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Houston Voice, No. 1006, February 4, 2000
File 009
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Houston Voice, No. 1006, February 4, 2000 - File 009. 2000-02-04. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 28, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3337/show/3312.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2000-02-04). Houston Voice, No. 1006, February 4, 2000 - File 009. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3337/show/3312

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1006, February 4, 2000 - File 009, 2000-02-04, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 28, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3337/show/3312.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1006, February 4, 2000
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date February 4, 2000
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 009
Transcript VOICES AND ECHOES FEBRUARY 4, 2000 • HOUSTON VOICE EDITORIAL AIDS, the priesthood and Catholic hypocrisy STAFF Associate Publisher Mike Fleming mikeehoustonvoke.com Editor Matthew A. Hennie editor@houstonvoice.com Production Bethany Bartran - Graphic Designer Mike Swenson - Graphic Designer Contributors Rich Arenschieldt, Kay Y. Dayus, Trayce Diskin, Ear! Dittman, D.L. Groover, Robert B. Henderson, Gip Plaster, Ella Tyler Photographers Dalton DeHart, Kim Thompson, Terry Sullivan Advertising Sales Richard B Hayes Ken Burd Office Administrator Marshall Rainwater Classifieds & Directory Carolyn A. Roberts Carolyn White National Advertising Representative Rivendell Marketing Company, Inc 212-242-6863 A WindowMedia Publication Publishers Chris Gain Rick Ellsasser r Gay r] Guild MEMBER CHARTER MEMBER GREATER HOUSTON GAY & LESBIAN I CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Established 1974 as the Montrose Star. 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200 Houston. Texas 77006 (713)529-8490 (800)729-8490 Fax:(713) 529-9531 Contents copyright 1999 Office hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m weekdays To submit a letter Letters should be fewer than 400 words. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. We will withhold names upon request, but you must include your name and phone number for verification. Please send mail to Houston Voice. 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200. Houston, Texas 77006, fax (713) 529-9531 or e-mail to editor@houston- voice.com. Opinions expressed therein do not reflect those of the Houston Voice. "Non quam duo, semper tres." That's the prevailing rule at St. Stanislaus and other Roman Catholic seminaries across the country. In days and evenings filled with prayer, meditation and discussion, a strict commandment is issued to the young novices, as those wishing to enter the priesthood are called. "Not in twos, always threes." And try to avoid "particular friendships" with classmates. The rules are designed to undermine the sexual currency that even church officials acknowledge emerges from an all-male environment of those sharing so much in common. With little or no teaching at seminary about human sexuality—much less homosexuality—the results are chilling. In a remarkable series of reports last week by the Kansas City Star, the Catholic hierarchy is called to answer for a silent epidemic of AIDS among the priesthood. In an exhaustive survey, the newspaper found the death rate from AIDS among priests to be four times the U.S. average. "There have always been the comments made on this that a celibate priesthood must be somewhat attractive for one who is homosexual, because you're joining a fraternity or group which has a status in society, and you don't have to come out of the closet," acknowledged Bishop Raymond j. Boland, of the Kansas City diocese, in an interview with the newspaper. "I can't argue with that statement. There must be that attraction. Now, how much the attraction has ever been fulfilled is very difficult to know." Harry Morrison, a California priest who has AIDS, agreed. "Young Catholic boys trying desperately to honor the strict sexual morality of the church and having no attraction for women see a vocation to the priesthood not only as an honorable way out, but also as a social way out," he told the paper. In fact, 15 percent of priests responding to the Star's survey identified themselves as gay AIDS in the priesthood, Page 10 and another five percent said they are bisexual. Assuming most priests would be extremely reluctant to acknowledge same-sex attraction, the numbers are extraordinary And they suggest widespread knowledge among Catholic clergy about the existence of many, many gay priests. Four years in the making, the Star series tells the heart-breaking stories of priests under pressure from the church who kept secret from loved ones their homosexuality, their sexual activity, their infecbon with HIV and often even the cause of their deaths. And whatever the series says about the failure of the Catholic Church to deal effectively and compassionately with AIDS in the priesthcxxJ, it says even more about the church's morally bankrupt teachings about homosexuality. In seminary, the church teaches the vow of celibacy as one of the most important obligations of the priesthood. For these committed men, each of whom feels a special calling to devote their entire life to their faith, celibacy is viewed as a means of achieving the spiritual purity necessary to perform the holy rites and responsibilities of the post. But even with that intense and enduring mobvation, many fail to live up to their calling to be celibate, and engage not only in sexual activity, but often unsafe sex, as the Star report makes abundantly clear. And yet the very same Catholic bishops who no doubt know much more than the Star about sexually active priests, straight and gay, recently issued a modified teaching on homosexuality that required of gay Catholic laity the same vow of celibacy that the church's committed priests cannot fulfill. The bishops acknowledged in their report—styled as an open letter to parents struggling with accepting their gay children— that homosexuality is experienced as an unalterable orientation by most people and harboring same-sex desires is no more sinful than At the graveside of his brother, a Jesuit priest who died of AIDS in December 1990, Dennis Dobbels told the Kansas City Star that he regrets his brother waited until only weeks before his death to tell his family about his secret life and cause of death. heterosexual attraction. Implicitly admitting the uselessness of prayerful or psychotherapeutic efforts at "converting" to heterosexuality, the bishops still drew the line at acting on homosexual desires. Gay Catholics are required by their church to live a life of celibacy, like priests, never acting on their natural, God-given sexual desires, even within the confines of a loving, committed and monogamous relationship. In fact, in places like Hawaii and California and Vermont, Catholic clergy have been active in opposing same-sex marriage even though the institution has been shown by centuries' evidence to foster the type of committed romantic relationships that win church approval among heterosexuals. It's true, ol course, that the Catholic Church has a colorful history of teachings completely separated from human reality, as illustrated recently by an angry lecture from Pope John Paul II, who urged opposition to secular divorce laws that permit the dissolution of even one consummated marriage. But the church's teaching on homosexuality is particularly cruel because it allows for absolutely no expression of human sexuality—the proscription covers masturbation as well, as any spilling of semen is considered sinful—even though our orientation is viewed as morally neutral. With this new and devastating evidence that celibacy fails at an alarming rate even among clergy, the church's most committed members, the Catholic record on homosexuality has been laid bare as illogical, hypocritical, corrupt and barbaric. Kansas City Star "AIDS in the Priesthood" series available on the web at www.kcstar.com/projects/priests/
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