Gay slams church obstinacy

May 15, 1998

A homosexual was first denied enrolment in Milan's Catholic University because he could not produce a certificate of baptism, and then for years was refused baptism by his parish priest because he is a declared homosexual.

The Universita Cattolica, with branches in several Italian cities, is run by the church. In practice, however, the Universita Cattolica operates in the state university system, which guarantees enrolment to anyone with a maturita school diploma.

Adolfo Pablo Lapi accused the Milan Curia of discrimination. He explained that he comes from a Catholic family but was never christened because his parents felt he should decide for himself. In 1996, the man he was living with near Milan died of Aids.

"For years, the parish priest gave me various excuses for not performing the baptism," Mr Lapi said. After Mr Lapi's charges, the press officer of the Milan Curia, Father Gianni Zappa, explained: "In principle there is no problem. A homosexual can be baptised, but only if he accepts the morals of the church, which demand chastity. This gentleman requested baptism while he cohabited; consequently, his request could not be satisfied. Now he can make another request, but with an attitude of humble silence and reflection, not as a right to be demanded."

The Vatican policy believes that homosexuality is a "malfunction" but that it should not be persecuted or lead to discrimination. In recent documents, it was stated that homosexuals could live within the church as long as they remained chaste and did not put their homosexual inclinations into practice.

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