.- The Catholic Conference of Bishops of Brazil announced a new statement on priestly formation has been approved during its 47th Plenary Assembly.
According to a press release, the new document was passed by the 267 bishops present at the assembly. “This unanimous approval manifests the unity and communion of the Brazilian bishops. It also shows the willingness of the bishops to support and welcome the new directives in an effective way,” said Archbishop Sergio da Rocha, the president of the commission responsible for drafting the text.
The bishops said the new document would not yet be released. “It will be kept unpublished until it has been sent to the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome for final approval. With some 300 paragraphs, the text is divided into three parts and was approved in its fourth draft.”
However, AFP reported that the document emphasizes “the requirement of celibacy for the clergy of the Catholic Church” and that “homosexuals cannot be ordained priests.”
The document also “includes recommendations referring to the sexual life of religious and criteria for discerning who is prepared for the priesthood, such as sexual maturity for maintaining celibacy, and the person’s motivation, in order to rule out that it stems from sexual identity problems or from fleeing from commitments such as marriage,” the bishops said.
Thus these directives would be in accord with the teachings of the Church, concretely following the “Instruction on the Criteria for Vocational Discernment in Relation to Persons With Homosexual Tendencies and their Admission to the Seminary and to Sacred Orders,” published on November 4, 2005, by the Congregation for Catholic Education.