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February 4, 1986: gay priests and catholic hypocrisy. (From the Advocate Archives).

Recent pedophilia scandals in the Roman Catholic Church in Boston and elsewhere have brought renewed suspicion of gay priests and revived the issue of whether the church's requirement of celibacy for its clergy should remain. In 1986 George de Stefano wrote an Advocate article exploring the challenges faced by gay priests and lesbian nuns. The church declares homosexuality morally neutral but gay sex as sinful. "While all Catholic religious are obliged to lead celibate lives," De Stefano wrote, "the distinction between orientation and behavior has special significance for gay people."

The conflict between personal autonomy and institutional demands makes the situation, in the words of one priest, "a real tightrope walk." Many clerics reject the dichotomy. "Many of us have decided ... that what the church teaches about homosexuality is wrong," added another.

Yet some gay priests stay in the church because they believe they can help create change. As one priest explained, "I love the church, despite the faulty sexual theology.... The influence of those who choose to stay will be felt."
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Article Details
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Author:Romesburg, Don
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 30, 2002
Words:172
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