January 18, 2006

Vatican teams checking seminary effectiveness

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Vatican-chartered inquiry team began work at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe Monday, part of a study of whether U.S. seminaries are providing proper spiritual, moral and theological training for the priesthood.

Two bishops and two priests will spend five days interviewing all 64 candidates for priesthood and all regular faculty. All graduates of the past three years have been invited to meet with the team or to offer signed comments in writing.

Identical studies are being done at all 229 Catholic seminaries in the United States. SS. Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary on the North Side was among the first to be visited in November, and St. Paul Seminary in East Carnegie will be visited next month.

Because the visitation is the Vatican's response to the child sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic priesthood, and it coincides with a statement banning men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" from ordination, many media have treated it as an investigation into the sexual climate of the seminaries. However, the 55 questions that each team is expected to address range widely. Only one concerns whether there is "evidence of homosexuality in the seminary."

Posted by kshaw at January 18, 2006 07:41 AM