Artikel pada februari 2000 memuat hasil penelitian bahwa penderita aid diantara romo prosentasinya lebih tinggi daripada orang biasa.
Dianatara romo 1 tiap 114 orang biasa 1 tiap 300 sampai 400.
Survey of AIDS Infection among Priests Shocks U.S. Catholics
Death rate among priests higher than national average, poll finds
by Cheryl Heckler-Feltz
Ecumenical News International
NEW YORK - A survey of Roman Catholic priests by a newspaper, the “Kansas
City Star,” has stunned many American Catholics with its finding that
priests are dying of AIDS at a much higher rate than the average U.S.
The survey results - implying that a significant number of priests are
gay and not celibate - have prompted anger by some Catholics at “wayward
clergy,” while others are pleading with the church and its members to be
more tolerant about the sexual orientation of those who serve the church.
The Star posted the random, confidential survey to 3,000 priests late
last year, and 801 - or 27 percent - responded. The results showed that:
* Seven respondents - about 1 in 114 - said they either had HIV or AIDS
or might have but had not been tested. This would translate into about 400
priests nation-wide. In the general U.S. population, the average is
between 1 in 300 and 1 in 420, according to the Center for Disease Control
in Atlanta, Georgia. (The National Catholic AIDS Network, established in
1989 to minister to those who suffer from HIV/AIDS, supports the survey’s
* Six of 10 respondents said they knew at least one priest who had died
of an AIDS-related illness.
* One-third of those surveyed knew a priest currently living with AIDS.
* Three-quarters of those responding described themselves as
heterosexual, 15 per cent said they were homosexual and 5 percent bisexual.
The remainder declined to categorize themselves. By contrast, in the
general population an estimated 5 to 10 percent are homosexual.
* Two-thirds of the respondents said that sexuality either was not
addressed at all or not addressed enough in their theological training.
The survey also asked priests to describe the church's response in
ministering to priests with HIV or AIDS. Sixty-five per cent said the
church had been caring and compassionate. Twelve percent said the church
took care of only the priests’ basic needs. Two per cent said the church
ignored priests, and another two percent said the church was judgemental
According to the Star's survey, 14 per cent of respondents said
changing church doctrine on homosexuality would be extremely effective.
However, more than half the respondents said changing the doctrine would
not be effective at all.
Fifteen per cent said that eliminating the church's celibacy
requirement would be extremely effective. More than half, however, said
eliminating celibacy would not be at all effective.
In releasing its survey results, the "Kansas City Star" also featured
an article about Thom Savage, a popular Jesuit and college president, who
died in May 1999 of an AIDS-related illness.
"In 1988, when he was chosen to lead Rockhurst College at age 41,
Savage was the nation’s youngest Jesuit college president," Star reporter
Judy L. Thomas wrote. “Over the next eight years, he became a highly
respected community leader.” Savage kept his illness a secret even from
his own family until just weeks before his death.
"As Savage's death illustrates, a priest with AIDS is still a matter so
sensitive that it has yet to be fully addressed by the church, by priests’
families - or even by the priests themselves," Thomas wrote. When Savage
died, Rockhurst College released a statement saying he had died of severe
respiratory problems. The death certificate, however, said his death was
linked to AIDS.
Neither the Vatican nor the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in
Washington D.C. has commented on the survey.
But Thomas Gumbleton, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit
told the “Kansas City Star” that the situation was “depressing. The
bishops just won’t face the fact that there’s a problem and that they
should be doing something.”
Tom Roberts, managing editor of a leading religious newspaper, the
“National Catholic Reporter,” based in Kansas City, told ENI: “The church
knows there is a significant gay population among the clergy. Most of them
are wonderful ministers. The church also knows some are sexually active.
It refuses to engage in any significant discussion about sexuality. It
labels gays, and then stands in wonder when people are fascinated by
reports of priests with AIDS.”
This note sent by Office of News Services,
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
to the World Faith News list <[email protected]>.
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