San Francisco’s Archbishop George Niederauer in that recent San Francisco Chronicle interview said that the Vatican Instruction on gays in the seminary doesn’t rule out gays in the seminary.
He told the San Francisco Chronicle’s gay-issues reporter last week that he doubts a recent Vatican instruction clarifying the church’s teaching on homosexuality and the priesthood will create a need to change admission policies for St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, Calif., which he will now oversee. “I have read the document several times, and I certainly don’t hear the document saying, ‘Please engage in a witch hunt,’ ” the archbishop said. The newspaper said the archbishop “believes a gay man can meet the criteria of the Vatican document and effectively minister,” and one of his top priorities will be recruiting and training new priests.
That’s a straw-man argument. His use of the word “witch hunt” insinuates that those say that a homosexual is not suited for the priesthood are “homophobes” who seek and destroy any hint of homosexuality.
Anyone who gives a plain reading to the Instruction, without any attempt to insert their own agenda into the words, will come to the same conclusion:
The Church … cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture.”
Thus if a man identifies himself as “gay” that is prima facie evidence of a deep-seated homosexual tendency. Note that it’s “tendency”, not “activity.”
Can a man who has found himself attracted to other men in the past, who has sought psychological counseling and spiritual healing, and does not consider himself to be gay become a priest? Yes, he because he does not fall into the forbidden categories above. If this is what Niederauer meant, he expressed himself in a ham-handed manner that gave the opposite impression.