Aug282014
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DignityUSA Dismayed by Bishop’s Statement against Gay Seminarians

Contact Information: 

Matthew Gallagher
202.861.0017 (Office)
301.325.7650 (Cell)

Washington, DC — The Leadership of DignityUSA was dismayed to see yet another attack by another Roman Catholic bishop against gay priests and seminarians and presumably against those of his brother bishops who are gay. Bishop John M. D'Arcy of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese said the Church must improve its screening process for accepting seminarians so that homosexuals are prevented from being ordained into the priesthood.

The John Jay Report commissioned by our US bishops was definitive in not blaming the sexual abuse scandal on gay priests and specifically said, “There are, no doubt, many outstanding priests of a homosexual orientation who live chaste, celibate lives.” It did blame the seminaries for not properly forming the men to live a chaste, celibate life. And now we have another bishop repeating the same old falsehoods as his brother bishops continue to run from their own responsibility blaming the issue on gay men. The Church must address the cause of the decline of its priesthood and clearly the cause is not the sexual orientation of our priests.

"The President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Bishop Wilton Gregory, said he would not scapegoat gay priests, yet now we have a bishop telling us that gay men are not of the same quality as straight men to be priests. It sounds like the bishops are scapegoating again,” stated Matthew Gallagher, Executive Director of DignityUSA. “Bishop Gregory stated that the sexual orientation of a priest is a private concern, so why has this bishop chosen this time to try to make this a public matter again?” asked Gallagher.

The Roman Catholic Church makes a distinction between orientation and action when discussing homosexuality. The Leadership of DignityUSA cannot imagine what goes through the mind of a bishop who feels a gay man is any more unable to live a celibate life than a heterosexual man when so many gay and straight bishops and priests serve our Church with lives of holiness and service.

“When will the bishops take responsibility for their inability to be good shepherds of God’s people and stop blaming good priests who are serving our Church,” questioned Gallagher.

DignityUSA is the nation's foremost organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their families, friends and supporters. Founded in 1969, it is an independent nonprofit organization with members and chapters across the country.

DignityUSA works for full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the life of the Church and Society. www.dignityusa.org