Since celibacy and gay priests are currently in the news, I'd like to hear some opinions about celibacy in general and celibacy in regard to gay priests in particular.
If celibacy is seen only as a prohibition of physical sexual acts, then, celibacy is, indeed, easy to monitor. However, the emotional aspects of celibacy are much more difficult and complex. Would gay priests falling in love with other gay priests be violating their vow of celibacy? Emotional gay love affairs in the priesthood could certainly interfere with the traditional image of priest and his ability to selflessly serve the community. Yet, he could claim physical celibacy and be true in his claims.
The traditional image of priest calls for a man who self sacrifices in order to serve the community. It does not call for a man who places himself in an environment which can easily be self-indulging. So, the entire image of priest is changed with the overabundance of gays in the priesthood.
To pretend that all gay priests are in the same category as notables such as Henri Nouwen or Mychael Judge is inaccurate. To immediately dismiss any criticism of gays in the priesthood as intolerant and bigotry is also not accurate. To label all gay priests as either category is to avoid the complexity of the issue.
So, where lies the truth?
If there are any gay priests out there reading this, I'd like to hear your opinions.