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04 November 2011

Praise/Repudiation: Pilot Apology

Usually it is easy for me to assign a blog post a title with a preface of praise or repudiation.  This one is a mixed bag.  The Pilot, the Boston Roman Catholic newspaper, has issued an apology of sorts.  In an article on 28 October, Daniel Avila called homosexual attraction a deception by the Devil.  By way of apology, Mr. Avila wrote in part

Statements made in my column, 'Some fundamental questions on same-sex attraction' of October 28, do not represent the position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the column was not authorized for publication as is required policy for staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The teaching of Sacred Scripture and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church make it clear that all persons are created in the image and likeness of God and have inviolable dignity.

So far, so good.  This correction is praiseworthy.  I particularly like the concession that all persons "have inviolable dignity."  Would that the rest of his "apology" reflected that recognition of dignity.  Mr. Avila continued

Likewise, the Church proclaims the sanctity of marriage as the permanent, faithful, fruitful union of one man and one woman.

So much for inviolable dignity.  The brief acknowledgement of dignity clearly does not include anything approaching equality.  The initial column was disgusting, as was reflected by comments printed by MSNBC.

The gay Catholics group DignityUSA says the column was outrageous and inflicted "tremendous damage on the souls" of gay people.

The Human Rights Campaign said Thursday it's a shame the archdiocese ran a column ignoring the science about sexual orientation.

This "apology" corrects a technical theological error but does not remove the underlying bigotry of the position of the Roman Catholic Church on LGBTQ equality.  As such, repudiation.

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