November 30, 2005


The Post and Courier

CHARLESTON, November 29, 2005 - Today the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education released a much-awaited Instruction concerning the admission of men to the priesthood who exhibit homosexual tendencies. In an official statement the Most Reverend Robert J. Baker, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, greeted the release as a timely affirmation of his Pastoral Letter, "The Redemption of our Bodies" (May 29, 2005).

Bishop Baker's statement follows:

The document released today by the Holy See, entitled "Instruction on the Criteria for Vocational Discernment with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders" is both timely and necessary. It reiterates the constant teaching of the Catholic Church through the ages and reinforces teachings given in my recent Pastoral Letter, entitled "The Redemption of Our Bodies."

We wish to underline at the outset the pastoral concern of the Church to the people discussed in this instruction and the importance of extending to them understanding and friendship. As the Church has compassion upon all people, it sees the person suffering from same-sex attraction no less than anyone else as a child of God. "We, as a Christian community, should reach out to those suffering from a homo-erotic inclination so that they may be surrounded by the love of friendship. Those who suffer from a homosexual orientation should not be abandoned to loneliness or despair" ("The Redemption of Our Bodies").

Posted by kshaw at November 30, 2005 07:35 AM