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unqualified candidates

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 22, 2005

A man suffering from a serious mental disorder should not become a priest. Can we agree on that?

OK. Now the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that an inclination toward homosexuality is a serious disorder. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) says it is not. At most American seminaries today, the opinion of the APA carries more weight than the teaching of the magisterium.

So what would happen if the APA revised its diagnostic manual once again, to say that a severe prejudice, such as "homophobia," is evidence of a serious disorder. Why then those "homophobes" would certainly have to be excluded from the seminary, wouldn't they-- if they aren't excluded already?

But then, looking further into the future, what would happen if the APA decided that pedophilia really isn't so bad, either? (Don't laugh; remember that just a generation ago, respectable shrinks agreed that homosexuality was pathological.) Then imagine that a young man, seeking entry into the seminary, admits that he feels a strong physical attraction toward children, but insists he will remain celibate. Would that be good enough, do you suppose?

Remember, now: the APA sees no disorder in this young man. And the Catechism? Oh, but we stopped paying attention to that view of disorder long ago.

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