A letter signed by 48 Honduran seminarians complaining of widespread homosexual activity in the country's major seminary is putting pressure on Pope Francis to open a formal investigation, especially in the light of recent gay scandals in Chile and the United States.
The seminarians' letter was dated May 28 of this year and has slowly made its way into the public domain, after first having been circulated to the nation’s bishops in June. On Wednesday, the U.S.-based National Catholic Register published the original Spanish text of the letter as well as an English translation.
In the text, which is addressed to seminary formation personnel, the seminarians complain of "a time of tension in our house because of gravely immoral situations, above all of an active homosexuality inside the seminary," which being covered up has grown to the point of becoming an "epidemic in the seminary."
"The reality of this problem in the seminary can no longer be concealed and we need you formators to become aware and apply the solution that the Church proposes in these cases," the students wrote, which would include a renewal of "the processes of discernment of candidates in each diocese."
The Honduran bishops' conference responded with a July 29 statement in which the bishops express "regret" that the information was published, while denying the kind of "atmosphere" reported in a Register article from several days earlier.
"In all certainty and truth, we affirm that an environment like the one presented by the article in the National Catholic Register does not exist, has not existed, and ought not exist in the seminary," the bishops state in their communiqué. The article, they said, gave "the impression that practices contrary to the morals and rules of the Church are promoted and supported institutionally, under the complacent gaze of the bishops."
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