I don’t mean to poach on Roy’s estate, but one of his commenters announced that Rod Dreher, the Con Who Stays Crunchy Even In Blood Of The Lamb, was talking about balls. So naturally I had to click over to Beliefnet, because I’ve long been fascinated by the rituals of Orthodox Teabagging — the incense, the chanting, the liturgical tapdancing — and figured that Rod, being a pious acetic who survives on a diet of locusts, wild honey, and schadenfreude, would have the inside scuttlebuttplug.
First, a little background. A Catholic priest named Arthur Mallison resigned from his parish in McKinney, Texas after it was revealed that he had posted on Saint Sebastian’s Angels, a website for gay clergy.
“There was a faction in the parish that had started a nationwide campaign to put pressure on Father,” said Annette Gonzales-Taylor, a Diocese of Dallas spokesperson.Mallison was assigned to St. Michael’s in McKinney just weeks ago. Some members discovered the website and started writing about it on blogs in Illinois and GeorgiaThe diocese said the pressure on the priest was too much.“He was trying to spare all of the parties pain, disappointment or embarrassment,” Gonzales-Taylor said.The Vatican issued an edict in November of 2005 clarifying the church’s position on gay clergy. The Pope said priests should be celibate regardless of their orientation.“They don’t want sexually active homosexual priests,” Gonazales-Taylor said. “All of our priests are expected to remain celibate and live a celibate lifestyle.”The diocese said even though Mallison didn’t violate church policy, he resigned because he didn’t want misinformation and perception to hurt the parish nor the diocese.Mallison was a priest at St. Francis of Assisi in Lancaster for 10 years before moving to McKinney. The diocese said he could be assigned to another Dallas area parish.
Some people might feel this was persecution, since the diocese has been careful to say that Fr. Mallison “has done nothing that violates church policy,” but Rod has gotten his hands on a private email from the priest which proves that he likes coffee!
Stephen Brady at Roman Catholic Faithful provided me this undated e-mail from the St. Sebastian’s site, written by Fr. Art Mallinson, who resigned his new pastorate in north Texas yesterday after his participation in the online site a few years back became an issue.
Roman Catholic Faithful is a website whose mission statement reads, in part:
we are Catholics who are faithful to the teachings of the Holy Father and the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. Some of our members are priests, others are religious, but most are ordinary laity. Our diverse membership has a common goal — to fight actively and spiritually to restore Holy Mother Church.Why was RCF founded? In 1994, Stephen Brady of Petersburg, IL began protesting the fact some Eucharistic ministers and others in his local parish were responsible, either as teachers in the public school or as members of the school board, for instructing his children in the use of condoms.
But back to Rod’s efforts to actively and spiritually restore Holy Mother Church by steaming open other peoples’ mail…
Fr. Mallinson’s e-mail to the secret society reads:I have been stalked once — due to a chat conversation. I was planning on meeting this guy for coffee sometime in the future. In the course of a chat I mentioned a place that I often visited and when I would go. I thought nothing of it. But then one day this total stranger tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I was K___, my on line nick [sic] — I freaked! He came to watch me and check me out!I never thought I would feel this way — and I wasn’t doing anything untoward. He didn’t even know I was gay — but I knew that he was. And he knew I was a priest … even though he didn’t know my real name. But the idea that someone had come to look at me while I was unaware … very strange.We strike a ballance [sic] on this list — we confided feelings and secrets that we couldn’t utter anywhere else — and feel liberated in doing so, while at the same time — keeping a level of distance or anonimity [sic] for security. It’s a bit strange and scarry [sic] at times — but what options do we have?Well, you could try living out your vow of celibacy, for one. Or joining a support group of priests struggling to deal with their sexuality in healthy ways, and not dealing with it by arranging anonymous encounters on the Internet.
As one of Rod soft-hearted commenters bleated, “priests lead lonely lives,” but that’s no excuse for planning to have coffee with someone in the future, because personally I’ve never had a cup of java that didn’t lead directly to intercourse. Let’s be honest…barista’s just another word for pimp.
There’s a lot of pathos in this, actually. The skulking, the clandestine meeting arranged on the Internet, the loneliness, the burden of his secret and his desires. No one can deny the frail humanity of a man in this priest’s position.
I have to admit, Rod is showing more Christian charity, more simple human empathy than I would have given him credit for, even if it does come with two scoops of creepy voyeurism.
Spoke too soon.
I deeply doubt that anyone so conflicted about the tension between his nature and his calling as a celibate priest has any business in active ministry. Surely Father Mallinson’s superiors at the chancery when this was discovered must have been able to see that here was a priest in crisis. And yet?
And yet the diocese hints that Fr. Mallison could be foisted onto some other, unsuspecting parish without him even molesting someone first, which I understand from Church tradition is a prerequisite for this sort of favoritism.
How has he resolved this crisis? It cannot be a matter of indifference to his parishioners, or those who may yet be under his spiritual authority. It shouldn’t be to his bishop either.
Unless his bishop is also part of the worldwide homosexual cabal that has penetrated the Catholic Church, according to the Seattle Catholic:
If those responsible for discipline of bishops are unable or unwilling to take decisive action against an openly homosexual dissident with perverse fantasies, what action can be expected from bishops much more discreet? Worse yet, combining this unlikely prospect of ecclesial discipline with the “openness” of American seminaries to homosexuals for at least the past thirty-five years and the unofficial estimate of a 30%-50% “gay” clergy, how many of the 300+ bishops or thousands of individuals in positions of Church authority are homosexual themselves?
And who’s to say the College of Cardinals hasn’t been entirely subverted by homosexuals? Perhaps that white puff of smoke that emerges from their Conclave doesn’t signal the selection of a new pope, but is simply evidence that they’ve got a steam room going in there. Why, this conspiracy could reach all the way to the red Prada Shoes of the Fisherman himself!
But where, I hear you cry, does the teabagging come in? Well, some of Rod’s raders felt his post (and some of the resulting comments) had the quality of a witch hunt, since the priest in question hadn’t been accused of doing anything more than belonging to a website where men who could not be candid about their sexuality in public sought understanding and sympathy. But to which Rod righteously thundered:
“Witch hunt”? Oh, please. The last refuge of someone who cannot defend the accused on the merits. Five minutes spent looking at the SSA website reveals that to be a complete canard.John: While St. Sebastian’s Angels might be shocking, the little bit that I looked at made clear to me that these men are desperate for community.Was it the tape loop of the ejaculating penis that led you to this conclusion, John? Was it the bare bottoms of the men at the beach? Was it the priest who posted that he’d had his balls sucked through the tip of his penis?
Say what you want about Rod’s conclusions, you can’t deny that the man does his homework.Posted by scott on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 1:59 pm.
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