Friday, September 23, 2005

Catholic paper says gay priests no-no is a no-no

I get a weekly email alert from The Tablet, and this is its preamble today:
As I [Catherine Pepinster, editor] write this, the national press in Britain is reporting that the Vatican is to ban homosexuals from becoming priests. For months now, there have been rumours of such a ruling emerging from Rome. However, look a little closely at the stories, and you will see that so far no such rule has been made, no document issued. What we do know, and The Tablet makes clear this week, is that a paper is being worked on by the Congregation for Catholic Education but that this is only at draft stage. What it will say when and if it is published is not completely clear yet.

But what is happening at the moment is an investigation of all 229 seminaries in the United States, and the ‘Apostolic Visitation’ will look for ‘evidence of homosexuality’ in the seminaries. This week we report on that investigation and the working paper which will govern the queries made.
So now we know. This next reference may also be of interest:
This latest edition also includes a powerfully written piece by a gay Catholic priest, Paul Michaels, who describes the atmosphere of fear and distrust among gay Catholic priests in America about the situation in which they find themselves. Paul Michaels is a pseudonym: he was ordered not to write about the topic by his ordinary,* and has since been ordered not to speak of it either. Father Michaels, however, felt that on this occasion his conscience decreed that he should do so.
(See also 'NGLT slams expected Vatican guidelines barring gay men from the priesthood' below.)
* ‘a member of the clergy, especially a bishop, whose position brings with it the power to act as a judge in some ecclesiastical matters’ (Encarta Dictionary)


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