November 29, 2005

Anti-gay edict stirs priest to step aside

The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 29, 2005 12:00 AM

A Catholic priest in Mesa has resigned as a pastor because of "aggressive anti-gay positions" coming from the pope in Rome and bishop in Phoenix.

The Rev. Leonard Walker, 58, who as pastor was chief executive of Queen of Peace church, is the first priest in the Phoenix Diocese to resign over church treatment of gay men, specifically a new Vatican document aimed at keeping gay men out of the priesthood.

Walker declined to disclose his sexual orientation, but he said he was no longer comfortable "wearing the uniform" of the priesthood. advertisement

"It's like a Jew wearing a Nazi uniform," Walker said. "I could no longer stay in that institution with any amount of integrity."

His decision comes on the eve of the release of an instruction from the Vatican that limits entrance into seminaries primarily to heterosexual men.

Posted by kshaw at November 29, 2005 06:59 AM