November 29, 2005

Vatican rules against gay priests

The Guardian

Staff and agencies
Tuesday November 29, 2005

The Vatican today published its long-awaited statement on homosexuals and the priesthood, affirming that those with "deep-seated" gay tendencies should not be ordained.

The document also bans supporters of gay culture from entering the priesthood, but says that men who have "overcome" their homosexuality for at least three years would be accepted as priests.

The instruction from the Vatican does not affect men who are already priests but only those entering seminaries to prepare for the priesthood. Gay rights groups say this may force new clergy members to hide their homosexuality, burying the issue rather than confronting it.

Pope Benedict XVI approved the document at the end of August, but it was only officially released after it was leaked on an Italian Catholic news agency website last week.

The document confirms the Catholic church's view that deep-seated homosexual tendencies are "objectively disordered" and "grave sins". It also says heads of seminaries have a serious duty to see to it that candidates for the priesthood do not "present disturbances of a sexual nature which are incompatible with the priesthood".

Critics say the instruction may alienate gay men who would make excellent priests and would be able to honour their vow of celibacy.

Posted by kshaw at November 29, 2005 09:49 AM