Skip to comments.The long-awaited "gay doc"
Posted on 11/22/2005 2:38:49 PM PST by Balt
INSTRUCTION CONCERNING THE CRITERIA OF VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT REGARDING PERSONS WITH HOMOSEXUAL TENDENCIES IN VIEW OF THEIR ADMISSION TO SEMINARIES AND HOLY ORDERS
In continuity with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and, in particular, with the decree Optatam totius on priestly formation, the Congregation for Catholic Education has published various documents to promote an adequate integral formation of future priests, offering guidelines and precise norms concerning its different aspects. The Synod of Bishops in 1990 also reflected on priestly formation in the current circumstances, with the intention of complementing the conciliar teaching on this issue and make it more explicit and incisive in the contemporary world. Following this Synod, Pope John Paul II published the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis.
In light of this rich teaching, the present Instruction does not intend to dwell on all the issues in the affective or sexual realm that require attentive discernment throughout the entire period of formation. It contains norms regarding a particular issue, made more urgent by the current situation, and that is the admission or not to Seminaries and Holy Orders of candidates that have deep-seated homosexual tendencies.
1. Affective maturity and spiritual fatherhood
According to the constant Tradition of the Church, only baptised males validly receive sacred Ordination. Through the sacrament of Orders the Holy Spirit configures the candidate, with a new and specific designation, to Jesus Christ: the priest, in fact, sacramentally represents Christ, Head, Shepherd, and Spouse of the Church. Because of this configuration to Christ, the entire life of the sacred minister must be animated by the gift of his entire person to the Church and by authentic pastoral charity.
The candidate for ordained ministry, therefore, must attain affective maturity. Such maturity will allow him to relate properly with men and women, developing in him a true sense of spiritual fatherhood for the ecclesial community that will be entrusted to him.
2. Homosexuality and Ordained Ministry
Since the Second Vatican Council up until today, various documents from the Magisterium especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church have confirmed the Churchs teaching on homosexuality. The Catechism distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies.
Regarding acts, it teaches that, in Sacred Scripture, these are presented grave sins. Tradition has always considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. As a consequence, they can never be approved under any circumstance.
As regards to deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are present in a certain number of men and women, these also are objectively disordered and are often a trial for such people. They must be accepted with respect and sensitivity; every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfil Gods will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lords Cross the difficulties they may encounter.
In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, together with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, deems it necessary to clearly affirm that the Church, even while deeply respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to Seminary or Holy Orders those who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture.
Such people, in fact, find themselves in a situation that seriously obstructs them from properly relating to men and women. The negative consequences that can result from the Ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies should not be obscured.
When dealing, instead, with homosexual tendencies that might only be a manifestation of a transitory problem, as, for example, delayed adolescence, these must be clearly overcome at least three years before diaconal Ordination.
3. The Churchs discernment of the suitability of candidates
There are two inseparable aspects of every vocation: the free gift of God and the responsible freedom of man. The vocation is a gift of divine grace, received through the Church, in the Church, and for service of the Church. By responding to the call of God, man offers himself freely to Him in love. The mere desire to become a priest is not sufficient and there is no right to receive sacred Ordination. It rests with the Church in her responsibility to define the necessary requirements for reception of the Sacraments instituted by Christ to discern the suitability of the one who wishes to enter the Seminary, to accompany him during the years of formation, and to call him to Holy Orders, if he is judged to possess the required qualities.
The formation of the future priest must articulate, in an essential complementarity, the four dimensions of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. In this context, it is important to recall the particular importance of human formation as the necessary foundation of all formation. To admit a candidate to diaconal Ordination, the Church must verify, among other things, that the candidate for priesthood has attained affective maturity.
The call to Orders is the personal responsibility of the Bishop or the General Superior. Keeping in mind the view of those to whom they entrusted the responsibility of formation, the Bishop or General Superior, before admitting the candidate to Ordination, must arrive at a morally certain judgment regarding his qualities. In the case of a serious doubt, he must not admit him to Ordination.
The discernment of the vocation and the maturity of the candidate is also the grave duty of the rector and other formators in the Seminary. Before every Ordination, the rector must give his judgment on the qualities of the candidate required by the Church.
In discernment of the suitability for Ordination, the spiritual director has an important task. Even though he his bound by secrecy, he represents the Church in the internal forum. In meetings with the candidate, the spiritual director must clearly recall the Churchs demands regarding priestly chastity and the specific affective maturity of the priest, as well as help him discern if he has the necessary qualities. He has the obligation to evaluate all the qualities of the personality and assure that the candidate does not have sexual disorders that are incompatible with priesthood. If a candidate is actively homosexual or shows deep-seated homosexual tendencies, his spiritual director, as well as his confessor, has the duty to dissuade him, in conscience, from proceeding towards Ordination.
