Stella Maxwell
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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withdrawn from the program.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)

Tags: World, World

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