Pope Benedict XVI has approved an Instruction prepared by the Congregation for Catholic Education, indicating that men with homosexual tendencies should not be ordained as Catholic priests. It is likely to be made public after the Synod of Bishops this October.
The Instruction does represents a change in neither Church teaching, nor policy. The Church has consistently taught that homosexual men should not be ordained to the priesthood. Pope John XXIII approved a formal policy to that effect, which still remains in effect. However, during the 1970s and 1980s, that policy was widely ignored, particularly in North America. The resulting crisis in the priesthood-- in which one prominent American commentator observed that the priesthood was coming to be seen as a "gay" profession-- prompted Pope John Paul II to call for a new study on the question.
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