Thursday, March 16, 2006

Visitor's Progress

Currently undergoing the Apostolic Visitation: the seminary at St. Meinrad Archabbey, the Swiss Benedictine house in Indiana. Students from twenty-six dioceses study there.

St. Meinrad's rector, the Rev. Mark O'Keefe, has helped evaluate two other seminaries and said he hoped the review would lead to suggestions for improvements.

"The seminary staff is nervous about any kind of an evaluation, but in both of the visits I was involved in ... it was a pleasant enough experience, as much as an evaluation can be," he told The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., for a story Thursday.

O'Keefe said the sexual-abuse crisis raised legitimate concerns about how priests are prepared, even though most of the known abusers were trained before seminaries adopted their current systems of screenings and preparation.

"What the visitations as a whole will find is that the seminaries are very different than they were 30 years ago," he said....

"Our position is that it's important that a priest be a man who can live in celibacy in a healthy and productive way," he said. "The question of whether he is heterosexual or homosexual is certainly relevant, but the question of orientation is not the determining factor."