Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Interview With Cardinal Cottier on New Vatican Instruction

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 2, 2005 (Zenit) - The new Vatican document on homosexuality and admission to seminaries and holy orders is not an "attack on homosexuals," says Cardinal Georges Cottier.

Rather, the document is an effort "to understand their situation" and sufferings, explained Cardinal Cottier, who until today was the theologian of the Pontifical Household.

The Instruction "Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admissions to the Seminary and to Holy Orders," was published Tuesday.

It was written by the Congregation for Catholic Education, with the approval of Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Cottier, 83, whose successor as Pontifical Household theologian was named today, shared his views of the new Instruction with us.

Q: What is new in this document?

Cardinal Cottier: The novelty above all lies in the fact that it offers a synthesis of what had already been said and presents it as a whole. It is a text which seems to me to be very thought out.

Q: Perhaps the novelty is in the reference to "gay culture" and the sensitivity of tone in the choice of words. It deplores, for example, "discrimination."

Cardinal Cottier: Above all, I would underline its sensitivity. It is in no way, as has been said, an attack on homosexuals. On the contrary, there is an effort -- and an invitation to make this effort -- to understand their situation and the problems that these persons frequently suffer.

The document shows that there is a path and salvation for homosexuals in the measure that they bear their homosexuality in union with the suffering Christ. The document shows them much sensitivity.

On the other hand, it doesn't mince matters. It makes the distinction between persons who engage in homosexual activity and those who have "deep-seated homosexual tendencies," and those who have slight, "transitory" tendencies, linked to episodes in their lives, of which I would say they can free themselves. Therefore, there are degrees.

In regard to the "gay culture," it is true that it is a new phenomenon, very recent. The proclamation of the "gay culture" as a social claim is something of these last years. This is why it is talked about.

Q: The document underlines the need for "emotional maturity" of the candidates to the priesthood facing "spiritual paternity" and of a "correct relationship with men and women," whom the priest will meet in his pastoral ministry.

Cardinal Cottier: It is a very important point. In regard to formation, it says that the human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral aspect must be taken into account. It is a question, therefore, of an ensemble of qualities.

And there is much emphasis on the human aspect, making a judgment based on studies: the fact that homosexuality impedes, in a certain sense, "emotional maturity," a term which appears on several occasions.

Emotional maturity is also necessary for those who want to live consecrated celibacy fully, perfect chastity. Emotional immaturity can also affect the relationship with the other sex.

In general, homosexuality is accompanied by this emotional immaturity. It is an affirmation that is going to be criticized, but that is based on experience.

Inasmuch as representative of Christ, bridegroom of the Church, the priest is called to exercise a spiritual paternity among men and women. For this reason, emotional maturity is necessary, which implies a spirit of sacrifice and self-forgetfulness out of love for the other.

Q: Also underlined is the role of the spiritual director and the personal responsibility of the candidate to the priesthood.

Cardinal Cottier: The document reminds us that it is not enough to feel called to the priesthood to have the right. It is always the bishop who calls to the priesthood.

But the bishop has collaborators who are the directors of seminaries, and the spiritual director in what concerns the internal forum, in which the person is obliged to secrecy.

What the spiritual director is requested to do is to help the candidate who has deep-seated homosexual tendencies to understand himself and to help him decide that he is not made for the priesthood.

It must be a journey made by the person himself. It is very important. It doesn't mean that these persons are "thrown out" or "rejected." What is simply done is to help them realize that that is not the path the Lord wills for them.

If all this is done with great sensitivity, and great charity, the persons will be given great respect. And then disasters as the ones we have had will be avoided.

I would like to add something to what is much talked about -- too much, perhaps, I don't know: pedophilia and homosexuality.

There is a word that is never used and that, however, is important when we see the work that priests do; it is the word "ephebophilia."

It is not pedophilia, which is attraction to small boys, but refers to attraction to adolescents. It is a very ambiguous and decisive age for every one. And I think it is a very extended form of homosexuality.

I think it is necessary to present this clarification, as families entrust adolescents to priests -- scouts, summer camps, pilgrimages, groups. In those cases, these boys must be totally respected.

