Vatican reaffirms ban on gay priests.

Pope Francis aboard the papal flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome, July 28, 2013.

The Vatican on Wednesday declared that “persons with homosexual tendencies” cannot be admitted to Catholic seminaries. This reaffirms a 2005 policy now seemingly at odds with Pope Francis’ famous “Who am I to judge?” response when asked about gay priests in 2013.

The document, entitled “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” was drafted by the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, and it is meant to offer wide-ranging guidelines for priestly formation. In addition to several quotes from Pope Francis, the document draws heavily from the writings of St. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

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Three of the document’s 210 paragraphs are devoted to “persons with homosexual tendencies” who desire to become priests, drawing primarily from a 2005 document that bans candidates with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies.”

Pope Francis approved the document, according to a letter signed by Cardinal Beniamino Stella, who heads the clergy office.

Quoting the 2005 teaching, the new document says that men “who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’” cannot become priests.

It goes on to say that gay men “find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women.”

“One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies,” it says.

But men who experience a “transitory” attraction to other men could be admitted to seminaries, it says, again repeating the 2005 document, though “such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.”

RELATED: The Church and the Homosexual Priest

The church allows individual bishops, seminary rectors and the superiors of religious orders to screen candidates for holy orders, and as a result the guidelines issued in 2005 have been implemented in widely different ways.

In some instances, those in charge of entrance to seminaries and religious orders as well as those in charge priestly formation have interpreted it to mean that gay men are prohibited from entering Catholic seminaries.

In others, men who have made homosexuality their primary identity, or have been outspoken in supporting what the Vatican calls the “so-called gay culture,” are barred.

But a third interpretation has been that men who identify as gay can enter so long as they do not act on their desires, and maintain their vows of chastity or promises of celibacy. (Though there are rare exceptions, such as married priests from other faith traditions who become Catholic, priests are required to practice celibacy.)

For example, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and former rector of the North American College in Rome, a residence for American seminarians, said in 2005 that he felt that gay men who satisfied all the Vatican’s requirements “shouldn’t feel discouraged” from becoming priests.

The new document says that gay men who seek to enter the seminary must be honest with their spiritual directors, “in a relationship of sincere dialogue and mutual trust,” and that church authorities should, in turn, “dissuade” gay candidates from pursuing ordination.

The language barring gays from the priesthood first came to light in 2005 under Pope Benedict XVI, but it was crafted soon after the clergy sexual abuse scandal broke in the early 2000s.

Some observers said at the time that church leaders were trying to pin the scandal on gay priests, even as psychology and law enforcement experts said there is no link between homosexuality and child abuse.

A letter released with the document in 2005 said that gay priests would be allowed to continue ministry but that they should not train current seminarians.

In 2008, the Vatican issued an update, saying that those overseeing the formation process of would-be priests must look at “areas of immaturity,” including “uncertain sexual identity” and “deep-seated homosexual tendencies,” when determining the suitability of candidates for the priesthood.

In the new document, the paragraphs about gay priests appear between a section about seminarians suffering from mental illness and seminarians who are considered threats to children.

There are no reliable statistics on the number of priests in the United States who are gay.

But James Bretzke, S.J., a professor of moral theology at Boston College, said in 2013 that it is “an empirical fact that lots of men are gay who are priests. And they are very good priests.”

"I would also observe that the numbers of gay men and women in the church ministry is probably larger than the general population, precisely because they are not seeking marriage,” he told U.S. News and World Report.

The new Vatican document, dated Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, was drafted in the spring of 2014, about a year after Pope Francis was elected. It then went through several rounds of editing after input from various Vatican offices and bishops from around the world.

Michael O’Loughlin is the national correspondent for America and author of The Tweetable Pope: A Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeoloughlin.

