Vatican Document Barring Homosexuals from Priesthood Due Late November

Fri Nov 4, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST

By John-Henry Westen

ROME, November 4, 2005 ( - The best-known English-language Vatican correspondent, John Allen, reports today that a new document from the Congregation for Catholic Education on the admission of homosexuals to seminaries is likely to be released late November, perhaps the last week of November. The document has been expected for over three years.

A senior Vatican official also confirmed to Allen that the document’s central message is that “homosexuals are not welcome in the priesthood.”Â

Commenting on the document’s nature, the Vatican official said, “This is not a matter of sacramental theology. It’s not saying that homosexuals are intrinsically unworthy of being priests. It’s a matter of prudential judgment, that this is not a good idea.”

The Vatican has confirmed several times that men with homosexual sexual orientations should not be ordained. The December 2002 bulletin of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments contained a letter stating that ordaining such men would be imprudent and “very risky.”

A Vatican document dealing with the issue was released as early as 1961. The 1961 document from the Sacred Congregation for Religious prohibits the admission of homosexuals to the diocesan priesthood and religious orders. The document states: “Those affected by the perverse inclination to homosexuality or pederasty should be excluded from religious vows and ordination,” because priestly ministry would place such persons in “grave danger”.

However, it remains to be seen what the document will mean for those homosexual men who went throughÂseminaries and wereÂordained.Â

As early as March 2002, Pope John Paul II’s spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said in an interview with the New York Times, “People with these inclinations just cannot be ordained.” Dr. Navarro-Valls continued, “That does not imply a final judgment on people with homosexuality,” and added, “But you cannot be in this field.”

Navarro-Valls compared the situation of a man with homosexual inclinations who becomes a priest to that of a man with the same affliction who marries a woman unaware of his condition. Just as such a marriage can be annulled, considered invalid from the first, the ordination might similarly be invalid, he said.

See John Allen’s full report:

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