Catholic World News reported approval by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 of a new Vatican instruction that that homosexual men should not be admitted to seminaries even if they are celibate, "because their condition suggests a serious personality disorder which detracts from their ability to serve as ministers." Prepared in response to a request by Pope John Paul II as long ago as 1994, it is expected to be issued in late October by the Congregation for Catholic Education. CWS noted that a similar policy approved by Pope John XXIII remains in effect but has been widely ignored. CWS said that:
The pending release of the Instruction, in the face of certain criticism from liberal forces in America and Western Europe, demonstrates the determination of the Vatican to improve the quality of priestly ministry, and to protect the Church from some of the scandals that have recently shaken the Catholic community-and no doubt deterred many men from entering priestly training.
There has been much comment on this as well as an official inspection of 229 Catholic seminaries in the USA to look for ‘evidence’ of homosexuality and for proper instruction on celibacy (among other things).
Damien sets out the arguments in response very well. I can’t add anything except to agree with a sad and exasperated, "Sigh."
In an audience on 29 Jan 2003 Pope John Paul II, speaking from Wisdom 9:1-6,9-11, said that:
The Canticle found in the ninth chapter of the Book of Wisdom reminds us that true wisdom comes from God. This wisdom is not just knowledge, or talent, or skill, but rather is a sharing in the mind of God himself. In fact, King Solomon asks the Lord to send forth the gift of wisdom so that he may learn what is pleasing to God.
Without this wisdom we amount to nothing. But with it we are guided to holiness and righteousness. It allows us to understand history, helping us to look beyond mere appearances and to appreciate the deepest meaning of life. With Solomon let us beg the Lord for his gift of wisdom, to enlighten our hearts and minds in the ways that are pleasing to him.
Amen. It’s a theological puzzle that a church that so earnestly seeks God’s wisdom makes such silly decisions.