Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

BOSTON CATHOLIC CHURCH SAYS "ALL ARE WELCOME," BUT CONSERVATIVE MEMBERS DEMAND IT BE TAKEN DOWN

UPDATE BELOW

And the Baby Jesus wept:


"In its most recent bulletin, St. Cecilia Parish said that it had planned a “liturgy to commemorate Boston Pride 2011’’ for later this month.


“The Rainbow Ministry of St. Cecilia Parish invites all friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month,’’ the bulletin said. “The theme of the liturgy, ‘All Are Welcome,’ honors Christ’s message of hope and salvation to all people. We will also celebrate the diverse community that finds its home at St. Cecilia.’’

But after protests from conservative church members, the archdiocese intervened.


“The wording and placement of a bulletin notice announcing that the St. Cecilia Rainbow Ministry will be joining the parish at a Mass on June 19 may have given the unintended impression that the Mass is in support of Gay Pride Week; it is not,’’ said Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the archdiocese. “The pastor will clarify this issue at the Masses this coming weekend.’’

The pastor of the church, the Rev. John J. Unni, did not return calls. Donilon said that he spoke for the parish and that the decision was made by senior officials at the archdiocese.

Donilon declined to answer questions about the apparent contradiction of the church’s bulletin and his statement. He said, however, that there would be a Mass in the future to welcome the community, but not specifically gays and lesbians.

Burke of DignityUSA called on the parish community to “resist the calls for canceling’’ and possibly move the event to a different location. “What kind of message does this send to the gays and lesbians in that parish?’’ she asked.

Susan Donnelly, a member of the parish council of St. Cecilia Parish, said the scheduled Mass had not sparked controversy at St. Cecilia’s. She said the criticism has come from outside."
h/t Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish

How any member of the LGBT community can belong to the conservative movement is a mystery to me. When will the Log Cabin Republicans understand that a majority of religious conservatives do not like them or want them in their communities?

UPDATE:

Dan Savage talks about the silent complicity of liberal Christians:

18 comments:

Infidel753 said...

How any member of the LGBT community can belong to the conservative movement is a mystery to me.

Sometimes the "progressive" Christians aren't much better.

Charlene said...

How can a person say thery are Christian and not welcome all to worship with them?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Infidel753,

That link was discouraging.

This issue isn't that hard: Gay and lesbian citizens deserve to be treated with equality, dignity and love, just like everyone else.

I don't see what's so difficult about that.

Oh wait...unfortunately, a lot of religions don't believe in that simple, humane statement.

Charlene, sadly, most religions, not just Christians, do not practice what they preach.

Just look at how, for example, the Christian religion justified slavery and anit-miscegenation laws. Same old, same old...sigh.

dmarks said...

The RCC is just one sect of Christianity. There are others that are more welcoming. more in tune with Christ's "all are welcome" message.

Fighting the RCC is one way to bring about change, but on the other hand it is (I am pretty sure) the world's oldest organization. I think voting with your feet is even more effective.

Infidel753 said...

DM: Fighting the RCC is one way to bring about change, but on the other hand it is (I am pretty sure) the world's oldest organization.

I'm not sure if this is true, but I've heard that the Mafia is actually slightly older, dating back to the Roman conquest of Sicily. If so, any other comparisons between the world's two oldest organizations are an exercise for the reader.

I don't see how this is an issue of people not practicing what their religion preaches. Homosexuality is condemned in the Old Testament, most famously in Leviticus 20:13. Jesus never contradicted this condemnation, and indeed explicitly said that all Old Testament laws remain in effect as long as the Earth exists (Matthew 5:17-19). Every reference to homosexuality in the New Testament is a condemnation.

The problem is not some particular interpretation of Christianity; the problem is Christianity itself. It is bigoted to the roots.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"The problem is not some particular interpretation of Christianity; the problem is Christianity itself. It is bigoted to the roots."--Infidel753

Well, Christianity does have as one of its tenets "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

Which it does not practice. And, as far as I can understand, never has.

Infidel753 said...

Well, yes, the Bible contradicts itself all over the place, too. But the things I cited are in there. They're part of "what it preaches". Hatred of gays (and numerous other groups) is intrinsic to Christianity; it's not some sort of wrong interpretation of Christianity. That's my point.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Obviously, I agree that hatred of "the other" is one of Christianity's tenets and no one can deny how that doctrine contributed to the extermination of 6 million Jews.

djeter said...

"Fashionable sins backed by a powerful lobby should not be privileged." Fr. Richard John Neuhaus tiny.cc/xy61w

Shaw Kenawe said...

I found this over at the HuffPost:


"Archbishop Tutu dissents from the official policies of most of the world's Anglican churches, which hold that gays and lesbians should be celibate; and in the years since his retirement as archbishop of Cape Town he has become one of the world's most prominent figures pleading for a change in the attitudes of religious institutions toward human sexuality.

Tutu's position is reflected in excerpts from a newspaper article and a sermon preached in Southwark Cathedral, London, in 2004.


A student once asked me, If I could have one wish granted to reverse an injustice, what would it be? I had to ask for two. One is for world leaders to forgive the debts of developing nations which hold them in such thrall. The other is for the world to end the persecution of people because of their sexual orientation, which is every bit as unjust as that crime against humanity, apartheid.

