Friday, July 13, 2007


opposed gays in the seminary:

In 2005, during an interview with The NewsHour on PBS regarding the seminary review, O'Brien said, "We don't want our people to think, as our culture is now saying, there's really no difference whether one is gay or straight, is homosexual or heterosexual. We think for our vocation that there is a difference, and our people expect to have a male priesthood that sets a strong role model of maleness."

The military has also grappled with the issue of gays in its ranks, adopting in 1993 a "don't ask, don't tell" policy that ousts gays if their orientation becomes known by superiors. Several former generals recently called for its repeal.

Asked yesterday whether he supports the policy, O'Brien said, "It seems to be working."

With estimates from Catholic scholars and authors putting the proportion of gay priests at about half of the American priesthood, observers say O'Brien's arrival in Baltimore could have substantial effects on the two seminaries that fall under the archdiocese: St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore and Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg.

"My guess is he's not going to want homosexuals in his seminary," said the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. Reese said O'Brien could make it clear to other bishops not to send gay seminarians to Baltimore.

St. Mary's Seminary is sometimes referred to as "The Pink Palace" by conservative Catholics (including Michael S. Rose, author of the 2002 book Goodbye, Good Men) for its reputation of tolerance toward gay seminarians. To send O'Brien, who is known for his traditional view on homosexuality, to Baltimore could be a signal from the Vatican that the days of such tolerance are over.

The article from which this quote was taken is online here.

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