Pope accepts resignation of conservative archbishop who thinks people choose to be gay
The Pope has accepted the resignation of the Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, who believes that being gay is “disordered” and a choice.
All Catholic bishops and archbishops are required to hand in their resignation when they turn 75, but the Pope can either accept their resignation or reject it and allow them to stay on.
The New York Times reported: “In this case, the Pope did not wait long before saying yes.”
Chaput is infamously anti-LGBT+ and, although the Catholic church is not generally inclusive of LGBT+ people, throughout his 50-year career he has been especially vocal about his opposition to same-sex marriage.
He wrote in a column for Catholic Philly: “A slogan like ‘marriage equality’ may sound simple and innocent. Its supporters may be heartfelt and sincere.
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“But well-intentioned or not, it has serious, damaging consequences for law, personal freedom and social health; and too often, it also lacks any connection with a spirit of truth.”
He has also made anti-trans comments, and wrote in another column: “The reason Pope Francis so forcefully rejects ‘gender theory’ is not just because it lacks scientific support — though it certainly has that problem.
“Gender theory is a kind of metaphysics that subverts the very nature of sexuality by denying the male-female complementarity encoded into our bodies.
“In doing that, it attacks a basic building block of human identity and meaning – and by extension, the foundation of human social organisation.”
One column Chaput wrote was in retaliation to an LGBT+ affirming priest, in which he seemed to think that being gay is a choice.
He said: “Faithful Catholics who are same-sex attracted need support and encouragement in the virtue of chastity. They deserve to hear – as all people do – the truth about human sexuality spoken clearly and confidently.”
Of the idea that people are born gay, he added: “Any implication that a person’s behaviour is predetermined, and that intellect and free will have little role in the formation and control of his or her sexual appetites, is both false and destructive, especially to young people.”
During his time as archbishop of Philadelphia, Chaput objected to the use of the term LGBTQ being used in official documents from the Catholic Church, and stopped gay people from receiving communion because he said “irregular relationships” would cause “moral confusion” among Catholics.