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Posted May 31, 2013
In response to a diocesan priest’s absurd claims about gay kids, Catholics United asks bishop to reaffirm Catholic teaching
WASHINGTON – Last Sunday, Fr. Derek Lappe of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Bremerton, Wash., decided to cut ties with the Boy Scouts of America. The reason? The Boy Scouts’ recent decision to allow gay kids to join.
According to a statement from Fr. Lappe, his parish cannot affiliate with an organization “that has decided to ratify or approve the self-identification of a 10-18 year old boy as ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual.’” In Fr. Lappe’s mind, gay kids don’t--or shouldn’t--exist. He supposed there may be instances of “same-sex attraction,” which are brought on by “lack of interest in sports,” “extreme shyness,” “lack of hand/eye coordination and resultant teasing,” and other theories.
“Fr. Lappe’s decision to disassociate his parish from the Boy Scouts is a sad reminder that too many Catholic leaders are out of touch when it comes to understanding the nature of human sexuality,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United and an Eagle Scout. “This priest’s use of stereotypes to describe the cause of same-sex attraction is offensive and not in line with basic Catholic teachings.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly states that discrimination of homosexuals is contrary to the faith and does not promote Christian values.
“The Catholic Church has long held that individuals with same-sex attractions should be respected and protected from discrimination,” said Salt. “Catholics United calls on Fr. Lappe’s superiors to condemn this kind of bullying from a man who is supposed to be a witness of Christian love and acceptance.”
Catholics United is organizing an online petition, found at www.Catholics-United.org/BoyScouts, asking Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain to make the Church’s position on care for gay people clear to this priest.
“There is already a crisis of leadership within the American Catholic Church,” said Salt. “Because of embarrassing pronouncements like Fr. Lappe’s recent letter, the Church is ever more becoming known as a harbor for bigotry and shaming gay people, and not promoting Christ’s good news for all people. We ask Archbishop Sartain to help bring healing to innocent kids and hurting souls who deserve better than bullying.”
Founded in 2004, Catholics United, and its educational arm, Catholics United Education Fund, are non-profit, non-partisan organizations dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition.
For more information about Catholics United, “like” us on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CatholicsUnited), follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/CatholicsUnited) or on our blog at www.OurDailyThread.org.
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