Repressed Thinking 102

So in the midst of a long and interesting interview about the state of the Catholic church, a little nugget of worldview pops up in the words of the former master general of the Dominicans:

080409_timothyradcliffe"We have to see that behind much of the furor is fear and these fears are comprehensible. There is a fear among straight priests of becoming a member of a small minority in what is perceived as a "gay’ vocation." There is a fear among some homosexual priests of being found out, a feeling of guilt and so on. We have to reassure people so that the issue can be faced calmly. If there is a fevered anxiety about all this, then it does not help people mature and face their own complexity. It is not the case that there are just these two groups, homosexuals and heterosexuals. People are complex, and have contrary motions in their hearts. Straight people may be tempted to strangle the little bit of them that responds to people of the same sex and fear gay people. But that is a disguised form of fearing themselves. And gay seminarians may be tempted to deny who they are, adopt an anti-gay rhetoric, and all that is highly unhealthy and deforming.

It is important also that someone’s sexual orientation is not the most important thing about them, as if everyone was a sexual maniac, endlessly wanting to get other people into bed. The most important thing about anyone, regardless of whether they are gay or straight, is that they be able to love, and that they are helped to love well, deeply, honestly, transparently," – Timothy Radcliffe, OP, former master general of the Dominicans in an interview with Busted Halo.

How telling that Radcliffe’s very first association (actually the only as far as I can tell) with "sexual orientation" is of "sex mania."  In the mind of the life-long repressed, sexual orientation itself equals mania.  And if we’re to be serious here, read "homosexuality" when one says "sexual orientation" because that term only comes up in conversations about homosexuality.  You never find heterosexuals speaking of their own loving as an orientation.  Very rarely, unless the conversation is taking place in a group that is known to include people of multiple orientations.

So, orientation/homosexuality can only be understood in this mindset as the extreme and the pathological.

I hope that Mr. Radcliffe can continue in his journey and achieve a greater perspective that also speaks to the intrinsic nature of goodness involved in sexual orientation.

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