The Vatican issues Screening guidelines for priests, but they failed to issue guidelines to screen out Bishops and other deniers of the Sexual Abuse Scandal.
I guess it is one painfully inadequate step at a time for the leadership of the Catholic Church.
Vatican issues screening guidelines for priests
VATICAN CITY – The Vatican issued new psychological screening guidelines for seminarians Thursday — the latest effort by the Roman Catholic Church to be more selective about its priesthood candidates following a series of sex abuse scandals.
The church said it issued the new guidelines to help church leaders weed out candidates with “psychopathic disturbances.” The scandals have rocked the church in recent years, triggering lawsuits that have cost hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements.
“(The guidelines) became ever more urgent because of the sexual scandals,” Monsignor Jean-Louis Brugues told reporters. He stressed, however, that psychological testing was used in some seminaries as far back as the 1960s — or at least a decade before the sexual abuse scandals exploded in public.
“In all too many cases, psychological defects, sometimes of a pathological kind, reveal themselves only after ordination to the priesthood,” the guidelines said. “Detecting defects earlier would help avoid many tragic experiences.”
The guidelines said problems like “confused or not yet well-defined” sexual identities need to be addressed.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said the Vatican needs to go beyond screening seminarians to end what the group calls the church’s “virtually unchanged culture of secrecy and unchecked power in the hierarchy” that left dangerous priests in parishes.
“Every barrel will always have some bad apples,” the Survivors Network said. “Real change requires effectively reforming the barrel and those who oversee it.”
Vatican officials conducted an evaluation of U.S. Roman Catholic seminaries in response to the abuse crisis to look for anything that contributed to the scandal. The evaluation was completed in July of 2006, but the results have not been made public.
The bishops and seminary staff who conducted the onsite reviews gave special attention to what seminarians are taught about chastity and celibacy. The Vatican also directed the evaluators to look for “evidence of homosexuality” in the schools.
Studies commissioned by the bishops’ conference have found that the majority of known victims of abuse by priests in the last 50 years were adolescent boys. In response, some Catholics have blamed gay clergy for the scandal; experts on sex offenders contend homosexuals are no more likely than heterosexuals to molest children.
A 2005 Vatican document said men with “deep-seated” homosexual tendencies shouldn’t be ordained, but that those with a “transitory problem” could become priests if they had overcome them for three years. The Vatican considers homosexual activity sinful.
The new guidelines reflect the earlier teaching, stressing that if a future priest shows “deep-seated homosexual tendencies,” his seminary training “would have to be interrupted.”
The guideline say priests must have a “positive and stable sense of one’s masculine identity” and the capacity to “integrate his sexuality in accordance” with the obligation of celibacy.
The church is struggling to provide enough priests for parishes in many parts of the West because of waning vocations. But Pope Benedict XVI has said it is more important to have good priests than a greater number of priests.<br>
Original Story from Yahoo News