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The cathedral of the Diocese of Freising-Munich, Germany.

MUNICH (LifeSiteNews) — The rector of the Catholic seminary in Munich has said that he allows openly homosexual men to enter the seminary and be consecrated as priests, contrary to the teaching of the Universal Church. 

When asked in an interview by the local news outlet Münchner Kirchenzeitung how he deals with candidates who are openly homosexual, Father Wolfgang Lehner said, “It is not a question of only preparing ideal candidates for the ideal priestly ministry.” 

“Sexuality is always a part of the personality, an aspect of it,” he stated. 

“We judge and accompany people as a whole person. That’s why I find it difficult to say: ‘No, someone is not at all suitable because they are homosexual’ or ‘someone is suitable because they are homosexual.’ When someone comes to me, introduces themselves, and says: ‘By the way, I’m homosexual,’ I first try to assess this in the context of the applicant’s overall profile.” 

“How does he present himself, how does he show himself? If we have decided to take him [into the seminary], then we look at how present, how topical this issue is.” 

“But if I notice that I’m looking at a coherent personality who can put things into perspective, someone who has healthy relationships with men and women, who doesn’t have to constantly address their sexual orientation, then I wouldn’t say a priori that they can’t be consecrated, because this is about a larger complexity,” Lehner concluded. 

When asked by the Münchner Kirchenzeitung if “the mere fact of being homosexual” excludes someone from ordination to the priesthood, Lehner replied: “The positive criterion for me is: can someone build healthy and good relationships with men and women, do we have a reasonable assumption that this will last a lifetime?” 

In an instruction from 2005, signed by Pope Benedict XVI, the Congregation for Catholic Education reiterated the Church’s position that men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” cannot be admitted to seminary or Holy Orders. 

The instruction states that “this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’” 

“Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women,” the instruction continues. “One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.” 

In the case of homosexual tendencies that are “only the expression of a transitory problem,” such as “of an adolescence not yet superseded,” the document states that “such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.”

The criterion expressed by Lehner for someone to be admitted to Holy Orders is that this person “doesn’t have to constantly address their sexual orientation.” Lehner did not state that these men would have to overcome any homosexual tendencies and live chastely in order to receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

The rector of the seminary in Munich said that if a candidate who admitted to being homosexual “has healthy relationships with men and women” and a “coherent personality,” he could be consecrated. These statements directly contradict the instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education, which states that people with deep-seated homosexual tendencies “find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women.” 

The seminary of St. John the Baptist in Munich belongs to the jurisdiction of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. Marx was the head of the German Bishops’ Conference from 2014 until 2020 and is a staunch proponent and leader of the heretical, pro-homosexual Synodal Way.

READ: German Synodal Way approves text calling homosexual acts ‘not sinful’ and ‘not intrinsically evil’ 

In 2022, the German bishops adopted a new Church labor law that allows Church employees to openly live in situations contrary to Catholic moral teaching, i.e., homosexual or “re-married” relationships. The Synodal Way approved a document in September 2022 stating that homosexual acts are “not a sin” and “not intrinsically evil,” in explicit contradiction to Catholic teaching. Forty of the 56 German bishops (71 percent) voted in favor of the text that proposes a reversal of Church teaching on homosexuality.