December 7, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A new document from the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy released today reiterates that “those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called 'gay culture'” are not to be admitted to seminaries or be ordained Catholic priests.
In a new 90-page document titled The Gift of the Priestly Vocation, the Congregation for Clergy wrote that those who live the homosexual lifestyle, support the “gay culture,” or have “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” “find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women.”
“One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendences,” it continues.
The Gift of the Priestly Vocation directly quotes the Congregation for Catholic Education's 2005 document 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. It stresses that it would be “gravely dishonest” for a man to hide his homosexual inclinations for the sake of seeking ordination and that confessors and spiritual directors “have the duty to dissuade” same-sex attracted candidates “in conscience from proceeding towards ordination.”
Lying about one's sexual attractions demonstrates a “deceitful attitude [that] does not correspond to the spirit of truth, loyalty and openness that must characterize the personality of him who believes he is called to serve Christ and His Church in the minsterial priesthood,” the document reiterates, again quoting the Congregation for Catholic Education's 2005 Instruction.
If a candidate for the priesthood experienced “homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem” like “that of an adolesence not yet superseded,” then such a case would be “different,” the document states. Nevertheless, “such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before the ordination to the diaconate.”
“It must be remembered that, in a relationship of sincere dialogue and mutual trust, the seminarian is obliged to reveal to his formators…doubts or difficulties he should have in this regard,” The Gift of the Priestly Vocation continues.
Also, “the possibility of a candidate having homosexual tendencies” must be considered when a man is psychologically evaluated for entrance to the seminary. The candidate must have “self-control and a well-integrated sexuality” in order to be suitable.
Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect for the Congregation of Clergy, Congregation Secretary Archbishop Joël Mercier, Secretary for Seminaries Archbishop Jorge Carlos Patron Wong, and Undersecretary Monsignor Antonio Neri all signed the document. Pope Francis approved it.
The media and secular forces have long criticized the Church for its ban on ordaining homosexual men. Since the priestly sex abuse scandals and cover-up by the Church more than a decade ago, Catholic experts like Bill Donohue of the Catholic League have pointed out that the majority of the offending priests were preying upon young boys.