Bishop Suspends Priest Who Declared Self a Practicing Homosexual

Father José Mantero Acknowledges Church´s Right

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MADRID, Spain, FEB. 8, 2002 ( The bishop of Huelva has decided to formally remove «all ministerial licenses» from Father José Mantero, who admitted to a magazine that he is a practicing homosexual.

Bishop Ignacio Noguer Carmona revealed his decision Wednesday after he tried but failed to have a meeting with Father Mantero.

«The facts are so manifest and attested — by his confession — that they themselves call for the responsible, prudent and charitable application of the measures established by the general legislation of the Church (cf. Code of Canon Law, No. 1395) for cases like this,» the episcopal letter continues.

On the cover of last Friday´s edition of «Zero» magazine, Father Mantero said in the headlines, «I thank God for being gay.» From that day, the priest left the parish where he worked and has since refused to meet with his bishop.

«The person concerned, by suddenly leaving his parish service and upholding, with publicity and propaganda, the breaking of his commitment to celibacy, has placed himself outside the discipline of the Church, in a matter of extreme gravity and scandal for the faithful,» Bishop Noguer Carmona said.

«Which obliges me, not without profound sorrow, to formally remove from Don José Mantero all ministerial licenses,» the bishop added.

On Tuesday, on Antenna 3´s program «Sabor de Ti,» the priest acknowledged that the Church has every right to suspend him from the exercise of his ministry, after having publicly announced his breaking of the vow of celibacy.

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