3 min

Masculinity lessons for priests

On October 30, the Roman Catholic Church issued guidance, approved by Pope Benedict XVI, on how to test whether potential priests have a “positive and stable sense of one’s masculine identity.”

The voluntary tests are to help leaders remove priesthood candidates with “psychopathic disturbances.”

“In all too many cases, psychological defects, sometimes of a pathological kind, reveal themselves only after ordination to the priesthood,” the guidelines say. “Detecting defects earlier would help avoid many tragic experiences.”

The guidelines say the psychological exam aims to identify candidates’ “deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”  Unsure whether your homosexuality is deep-seated or just a whimsical, little fling?  A 2005 Vatican document said men with “deep-seated” homosexual tendencies should not be ordained, but that those with a “transitory problem” could become priests if they had overcome their problem for three years.

Still, the guidelines single out more than just faggy altar boys. Even straight seminarians should be barred if testing makes it “evident the candidate has difficulty living in celibacy: That is, if celibacy for him is lived as a burden so heavy that it compromises his affective and relational equilibrium.” That’s Vatican speak for wanting a taste of pussy so bad you’re losing your effing mind.

Over the last decade, the Catholic Church has been rocked by a series of sex scandals, resulting in lawsuits that have cost hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements. That’s expensive, but these rules won’t help.

And meanwhile, historical examples of tragic experiences due to pathological, psychopathic disturbances include robbing aboriginal children from their homes and communities in order to transplant them to a residential school where their culture is systematically obliterated in order to violently assimilate them into a shame-obsessed cult of colonization.

But back to the topic at hand. Aside from the ding dong assumption that a stereotypical masculine identity indicates heterosexuality, it takes some seriously kooky science in 2008 to draw a correlation between being gay, being mentally ill and pedophilia. 

A 1997 American Psychological Association resolution states that the organization “opposes portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation and supports the dissemination of accurate information about sexual orientation, and mental health, and appropriate interventions in order to counteract bias that is based in ignorance or unfounded beliefs about sexual orientation.”

Gay rights groups have accused the Church of using homosexuals as scapegoats for abuse scandals, while rational people who enjoy lucid, logical thought beyond the nineteenth century have accused the Church of being off their fucking rocker.

A statement from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a US-based group of victims of sexual abuse, said the revised guidelines did not go far enough.

“Catholic officials continue to fixate on the offenders and ignore the larger problem: the Church’s virtually unchanged culture of secrecy and unchecked power in the hierarchy.  These broader factors are deeply rooted in the Church and contribute heavily to extensive and ongoing clergy sex abuse and cover up.”

Meanwhile, a Church of England priest has been ordered to remove comments about gay people from his blog after his own diocese deemed them “highly offensive”.  The Rev Peter Mullen, who spews hatred ministers in the City of London, wrote:

“We disapprove of homosexuality because it is clearly unnatural, a perversion and corruption of natural instincts and affections, and because it is a cause of fatal disease. The AIDS pandemic was originally caused by promiscuous homosexual behaviour. Such promiscuity is itself an evil because its perpetrators merely use others indiscriminately for their own gratification. 

“Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan ‘sodomy can seriously damage your health’ and their chins with ‘fellatio kills.'”

In defense of his comments, Mullen later said, “I certainly have nothing against homosexuals. Many of my dear friends have been and are of that persuasion.  What I have got against them is the militant preaching of homosexuality.” 

David Allison, spokesman for the gay rights group, Outrage, described the comments as “neanderthal,” while one of Mullen’s “dear gay friends” said Mullen could “kiss my fat sodomized ass.”

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of London noted: “While clergy are entitled to their own personal views, we fully recognise that the content of this text is highly offensive and it is in no way reflective of the views of the Diocese of London.”  She was then shown a photo of two women rubbing vulvas, at which she quickly screamed “Sinners!” before violently throwing up. No, but seriously.

For any of you kids tired of the local priest eyeing up your puerile bum, here’s your chance to turn the tables on that hottie Father!

Calendrio Romano 2009 is being sold by The Food Chain, an HIV organization in the UK.  Each month is graced by a real-life hallowed hunk that’ll shake your holy ghost to the ground.  How they got Italian priests to pose for a whole year of gay boy wet dreams is beyond me, but if you buy your copy at, 10 percent of the proceeds will help provide nutrition services to folks living with HIV.