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Stuart Bintner
10 months 2 weeks ago
Hmm. Good luck with that. *closet door slams shut*
Luis Gutierrez
10 months 2 weeks ago
Hope that, some day, the Vatican will declare a ban on gender discrimination when discerning vocations to the ministerial priesthood.
BRIAN RAGEN
10 months 2 weeks ago
"Priests" in the statement "priests are required to practice celibacy" should be "Roman Catholic priests." Many priests from the Eastern Catholic Churches are not required to practice celibacy.
Henry George
10 months 2 weeks ago
Pope Francis' comment: "Who am I to Judge" was, it surely seems, about the "Last Judgement" where God alone Judges. As long as the candidate can promise, in a healthy and free manner, to live a celibate life and does not publicly/privately support the radical gay agenda, what difference does it make what their orientation is ? I am more worried about candidates for the Diocesan Priesthood who fret more about what Rich Parish they one day will be assigned, or how soon they will become Bishops and Religious Priests who seek to live out a private priesthood and fail to demonstrate on a daily basis that they are Catholic Priests [ Why is it at the recent General Congregation Jesuits wore khakis save when the Pope came to celebrate Mass or the new General did ? ] The Vatican should worry far more about living out an authentic and charitable priesthood than anything else.
Judy Jones
10 months 2 weeks ago
Behavior, not orientation, is what matters. Just earlier this year an Ohio seminarian was arrested and sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for traveling to San Diego to have sex with three baby "GIRLS". He was stopped by Homeland Security, not by church officials who enrolled him into the seminaryhad even when their were several big red flags that he was a problem. And half of our 20,000 plus SNAP members are women who were sexually abused as a child by priests, nuns, bishops and seminarians. This is just another PR stunt by the Vatican to make it look like they are doing something to protect kids. Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511, [email protected] SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,
Veronica Meidus-Heilpern
10 months 2 weeks ago
Pope Francis is sending conflicting messages in approving this document. As he said, "Who am I to judge?" All priests have to take the same vow of celibacy (with the rare exception of married clergy of another faith to convert to Catholicism and are accepted as priests) --- who whether or not they are straight, gay, or bisexual should be immaterial. Those who fear gay priests would tend more to abuse young males should also realize that since we now also have female alter servers in most parishes, the same tendency could be said about non-gay priests. The point being that the requirement to adhere to a celibate life should be the paramount consideration. Our dear Pope seems to be not quite as reform-minded as he first appeared. Although i still love and support him, I'm questioning his tendency to hang on the "old-man" thinking instead of "Christ-like" thinking in some areas.
Napier Fuller
10 months 2 weeks ago
The Catholic Church has a positive vision about human sexuality — widely misunderstood — that one’s physical body is holy, and this includes one’s sexual organs which are designed for reproduction: participating with God in Creation itself (mankind). Here’s a GREAT 60 minute video by Father Paul Scalia (of Courage) that explains politely the church’s position about homosexuality and the role of sexual desire in salvific history. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUXqgpbua9k
Paul Hierholzer
10 months 2 weeks ago
"It goes on to say that gay men “find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women.”" My parish priest's interpersonal skills are rather poor; he generally does not relate well to people, male or female. I am fairly certain that he is not gay. Should he have been prevented from entering the priesthood? I know gay people who are better at relating to men and women than he is, yet the Vatican's position is that they should not become priests. I do not understand this.
Michael Barberi
10 months 2 weeks ago
In Pope Francis's Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitita, he states clearly that those who are homosexual should not suffer from discrimination of any kind. How does the Vatican square this circle? Homosexuality is a natural inclination that one is born with and if a man with such a condition wants to become a priest and adhere faithfully to permanent continence and celibacy, and serve the Lord, then they should be permitted to enter the priesthood. How does Pope Francis expect to deal with the many priests who are homosexual and are doing the Lord's work? What about prominent priests who have and are currently offering a better theological understanding of homosexuality? Are all priest who are homosexual have to go back into the closet? While a few priests who are homosexual might be problematic, we should not paint the entire homosexual priestly community with the same negative brush. Given the worldwide priest shortage, the Church should be encouraging all men who have a faithful calling to become priests, to do so, regardless of sexual orientation. I find these guidelines to be contradictory and ill-advised.
