June 14, 2024

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Pope Francis said Italian seminaries should reject gay applicants

Pope Francis said Italian seminaries should reject gay applicants

Pope Francis has told the Italian bishops’ conference that gay men will not be allowed to enter the seminary to train for the priesthood, according to Italian media reports.

The Pope’s words surprised many given his openness to the LGBT community throughout his papacy. Francis replied with his famous phrase, “Who am I to judge?” When asked about the Vatican’s “gay lobby” during a plane ride back from World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013.

But in his statements to the bishops, the Pope expressed the official position of the Vatican since 2005 when the Council for Catholic Education, with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, issued a document on this issue entitled “Instructions regarding criteria for distinguishing vocations for persons with homosexual tendencies when admitted to seminaries and religious ordersThis document was later approved by Pope Francis in 2016.

Francis made the remarks during a 90-minute closed-door meeting in the Vatican’s Old Synod Hall with more than 200 members of the Italian Bishops’ Conference last Monday, May 20.

Since the beginning of his papacy, Francis has participated in question-and-answer sessions at the twice-yearly conference meeting. There is still no official text of the Pope’s statements before the conference last Monday. These statements were reported for the first time Dagospiaa news outlet specializing in confidential information and scoops, was later reported by leading Italian dailies, La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, but has not been officially confirmed.

An informed source said, who preferred to remain anonymous America He first learned of the news on May 21 from three Italian bishops who were present at the meeting.

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The issue regarding homosexuality and seminarians had been under discussion for some time by the Italian bishops’ conference, and according to the newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, at their meeting in Assisi last November, they “agreed on a new document entitled Ratio Formationis Sacerdotalis,” after the Holy See agreed to regulate admissions and formation In which [Italian] Religious institutes, where they approved by a majority vote an amendment recognizing the distinction between simple homosexual orientation and “deep-seated inclinations.”

This means, the newspaper reported, “in essence, that a gay person can be accepted into seminary if, like heterosexuals, he gives a guarantee that he knows how to live a celibate life. The implication is that it is more difficult for gays because they will live in a male-only society for years.” But, as the newspaper noted, “Pope Francis seems to have a more extreme view: to avoid problems of this kind, homosexual people should not be admitted to the seminary. a point!”

La Repubblica reported much the same thing, but added that two or three bishops had raised questions about it in a meeting last week with the pope, with one of them bluntly asking Francis what he as a bishop should do “when an openly gay man comes knocking on the door.” “. From the seminary.” The newspaper said: “The Pope, who had previously expressed his opposition to this in the past [entry]He responded in a strictly negative way, emphasizing that respect is a duty for every person, regardless of their sexual orientation.

According to the newspaper “La Repubblica”, Francis said that “it is necessary to set labels, and to prevent the risk that a gay person who chooses the priesthood will later end up living a double life, continuing to practice homosexuality, while suffering at the same time.” Of this concealment.”

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Francis, whose native language is Spanish, not Italian, and who often uses slang in conversation, surprised the bishops by using the Italian word “frociaggine,” a derogatory term for “strangeness,” Il Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica and D’Agospia reported. “In Italian. It is not clear whether he was aware of the offensive nature of the word. He was quoted in the main Italian daily newspapers as saying that “there is a lot com. frociaggine In seminaries.” Various sources here say that the Pope’s use of the word “frociaggine” was a misstep on the part of the Pope, rather than a slur, given the Pope’s “Who am I to judge?” attitude toward gay priests.

Vatican document It was issued in 2005 and stated:

[T]Its Director, in agreement with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, considers it necessary to clearly state that the Church, while deeply respecting the persons concerned, cannot accept into the seminary or into the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-rooted homosexual tendencies or support The so-called “gay culture”.

La Repubblica points out that this question appears to be an item on the agenda of one of the ten study groups created by Pope Francis in connection with the Synod, which will hold its final session next October. The results of the working groups are unlikely to be ready in time for this gathering but they may still provide input.

Correction May 27, 2024: Due to an editing error, this article originally incorrectly stated that World Youth Day in Rio was in 2016.