As first reported by Right Wing Watch, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ point person on marriage issues Daniel Avila claimed in a Catholic newspaper, The Pilot, that Satan was responsible for making people gay by “disturb[ing] otherwise typical biological development.” Following our story and criticism from his fellow Catholics, Avila’s column was retracted and both Avila and the newspaper’s editors apologized. The column can still be found here at the Religion News Service.
The Associated Press is now reporting that Avila is resigning his post:
The author of a newspaper column suggesting the devil may be responsible for homosexuality has resigned from his job with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
A spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic bishops said Friday that Daniel Avila offered to step down and his resignation was accepted Friday.
Avila’s column appeared a week ago in The Pilot, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston. Avila had written that there’s evidence suggesting the devil is responsible for same-sex attraction. Gay rights groups and others condemned the column.
The newspaper withdrew the article from its website Wednesday. Avila apologized for any pain the column caused. He said his views did not represent the position of the bishops’ conference.
Avila had worked on policy and research for the bishops in Washington.