Thursday, February 05, 2009

Update: Puebla Archdiocese drops plan to test priesthood hopefuls for HIV

Archbishop Rosendo Huesca y Pacheco, leader of the Puebla Archdiocese in Mexico, has said that seminary candidates will not be tested for HIV - as originally announced on January 26th - as part of enforcing a church ban on gay men and HIV positive individuals ("Puebla Archdiocese cancels conducting HIV tests on priesthood hopefuls", NotieSe).

The plan had drawn an outcry from Mexican human rights advocates who warned that the church was in violation of anti-discrimination and right-to-privacy federal policies.

In a press conference held on Tuesday, Huesca said that the HIV ban was still very much in effect but claimed that the church would drop plans to test every potential seminarians due to lack of funds to implement the plan. Instead, according to NotieSe, Huesca "invited" those interested in joining the priesthood to get a general medical check-up before joining the church.

Huesca said that the Puebla Archdiocese "values, respects, promotes and defends the human rights of everyone without distinction, for which it will never approve any form of discrimination" and said that banning HIV positive men from priesthood was akin to telling a potential mountain climber to refrain from the sport if a medical test detected heart disease.

He said that the church banned all men with HIV because such an individual "dies half way through, will only lose his years, his strength" and because the church "does not have the means to cure him."


1 comment:

Cuir Vargas said...

I don't know what pisses me off most. Puebla's church spreading homophobia, the stupid and false excuse they're giving or the fact that neither local or national media is talking about it in puebla!