Massachusetts Episcopal bishops say Vatican comments could spur anti-gay hate crimes

Posted: Friday, December 13, 2002

BOSTON (AP) -- Two Episcopal bishops say that anti-gay comments from the Vatican could lead to hate crimes in the United States.

Bishop M. Thomas Shaw and assistant Bishop Roy F. Cederholm Jr. of the Massachusetts Diocese told The Boston Globe they hesitated to enter another denomination's controversy but found it necessary.

The Vatican is preparing a statement that is expected to address whether homosexually oriented candidates should enter priestly training. A cardinal who formerly led a top Vatican agency wrote recently that gay ordinations are imprudent and risky.

''I'm really concerned about hate crimes and homophobia that comes from supposedly responsible people'' making statements against gay clergy, said Shaw, who has ordained openly homosexual priests since becoming head of the diocese in 1994.

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