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whether homosexuals can be priests (continued)

By Jeff (articles ) | Jul 11, 2003

Leila's post earlier today brings to mind a fine recent article in Lay Witness by Fr. Andrew Baker, an Allentown priest who works in the Congregation of Bishops. Fr. Baker notes that the mind of the Church is to exclude from ordination those with homosexual inclinations. In a footnote, he quotes four relevants magisterial documents (with only two of which I was familiar):

"The following quotes are from documents of various Vatican offices over the last 40 years which have provided guidelines for the admission of candidates to religious life and/or seminaries: In 1961: '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' (Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life). In 1974: A candidate must overcome two distinct immature tendencies, namely 'narcissism and homosexuality' and the person 'must have arrived at heterosexuality' in order to speak of a person as mature (Congregation for Catholic Education). In 1990: 'Those who do not seem to be able to overcome their homosexual tendencies or who maintain that it is possible to adopt a third way, "living in an ambiguous state between celibacy and marriage," must be dismissed from the religious life' (Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life). In 2002: 'Ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood of homosexual men or men with homosexual tendencies is absolutely inadvisable and imprudent and, from the pastoral point of view, very risky. A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency is not, therefore, fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders' (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments)."

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