Had Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila made himself available to reporters today, after the widely-covered release of a partial investigation of sexual abuse in portions of Colorado’s Catholic Church and related entities, he would have been asked why he thinks “homosexuality” is a cause for sexual abuse by priests.
There’s no science or humanity to back up his bigotry.
And it has no place coming from a religious leader who today promised that the “sins of the past” are not to be repeated.
Yet, Aquila apparently still stands behind a 2018 tweet of an article with the headline, “Active Homosexuality in the Priesthood Helped Cause This Crisis.”
Last year, Fox 31 Denver’s Joe St. George tried to question Aquila about the tweet but instead got a response from Mark Haas, a spokesman for the archdiocese.
Haas told St. George that not all LGBTQ people are pedophiles.
“No, he is not suggesting it’s one in the same, but Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality is well known,” Haas told St. George. “Teaching on any sexual act outside of a man and a woman in marriage open to procreation is viewed by the church as not living up to the teachings of the gospel.”
“He’s not suggesting they are one in the same” is about as reassuring as saying, “Yes, if you’re gay, I might not want you around my kids.” It’s offensive and awful.
With this kind of mindset at the helm of the local Catholic church, do we really think Aquila has the credibility to fight abuse in the church and deal responsibly with what happened?
At the end of a video response to today’s release of the investigation, which deserves some praise for sure, Aquila refers to an archdiocese website, where he wrote:
“Sexual abuse is a societal problem and there is no single answer or single action to eliminate all sexual abuse, but we will not rest in our efforts to protect children. We will use our resources and community partnerships to be a leader in this area, and we will strive to improve.”
There’s no single action to eliminate abuse, Aquila says, but it looks like going after LGBTQ people is at least part of the archbishop’s solution.