The oldest Catholic newspaper in the United States took down a column claiming that homosexual attraction is caused by the devil.
Daniel Avila, the associate director for policy and research for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote an opinion piece in The Pilot that said scientific evidence shows that the devil tampers with natural biological development.
The piece explained that fallen angels who roam the Earth distort God’s plans and cause such things as same-sex attraction. Avila called them “supernatural actors,” who “unlike God, do not have the good of persons at heart."
An excerpt from the "Some fundamental questions on same-sex attraction” column read:
“Any time natural disasters occur, we as people of faith look back to Scripture’s account of those angels who rebelled and fell from grace. In their anger against God, these malcontents prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. They continue to do all they can to mar, distort and destroy God’s handiwork. Therefore, whenever natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God.”
Avila’s column was posted Oct. 29, but was retracted yesterday, the Boston Globe reported.
Avila issued an apology and said that he had made a theological error in his argument, and that the mission of the Conference of Catholic Bishop is not to cause harm and confusion, but to “promote the greater good that the Church offers mankind.”
His apology will appear in an issue of the 182-year-old newspaper that is going to be published later this week. The Globe also revealed that Avila and the archdiocese discussed the column and agreed that it was inappropriate and did not fit with the vocation of the church.
Terrance Donilon, a representative for the archdiocese, said that Avila is passionate about the church and his faith, and that “this one clearly just got away from him.”