On the May 2 edition of “Larry King Live,” several guests from various religions discussed the subject of homosexuality and religion. The Catholic representative was Father Richard Rasi. He was introduced by Larry King as a “gay defrocked priest.”
Father Rasi insisted he was still a priest in good standing, did not dispute the gay characterization and said that he works with a gay Catholic group, Dignity; he never mentioned that Dignity is not recognized by the Catholic Church. He then proceeded to misrepresent Catholic teaching on the subject.
We checked the Official Catholic Directory to find out where Father Rasi was stationed. He’s not in the book. We then called the Larry King show for the name of the producer, but were told that no name would be released. So William Donohue wrote the following letter.
May 3, 2000
Larry King Live Show
1 CNN Center
P.O. Box 105366
Atlanta, GA 30374-0166
Last night Father Richard Rasi was featured in a panel discussion on homosexuality and religion. Larry King introduced him as a gay defrocked priest. Father Rasi said he represents the Catholic gay group, Dignity, and proceeded to state what he claimed was Catholic teaching on the subject of homosexuality.
As someone who has been a guest many times in the past with Larry, I am outraged that this man was chosen to represent my religion. There is no listing of Father Rasi in theOfficial Catholic Directory. Furthermore, why was a self-described gay priest, introduced as being defrocked, chosen to represent Catholicism? And Dignity, you should know, is not an approved Catholic gay group—Courage is. Yet instead of having someone from Courage on (like Father Harvey), you chose instead someone who misrepresented Catholic teaching on this subject to millions.
As president of the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, I would like an explanation for this decision. Our members have been calling us left and right and they also need an explanation.
William A. Donohue
Not having heard from the producer, we suggest that you write a letter. This should never had happened—not even once.