John Linton
10 months 2 weeks ago
I am generally opposed to what liberal Catholicism is out to do, believing liberals are watering down core dogmas beyond salience. (The Catholic Church should not follow liberals down the path on abortion or gay marriage, whatever people might think of these issues in the secular/policy realm.) But I cannot for the life of me see how conservative Catholicism gains from muddying the waters about a sexual orientation versus actual sin, whether by act or intent. For right-wingers to carp about orientation per se is to betray the fundamental theology of the Church all the way back through Aquinas and Augustine to the Church's earliest days. Sin either resides in separable actions and intents or it does not. The distinction between desire and illicit consummation of desire is infinite, and must be among the most fundamental of distinctions that Catholic theology makes.
Tim O'Leary
10 months 2 weeks ago
I think Pope Francis would say the same "who am I to judge" about a priest who was fighting alcoholism or deep-seated tendencies to pornography or any of the seven deadly sins, but it is very different in determining up-front the prudent criteria for selecting men for the priesthood. Para 199 describes three ways homosexual compulsion or tendencies can work against a sound vocation: 1) those who "practice homosexuality," 2) those who "present deep-seated homosexual tendencies," and 3) those who "support the so-called gay culture". The first is obviously excluded by both the call to celibacy but even more importantly by the unequivocal teaching of natural law, Holy Scripture and the Church (cf. the Catechism). The third relates to an advocacy (overt or covert) for the normalization of homosexual or bisexual activity or a gay culture. This is teaching/thinking in direct contradiction to the Scriptural and Church teaching on God's creative plan for "male and female He made them." A priest who advocates for a gay culture cannot advocate for the fullness of the faith. The second situation deals with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies. The secular world teaches (without any scientific proof) that deep-seated sexual desire (of almost any type) is necessarily legitimate and healthy solely or especially because it is deep-seated. This is not the teaching of the Church (or Scripture) or any kind of objective non-ideological psychology. The term "deep-seated" suggests some degree of mental pre-occupation that one is not able to free oneself from. Or, it defines an ideological attachment to self-definition as gay, also contrary to the Church's teaching. Note that it would be strange to self-define oneself primarily as "heterosexual," (there are no "heterosexual bars" or "heterosexual lobbies," etc.), whereas self-identifying oneself primarily as "gay" or bisexual is already to miss the fullness of who one is, to see oneself through a narrow sexual lens.
Robert Lewis
10 months 2 weeks ago
Congratulations, "Vatican," you've just deemed Gerard Manley Hopkins ineligible to be a priest; you've just deemed the heroic and selfless martyr of "9/11," Father Justice, ineligible to be a priest. And, for any who doubt that Hopkins was "same-sex attracted," I suggest you take a look at the sermons which shocked his parishioners, as well as the homoerotic imagery with which he writes about Christ and other men. In doing that, he was simply conforming to a long-accepted tradition in mystical writing of using erotic imagery to describe spiritual experience. It exists not only in Christianity, but in Sufism and in Hindu "bhakti" poetry. St. John of the Cross is a particularly notable practitioner, and so was St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Notice that this ridiculous, historically ignorant and basically primitive modern distortion of traditional Christian sexual ethics raises sexual behavior to a level of importance in actually defining one's spiritual condition that it never previously occupied in the history of the Church, because it completely discredits the chastity of a whole subset of the human race. Sad--too sad for words what this is doing to the Catholic and Apostolic Church!
Mark day
10 months 2 weeks ago
Just spoke to a priest friend who is in his eighties. "My God, half the priests are gay," he said. "What are they going to say about this?" Frankly, I think it's time that many gay bishops and cardinals need to be outed. Let's be transparent about this. The church can only move forward when it is honest about itself.
Michael Seredick
10 months 2 weeks ago
Michelangelo was gay and worked at the Vatican a few years ago. Some may recognize his name as the person who painted the Sistine Chapel. I'm happy he wasn't fired. I also respect the countless numbers of GAY musicians, artists, priests, nuns and people who have served the church through the centuries. Gay people have always walked among us. Try to love your neighbors, as yourself.
Vincent Couling
10 months 2 weeks ago
In June Pope Francis said that the church must say that it is sorry "to this person that is gay that it has offended." "I will repeat the same thing I said on the first trip," Pope Francis continued. "I will also repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that [gay people] should not be discriminated against, that they have to be respected, pastorally accompanied. The matter is a person that has that condition [and] that has good will because they search for God, who are we to judge them? We must accompany well -- what the Catechism says. The Catechism is clear." We are still awaiting the Church's apology. And now this ... a veritable slap in the face. But there are many angles from which to view the current impasse. Francis will change nothing without the collegial consensus ... this might be his way of showing how the system is broken, and needs change. I know that James Alison has argued thus ... http://www.thetablet.co.uk/features/2/7164/love-in-a-changing-climate
Vince Killoran
10 months 2 weeks ago
Too late (in many ways): the new template for clerics is pastoral. That will lead the Church in a wonderful and more Christian direction. The Vatican's recent comment just highlights the contradictions inherent in adhering to the "disordered" approach of understanding our gay & lesbian brothers & sisters.
Jim McCrea
10 months 2 weeks ago
Blessed are those who expect nothing; they shall not be disappointed. Francis is just another out-of-touch cleric.
John Placette
10 months 2 weeks ago
The document does not say that a person who is tempted to commit a homosexual act cannot become a priest. A person tempted to commit any sin, but does not so commit the act, does not sin. A person with deep seated sexual desires, whatever they may be, perhaps should not pursue celibacy. What we have seen are priests that have not lived up to their vows. That must be stopped if possible. Read the whole document, please.
Tim O'Leary
10 months 2 weeks ago
This document is 91 pages long and only a few pages even mention homosexuality. So, if there is any pre-occupation with "alternative" sexual desire, it is more likely in the reader than in the document. More importantly, it seems to me that no one should be accepted to the priesthood who doesn’t have a strong commitment to be obedient to God in all things, including a docile acceptance of the teaching authority of the Church and the fullness of the faith as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. From purely human prudence, one will be embarking on a life of deceit and internal conflict if one pursues a priestly life while denying or doubting any aspects of the Church's teaching in doctrine or discipline.
James MacGregor
10 months 2 weeks ago
RE: "'persons with homosexual tendencies' cannot be admitted to Catholic seminaries." Is there a separate ruling for non-homosexuals who have a strong tendency to sexual attraction to women?
Michael Barberi
10 months 2 weeks ago
Most heterosexuals have a natural deep seated sexual desire for a person of the opposite sex. When they are called to be a priest, their love of God overcomes their innate sexual desires. They accept permanent continence and celibacy. Their deep seated sexual desires don't go away. They are controlled by the practice of virtue, prayer and doing the Lord's work. Most homosexuals also have a natural deep seated sexual desire for a person of the same sex. If they are called to be a priest, their love of God overcomes their sexual desires. In other words, whether you are homosexual or heterosexual does not determine how you will act on your innate sexual desires. Your love of God, practice of virtue, prayer and doing God's Will is all that is needed to become a priest. Some heterosexual priests stray from the Church's teaching; some homosexual priests also stray. However, the overwhelming majority of priests remain faithful to permanent continence and celibacy and are good priests. The Church is fixated on a misunderstanding of homosexuality and an extreme skepticism of human sexual desire. These guidelines are a contradiction in principle especially with respect to what has been said in Amoris Laetitia concerning homosexuality and persons with a same-sex orientation. Pope Francis wants a more welcoming Church with respect to homosexuals. Pope Francis wants all priests and bishops to respect homosexuals, and he wants homosexuals not to suffer from any kind of discrimination. He also said that the language of the Church should be changed in how priests describe homosexuality and homosexuals. Put apart marriage for the moment: Do heterosexuals have an easier time controlling their sexual desires compared to homosexuals? I think not. If a man wants to become a priest, their sexual orientation should not be a criteria for acceptance or rejection, unless there is a extraordinary problem regarding their human sexuality that will prevent them from carrying out the Lord's work.
Rudolph Koser
10 months 2 weeks ago
