The Vatican has published a new policy barring men with what it calls "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies from being ordained as Roman Catholic priests.

The Holy See officially issued the "instruction" by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education Tuesday, one week after it was leaked to the media.

The document says practicing homosexuals, and men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies should be barred from the priesthood. But it allows gay men who have abstained from homosexual activity for at three years to become priests.

Pope Benedict approved the instruction in August.

The Church's policy on gays had been in the works for years, but plans to update the guidlelines were announced in 2002 during the priest child-sex-abuse scandal in the United States.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.