Vatican Document Forbidding Homosexuals to Priesthood Ready for Release says Vaticanologist

ROME, July 11, 2005 ( - One of the best known English-speaking Vatican reporters, John Allen, reports that the long-expected Vatican document calling attention to the fact that homosexual persons are not to be admitted to the priesthood is “now in the hands of Pope Benedict XVI”. The document will come as no surprise to Vatican watchers since Rome has previously released two official documents barring homosexuals from the priesthood. As Allen puts it, with the new document, the teaching won’t “change, but the level of authority and clarity” will, since the new document will be directly authorized by the Pope.

The former Church documents make it clear that not only men who have been sexually active as homosexuals but also those inclined to homosexual sex would be barred from the priesthood. A 1961 document produced by the Sacred Congregation for Religious 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”. (See coverage here: )

In a 2002 statement, Cardinal Estevez of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated in answer to a question by a bishop: “Ordination to the deaconate and the priesthood of homosexual men or men with homosexual tendencies is absolutely inadvisable and imprudent and, from the pastoral point of view, very risky. A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency is not, therefore, fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders.” (see that full letter here: )

However, Allen suggests that some American bishops are hoping the Vatican shelves the document since they contend it will “generate controversy and negative press”.Â

Last month, as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops was meeting, Chicago Cardinal Francis George spoke on the subject. The Chicago Tribune quoted the Cardinal as saying, “Also, anyone who has been part of a gay subculture or who has lived promiscuously as a heterosexual would not be admitted ... no matter how many years in his background that might have occurred.”

See John Allen’s ‘Word from Rome’ column:



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