Vatican says active gays not welcome in priesthood
The Church teaching that deep-seated homosexual tendencies are "objectively disordered" and that homosexual acts are grave sins.
VATICAN CITY – Practicing homosexuals, men with «deep-seated» gay tendencies and those who support gay culture should not be allowed to enter the Roman Catholic priesthood, according to an eagerly awaited Vatican document.
But it will allow men who have «clearly overcome» homosexual tendencies for at least three years to proceed toward the priesthood.
Key excerpts from the official English-language version of the document, to be issued next week, were read to Reuters on Tuesday by a Vatican prelate in possession of the document.
The document reinforces standing policy that many in the Church believe has not been properly enforced. Its urgency has been highlighted by the 2002 sexual abuse scandal in the United States, which involved mostly abuse of teenage boys by priests.
The document, only 21 paragraphs long, restates Church teaching that deep-seated homosexual tendencies are «objectively disordered» and that homosexual acts are grave sins.
The official English version of the document then adds:
«In light of such teaching, this dicastery (Vatican department) … believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to Holy Orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture.»
The document, an «instruction» by the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education, makes a difference between deep-seated homosexual tendencies and what it calls «the expression of a transitory problem.»