Before you read this wrongheaded analysis, you should know something about the background and self-interest of the author. He is a priest of the Order of Saint Augustine with nearly 50 years of ministry behind him. Much of it was in hospice and prison ministry apparently. He is also a novelist responsible for The Black Wall of Silence. Here is the amazon description. “In the midst of the sexual abuse crisis that is tearing the Church apart, a Catholic priest is caught between fighting for the victims of sexual abuse and his bond of loyalty to the Church. What makes the conflict unique is the internal struggle of the priest who is a gay, in a Church that is ashamed of his orientation and rewards him for his silence.”
New writers are always told “write about what you know.” While I don’t know if Fr. Morrissey identifies as “gay” or if this book is autobiographical, I would lay serious money down that it is filled with autobiographical references.
To the article itself: He claims Ireland’s populist demand for homosexual marriage was because of, not in spite of, its Catholicism. Huh? Yes, according to this man, the Catholic Church teaches that marriage that marriage is a sacrament and that’s why Catholics “can shift sideways to see a same-sex relationship in the same God-blessed way.” This of course is patent nonsense. Compared to sacramental marriage, gay marriage seems as much a desecration of the sacrament as an extension of it. Not because homosexuals don’t experience love, not because love has no gender, but because marriage does have gender. Male and female are not arbitrary categories. They are rooted in our very being. That is why homosexual acts often elict the “ick factor” from people. That is not bad. The majority of people find the unnatural repulsive.
There is also the widespread testimony of homosexuals themselves that permanence and monogamy don’t hold the same importance for their unions as it does in the Catholic sacrament of matrimony.
He also blames the coverup of the sexual abuse crisis in Ireland on the bishops and their loss of moral authority. I don’t doubt there is some of that but not enough to jettison the sexual morality taught by Jesus and St. Paul in the New Testament or to overcome the natural sense of order that sees male and female as complementary not arbitrary.
Remember this man is an active priest with, I’m sure, many decent and noble qualities. But he is unfit to teach Catholic doctrine and those responsible for his own spiritual well-being are not showing him love by permitting him to affirm what the Church teaches is sin.
– Al Kresta