The Vatican’s official statement this week banning gay priests was accompanied by an article stating that homosexuality presented a destabilising reality for people and society.
The article, written by French Jesuit and psychologist Tony Anatrella, was published in the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano along with the official document on Tuesday.
During these past years, homosexuality has become a phenomenon that is always increasingly worrying and in many countries is considered a quality that is normal, Anatrella wrote, adding that homosexuality was a sexual tendency and not an identity.
In no case is this form of sexuality a sexual alternative, or even less, a reality that is equivalent to that which is shared by a man and a woman engaged in matrimonial life, he said.
It cannot be encouraged or even less so, supported with pastoral initiatives.
The Vatican rejected criticisms the decision to ban gay men from becoming priests was discriminatory.
It’s not discrimination, for example, if one does not admit a person who suffers from vertigo to a school for astronauts, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, head of the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Vatican department that issued the directive, said in an interview on Vatican Radio.
Grocholewski also sought to explain the document’s instructions that men whose homosexual tendencies were transitory were acceptable.
For example, some curiosity during adolescence, or accidental circumstances in a state of drunkenness, or particular circumstances, like someone who was in prison for many years, he said, The New York Times reported.
The Vatican document (which can be read at the Catholic News Agency website) said the Catholic Church must not ordain those who are actively homosexual, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called gay culture.
Such people, in fact, find themselves in a situation that seriously obstructs them from properly relating to men and women. The negative consequences that can result from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies should not be obscured, it said.
When dealing, instead, with homosexual tendencies that might only be a manifestation of a transitory problem, as, for example, delayed adolescence, these must be clearly overcome at least three years before diaconal ordination.