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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (ChurchMilitant.com) - Seminarians in Honduras claim they've been scandalized by a gay subculture, but the country's bishops are in denial.
Nearly 50 seminarians at Tegucigalpa's major seminary backed a letter complaining about the rampant homosexuality in the seminary. The letter was first presented to the seminary's formators and later to the Honduran bishops conference.
The authors of the letter sent it to the National Catholic Register, who reported on it on July 25. A seminarian who drafted the letter told the Register anonymously, "Heterosexual seminarians are scandalized and really depressed."
The Honduran bishops responded to the Register, "With all certainty and truth, we affirm that there does not exist, has not existed, nor should exist in the seminary an atmosphere such as the one presented in the news report at NCR [the Register] which gives the impression that institutionally there is the promotion and sustaining of practices opposed to the norms and morals of the Church under the complacent watch of the bishops."
But the Register said on July 30 that it "stands by its reporting" and, commented on the bishops' denial, "But the statement did not refer to or deny the contents of the seminarians' letter, nor any of the other substantiated facts in the article."
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga is head of the archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, where the seminary in question is located. Cardinal Maradiaga has been nicknamed "the vice pope," owing to his close association with Pope Francis.
In June, Cdl. Maradiaga was charged with protecting Abp. Juan Pineda. Pineda had been accused of not only mishandling millions of dollars, but also committing gay sexual assault. Pineda resigned on July 20.
Supposedly, when the seminarians' letter was presented to the Honduran bishops, Cdl. Maradiaga was one of several prelates who criticized the letter. Maradiaga is alleged to have called the seminarians "gossipers," according to sources that the Register spoke with.
Forty-eight seminarians are behind the letter out of the 180 attending Tegucigalpa's major seminary.
In addition to the letter, the Register also received evidence of vulgar text messages that had been sent between gay seminarians in Honduras.
One event that might have provoked the 48 seminarians' response to the homosexual problem was a suicide attempt by one gay seminarian. The man tried to kill himself in April after he discovered that his gay seminarian lover was in another homosexual relationship with yet another gay seminarian.