US priests’ group calls Vatican vocations document ‘insulting’

(NCR Online) Declarations in the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy’s recent document “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation” have been called “disrespectful,” “ambiguous” and “insulting” by the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests.

In a statement released April 19, the 1,200-member Ohio-based organization charged that “the terms ‘homosexual tendencies’ and ‘deep-seated homosexual tendencies’ are ambiguous and disrespectful of the personhood of those who identify with a homosexual orientation.” The terms appear in the Dec. 8, 2016, document’s section titled “Persons with Homosexual Tendencies.”

“We find it also unfounded and insulting,” the group said, adding that the clergy congregation document “implies that ordained priests with a homosexual orientation who serve the Church with distinction ‘find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women.’ ”

The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests said its statement was being sent to all U.S. bishops, the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, and the National Association of Hispanic Priests of the USA.

“If the Congregation for the Clergy document had stated that heterosexual and homosexual persons who are living chaste lives can be admitted to ordination to the priesthood it would have been more respectful and inclusive. The issue for discernment is whether the applicant or candidate has integrated his sexual identity with Catholic Christian faith and spirituality,” said the statement, which was authored by the association’s 12-member leadership team. [More]

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NCR Online