Sometimes I am asked if it is lawful for a homosexual man to be ordained a priest. From Roman Catholic theology, in most cases, the objective disorder of being homosexual cannot be likened to the internal act of lust, of the intent to murder, or any other internal act of the will for the simple reason that the state of being homosexual is usually not the result of an internal act of the will.

It is possible that someone would choose such a state, in which case there would be a serious evil, not only in and of itself, but also because it is not likely that a person would choose such a state except to act out of that state. But, as I said previously, in most cases, the state of being homosexual is not the result of an internal act of the will. As long as or insofar as it is not the result of an internal act of the will, there can be no basis for any moral responsibility on the part of the person in whom that state resides. For that person, the moral responsibility begins with his response to being in that state. The morally responsible thing to do for that person is to live a life of chastity. Since this is what is required of all men pursuing the priesthood, homosexual or heterosexual, there is no reason to exclude them from the clergy. This is the consistant teaching of the Church.

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