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Gay-affirming priest leaves the collar behind

“Attempting to turn back the clock and re-create a time when the Catholic Church enjoyed greater authority and respect culturally is not a realistic way to deal with current problems and challenges.”
— Chris Carpenter, who left the priesthood after a conflict with his bishop over gay issues

Good for him. Standing up to Papa Ratzi’s boyz is sorely needed at this time as the Prada-loving Pope engages in public homo-bashing on a weekly basis. (AZ Republic):

A Catholic priest who clashed with Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted over gay issues and other matters has left the priesthood after taking a yearlong leave of absence.

Chris Carpenter said he is concerned about the church’s outreach to gay members and “the current state of church leadership.”

“The enforcement of church doctrine and liturgical practice are taking a step backward to the pre-Vatican II era,” he said, referring to the 1960s council on adapting the church to the modern world.

Carpenter led the gay-advocate group No Longer Silent: Clergy for Justice, and signed the gay-affirming Phoenix Declaration, which encouraged gays and lesbians to be part of the church.

In May 2004, Olmsted ordered the priests to remove their signatures from the document; he made it clear that he doesn’t support gay and lesbian parishioners or outreach to them, so it led to Carpenter’s departure.

Four other Catholic priests took leaves of absence in response to Olmsted’s strong-arming. Carpenter technically remains a priest, but he will no longer identify himself as one or wear the collar.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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