November 29, 2005

Vatican restricts gays in Catholic priesthood


By Philip Pullella | November 29, 2005

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - In the first major ruling of Pope Benedict's reign, the Vatican on Tuesday imposed restrictions on homosexuals entering the Catholic priesthood, saying men must first overcome any "transitory" gay tendencies.

The ruling came in a long-awaited eight-page document that has already sparked controversy after widespread leaks in the past few weeks.

Its strict line on the place of gays in the clergy has won praise from conservatives and condemnation from liberals, and set off heated debate beyond the Catholic Church by confronting an issue that has divided Christian congregations worldwide.

The document says practising homosexuals should be barred from entering the priesthood along with men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies and those who support gay culture.

The "instruction" by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education makes a distinction between deep-seated homosexual tendencies and "the expression of a transitory problem."

Posted by kshaw at November 29, 2005 07:49 AM