November 23, 2005

Site details Vatican policy against gays in priesthood

Boston Globe

By Tracy Wilkinson and Maria De Cristofaro, Los Angeles Times | November 23, 2005

ROME -- Men who have ''deep-rooted homosexual tendencies" or who sustain a ''gay culture" may not be trained to become Roman Catholic priests, the Vatican says in a new document posted yesterday on a Catholic news website.

However, the church says, if a man had ''transitory" homosexual tendencies that have been ''overcome" for at least three years, he may be admitted to a seminary, the school that trains priests.

The document was quickly criticized by some gay rights sympathizers, who say the church does not understand homosexuality.

Many details of the document had leaked out in advance of the Vatican's official release of the new instructions, scheduled for Nov. 29, most recently in the daily newspaper Il Giornale of Milan nearly two weeks ago. But the Internet publication yesterday by Adista, an Italian Catholic news service, represented the first time the document in its entirety has been disclosed.

The new instructions are basically a reaffirmation of the church's long-standing ban on ordaining active gays into the priesthood. They repeat a 1961 condemnation of homosexual acts but provide more specific guidelines that were ordered partly in response to the sexual abuse scandal plaguing the church.

Posted by kshaw at November 23, 2005 07:23 AM