ROME, September 19, 2005 ( – Homosexual men may not be admitted to the Catholic priesthood, according to a soon-to-be released document that has been approved by Pope Benedict XVI. The document has been anticipated since before the death of Pope John Paul II and speculation has raged that it would retreat for political reasons from declaring a ban on ordaining declared homosexual men.

In a media update today, Catholic World News says that the text was approved by Pope Benedict at the end of August. The document, to be classed as an “Instruction” comes from the Congregation for Catholic Education and says that homosexual men should not be admitted to seminaries even if they are celibate. It says that homosexuality, understood by the Catholic Church as a moral and psychological disorder, seriously “detracts from their ability to serve as ministers.”

The document is expected to be released to the public after the international Bishops synod in Rome in October.

In 2002, the same year the scandal of widespread abuse of minors by homosexual predators in the priesthood, Catholic journalist and author, Michael Rose, released his best-selling exposé of what he identified as a homosexual underground in the seminary system that reached all the way into chanceries. Rose implicated bishops and seminary rectors as well as priests in enormous network whose objective was to make the Catholic priesthood a “gay profession.” The presence of the “lavender mafia” in US seminaries, said Rose in his book, has led to a clerical culture in which the teaching of the Catholic Church on other doctrinal issues, especially on abortion, contraception and marriage, is undermined or ignored.

Since 2002, the mainstream media and significant portions of the Catholic community have been attempting to paint the issue as one of “priestly pedophilia,” rather than homosexual predation. This, despite statistics that have clearly shown the great majority of abuse victims were young adolescent men and boys in their teens. The scandal has been a disaster for Catholics in the US, resulting in billions of dollars lost to law suits and a number of dioceses declaring bankruptcy.

The controversy over the anticipated document has been fueled by a long delay and speculation that the Vatican intended to back away from an outright ban on homosexuals in the priesthood. As recently as August 31, The Age newspaper in Australia was reporting that an unnamed highly placed Vatican source said the document was to be “shelved.”

Today’s announcement came at the same time as the US Church gears up for a Vatican-ordered inspection of seminaries. Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, the head of the Archdiocese for the Military Services and the bishop appointed by Rome to head the investigation has said that he believes men with “strong homosexual inclinations” should not be allowed to enter seminaries.

A vocal group of homosexuals and their supporters in the priesthood and hierarchy have been advocating that the inspection of seminaries should focus on the issue of “celibacy” rather than homosexuality. This is seen by many as a smokescreen and a convenient back door for bishops who hesitate to support the Catholic teaching which has long been that homosexual men may not be ordained.

The seminary inspection will also investigate faculty members for dissent from Catholic teaching which Fr. Richard John Neuhaus has proclaimed is the root cause of the sexual scandals. In preliminary documents, the Vatican has ordered that areas to be examined include whether “there is a clear process for removing” dissident faculty.

** See’s extensive Church Abuse Crisis section at