After the column was pulled from the website of The Pilot, it drew even more attention and controversy.
The author of a newspaper column suggesting the devil may be responsible for homosexuality has resigned from his job with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
A spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic bishops said Friday that Daniel Avila (AH’-vee-lah) offered to step down and his resignation was accepted Friday.
Avila’s column appeared a week ago in The Pilot, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston. Avila had written that there’s evidence suggesting the devil is responsible for same-sex attraction. Gay rights groups and others condemned the column.
CNS has more:
Terrence Donilon, spokesman for the Boston Archdiocese, told Catholic News Service the column was pulled because Avila “retracted it and apologized and because it simply should not have been printed/published in The Pilot.”
“It is not the position of the archdiocese or the church and is simply wrong,” he said in a Nov. 3 email.
Avila has written several columns for The Pilot during the past year and has been a contributor to the newspaper for at least seven years, according to Donilon. The most recent column, which generated reaction in the blogosphere was titled: “Some fundamental questions on same-sex attraction.”
In the column, Avila attempted to answer the question about what causes same-sex attraction. He pointed to possible explanations such as “random imbalances in maternal hormone levels” which he said could have “disruptive prenatal effects on fetal development.”But he said Catholics need to look for spiritual answers to this question. And as he sees it, “the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God,” he said. “Applying this aspect of Catholic belief to interpret the scientific data makes more sense because it does not place God in the awkward position of blessing two mutually incompatible realities — sexual difference and same-sex attraction.”
In Avila’s retraction and apology statement he said his column did not represent the position of the USCCB and was not authorized for publication. “The teaching of sacred Scripture and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church make it clear that all persons are created in the image and likeness of God and have inviolable dignity. Likewise, the church proclaims the sanctity of marriage as the permanent, faithful, fruitful union of one man and one woman.”
He continued: “The church opposes, as I do too, all unjust discrimination and the violence against persons that unjust discrimination inspires. I deeply apologize for the hurt and confusion that this column has caused.”
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