By Gudrun Schultz

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 21, 2006 ( – The in-depth evaluation of U.S. seminaries called for by the Vatican in response to the sex-abuse scandal has been completed, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has said.ÂThe results of the investigation have been sent to Rome.

In 2005 the Vatican called for a careful investigation and evaluation of the teaching and formation offered to men preparing for the priesthood in U.S. Seminaries. Directives from Rome specified the investigation was to be carried out with reference to John Paul II’s 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor, which emphasized the importance of faithfulness to Catholic moral teaching.

The Vatican instructed those visiting the seminaries to look for “evidence of homosexuality,” the Associated Press reported yesterday, and to concentrate on the seminary teachings on chastity and celibacy. The investigation was led by Archbishop for the Military Services Edwin F. O’Brien, a church leader well known for his strongly pro-life views.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the bishops’ conference, said earlier this month that the visitation to the seminaries and formation houses had been completed July 14, and the reports had been sent to Rome, according to the AP. The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education is now reviewing the information gathered during the investigation.

The sex abuse scandals in the US have been attributed by many to the poor moral formation offered by the seminaries, and the free acceptance of men with homosexual inclinations into the priesthood. A report by the USCCB on the sex abuse crisis showed that since 1950 over 80 percent of the victims of sexual abuse by priests were adolescent men.

The Vatican document on homosexuality and the priesthood, released last winter, clarified the Church’s teaching barring men “who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture,’” from becoming priests.

See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
  Vatican Investigation of US Seminaries to be Led by Strongly Pro-Life BishopÂ
  New US Seminary Guidelines Insist on Total Acceptance of Full Teaching on SexualityÂ