Report Says Hundreds of Priests Have Died of AIDS
The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - AIDS has quietly caused the deaths of hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in the United States although other causes may be listed on some of their death certificates, The Kansas City Star has reported.

In the first of a three-part series, the newspaper reported that its examination of death certificates and interviews with experts indicated several hundred priests have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the mid-1980s and hundreds more are living with HIV, the virus that causes the disease. The death rate of priests from AIDS is at least four times that of the general population, the newspaper said.

Church leaders in the United States and at the Vatican declined requests to discuss the findings, the Star said, and the Vatican referred questions to local bishops.

Bishop Raymond J. Boland of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, said the AIDS deaths show that priests are human. “Much as we would regret it, it shows that human nature is human nature,” Boland said.

The Star sent confidential questionnaires to 3,000 of the 46,000 priests in the United States last fall, asking about AIDS and other issues, and received responses from 801 priests, a 27 percent return rate.

Six of 10 priests responding said they knew of at least one priest who had died of an AIDS-related illness and one-third knew a priest living with AIDS. Three-fourths said the church needed to provide more education to seminarians on sexual issues.

Asked about their sexual orientation, 
75 percent said they were heterosexual, 
15 percent said they were homosexual and 5 percent said they were bisexual.

The Star said exact numbers of priests who have died of AIDS or become infected with HIV is unknown, partly because many suffer in solitude. When priests tell their superiors, the cases generally are handled quietly.

The newspaper cited the case of Bishop Emerson J. Moore, who left the Archdiocese of New York in 1995 and went to Minnesota, where he died in a hospice of an AIDS-related illness. His death certificate attributed the death to “unknown natural causes” and listed his occupation as “laborer” in the manufacturing industry.

After an AIDS activist filed a complaint, officials changed the cause of death to “HIV-related illness,” the newspaper reported, but the occupation was not corrected.

Farley Cleghorn, an epidemiologist with the Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore, said he has treated about 20 priests and religious-order brothers with AIDS, all of whom had kept it a secret.

“The church and religious orders need to acknowledge that there is a problem - that priests have sex and they are susceptible to all sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS,” he said.

Return to Headlines

Have you seen news in the making? 
If so, please call us at (954) 568-1880.


Advertise

Catalog X has great clothing, videos, toys and more to buy online!

| HOME PG | BREAKING NEWS | POLITICS & THE LAW | BUSINESS & FINANCE | EXPRESS YOURSELF! | LIFESTYLES |
| EVENT CALENDAR | HEALTH & FITNESS | GAY UNIVERSITY | OUR REVIEWS | ARTS & CULTURE | ENTERTAINMENT |
| EXPRESSIFIED ADS | LOCAL SPORTS | EXPRESS LINKS | WEB DESIGN | ADVERTISE! | SUBSCRIBE | CHAT ROOMS |

Copyright 2000, Express Gay News Inc., All Rights Reserved.