A New Type of Screening for Entry into American Seminaries

February 06, 2022
Source: fsspx.news
St. Patrick's Seminary, California

Since the discovery of some transgendered persons in several seminaries in the United States, canonists, doctors, and priests have been implementing new tools to assess candidates for the priesthood. A new problem, unimaginable until recently, is emerging.

The alarm bell was sounded at the end of September 2021, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Archbishop Jerome Listecki alerted his colleagues to certain collateral damage caused by the trivialization of so-called “gender reassignment” procedure which is understood as the process of a female person transforming into a man, and vice versa.

The Archbishop of Milwaukee revealed the existence “of cases where women, living under a usurped male identity, had been admitted to seminaries.” He urged his confreres in the episcopate to take measures so that such situations could not happen again.

Over the months, a process is being developed. In California, Dr. Anthony Lilles, Academic Dean at St. Patrick’s seminary, tried out, at the beginning of the year 2022, a process of “separate screening procedures,” at the seminary and at the diocese of origin of each candidate for the priesthood.

“Scrutiny of the baptismal certificate is a good tool, even if it does not contain all the information that one would need in such cases, knowing on the other hand that it can be easily falsified,” Dr. Lilles acknowledges.

In addition to the canonical annotations of the parish registers, more and more bishops are demanding a psychological evaluation, a medical examination, as well as a handwritten cover letter from the candidate who presents himself at the doors of a seminary.

Timothy Lock, director of psychological services at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers says much the same: “the seminary is in the business of forming men into priests. In order to do this, they want to know as much as possible about the man who is presenting himself for the priesthood.”

For the latter, it is urgent that the question be dealt with at the national level by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Moreover, the medical examination of the candidate “is not at all a degrading attack,” explains Dr. Patrick Lappert, board-certified plastic surgeon and deacon for the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama: “It is easy to discern if a woman has had genital surgery to present as male; and if for some reason the examination cannot take place, a simple DNA test will be sufficient,” he added.