A group of five visitors, led by Bishop Michael Burbidge of Philadelphia, will evaluate Aquinas from Sept. 25-29. The Vatican said the purpose of the visitation was “to examine the criteria for admission of candidates and the programs of human formation and spiritual formation aimed at ensuring that they faithfully live chastely for the Kingdom.”
St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke and Belleville Bishop Edward K. Braxton will be among the 117 bishops and seminary staff the Vatican will send to seminaries across the United States between the end of this month and next spring.
The visits, overseen by the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education, will involve interviews with faculty, staff, seminarians and recent alumni.
The catechism of the Roman Catholic Church calls homosexual acts “acts of grave depravity” and “intrinsically disordered” because they “close the sexual act to the gift of life.” But the catechism also says that although the inclination to homosexuality is “objectively disordered,” homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”
According to the Vatican document, when the Vatican receives each seminary’s report, it will issue a written evaluation to the bishop or major superior responsible for the school. There is no reference in the document to punishment, banishment or expulsion for anyone found to be homosexual or any seminary containing homosexuals.
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It will be intersting to see what exactly the church officials will be looking for?