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There is considerable controversy, even among orthodox Catholics, over whether or not celibate men with homosexual desires may be admitted to the priesthood. Despite what many say, Pope Benedict has already ruled definitively on the subject.
In a 2005 document concerning the ordination of homosexual men, those who "[p]ractice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support gay culture" are not to be considered for the priesthood.
While this seems like it leaves the door open to those with "slight" homosexual tendencies, two paragraphs down, Pope Benedict clarifies that while "transitory" or "adolescent" homosexuality are different cases than that of those entrenched in the lifestyle, the tendencies are to be overcome a full three years before ordination to the diaconate.
In other words, no one is to be struggling with any kind of homosexual desires in the priesthood or diaconate, deep-seated or not. The rationale behind the ban is that same-sex attraction "gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women."
Priests are required to offer pastoral advice to couples and those struggling with with the vice of lust. They are also called to be spiritual fathers to their flock. Not only must they be free of any kind of dis
ordered desires, they are to master even natural ones — and they are to have a rightly ordered relationship with the faithful, including the healthy fostering of fatherly and brotherly relations with other men.
The document points out that unlike many professions, no one has a “right” to the priesthood, and the Church does not consider mere desire to be a priest sufficient cause for consideration.
The priesthood is not a simple matter of obtaining a degree, nor is it an equal employment opportunity; it is a calling and a gift, an elevation above and beyond merely human aspirations in humble service to the Church and to souls.