Excluding gays from the Catholic seminary

Bishops’ “Protection of the Minor Summit” at Synod Hall. VATICAN NEWS

What an extremely desperate time for the Church and, in the middle of spiritual chaos, sadness consumes the Catholic soul. After the 2019 “Protection of the Minor Summit” in Rome and after reviewing the public scandals caused by ordained ministers who were found guilty of the Church of the new millennium has made a firm decision and a promise.

The Church is resolved to adopt the zero-tolerance measures for the controversial clergy involved in sex abuse of minor and vulnerable persons, reporting their names in public, and penalizing the guilty, attended by the full force of criminal and canon laws in accordance with due process.

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That extreme/desperate times call for extreme/desperate measures seems to have derived from the Amorphisms of ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (460-375 BC): “For extreme diseases, extreme methods of cure.”

For the cure, all eyes are now focused on the extreme measures applied in the training of future priests. Appropriately, a most effective screening of candidates for the Holy Priesthood is put into place, even if the Church ends up with very few priests… but holy ones.

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The official decision is preventive in nature, which means excluding right away a candidate with “uncertain sexual identity” and “deep-seated homosexual tendency.” But, in so doing, the Catholic leadership ain’t no homophobic.

 “Celibate, male, full-time, and life-long”

Only being candid and not rude, I’d say that the fight against the evil of paedophilia and the gay culture among the clergy must begin in the seminary, and I definitely agree with the Vatican Congregation for Education (seminaries fall under this) requiring thorough psychological screening, which is one big step in the long recruitment process for seminarians.

Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iñiguez once emphasized that the Philippine bishops (CBCP) wouldn’t tolerate “active homosexuality among seminarians and they would be expelled outright if discovered.” The Church is ready to cut off the head of the snake before it swallows the Church’s credibility again and again.

The Vatican Congregation explained, with due respect to the LGBT community, that the sexual orientation of a gay seems to estrange him from the proper sense of paternity or fatherhood. The gay’s identity is a mile apart from the intrinsic nature of being an alter Christus, particularly the masculine image of Jesus Christ (Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood, 2008).

For goodness sake, no pun intended, the priest is addressed as “Reverend Father,” not “Reverend Other.” And every local bishop is urged to be decisive on this, telling upfront that gays who suggest they could keep their sexual orientation “in the closet” and aspire to join the exclusive company of handsome and celibate males should think twice.

Nobody’s judging them, as Jesus and Pope Francis have done but, just the same, the seminary is strictly not a refuge for them.

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In the lexicon of Eric Hodgens, the priestly “lifestyle package consists of being celibate, male, full-time, and life-long,” and the Holy Church is not softening its solid requirements for the candidates to the Holy Priesthood despite the shortage.

Very few… but holy priests.

Jose Mario Bautista Maximiano (jomaximiano@gmail.com) is the author of Pope Francis, the Catholic Bishop, and the Priest (Claretian, 2014), “2015 Best Book in Theology” by the Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards and the Catholic Mass Media Awards.

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TAGS: “Protection of the Minor Summit”, Catholic church policy, gays in Catholic seminaries, paedophilia, rejecting homosexuals in Catholic seminaries
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