Gay men will allowed to be Roman Catholic priests as long as they can prove that they have been celibate for a minimum of three years.

The Vatican report which was revealed in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera was commissioned by the Pope, Benedict XIV (pictured), says that the church will ban gays who “publicly manifest their homosexuality or show an overwhelming attraction” to homosexual culture even if it is only intellectually”.

The document is supposed to state “Candidates who show a homosexual tendency will not be allowed into the priesthood unless they can demonstrate that they have been able to remain chaste for at least three years.”

The report comes just a week after the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin told the Christian newspaper, the Tablet, “You don’t write off a candidate for the priesthood simply because he is a gay man. We need to provide services of support for these priests and this will involve helping them along their personal journey and reassuring them.”

The Vatican’s current stance on homosexuality dates back to 1961 where a ruling said that being gay was a “perverse inclination”.

In August, the Church of England said that it would allow gay vicars to marry in a civil partnership as long as they promised to be celibate.

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