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Gay priest denied
participation in AIDS awareness mission

Gay priest denied
participation in AIDS awareness mission

A central New York State priest claims he was denied participation in a Catholic mission to help increase HIV awareness in Africa because he is gay. Fred Daley, of St. Francis de Sales Church, said he applied for a spot in the Catholic Relief Services program in March, went through months of training, and was assigned to Lesotho in southern Africa.

Daley was scheduled to leave on August 6 for three final weeks of training in Washington, D.C., but received a phone call July 18 telling him that his application had been withdrawn from the program. Catholic Relief Services CEO Michael Wiest contacted Daley and said he had just been informed about the priest's sexual orientation, Daley said.

"He said he had received an anonymous call with information that I was an openly gay priest who publicly declared my orientation and that I have a high profile and therefore CRS made a decision to withdraw my application from their volunteer program," Daley said.

Officials from the Syracuse Roman Catholic diocese attempted to have the decision appealed but have been unsuccessful. The Syracuse diocese and Catholic Relief Services could not be reached for further comment. (AP)

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