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Philippines priestly formation program targets problem of homosexuality among seminarians

.- The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’s new Program for Priestly Formation has included express guidelines to help seminary directors better discern whether seminarians are actively homosexual, and has tried to clarify issues surrounding homosexuality. Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, chairman of the CBCP’s Commission on Public Affairs, noted that the new Program makes it very clear that the Church will not tolerate active homosexuality among seminarians, saying that they will be expelled outright if discovered.

According to a report by Nikko Dizon in STAR, Iñiguez said that Filipino priests found guilty of abusing boys had been dismissed and pointed out that sexual abuse by clergy was not only a problem in the U.S.

The Program’s manual will serve to help seminary administrators create an "atmosphere where seminarians could be more open and honest to them regarding issues they concretely confront in the area of sexuality and celibate chastity," and also stresses vigiliance on the part of administrators on  the "presence of sub-cultures” such as the gay culture, machismo attitudes, convenient and casual sex, and the code of silence “that undermine genuine communion."

"A healthy community life in the seminary,” says the document, “must continue in a vibrant community of priests after ordination."

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