October 10, 2005

Vatican would bar gays from seminaries

The Christian Century

by Stacy Meichtry

New rules that would bar gays from the Roman Catholic priesthood have been submitted to Pope Benedict XVI for approval, signaling a push for tightened regulations as the church prepares to review the sexual conduct of its seminarians.

Prepared by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, which has oversight of seminaries, the guidelines are based on a longstanding church teaching that terms homosexuality an "objectively disordered" condition that could impair priests in performing their ministry.

Critics of the move say homosexuality should be a nonissue since all priests—gay or straight—are called to celibacy. They accuse the church of using gay men as a scapegoat for the church's sexual abuse scandal.

A Vatican official, speaking to Religion News Service on condition of anonymity because Vatican policy prohibits public discussion of internal matters, confirmed that a document containing the new regulations had been submitted to the pope for approval. However, he stressed that the paper could still be returned to the oversight body for revision. If that happened, its publication could still be years away.

Posted by kshaw at October 10, 2005 09:56 AM