Former Male Drug Addict Had Sex w/man for drugs, does this autodisqualify for priesthood?

I’m not a vocations director and I refered my friend to his priest but never heard back from him on this…

He thinks he may have a call to the priesthood, but is worried about some things he did when he was an active drug addict years ago. I know this man and know he doesn’t struggle with SSA, is celibate and is very close to the Lord, but I guess he did some sexual things wih a man a few times while high on drugs with so that he could get access to more drugs.

Would this automatically disqualify him for the priesthood?


I think we may apply the Holy Church’s teachings on sin itself, in this case! As we know, the condition for mortal sin is that it be a grave issue, the committing party had fully knowledge, and also fully consented to do it. Since addiction to drugs is, however willing at first, a controlling destruction of the mind, one can say the man probably did not have full consent in committing those homosexual acts.

Having sex with one of the same gender as oneself is immoral, but if done while high/addicted to drugs, I doubt it can be called homosexual in nature. He was desperately ill in the soul, and so reached for anything that might supply his terrible need. I doubt anyone would say this disqualifies him for the priesthood. The greatest saints were pretty rotten sinners at one point.

I believe that Glorious has the right of it. There is an objective moral law that says that certain behaviors are grave sins. There are also mitigating circumstances that can reduce or even eliminate culpability. The act remains grave, but the person may not be as culpable as it seems.

Certainly, many of the behaviors of addicts are driven by their illness. One can question how much freedom went into the act. This does not release the person from the original sin that cause everything else, which was abusing drugs or alcohol.

If I understand the ruling correctly, it says that those with deep seated homosexual tendencies aer disqualified from Holy Orders and Religious Life. Deep seated is not defined by the document. It’s really up to the vocation director to determine what is deep seated. My interpretation of this would be:

a) a person who does not see the moral seriousness of the act

b) a person who cannot discipline himself to be celibate

c) a person who identifies himself as gay as opposed to identifying himself as a man with strengths and weaknesses

d) a person who remains involved in this culture

e) a person who has difficulty relating to both genders in a healthy manner

To say that a person has to be totally free of SSA is a little difficult, because you don’t now. You have to take the person’s statements at face value. But you can certainly observe these other behaviors through confession, spiritual direction, interviews, references from those who know the candidate.

I would also throw in there something that Fr. Vince Serpa recently posted. There are youngsters who are exploring their erotic feelings and engage in homosexual behavior and outgrow it. The behavior is grave, but the conditions mitigate culpability. There is a lack of maturity and probably a strong curiosity that blocks reasonable thought.

Where I’m going with this is to say that many teens have done irrational things that are objectively sinful. It reminds me of my mother’s question when we messed up. “What were you thinking?” And my father would respond, “He wasn’t.”

Not knowing the age of the person in question, we have to factor in the possibility that this could have been behavior of an immature adolescent.

Because there are so many details that have to be discussed, there is no hard and fast answer. The Vocation Director and the Spiritual Director will have to do a lot of detective work to help the persons discern if this is where Christ is truly calling him.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

both very good responses. It makes sense, seems to me vocation directors and the like would handle their discernment more fearfully than to disqualify people without more thoroughly investigating each applicant and each case.

Thanks a bunch.

Thats the exact point I was going to make. Most people have pasts, granted your friend has probably had a harder time than most but that doesnt matter now. He’s obviously reconciled with God. So if he’s cool with The Lord and has overcame his addictions then who knows? He may become one of the best priests ever! I think he deserves praise and encouragement. :thumbsup:

Every Saint has a past, every sinner has a future. :slight_smile:

I just question someone’s intentions to go into public ministry if this sort of thing is known about them. I think if I had a great shame in my past, I’d seek a more secluded religious life. A very thorough vetting process would have to be satisfied. This individual, at the risk of his soul, should be very honest at all stages of his vocational discernment about his past.

That’s true, if he is honest and the vetting process rejects him, than he knows that he is not called. If he remains honest and the vetting process accepts him, then he has a great testimony. If he lies or hides the truth and is rejected, then he will always wonder if it was because he lied. But if he lies and hides the truth but is accepted, he will always wonder if he would have been freer and still accepted had he told the truth, and would have avoided openening the door to satan in his vocation. I SAY GO FOR IT! Trust in Jesus, and put his hope in Him and see what happens. If he is denied, I firmly believe that Jesus will honor his sincerety and will show him the way he should go, and will bless his efforts. In the end, I really think a wise vocations director and wise counsel would weigh all things in this matter.

he could. but it would be so hard. those sins will creep on him each and every time devils come closer to him. but he can still be a priest

God may be calling people like this to have public lives in the Church. Why should they be ashamed? They’ve been forgiven- they’ve changed. Their change is a beautiful testimony to God’s grace and mercy. People like this, if confronted by people ridiculing them for their past sins can confidently respond “yes- this once was me, but, through God’s grace, it isn’t anymore- Glory to God.” King David did some pretty bad things, but God didn’t want him secluded. Think about St. Paul- he lived a pretty bad life once, then God called him out of it and sent him to work publicly on the side of Truth.

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