Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Father Bo Jangles of the wine & cheese party circuit

Spurred by the news of the prospective apostolic visitations to US Catholic seminaries, where the objective includes not only tests of orthodoxy but tests of sexual orientation, our favorite Catholic heretic, Fr. Joe O'Leary (affectionately dubbed "Fr. Bo Jangles" by Ralph Roiter-Doister), is back in the thick of things. As Jordon Potter observes in the comment box on "Pope Benedict and Church Bureaucracy" (Sept. 16, 2005): "Count 'em, folks -- that SEVENTEEN (17) new posts from Fr. O'Leary from 2:49 a.m. to 12:11 p.m. Fr. O'Leary is back with a vengeance." Of course it's well over 17 posts by now, and he's back with a vengeance pumping heresy and homosexuality again.

Perhaps some will find it ironic that we give any space at all his views or even allow him space in our comment boxes, considering the fact that dissenting liberals almost never return the favor but maintain a near totalitarian control of their media outlets. Consider it a tip of the hat to the free exchange of ideas. I know he has unfair advantages of leisure time, that he cheats and twists facts and regularly resorts to ad hominem attacks on persons (which carry no logical weight but are dirty and demeaning). And one might expect more from a priest. Even a heretical one. But one expects some of that.

Back to his usual crowd-pleaser tricks, O'Leary writes: "To find homosexual affectivity per se disturbing is like finding Judaism or being black disturbing." Never mind that this over-simplistically conflates matters of consciously chosen lifestyle with matters of unavoidable color and race, it plays well.

Always angling to get a rise out of the faithful, O'Leary discourses on links between "the cult of altar boys" and "pedophilia," and between "the cult of the male celibate priesthood," viewed as "a band of angels," and "homoeroticism." Again, he chides fellow discussant, Jordan Potter, for equipating homosexuality and alcoholicism: "The latter is a destructive disease that brings grief to many families. The former is no such thing." Uh-huh. Sure.

"The survivors of Christian 'cure yourselves of gayness' programs tell a grim tale." Oh, really? "Under Ratzinger the CDF ... sabotaged the work of hundreds of leading theologians and cast a pall over the entire Catholic theological world." Yeah, like by telling them they couldn't call what they were doing "Catholic" if they denied the resurrection of Christ?

A regular contributor, New Catholic, comments:
The first four comments [in the comment box for the post, "Pope Benedict and Church Bureaucracy" (Sept. 16, 2005)] were very reasonable ones regarding the Church's bureaucratizaton.

But then came [O'Leary] with his obsession with sexual perversions... It seems like a subject which interests him very much.

I guess that if Dr. Blosser makes some comment on chocolate or on the weather, [O'Leary] will be able to put sodomy in the comments once again.
Ralph Roister-Doister, who's every bit O'Leary's match in the guild of word-smithery, comments:
Nothing gets Fr Joe's digits atwitter like an occasion to outrage the bourgeosie with his droll "sophistication". This is an odd pose for a priest. He knows he's unlikely to convince anyone at this blog that the longing for anal sex among men is "normal", in the seminaries or out of them. But he shows up anyway, because his addiction to the thrill of being the daring Voltaire of the clerical wine and cheese set is insuperable. I doubt that his championing of those who long for the barren pleasure of anal penetration of their fellow men is anything more than proper liberal form: the real point is to launch a few jolly good monocle-poppers.

Bravo, Fr Joe! You launch a multi-note jihad on the subject of anal penetration, call it a "cry for justice", and then accuse everyone else of obsessiveness!

Every time the subject of homosexuality appears on this blog, it is your notes, full of thrashing and bawling, which dominate the board. If your spigot of wisdom on this subject were to suddenly run dry, there would be tons more room on the Blossers' server.
O'Leary, ever practiced at the art of question-begging ad hominems, responds:
More poisoned bigotry from Roister -- he can find only Voltairean sophistication in the cry for justice of gay people -- who are his own brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and whose lives have been devastated by precisely the bigotry he shamelessly glories in.
Wait! That crescendo from the strings and woodwinds ... That chorus! Do I hear strains of the Battle Hymn of the Republic playing in the background?

Again Ralph:
Use whatever adjective you wish to describe me, Fr Joe ... none of it really changes the fact that you are embracing behavior that your Church, and most other human beings in most other cultures, find disordered. One wonders why, but one does not wonder that the same mind has nothing but scorn and vitriol for the last two popes [and for how many others?]. It could hardly be otherwise.
Another discussant, Jon, joins in with a charitable anathema:
Would it be uncharitable of me to quote Ecclesiates 10:12-14 or Proverbs 10:19-21? There's nothing more dull than listening to someone who loves hearing himself talk.

Fr. O'Leary: please try to be succinct and to the point, and we'll all be grateful and more willing to interact with your thoughts. As Elvis said, a little less conversation, a little more action, please. Don't bother chastising us for agreeing with dogmatic Church teaching. Maybe you'd prefer for us to join you in dissent, but you'll have to do more than wag your finger at our so-called homophobia for that to happen.

