The canon law of the Catholic Church requires that clerics "observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven". The document entitled Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders stated that homosexual men should not be ordained. However, this was left to bishops to enforce and most did not, holding homosexuals to the same standards of celibate chastity as heterosexual seminarians. The Vatican followed up in with a directive to implement psychological screening for candidates for the priesthood. Conditions listed for exclusion from the priesthood include "uncertain sexual identity" and "deep-seated homosexual tendencies". Publication was made through the Congregation for Catholic Education.
How the Catholic Priesthood Became an Unlikely Haven for Many Gay Men
Grindr, blackmail and confession: The life of a gay seminarian
The crisis over sexuality in the Catholic Church goes beyond abuse. It goes to the heart of the priesthood, into a closet that is trapping thousands of men. By Elizabeth Dias. Photographs by Gabriella Demczuk.
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Almost 1,700 priests and clergy accused of sex abuse are unsupervised
It has resolved to "end the oppression of men and boys who have freely chosen mutually consenting relationships" in spite of the fact that such relationships constitute child sexual abuse under U. Since , public criticism and law enforcement infiltration have heavily impaired the organization. Its national headquarters now consists of little more than a private mail box service in San Francisco, and they rarely respond to inquiries.
Naked but for the towel around his waist, a man of a certain age sat by himself, bent slightly forward as if praying, in a corner of the sauna at a gym in central Rome. I had not met this man before, but as I entered the sauna, I thought I recognized him from photographs. My friends told me that this priest was gay, politically savvy, and well connected to the gay Church hierarchy in Rome.