Religion: Gays Vs. The Vatican

San Francisco's Archbishop forbids Masses for Dignity

American homosexual activists call the dreaded document the "Halloween letter." The directive, issued by the Vatican's doctrinal congregation on Oct. 30, 1986, was approved by Pope John Paul and dispatched to all Roman Catholic bishops around the world. In it, Rome ordered them to withdraw support from any organization that is either "ambiguous" or opposed to the church's teaching that homosexual behavior is sinful. Any hint of endorsement for gay liberation groups, warned Rome, "can be gravely misinterpreted." In particular, allowing them to meet in Catholic churches or schools was deemed "misleading and often scandalous."

The Vatican's main target in the...

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