This is a matter of ordinary justice. We struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about -- our very skin. It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given. I could not have fought against the discrimination of apartheid and not also fight against the discrimination that homosexuals endure, even in our churches and faith groups.
I am proud that in South Africa, when we won the chance to build our own new constitution, the human rights of all have been explicitly enshrined in our laws. My hope is that one day this will be the case all over the world, and that all will have equal rights. For me this struggle is a seamless robe. Opposing apartheid was a matter of justice. Opposing discrimination against women is a matter of justice. Opposing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a matter of justice.

It is also a matter of love. Every human being is precious. We are all -- all of us -- part of God's family. We all must be allowed to love each other with honor. Yet all over the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are persecuted. We treat them as pariahs and push them outside our communities. We make them doubt that they too are children of God. This must be nearly the ultimate blasphemy. We blame them for what they are.

Churches say that the expression of love in a heterosexual monogamous relationship includes the physical -- the touching, embracing, kissing, the genital act; the totality of our love makes each of us grow to become increasingly godlike and compassionate. If this is so for the heterosexual, what earthly reasons have we to say that it is not the case with the homosexual?
The Jesus I worship is not likely to collaborate with those who vilify and persecute an already oppressed minority. I myself could not have opposed the injustice of penalizing people for something about which they could do nothing -- their race -- and then have kept quiet as women were being penalized for something they could do nothing about -- their gender; hence my support for the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate.

Equally, I cannot keep quiet while people are being penalized for something about which they can do nothing -- their sexuality. To discriminate against our sisters and brothers who are lesbian or gay on grounds of their sexual orientation for me is as totally unacceptable and unjust as apartheid ever was."

Shaw Kenawe said...

djeter,

This is from the article you linked to:

"For what other category of sinners, sinful behavior, or desire to engage in sinful behavior should the Church designate sin-specific parishes? The only qualification for admission to the Church is that one knows himself to be a sinner in search of salvation. There is, given the diversity of disordered human propensities and desires, no shortage of possible candidates for sin-specific parishes. Fashionable sins backed by a powerful lobby should not be privileged."

There are many of us who don't accept that homosexuality is "sin." A majority of humans are heterosexual, and a minority are homosexual.

I don't understand how religious people, who believe a god creates all humans, creates humans who are attracted to the same sex, and then that god pronounces that attraction, that he created in them, a sin.

It is insane. And I'm afraid another example of crazy justification for hating our fellow humans.

Homosexuality is NOT a sin. It is human--part of human nature--always has been and always will be.

Religions have made a normal human condition a "sin," and as a consequence created misery and death for countless innocent human beings.

I categorically reject the premise that homosexuality is a sin.

Anonymous said...

maybe the RCC will de-sin homosexuality the way it de-sinned eating meat on fridays, using anesthesia during child birth, and, in the middle ages, using a fork to eat food. the RCC is very slow to own up to its own sins and mistakes...

Infidel753 said...

I don't understand how religious people, who believe a god creates all humans, creates humans who are attracted to the same sex, and then that god pronounces that attraction, that he created in them, a sin.

It's very simple. They deny that that's what happens. They claim that everyone is born heterosexual and that some people choose to engage in homosexual behavior out of sheer evil ("sin"). The fact that this is contradicted by the evidence doesn't matter. Faith means belief without evidence, or in the teeth of contrary evidence. To the religious mind, believing things that are clearly false is a virtue.

I categorically reject the premise that homosexuality is a sin.

Fair enough, since the whole concept of "sin" is incoherent. But the Bible clearly says in many places, in both Testaments, that it is a sin, and this judgment is never explicitly contradicted anywhere, even if there are generalized passages about loving one's neighbor which can be taken as contradicting it (by a 21st-century interpretation which would never have occurred to anyone at the time the Bible was written).

Rejecting the condemnation of homosexuality means rejecting Christianity itself, as I do. There are gay-friendly Christians, but there can be no gay-friendly Christianity -- that's a contradiction in terms.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Infidel753: "Rejecting the condemnation of homosexuality means rejecting Christianity itself, as I do. There are gay-friendly Christians, but there can be no gay-friendly Christianity -- that's a contradiction in terms."

Logically and perfectly stated.


Sadly, more depressing stats on conservatives:

"More than seven in 10 who say they're very conservative also are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports gay civil unions, as are six in 10 evangelical white Protestants, another core Republican group."


SOURCE

Shaw Kenawe said...

anon,

You left out the fact that the RCC once decreed it sinful to believe the Earth revolved around the sun.

That caused Galileo to be put under house arrest for the remainder of his life.

dmarks said...

"maybe the RCC will de-sin homosexuality the way it de-sinned eating meat on fridays"

I think it would be an improvement if they turned raping of children into a sin. They are still dragging their feet and covering up the scandal.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The raping of children IS a sin.

Make me the pope.

dmarks said...

Shaw: Why not? The author Fr. Andrew Greeley once pointed out that while the RCC has specific sexist rules against women being priests, there are none against a woman being a pope.