Tuesday 6 December 2016

There's absolutely no reason why a gay man should not be a priest

Tony Flannery

Published 03/08/2016 | 02:30

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin suggested that those who wish to be priests should be assigned to a parish on an apprenticeship basis. Photo: Maxwell
Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin suggested that those who wish to be priests should be assigned to a parish on an apprenticeship basis. Photo: Maxwell

The current dispute over certain "goings on" in the national seminary in Maynooth raises serious questions for and about the Catholic Church, questions that will not be resolved by simply changing personnel, or by adjusting the type of spiritual or theological formation being taught there.

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These questions are not peculiar to Maynooth, but are common to seminaries in Europe, North America and other places.

Reading the reflections of people who have worked in seminaries in the last 20 years or so, it appears that applicants for admission to seminaries came largely from one or other of two categories of young men. Many are of homosexual orientation, or are young and confused or uncertain about their sexuality. This is due in part to the enormous change that has taken place in society's view of sexuality, and consequently much less value being put on a life of celibacy.

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