Vatican Document Out of Step with Catholics on Gay Priests

Written By Deb Winarski

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December 8, 2016

Today the Vatican issued a document, “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation”, that addresses the formation of priests, including gay priests and seminarians. The document was approved by Pope Francis.

Drawing on previous documents, it reaffirms the Vatican’s harmful rhetoric and policies against gay clergy, stating that church officials should not admit gay men to the seminary or to holy orders, citing those who “practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’.”

Additionally, it says that these people cannot relate “correctly to men and women” and that church officials should not “overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”

“Call To Action remains deeply disappointed in the Vatican’s on-going rejection of the LGBT community,” said David Saavedra, Transitional Co-Director of Call To Action, an organization of Catholics working for justice in the Church.

“This document not only reaffirms old Vatican policies, it reaffirms the harmful rhetoric against seminarians and priests who are gay and already successfully serving the Church. Moreover, the document’s language and implications harm the entire Church that is denied the gift of ministry from the good and holy service of gay men who may be turned away,” Saavedra continued.

“We believe that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics are children of God and created by God as holy. Rhetoric and policies like those contained in this document only promote a culture of violence, one that is out of step with the teachings of Christ.”

“I remain grateful that the majority of Catholics in the United States support LGBT justice and are helping to lead the Church towards greater inclusion,” said Saavedra. “We look forward to the day when the Vatican will recognize the gift of the LGBT community in the life of the Church, as well.”