Melbourne Catholic Church has confirmed it is following Vatican recommendations to test would-be priests to ensure they are not gay.

The head of the Vatican committee which released the guidelines has also stated that celibate gays must also be banned because homosexuality is ‘‘a type of deviation’’.

Archdiocese of Melbourne spokesman James O’Farrell told Australian newspaper the Herald Sun that Carlton’s Corpus Christi Catholic seminary was using the recommendations but would not comment further.

Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby spokeswoman Hayley Conway told the newspaper that the church’s message was “dangerous”.

She said: ‘‘They seem to be moving backwards in a lot of ways which is really unfortunate . . . especially for those who are Catholic and out, and there are a lot of them already struggling.

‘‘If the plan is to root out paedophilia or child molestation, targeting people with homosexual tendencies isn’t the way to go about it.’’