Former Boston auxiliary bishop wants gays banned from priesthood

Posted: Friday, July 23, 2004

BOSTON (AP) Bishop John D'Arcy, a former Boston auxiliary bishop who is now head of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., believes gays should be barred from Roman Catholic seminaries.

''We must be very careful of who we accept in the seminary and who we ordain as priests,'' D'Arcy said Sunday. ''It's time to ordain men of quality, not to just look for numbers.''

D'Arcy, who was in Boston to attend Mass at Our Lady of the Presentation Church, the Brighton neighborhood parish where he grew up, said he hopes the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops discusses screening policies for seminarians when it meets this fall, and will take a firm stance against homosexuals serving as priests. Some bishops and Vatican officials have expressed similar views, but other church leaders disagree.

''We don't put these (heterosexual) men in with attractive women,'' D'Arcy said, referring to seminarians. ''You're putting him in with men. It's not fair to him, it's not fair to them, it's not fair to the church.''

D'Arcy said ordaining men with the right temperament will attract more good men to the priesthood.

''If we ordain men with pathologies and difficulties, they will draw the same kind,'' he said. D'Arcy is among the few bishops known to have questioned the reassignment of priests accused of sexual misconduct before the clergy abuse crisis erupted more than two years ago. He did so as early as 1978 in private letters to other church officials.

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