The response of the RC priest does not surprise me, except for the comment about homosexuality in Orthodox seminaries! As others have said, responses from RC priests to such a decision may vary quite widely, though I would not be surprised if the affiliation of this priest with Opus Dei is a clue to his reaction. On a very human level, if a person is a leader of a group to which you belong, and you express the thought that you wish to leave that group and are no longer confident in that group, it is not surprising that as the group leader he would do his best to convince you that his group is best and you would be mistaken to depart from it. That being said, the homosexuality remark is really quite surprising because Orthodox seminaries here in America have a very different problem – accommodating all of the married seminarians that arrive with their wives and children. The seminaries here have a very high percentage of married students with families and they are working very hard to accommodate them by providing married student housing. It seems that here the problem is that a very high percentage of seminarians are coming in later in life, often after conversion from Protestantism or Roman Catholicism, and after they have established themselves in an occupation and started a family. I do not know much about seminaries outside of America, but parish priests are almost always married in the Orthodox Church so I think it may be uncomfortable for a man to enter the priesthood if he is not intending to marry. If seminarians do not marry before seminary graduation, usually they do afterwards and before ordination. Most parishes would probably consider it very strange to have a young unmarried priest. I’m not saying that such a phenomenon doesn’t happen, and I’m not implying that unmarried parish priests are necessarily homosexuals; I am just indicating that the common married state of parish priests would not seem to appeal to homosexuals.
Ireland has a very special place in my heart. A pilgrimage I took to Ireland years ago was a major influence in my decision to join the Orthodox Church. We visited the monastic city in Glendalough, St. Kevin’s Cave, Clonmacnoise, the Aran Islands, Skellig Michael (which has particular significance to me), and elsewhere. Everywhere you could see St. Anthony the Great and St. Paul the Simple on the high crosses. The way of life of the ascetics on the rock of Skellig Michael which is in the middle of the sea, and the miracles which have occurred there, are astounding. Those who I spoke with would talk about the hermits and saints of Ireland’s past and I could see there the same tradition of the Desert Fathers of Egypt and of today’s ascetics on Mt. Athos and elsewhere in the Orthodox world. Even the secular tour guides said that everything changed in the 11th century. This is when Skellig Michael became uninhabited after about 500 yrs of monastic and ascetic life there, and when the ancient monastic and Orthodox ascetical spirit was replaced by the Papal “monastic orders”. At the time when I heard of how everything changed in the 11th century, I could only attribute this to the spiritual effect of the Schism, the effect of being cut off from the Church.
I really enjoyed the book “Egyptian Desert in the Irish Bogs” and am encouraged any time I hear of Orthodoxy being embraced in this once great Orthodox land.http://www.ctosonline.org/historical/ED.htmlhttp://www.ctosonline.org/sample/ED.pdf