A controversial newspaper column has led Daniel Avila, associate director for policy and research of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to resign.
In an article that gained widespread attention, Avila suggested that the devil may be responsible for homosexual attraction -- an insinuation that sent some in the gay rights community into a tizzy.
Following the firestorm, which the Blaze first reported on yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic bishops said that Avila offered to step down and his resignation was accepted today.
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.
On Wednesday, the newspaper removed the article and Avila apologized for any pain it may have caused. He said his views did not represent the position of the bishops' conference. His full apology read:
“Statements made in my column, ‘Some fundamental questions on same-sex attraction’ of October 28, do not represent the position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the column was not authorized for publication as is required policy for staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The teaching of Sacred Scripture and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church make it clear that all persons are created in the image and likeness of God and have inviolable dignity. Likewise, the Church proclaims the sanctity of marriage as the permanent, faithful, fruitful union of one man and one woman. The Church opposes, as I do too, all unjust discrimination and the violence against persons that unjust discrimination inspires. I deeply apologize for the hurt and confusion that this column has caused.”
Avila's article was particularly problematic because he has been unofficially viewed as the "bishops' marriage guy," meaning that he has represented the council's take on marriage in Washington.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.