November 23, 2005

Vatican: Seminaries must ban active gays from the priesthood

ROME
The Seattle Times

By Daniel Williams and Alan Cooperman
The Washington Post

ROME The Vatican is ordering seminaries to bar candidates for the priesthood who "practice homosexuality," have "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies" or support "gay culture," according to a document published Tuesday by Adista, a Catholic news agency in Rome.

The long-awaited instruction to seminary directors was scheduled for official release next week. It has been the subject of numerous leaks that have sparked intense debate and led some Catholic leaders, including the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to defend the place of celibate gay priests in the church. But until Tuesday, a full text had not been published.

"The church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture," said the five-page document, which a Vatican official said appeared to be the authentic, final version.

The instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Vatican department in charge of seminaries, is not entirely new. Previous Vatican documents dating back to 1961 have called homosexuality an "intrinsically disordered" condition and have declared gays ineligible for ordination.

Posted by kshaw at November 23, 2005 09:57 AM