The Flaw In Solving The Priest Shortage In The US By Importing Foreign Priests
Archbishop Raymond Burke
There is a lot of talk today about the priest shortage. One of the ways some religious communities and dioceses have tried to deal with this shortage is to import priests from foreign countries. Bringing priests to this country from other countries is sometimes done without any preparation on either the part of the priest coming or the community to which they will be sent.
This is bad enough. Often this importing of priests from foreign countries is done in the name of multiculturalism. This is somehow meant to show the universality of the Roman Catholic Church as well as fill up for the shortage of native born priests. I think multiculturalism is
very important and a good thing. What I think is wrong is there are some subcultures that the Catholic Church does not acknowledge and in fact harbors a real animas toward. One such subculture is the gay culture which is very alive and well in the United States, and I would add in the Catholic Church.
This is an issue because the Roman Catholic Church particularly in the United States has not been able to accept even the smallest parts of the gay subculture within the ranks of its own priests and bishops. http://ncronline.org/blogs/essays-theology/alternate-thoughts-year-priests See issue #6 in this recent column in the NCR.
This lack of acceptance of the gay subculture manifests itself in a number of ways. Aversion to the gay culture presents itself in the Roman Catholic Church when it fails to address its own internalized homophobia. Gay people will tell you that it is the church’s inability to face the strata of gayness in its own ranks that is responsible for a number of the vile and hateful things said about gay and lesbians in some official church documents.
I suspect there is a high degree of latent homosexuality displayed in pictures like the one of Archbishop Burke that accompanies this post. You can also find this picture and a further comment about it here. http://gaymystic.blogspot.com/2009/09/closeted-gays-anonymous-association-of.html
When the church imports priests in the name of multiculturalism and fails to address is own internalized homophobia and to recognize the degree of latent homosexuality in the priesthood then I think this is a dishonest appeal to being multicultural. This is why I think bringing foreign priests to this country to alleviate the priest shortage is really doomed to failure. I think that failure will happen on several levels. That will be something for another post.