I'm sorry that you think it's worth your time to spend hours on the Internet, causing scandal by your open and unapologetic dissent. I'm sorry that you're offended by the presence of young fogeys who vociferously reject your theological standards as relics of a dying age. I'm sorry that you see anal sex as something gay rather than as physical violence. I'm sorry that you can't accept the Church's ruling on women priests. I'm sorry you think that Church teaching on homosexuality is the equivalent of Nazi death camps.

And most of all I'm sorry that you're cutting yourself off from the Christ in this way. You are meant to be an alter Christus, but you appear more like an anti-Christ, whose "spirit" is present in every age. Perhaps it's inappropriate for a layman to chastise a priest, but I cannot think of you as a spiritual father in any way, except as an abusive father. Please stop, or just leave the Church altogether and end the spiritual confusion you're spreading. You're hurting your children.
Jordon Potter, overwhelmed by yet another avelanche of O'Leary logorrhea, writes:
I haven't had a chance to read [all of O'Leary's comments] yet, and don't know when I will get a chance (or if it will even be worth the trouble to do so), but I did see the filthy statement with which he began his reply to my last comment -- the claim that young men praying the rosary is in some way homoerotic. This just goes to show better than anything how orthodox Catholics and people like Fr. O'Leary live in two completely different worlds. How could anyone suggest there was something sexually perverted about a young man seeking the intercession of his spiritual mother Mary, mother of our Lord Jesus! What could be homosexual about a group of young men kneel together and praying the rosary?
Fr. O'Leary raises one point I found credibly worth considering, though I doubt he would agree with the conclusions I draw from it. Regarding the Vatican-appointed investigators being sent out to examine the Catholic seminaries this fall, he asks: "But quis custodet ipsos custodes?" That is, in this case, Who investigates the investigators? He adds:
The idea of Vatican bureaucrats, clutching their own secrets in their bosom and armored with the benighted curial documents of recent years, conducting an inquisition into the tender secrets of the ultra-conservative youths who currently inhabit their seminaries, strikes me as primarily a very amusing scenario, though undoubtedly it will be a source of pain for all those involved.
Perhaps O'Leary wants to suggest that the possibility of hypocrisy here -- that is, of bureaucrats, who themselves are enmeshed in compromising homosexual liaisons, presuming to investigate seminaries for evidence of homosexuals -- should induce us to condemn the whole prospect of such an inquiry. Hypocrisy, certainly, is despicable. Yet the counsel of Christ that he who is without sin be the first to cast stones seems misplaced here. This apostolic visitation is not about condemning homosexuals. It is about redeeming the Church after decades of unchecked sexual abuse that have only come to light in the sex scandals of recent years. Ralph Roiter-Doister seems to have the more clear-headed idea when he writes:
I will agree with Fr Joe to this extent: if this [Apostolic Visitation this fall] is ineffectual, if it consists of a nod-nod-wink-wink questionnaire and not much more, then it will do far more harm than good, in that it will leave the impression that something, other than covering-up, is being done. Cover-up, after all, is one of the characteristics of bureaucracy that Fr Joe omitted to mention, and I'm sure he would not have done so had he not been so tired.

To that end, I would suggest that discipline of priests found guilty of sexual transgressions of any sort -- even heterosexual fornication, my dear Father -- be swift, severe, and VERY public. Let the specter of public humiliation do the disciplinary work that blubbering such as Fr Joe's will never accomplish.
For another less-than-sanguine look at the prospects of a hopeful outcome to the apostolic visitations, see Michael Liccione's considered view in his post, "They're but will it matter?" at Sacramentum Vitae (Sept. 4, 2005). "Speaking as a former seminary adjunct professor as well as a former victim," writes Luccione, "I can state unequivocally that the intellectual and social tone of many seminaries during the 60s, 70s, and early 80s contributed to that problem as much as it reflected it." Addressing precisely the viewpoint found in the O'Leary's of "progressive" Cafeteria Catholicism, he says:
Progressives have no problem repeating that the inexcusable coverup and belittling of so many sex-abuse cases was self-serving on the part of the offending bishops, who were more interested in covering their own and the Church's posterior than in protecting the young. Yet it has become all too apparent that, in some cases, the problem is that bishops were either homosexuals themselves or otherwise more inclined to sympathize with homosexual priests than to rein them in.
One of the roots of the dispiriting problems confronting the Church in America today, says Luccione, "is the self-serving unwillingness of many to even admit what one of the roots is: homosexuals in the priesthood."

What, then, of O'Leary? Roiter-Doister sums up the matter thus:
All this tap dancing that you [Fr. O'Leary] do to maintain the pretence of the faith! It must make you weary -- it certainly does us! Fr Bo Jangles, celebrated dandy of the wine and cheese party circuit, pirouetting in and out of heresy with gay abandon.
Weary indeed.

No comments: