Bishop Olmsted Suspends Priest for Refusing to Remove Name from Gay Document

Fri Jun 4, 2004 - 12:15 pm EST

PHOENIX, June 4, 2004 ( - Following Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s April order that nine priests and one religious brother remove their names from a document by an activist organization for homosexual clergy, all have complied except for Fr. Andre Boulanger. Last week bishop Olmsted suspended Fr. Boulanger from priestly ministry.  The document, No Longer Silent: Clergy for Justice, stated “Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We affirm that GLBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.”

Within two weeks of bishop Olmsted’s order, eight of the ten had removed their names; last week, the ninth, but Fr. Boulanger defiantly persisted in his stand.

A suspension means a priest may not celebrate Mass, preach or hear confessions. Olmsted told Fr. Boulanger his suspension stands “until such time as I have assurance from you that you do indeed believe and teach what the Church teaches about the call to holiness for homosexual persons,” according to an Arizona Republic article.  Fr. Boulanger was placed on leave after a similar public affirmation of homosexuality he made in 1978, although he was later allowed to resume some priestly ministry.  Read related coverage:  New Phoenix Bishop Orders Priests to Disassociate from Gay Document Phoenix Bishop Addresses Homosexuality - Lovingly but Without Compromising Truth New Phoenix Bishop Shows Impressive Leadership - Dares to Directly Address Homosexuality

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