Talk:Homosexuality and Roman Catholic priests

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Use of correct ecclesiastical language[edit]

While this article clearly intended to be an article for popular audiences, i think it would be worthwhile to try to infuse it with correct ecclesiastical/liturgical language

The second sentence of this article reads "Roman Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy at their ordination and as such are called to refrain from all sexual activity."

First of all, a "promise" of celibacy is made by a deacon (preparing for the secular priesthood) to his ordinary. Second, religious priests make a vow of chastity at their profession. Thus it woudl be good if this sentence could be replaced with something like\

"Roman Catholic priests make a promise of celibacy at their ordination to the transitional diaconate (or a vow of chastity at the time of profession, in the case of religious priests) and as such are called to refrain from all sexual activity." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by MattDawg579 (talkcontribs).

Recent additions[edit]

There were some excellent additions made, but in scanning the changes I found a some copyright concerns, some issues with sourcing, and problems with claims not necessarily being in keeping with the sources. I'd like to see the content included, but I've removed it for now with the intent of working through and re-adding the work as the issues are addressed. I understand that the alternative approach would be to keep the content in the article and fix it, but the copyright concerns mean that I'd be more comfortable working in the other direction. - Bilby (talk) 07:45, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Please explain the copyright concerns asap, those should definitely be addressed. Insomesia (talk) 00:38, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
It isn't just copyright concerns, as in some cases I think that there are very string claims being referenced to sources which probably aren't quite strong enough to support them. But in regard to copyright concerns, as a couple of examples, the first line read:
Studies find it difficult to quantify specific percentages of Roman Catholic priests who identify as gay priests although the New York Times noted that gay priests (in the U.S.) entered seminaries “in noticeable numbers” from the late 1970s through the 1980s.
It is, I think, worth mentioning that the NYT didn't note that claim - instead it was noted by the John Jay report. So it should be sourced to the John Jay Report rather than the NYT. However, the line in the NYT reads:
... The report notes that homosexual men began entering the seminaries “in noticeable numbers” from the late 1970s through the 1980s.
Unfortunately, that text seems to have been copied almost directly into the article. There are some changes, but it is a bit too close. A bit further on in the first paragraph:
Dean Hoge, a Catholic University of America sociologist who studies the priesthood, says that "an outright ban is not possible. There is no way of enforcing it."
The source, however, reads:
Professor Dean Hoge, a Catholic University of America sociologist who studies the priesthood, says that ... "an outright ban is not possible. There is no way of enforcing it."
Similarly, later in the additions it read:
A 2000 study by Father Donald Cozzens for his book The Changing Face of Priesthood estimated that as many as 60 percent of all American Catholic priests were gay, but varied depending on geographical location. "At issue at the beginning of the 21st century is the growing perception that the priesthood is, or is becoming, a gay profession,” he states. “Heterosexual seminarians are made uncomfortable by the number of gays around them.”
Which is very close to the original source:
A study conducted in 2000 by Father Donald Cozzens for his book The Changing Face of Priesthood suggests that as many as 60 percent of all American Catholic priests were gay, but those numbers varied greatly depending on geographical location. “At issue at the beginning of the 21st century is the growing perception that the priesthood is, or is becoming, a gay profession,” Cozzens wrote in his book. “Heterosexual seminarians are made uncomfortable by the number of gays around them.”
Unfortunately, there were a number of other examples of close paraphrasing in the new text. When coupled with some concerns about sourcing, I think we need to look at rewriting the text a bit more before including it. - Bilby (talk) 04:38, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

It's good to see this article being cleaned up, though to put things politely, there are still many issues. The biggest is that the article glosses over very important differences between (1) being homosexual, (2) being involved with "gay culture" in some affirmative way, and (3) engaging in (any form of) homosexual sexual activity or breaking vows of chastity. This difference should be made clear in the introduction, and the rest of the article should be divided into sections addressing these individually. There are many other issues:

