Cardinal Welcomes New Vatican Document on Seminary Admissions

December 01, 2005

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, welcomed the new document on seminary admissions issued on November 29 by the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education, 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.

He noted the following in comments released today:

“I wanted to make sure the position of the Archdiocese of Washington relating to the new instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education is clear in light of some newspaper reports which could have been confusing. Let me make three points:

1. The seminary admissions policy of the Archdiocese is in conformity with the new guidelines and has been so for many years.

2. The Archdiocese does not accept as a candidate for seminary admission someone who is sexually active, advocates homosexuality or has ‘deep-seated homosexual tendencies,’ as the document notes.

3. It is important to look at the whole person. Applicants for the Archdiocese of Washington must have a demonstrated commitment to living a chaste life and must fully embrace, through belief and action, the Church’s teachings, including those on human sexuality. These teachings reserve sexual relations for husband and wife within the context of marriage, not only to strengthen their union, but also with an openness to creating new human life. Through references, in-depth interviews and psychological evaluations, we try to ensure that every man admitted to the seminary is able to integrate his understanding of self with these teachings about sexuality.

We will continue to do all we can, working closely with the rectors of the seminaries that prepare our men for the priesthood, to ensure the men ordained for the Archdiocese of Washington are faithful witnesses of Christ’s love and life to the people they serve.”

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]