A friend sent me something from L’Osservatore Romano which you may find very interesting.
What follows was a Rescriptum ex audientia. This means that someone went in to meet with the Pope, asked a question which was also a written question probably submitted ahead of time, and obtained the response to that question in the meeting. A rescript was usually something written on the same piece of paper with the query and then sent back, for the sake of brevity. Simple things are handled simply. The obvious doesn’t need a complicated process – thus the rescript.
In this case the rescript is a note from the Secretariate of State. So, someone very high up, perhaps Card. Bertone, goes into the Pope to discuss their usual stack of stuff, and this question comes to the surface.
So what does the rescript say?
Here is the Italian first:
In riferimento al Documento della Congregazione per l’Educazione Cattolica ‘Istruzione circa i criteri di discernimento vocazionale riguardo alle persone con tendenze omosessuali in vista della loro ammissione al Seminario e agli Ordini sacri’, pubblicato dal menzionato Dicastero il 4 novembre 2005, e in seguito a numerose richieste di chiarimento giunte alla Sede Apostolica, si precisa che le disposizioni contenute in detta Istruzione valgono per tutte le Case di formazione al sacerdozio, comprese quelle che dipendono dai Dicasteri per le Chiese Orientali, per l’Evangelizzazione dei Popoli e per gli Istituti di Vita Consacrata e le Società di Vita Apostolica.
Il Sommo Pontefice, il giorno 8 del mese di aprile dell’anno del Signore 2008, ha approvato tale precisazione
Here is my translation:
In reference to the Document of the 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‘, published by the aforementioned Dicastery on 4 November 2005, and in consequence of numerous requests for clarification which have reached the Apostolic See, it state precisely that the dispositions contained in said Instruction are in force for all the houses of formation for the priesthood, including those which [juridically] depend on the Dicasteries for Oriental Churches, for the Evangelization of Peoples, and for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
The Supreme Pontiff, on the 8th day of April of the year of the Lord of 2008 approved this clarification.
What does the rescript really say?
First, a "house of formation" is basically a seminary.
Obviously some people out there didn’t want to accept the clear meaning of the the document from the Cong. for Catholic Education which says that men with deep seated homosexual tendencies, not just fleeting ideas, etc., should not be admitted to seminary.
So, they wrote to the Holy See, "But Holy Father! But Holy Father!", I am sure they wrote, "This document from the Congregation can’t possibly apply to uusss! After all, our seminary isn’t a diocesan seminary. We have a _________ seminary!"
Fill in the blank with
1) "seminary for Eastern Catholic priests, run by an eparchy, etc." – which falls under the jurisdiction of the Cong. for Oriental Churches
2) "seminary run not by a diocese, but one for priests destined for missionary service" – under Propaganda Fidei
3) "seminary for a religious order or institute" – under the Cong. for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
Basilically, what this clarification from the Pope does is day, there is no seminary in the world where this does not apply.
Homosexuals must not be admitted to any seminary in the world. Period.
The aforementioned document from the Congregation for Catholic Education must be applied to all seminaries everywhere. Just do it.