Re "Gay Priests Say It's Harder Now to Tell the Truth," May 22: The term "gay priest" is an oxymoron. Having taken the vow of celibacy, the sexual orientation of an individual in this vocation is irrelevant. Followers of Christ are expected to lead chaste lives in whatever state of life they choose.
The statement that men sometimes enter the priesthood to avoid explaining their single life is nonsense. "Cradle Catholics" were taught that there were three vocations to choose: the religious, married and "single blessedness in the world." Should the vow of celibacy become optional, engaging in homosexuality would still be immoral.
The confusion has been caused in our culture by the insistence of the entertainment and advertising industries on portraying sexual activity as a recreational pastime that everyone has a "right" and "need" to engage in. As Christians we do not, and we should not, buy into this destructive thinking.
Florence E. James
Conservative Catholics who propose as a solution to the church's pedophilia crisis the outright dismissal of all priests with a homosexual orientation are actually playing with a loaded gun pointed at the church. Were such a policy to go into effect and were there a wholesale exodus of such priests, there would be widespread discontent among Catholics: "Father so-and-so was forced to leave the priesthood; he was such a great priest."
Then these Catholics would themselves be motivated to express their disgust at this policy by leaving the church en masse, and Roman Catholicism in America would continue its slow withering away to irrelevancy.