The celibate priest expresses his sexuality, not through
denial, but through spiritual paternity, living his life as a committed
father of his flock, and as one 'married' to the Church.
He is called to relate in an emotionally mature way to
his flock as father and to his bride, the Church, as his spouse with
generosity, compassion, and fidelity. He is called to live and
unequivocally teach the truths which God has entrusted to His Church.
That commitment necessarily excludes living or promoting
a way of life that by its very nature opposes the gift of chastity.
The commitment to chastity becomes the vehicle that
provides freedom for that self-giving. That self-giving is provocative of
spiritual paternity. A man who acts upon or suffers from deeply rooted
same-sex attractions or supports the "gay" subculture is
simply not in a position to fulfill these requirements, even though he may
be able to perform other priestly functions well.
Chastity is at the heart of the Christian understanding
Many defend the position according to which the
homosexual condition is a normal condition of the human person, something
like a third gender; instead, this absolutely contradicts human
anthropology. It contradicts, according to the thought of the Church, the
natural law, and what God has marked in human nature.
Homosexual tendency is considered in the Catechism of
the Catholic Church as an objectively disordered inclination. Because an
inclination as such is not a sin, but it is a more or less strong tendency
toward an intrinsically evil conduct from the moral point of view.
If we speak of deep-seated tendencies, this means that
there can also be transitory tendencies, which do not constitute an
obstacle. But in these cases, they must have disappeared three years
The Vatican Instruction ("Instruction Concerning
the Criteria for the discernment of vocations with Regard to Persons with
Homosexual Tendencies in View of their Admission to the Seminary and to
Holy Orders") excludes from the priesthood men with deeply-rooted
homosexual tendencies and, while it does not call for expulsion of
homosexuals already ordained, the reasoning on which the document is based
makes it clear that such men lack the affective maturity necessary to the
spiritual paternity in which the priesthood is authentically lived out.