To the editor:
Bishop Clark’s November 12 column is misleading. He states that the task of seminaries “is to form candidates toward intellectual, emotional, psychosexual, spiritual and pastoral maturity, regardless of the sexual orientation of the candidate.”
Not exactly. As the faithful await the Vatican’s release of the new instruction on the suitability of men with same sex attraction for seminary formation, we should recognize that in 2002 the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments addressed the issue. It published a brief response to a dubium, or question, from a bishop in its official publication Notitiae.
As the National Catholic Reporter‘s John Allen wrote, “the key line of that response, developed in consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was: ‘Ordination to the deaconate and the priesthood of homosexual men or men with homosexual tendencies is absolutely inadvisable and imprudent and, from the pastoral point of view, very risky. A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency is not, therefore, fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders.'”