FORT WAYNE, July 19, 2004 ( – Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese in Indiana has spoken out against allowing homosexual men to become priests.  While some have argued that the main issue in the debate is celibacy, a requirement for the priesthood in Roman Catholicism, Bishop D’Arcy points out that it is not practical for homosexual men to be placed in seminary with other men.  The bishop compared the case of a homosexual man entering seminary to that of heterosexual men entering seminary.  ‘‘We don’t put these [heterosexual] men in with attractive women,” he said. ‘‘You’re putting him in with men. It’s not fair to him, it’s not fair to them, it’s not fair to the church.”  ‘‘If we ordain men with pathologies and difficulties, they will draw the same kind,” he added. ‘‘Don’t just pray for priests, pray for priests of good quality.”  Bishop D’Arcy’s comments reflect a position also taken by Pope John Paul II, his official spokesman Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls and Monsignor Andrew R. Baker of the Congregation of Bishops in Rome.

In an address to Brazilian bishops in Sept 2002 the Pope said “it would be lamentable that..youths with obvious signs of emotional disorders, be admitted to ordination” and that mistakes in choosing such candidates for the priesthood “can cause grave scandal in the consciences of the faithful and obvious harm for the whole Church.”  In March 2002 Dr. Navarro-Valls bluntly stated “People with these (homosexual) inclinations just cannot be ordained.”  Monsignor Andrew Baker said in 2002 that “same sex attraction” gives rise to an array of problems and should be grounds for barring someone from the priesthood.

Despite such explicit directions from high Church officials many bishops and seminary directors still admit men with homosexual inclinations into their seminaries, presuming to have judged that these men will remain celibate.

In its May 2002 edition, the Catholic Register of the Archdiocese of Toronto reported that Fr. Len Altilia, Jesuit assistant for vocations in Toronto, indicated sexual orientation is no barrier to admission. “Not in and of itself,no” Altilia told the Register. He added “Our concern is that people be healthy, psychologically and emotionally.”  However, Church teaching that homosexual orientation is a grave disorder does not fit with Fr. Altilia’s statement. The Register also reported that Fr. Sam D’Angelo, Precious Blood order vocation director, stated “For us, that’s (homosexuality) not an issue.”  See the Boston Globe coverage:  POPE CONFIRMS THAT HOMOSEXUALS SHOULD NOT BE ACCEPTED INTO SEMINARIES   POPE’S SPOKESMAN SAYS HOMOSEXUALS “JUST CANNOT BE ORDAINED” PRIESTS   VATICAN OFFICIAL SAYS HOMOSEXUALS SHOULD NOT BE ORDAINED   ST PATRICK’S MSGR SAYS ALLOWING GAYS IN SEMINARIES WAS “GRAVE MISTAKE”   jhw