  • In "The Catholic Church condemns as sinful active gay lifestyles", "gay lifestyle" isn't defined, and links to "LGBT culture". CCC2357 is talking primarily about homosexual acts (3), not involvement in gay culture (2?), except where such involvement constitutes approval of such acts. The appropriate section would be 2284. The current phrasing implies that the Church is saying something vague - it isn't. The paragraph then goes on to say "However, ...gay men who are closeted and chaste... will be allowed to become priests" - in other words, this particular official is saying that homosexuals (1) who are not promoting (2) or engaging in (3) homosexual acts may become priests. Why is the official's statement being presented as if it were at odds ("however") with Church teaching as described? It isn't.
  • The LA Times poll asked about homosexuality, not about involvement in or support of homosexual culture or acts. This should be made clear.
  • The citations are a mess. It's like someone did a search for 'news gay priests' and dropped in everything they found. Wikipedia is not a random catalogue of news stories.
    • The Church is about 2000 years old. There are currently about half a million priests. And the introduction of this article spends two paragraphs on a news story ("good nights out") by what looks like a rag involving 3 priests, and the blog of Bryan Cones (who?) giving a random snippet of opinion. Are you kidding me?
    • Is some random intentionally offensive advertisement by Antonio Federici truly important to the issue of homosexuality among priests? The answer is no.
    • I'm not sure why Saint Anselm is being dragged into this. Is the idea that he was tolerant of homosexuality? "Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury, sought, however, to limit the effects of the condemnation, because many would not have known that sodomy was a grave crime." That's what the cite says. Where, exactly, does it read that he "demanded" that the punishment should be moderate? And by what stretch of the imagination does Anselm's comment have anything to do with homosexuality among priests?
    • "Studies by Wolf and Sipe from the early 1990s suggest that...". Description of Wolf 1989 from google books: "Surveys one hundred gay Roman Catholic clergyman and presents..." - 100 priests? Sorry, this study does not seem to be statistically significant.
  • Few of the citations point to the true source. Many link through blogspam. Sometimes they are off by several steps - they said that they said that they said that whatever. It's like a game of telephone!
    • When a book states something, we don't link to a news article as proof. We link to the book itself. This is so that other editors can check the book, rather than repeated paraphrasing. If you don't have the book, then you put a (CN) so that editors know that we in fact do not presently have a citation for this claim. I'll be deleting such citations, the Cozzens citation in particular.
    • The Vatican website itself should probably be cited for the CCC, not the website of a parish.
    • "Stuart...claimed, 'It has been estimated that at least 33 percent of all priests in the RC Church in the United States are homosexual.'" The citation [15] for this quotes Saunders quoting Stuard. The Saunders/Stanford book seems to make no mention of Stuard. And who is Stuart citing in the first place? Who has estimated that 1/3 of the US Church is homosexual? It actually doesn't matter who estimated - provide a proper study.
    • The "homosexuality to be a disorder" line cites Edge, which is simply repeating an NYT article. (Note that the wording "a few years earlier...described it" changes to "in years before the church had regarded it", which is very different.) The NYT article itself fails to cite where, exactly, the Church described it as morally neutral. Incidentally, being homosexual can be both a disorder and morally neutral - the Church doesn't condemn homosexuals in the sense of (1), it condemns homosexual acts (3) and the promotion of homosexual acts. You don't go to the NYT for this info, you cite the two relevant paragraphs in the CCC.

These are pretty serious issues. Obviously I'd like to correct them, but since I was immediately reverted when I made comparatively minor changes, I'm giving notice here first. Are there any objections to my points above? If not, I'll be changing the article. Openverse (talk) 08:17, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

I object strongly. We have to avoid wp:original research is part of the short answer, and we are not here to advocate any position including the Catholic Church's. We quote what news sources cite as newsworthy rather than cherry-picked statements from the Church. I'm sure changes supported by wp:reliable sources are welcome. Insomesia (talk) 00:16, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
When you make a negative claim, try to be specific, or it ends up sounding like a baseless accusation. Those aren't nice to read, and make it difficult for others to AGF. Which part would be OR? Which part would violate NPOV? None of it. Do you really think that we should be citing a gay tabloid for a quote from the NYT? Do you really think we should be quoting the NYT about the Church's position, when the CCC clearly states its position, that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered"? If so, please explain why you take a gay tabloid to be more authoritative than the CCC regarding the position of the Church. Anyway - pick some particular point that you are opposed to. I'm sure you'll find that we want the same things for this article. Openverse (talk) 03:17, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

"Predatory gay sex" section[edit]

The newly added "Predatory gay sex" section, while possibly containing some pertinent material, is an appalling example of undue prominence, placing a large sensationally-titled section regarding the views of one individual from the perspective of one part of the world in the present moment, right at the start of the main section of an article which deals with the broad topic throughout history. Neither is it written in neutral terms, talking, for instance, about revelations rather than allegations and stating some matters in terms of fact, when, from the citations, they are also allegations by Despard. Whatever the merits of Despard's allegations, this is not the way to cover them in this article. I will remove the section. Mutt Lunker (talk) 22:05, 28 April 2013 (UTC)