Skip to comments.Ban on Homosexual Men From (Catholic) Priesthood Was Always in Place - Decision from 810 AD Cited
Posted on 11/30/2005 9:48:05 AM PST by NYer
Wednesday November 30, 2005
ROME, November 30, 2005 (CWNews.com/LifeSiteNews.com) - A Vatican consultant, in an interview with the I Media news service, has observed that the Church has always taught that homosexuals should not become priests, since they suffer from a "structural incoherence" in their approach to human sexuality. The question of whether homosexual men should become priests has been raised repeatedly by Church leaders, and always answered negatively said Msgr. Tony Anatrella, a French Jesuit who is a consultant to the Pontifical Council on the Family. The French priest-psychologist cited decisions by the Council of Paris in 819, and the 3rd and 4th Lateran Councils in 1169 and 1215.
Writing in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, in an article that appeared alongside the newly released instruction on homosexuality and the priesthood, Msgr. Anatrella wrote that the new Vatican Instruction barring homosexuals from Catholic seminaries was necessary because "homosexuality has become an increasingly worrisome problem," adding that the acceptance of homosexuality could have a "destabilizing" effect on the lives of individuals and on society at large.
Msgr. Anatrella said that homosexuality is "a tendency and not an identity." The Catholic Church, he argued, has a duty to warn against the acceptance of an "incomplete and immature" approach to human sexuality.
In practice, Msgr. Anatrella said in the I Media interview, experience has shown that when homosexual men become priests-- even if they are committed to chaste living-- "pastoral relations are very much complicated, and sometimes the teaching of the Church is neglected." Even if homosexual men struggle to live in accordance with the teachings of the Church, he explained, "the psychological effects of their tendency have repercussions on the pastoral level." Thus the Church has recognized the "collateral effects" of same-sex attraction, and concluded that such men should not be ordained.
The French Jesuit conceded that the Instruction from the Vatican may provoke protests, particularly from homosexual men who are already serving in the priesthood. But he told I Media that such protests reflect the fact that "they have already put themselves in an uncomfortable situation." Priests who experience same-sex attractions should redouble their efforts to remain chaste, he said. But in any case, Msgr. Anatrella stated: "Within the clergy, homosexuals do not represent an important proportion; they are a minority."
When questioned as to whether the Church might be accused of "homophobia," the French psychologist reacted quickly. The term "homophobia," he said, is "a slogan of intimidation." The Instruction insists on respectful treatment of homosexual persons, he pointed out; the Vatican is not encouraging or condoning hatred for those who suffer same-sex impulses.
Nevertheless, Msgr. Anatrella said, the Church has a duty to ensure that candidates for the priesthood are properly suited for pastoral ministry. Echoing an argument from the Instruction, he observed that "the priesthood is not a right."
A Feb. 2, 1961, Vatican document, Instruction on the Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders, made clear homosexuals should be barred from the priesthood.
(Advancement) to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers, said the document from the then-Vaticans congregation for religious.
A 1997 letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments says admission may not take place if there exists a prudent doubt regarding the candidates suitability. It does not specify that homosexuality constitutes a prudent doubt, but an American official at the Vatican, the Rev. Andrew Baker, has suggested in an article in the Jesuit magazine America that it does.
In 2002, Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, then-prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, advised against allowing gays in the priesthood in a letter that was published in the congregations publication Notitiae.
The Vatican press office announced in November 2002, at the height of the U.S. clergy sex abuse scandal, that the Congregation for Catholic Education was drawing up guidelines for accepting candidates for the priesthood that would address the question of whether gays should be barred.
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I posted this earlier this morning, but Moderator, please remove my posting, cause NYer has a much better ping list for this story.
God Bless this Jesuit!
That's a slight misstatement. One who remains celibate doesn't even fall into the restriction.
Remember that the Church differentiates between the concupiscent desire (this sin that dwells within me that is not my sin" as Paul puts it) and sinful behavior. "Tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty" likely refers to actual behavior, not to the inclination to commit a particular kind of sin. In "the world", you're "gay" just from who you are attracted to. In the church, that's just a sinful inclination that you are given to conquer - as we all have.
Never liked the word homophobia.
Phobia: an irrational fear
I fear homosapiens ?
I don`t fear perverts. It`s a natural feeling of disgust and revulsion.They cannot legislate against that.
A "phobia" is defined as an irrational or illogical fear.
What is the suffix connoting a perfectly rational dislike?
(Merriam-Webster Online defines "phobe" as "one fearing or averse to (something specified) e.g.,Francophobe " - I love their example!)
The term "homophobia," he said, is "a slogan of intimidation."There's hope for the Jebbies yet.
I believe you'll find that "the high tide" is not eligible to serve in the Roman Catholic priesthood either.
A person who doesn't have sex but perhaps self-identifies as a gay man, and fantasizes regularly about sex with men or teenagers is not totally innocent, especially when the person indulges himself with it, as opposed to fighting it.
I lived celibate for over 15 years before I got married. Certainly didn't mean I was free of sexual sin or desire or want, but it does give me something of an idea of what long term celibacy feels like. It is not an easy lifestyle, and choices have to be made.
One of the things needful to realize is it's not good to make excuses for sinful behavior, even if it's not acted out in great measure. If a person thinks "This must be all right because this is how God made me" and thus starts to find reasons to disagree with the hard core teachings of the Church on faith and morals, then it's gone beyond sexual sin into a form of rebellion. It is no doubt up to the spiritual director of each seminarian to discern what is going on.
This is why Archbishop Chaput said that each person needs to be judged on a case by case basis.
We're not talking about banning people with homosexual leanings from life. We're talking about who is suitable, in the eyes of the Church, to be a priest, which is s privilege, not a right.
I hope that this isn't becoming something where everyone says 'We're already doing this' and ignores the document.
I think it's clear that over the years NOT everyone has been doing this.
Also I wonder, is there any kind of 'two adult rule' to ensure children are not left in the care of a potentially unscrupulous individual?
The Dominicans and Conventual Franciscans as well. It will happen ... God willing in our lifetime.
Certainly.... but that's not the example I gave.
Your examples where the individual commits other actual sins are beside the point. The inclination (or "bent") toward sin is not, in itself, your sin. We are all born with a "bent" toward sin that we must struggle against. If mine happens to be gambling the food money each month and not homosexual sex - that's irrelevant. The question is whether the Holy Spirit is active in my life and guides my behavior or whether my "bent" does. A man who does NOT indulge in his "bent" is seeking the Lord's will regardless of WHAT the particular sin he's combating is.
The difference is that the Church needs must take a stand in one area over another because "the world" tries to tell us that this particular sin is not a sin at all... but rather just the way God wants you to be. To some extent it is that way with all sin... but homosexual behavior is defended far more stridently.
The question of their sexuality is never addressed to a potential priest???