November 30, 2005

Vatican's stance on gays debated

New York Newsday

STAFF WRITER; This story was supplemented with wire service reports.

November 30, 2005

As a long-awaited Vatican document prohibiting the ordination of men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" was released yesterday, a Mesa, Ariz., priest resigned in protest, while U.S. bishops offered differing views on whether it was a de facto ban.

Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said psychologically mature gay candidates who showed themselves capable of lifelong celibacy and selflessness would still pass muster.

"I think there has been an overreaction to the document," he said in an interview. "There's nothing really new in it. The focus is on discerning a man's affective maturity and his ability to live out of a sense of authentic pastoral charity."

Other Catholic leaders, including Bishops William Murphy of Rockville Centre and Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, said the document clearly restates the church's long-standing bar on homosexual priests, which both said they already applied. "Documents of the Holy See from 1961 on have repeated cautionary admonitions about accepting known homosexual men into the seminary to study for the priesthood," Murphy said in a written statement.

Posted by kshaw at November 30, 2005 09:52 AM