.- The Congregation for Catholic Education was mandated to draw up guidelines for accepting candidates for the priesthood. These guidelines were expected to address the question of whether homosexuals would be barred. The chairman of the U.S. bishops' committee on priestly formation, Bishop John Nienstedt, said the Congregation told him that he could expect the guidelines soon. This document is about to be issued as Vatican officials are expected to begin their visit of the 229 seminaries, theology schools and institutes in the United States this month. It is another response that had been set up by Pope John Paul II to address the sex-abuse scandal that erupted in the U.S. about four years ago.
Teams of U.S. bishops and seminary personnel, chosen by the Vatican, will interview seminarians and faculty members and review, among other things, the schools' admissions criteria, reported the Associated Press.
The teams will report to the Congregation for Catholic Education, which will then draft an "overall evaluation" on the details of the visit.