On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, the Vatican reaffirmed a 2005 ban on ordinations of gay priests, stating that “persons with homosexual tendencies” cannot be admitted to Catholic seminaries. Pope Francis approved the document, which goes on to say that gay men “find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women.” For more information on this document, see: Vatican Reaffirms Ban on Gay Priests, published at America Magazine.
Members of the Equally Blessed Coalition were quick to respond:
Call To Action
This document not only reaffirms old Vatican policies, it reaffirms the harmful rhetoric against seminarians and priests who are gay and already successfully serving the Church. Moreover, the document’s language and implications harm the entire Church that is denied the gift of ministry from the good and holy service of gay men who may be turned away, … We believe that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics are children of God and created by God as holy. Rhetoric and policies like those contained in this document only promote a culture of violence, one that is out of step with the teachings of Christ. Full statement from Call To Action
It is not at all what anyone expected from the “Who am I to judge?” Pope. These guidelines are a tremendous insult to the thousands of gay men who have served and continue to serve the Church with honor and dedication. They undermine decades of commitment by these men, and they fail to acknowledge that God calls a great variety of people to the priesthood … Our Church is struggling with a tremendous shortage of priests to serve even the basic sacramental needs of Catholics. The hierarchy’s exclusion of people that God has called to ministry exacerbates this problem to the detriment of the people of God. Full statement from DignityUSA
New Ways Ministry
It’s not too late for the pope to retract this document. That would be a healing balm to many who are surely going to be pastorally hurt by this step, and many others who are sure to leave the Catholic Church because of it. At the very least, Pope Francis owes it to the Church, the world, and, not least, the LGBT community to explain exactly where he stands, given the blatant contradiction between “Who am I to judge?” and this most recent document. Full statement from New Ways Ministry