You have said this so well. The Church has a real fixation on sex and just maybe, with some, a lack of understanding of sexuality and attraction. Some of the wording of official documents seem to assume this is a choice or that it is a "lifestyle" that can be changed or overcome. As Francis himself said one must encounter the person, so gay or straight if the person has the spiritual, academic, and religious requirements and the gift of celibacy then they should be be considered for priesthood. No wonder that many feel the Church is not concerned about them. This at the end of the Year of Mercy. Maybe mercy is over too.
Derrick Weiller
10 months 1 week ago
Michael: Your words should be inscribed in the hearts of all who address this matter. Thank you.
Michael Barberi
10 months 1 week ago
Derrick Weiller and Rudolph Koser, Thank you both for your kind words. The overwhelming percentage of both heterosexual and homosexual priests are doing the good work of Christ. I hope the Church eventually will realize that they are exaggerating this matter to the detriment and harm of the dignity of those who are called to the priesthood to serve God and spread the Good News of the Gospel.
Tim O'Leary
10 months 2 weeks ago
The priesthood is not a self-actualization program. It is a vocation to do the work of evangelization. One cannot pass on the faith if one is conflicted in accepting the whole of the faith, as the Church teaches (discipline and doctrine - the Catechism, see paragraph 59 of the document). As the Lord says, "If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand." (Mark 3;25). Even more than the military, the Church deals with life and death, temporal and eternal. I would say that any man who has deep-seated obsessions with women as sexual objects, or sexual pre-occupations of any type, has a problem best kept out of the priesthood. But the charges that the Church is the one fixated on sexuality would be hilarious if souls and human lives were not at risk. It reminds me of the famous Rorschach test joke: The Psychologist says, "Well, yes, you do seem to be obsessed with sex." And the patient responds "Me!? You're the one who keeps showing me the dirty pictures!" (http://www.bouldertherapist.com/html/humor/MentalHealthHumor/rorschach.html). Below are claims that most priests are gay, and the devout and chaste Michelangelo, Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins and even St. John of the Cross were presumed homosexual because of their willingness to use masculine and feminine metaphors in their works. This retrospective Rorschach test reveals more about modern man, who cannot understand chastity, or even the authentic expression of masculine or feminine. While many modern organizations that cater to youths have been embroiled in pederasty outbreaks (most recently British youth soccer programs and the Hollywood film industry), the Church's past failures to police her own priests has resulted in terrible damage to so many bodies and souls. So, it is essential that the Church take, and be seen to take, all possible measures to prevent any gender-confused seminarians from becoming priests
Robert Lewis
10 months 2 weeks ago
This is a calculated and disingenuous attempt at misunderstanding of what was said below. You know very well that what was explicitly said was NOT "homosexual," but "same-sex attracted." This distortion of the picture painted of Michelangelo, Hopkins and Father Judge reveals your cold-hearted, duplicitous willingness to treat your fellow Christians who happen to be "gay" with disdain and cruelty, masked by the kind of "Christian love" that Nietzsche accurately described as the "ressentiment" of the "slave" mentality. I NEVER would have implied that Gerard Manley Hopkins broke his vow of chastity. I happen to be a minor scholar of the man and his works, and I know very well that, though conflicted, he was rigorous in his "ascesis." This seems to have hurt him very much, but to have, at the same time, fueled his imagination and his poetry. The homoerotic attraction was very intense, but always channeled toward love of Jesus Christ. Michelangelo, apparently, was not always chaste, but was repentant for his failure to live up to his own very high standard of personal sanctity (inspired, later in life, by his friendship with Vittoria Colonna), and that, too, contributed to his art and his poetry. Maybe it's too late for you, but you can be certain that your whole Church is eventually going to have to reckon with the peculiar style of spiritual devotion and personal sanctity of a very great number of "same-sex attracted" men and women of the Christian Church; they make up a very large number of her saints of the past, when "gender identity" was so fluid that it could be eaten away by transformative love of God, and when that was not questioned in the least by confessors and doctors of the religion. The attempt, in modern times, to make conformity to a strict polarity of "gender identity" demeans and degrades numerous "queer" people of the past whose "queerness" was more liminal spiritually than it was sexually. This is to forget an essential root of Christian mystical spirituality founded on the importance of celibacy, monasticism, "divine friendship," "spiritual marriage," and, yes, Christ Himself's disparagement of familial relationships, in favour of the "brotherhood" of His followers. You thing that Bernard of Clairvaux and Francis of Assisi would have appeared to modern, marriage and family-obsessed "Knights of Columbus"-types as "healthy heterosexuals"?! I suggest, then, that you get a hold of this book, and give it a good, long read: https://www.amazon.com/Saintly-Brides-Bridegrooms-Marriage-Renaissance/dp/1905375875/ref=as_sl_pc_as_ss_li_til?tag=qstxtimg-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=0e3529543c25b95049f51d91adb9a170&creativeASIN=1905375875
