Scroll To Top

Church wants
proof priests have "overcome" homosexuality

Church wants
proof priests have "overcome" homosexuality


Gay priests are angry over a new Vatican instruction that seeks to bar from seminaries men with "deep-rooted homosexual tendencies."

In a move that was largely expected yet sure to anger gay Roman Catholic priests and their supporters, top-secret Vatican documents released Tuesday reveal that men who sustain a "gay culture" in the church may not be trained as priests. The same goes for men who have "deep-rooted homosexual tendencies." The edict was posted on Adista, an Italian church news service. The church has not issued an absolute ban on gay priests. If men have been able to "overcome" their gay tendencies for at least three years, they can be admitted to a seminary. The Roman Catholic Church officially condemned homosexual acts in 1961 but has provided these more specific guidelines in the fallout from the sexual abuse scandal plaguing the church, the Los Angeles Times reported. The church is set to officially release the instructions on November 29. "It should not be ignored that there are negative consequences that result from the ordination of people with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies," the document states, according to the newspaper. "Such people find themselves in a situation that is a serious obstacle to correct relationships with men and women." The church defines gay culture as the use of gay-themed movies, books, and Web sites as well as participation in gay pride events. It encourages ordained priests to help prevent the admission to seminaries of active gays, according to the Los Angeles Times. "If a candidate [for the priesthood] practices homosexuality or exhibits deep-rooted homosexual tendencies, his spiritual director, as well as his confessor, have the duty to dissuade him from pursuing ordination," the instructions indicate, according to the newspaper. "It would be gravely dishonest for a candidate to conceal his homosexuality in order to pursue ordination." Critics of the instruction say that it will force gay priests to leave or go back into the closet. "What I see this doing is perpetuating the problem of a secret institution that we are trying to overcome," Sister Jeannine Gramick told the newspaper. Gramick is a nun who was ordered by the Vatican in 1999 to stop her ministry promoting the rights of gay men and lesbians. She believes that gay men are being singled out. "Does the institution say to heterosexual men that you cannot participate in aspects of heterosexual culture?" The Reverend James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, told TheNew York Times that the document "raises the bar so high that it would be difficult to imagine gay men feeling encouraged to pursue a life in the priesthood. It's a very stringent set of rules they're applying. Really the only people that would be able to enter, according to the document, would be people who had a fleeting homosexual attraction.'' (

" >
Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories