November 23, 2005

In Strong Terms, Rome Is to Ban Gays as Priests

The New York Times

Published: November 23, 2005
ROME, Nov. 22 - A new Vatican document excludes from the priesthood most gay men, with few exceptions, banning in strong and specific language candidates "who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called 'gay culture.' "

The long-awaited document, which has leaked out in sections over the last few months, was published Tuesday in Italian by an Italian Catholic Web site,

The document appears to allow ordination only for candidates who experienced "transitory" homosexual tendencies that were "clearly overcome" at least three years before ordination as a deacon, the last step before priesthood. It does not define "overcome." Several critics worried that that language would make it nearly impossible for men who believe their basic orientation is gay - but who are celibate - to become priests.

The anticipation of the document has divided Catholics, especially in the United States, igniting contentious debate over whether this is an appropriate response to the recent sex scandals and whether celibate gay men can still be good priests.

Posted by kshaw at November 23, 2005 08:08 AM