Friday, November 25, 2005

Father Reese, S.J. Weighs In

Gays in clergy widespread, Vatican decisions made in ignorance, scholar says...

From Catholic Online:

With the much-anticipated Vatican document on gays in seminaries soon to be published, a visiting scholar at a Jesuit university has written that homosexuality in the priesthood is widespread and that the church’s decisions about gay clergy are being made in without proper study or understanding.

Father Reese, currently a visiting scholar at Jesuit-run Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif., resigned as editor in chief of America magazine in May 2005 after, according to Jesuit officials in Rome, repeated complaints from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, who objected to the magazine's treatment of sensitive church issues.

The Italian news agency ADISTA published the Italian text of the Vatican document Nov. 22, a week before it was expected to be released at the Vatican. A Vatican spokesman did not confirm or deny the authenticity of the text, entitled "Instruction on the Criteria of Vocational Discernment Regarding Persons With Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Priesthood and to Sacred Orders."

Father Reese noted Nov. 21 that, while “estimates of homosexuality among priests have ranged from 10 percent to 60 percent,” U.S. bishops have discouraged research into clergy sexual orientation or activity because of the bad publicity that would result.