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Brazil: Catholic priest excommunicated for 'liberal views'

By Layne Weiss     Apr 30, 2013 in World
Bauru - A Catholic priest in Brazil has been excommunicated after publicly resigning from his post due to his personal defense of homosexuality, open marriage, and other practices which go against the Church's teachings.
"Father Roberto Francisco Daniel can no longer celebrate the divine right because he has been excommunicated," a statement released by the Bauru diocese in Sau Paulo state said according to News.Com.Au.
The 48-year-old priest known as "Father Beto" renounced his duties over the weekend and was accused of "heresy" and "schism" in Brazil, the world's biggest Catholic country, which will welcome Pope Francis later this summer during a major youth festival in Rio De Janeiro.
Father Beto "injured the Church with grave statements counter to the dogma of Catholic faith and morality," Monday's statement said according to Reuters. He is very popular in the city of Bauru, where he has been a priest since 2001. He is known for his alternative apparel such as a silver stud pierced through his ear and the rock-n-roll t-shirts he wore. He was also notorious for posing on his Facebook page with a glass of beer.
On both Facebook and Twitter, he posted a brief statement about his excommunication. "I feel honored to belong to the long list of people who have been murdered and burned alive for thinking and searching for knowledge."
"We should simply be considered as gendered beings and not as homosexuals or bisexuals since love can spring at all these levels," the priest posted in a Portugese-speaking video on Youtube over the weekend, The AFP reports.
"For me, it has become impossible to live the Gospel in an institution where freedom of thought and freedom of expression are not respected."
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