November 30, 2005

Vatican officially releases document banning gays from priesthood

The Salt Lake Tribune

By Victor L. Simpson
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican defended a policy statement designed to keep men with ''deep-seated'' homosexual tendencies from becoming priests, but said there would be no crackdown on gays who are already ordained.
The Vatican document, the first major policy statement of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy, was officially released Tuesday after being leaked earlier. Conservatives have said it may help reverse the ''gay culture'' of many U.S. seminaries, while liberal critics complain the restrictions will create morale problems among clergy and lead to an even greater priest shortage in the United States.
Matt Foreman of America'sAbuse Tracker Gay and Lesbian Task Force called the document ''appalling,'' saying it was an affront to thousands of gay priests. He accused the Vatican of ''a calculated campaign to blame gay men for the church's own criminal conduct in fostering and covering up decades of sex abuse.''
Bishop George H. Niederauer, leader of Utah's 200,000 Catholics, and Monsignor Terrence Fitzgerald, vicar general of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, were unavailable for comment. Several other priests contacted by The Salt Lake Tribune did not return phone calls.

Posted by kshaw at November 30, 2005 07:51 AM