St. John’s Abbey… on Monk Sexuality

Topics: Bob Pierson, Homosexuality, St. John's

We believe that human sexual orientation, both heterosexual and homosexual, is blessed by God as part of the original blessing of creation. We reject any suggestion that God withholds his blessings from some parts of his creation… We believe that each member of the community has a serious moral and spiritual responsibility to live chaste celibacy in a manner assuring that others in and outside the monastic community are not harmed by inappropriate behavior or relationships. – St. John’s Abbey (2005)

Webmaster’s Note: Following a 2005 Vatican announcement [ View ] , at least one monk in Collegeville, Bob Pierson, resigned from his duties. This 2005 St. John’s Abbey document contradicts the Vatican’s position on homosexuality.

St. John’s Abbey’s Stance on Homosexuality

1. We believe that human sexual orientation, both heterosexual and homosexual, is blessed by God as part of the original blessing of creation. We reject any suggestion that God withholds his blessings from some parts of his creation, and we do not believe that homosexual persons are objectively disordered.

2. We believe that human sexual energy is one of the most potent integrating forces in the human person. Whether homosexual or heterosexual, if a person fails to integrate this energy in a fundamental manner, it will likely become individually destructive and perhaps harmful to others as well. (For example, one who is unsure of or cannot accept a personal sexual orientation will have difficulty grasping what is essential to attain a chaste, celibate life.)

3. We believe both heterosexual and homosexual men have reached affective maturity enabling them to relate in a rich, appropriate and effective manner with men and women. Regardless of sexual orientation, we have seen heterosexual and homosexual men develop a profound sense of spiritual fatherhood with the ecclesial communities entrusted to them.

4. We believe that the crucial factor in reviewing prospective candidates for the monastic community is assessing an individual’s psychodynamic development and capacity regardless of sexual orientation to live a chaste, celibate life that has the capacity for genuine generatively. Candidates for monastic life must be truly engaged in a formation process distinguished by emotional, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions.

5. We believe that each member of the community has a serious moral and spiritual responsibility to live chaste celibacy in a manner assuring that others in and outside the monastic community are not harmed by inappropriate behavior or relationships.

6. Maturity is defined by healthy relationships, and we are all called upon to grow in healthy relationships no matter what the sexual orientation. Regardless of orientation, one is called upon to follow the same standards of mature behavior. We accomplish that in a manner commensurate with the orientation God has given to one.

St. John’s Abbey 2005
Originally Posted on July 28, 2010
Modified on October 10, 2010

Topics: Bob Pierson, Homosexuality, St. John's

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