The Catholic Church says that candidates for the priesthood should undergo psychological tests to screen out men with homosexual tendencies.

The statement was made in a document issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education; adding that early detection of “sometimes pathological” issues among recruits was vital.

“Such areas of immaturity would include strong affective dependencies; notable lack of freedom in relations; excessive rigidity of character; lack of loyalty; uncertain sexual identity; deep-seated homosexual tendencies, etc. If this should be the case, the path of formation will have to be interrupted.”

The document said that not only should candidates be tested on a case-by-case basis for being gay but also to make sure that they are capable of abstaining from sexual activity.

Outside specialists could be called in to conduct the tests when seminary rectors did not have the required expertise.

According to the document, such tests will help the Vatican avoid ‘tragic experiences’; a reference to high profile sexual abuse scandals within the Church in recent years – which it has linked to homosexuality.

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