Q: How can one understand the Instruction's expression which seeks "to guarantee that the Church will always have suitable priests who are true shepherds according to the heart of Christ?

Cardinal Cottier: There is only one Shepherd in the Church. The Pope, bishops and priests are shepherds as they participate in this prerogative of Christ. They must live in great union with Christ.

And, if the interior life -- life of prayer, of union with the Lord, love of the Eucharist, constant meditation of the Word of God, prayer -- is lacking, one fails to fulfill this mission, of being that representative, image in our midst of the one Shepherd, that is Jesus Christ.

Q: What is the authority of this document written by a Vatican congregation?

Cardinal Cottier: Vatican congregations have authority to the extent that they are authoritative collaborators of the Pope.

I take the liberty to remind you that at the end the Pope has requested, with his signature, that this phrase be published in the document: "The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, on 31 August 2005, approved this present Instruction and ordered its publication."

The authority of the Pope is implicated by the fact that it is a text of a congregation, and the congregation responsible for Catholic education, which counted on the collaboration of the Congregation for Divine Worship -- two important congregations.

There are texts of congregations that are working documents; they have no need of the explicit approval of the Pope. Here, his approval is given and the order that it be published. The Pope's authority is present.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Homosexual, Gay, Same-Sex, Unions, Vatican, Marriage, Cottier

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 250 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Priestly Identity: Crisis and Renewal (Part 1)
Catholic Online

Al Qaeda...afraid of Benedict's message!
Hugh McNichol

Benedict XVI...calling all to hope...
Hugh McNichol

Perfect Women
Cheryl Dickow

Papal Palm Sunday Address - 'Enough With the Bloodshed'
Catholic Online

Spotlight on China
Catholic Online

Papal Homily for Palm Sunday
Catholic Online

Holy Week...Holy Time!
Hugh McNichol

Mary and Motherhood
Cheryl Dickow

The Void
Paul Sposite

Islamic violence wounds the global community!
Hugh McNichol

The Seven New Deadly Sins!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic benefits include Catholic principles!
Hugh McNichol

Remembering Father Alfred Kunz
Matt C. Abbott

David vs Goliath
Theresa Lisiecki

Happy Lent!
Paul Sposite

Diplomacy...Vatican style!
Hugh McNichol

Sub umbra Petri! (Under the Shadow of Saint Peter)
Hugh McNichol

Cuba...a neonascent Church!
Hugh McNichol

Kids in Conflict
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Writings of St. Augustine
Catholic Online

The Relevance of Lourdes at 150
Catholic Online

Hillary...what would Saint Norbert say!
Hugh McNichol

Lent...questions, answers and involvement!
Hugh McNichol

Mary, Mother of all Humanity, Hic et Nunc!
Hugh McNichol

Catholics...WAKE UP!
Hugh McNichol

Catholic Brotherhood with the People of the Covenant
Hugh McNichol

Have mercy on us O Lord! - Ash Wednesday
Hugh McNichol

Vote early, vote Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Christ, our global Alpha and Omega!
Hugh McNichol

Being Catholic means...total affirmation of being Catholic!
Hugh McNichol

Seeing the World through New Eyes
Sarah Reinhard

Emulating the Angelic Doctor!
Hugh McNichol

Priests defend, commend Archbishop Raymond Burke
Matt C. Abbott

Saint Paul...a continued example of radical conversion!
Hugh McNichol

A renaissance of faith, reason and global cooperation....
Hugh McNichol

Cardinal Rigali's Homily at Life Vigil
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Silencing the Pope
Catholic Online

Papal Homily on Feast of Christ's Baptism
Catholic Online

Education and Gender
Catholic Online

The ignominy of Roe vs. Wade
Hugh McNichol

Papal Message for World Day of the Sick
Catholic Online

Angelus: On Christian Unity
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Planned Lecture at La Sapienza
Catholic Online

