#ShortNews: Vatican confirms ban on homosexual candidates for priesthood

The Vatican has confirmed that homosexual men should not be ordained to the priesthood.

In a new instruction for the training of seminarians, entitled The Gift of the Priestly Vocation, the Congregation for the Clergy says that the Church “cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’“

In an interview posted by the Congregation for the Clergy along The Gift of the Priestly Vocation, Cardinal Benjamin Stella, the prefect of the Congregation, called particular attention to the document’s focus on the character of candidates for the priesthood. Cardinal Stella observed that “one cannot be a priest without balance of mind and heart and without affective maturity, and every unresolved lacuna or problem in this area risks becoming gravely harmful, both for the person as well as for the People of God.”


#ShortNews: Uganda entrusts Caritas with care of 42,000 refugees

In five months, a Ugandan grassland has been transformed into the world’s 2nd-largest refugee camp, according to Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies.

Some 220,000 people have fled to Bidi Bidi, Uganda, in the wake of South Sudan’s civil war, and the Ugandan government has entrusted Caritas Uganda with the care of 42,000 of the refugees.

“Malnutrition among the refugees remains high, particularly severe acute malnutrition, visible mainly among children below five”, said Godfrey Onentho of Caritas Uganda.


#ShortNews: Pope begins series of audiences on Christian hope

Having concluded his series of Wednesday general audiences on mercy, Pope Francis has turned to the topic of Christian hope.

“Today we begin a new series of catecheses dealing with Christian hope,” he said in Paul VI Audience Hall on December 7. “In these times, when evil often seems to have the upper hand, hope comforts us with the assurance of Christ’s lordship, his victory over sin, and his constant presence in our midst.”

“In this Advent season, we hear once more the great message of consolation spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘Comfort, comfort my people,’” he continued, according to the official English-language synthesis of his remarks. “The prophet tells us that God promises to bring his people home from their exile in a foreign land and that he desires that a way be prepared for him through the desert.”

Pope Francis added:

This summons to renewed faith and trust in God’s saving power is also addressed to us. Saint John the Baptist, preaching in the desert of Judea, echoed these words as he prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. The Scriptures show us how Christ’s birth was prepared for by men and women – like Mary, Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth – who never lost their trust in God’s promises. May we imitate their hope, and await the coming of the Savior, who turns the desert of our lives into a garden of delight.