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Man of the Flesh to Man of the Cloth. Porn Star Rod Fontana to become Episcopal Priest

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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 03:36 PM
Original message
Man of the Flesh to Man of the Cloth. Porn Star Rod Fontana to become Episcopal Priest
Edited on Wed Jul-25-07 03:54 PM by IanDB1


OAK PARK, Calif.

SOME people have their midlife crisis in reverse, like Ronald Boyer, who for most of his professional life has been better known as a star of pornographic films, Rod Fontana.

After 30 years of sowing the wildest of oats, Mr. Boyer, 54, has searched his soul and chosen, to the surprise of family and colleagues, to seek a priesthood in the Episcopal Church.

<snip>

Mr. Boyers embryonic ministry, devoted to bringing spiritual comfort to those marginalized by the sex industry, is driven by his deep faith and by a medical crisis that threatened the life of his child. But it is a work in progress, fraught with the contradictions and internal struggles of a man leaving behind a livelihood that was central to his identity.

He has tired of performing in sex movies, but even now doesnt condemn it. Not one time did Jesus refer to pornography, or homosexuality, he observed on the Internet show, which he began as a co-host in May. Jesus could have commented. He didnt.


More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/15/fashion/15fontana.htm...
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Crankie Avalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. Funny headline...I bet he'll be far less likely to molest parishioners...
...than a lot of these more "respectable" priests are.
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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Jesus could have commented [on pornography]"
Hillariously, I recently found out this was true. I was flipping through a book called something like "Sex in Roman art" and there actually was quite pornographic material in Rome around the time of Christ. I guess people never change. :)
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. "Thy rod and thy staff..."
Never mind.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. Well, I think He did make metion of fornicators, but then I question that since
I question who actually wrote the Bible and with what agenda.

He is right that some people in the sex industry are marginalized. I hope he can help them.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. What's the deal with these guys? Don't they like to have hair on their
heads?
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I bet he's one of those
who stil has a ring of hair and bald on top. At that rate, I'd shave it all too.

He looks quite healthy and fit, to me.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. At least when parishners come to him for marital counseling
he will know whereof he speaks.

So many clergy, you don't get the impression they've had sex at all, even if they are married and have children!

Good luck to him, I say!
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
8. Apparently, this has been completely de-bunked by both
his rector and his bishop. They both say they have had no conversations with this man about seeking ordination.

If this is just his personal decision, and not something he's addressed yet with his priest, he's got a very long road to go yet before he gets near ordination. There's a long and complex process in the Episcopal Church. Officially, he hasn't started on it at all yet.
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regnaD kciN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Yes -- this story has been shown to be pure B.S.
Boyer had a religious conversion, and was approved to carry out a lay ministry (pun not intended, although unavoidable) to people in the sex industry. This is not the same as ordained ministry. To get ordained, he would have to go through a lengthy discernment process within his own parish and the diocese, pass a psychiatric evaluation, and submit, along with everyone else seeking ordination at that time, to a detailed grilling by a committee appointed by the bishop. If they approved him, and the bishop gave his or her O.K., Boyer would have to attend seminary for three years, with at least one summer devoted to "clinical pastoral education" (usually work in a hospital). If he made it through seminary, graduated, and passed the very involved General Ordination Exam to evaluate his education, he would be ordained as a deacon and assigned to a parish to work as an assistant to the priest(s) there. If he did well, he would be eligible for ordination to the priesthood in a year or so.

I have a friend going through the Episcopal ordination process (she just got the O.K. to attend seminary), and "the process" is a major obstacle course designed to weed out as many candidates as possible. I'm not saying that Boyer might not be called to the priesthood, and might not actually make it some day, but he hasn't even begun the first steps in the process (including meeting the bishop to discuss his calling). Furthermore, while his "manner of life" prior to his conversion wouldn't be enough to disqualify him, most bishops are very leery about admitting anyone to the process so soon after conversion -- it is assumed that they will have the excess zeal typical of new converts, and want to rush in over their heads. I would suspect that, should Boyer actually approach the bishop (or even his own parish priest) about this, he would probably be counseled to wait a few years and see how he feels then.

In short, this is a sensationalistic story by a reporter who clearly knows little about the religious issues she purports to cover, and a shocking (but scarcely surprising -- Judith Miller, anyone?) indication of how far the Times has fallen from its previous high standards of journalism.

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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Yes, precisely. I've had a couple of friends in various points of
the process. It's quite involved, and designed to be that way, as you say.

Amazing how little research they do these days before "reporting".
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
9. The article is written by someone who is not familiar with the process of becoming a priest
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Right, I was just on a "discernment committee" for someone who wanted to
become a priest.

The Episcopal Church has very stringent requirements for the priesthood. Unlike a lot of the suburban megachurches, they don't let just anyone who feels like it join the clergy.

You first have to be screened by a committee from your home parish in a year-long series of meetings. (That's the "discernment" process.) At the end of the year, the committee members write independent reports, giving their opinion as to whether the so-called seeker should a) move on to the next step in becoming a priest, b) seek some other role in the Church, such as deacon or spiritual director, or c) keep their day job. In the case of the committee I was on, eight of us independently and unanimously recommended "our" seeker for the next step.

This next step is approval by the diocese, which can also take up to a year.

Then the person spends three years in seminary, followed by a year in a sort of internship as a "transitional deacon" in a parish, before he or she can be ordained.

So from decision to final ordination, the minimum amount of time required is seven years.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
12. Augustine followed a similar trajectory....
I's a common human reaction.
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goodgd_yall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
13. Cool n/t
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goodgd_yall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
14. Here is NY Times'tcorrection to the story
July 22, 2007, Sunday An article in Sunday Styles last week about Ronald Boyer, a former actor in pornographic movies who has expressed the desire to be an Episcopal priest, referred incorrectly to his progress toward that goal. He has been confirmed in the church; he is not working toward ordination as a priest or undergoing training to be a deacon. The article also referred incorrectly to efforts by Mr. Boyer to establish a ministry among sex workers. He discussed the plan with the vicar of his church; he did not meet with the secondranking official of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, Bishop Suffragan Chester L. Talton
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Because I believe one's corrections should be as loud as one's mistakes...
I am going to add that correction by The NY Times to the article's intro on my journal page.

Thanks for the heads-up.

BTW... do you have a link to the correction?
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
15. Probably looking for fresh meat.
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