By John-Henry Westen

CHICAGO, January 19, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an annual interview with Chicago Sun Times reporter Cathleen Falsani, Chicago Cardinal Francis George revealed that last year the United States Bishops visiting with the Pope asked the Vatican to delay release of the long-awaited document on homosexuality and the priesthood.Â

The document entitled, “Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders”, reinforced Church teaching barring men “who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’”, from becoming priests.

“We asked them not not [sic] to publish it, but to delay it—to wait—otherwise it would color the visitations,” Cardinal George told the Times.Â

He said the bishops were concerned that the document would be released during the official visits (in union with the Pope) of US bishops over the issue of sexual abuse in seminaries, and thus would ignite the sensitivities of homosexuals activists. Explained George:“We said, ‘If you do this, it will be taken as a commentary on the visitations and we’ll get into this whole business that the gay community is so sensitive to, ‘You’re blaming us for the pedophilia.’”

  In fact, however, the study on sexual abuse commissioned by the US Bishops after the scandals broke in 2002, confirmed that homosexuality indeed was a major part of the problem. The John Jay study (available online: http://www.usccb.org/nrb/johnjaystudy/ ) noted that 80% of the sexual abuse in the priesthood involved adolescent males rather than young boys, pointing to the core problem being one of homosexuality, not strictly pedophilia.

For comment, LifeSiteNews.com contacted Michael Rose, the author of the best seller ‘Good Bye, Good Men’. The bookÂcatalogued the homosexual activism in Catholic seminaries during the 70s and 80s which led to the acceptance into the priesthood of many practicing homosexuals and rejection from seminary of many men who followed Church teaching on homosexuality.

Rose noted that the document, already delayed for some ten years, was important for the whole church, and a request to delay it to ward off criticism from homosexual activists was concerning.“The request of the Pope by the US bishops to delay the release of the (already long delayed) document seems at best self-serving,” said Rose. It is “again, sending the wrong message to the faithful (and others), that our bishops are overly concerned with outward appearances, perhaps to the detriment of more important things.”

Cardinal George noted that the Vatican disregarded the request and published the document as scheduled.Â

“Their response was, ‘Well, we’re sorry about that, but this is a universal document. It’s not directed at the United States. It’s directed to the whole church. So we’re gonna do it.’ They have their own schedule,” he said.

See the Chicago Sun Times interview online:Â
http://www.suntimes.com/output/falsani/cst-nws-cardinal16.html