The head of a seminary in the US has stirred controversy by claiming in a new study that 'the priesthood of the 21st century will likely be perceived as a predominantly gay profession'.
    Fr Donald Cozzens, President-Rector and Professor of Pastoral Theology at St Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Cleveland, Ohio, is author of 'The Changing Face of the Priesthood'.
    He claims that US seminaries are becoming "significantly gay". About 20,000 of the country's 32,000 priests have left the clergy to get married in recent years, and many of those remaining are gay - more than half in some estimates, he claims.
    He said: "Vicars of priests and seminary administrators, who have been around a while, speak among themselves of the disproportionate number of gay men that populate our seminaries and presbyterates. Studies find that approximately half of American priests and seminarians are homosexually oriented ... the percentage appears to be highest among priests under 40."
    There have been calls for the book to be banned, but sales of 20,000 copies have already made it a bestseller for its publisher, the Liturgical Press.
7 Aug 00

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