Some people have the notion that Latino communities are, on the whole, more homophobic than the general population. But, while the current Republican government has used gay issues as a way to split minority communities, sometimes you find stuff like yesterday's El Diario La Prensa editorial that makes you wonder if it's the Anglo-Saxons who are more homophobic than Latinos. To wit:
El Diario La Prensa
Monday, October 3, 2005
THE VATICAN AND U.S. CATHOLICS
A document that the Vatican has not even released yet is already causing controversy and concern among Catholics and non-Catholics in the United States. The forthcoming church document reportedly will ban gays from the seminaries.
In the wake of the child molestation scandals in the United States Catholic Church, it would seem more appropriate for the church to first confront the issues of pedophillia and sexual misconduct. The scandals involved adult men sexually assaulting children, and the vast majority of pedophiles are heterosexual men, not gay men. The Vatican must also address sexuality in general in a church that demands celibacy from its priests.
Instead, the first major policy reform following the scandal addresses homosexuality, effectively perpetuating the false and biased belief that homosexual men, not heterosexual men, are the problem. Exactly how will Vatican officials determine who is gay? Will the seminaries become "outing" grounds for homosexuals?
The move to prevent gays from joining the priesthood is said to be part of the Vatican's efforts to "purify" the church. But a person's sexual orientation is separate from their ability to be a good priest. Most Catholics will concede - at least privately - that they know a gay priest. The Kinsey report from the 1950's said that 10 percent of the general population is gay. Today's estimates are higher. And it is estimated that 30 percent of priests are homosexual.
The barring of homosexual priests would be a devastating blow to a church that already has an insufficient number of priests around the world. In Latin America alone, the ratio of Catholics to priests is 6,364 to 1. By barring homosexuals from the priesthood, the Church would turn away dedicated spiritual, intellectual and community leaders and further limit its own ability to serve the faithful in the United States and around the world.
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