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Pope to ban gay priests?

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Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

The Observer has a fascinating report this morning that The Vatican has drawn up an instruction banning gay men from becoming priests, but not due to some worry over the morality of homosexuality, rather because…

the presence of homosexuals in seminaries is ‘unfair’ to both gay and heterosexual priests by subjecting the former to temptation

It’s certainly an interesting angle to take, and not entirely the one I personally would expect from the Vatican, who I would expect to ultra-Conservatively condemn homosexuality as a whole. It smacks of a church with an attendance crisis, which can’t afford to alienate anyone, trying to couch their moral objections in flawed logical arguments to make them more palatable to objectors.

But, from a purely practical standpoint, how on earth do they plan to screen for homosexuals before admitting people to seminaries? After all, if they can’t even manage to screen for paedophiles with any level of success, one really wouldn’t think they have much of a hope screening for gay men. Plus, as the Observer article points out…

Studies show that a significant proportion of men who enter seminaries to train for the priesthood are gay. Any move signalling that homosexuals will not be allowed to join the seminaries, even one couched in the arcane language of the Vatican, could reduce the number of recruits to the priesthood.

It will certainly be fascinating to see where this one goes, and whether it does get published or just quietly forgotten about; I would personally be surprised to see this published any time soon, especially by this Pope.

This 712th post was filed under: News and Comment.






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