How entrenched is homosexuality in seminaries?

I hope no one is offended by the title, but I am honestly interested to hear thoughts on this. I have considered seminary but usually give it no further thought after also considering credible reports which anyone can find by Church members that state 20-40% of seminarians are homosexuals. Even if most of these do not act on their impulses, I have a hard time not suspecting a true follower of Christ would be cramped in this environment.

i am very skeptical of date like this personally.

and given how few seminarians there are these days, 20% coule just be like 1 or 2 people.

  1. if 20 to 40% of seminarians are gay, that means that 20 to 40% of our priests today are gay, because I doubt percentages have changed much over the years.

  2. even it they are, it is not sinful to be gay. It’s only sinful to act out those impules and engage in sinful, homosexual behavior.

  3. if a homosexual is seeking and following Christ, then there should not be an issue.

  4. finally, if you are considering the seminary and the priesthood; you should not allow homosexuals to prevent you from becoming a priest.

I’ve heard the quality of our new priests coming from the seminaries are better than in 50s and 60s. Today, most of our new priests are there because they hear the calling. Not because they are hiding their sexuality or because Mom & Dad forced them to be a priest (of course, there are some - but very little).

If gay seminarian hits on you, report it. Otherwise, treat all of them with respect as future priests.

God Bless.

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What is the alternative if the true follower of Christ is being called to become a priest?

I would appreciate if you could link to some of the statistics you have quoted.

If you have questions about seminary, I suggest speaking with the vocation director of your diocese.

Homosexual Infiltration Of The Catholic Clergy

Father John O’Connor: The Reign of the Antichrist - 5/9

I also look forward for you providing the source to the numbers.

Also, do you think you are starting this vocation journey with the right foot? I am no spiritual director, but I doubt these are the issues one reflects during discernment for religious vocation. Hence, the importance of having an appropriate religious direction which you are unlikely to find on an Internet Forum.

Good question. I’ll have to think about that. I suppose there would almost be a battle in the seminary between those who want to truly serve our Lord with those who are there to experience a homosexual subculture, which seems sizeable.

Certainly anyone considering vocation would think about this issue. I’m surprised to hear you say such a thing.

This is a tough subject to tackle since many who do know the answer will not provide their true feelings, even anonymously on the internet for fear of being considered disloyal to the Church. An actual priest is perhaps even less likely to comment openly about this, but I thought I would take a chance and ask anyway since I am less likely to get a straight answer posing the question through my official diocese channels.


Why is it even a concern? There are homosexuals all around you in the world already whether you know it or not; at least the ones in seminaries know how to act (or should, anyways).

This sounds great in theory but I think we all know that reality is different. I mean, all those sex scandals over the years are not to be ignored, surely. Many have to do with homosexuals rather than paedophilia, as is often reported in the media.

I don’t have an answer to the OP, except that I have heard from seminarians that entry requirements are tough and that they have to undergo psychological tests. The church doesn’t want to admit men with sex related problems. This sounds encouraging. I am not at all surprised that men thinking about priesthood would be quite concerned about this.

I should think one’s chances of running into this sort weirdo in the seminary is far less than on the street.

I have my feelings about Same Sex Attraction. Maybe my thoughts are not the best and so positive. But if I have to make a decision or act, I will not base on my feelings, but on what the Church says, otherwise I wouldn’t even be Catholic. And you can find what the Church says in the catechism:

Now, I think this acceptance is not exclusive to layman. This support includes all the clergy, hence no reason to draw a line, like you said between “true follower of Christ” and who struggles with SSA.

In addition, I believe it would be wrong to assume that there is a positive association between sexual attraction and abuse. Moreover, in general terms it is important to make a distinction between having SSA and acting on those impulses, which is the real sin. And I did my best, but I can’t really find such credible reports you are talking about.

Sure, there were mistakes in the past, which I am confident to not be largely repeated. To that, we should trust that our bishops are making the necessary corrections. I still think this is a general issue, rather than a personal discernment for priesthood.

:eek: Where are you getting this stuff?

I don’t know what it is like today, but given how badly the sex abuse scandal affected and damaged my childhood diocese, it seemed to have been pretty bad in certain seminaries. I’ve only heard disturbing stories from former seminarians who were in the seminary in my childhood diocese, so I won’t repeat, because they are anecdotal and have not been proven as fact. But if they are true and are truly the reason why some of these former seminarians left, then it was no wonder that diocese was seriously affected by the scandal in past decades and why I have friends (older and contemporary) who were personally affected by it. I do think things have changed a lot there, though, for the better… another reason I don’t want to repeat the seminary stories.

Edit: That’s not to say that all priests with SSA are prone to what happened in my diocese and other dioceses. I know of a couple very good priests who gave up their former lives living as a homosexual for God. True conversion stories.

I did a quick google of the percentages you quoted and all it brought up was this post here. I suspect that this information is not common knowledge like you assume but rather it is a made up figure by which you have decided to make your own judgments about priests, religious, and those who wish to become a priest or religious.

As far as a “homosexual subculture” I can assure you that in my experience there isn’t one and if there is, its to a much smaller extent than the numbers that you have mentioned.

Like the priest abuse scandal this is also blown out of all proportion by those who WANT it to be true…while the priest abuse scandal and cover ups were disgusting at the same time it was nowhere near what the media beat it up to be…there is somewhere around 450,000 priests worldwide…going back to the fifties when there were many more priests…the number from then up to the present time must be in the millions…the number of reported abuse cases is very small overall…not making excuses here…we don’t know if all cases were genuine neither…there was a lot of money being paid out…would have been tempting for some to make some easy money… by suggesting that 20-40 per cent of seminarians may be homosexuals just leaves the church open to future abuse scandals…without there being any reason or any proof to believe it…I certainly don’t believe a sizable number of Catholic men are joining the priesthood because they are homosexuals…I believe they join because that is what God is calling them to do…I recall a Protestant pastor did a survey on sexual abuse cases among Protestant pastors…ministers.etc…and found more than among Catholic priests…and the majority of Protestant clergy are married…so much for the theory that celibacy causes priests to turn to homosexuality.


I completely understand your hesitation. Yes, it used to be really, really bad some places here in the USA, but it’s gotten a lot better since 2006 when Benedict issues instructions disallowing admittance of homosexuals. Also, there are some good orders where you can avoid it completely.

Are you in the USA? If so, I could give some more detailed advice.

I can sincerely appreciate the OP’s concern here: this kind of setting would be a very disconcerting environment in which to try to get a serious education. . . let alone spend time with God.

This is not a bad question to ask at all. If you do enter seminary, you will find out for yourself. From personal experience, the percentage between gay and heterosexual and active gay and heterosexual seminarians depends which seminary you are sent to study.
However, the main thing to remember is that no one determines your vocation, God does. A seminarian may experience disillusionment but who would not if you see inappropriate things occurring in the seminary. If you do enter the seminary, you will see a lot of things, ultimately, you will discover that priests and seminarians are no different from people who are not priests or seminarians. In other words, they are human. Never allow a priest or seminarian or any ecclesiastical authority to deny you your human dignity.

In regard to Pope Benedict advocating the prevention of men with same-sex tendencies, it was only an opinion. It is not a norm. In addition, Pope Francis sees otherwise but that does not mean what he says becomes the norm. There is psychological testing and other requirements a candidate has to go through but in all it depends on the bishop.

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