TV & Radio
2005年11月29日 (火) 22:13 読売
ローマ法王庁、同性愛者の聖職禁止・文書を公表 (共同 2005/11/29)
November 30, 2005 latimes.com
Vatican Issues Guidelines on Gay Priests
Pope Benedict's first major instruction sets restrictions on seminary candidates that are assailed by liberals and hailed by conservatives.
By Tracy Wilkinson, Times Staff Writer
ROME — The Vatican on Tuesday formally released instructions that block actively gay men from the priesthood, a long-anticipated document that already has opened a debate over how it will be applied and whether it will have a healing, or detrimental, effect on the Roman Catholic Church.
Church conservatives are applauding the document for taking a strong stance against what many see as an immoral "gay subculture" within seminaries and church life, and for establishing clearer restrictions on who is suitable to become a priest.
But liberals said they feared the rules would be used to keep qualified men out of a depleted priesthood because of their sexual identity, even when celibate.
This is the first major instruction to be issued by Pope Benedict XVI, and the fact that it focused on homosexuality reflected the German pontiff's concern over morals he sees being eroded by Western secular culture.
Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, author of the eight-page document as prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, said Tuesday that it was crucial for the church to speak out now.
"Many are defending a position in which the homosexual condition is considered a normal condition of the human being, almost like a third gender," Grocholewski told Vatican Radio. "That absolutely contradicts human anthropology, and, according to the church, contradicts natural law."
The document, which was leaked in its entirety last week on a Catholic news website, says that men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" or who support a "gay culture" may not become priests. But men who have "overcome" a homosexuality that was "transitory" and who have remained celibate for three years before joining the seminary are eligible.
Father Robert Gahl, a theologian, praised the document for establishing "more challenging expectations" for men who want to become priests. Homosexuals are clearly barred, he said, because the rules require a man with homosexual tendencies not only to have lived a celibate life but to have overcome those tendencies long before entering the seminary.
"Anyone who considers himself homosexual ought to realize that as such, the church is not calling him to the priesthood," said Gahl, who teaches at Rome's St. Cross Pontifical University, which is run by the conservative Opus Dei organization.
"The document is strong in that it restates in this time of crisis in the church what has always been the traditional teaching of the church, [that homosexuals] are objectively disordered," Gahl said. "It screens out candidates who suffer from emotional immaturity, especially in a sexual area."
But Father Mark R. Francis, superior general of the Rome-based Clerics of St. Viator, said some of the language was so ambiguous that the guidelines would be interpreted and applied differently from diocese to diocese. The document, for example, does not provide definitions of "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" and "transitory" homosexuality.
"There is a question of what the document says, and what good pastoral practice is," Francis said.
"We have some very good gay priests who are gay in terms of their orientation but who are celibate and chaste," Francis continued. "If the document is interpreted in a very strict manner, it would be an impoverishment for the church and would exclude excellent people. There will have to be prudential judgment on who is accepted into seminaries."
Grocholewski, the cardinal, sought to illuminate at least one of these points. He said "transitory" homosexuality referred to acts committed out of youthful curiosity, in a state of inebriation or by a man confined to prison for many years. These were not "deep tendencies" but "transitory circumstances," and as long as they occurred more than three years before application to the seminary, the person remained eligible for the priesthood.
The debate over the document appears most intense in the United States, where homosexuality in the priesthood has long been openly discussed. Although experts note that homosexuality and pedophelia are not linked, the clergy sexual abuse scandal rocking the U.S. church further highlighted the existence of gay priests because many victims were male.
Vatican officials began work on the document years before the scandal, but its exposure made the guidelines "more urgent," according to a preamble to the instructions.
George Weigel, a conservative Catholic biographer of the late Pope John Paul II and senior fellow at the Washington-based Ethics and Public Policy Center, said he hoped the document would help foster a "genuine and enduring" reform of the priesthood.
But "that is entirely up to local bishops," he said in an e-mail response to a request for comment. "... No Roman document (and particularly one that essentially reiterates long-standing Church policy) can substitute for courageous leadership by religious superiors, calling all under their authority to live the 'more excellent way' by honoring the majesty of their vows."
The document states that the ordination of homosexuals can have "negative consequences" because they cannot relate correctly to the men and women in their flock. It says priests must develop a "true sense of spiritual fatherhood for the ecclesiastical community ... entrusted to him."