Pope's Letter to Jesuits' 35th General Congregation
Catholic Online

Fr. Cantalamessa - Behold, the Lamb of God!
Catholic Online

That We May Be One, and Never Lose Heart
Catholic Online

Sowing Hope in Sierra Leone
Catholic Online

God-incidences are the gift of kairos moments
Mary Regina Morrell

St. Augustine's Last Days
Catholic Online

Liturgy: When There's a Medical Emergency
Catholic Online

Marriage and Celibacy: Love's Link
Catholic Online

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Rooms in My Father's House
Cheryl Dickow

Resolutions for New Year 2008
Chris Anthony

Keep teaching Holy Father!!!
Hugh McNichol

Dangers of anti-Catholic academic extremism....
Hugh McNichol

The liturgy war
Matt C. Abbott

Some Answers to a Few Common Questions about Vocations
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Developing a Global Catholic Awareness
Hugh McNichol

Christmas reflections
Chris Anthony

The Lasting Contribution of The Servant of God Pope John Paul II
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

No more bobble-head Jesus'!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Baptist World Alliance
Catholic Online

The Virgin Without Sin
Catholic Online

Cardinal Vingt-Trois on His New Mission
Catholic Online

Archbishop Forte on Religion & Freedom: Part 1
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Chromatius of Aquileia, Pope, Benedict
Catholic Online

Pope's Address for Consistory of Cardinals
Catholic Online

Trafficking in Lives
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict - On Hope
Catholic Online

The Hidden Costs of Gambling
Catholic Online

A Vital, Life-Giving Message
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Christianity's Contribution
Catholic Online

Youth and Fashion's Modest Twist
Catholic Online

Papal Homily at the Consistory
Catholic Online

Love, Marriage and Happy Kids
Catholic Online

The Virtue of Obedience: Our Duty, Our Crown
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Vere dignum et justum est!
Hugh McNichol

Pope's Address to Bishops of Kenya
Catholic Online

Democracy in Danger in Venezuela
Catholic Online

The Life-Sapping Human Virus
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Sacred Time...Come Lord Jesus!
Hugh McNichol

How Christ-like are we in our lives?
Chris Anthony

A Retreat for Today's Christian Woman
Cheryl Dickow

Pope Benedict - On Trust in God
Catholic Online

God and Caesar Seen From Down Under
Catholic Online

Praying the Luminous Mysteries for our Clergy
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Culture's Pressure on Our Girls
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

Papal Message on the Common Good
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - St. Jerome on the Bible
Catholic Online

What Every Parent Should Know About 'The Golden Compass'
Catholic Online

Cardinal Poupard on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

A Richer Liturgical Translation: Interview With Bishop Roche
Catholic Online

U.S. Bishops' Statement on War in Iraq
Catholic Online

The 'Golden Compass' is no treasure for children
Mary Regina Morrell

Bishop Skylstad's Address to U.S. Bishops' Fall Meeting
Catholic Online

Rewarding Failure
Catholic Online

On St. Martin of Tours
Catholic Online

Undermining Parents
Catholic Online

God...our theological E.F.Hutton!
Hugh McNichol

The Secular Vs. Religion?
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Jerome
Catholic Online

The Scourge of Poverty
Catholic Online

Sons and Daughters of God...EQUALLY!
Hugh McNichol

On Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Catholic Online

Why Dads Matter
Catholic Online

Archbishop Chaput on Citizenship and Evangelization
Catholic Online

God Created Man for Life, Not Death
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for November
Catholic Online

Imposing 'Tolerance'
Catholic Online

Evangelizing a Digital World
Catholic Online

A Turn to the Fathers: Interview With Father Robert Dodaro
Catholic Online

Aborting Viable Lives
Catholic Online

Women Religious on Human Trafficking
Catholic Online

Chicago law firm fights for civil rights, against death culture
Matt C. Abbott

Fr. Cantalamessa - The Pharisee and the Publican
Catholic Online

Media Benefits and Dangers
Catholic Online

On the Call to Martyrdom
Catholic Online

'You Alone Are The Lord': A Brief Summary of Catholic Teaching
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

John Crosby on Von Hildebrand's Understanding of the Person
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Ambrose of Milan
Catholic Online

