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Banning the Ordination of Homosexuals - Again

by Christopher A. Ferrara

After forty years of failing to enforce its 1961 instruction that homosexuals should be kept out of the seminaries and denied ordination, "The Vatican has prepared a draft document containing directives against the admission of homosexuals to the priesthood. …" (CNS, October 8, 2002)

What do we need another document for? Why not enforce the original directive? CNS notes that the rumored draft document "takes the position that since the church considers the homosexual orientation as ‘objectively disordered’ such people should not be admitted to the seminary or ordained." Been there. Done that. What about enforcement?

CNS further reports that: "The question of excluding homosexuals from the priesthood had been quietly considered at the Vatican for years without finding a consensus." Well, there we have it. There is not even a consensus at the Vatican about keeping homosexuals out of the priesthood. That is, not even the Vatican takes the Vatican’s 1961 instruction seriously. What, then, is the point of another instruction?

This assumes that the rumored instruction will ever see the light of day. As CNS notes: "The Congregation for Catholic Education prepared the draft document in collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and other Vatican agencies, the sources said. The draft was being circulated for comment in October among a wide range of consultants, including theologians, canon lawyers and other experts…"

Excuse me! Hel-lOOOOOO? There is already a Vatican document, from 1961, which states simply and unequivocally that: "Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers."

According to CNS the draft document on homosexuals - if we ever see it - "will take the form of directives or norms, to be used throughout the universal church… The document’s position (on admission of homosexuals to the priesthood) is negative, based in part on what the ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’ says in its revised edition, that the homosexual orientation is ‘objectively disordered,’ said one source."

No kidding. We needed the new Catechism to tell us what we already knew, and what the Vatican decreed back in 1961 - namely, that mentally disordered men who find other men physically attractive should not be ordained?

As CNS reports: "The officials who spoke to Catholic News Service said there was no definitive time frame for the document on homosexuality and admission to the priesthood. ‘Only the Holy Spirit knows that,’ said one official." So, only the Holy Spirit knows when the Vatican will get around to declaring, once again, that sexual deviants should not be made priests. And these are the men at the top of the Catholic hierarchy today. Heaven help us all.