Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Partnered Gay Catholic Theologian's Take on the Roman Gay Priest Scandal

Steve’s take (heavily ironic) last week on his birthday, when I told him about the scandal rocking the Catholic church in Italy after Berlusconi’s newspaper published pictures of priests cavorting at gay bars in Rome: 

I should have joined the minor seminary when Father Keefe chose me out of my seventh-grade class to go there.  I’d now be a member of the biggest, most well-funded Club Med in the world.  Free education at the best schools.  Free car, free house, free servants.  Free scotch in big tumblers before and after dinner every evening.  (Steve has never stopped talking about the  two-fisted pre- and post-prandial drinking in which his clerical colleagues engaged when he was the only lay member of the faculty at Notre Dame Seminary (New Orleans) in the latter half of the 1980s.)

Free trips all over the globe.  Instant respect from everyone you meet, because you have a Roman collar.
And now we learn, free sex.  Any time you want, with anyone you want.
And the biggest irony of all: I didn’t take up the offer to go to seminary because I didn’t want to leave my friends.   My boy friends.

We wouldn’t be where we are today, nearing retirement, if we had become priests.  One of us has no health coverage.  We struggle just to make ends meet each month, on a single salary.  Every month, we’re depleting the tiny savings we’ve set aside for retirement.  You’re 60 and I’ve just turned 59.

We’ve been black-balled for years by Catholic universities because we’re a gay couple and refuse to hide that fact.  Can’t get jobs in any Catholic institution to which we apply.

Nope.  The priesthood would have been the right career choice.  Join the Catholic priesthood, get a free education, see the world.  And cavort all you want in gay bars, as long as you do it discreetly.

Biggest Club Med in the world. 
What were we thinking when we decided to be lay theologians living in a committed gay relationship?