No one "who has been part of a gay subculture or who has lived promiscuously as a heterosexual [should] be admitted [to a Catholic seminary], no matter how many years [previously] that might have occurred," Cardinal George said during the bishops’ meeting in Chicago.
In this extraordinarily badly written Chi Trib story, by Margaret Ramirez, billed as religion reporter (a slot that has seemed an afterthought to Trib editors since Steve Kloehn left the beat a few years back [later: make Manya Brachear a nice exception to this]), we don’t know if he said it from the podium or in an interview. The quote above is doctored (here) for clarity’s sake, but as printed, probably accurately, it sounds off the cuff — not that George is the most articulate of speakers or incapable of making off-wall statements.
In any case, what he said justifies neither lead paragraph — “As the nation's Roman Catholic bishops gathered in Chicago Thursday for a meeting to review their sexual abuse policy, Cardinal Francis George said homosexual men should not be admitted into seminaries” — nor headline — “George: Seminary no place for gays.”
Ramirez’s analysis is like a cartoon: broad outlines of issues are offered, with reference to what “is being debated,” “critics [who] have charged,” “others [who] have said,” and the like.
The zero-tolerance ban may violate Catholic teaching “on redemption,” she writes — an odd usage that implies salvation itself is threatened by church discipline and imposing of penance for sin. Ramirez may get things just enough wrong no matter what she writes about, but that’s little consolation to readers of news about religion and the church.