Catholic World News News Feature
Celibate homosexuals can be priests: Filipino cardinal May 21, 2008
A leading prelate in the Philippines has said that homosexual men can be ordained to the priesthood, despite a Vatican statement to the contrary.
Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales of Manila told reporters that homosexuals who do not "act out" can be good priests. His statement came immediately after the release of a letter in which Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, confirmed that a Church policy barring homosexuals from priestly training applies to all the world's seminaries.
Speaking on Radio Veritas in the Philippines, Cardinal Rosales said that the Vatican did not intend to ban chaste homosexuals from the seminaries. "A homosexual inclination is not bad but acting it out is an entirely different matter, and that is what is written in the sacred scriptures,” he said.
The Vatican policy on the question, explained in an Instruction that was released by the Congregation for Catholic Education in 2005, stipulates that a homosexual identity interferes with a man's ability to achieve what the document termed "affective maturity and spiritual paternity," even if the individual refrains from homosexual acts. The Instruction says that anyone who identifies himself as homosexual-- whether or not he is sexually active-- is not an appropriate candidate for priestly ministry.