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DUBLIN (ChurchMilitant.com) - Former president of Ireland Mary McAleese has said openly that Catholic seminaries should be more "gay friendly."
Since the Maynooth Seminary gay-dating-app scandal, where whistleblowers reported that seminarians where using a social media app to seek homosexual sex, there have been stricter rules and guidelines regarding seminary life.
Reports say that all trainee priests at Maynooth will now be required to eat dinner at the college instead of dining wherever they choose. They will also be required to attend evening Rosary at 9 p.m., which wasn't previously mandatory.
But Dr. McAleese, who claims she is a "staunch Catholic," and was also a major supporter of the same-sex "marriage" referendum, said that the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality is dangerous, according to the Irish Times.
"We have the phenomenon of men in the priesthood who are both heterosexual and homosexual, but the church hasn't been able to come to terms with the fact that there are going to be homosexuals in the priesthood, homosexuals who are fine priests," McAleese said.
"They haven't been able to come to terms with that because the teaching of my church, the Catholic Church, tells them that homosexuality is, of its nature, 'intrinsically disordered' — those are the words of Pope Benedict — and that homosexual acts are, in his words, 'evil,'" she complained.
"I am just worried that the Maynooth controversy seems to be concentrating on the wrong things. A seminary should be a place where people feel welcomed ... not somewhere where they feel policed — after all, there are young people who haven't yet taken a vow of celibacy."
She continued, "They wanted to be reassured that neither place was, in their words, 'gay friendly' ... so they walked away happy that they were gay unfriendly, hostile to gay people — what sort of message does that send out to young men who are there who are gay, to priests who are gay?" Dr. McAleese said.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual tendencies are disordered and that people with homosexual tendencies are to remain chaste. Section 2357 of the Catechism states:
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.