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Vatican: Some
Candidates for Priesthood Need Psychological Exams

Vatican: Some
Candidates for Priesthood Need Psychological Exams

Men vying for the priesthood should be psychologically examined for pathological defects, the Vatican said on Thursday. Priesthood candidates exhibiting traits like "strong affective dependencies; notable lack of freedom in relations; excessive rigidity of character; lack of loyalty; uncertain sexual identity [and] deep-seated homosexual tendencies" would have his seminary training "interrupted," according to a document by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education.

Men vying for the priesthood should be psychologically examined for pathological defects, the Vatican said on Thursday. Priesthood candidates exhibiting traits like "strong affective dependencies; notable lack of freedom in relations; excessive rigidity of character; lack of loyalty; uncertain sexual identity [and] deep-seated homosexual tendencies" would have his seminary training "interrupted," according to a document by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education.

The tests would not be mandatory for priests but would be given on a case-by-case basis by seminary rectors, Reuters reports.

The document is the second missive in three years to mention future repercussions of the sex abuse scandals erupting in the church over the past decade. A document in 2005 said men could become priests if they had overcome homosexual tendencies for at least three years.

Catholic dioceses must not only "be sure that [a candidate] is capable of abstaining from sexual activity" but also to "evaluate his sexual orientation." Monsignor Jean-Louis Brugues, who is secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, told reporters that some seminaries have been using psychological testing as far back as the 1960s.

"[The guidelines] became ever more urgent because of the sexual scandals," he told reporters on Thursday. (Michelle Garcia, The Advocate)

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