Boston Pilot retracts column blaming Satan for homosexuality.

In the October 29 issue of the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston, Daniel Avila argued:

Catholics do not have the luxury of being materialists. We look for ultimate explanations that transcend the strictly physical world and that stretch beyond our limited ability to mold and reshape reality as we know it. Disruptive imbalances in nature that thwart encoded processes point to supernatural actors who, unlike God, do not have the good of persons at heart.In other words, 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.(...)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. Applying this aspect of Catholic belief to interpret the scientific data makes more sense because it does not place God in the awkward position of blessing two mutually incompatible realities -- sexual difference and same-sex attraction.

Of course, that argument has certain scientific and theological shortcomings. (Daniel Burke posted the whole piecehere.) So the Pilot retracted the column, apologized for "having failed to recognize the theological error in the column before publication," and posted Avila's mea culpa:

Statements made in my column, "Some fundamental questions on same-sex attraction" of October 28, do 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 teaching of Sacred Scripture and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church make it clear that all persons are created in the image and likeness of God and have inviolable dignity. Likewise, the Church proclaims the sanctity of marriage as the permanent, faithful, fruitful union of one man and one woman. The Church opposes, as I do too, all unjust discrimination and the violence against persons that unjust discrimination inspires. I deeply apologize for the hurt and confusion that this column has caused.

Update: Avila has resigned from his position as a policy adviser on marriage to the USCCB.

Grant Gallicho joined Commonweal as an intern and was an associate editor for the magazine until 2015. 

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