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By John-Henry Westen

United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops LogoSPOKANE, WA, November 29, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an interview with LifeSiteNews.com on the Vatican’s release of the document on homosexuality and the priesthood, the President of the United States Conference of Bishops acknowledged that ordination to the priesthood is only open to men who accept the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, President of the USCCB, told LifeSiteNews.com that the publication of the document marked “a significant moment in the Church.”

Much of the media has focussed on the barring of men who are actively homosexual and those with deep-seated homosexual tendencies from ordination; however few have noted that men who support the “gay culture” are also barred from ordination.Â

The teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality has been, for many, particularly in the media, a hard pill to swallow. Not only does the Catholic Church consider homosexual acts gravely sinful, it furthermore considers homosexual inclinations themselves “objectively disordered”.Â

Suitable candidates for the priesthood must, said Bishop Skylstad, fully accept Church teaching on the matter, even on this hotly contested point.ÂÂSpeaking of a man who would hope to become a priest, Bishop Skylstad said, “Obviously he has to support the teaching of the church fully in regard to the teaching on sexuality in general, more specifically in this area as well.”

With regard to selecting candidates for the priesthood who have homosexual tendencies in their past, the bishop said such matters must be taken on a case-by-case basis. He added however, “I think the church has to err on the side of being safe, you don’t want to take a candidate who may have a mixed up orientation, or who has not developed an affective maturity.”

Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City, chairman of the USCCB Vocations Committee, told LifeSiteNews.com that the new document “reinforces many of the practices that are already in place in the seminaries in our country.” When asked what the documents would mean for men with a persistent homosexual inclination, Bishop Cupich said such matters “only have to be treated in the actual situation, not a [sic] hypothetical.”

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