.- On Friday, Archbishop William Joseph Levada will be the first of 15 men from around the globe to be made Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI. Levadaâs role is unique however. Earlier this year, he took over the Holy Fatherâs former job as Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith--a job charged with upholding the teachings of the Church.
Recently, the Cardinal-designate granted an interview to Time Magazine, in which he talked about the responsibilities of Catholic politicians and the ramifications of the Churchâs recent document on homosexuals in seminaries.
During the 2004 U.S. presidential election, the issue of Catholic politicians promoting and publicly holding views contrary to the Catholic Church became a volatile one.
Asked whether âpoliticians should be granted communion if they support policies counter to Church teachings,â Archbishop Levada said that âThere are certain teachings that as Catholics we have to accept as part of Jesus' Gospel. When you see Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights ... you have to ask yourself how this person squares this with his personal faith.â
âCatholic politiciansâ, he stressed, âneed to take this seriously. Maybe they need to say I'm not able to practice my faith and be a public representative.â
Likewise, the Cardinal-designate hit on the Churchâs recent document on homosexuals in seminaries calling the controversial teaching tool âvery clear.â
âIt says a person with deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not suited for the priesthood,â he pointed out. âSomebody who comes to the seminary from a gay lifestyle cannot be a priest.â
âButâ, he also offered, âif you can show us after five or 10 years that you have been able to live a celibate life, it could be possible. But there would need to be spiritual and psychological evaluations.â
Timeâs Jeff Israely closed his interview with the prelate by asking if the Pope had âany advice on how to handle such a responsibilityâ when he âwelcomed you to the new job.â
With a laugh, Archbishop Levada said no. Benedict "just smiled, and said: âGo to it.ââ