Avila’s Demonizing Did Not Create Healthy Dialogue, Says TWO
BURLINGTON, Vt. – Truth Wins Out applauded the resignation of Dan Avila today from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he served as Policy Advisor for Marriage and Family. Avila resigned after receiving much criticism for a column he wrote for the Boston Pilot that suggested Satan might cause people to become gay.
“Daniel Avila’s column was hurtful and deeply offensive, and we are grateful that he quickly resigned,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director for Truth Wins Out. “Demonizing never creates a healthy dialogue and Avila represented a major obstacle to the church’s claim to respect all people.”
The offensive column caused such an uproar that the Pilot, America’s oldest Catholic newspaper, retracted the screed. Avila was forced to offer a weak apology that said his column “[does] not represent the position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the column was not authorized for publication as is required policy for staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.”
“The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops were correct to accept Avila’s resignation,” said John Becker, Director of Communications and Development for Truth Wins Out. “There is no place for such extremism and Avila’s poisonous remarks served to further alienate LGBT Americans from the Catholic Church.”
In his column Avila wrote:
“…the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil. 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.”
At the time, TWO sent out a press release criticizing Avila’s remarks and commented further in a Washington Post blog. Earlier today, the LGBT advocacy group called for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to fire Avila. Last month, TWO filmed Avila’s anti-gay speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.