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Vatican policy does not bar homosexual priests: L’Osservatore Romano analysis

December 20, 2016

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has published an essay by an American priest, arguing that the Church’s stand against the ordination of homosexuals to the priesthood, recently confirmed by a new Vatican document, is not a ban.

Father Louis Cameli, a priest of the Chicago archdiocese, wrote in response to the Vatican document released earlier this month, saying that the Church “cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’“ His analysis of that document in L’Osservatore Romano argues that the Vatican policy did not imply “a blanket prohibition of admission to the seminary or Holy Orders.”

Father Cameli conceded that homosexual activists are barred from seminaries and from ordination to the priesthood:

A person who supports the ‘gay culture,’ understood as an environment and a movement that advocates moral stances at variance with Church teaching, cannot at the same time be entrusted with teaching and leading the community of faith.

However, the American priest said that the reference to “deep-seated” homosexual tendencies should be understood to apply only to men for whom homosexuality is a “central organizing identity,” an “overriding center of attention and even preoccuption,” or a factor that blocks the individual’s ability to form other relations. He added that the Vatican policy would seem to bar the admission to the priesthood of someone who felt “a sense of inevitability about acting on homosexual inclination.”


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  • Posted by: MWCooney - Dec. 23, 2016 12:23 PM ET USA

    When will we hear Pope Francis publicly rebuke, in harsh terms, this priest. Oh, wait--he reserves such treatment for those who defend Church teaching. I pray to be proven incorrect in this, but I won't hold my breath.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Dec. 21, 2016 9:49 AM ET USA

    Sounds similar to the "fundamental option" theory in its limitations on mortal sin. What is of greatest interest to me is Fr. Cameli's definition of "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies. This definition targets precisely what is prohibited by the 1st and 6th Commandments as clarified, fulfilled, and extended by Christ. Fr. Cameli's description is essentially the perfect identification of the alignment of one's will with the sin of idolatry. I like the definition but disagree with its limitations.

  • Posted by: feedback - Dec. 20, 2016 8:19 PM ET USA

    Homosexuality is one of the impediments to Priesthood. Always has been and always will be. There is no point prancing around this issue.