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05/22/2013

'National Catholic Reporter' commentary: Church can show it's not anti-gay by backing gay Boy Scouts

by Jeremy Hooper

A welcome change of pace on the Catholic commentary circuit:

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 At 8.33.33 Am "Though few will state it publicly, one of the arguments against admitting homosexuals as adult scout leaders is the unsubstantiated belief that homosexuals are more prone to sexual abuse of children than are heterosexuals. Similarly fallacious arguments have been made regarding the predilection of Roman Catholic clergy to sexual abuse of children. Consequently, one would think that Catholic church leadership would be particularly sensitive to such unjust assumptions. Yet the silence of Catholic leadership regarding the Boy Scout controversy has been deafening.

If [Cardinal] Dolan wants the Catholic church to do a better job demonstrating that it is not anti-gay, he might encourage the bishops’ conference to declare publicly its opposition to any scout policy that would either prohibit gay youth from joining a scout troop or gays and lesbians from serving as adult scout leaders.


—Richard Gaillardetz, Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College, writing for National Catholic Reporter.

I'm not holding my breath for Cardinal Dolan's endorsement, since current Catholic leadership seems to have zero interest in distancing itself from far-right, anti-gay politics. But Gaillardetz is on to something, whether or not the defiant in his faith will admit it. A Catholic church that cares about her future would be well-advised to listen to voices of a sustainable (and inevitable) future rather than just the voices of biases gone by.

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