Vatican officials said the new guidelines are not meant to suggest removal of priests who are already serving. Church officials also have responded to accusations of discrimination, saying there is no "right" to become a priest. It is a calling, they say, a gift from God.
Vatican gay document officially released
Tue Nov 29, 2005 03:56 AM ET
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A Vatican document which has sparked controversy because it restricts homosexuals from entering the Catholic priesthood was finally released on Tuesday after being widely leaked in the media.
The short document, which takes a strict line on the place of gays in the clergy, has already been praised by conservatives and condemned by liberals and set off heated debate well beyond the Roman Catholic Church.
Confronting an issue that has divided the faithful worldwide, it says practising homosexuals should be barred from entering the priesthood along with men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies and those who support gay culture.
The document says only men who had clearly overcome homosexual tendencies for at least three years should be admitted to the priesthood.
Gay groups have said the Church is using homosexuals as scapegoats for its sexual abuse scandals.
Conservative Catholics have welcomed the document as an important step in the reform of the priesthood, particularly in the United States, where they say some seminaries had become venues for a thriving subculture.
Many inside and outside the Church have said the document risks alienating men who would be good priests and would be able to honor their vow of celibacy.
"Having worked with bishops and priests, diocesan and religious, all over the world, I have no doubt that God does call homosexuals to the priesthood, and they are among the most dedicated and impressive priests I have met," said Father Timothy Radcliffe, former master of the Dominican order.
"And we may presume that God will continue to call both homosexuals and heterosexuals to the priesthood because the Church needs the gifts of both," Radcliffe wrote in the British Catholic weekly the Tablet.
The document reinforces standing policy that many in the Church believe has not been properly enforced. Its urgency has been highlighted by the 2002 sexual abuse scandal in the United States, which involved mostly abuse of teenage boys by priests.
It does not affect those men who are already priests but only those entering seminaries to prepare for the priesthood.
It restates long-standing Church teaching that deep-seated homosexual tendencies are "objectively disordered" and that homosexual acts are grave sins.
The "instruction" by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, makes a difference between deep-seated homosexual tendencies and "the expression of a transitory problem."
It says homosexual tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the deaconate, a position just one step short of the priesthood which usually precedes ordination by about a year.
It says heads of seminaries have a serious duty to see to it that candidates for the priesthood do not "present disturbances of a sexual nature which are incompatible with the priesthood."
Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 November 2005, 08:53 GMT
Vatican renews ban on gay priests BBC
The Vatican has published long-awaited guidelines which reaffirm that active homosexuals and "supporters of gay culture" may not become priests.
But it treats homosexuality as a "tendency", not an orientation, and says those who have overcome it can begin training to take holy orders.
At least three years must pass between "overcoming [a] transitory problem" and ordination as a deacon, the rules say.
All Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy, regardless of orientation.
The guidelines make no reference to current priests, but only to those about to join a seminary.
Some Catholic theologians feel the document is not sufficiently clear, the BBC's Peter Gould says.
That it refers to "tendencies" rather than orientation "has left many people scratching their heads," Jesuit scholar Father Thomas Reese told him.
The 18-paragraph document was published with little fanfare on Tuesday morning. The Vatican is not offering further explanation.
The document was leaked last week and published by an Italian Catholic news website, Adista.
Critics have long objected that gay seminarians might feel they have no choice but to lie about their sexual orientation.
The guidelines specifically address this issue, urging candidates for the priesthood to tell the truth.
"It would be gravely dishonest for a candidate to hide his own homosexuality," the document says.
Observers say the new rules might lead to a dramatic drop in the number of priests, especially in the West.
The document, drafted by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education and approved by Pope Benedict on 31 August, describes homosexual acts as "grave sins" that cannot be justified under any circumstances.
"If a candidate practises homosexuality, or presents deep-seated homosexual tendencies, his spiritual director as well as his confessor have the duty to dissuade him in conscience from proceeding towards ordination," it says.
"Such persons in fact find themselves in a situation that presents a grave obstacle to a correct relationship with men and women."
But the paper also stresses the Church's deep respect for homosexuals, who, it says, should by no means be discriminated against.
Homosexuals had already been barred from priesthood in a 1961 document .
Canon law experts note that the new guidelines were not issued in forma specifica, meaning the Pope has not officially invested it with his personal authority, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
That might mean there is room for further interpretation or revision in the future.
The guidelines are the outcome of a review ordered by the late Pope John Paul II following the highly damaging abuse scandals in the US, in which several men accused priests of having abused them as teenagers.