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Pope Francis

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A look at how seminaries are screening who enters the priesthood


But there’s one more crucial step- a psychological evaluation that also examines their sexual maturity.

Father David Songy
Director of Counseling Services, North American College in Rome

“Some psychologists would administer particular tests that look at sexual addiction especially to pornography they would basically evaluate whether a person has a good understanding of their sexuality.”

The evaluation also asks if the person was abused as a child and looks at homosexual tendencies.

It’s this test that Father David Songy, the director of counseling services and a licensed psychologists, says helps prevent sex abuse in the Church.

Father Songy says if there is anything that brings serious doubts the seminarian is sent home. And some have.

But the test is only the beginning. The seminarians also take part in regular one-on- one sessions with spiritual directors and take a class on celibacy which Father Songy says helps develop solid good priests.

Father David Songy
Director of Counseling Services, North American College in Rome

“So we’re taught celibacy is for the Kingdom of God, celibacy is a testimony of the resurrection of Christ that we love all people not just one person that we love the Church as our spouse.”

Father Songy is currently looking for ways to update the screening process. But adds no test is 100% accurate.

Father David Songy
Director of Counseling Services, North American College in Rome
“Psychological testing will not screen out who is going to abuse a child.” Flash 1457 “So it’s important to know that, I can’t, in a psychological test, know if a person will do this or that. I can’t predict that exactly but I can say that this kind of person seems too self centered to enter a life of ministry.”

And for Father Songy, that’s a red flag that would get an applicant turned away.