forgotten, for every name is written in the Lord's loving heart.' We encourage Catholics and all people of faith to pray for our culture.
Not exactly Regnans in Excelsis, is it?
But of course this isn't the same situation, and the Archdiocese's statement is obviously trying to walk the line between reaching out to this man and others who might have the same temptations while upholding the Divine and Natural Law. I get that. Unfortunately, it soft sells it so much that it says nothing at all.
-- Fr. Meier is on a leave of absence? So he can come back? On what conditions?
-- "All people are called to responsibility regarding sexuality," says the statement. Could someone please state what that means, especially in the context of a press release that clearly states that the Church does not condemn people with "same-sex attraction"? Pardon my language, I do not mean to be flippant. But if the reader did not already know what the Church's teaching on sodomy was, this could mean lots of things: monogamy in a "gay" relationship, or maybe using prophylactics. Maybe something like the Church loves him so much she worries for his soul and for the souls of those his book could mislead?
-- Also, why would the Archdiocese give so much information about the book itself? I half expected the statement to give the ISBN number and a link to Amazon.
One final note. The problem of priests living out their vows of celibacy is maybe as old as the vow itself. We are all weak. And we pray that after the many troubles of the last 15 years that the vetting processes at the seminaries are more effective.
Like I said, the whole story is sad, and all the more so for failing to surprise.