Gay Predator Priest Convicted

News: Commentary
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  March 27, 2019   

Pope Francis: 'It's better not to let them enter'

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Two successive popes have directed that homosexual men should not be in the seminary. The case of homosexual predator Fr. Robert DeLand is yet more proof of the negative consequences arising from ordaining gay men.

Under the direction of then Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican issued 2008 guidelines directing seminaries to dismiss men who have not only "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" but also those with "uncertain sexual identity." Of this latter group, the 2008 guidelines say of such men that their "path of formation will have to be interrupted," meaning dismissal from the seminary.

The 2008 document was speaking in the context of psychological deficiencies in seminarians, pointing out, "Such immaturity would include ... uncertain sexual identity; deep-seated homosexual tendencies; etc. If this should be the case, the path of formation will have to be interrupted."

Last May, Pope Francis seemingly reiterated this directive to a group of Italian bishops. Addressing the Italian bishops' conference during the 71st general assembly on May 25, the Holy Father stated, "If you have even the slightest doubt" about homosexuals being considered for seminary, then "it's better not to let them enter."

Francis approvingly referenced the ban on seminarians with "deep-seated [homosexual] tendencies" or those who practice "homosexual acts" from being admitted to the seminary because it can lead to "scandal" as well as jeopardize the life of the seminary, the formation of the man and his future as a priest.

In the wake of the priestly sex abuse scandal that broke in the archdiocese of Boston in 2002, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued their initial 2004 report on clerical sex abuse, which found 81 percent of the victims of clerical sex abuse were male and almost 90 percent of the victims were post-pubescent. These findings were repeated by the U.S. bishops almost verbatim in 2011, 2016 and again in 2017.

The Vatican responded to the U.S. bishops' initial 2004 report by issuing directives in 2005 warning seminaries: "One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies."

Father DeLand is one more example of those "negative consequences."

Watch the panel discuss the negative consequences of ordaining gay men in The Download—Gay Predator Priest Convicted.

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