''Hate the sin and tolerate the sinner'' best expresses the Roman Catholic Church's attitude toward homosexuals. Characteristically, ecclesiastical actions and thinking are not only behind the times but also against the tide. While the last several years have witnessed progress in accepting homosexuality in the arts, news media, psychiatry and publishing, and in accepting homosexuals' legal and public rights, the church has reversed the few hopeful signs that compassion might displace discrimination.
The 1975 Vatican ''Declaration on Sexual Ethics'' continued to classify homosexual behavior between individuals as sinful. (The church's position is that the condition of homosexuality is not sinful, that only homosexual acts are.) ... Humberto Cardinal Medeiros, the Archbishop of Boston, transferred to a quiet suburban parish the Rev. Paul R. Shanley, a priest who pioneered an effective ministry to homosexuals. ... These and other, unpublicized actions indicate the extreme homophobic attitudes harbored by the church's hierarchy, seminary faculty and many clergy despite the possibly sizeable number of homosexual clergymen, practicing and latent, in the church.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Columnist in NYTimes Criticizes Roman Catholic Hierarchy for Reining in Paul R. Shanley
'"Michael Stephen'' (pseudonym), On Homosexual Priests, NYTimes, Section A, Page 23, Column 5, Editorial Desk (Late edition, Aug. 18, 1980):