Controversy in Italy: the director of a Catholic summer camp was expelled for being gay

The professor was to lead the Cesena camp. As it could not be replaced in time, the space will not be able to open this summer

To a teacher at a Catholic summer camp in Italy was prohibited from working with children after the parish priest discovered his homosexuality on social networks, the local media reported on Wednesday.

The young man was to direct the Cesena Camp, in the northern Emilia-Romagna region, before a photograph of her kissing another man was shown to the parish priest, the local newspaper reported. Corriere Romagna.

He was informed that he would no longer be allowed to teach, but could retain a supervisory role, an offer the young man declined. Since he could not be replaced in time, the camp will not be able to open this summer.

“The rules are clear. We cannot give the children of a summer camp the feeling that having a homosexual monitor is normal,” a member of the priest’s staff told the newspaper.

The matter raised the sentence of the mayor of Cesena and a national gay rights advocacy group.

I thought the Middle Ages were over and that unacceptable manifestations of discrimination like this were foreign to our city. Obviously, I was wrong, ”Mayor Enzo Lattuca wrote on his Facebook page.

LGBTQ rights advocacy group Arcigay denounced the decision as “a story of hate and violence”and condemned the priest for taking the young man out of the closet.

“A very young man has been brought out of the closet and publicly punished by the parish for his sexual orientation,” Gabriele Piazzoni, Arcigay’s general secretary, wrote in a statement.

File photo of a protest by activists of the Italian LGBTI association Arcigay in Rome (Tiziana FABI / AFP)
File photo of a protest by activists of the Italian LGBTI association Arcigay in Rome (Tiziana FABI / AFP)

In a statement released later Wednesday, the diocese of Cesena-Sarsina said it was “an open and welcoming house for all.”

“The subject is very sensitive. and what happened has nothing to do with judging people or discriminating rights,” he said, adding that the Catholic Church was “questioning how to reach people who feel excluded from the community due to their affectivity and sexuality.”

“It is a question that remains open and on which even the Church of Cesena-Sarsina is working,” he added.

The Catholic Church considers homosexual acts to be “contrary to natural law” and a sin.

However, Church doctrine calls for homosexuals to be welcomed with “respect, compassion and sensitivity”, and there are no regulations that explicitly prohibit them from caring for children.

Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City on June 18, 2023 (AP/Andrew Medichini)
Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on June 18, 2023 (AP/Andrew Medichini) (Andrew Medichini/)

Since his election in 2013, pope francis he has been more benign to LGBTQ communities than his predecessors, though without questioning the foundations of Catholic doctrine.

“Every person is a child of God. The Church cannot close the door to anyone”he declared in a documentary broadcast in early April.

Earlier in January, he said that those who criminalize homosexuality are “wrong”, pointing out that being homosexual “is not a crime” but a “sin”.

However, the Argentine Pontiff does not stray from the Catholic doctrine on marriage, defined as the union between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation.

With information from AFP

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