Expelled theology student sues diocese over seminary teaching
A former lay theology student has filed a $A3.38 million lawsuit against the New York Diocese of Rockville Centre, alleging that its seminary taught "pro-homosexual" doctrine.
William Downey, a 57 year old reitred businessman, said he was expelled from the theology master's program after threatening to publicise his complaints.
Downey accused the seminary of distributing teaching now-discredited moral ideas and distributing "lewd and pro-homosexual materials" that included a pamphlet advertising books that affirmed gay and lesbian Christians.
The suit, which alleges fraud and breach of contract, was filed on Friday in State Supreme Court in Mineola.
He argues that the seminary's teachings "run contrary to authentic Catholic theology" and "create the conditions under which the sex scandal is a natural byproduct".
A diocesan spokesperson defended the seminary, pointing out that it was given a high rating last year after an inspection by a team from the US Catholic Conference of Bishops.
Theologian Richard McBrien commented: "Based on my experience, when a student complains about being thrown out because of his orthodox views, it's almost always for other reasons."
Diocese of Rockville Centre
22 Jan 2003