It remains understood that the candidate himself is primarily responsible for his own formation. He must offer himself in trust to the discernment of the Church, of the Bishop that calls him to Orders, of the rector of the Seminary, of the spiritual director, and of any other educator in the Seminary to which the Bishop or General Superior has given the task of forming future priests. It would be gravely dishonest for a candidate to hide his own homosexuality, regardless of everything, to arrive at ordination. Such an inauthentic attitude does not correspond to the spirit of truth, loyalty, and availability that must characterise the personality of one who considers himself called to serve Christ and his Church in the ministerial priesthood.
This Congregation reaffirms that it is necessity that Bishops, Superior Generals, and all those responsible carry out an attentive discernment regarding the suitability of candidates to Holy Orders, from the admission to Seminary to Ordination. This discernment must be done in light of a concept of ministerial priesthood that is in conformity with the teaching of the Church. Bishops, Episcopal Conferences, and Superior Generals should assure that the norms of this instruction are faithfully observed for the good of the candidates themselves and to always assure for the Church suitable priests, true shepherds according to the heart of Christ.
The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, on 31 August 2005, approved this Instruction and ordered its publication.
Rome, 4 November 2005, Memorial of St Charles Borromeo, Patron of Seminaries.
Zenon Card. Grocholewski, Prefect
+ J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., Titular Arch. of Vertara, Secretary
This is a document written in the style of Paul VI: a beautifully crafted but naive restatement of doctrine, perfectly orthodox from beginning to end, but rendered impotent by (1) the striking lack of enforcable canons, (2) a date by which they must be implimented, and (3) the penalties to be applied for disobediance. In other words, a document that will change or improve nothing whatsoever.
It should be noted that this is an unofficial translation.
A document with no link, and no way to check it out?
What do you man by "unknown"? Where did you find it?
"A document with no link, and no way to check it out?"
Its close enough in translation to the official version for it to make no difference.
And, yes, it is a totally inadequate, ineffectual waste-of-time document which is already being ignored by the bishops (you should see the official press release of the English idiots), and it will do nothing whatsoever to remedy the situation.
Another grand failure of fatherhood by these pathetic eunuchs who are supposed to be our spiritual fathers. May it be unto them as it was unto Sodom & Gomorrah!
I don't know the source. If that is for real, so be it, but I don't give strong creedence to unsourced documents until I know their provenance...perhaps I taught how to write term papers too long, but that sort of thing bugs me.
"I don't know the source."
Its the Congregation for Catholic Education - I received an embargoed copy this evening.
The Long-Awaited Document:
Waited for what? This?
Deep-rooted? Tendencies? Transitory problem of homosexuality?
Who will make the decisions? Spiritual Directors? Whose work is Sealed in Confessional Secrecy? They are to persuade "deeply rooted" and direct
"un-deeply rooted" homosexuals in conscience and in secrecy?
Where's the MORAL teaching? WHERE IS THE MORAL TEACHING???
NOTHING HAS CHANGED!
Dust in the wind.
And, yes, I agree: not teeth means no progress. IMHO, this document was crafted by someone who wanted to remain faithful to the long-held teaching of the Church, but whose primary audience was the editorial directors of the NYT in the vein hope of them recognizing how compasionate and understanding we all are.
Why not just paste a "kick-me" sign on your rear end?
Tomorrow morning (Nov. 23) NPR's "Morning Edition" will have a segment on the new Vatican document regarding homosexuals in the seminary. Michael S. Rose, author of "Goodbye, Good Men" will talk about the whole business.
Another English translation available at NOR:
Say no more! The piecese are all beginning to fall into place now.
"Archbishop Jean Jadot, Pope Paul VI's apostolic delegate to the United States from 1973-1980, has no regrets about the spate of bad bishops he infficted on the Catholics of this country."
Still Proud Of Bishops He Gave U.S.
So, it was Pope Paul VI who opened Pandorra's box and is ultimately responsible for all the novelties, liturgical abuses and lost catholic souls!
"Unknown | 11-4-95 | CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION"
Is this your source?
Bishops who are scrambling to maintain their hold on control of these novelties and liturgical 'norms' in the light brought by Pope Benedict's papacy. Thank you, Archbishop Jadot for that. It seems like the lid to that box won't be closed easily and these Bishops will fight it all the way.
Another take on it from Catholic World News. In their private subscription thread, the overall take is positive. I suppose those who read more "Vaticanese" need to check this over to see how strong it is.
