Allen: No Absolute Gay-Ban
A forthcoming Vatican document on homosexuals in seminaries will not demand an absolute ban, a senior Vatican official told NCR Oct. 7, but will insist that seminary officials exercise "prudential judgment" that gay candidates should not be admitted in three cases.This morning, in a report which Allen says was incomplete, Corriere della Sera said that the document would run 16 pages.
Those three cases are:
- If candidates have not demonstrated a capacity to live celibate lives for at least three years;
- If they are part of a "gay culture," for example, attending gay pride rallies (a point, the official said, which applies both to professors at seminaries as well as students);
- If their homosexual orientation is sufficiently "strong, permanent and univocal" as to make an all-male environment a risk.
In any case, the Vatican official said, whether or not these criteria exclude a particular candidate is a judgment that must be made in the context of individual spiritual direction, rather than by applying a rigid litmus test.
This language is in contrast with earlier news reports that had suggested a much more sweeping ban on gays in the seminary....
The Vatican official said that given the ambiguity of the concept of "homosexuality," meaning the difficulty of providing a precise definition of the term, an "absolute policy" is impossible.
The official said the document is expected to appear in early November.
Can everybody live with this? The criteria for refusal sound pretty narrow and specific to me.