Vatican reaffirms opposition to gay priests

The Vatican has reiterated that gay people should be prevented from entering into a seminary, as their sexuality “gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women”.

In updated guidelines for those entering the priesthood entitled ‘The Gift of the Priestly Vocation’, it says of those with “homosexual tendencies”: “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’.

“Such persons, in fact find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”

The document also addresses the “challenge of celibacy”and “how to live celibacy for the kingdom, in a context where new stimuli and the tensions of pastoral life, instead of assisting the growth and maturing of the person, can lead to emotional regression”.

It says this can lead to “giving undue priority to one’s own needs” and seeking forms of “compensatory behaviour”, thus “hampering priestly fatherhood and pastoral charity”.

The document says those who prepare for priesthood should welcome celibacy as a special gift from God, rather than as something that has to be given up for God.

It warns against future priests modelling their lives on the search for popular consensus: “This would inevitably lead them to fall short in exercising their ministry as leaders of the community, leading them to think about the Church as a merely human institution.”

The document addresses sex abuse, saying the “greatest attention” must be given to the protection of minors and vulnerable adults “being vigilant lest those who seek admission to a seminary or to a house of formation, or who are already petitioning to receive Holy Orders, have not been involved in any way with any crime or problematic behaviour in this area”.


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