If this is the real document, then I'm really disappointed.
So, I believe the timeline is this:
1961 : Vatican prohibits ordination of gay men
1960s to 2005 : Massive ordination of gay men, resulting in innumerable cases of sexual assault on teenage boys.
2005 : Vatican says, OK, we'll allow SOME gay men to be ordained.
Wow, so by loosening the prohibition against gay ordinations, you hope to achieve WHAT exactly? I am disappointed they didn't simply reissue a complete ban, with the words "THIS TIME WE MEAN IT!" added.
"The call to Orders is the personal responsibility of the Bishop or the major superior. Holding present the opinion of those to whom the responsibility of the formation is entrusted, the bishop or the major superior, before admitting a candidate to ordination, must reach a morally certain judgment on their quality. In the case of a serious doubt in this respect, they must not admit him to ordination. "
For more than 2 decades, our bishop has called to orders only homosexual men. Since the sex abuse scandal when it was discovered that in many of these 'liberal' dioceses, one found the greatest number of abusers, the bishop has placed a very heterosexual and manly priest in charge of eliciting new recruits. The very orthodox catholics distrust anyone who acts on behalf of this bishop. I know of one family where the son felt called to the priesthood, and he explored multiple religious communities before selecting the one where he would attend their seminary.
This will be an immense challenge to those who support a different agenda from that of the Holy Father.
I have to admit, you have a good point. There are certainly other good points about this document that a friend of mine recently pointed out, such as embracing the notion that homosexuality, as a disorder, can be treated (repairitive therapy). This, I think, will cause many in the "gay community" to jump off the roof tops.
I think my initial reaction was colored by too many weeks of anticipation waiting for some kind of bomb to be dropped. I only hope that there are least a few bishops with seminaries who will take the bull by the horns and really make some changes based on this.
How long is it between entering the seminary and diaconal ordination?
I, also, find this statement just a little disturbing because it can cut both ways. How many good men are there floating around who would have made great priests were it not for the fact that they weren't "open" or "flexible" or judged to be "rigid"? The assumption of the document is that the bishop should be sure he's not ordaining someone with some kind of sexual identification problem; but, the fact is, bishops have been excersising this kind of authority for years -- they've just been rejecting the wrong kind of men.
Well, first it depends on what level one enters. If one enters the seminary at the collegiate level, then it would be four years of college seminary. After that, depending on the seminary or the diocese, it's usually three or four years. In some cases, it's four years including a "pastoral year" outside the seminary in a parish setting, which is followed by deaconal ordination. In other cases, the deacon year is considered the "pastoral year."
In my own case, because the diocese for which I was ordained didn't have a seminary of it's own, I completed all four years of post-graduate formation and was put into a parish for a year, the last five months of which were spent as a deacon; so I was only a deacon for five months.
lavender bumpus ad summum
There are some who question whether this is actually the REAL "final" document. Note the odd phrasing of B-16's approval (lacking some typical details.)
We all think that this is what the doc will say--but don't take this to the bank for large money.
The approbation-line of B-16 does not include "forma specifica," meaning that this doc will NOT over-ride norms of Bishops' Conferences (and maybe even Bishops.)
So (if this is the real doc) we're kinda where we were 120 days ago. Bishops can and will do what they damn well please.
>>>This will be an immense challenge to those who support a different agenda from that of the Holy Father.<<<
As NYer amply demonstrated today in her thread on Assisi, the Holy Father "nailed" the Franciscans who played fast and loose with Assisi as their own personal "peace enclave." To learn more about how tough this was, read Whispers in the Loggia which spells out just how much he smacked down these dissidents and what a master stroke it was!
I am not sure this is the final version. However, if Pope Benedict XVI signed it, it will not be trivial. He has not appointed one US Bishop to a major See as yet. It is believed that he is personally choosing each and every new Bishop himself as he knows them all. Also, his Curial appointments have not been announced. Finally, it is widely believed that Archbishop Levada was chosen since he wanted an American to clean up the cesspool here among the Episcopacy.
I think a bit of slack is warranted until some noted Canonists give us their take. In the meantime, I am hopeful and obedient as always to Peter.
An encyclical is due on December 8th. Let's see what that is about. If it is about the Liturgy and a call to one with more Latin and less experimentation and perhaps a nod to the Tridentine Rite, a bane of the hippie Leftists, then his assault will be on two fronts.
Pas d'ennemis a droit!
The priesthood has wrongly become a sanctuary for homosexual men. Some of them have never revealed, even to their families, the sexual struggles that they have endured for acceptance and love from other men. And that real need for homosexual affection can cause of lot of thirst for, and expectations from, the other men in the rectory - even if there is nothing physical intended. Other gay priests have wrongly received the full support and approval of those who see the priesthood as the ideal life for them to live, believing that this life, lived under the cover of celibacy, will protect them from the scandal and questions and complications of living out in the real world.
