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Papal spokesman suggests annulment of priesthood for gay clergy

Commenting in an interview published in Sunday's New York Times, Navarro-Valls said "People with these inclinations just cannot be ordained."

He suggested that just as a marriage can be annulled if the husband turns out to be gay, so the ordination of gay men might also be made invalid.

"That does not imply a final judgment on people with homosexuality," Navarro-Valls also said. "But you cannot be in this field."

Author and former seminary rector Donald Cozzens said "The number of priests is already down, and if we were not to ordain gay seminarians who are committed to celibacy, we would have an even lower number."

Confirming that Navarro-Valls's comments were consistent with a statement attributed to top Vatican official, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, several years ago, Cozzens estimated their effect on clergy with gay orientation "Their interior life must be rocked by this, and we're talking about a good number of priests and seminarians."

Eugene Kennedy, a Chicago psychologist specialising on sexuality and the priesthood, commented "The big question is not whether they are gay or not, but do they form healthy relationships with the people they serve."


Vatican Weighs Reaction to Accusations of Molesting by Clergy (NYT 3/3/02) (registration required)


Boston Globe

5 Mar 2002