Church Leaders Decry "Gay Priest" Article

Call out Clergy Who Live Double Lives

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ROME, JULY 26, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Vicariate of Rome is decrying a recent article about gay priests as defaming the clergy in general and portraying a false view of the priesthood.

The article, titled “The Sly Nights of Gay Priests,” was published July 23 in the Italian magazine, Panorama.

The vicariate responded with a communiqué in which it denounced the article as “creating scandal,” “defaming all priests,” and “discrediting the Church.”
 
“The facts that are reported,” the communiqué stated, “cannot but cause sorrow and disquiet in the ecclesial community of Rome, which knows well its priests.”

These priests, it added, are “not of a ‘double life,’ but of a ‘single life,’ that is happy and joyous, consistent with their vocation, given to God and to the service of the people, committed to live and witness to the Gospel and a model of morality for everyone.”
 
This is how the vicariate described the more than 1,300 priests “of our 336 parishes, of the oratories, of the multiple charitable projects, of the institutes of consecrated life and other ecclesial entities in universities, in the world of culture, in the hospitals and on the frontiers of poverty and human degradation, not only in our city but also in distant lands and in harsh conditions.”
 
It continued, “Those who know the Church of Rome — where there are also hundreds of other priests, who have come from all over the world to study in the universities, but who are not among the Roman clergy and not involved in pastoral work — do not see anything in it of the conduct of those who lead a ‘double life.'”

Those who do live this double life “have not understood what the ‘Catholic priesthood’ is and should not have become priests,” the vicariate asserted.
 
“They know that no one is forcing them to remain priests, reaping only the benefits,” it pointed out. “Consistency would demand that they come out into the open.”

The communiqué concluded, “We do not wish them ill but we cannot permit that their conduct should taint the honorableness of all the others.”

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