How to shoot yourself in the foot

Nov 6/08 UPDATE: The document in question has finally been made available to the public. It is actually much more balanced and nuanced than first reported. I have to take back some of what I wrote below.  It seems that the additional comment at the bottom of the post is more accurate than I thought… some (clerics and journalists) have tried to “spin” the document to promote their agenda. But, the instruction needs to speak for itself. Take a look for yourself.

The Congregation for Catholic Education has done it again and presented the Holy See as out-of-touch with reality. They are suggesting that in some cases, psychological testing might be useful for screening candidates for the seminary. HELLO??? Might be useful? In some cases? I can image that some of their confreres in the rest of the Holy See are shaking their heads. Oh, and of course, if a seminarian is asked to go for “testing” it shouldn’t reflect badly on him. Oh, sure. That’ll work.  Just to add insult to injury… the Congregation states that those seminarians with deep rooted homosexual tendencies should not proceed. I don’t know, but my experience is that all sexuality is deep rooted. Where are they getting their psychology from? Thankfully most bishops and other Vatican officials have read that to mean that they should have an “integrated sense of their sexuality” and not in complete chaos.

After all that the church as been through with the sexual abuse scandal, to come out and say that it might be useful on occasion to use psychological testing is grossly irresponsible. People should know that many if not most religious communities have used extensive psychological testing for over 30 years. Many dioceses do the same. I think outside of North America it is not as common. Once again, how prudent will bishops be to bring clergy in from other countries who have not had any psychological testing and on whom they cannot get a criminal records review?

Many bishops have lost so much credibility with the People of God, often with good reason. This will not help!

Someone commenting on this issue offered this:

As always, the primary question is not simply being able to abstain, but whether or not the tendencies are “profoundly deep-rooted” (meaning that the person allows himself to be dominated by them, even in a celibate way). Good men who live with same-sex attraction who are not dominated by them psychologically will continue to be ordained by most religious communities and dioceses.

Also, it is important to note that whatever Cardinal Groschelwski chooses to say in an interview, the only thing that matters is what the document itself says. He’s tried this before…putting his own spin on a document in an interview because he couldn’t get a document approved that was as rigid as he wanted it to be.

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