Dignity Action Alert on Antigay Rhetoric from Catholic Leaders
Sponsored by Dignity/USA, the nation's oldest and largest organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered
Catholics, our families, friends and supporters. Express Your Outrage over Continuing Antigay Rhetoric from Catholic
Leaders On Friday, April 26, 2002, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, made the following
statement: "We feel a person who is homosexual-oriented is not a suitable candidate for the priesthood even
if he had never committed any
homosexual act." Bevilacqua added that when a heterosexual man accepts celibacy to become a priest "he's
giving up a very good thing, and that is a family and children," Bevilacqua said. "That would not be
true about a homosexual-oriented candidate . . .. By his orientation he's not giving up family and marriage. He's
giving up what the church considers an aberration, a moral evil." These remarks come on the heels of statements
made by US Catholic Bishops Conference President Bishop Gregory, Cardinal George of Chicago, Cardinal Maida of
Detroit and Vatican spokesman Dr. Joaquin Novarro-Valls, all blaming the US clergy sexual abuse scandal on gay
priests. These comments are outrageous and represent the worst kind of bigotry. They are not consistent with authentic
Catholic teaching. They are dehumanizing and could incite some people to antigay violence.
EXPRESS YOUR OUTRAGE! Here's what you can do to let Catholic officials know this kind of homophobia will not
be tolerated: 1) Call the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at (215) 587-3800, and/or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and let Cardinal Bevilacqua know what you think of his comments. Demand an apology and a retraction of these statements,
and an end to the policy barring gays from seminary admission in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 2) Call Bishop
Wilton Gregory, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops at (202) 541-3000, or send email
Let them know what you think of Cardinal Bevilacqua's statements. Repeat demands for an apology, and insist that
the Bishops stop blaming the Church's sexual abuse scandal on gay priests. 3) Call the Bishop for your own diocese.
For contact information for Catholic dioceses in the US, go to www.usccb.org.
Demand that the bishops accept responsibility for their own role in the cover-up of clergy sexual abuse, and demand
an end to the scapegoating of Catholic priests. 4) Spread the word. Ask your friends, family members and coworkers
who share your outrage to join you in these actions. The Catholic Church should stand for love and justice, not
hate. End the bigotry now!
For more information, contact: Dignity/USA
1500 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005