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increasing number of foreign-born applicants, it is especially important

that the psychologist be familiar with any cultural factors that may affect

the reliability of the assessment findings.


Privacy and Confidentiality

The natural right to safeguard one’s privacy and the right to a good rep-



means that while a psychological evaluation may be necessary

in assessing the applicant’s suitability for admission to the seminary, no

one can be forced or coerced into undergoing psychological evaluation

that violates an individual’s privacy. Therefore, as the


of the

Congregation for Catholic Education make clear, before any attempt

is made at undertaking a psychological evaluation, the applicant must

give explicit, free, and informed consent.


Admissions personnel would

do well to have an articulated policy about how applicants are to be

informed in advance of the nature of the process (what is involved in

the interviews, standardized tests, etc.); who will be conducting the

evaluation (the name and qualifications of the professionals involved);

how the information will be used (to whom the report will be shown

and its role in the admissions process); and how the information might

be used in the future (in providing remedial assistance if the applicant is

not immediately accepted or in assisting with the future formation of the

seminarian who is accepted).


While the applicant retains the right to privacy, the Church also has

the right and responsibility to choose only suitable applicants for admis-

sion to the seminary. This would seem to require a determination not

only of the absence of serious defects but also of the presence of positive

indicators of the candidate’s psychological health.


The psychological

9 PPF, no. 52.

10 Cf. CIC, c. 220; CCEO, c. 23.



, no. 12.

12 PPF, no. 57;


, no. 12.

13 In the Latin Church, CIC, c. 1052 §1 explicitly indicates that the bishop may proceed to

ordination only after an investigation has been conducted according to the norm of law and

“positive arguments have proven the suitability of the candidate.” See also CIC, c. 241 §1.