arz_bio_2.jpgRosendo Huesca Pacheco, the archbishop of Puebla, recently revealed that all men in his diocese who apply to become priests must submit to HIV testing?and if the results are positive the men are rejected for priesthood, the Mexican magazine Proceso reports.

He also reiterated the Roman Catholic church’s ever-increasing rhetoric that gay men are not welcome as priests. The archbishop made all these comments in response to an initiative by local legislators to define pederasty as a crime. It seems that he believes that denying HIV-positive men and gay men from the priesthood will make defining pederasty as a crime unnecessary.

Equating HIV-positive men and gay men with pederasts is not just grossly inaccurate, it’s an outrage. Thankfully, civil rights leaders in Mexico are arguing that excluding HIV-positive men from the priesthood solely on the basis of their HIV status is illegal, Mexican news agency Notiese reports.

As the leader of the oldest diocese in Mexico, this archbishop has influence. We can only hope that his influence is counterbalanced by those fair-minded civil rights leaders.

Tip of the hat to Blabbeando for this story!

UPDATE: The uproar from Mexican civil rights activists seems to have had an impact?plans to give HIV tests to all applicants for the priesthood have been cancelled, Notiese reports.