I recently talked with a very good Catholic mother whose son is homosexual and who has struggled for years with many quick, abusive and for-the-most-part secret relationships with other homosexual men. She says he is scared to death that he will become "known" at his job, and suffer the consequences of not being accepted by his co-workers, and ruining any chances of advancement in his career.
I asked her, as a consequence, if she ever wanted her son, who is a good catholic, to become a priest so that he could avoid the scandals, the rumors, the questions of non-marriage, the fears of career advancement?
"Heaven's no! He would just be living a lie, and as a priest no less. He would be forced to live a double life, within himself, with God - as His representative, and with the people he serves who would never know his true self."
She is an exception.
This document will do very little to stop the homosexual infiltration of the Church. And, until there is a full, public, clear and papal teaching about the morality of this issue, and until there is a canon law prohibiting the ordination of homosexual men which is supported by severe penalties for those who would violate that law, then there is nothing that anyone can really utilize in their earnest and conscientious attempts to stop those homosexual men who are already ordained, and who hold positions of power and authority in our Church. Those men will simply ignore this instruction.
The 1961 "policy" was a private letter, that was not included in any references, and was unknown of by the laity, priestly candidates, spiritual directors, and even bishops annointed after 1961.
The new doctrine will be known of by everyone. Tolerance of homosexuality will be a visible sign of infidelity from here on out. The issue has been settled.
It is not new doctrine; nothing which the church proclaims is. It is, however, a dramatic new focus, and a clear rejoinder to the vast majority of the American presbyteriate which asserted that there was nothing wrong with gay priests.
It IS merely a mission statement; it is not a self-implementing proclamation. The clear, public, unambiguous statement is strong support for the warriors of Orthodoxy, but the battle still must be fought. And as such, there are grounds for watching after whether it is being implemented. But it is not a statement made in isolation. From the review of the seminaries to the chastisement of national councils, there is every indication that much IS being done.
I would expect that the various appropriate curial offices will issue implementations shortly.
Where in the document do you see there being mentioned "some" gays allowed in? The document does not say that a gay must be chaste for three years. It says that there must be no homosexual tendencies at all. It only notes that some heterosexuals experience some slight ambiguity during adolescence, and that this experience, it if is was only due to adolescence and if it is clearly in the distant past, should be no basis for staying out of the priesthood.
If you are worried about enforcing the policy, that clause will not make it more difficult to enforce the policy. It will only calm the conscience of some young seminarians who once had a wierd dream about cigars. Yes, infiltrators could lie to gain admission to the priesthood, but if they were going to lie, they would also lie about their adolescence.
I think even you are reading it too liberally. It does NOT permit "cured" homosexuals.
>>When dealing, instead, with homosexual tendencies that might only be a manifestation of a transitory problem, as, for example, delayed adolescence, these must be clearly overcome at least three years before diaconal Ordination. <<
I take this to mean that they were never really homosexual at all, just passing through an ambiguous of confused phase. When it refers to what might not be disqualifying, it refers to mere TENDENCIES that were passing phases; Men with actual history of homosexual acts or of being proponents of homosexuality are still forbidden.
And it IS very new and very significant that being a proponent of a homosexual lifestyle is grounds for exclusion. True, it's something that was unthinkable before the late 60s, but the actual exclusion is new.
Hmmm... not entirely accurate, but the gist is very true. Benedict has named some Bishops in some significant dioceses, but has named none voluntarily: He has allowed some coadjutors appointed by John Paul to take over diocese, and he filled a couple vacancies which had already been filled, and one created by a death. But he has not created and subsequently filled any discretionary vacancies.
...In fact, on Nov 10th, Walter Nicklaus of Sioux City became the first Latin-rite American bishop appointed by Benedict since Walter Hurley on June 21. All 3 bishops apointed by Benedict filled vacancies created during John Paul's era, although three coajutors succeeded, including one appointed by Benedict. There are now 13 sees headed by bishops over the age limit. Two days before John Paul died, there were three.
When Benedict starts naming bishops, he will have a very fast impact: Two of America's seven Cardinal Archbishops are now over the age limit. In five months, there will be a third.
McCarrick and ??
>> McCarrick and ?? <<
... Maida of Detroit is a couple months older than McCarrick. Keeler of Baltimore will be joining the list soon, and Eagan in about 16 months.
May it be unto them as it was unto Sodom & Gomorrah!>>
Be careful what you wish for.