Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Thou Shalt Not Allow Homosexuals to Become Catholic Priests

by Rev. John Trigilio, Jr., Ph.D.


Father John Trigilio, Jr., PhD, ThD, president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and co-author of Catholicism For Dummies, provided Matt C. Abbott with this (slightly edited) statement, which is an expansion and variation of an op-ed he recently wrote for the New York Daily News.

Publisher & Date

Renew America, October 3, 2005

"The upcoming Vatican document on barring men from the seminary who have a homosexual orientation is a prudent and reasonable continuation of the 1961 'Instruction on the Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders,' which stipulated that 'ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with tendencies to homosexuality.' This is based on the understanding that the homosexual orientation is 'objectively disordered' as stated in the Catechism #2358.

"One of the problems, however, will be the determination of who possesses a homosexual orientation. Obviously, those who engage in homosexual activity on a regular basis demonstrate their orientation by what they do. A chaste and non-sexually active person, on the other hand, either admits his orientation or keeps it secret. We are therefore left to an honor system regarding those who have the homosexual orientation but who do not engage in the homosexual activity.

"The more immanent and significant threat, though, is with those who are in fact sexually active, whether it is homosexual or heterosexual. Sexual misconduct of seminarians and clergy with other men or women, even when not minors or children, is a problem which merits immediate attention and response. Identifying the orientation when there is no activity is a difficult project but when the misbehavior involves sexual intercourse by seminarians or by clergy, then the objective actions speak for themselves. Fornication and adultery are grave matter and extremely scandalous when done by those who represent the Church.

"The biggest crisis we face is a three headed monster, i.e., bad theology, bad liturgy and bad morality. Dissident theologians who teach intellectual dishonesty and disobedience to the official Magisterium are only encouraged and sustained by horrendous liturgical abuses which in the extreme lead to complete irreverence for the sacred, especially the Real Presence and the Sacrifice of the Mass. These combined will inevitably nurture and spawn rampant immorality. Why?

"Look at the dissent from Humanae Vitae in 1968. Once the Papal Magisterium was openly attacked, the next shoe dropped, i.e., liturgical abuses. Pedestrian celebrations which lack any reverence or any hint of the sacred let alone a sacrifice were proliferated by the cadre who usurped the 'spirit of Vatican II.' Hiding tabernacles, reducing the Mass to a mere 'meal,' using invalid matter and form, etc., showed that like Humanae Vitae, the GIRM was open for disobedience. These two spearheads created a third monstrosity, the disregard and then the denial or repudiation of the moral law.

"If theologians and liturgists could misbehave, then why not married couples with regard to contraception? If the laity could that way, then why not the clergy? Sexual misbehavior in seminaries usually coincides with heterodox teaching in the classroom and liturgical abuse in the chapel. What is learned there is then brought to the parish. Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex agendi (in other words, how one prays is related to what one believes and both influence how one behaves).

"Not every seminary went bad and even some which did have made significant improvements over the past 25 years, but there are still a few which remain cesspools of heresy, irreverence and sexual immorality. The ironic thing is that those are the places that instigated witch hunts not for perverts or heretics but to indentify and remove orthodox and pious men who would be loyal to Rome. These dangerous Catholics were labeled 'conservative,' 'traditional' and, of course, the infamous term 'rigid.'

"The upcoming Vatican investigation of seminaries is needed. Not a 'visitation' as done in the past where orthodox bishops were deceived, mislead and fooled into believing all is well. A papal legate with authority to close a seminary or to issue binding corrections or even to consolidate and restructure regional and national seminaries is what we need now more than ever. Faculty members who dissent from the Magisterium need to be removed.

"Orthodoxy, especially as elucidated in the Catechism, should be the norm and mandate of what is taught and adherence to the universal rubrics of the Mass and sacraments needs to be practiced and promoted to the future priests. Lastly, immorality, like alcohol abuse, sexual relations (of either orientation), and other addictive and destructive behavior cannot be tolerated in seminaries or by seminarians.

"When sound doctrine is accompanied by reverent worship then virtuous living makes sense and is easier to practice. When dissident teaching is combined with liturgical abuse and irreverence, then sinful activity is not far behind. What guys learn in formation they will proliferate in the parish. The seminary investigation team needs to ascertain if orthodoxy is taught, if the sacred liturgy is celebrated properly and if everyone is acting morally. With the devil launching a three front war, we have no choice but to address all three attacks."

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic journalist and commentator. He is a columnist for and/or contributor to,,,,, and He is also an occasional contributor to "The Wanderer" Catholic newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]..

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