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article imageChurch rejects even celibate would-be priests – if they’re gay

By Andrew John     Jun 1, 2010 in Lifestyle
Even some celibate candidates for priesthood are being shunned by the Catholic Church as it vets those who want to take their oaths. But mainly gay ones.
An analysis of how the vetting procedure works and what questions are asked is featured in the New York Times.
Among the questions are: “When was the last time you had sex?”; “What kind of sexual experiences have you had?”; “Do you like pornography?”; “Do you like children?”; “Do you like children more than you like people your own age?”
The intensified vetting procedure comes amid the ongoing worldwide scandal over priestly sex abuse of minors.
This means, says the New York Times, that “many of the questions are also aimed at another, equally sensitive mission: deciding whether gay applicants should be denied admission under complex recent guidelines from the Vatican that do not explicitly bar all gay candidates but would exclude most of them, even some who are celibate.”
The newspaper says that scientific studies “have found no link between sexual orientation and child abuse, and the church is careful to describe its two initiatives as more or less separate. One top adviser to American seminaries characterized them as ‘two circles that might overlap here and there’.”
The report says that, since the abuse crisis erupted in 2002, “curtailing the entry of gay men into the priesthood has become one the church’s highest priorities. And that task has fallen to seminary directors and a cadre of psychologists who say that culling candidates has become an arduous process of testing, interviewing and making decisions – based on social science, church dogma and gut instinct.”
Meanwhile, the Vatican has launched a scheme to reach out to atheists, but but says prominent ones such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens aren’t welcome into the initiative.
The new foundation will be known as “The Courtyard of the Gentiles”, and is being set up by the Pontifical Council for Culture, a Vatican department that sets out to foster better relations with non-Catholics.
For full story, click here.
More about Sex abuse, Catholic Church, Candidates priesthood, LGBT, Glbt
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