On Peace, Missions and Justice
Catholic Online

Address of Holy See on Religious Liberty
Catholic Online

Recovering subtle signs of our Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on 'Populorum Progressio'
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On St. Eusebius of Vercelli
Catholic Online

Christ's Parable About the Need to Pray Always
Catholic Online

Prostitution: Legal Work or Slavery?
Catholic Online

Escaping Poverty: Interview With Archbishop Silvano Tomasi
Catholic Online

Congratulations to His Eminence John Cardinal Foley!
Hugh McNichol

Giving Ourselves Completely to Mary
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

The 'Courage' to go 'Beyond Gay'
Matt C. Abbott

When Bioethics Turned Secular
Catholic Online

Confession Comeback
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Hilary of Poitiers
Catholic Online

Reemergence of Global Catholic Identity!
Hugh McNichol

Father Cantalamessa on the Leap of Faith
Catholic Online

Month of the Rosary
Catholic Online

Why Technology Needs Ethics
Catholic Online

Cardinal Lozano Barragán on Future of Health Care
Catholic Online

How Can Catholics Understand Mary as Co-Redemprix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate?
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

New Saint Book is Visually Stunning and Filled with Detail
Lisa M. Hendey

Papal Homily in Velletri
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa Analyzes Relationship
Catholic Online

Wednesday'a Audience - On St. Cyril of Alexandria
Catholic Online

Holy See Address to U.N. General Assembly
Catholic Online

Homily From Red Mass in Washington
Catholic Online

Pope Remembers Cardinal Van Thuân
Catholic Online

Faith in Politics
Catholic Online

The brave monks of Myanmar
Chris Anthony

On Lazarus and World Hunger
Catholic Online

Fighting the Good Fight: Resisting Temptation
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Media frenzy buries U.N. goals

Holy See Statement on Climate Change
Catholic Online

China's Seven Sorrows
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On Chrysostom's Social Doctrine
Catholic Online

Vatican Message to Muslims for Ramadan
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the First World and Lazarus
Catholic Online

Angels, God's Messengers in a world of fragile peace and Broken promises!
Hugh McNichol

Memo to Mrs. Clinton: Why Not Baby Bonds When Life Begins?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Reorienting the Mass
Catholic Online

Report Card on Religious Freedom
Catholic Online

On Wealth and Poverty
Catholic Online

A Response to Hitchens' 'God Is Not Great'
Catholic Online

Vetoing children's health care?

The ideal family
Joseph Sinasac

Who does the judging?
Dennis Heaney

One mistake away

The Big House ban

In praise of the parish

Text of the USCCB statement for Respect Life Sunday 2007

The Outstanding Purity of Our Blessed Mother
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

Educated flock

Religion and politics

Facing a door to the future
Dennis Heaney

A long debate

Who Are the True Progressives?
Deacon Keith Fournier

Petraeus offers a dose of reality

Insurgence
Robert Storr

Papal Address at Vespers
Catholic Online

Papal Coat of Arms Still Relevant
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Address at Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Catholic Online

On Loving Jesus as Mary Did
Catholic Online

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos on 'Summorum Pontificum'
Catholic Online

Wednesday's Audience - On the Trip to Austria
Catholic Online

Father Cantalamessa on the Joy of Fatherhood
Catholic Online

Commentary on Artificial Hydration and Nutrition
Catholic Online

Vatican on Nutrition to Patients in Vegetative State
Catholic Online

Benedict XVI's Q-and-A Session With Youth in Loreto
Catholic Online

Take a Risk, Follow Your Call: the challenge of a lifetime!
Sisters of Bon Secours

Papal lessons

Family matters

Lessons from a tragedy
Dennis Heaney

Shopping blues
Joseph Sinasac

Marriage Breakdown: Expensive and Divisive
Catholic Online

Her darkness was a warning

Wednesday'a Audience - Gregory of Nyssa on Perfection
Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 7:1-11
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying,2 'Stand ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a nest to place its ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:24-30
24 He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom of Heaven may be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 23rd, 2016 Image

St. Bridget of Sweden
July 23: Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Uppland's ... Read More