Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Document That Cried "Wolf"

It's long been a guessing game as to which much-awaited work would be completed first -- the Guns 'N Roses "Chinese Democracy" album (13 years in the making) or the Holy See's instruction on the admission of celibate homosexuals in seminary formation.

It seems the Italians might actually beat Axl....

The controversial document, produced by the Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries, the body overseeing the church's training of the priesthood, is being scrutinised by Benedict XVI.

It been suggested Rome would publish the instruction earlier this month, but it dropped the plan out of concern that such a move might tarnish his visit to his home city of Cologne last week.

The document expresses the church's belief that gay men should no longer be allowed to enter seminaries to study for the priesthood. Currently, as all priests take a vow of celibacy, their sexual orientation has not been considered a pressing concern.

Vatican-watchers believe the Pope harbours doubts about whether the church should publish the document, which has already been the subject of three drafts.

And you thought August was a busy month on the beat?