The Vatican says sexually active homosexuals and those who support "gay culture" are unwelcome in the priesthood unless the candidate has gotten over homosexual tendencies for at least three years, according to a church document posted on the Internet by an Italian Catholic news agency.
The long-awaited document is scheduled to be released by the Vatican next Tuesday. A church official who has read the document confirmed the authenticity of the Internet posting by the Adista news agency.
The document said that "the Church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture."
Vatican prohibitions on active homosexuals becoming priests are not new. A key 1961 Vatican document on selecting candidates for the priesthood made clear homosexuals should be barred, the AP reports. However, the sex abuse scandal among priests in the United States and elsewhere has led some to call for new restrictions.