Friday, September 16, 2005

Archbishop Wants Seminaries to Bar Gays

The Most Rev. Edwin O'Brien's portrait from his archdiocesan Web site.

By Lisa Haddock
NJ Faith Forum Editor

A high-ranking Catholic prelate wants to ban gay men from seminaries.

Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, who is supervising a Vatican-mandated investigation of U.S. seminaries, says he wants all gay men out of seminaries. The investigation comes in the wake of the sexual-abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in the U.S. Most of the abuse victims who have come forward are male.

"I think anyone who has engaged in homosexual activity, or has strong homosexual inclinations, would be best not to apply to a seminary and not to be accepted into a seminary," O’Brien said in an interview with the National Catholic Register.

O’Brien, who is head of the Archdiocese of the U.S. Military Services in Washington, D.C, said that even gay men who had been celibate 10 years or more should be barred from the priesthood.

In news reports, Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), stated that by focusing on priests, the church is overlooking the role that the bishops played in the scandal.

In 2004, O’Brien fired Air Force chaplain Thomas Doyle, who had been aiding sexual abuse victims in their legal cases and speaking out on their behalf. In an interview with the New York Times, Father Doyle refused to say that his removal was related to his advocacy work. ''I don't think it would be fair for me to say yes it is, no it isn't,'' he said.

But he acknowledged that his work had not been well received by many bishops, the Times reported.


  • Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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