At the annual Assembly of the AUSCP, the members strongly affirmed a statement which was proposed by the Mutual Support Work Group regarding gay men who serve as priests in our Roman Catholic Church. The statement was intended to be a voice of support for gay priests, who generously serve the people of God by living out their call to celibacy. It received an enthusiastic affirmation from the members assembled in San Diego.
The proposal originated from a few members of the AUSCP and was passed on to the Mutual Support Work Group by the Leadership Team. After several months of reflection and development of this document, it was sent back to the Leadership Team who received it with appreciation and approval. The Team further suggested that it be brought to the entire membership at the June Assembly.
For several weeks before the June Assembly gathering in San Diego, the proposal was circulated among the members and friends through the Sunday E-Newsletter. The proposal was also printed in the Assembly program booklet so that members could study it before it came to the floor for the affirmation. A few questions for clarification came from the members during the Assembly. These were responded to, including one request that an executive summary be composed for those who prefer not to read the full proposal.
On the morning of June 14th, Mutual Support Work Group formally presented the document to the membership. It received an overwhelming voice of affirmation and support. The document has been sent to every Bishop in the USA and as well as to the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington.
It is the fond hope of the AUSCP membership that this document with its call for psychosexual integration and maturity be the criterion for measuring effectiveness in the priesthood, rather than sexual orientation. When candidates are interviewed and screened for seminary training, sexual maturity and not orientation should be a criterion for measuring the appropriateness in the priesthood; that one’s maturity rather than orientation be taken into account in judging who serves among the people of God. It is further hoped that this prophetic document may encourage church leaders to continue to appreciate the growth in understanding human psychology that has taken place in recent years regarding all matters of sexuality.