Papa Ratzi is celebrating World AIDS Day and the Vatican’s huge successes in the fight against the fight against AIDS by declaring just how close he feels to people living with AIDS. Ratzi said, “I feel close to those sick from AIDS and their families, and I invoke for them the help and comfort of the Lord.”
It was not immediately clear whether Papa Ratzi was referring to those with “deep rooted” AIDS tendencies, or to those with a mere “transitory” interest in spending the rest of their lives with AIDS.
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Pro-family groups are praising a Vatican decision to toughen up its policy against allowing homosexuals to be priests. The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked by decades of scandals involving homosexual priests molesting young boys. Now the Vatican’s ruling — labeled as “Instruction on the Criteria for Priestly Vocational Discernment” — basically states there should be no homosexuals in the priesthood.
Robert Knight of the Culture and Family Institute insists the Catholic Church has learned a hard lesson. “The scandals of homosexual priests that have rocked the church in recent years taught them the lesson that they can’t mess with this stuff,” Knight says. “If someone has that recurring temptation, they probably shouldn’t be in the priesthood.”
Catholic activist Judie Brown says it is now up to the church’s seminaries to enforce the policy. She says rectors of seminaries who have an opportunity to interview individuals who are trying to discern whether they have a vocation to the priesthood “are not doing the homosexual any favors if they accept him into the seminary.” The instruction confirms what the Vatican has said in the past on this issue, even though the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has been more tolerant in dealing with homosexual priests, making provisions for some.