Nov. 4, 2019
By Rebecca Bratten Weiss
Recent statements by theologian and former president of Ireland Mary McAleese have been making a stir in Catholic circles, prompting reactions in the extremes of both negative and positive.
According to an article by Sarah Mac Donald, McAleese stated that the Catholic priesthood is based around a “fundamental lie”:
She told a conference in TCD on Saturday attended by up to 400 people, including the Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, that a clericalised priesthood was not attracting vocations today and that many of those who are attracted to priesthood have a “deeply problematic” sexuality because the Church demands that those priests and seminarians who are not heterosexual pretend to be.
Recalling the six years she spent studying for a doctorate in canon law in Rome, living in the environs of a seminary and monastery, she said she had encountered many young seminarians and priests.
“I became very much aware of the dysfunction at the heart of seminary life and the dysfunction at the heart of much of the priesthood.”
“The number of fake-hetero misogynistic homophobic gays I met frightened me. The homophobia of people who are gay is a lie – it is a vicious lie. But they live it and in living it, apart from making themselves miserable, they also make a lot of other people miserable.” She said that as pastors, “their capacity for dispersing misery is really immense. That worries me greatly.”
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