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Argentine archbishop: in some dioceses there is a gay priests’ lobby

Archbishop Aguer (Archdiocese of La Plata)

Archbishop Aguer welcomed Pope Francis's recent remarks on homosexuality in the priesthood

The Archbishop Emeritus of La Plata has said that some dioceses have a “high” proportion of gay clergy who constitute a “kind of lobby”.

Archbishop Héctor Aguer made the comment on the Channel 9 television programme Keys for a Better World. He was responding to Pope Francis’s remarks on homosexuality in the priesthood. The archbishop’s comment was reported by ACI Prensa, an EWTN-owned Catholic news agency based in Lima.

He cited Pope Francis saying that homosexuality had become “fashionable” and that this mentality had also entered the Church.

“The Pope has touched a key point, which did not used to be talked about,” he said. “I can assure you that, in some dioceses, the percentage of homosexual priests is high, and that they usually cover for each other; they do not come out of the closet … they constitute a kind of lodge or lobby, even those who are ‘non-practising’.”

The archbishop suggested it was a just form of discrimination not to admit gay people to the priesthood. “Fair discrimination is preventing things from being done that should not be done or that people who should not be in such a place be there,” he said. “Well: choosing candidates for the priesthood with full male integrity is an obligation of the Church; otherwise the sense of celibacy is being put at risk.”

The archbishop interpreted Pope Francis as endorsing a block on gay candidates for seminary, but this has been disputed, with some observers arguing that the Pope merely urged gay priests and religious to be celibate.

Archbishop Aguer stepped down as Archbishop of La Plata in June after he turned 75.