Homosexuality and Priesthood: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

Some media headlines would have you believe that with its most recent pronouncement, the Church is promoting a “Don’t Ask, Policy, with respect to allowing homosexuals into the seminary. It’s been widely stated that the policy would allow homosexuals as long as they were not active in the prior 3 years of their entrance. In fact, it is 3 years before the ordination as a deacon and it is only those seminarians with

“homosexual tendencies that might only be a manifestation of a transitory problem, as, for example, delayed adolescence, [which] must be clearly overcome at least three years before diaconal Ordination.”

I take a “transitory problem” to be those who are generally heterosexual but have “experimented” or had some homosexual tendencies but don’t consider themselves homosexuals. The document says that not that the actions have to be stopped but that the tendencies have to be overcome. That’s a bigger requirement than just not being active. In addition, the document states:

“The Church cannot admit to Seminary or Holy Orders those who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture.”

So clearly active homosexuals and even those with “deep seated” tendencies (whether or not they have been active in the past three years) cannot be admitted no matter what. It also states the obvious that “It would be gravely dishonest for a candidate to hide his own homosexuality, regardless of everything, to arrive at ordination.” So it is clearly not a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. I hink that’s a little different than what’s some have portrayed. Here’s an article that seems to have gotten it right.