The Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy has released a new document (dated December 8, 2016) entitled “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” which is a set of guidelines for priestly formation. Pope Francis has approved these guidelines.
“These guidelines are a tremendous insult to the thousands of gay men who have served and continue to serve the Church with honor and dedication” said Sigrid Grabmeier, Chair of We Are Church International. “These guidelines are also in complete contrast to Pope Francis famous comment ‘Who am I to judge?’”
The guidelines reinforce a sense of gay people as flawed, unfit for ministry, and as second- or third-class members of the Church. The guidelines also say that people who support the ‘gay culture,’ whatever that is, are unfit for priesthood.
Married people are all excluded as celibacy is made an absolute requirement. Women are also completely ignored. “By continuing to limit priesthood to celibate males, the Vatican is ensuring that women and people with families remain excluded from having any significant impact on dogma and pastoral practice in the Church, since ordination is a de facto requirement for holding the vast majority of positions of influence. Even more importantly, the exclusion of gay people and women gives support to the many countries and cultures where they are demeaned, attacked and even killed,” said Grabmeier.
“We Are Church believes that God calls people to serve the Church regardless of gender, sexual orientation, relationship or marital status, age, or any other human attribute,” continued Grabmeier. “We strongly urge that these guidelines be withdrawn.”
We Are Church International (IMWAC) founded in Rome in 1996, is a global coalition of national church reform groups. It is committed to the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church based on the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the theological spirit developed from it.