Daniel Avila is in hot water for a
column that blames the devil for people being gay.
Avila, a policy adviser for the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee for the
Promotion and Defense of Marriage, unofficially refers to himself as
“the bishops' marriage guy” and has represented the USCCB on the
issue of gay marriage at conservative panels.
In the first part of an op-ed printed
last week in the Boston Pilot, the official newspaper of the
Archdiocese of Boston, Avila attempted to address the causes of
“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,” his
On Wednesday, the paper retracted the
piece and issued an apology, saying it “failed to recognize the
theological error in the column before publication,” but did not
provide any details of Avila's error.
In a statement, Avila also apologized,
adding that “the Church opposes, as I do too, all unjust
discrimination and the violence against persons that unjust
DignityUSA, the nation's largest group
of LGBT Catholics, called for Avila's dismissal.
“This shows that Catholic officials
are willing to go to extremes in their anti-gay campaign,” said the
group's executive director, Marianne Duddy-Burke. “[T]he
Archdiocese of Boston and the USCCB should immediately terminate their
relationship with Mr. Avila.”