Press

Task Force slams expected Vatican guidelines barring gay men from the priesthood

Date: 
September 22, 2005

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National Gay and Lesbian Task force slams expected Vatican guidelines barring gay men from the priesthood

"This is part of the church hierarchy's calculated - and frankly, evil - campaign to scapegoat gay people for the decades of appalling sex abuse of children and young people that it alone created, nurtured and covered up.' - Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman

Pope Benedict XVI is set to approve an 'Instruction' that gay men should not be ordained as Roman Catholic priests. The document calls on bishops to bar even celibate gay men from seminaries and comes as the Roman Catholic Church in the United States is about to begin Vatican-ordered inspections of its 229 seminaries, looking for, among other issues, "evidence of homosexuality."

Statement by Matt Foreman

"This new 'Instruction' is disgusting and destructive, but hardly surprising given this pope's long-standing, unbridled hatred for gay people. While he's at it, he should order that the Sistine Chapel be painted over and that the Vatican get rid of all the sacred works of art created for it by so-called 'disordered' gay people over the centuries.

"This is part of the church hierarchy's calculated - and frankly, evil  campaign to scapegoat gay people for the decades of appalling sex abuse of children and young people that it alone created, nurtured and covered up. This smokescreen will never hide the reality that the abject, willful negligence of the hierarchy resulted not only in thousands of victims but in essentially squandering nearly $1 billion donated by parishioners to pay damages to those victims.

"Sadly, this affront to the basic tenets of the Gospel is nothing new. The church has many centuries of experience in violent witch-hunting - from pagans to Jews to Orthodox Christians to Muslims to Protestants. This new Inquisition - like those before it - will accomplish no good, but only cause more harm to the church and to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics. We call on all people of faith and goodwill to denounce this latest affront to the human dignity of gay people from the Catholic Church."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.