Vatican City The Vatican issued new psychological screening guidelines for seminarians Thursday - the latest effort by the Roman Catholic Church to be more selective about its priesthood candidates following a series of pedophile scandals.
The church said it issued the new guidelines to help church leaders weed out candidates with "psychopathic disturbances." Sex abuse scandals by pedophile priests have rocked the church, triggering lawsuits that cost hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements.
"(The guidelines) became ever more urgent because of the sexual scandals," Monsignor Jean-Louis Brugues told reporters. He stressed, however, that psychological testing was used in some seminaries as far back as the 1960s - or at least a decade before the pedophile scandals exploded in public.