Tim O'Leary
10 months 2 weeks ago
Robert - you protest too much. Below you decry the Vatican's document for excluding what you call "a whole subset of the human race" who you deem "same-sex attracted." But, the document on priestly vocation never mentions "same-sex attracted" but only the term homosexual, which I use. You wouldn't have denigrated the document unless you were using the terms interchangeably. So, it is you who are being dishonest, as well as bearing false witness against the historical Catholics for your contemporary political purposes. You also have the historical situation backwards. While SSA and SS activity (bisexual or homosexual, pedophile, ephebophile, or adult) is as old as original sin, it was always seen as a deviation from the natural use of sexual activity (i.e. ordered to procreation), even among the Greeks, and there was no idea of SS marriage until the last few decades. Even the word gender only began to replace sex after 1955 (John Money) in distinguishing male and female. Gay is a 1970s term, and LGBT, still morphing, entered usage in late 80s. Like the Jewish revelation from God the Father, the Christian revelation has always followed the strict binary "male and female He made them," as did biological science of all mammals. So, the Church has been constant in its teaching long before modern times. It is the secular world, and a subset of Catholic fellow travelers, who are rebelling against this truth. This rebellion remains very unstable, as terminology is changing every decade. The flavor of the present is transgender, LGBTQIA etc. More significantly, the idea of bisexuality (once strongly denied by the gay community) and the right to choose a sexual partner of any type at different ages is gaining considerable ground over the idea of an immutable idea of 4 sexes (male, female, gay, lesbian). Those Catholics clamoring for the Church to recognize gay marriage are already way behind the avant-garde.
Robert Lewis
10 months 1 week ago
Once again, you calculatedly--and, I think, viciously--obfuscate. The issue is "same-sex attracted" candidates for the priesthood who are celibate. The Vatican has once again determined that they are ineligible because their ATTRACTION (I watched Father Scalia's tendentious film, you see) is deemed to be "objectively disordered." My point has been that there have been heroic SAINTS and poets working within the tradition of Christian mysticism who had the self-same "objectively disordered" ATTRACTION who nevertheless resisted it, and who were, in the very words of Father Scalia, "very holy." You are actually defending a position that Father Scalia, in the video you linked to, is denouncing. You are defending a benighted Vatican position that is denigrating a goodly percentage of holy priests who have IGNORED their "objectively disordered" ATTRACTION in order to serve YOU and many of your fellow "straight" Catholics. I hope you are proud of yourself!
Tim O'Leary
10 months 1 week ago
Once again, the Priestly Vocation document has a lot more in it than sexual obstacles to ordination. The key aspect in any vocation is a desire to be fully obedient to God and His Church. Pope Francis had an interesting homily last week on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It of course relates to every Christian but is also pertinent to those considering the priesthood. "For each of us, there is also a history of salvation made up of Yeses and Noes to God. Sometimes, however, we are experts in half Yeses: we are good at feigning that we do not understand what God would like and our conscience suggests to us. We are also crafty, and in order not to say a true and proper No to God, we say: “I’m sorry, I can’t,” “not today, but tomorrow”; “Tomorrow I’ll be better, tomorrow I’ll pray, I’ll do good, tomorrow.” And this craftiness distances us from the Yes, it distances us from God and leads us to the No, to the No of sin, to the No of mediocrity. The famous “Yes, but …”; “Yes, Lord, but …” But in doing so, we close the door to the good, and evil benefits from these wanting Yeses. Each one of us has a collection of these inside. Let us think about it and we will find so many missed Yeses. Instead, every full Yes to God gives origin to a new history: to say Yes to God is truly “original,” is origin, not sin, which makes us old inside. Have you thought of this? That sin makes us old inside? It makes us old quickly! Every Yes to God originates histories of salvation for us and for others – like Mary with her own Yes."

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