Posted October 4, 2005
Vatican Document on Gay Priests
The long-awaited Vatican document on homosexuality and the priesthood is
expected to be released soon. The signs are that, while it may please a few
in the Church, it could cause acute distress to many gay priests who are
faithful to their vows of celibacy
Excerpts Taken from The Tablet Sept. 2005
Is there any purge coming in the Catholic Church? There are clues detected
by the secular media that this may be the case. Last week the Associated
Press flagged a story in the right-leaning National Catholic Register, a
weekly American newspaper published by the Legionaries of Christ, the
ultra-conservative religious order. In a front-page report, dated 7
September, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien told the Register, “I think anyone who
has engaged in homosexual activity, or has strong homosexual inclinations,
would be best not to apply to a seminary and not to be accepted into a
. . . Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke against the notion that gays cannot be
chaste, in a 1986 document on homosexual persons issued by the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith, which read: “What is at all costs to be
avoided is the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behavior
of homosexual persons is always and totally compulsive.”
. . . Purging the seminaries would contradict another injunction in the
Catechism. “[Homosexuals] must be accepted with respect, compassion and
sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be
What does the document for seminaries from Rome say?
Among others things it asks:
What is our general impression of the seminarians?
Do the seminarians of faculty members have concerns about the moral life of
those living in the institution?
Is there evidence of homosexuality in the seminary?
Do the seminarians show an aptitude for and dedication to intellectual work?
Is there a clear rule of life in the seminary by means of which the
seminarians are formed in the virtues of obedience, chastity, poverty and
Do the seminarians know how to use alcohol, the Internet, television, etc.,
with prudence and moderation?
How does the seminary monitor the seminarian’s behavior outside the
Is the seminarians’ vacation time used properly in a way that helps and
fosters their vocation to the priesthood?
Does the institution teach a proper understanding of the role of women in
ecclesial life? Do they understand the proper models of clergy-lay
cooperation? Are the faculty and students familiar with the documents of
the magisterium on such issues?