These are the money paragraphs from NCR:
A forthcoming Vatican document on homosexuals in seminaries will not demand an absolute ban, a senior Vatican official told NCR Oct. 7, but will insist that seminary officials exercise "prudential judgment" that gay candidates should not be admitted in three cases.
Those three cases are:
• If candidates have not demonstrated a capacity to live celibate lives for at least three years;
• If they are part of a "gay culture," for example, attending gay pride rallies (a point, the official said, which applies both to professors at seminaries as well as students);
• If their homosexual orientation is sufficiently "strong, permanent and univocal" as to make an all-male environment a risk.
In addition, the article goes on, whether these criteria are met in a given case will be decided "in the context of individual spiritual direction." The specificity of detail -- the three-year period, the Gay Pride parade example, the three adjectives each referring to something different (degree, length, and mix) -- makes me think the document is completed and, at a minimum, that reporter John Allen's source (and possibly Allen himself, though he'd be bound not to say that) has actually seen it and was able to quote from it.
This is a relief, I must say. It is consistent with both the need to act against homosexual cliques and uphold the overall Church teaching on homosexuality. Appearances aside, I actually don't object to the notion that, especially in this time and place with the dangers of a widespread "out" homosexual culture, men with homosexual attractions have to be put on a shorter leash during formation. Men with SSA have a steep mountain to climb -- and none of us are under any illusions about the constant banana peels the broader culture strews around us -- and so we tend to fall hard. That's a legitimate concern. Also homosexuality itself can underlie a legitimate cause for exclusion
What this rule would do, and this may turn out a good or bad thing depending, is put the ball in the hands of the bishops and seminary officials, to make sound judgments. Which is what they should have been doing all along. Now there's a specific instruction with criteria that can't be ignored. Oh, those determined to ignore it, either from ideological wilfullness or personal blackmailability, may in fact do so (the Church really isn't the top-down tyranny most of its haters and a few of its more rabid supporters believe it is). And I take second place to nobody in my distrust of the judgment of, say, Cardinal Mahony. But in such cases there really is a much more fundamental problem, one that no rule from Rome, whatever its content, could affect. Ultimately, there really is no substitute for holiness in the trenches.