NewsTue Nov 22, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST
Vatican Document on Admitting Homosexual Men to Priesthood Released by Italian News Agency
By Steve Jalsevac
Rome, Nov. 22 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Catholic World News, The Tablet and other news agencies today published an unofficial English translation of the long-awaited Vatican document on the question of admitting homosexual men to the priesthood. The full text of the document was leaked by someone in the Vatican to the Italian Adista news agency which published it today in advance of the scheduled Nov. 29 official release date .
The Instruction, issued by the Congregation for Catholic Education and approved by Pope Benedict XVI, affirms traditional teaching that the Church “may not admit to the seminary and Holy Orders those who practice homosexuality, show profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture.” That is, homosexual men are still barred from the priesthood, despite at least four decades of poor enforcement if not outright defiance of the rule by many western bishops.
The document continues that “The above persons find themselves, in fact, in a situation that gravely obstructs a right way of relating with men and women. The negative consequences that may derive from the Ordination of persons with profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies are by no means to by [sic] ignored.”
As for the rumoured allowance to ordain homosexual men who have been celibate for three years, the allowance is more limited that speculated. It only applies to those who encountered homosexual tendencies “that might only be the expression of a transitory problem, as in, for example, one whose adolescence is not yet complete”. This would eliminate most homosexual candidates, regardless of their promises to remain celibate.
The Pope Benedict approved document calls on church leaders to discourage men with homosexual tendencies from attempting to enter the priesthood. It states, “If a candidate practices homosexuality or present profoundly deep-rooted homosexual tendencies, his spiritual director, like his confessor, must dissuade him, in conscience, from proceeding towards Ordination.”
The recently much discussed scenario of candidates hiding their homosexuality in order to be ordained is not ignored. The document states, “It would be gravely dishonest if a candidate were to hide his own homosexuality to enter, notwithstanding everything, to Ordination. An attitude so inauthentic does not correspond to the spirit of truth, allegiance, and availability that must characterize the personality of he who believes to be called to serve Christ and His Church in the priestly ministry.”
See the full, unofficially translated document on line at Catholic World News at