October 25, 2005

Vatican visits leave some in seminary uneasy

Inside Bay Area

By Katya Kumkova-Wolpert, CORRESPONDENT

MENLO PARK The scene was one of quiet serenity at St. Patrick's Seminary on a fall day.

A lone visitor a woman perused the library's online catalog. The volleyball court and the soccer field stood empty.

But some in the community fear St. Patrick's may be thrust into the limelight this month in a controversy over gays in the priesthood. A group of Vatican reviewers recently visited the campus to review its admission procedures and performance.

"Their aim is to see how our program is going," said assistant rector the Rev. Fred Cwiekoski. "It's their committee, not ours. They will be reporting to their commission in the Vatican."

St. Patrick's is one of 229 American seminaries to receive a so-called papal visitation. A papal committee will review the Jesuit School of Theology at UC Berkeley in February.

The visits were conceived in 2002 in the wake of the sexual abuse scandals that began in Boston and spread to dozens of diocese throughout the country.

Posted by kshaw at October 25, 2005 07:27 AM