A Canon lawyer cleared misinterpretations on a Vatican document which allegedly prohibits homosexuals and effeminates from pursuing priesthood.

According to the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education’s instruction on the admission of candidates with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” to the seminary and to Holy Orders, “The Dicastery cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so called ‘gay culture’”.

Msgr. Mario Martinez, in his talk during the Canon Law Week last Jan. 4-6, explained that although homosexuals are not allowed to take the vocation, the Catholic Church does not close its doors to priesthood to effeminate individuals and persons who are dealing with homosexual tendencies brought about by unsettled identity crisis during adolescence. If a candidate hopes to pursue religious vocation, he must overcome these tendencies “three years before ordination to the deaconate,” the instruction said.

Meanwhile, UST Canon Law alumnus Bishop Necreo Echemar of Tandag, Surigao del Sur discussed the pastoral guidelines on sexual abuses and misconduct by the clergy. The discussion tackled Church’s exercise of compassion in upholding justice to its members while keeping its unity.

Fr. Elias Ayuban, Jr., CMF on the other hand, tackled the importance of amiable relationship between the Bishop and religious congregations in a diocese to successfully coordinate their efforts. He reminded the University Canon Law Students to value their inner relationship with God more than their status in the apostolate.

“Consecrated persons at the service of the local church should be appreciated more on their being rather than doing,” he said. Marlene H. Elmenzo

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