High AIDS Toll Among Priests
Catholic Priests and A.I.D.S. Epidemic

High AIDS Toll Among Priests Has Been Obscured, Paper Says
Washington Post
January 31, 2000

KANSAS CITY, Mo.--AIDS has killed hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in the United States although other causes may be listed on their death certificates, the Kansas City Star reported yesterday.

The newspaper reported that its examination of death certificates and interviews with experts indicated several
hundred priests had died of AIDS-related illnesses since the mid-1980s and hundreds have the AIDS virus. The
death rate of priests from AIDS is at least four times that of the general population, the newspaper said.

Bishop Raymond J. Boland of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said the deaths show that priests are human: "Much as we would regret it, it shows that human nature is human nature."

Six of 10 priests responding on confidential questionnaires from the newspaper said they knew of at least one priest who had died of an AIDS-related illness and one-third knew a priest living with AIDS.

The paper cited the case of Bishop Emerson J. Moore, who left the Archdiocese of New York in 1995 and went to Minnesota, where he died in a hospice of an AIDS-related illness. His death certificate attributed the death to "unknown natural causes" and listed his occupation as "laborer."

After an AIDS activist filed a complaint, officials changed the cause of death to "HIV-related illness," the paper reported, but the occupation was not corrected.

The newspaper said the death rate among priests from AIDS appears to be at least four times that of the rate for the general U.S. population. Some priests and behavioral experts believe the church has scared priests into silence by treating homosexual acts as an abomination and the breaking of celibacy vows as shameful, the Star said.

Catholic cardinals in the United States and high-ranking church officials in the Vatican declined requests to discuss the newspaper's findings, The Star reported. The Vatican referred questions to local bishops. Bishop Raymond Boland of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said the AIDS deaths show that priests are human.

"Much as we would regret it, it shows that human nature is human nature," he said. "And all of us are heirs to all of the misfortunes that can be foisted upon the human race."

UPDATE November 2000

New Study Finds Catholic Priests Dying From AIDS at Higher Than Expected Rate

According to a study following a January report on Catholic priests dying of AIDS, the Kansas City Star has found that the AIDS-related death rate among priests "exceeds earlier estimates." The Star reported in a three-part series in January that "hundreds of priests had died of AIDS-related illnesses and that hundreds more were living with the virus that causes the disease."

Follow-up research, based on death certificates and interviews with family members, found an additional 300 AIDS-related priest deaths nationwide. However, researchers were unable to count AIDS-related deaths in the nearly two-thirds of states that do not disclose death records, and experts say that the "exact AIDS death toll among U.S. priests will never be known." In the 14 states that allowed the Star to access death records, the paper found that the AIDS-related death rate among priests was "more than double" the rate among all adult males in those states and more than six times the rate among the general population in those states. The Star reports that these rates "exceeded the estimates and projections reported earlier this year by the newspaper," and the follow-up investigation reveals that "there is no longer any question that hundreds of priests have died of AIDS and that many bishops were aware of their plights."

Mixed Response

The new study has sparked further controversy surrounding the relationship between priests, who are required to be celibate, and AIDS (Thomas, Kansas City Star, 11/4).

An op-ed to the Star by Rev. Patrick Rush, the vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, states that the paper's conclusions "are not consistent with the experience of our local diocese: not the death rate, not the silence and not the denial." He added, "The Star's continued reporting on the subject of priests with AIDS sadly misses the point. Any death from HIV/AIDS is a tragedy. ... It is a problem for us all" (Rush, Kansas City Star, 11/6).

But advocates cite the report as evidence that the Catholic Church needs to further address the issue.

Eugene Kennedy, former priest and biographer of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, said, "The fact that you have priests having very active sexual lives, that you have priests contracting HIV and dying of AIDS and that they have refused to come to terms with this and tend to deny it, I don't see how you look at this and not say that these are symptoms of an unresolved sexual problem within the church."

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokesperson for the Conference of Bishops, said the church "had been active in dealing with the AIDS issue and that seminary formation programs today are doing a better job of educating priests about sexuality issues."

Examples of recent efforts to address sexual issues and AIDS within the church include:

The National Federation of Priests' Councils is "updating" a 93-page document about AIDS. It now provides direction on how dioceses and religious orders should "deal with" HIV-positive priests and whether priest candidates should be tested for HIV.

The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, originally one of the study's "harshest critics," is endorsing a "major study" to look at problems priests face in their first five years after ordination. Dean Hoge, the study's principal investigator, said that the topics of sexuality and celibacy will be addressed.

The Church of England revealed this year that at least 25% of its priests had died of AIDS-related illnesses, and in September mandated that all Anglican bishops in southern Africa undergo HIV testing.

Root of the Problem

Through interviews with priests, AIDS experts, doctors, psychologists and educators, the Star found a general consensus that more education and communication is needed to curb the "tragedy of priests dying of AIDS."

Rev. Thomas Reese, editor of America magazine, a national Jesuit publication, cited the biggest issue as the "silence surrounding ... gay priests." Reese said, "The silence highlights a tension in a church that defines homosexuality as 'intrinsically disordered' but relies on many gay men to celebrate the sacraments and carry out the work of the church."

Jon Fuller, a Jesuit priest and Boston physician who specializes in AIDS, lamented the fact that the Vatican discourages open discussions on sexuality, considers homosexual relations a sin and opposes "modern practice" of safe sex.

However, the church has not entirely ignored the AIDS epidemic and has served as a "major provider of AIDS services" in San Francisco, according to the Rev. Jim Mitulski, co-pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, a "predominantly gay congregation." Mitulski said, "It's compassion that comes with a price tag. ... The irony is, here's this institution that does have a heart for sick people, but at the same time, it's fostering a climate where HIV continues to be spread" (Kansas City Star, 11/4).


The Gay Priest Problem

 CatholicCulture.org | June 03, 2002

AIDS has quietly caused the deaths of hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in the United States although other causes may be listed on some of their death certificates, the Kansas City Star reported today. The newspaper said its examination of death certificates and interviews with experts indicates several hundred priests have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the mid-1980s. The death rate of priests from AIDS is at least four times that of the general population, the newspaper said. Kansas City Bishop Raymond Boland says the AIDS deaths show that priests are human.

Astonishing, when you think about it. The paragraph above comes from an Associated Press report on a series of newspaper articles by Judy L. Thomas that appeared in January of 2000. It is too much to say Catholics were "rocked" by the attendant media hype--the scandal threshold has been raised pretty high in recent years--but among the laity the articles occasioned, if not a gasp, at least a general sigh of exasperation. From all sides, almost, one heard the complaint "Why doesn't somebody do something?" Why not indeed.

A large part of the answer is implicit in the remarkable response to the situation tendered by Bishop Boland. To aver that a priest shows he is human by dying of AIDS is to say that it is somehow natural to our human state to engage in acts of passive consensual sodomy, from which the resultant infection takes its predictable course. Few Catholics who are not in Holy Orders would share this view of human nature. In reality, the fact that priests die of AIDS proves that they commit sin, by which they show not that they are human but that they act in a sub-human manner--sub-human not in any special sense, but in the ordinary sense in which each of us falls short of his true human dignity by sinning, whatever our sin may be.

But Bishop Boland, like many of his brethren, is unwilling to concede the major premise. "I would never ask a priest how he got [AIDS]," he told Thomas, "just like nobody asked me two years ago how I got cancer of the colon. But I would provide for him. I would not write him off and say, 'Because you've got AIDS and because there are doubts about how one can acquire it, therefore you're not a good priest.’" Well, let's take the case of a 3-year-old girl brought into the emergency room with a broken jaw and cigarette burns on her rib cage. Suppose the hospital personnel said, "Look, there's more than one way to pick up these injuries, and the girl's medical treatment will be the same whatever their cause, so there's no point in asking how she got them."

Most of us would see such a response as a culpably willful refusal to face up to a grim reality. By the same token, when we are urged to pretend that there is room for doubt as to how most priests contract AIDS, we can be sure that our gaze is being intentionally diverted from the ugly and indisputable facts: a disproportionately high percentage of priests is gay; a disproportionately high percentage of gay priests routinely engages in sodomy; this sodomy is frequently ignored, often tolerated, and sometimes abetted by bishops and superiors. ...

The gay priest problem will continue to worsen as long as this code-talk remains the dominant idiom. As long as seminarians are "educated in sexuality" by the Michael Petersons and are warned by their superiors that they must "live comfortably with people of different sexual orientations," we can be sure that the number of gays will steadily increase in the clergy and the language of moral integrity will be pushed out of the discussion. Quite simply, those entrusted to fix what is broken are broken themselves and are camouflaging their real motives in the fuzzy vocabulary of therapy and pastoral sensitivity.

As with every institutional crisis, this one ultimately boils down to the question of accountability. Who recruits the newcomers? Who forms their habits and attitudes? More importantly, who appoints the recruiters and educators? Who will name the problems for what they are and take responsibility for putting them right? The issue of accountability forces us to confront a yet more intimidating crisis, one which is easily misunderstood and which I take up with reluctance, but which must be faced squarely as an unpleasant truth.

SOURCE: Catholic Culture : News Features

Homophobia is good!

Roman Catholic Priests & AIDS

Priest Celibacy is an Unbiblical Teaching (MP3)

The Catholic Church is straight out of the pits of Hell!

"And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life" (John 5:40)

Notice that Jesus said “ye will not come,” not ye cannot come.

Jesus came to SAVE SINNERS!  |  They “Knew Not Until the Flood Came”

This is NOT a hate site

Ephesians 4:15, “...speaking the truth in love...”

 "Ye that love the LORD, hate evil..." —Psalm 97:10



Why are the churches silent?

Homosexuality is a Sin!

Homosexuality Agenda Exposed (.PDF file)

Homosexuality and Pedophilia

“Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” —Ephesians 4:19

What HAPPENS in Vegas, is RECORDED in Heaven!!!

TVC News Logo

God Will Forgive Anybody

"Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD..." —Malachi 2:17

Homosexuality is a sin! Don't upset God by saying it's not!


There is a way out!

If you really love someone, you'll tell them the truth.

Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!