November 13, 2005

Gay Priests Conflicted As Church Leaders Set To Discuss Restrictions

The Day

Published on 11/13/2005

The Rev. Fred Daley, a gay, Roman Catholic priest, had grown increasingly disturbed by Vatican pronouncements over the years that homosexuals were unfit for the clergy.

Then the situation escalated — some church leaders suggested that gays were responsible for the clergy sex abuse crisis. Daley was so angry, he did something last year that almost no other gay Catholic cleric in the country has done: He came out to his bishop, parishioners and his entire community to show that homosexuals were faithfully working in the church.

“I'm as much a member of the church as anybody else,” said Daley, of St. Francis de Sales Church in Utica, N.Y., who was ordained in 1974 and said he has never considered leaving the priesthood. “I love being a priest.”

Researchers have estimated that thousands of homosexual clergy across the United States have dedicated their lives to a church that considers them “intrinsically disordered” and prone to “evil tendencies.” Soon, the Vatican will back up that teaching with a document that could set new restrictions on candidates for the priesthood — a pronouncement U.S. bishops may discuss in private during their national meeting starting Monday in Washington.

Posted by kshaw at November 13, 2005 08:25 PM