Skip to comments.Aquinas Seminary is First for Scrutiny
Posted on 09/27/2005 5:33:32 AM PDT by marshmallow
The 25 candidates studying to become priests at Aquinas Institute of Theology were described as "anxious" but not worried Monday as a Vatican team began evaluating how they are prepared intellectually, spiritually and sexually for priesthood.
"Whenever you are under the spotlight, it's difficult," the seminary's president, the Rev. Charles Bouchard, said at a press conference Monday. The students themselves were off limits to reporters, so it was Bouchard who was left to describe their mood.
The seminary on the campus of St. Louis University is in the spotlight because it's the first of 229 seminaries nationwide to be evaluated over the next nine months. The evaluations are in response to a sexual abuse scandal among clergy that began coming to light three years ago and revealed crimes and incidents that were covered up for decades.
The five-member team visiting Aquinas includes a seminary professor, campus chaplain, parish pastor and director of religious studies. It is led by Bishop Michael Burbidge of Philadelphia.
For four days, the team will meet with priesthood candidates, recently ordained graduates, faculty and staff. The team is armed with a questionnaire prepared by the Vatican.
Part of the unease stems from one of the document's dozens of questions: "Is there evidence of homosexuality in the seminary?"
(Excerpt) Read more at stltoday.com ...
"Some Catholics believe....??" That would be the official policy of the Church, long since flouted. Sounds as if this guy thinks it's the visitors who need to be knocked into line and not vice versa.
Looks like the inspection team is going to be kept busy by Case #1.
Part of the unease stems from one of the document's dozens of questions: "Is
there evidence of homosexuality in the seminary?"
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, feel the
probe is a simplistic and misguided effort that shifts blame for the abuse
crisis to others. The support group feels the problem lies mainly with the
church's response to the abuse allegations.
"Seminarians, gay or straight, didn't repeatedly shun victims, transfer
predators, or deceive prosecutors ... ," said SNAP's outreach director, Barbara
Doris. "The responsibility for (the widespread sexual abuse) lies with the
bishops themselves. It's shameful that they continue to blame others for their
Bouchard said that that impression was understandable but seminaries had made
several changes over the past 25 years that needed to be evaluated. Those
changes include a rigorous psychological evaluation, year-long internship at a
parish in another city for outside evaluation and regular assessments during
"We're in a good position to demonstrate that our procedures are effective in
preventing this abuse in the future," he said.
Some critics of the church also say the investigations are an attempt to link
the clergy sexual abuse scandal with homosexuality.
Bouchard said that what Aquinas tried to determine about its applicants was
whether they have the capability to live a celibate life.
Whereas some Catholics believe that homosexuality should disqualify men from
priesthood, Bouchard said, "We hope to provide evidence that that shouldn't be
When the Vatican receives a report on each seminary at the end of spring, it
will issue a written evaluation to the bishop or major superior responsible for
Does anyone really know what the extent of the problem is? Are we talking 5% or 75%?
I'm not particularly liking what I think this Bouchard chap is saying.
Bishop Burbridge was the former rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Since SCBS rejects homosexual candidates, I think the outcome of these investigations is pretty well foreordained.
This from the President of the seminary?
NO wonder they were the first to come under scrutiny.
Whereas some Catholics believe that homosexuality should disqualify men from priesthood, Bouchard said, "We hope to provide evidence that that shouldn't be the case."
It seems that BXVI has decided it's time for the Church to quit pussyfooting around the elephant in the living room -- the oh so politically incorrect but obvious link between the abuse scandal and homosexual priests. The secondary problem is those seminary presidents who insist on making up their own rules -- always in favor of laxity, heterodoxy, and the Spirit of the Age. Hopefully BXVI has made up his mind to get rid of them too, because the abuse scandal started right there.
I can't believe this seminary president is so oblivious to the handwriting on the wall that he would say something like this for public attribution. But maybe that's a good thing - easier to locate and remove.
The idea that sexuality is unrelated to the intellect or the spirit is puzzling and discouraging.
Are they suggesting that adult men's sexual activity with teenage boys is unrelated to homosexuality? Yo, guys, earth to Planet Zongo!
Thanks for posting this!
It will be interesting to follow these.
"Unease"? This scrutiny should be welcomed. It sounds like our seminaries are in need of a good housecleaning.
After all, he seems to be admitting he knows that his seminary has a significant sample population of gays...
>> The idea that sexuality is unrelated to the intellect or the spirit is puzzling and discouraging. <<
I read that the exact opposite way... that the scrutiny is observing sexuality because it recognizes it is inextricably linked to spirituality and intellect.
>> "Unease"? This scrutiny should be welcomed. It sounds like our seminaries are in need of a good housecleaning. <<
Come on, now... Are you suggesting that the JESUITS haven't been doing the best job possible at preventing heresy and pedophilia? (/sarcasm)
Does this schismatic seminary of the excommunicated hand out doctorates in disobedience? Appoint revolutionaries as rectors? Use the services of excommunicated bishops to ordain other eccentric ecclesiastical oddballs who wouldn't be able to find the actual Roman Catholic Church with the actual Pope St. Pius X as their guide? He should only be with us today to nuke the group that dares misappropriate his name.
Why should the Vatican be any more concerned with SSPX seminaries than with Unitarian seminaries (if any) or Episcopalian seminaries or Islamic seminaries (if any)? None of these are Catholic and none intend to be Catholic on the evidence to date, regardless of their respective ancestries.
Through the intercession of St. Dymphna may Our Lord shower you with graces!
Ten to one says this Bouchard fellow is a poofter.
Only Catholic seminaries.
May God bless you too.