November 30, 2005

Witch-hunt fears after Vatican's ruling on homosexuality

New Zealand Herald


VATICAN CITY - Catholic liberals have slammed the Vatican's decision to bar "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies from the priesthood in the first major ruling by Pope Benedict XVI.

Opponents have said the ruling could trigger a witch-hunt and force gay clergy underground but Catholic leaders stressed it was merely emphasising the need for all candidates for the priesthood to be mature enough to control their sexuality.

The document said that practising homosexuals, those with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or those who support "gay culture" should be weeded out by bishops and principals of theological colleges.

However, the "instruction" by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education said that candidates who had experienced homosexual leanings during a passing phase could be ordained if they had clearly overcome them for at least three years.

Conservatives argued the reform is necessary as theological colleges in the West have adopted an increasingly relaxed attitude to homosexuality, reflecting changes in social attitudes.

Posted by kshaw at November 30, 2005 07:59 PM