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The New Crusade

A Blog dedicated to the promotion of the Traditional Roman Catholic Faith in union with HH Benedict XVI, to the preservation of our Traditional Græco-Roman Catholic Civilisation and to the New Crusade against Islam. This Blog is under the Patronage of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Christ our King and His Holy Mother, our Queen and of Santiago Matamoros (St James the Moor-slayer) and the Crusader King, St Louis IX of France.

26 septembre 2005

It's About Time!!

The Pope to Exclude Gay Priests

By Hilary Clarke in Rome and Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent(Filed: 23/09/2005)

The Roman Catholic Church is preparing to bar homosexuals from becoming priests even if they are celibate in what could prove to be a defining act of Benedict XVI's papacy.

An "instruction" spelling out the policy has been drafted by the Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries.

Vatican officials say it is expected to be published within weeks. The long-awaited policy review was initiated three years ago by the late Pope John Paul II, who died in April.

It has been foughtover bitterly among the Catholic hierarchy amid fears that it will trigger a witch hunt against gay clergy and increase the current shortage of candidates to the priesthood.

But conservatives say it is needed to redress the balance after a period of liberalisation in theological colleges, particularly in America.

The news of the impending publication was leaked to the American press in what some Vatican insiders believe could be a ploy to test the level of feeling about the issue among Catholics in America.

Gay Catholic groups in the US fear that the document could make homosexuals a scapegoat for the child abuse scandals that hit the Catholic Church in America in 2002. More than 80 per cent of the 11,000 alleged victims of abuse by Catholic priests in the US were young males.

Benedict XVI, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger headed the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican body charged with looking into the abuse claims, is said to have been horrified by many of the cases.

He has made clearing up the image of the Church one of the priorities of his papacy. He has also consistently taken a hard line on homosexuality, condemning it as "intrinsically disordered".

While the exact wording of the instruction is not known, sources believe that it will indicate that candidates for the priesthood who identify themselves as homosexual should be barred, even if they are sexually abstinent, because their condition could detract from their ministry.
Many Vatican officials are determined to suppress what they see as a growing gay sub-culture in the priesthood.

Liberals fear, however, that a crackdown will drive the issue underground and set the Church back by decades.

The publication of the document will coincide with an evaluation that starts this month by Church investigators into America's 229 seminaries.

The investigators will, among other things, be looking for "evidence of homosexuality" and whether seminarians are being properly prepared for celibacy.


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