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Cardinal challenges gay priests in Rome: reform or get out

July 26, 2010

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Responding to a magazine’s reports on widespread homosexuality in the priesthood, the Pope’s vicar for the city of Rome has challenged gay clerics to amend their lives or leave the priesthood.

“They never should have become priests,” said Cardinal Agostino Vallini of the actively homosexual clerics. “No one is forcing them to stay priests,” he added.

The cardinal was responding to an article in Panorama magazine that reported many priests were regular patrons of gay bars and night clubs. The article suggested that homosexuality was widespread among the priests of Rome.

The Rome diocese pointed out that the priests who were active in the city’s homosexual night life were not necessarily priests of Rome, noting that many priests from around the world come to study and work in Rome.

But Cardinal Vallini added a stronger message, denouncing priests who “continued to take the benefits” of clerical life while engaging in homosexual activities.


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Show 7 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jul. 28, 2010 3:51 PM ET USA

    If a priest is actively and prayerfully living a life that embraces his vow of celibacy, he should remain a priest. While the Cardinal puts forth the edict of "reform or get out", the same should be said to any heterosexual priest who is not honoring his celibacy vow. There are sinners on both sides ... and there are saints on both sides.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Jul. 28, 2010 3:29 PM ET USA

    There's no such thing as a reformed homosexual. Homosexuality is like alcoholism: it's an aberration but it's also a condition. Homosexuality doesn't change just like heterosexuality doesn't change. But with the help of God homosexuality and alcoholism can be subordinated. But heterosexuals outside the priesthood can fall into sin too. There is one thing that helps a man avoid what might be called the "near occasion of sin" and that is frequent -- meaning weekly or monthly -- confession.

  • Posted by: wojo425627 - Jul. 27, 2010 8:52 AM ET USA

    How about laicization and excommunication as a teaching mode. I think it may be time to become more direct and forceful in both teaching and discipline. We have had enough of this nonsense.

  • Posted by: tony2311 - Jul. 27, 2010 1:42 AM ET USA

    Well done Cardinal. It is good to have such clear messages from our Church. We have just seen the Church of England get further into schisms over women's and gay ordinations at its Synod this month. Hopefully many of the Anglicans will be given comfort and encouragement by announcements such as this and will have the confidence to swim the Tiber.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 26, 2010 11:00 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Vallini sounds weak like so many. "No one is forcing them to stay priests." ?? That is just backward. Someone should be forcing them to get out, as in some strong man-like cleric who does not mess around.

  • Posted by: florentine - Jul. 26, 2010 7:12 PM ET USA

    Any priest who goes (or has gone) to gay bars, has porn on computer should be defrocked ... IMMEDIATELY... NO MORE CHANCES. They have been using, abusing, and making a mockery of Holy Mother Church and the Catholic priesthood for too long. I agree with Cornelius .... "how about just get out." NOW!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 26, 2010 12:52 PM ET USA

    Reform or get out? How about just get out.