November 24, 2005

U.S. Catholics disagree over new Vatican decree against gays in the priesthood

The Detroit News

By Richard N. Ostling / AP Religion Writer

A new Vatican decree against gays in the priesthood has brought mixed reactions from U.S. Roman Catholic observers, with some seeing notable benefits and others predicting morale problems and a worsening clergy shortage.

The decree, approved by Pope Benedict XVI, is set for release next week. The Italian text was leaked Tuesday, and a Vatican official confirmed its accuracy to The Associated Press.

It says men should not be admitted to seminaries or ordained as priests if they practice homosexuality, have "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies" or "support so-called gay culture." Those with only "transitory" homosexual tendencies must be celibate three years before being ordained as deacons, the step before priesthood.

Some observers said it will be difficult to define what is meant by "deeply rooted" or "transitory" tendencies.

Posted by kshaw at November 24, 2005 07:21 AM