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U.S. Catholic Prelates Speak Out on Anti Gay-Marriage

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Oct 2, 2012
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Catholic religious leaders across the country have made national headlines this week for their anti-gay marriage stances.

Newark, N.J., Archbishop John J. Myers has been in the spotlight after releasing a pastoral letter in which he said Catholics who support marriage equality should not receive Holy Communion, Life Site News reports.

In the letter, Myers writes Catholics who back gay marriage, "in all honesty and humility refrain from receiving Holy Communion" and that "to continue to receive Holy Communion while so dissenting would be objectively dishonest."

The 16-page document goes on to slam same-sex relationships. "We cannot define and redefine marriage to suit our personal tastes or goals," the archbishop writes.

Was Vatican Appointment a Message to San Francisco?
The New York Times reports that Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, who has recently been appointed as a new leader of the archdioceses of San Francisco, has local LGBT Roman Catholics and gay activists worried because of his longstanding opposition to same-sex marriage in California.

The newspaper points out, however, that many congregants of Most Holy Redeemer, which is in the iconic gay neighborhood of the Castro, have taken a "wait-and-see" attitude towards the bishop; others hope that Cordileone could possibly change his views after spending time in the Castro.

"In a sense, I am glad that the church is sending the top guy that they have - the top antigay - because it means that we, as a community of Catholics, have done something good to deserve attention," said George Woyames, 68, who says that he was raised as a Roman Catholic but became committed to the religion only after joining Most Holy Redeemer in 1987.

Cordileone was a strong leader for those who supported Proposition 8, a measure that bans gay marriage. He is also the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s subcommittee for the defense of marriage, an organization whose mantra is "promoting and defending the authentic teaching of the church regarding the nature of marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman."

For his part, the bishop is not sure what he will focus on as archbishop of San Francisco. He has been quoted as saying it was "too early" and that he needs "to get a better lay of the land." The New York Times quotes experts who point to the appointment of an anti-gay marriage archbishop to the ancient San Francisco seat as sending a distinct message from the Vatican.

"It’s very difficult to know why a particular appointment is made of a certain bishop to a certain diocese by the Vatican," Vincent Pizzuto, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit school, told the newspaper. "But in this instance, it’s very difficult not to see this as a signaling of an attempt to rein in the diocese, particularly on hot-button issues like homosexuality and same-gender marriage."

It should also be noted that Cordileone was arrested in August for driving under the influence, the Associated Press reported. Cordileon, who at the time was a candidate to be the city’s archbishop, was stopped at a police checkpoint near San Diego State University but it was not revealed if he took a sobriety test.

Minn. Archbishop’ Letter Causes Walkouts
Additionally, in August, John C. Nienstedt, archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, sent a letter asking Roman Catholic followers to support a measure that bans same-sex marriages in Minnesota, the Minnesota Post reports. When the letter was read, it allegedly upset a number of people who walked out.

"Our effort to support God’s unchanging plan for marriage is not a campaign against anyone, but rather a positive effort to promote the truth about marriage as a union between one man and one woman," Nienstdt wrote.

"But the reality is that marriage is not ours to redefine, just as another human life is not ours to take," the archbishop continued. "God is both the author of life and the author of marriage. It is this most fundamental understanding of the natural order that animates who we are as Catholics. ... It is also why we fight to defend God’s plan for marriage, because his providence is as clear for what marriage is as it is for the dignity of each human life."

According to the newspaper, Michael Bayly, the director of Catholics for Marriage Equality, said that members of the churches where the letter was read pointedly walked out in a show of protest.

The issue has roiled the state, with even the hometown team the Vikings become a hotbed of debate.

Comments

  • weedydragon, 2012-10-02 14:25:09

    Wonder how old the kid he’s playing with is. Who needs his religion of hate?


  • Anonymous, 2012-10-02 17:14:31

    They fail to see gay marriage is a legal issue and not a religious issue. Not all straight marriages are in accordance with it churches views.


  • Anonymous, 2012-10-03 09:01:08

    I notice they state their mission as the covenanton the church and nothing about God. Its all politics to keep people suppressed.


  • Wayne M., 2012-10-03 17:17:38

    Roman Catholics who support equality for LGBT people, including marriage equality would be wise to do what I did ten years ago: leave that "church" and join a truly Christian church that is at least willing to be open to discussion on LGBT issues. Roman Catholic prelates who never marry and do not have children (at least none they will admit to) are hardly in a position to make pronouncements on who may marry whom or how people should have families. As for their ongoing threats to deny communion to legislators who support LGBT equality or vote in support of laws protecting women’s reproductive rights, perhaps it is time to deny charitable tax status (an indirect taxpayer subsidy) to the Roman Catholic Church and insist they pay their fair share of taxes on their income including the Sunday collection plate.


  • Milwaukeeguy, 2012-10-04 08:54:58

    In desperate need to gain favor after all the many,many, many, secret molestations of young boys at the hands of these hypocrites, the pious Catholic church has suddenly begun to embrace the Bible and as they have in the past re-interpret the Word.


  • Milwaukeeguy, 2012-10-04 08:55:57

    I agree, skip the communion and go right to the molestations!


  • Anonymous, 2012-10-05 13:48:37

    So priests can molest boys with a wink and a nod from the Vatican but gays can’t be married in their view. Way to go Christians! Jesus should send you all to Hell.


  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-10-10 12:53:09

    Wayne M, I always enjoy reading your well articulated thoughts. Many times its what I’m feeling/thinking sans the snarky, flippant, facetious and childish undertones I overly season my musings. Thank You. :)


  • gdhamf, 2012-10-23 04:00:04

    How about this, no communion no contribution. Cut off the money and see how fast they shut up about holding communion from people cause they disagree.


  • Anonymous, 2012-11-16 16:21:11

    It is with love that the Catholic Church calls homosexuality a sin. Otherwise, if they kept quite and told homosexual people it is okay then they send those people down the road to perdition. Which would you rather have? To be told that your actions good but go to hell or be told your actions offend God, you change for His sake, and spend eternity in heaven. This could be said for any sin. Premarital sex, abortion, stealing, etc. God loves you!


  • Wayne M., 2012-11-16 17:41:54

    No! No! No! It is not love, but hypocrisy that leads the Roman Catholic Church to ignore good up to date scientific and psychological information on homosexuality and misuse Biblical passages out of scientific and historical context to condemn loving and caring LGBT people who live very loving lives and want recognition of their relationships. If the Roman Catholic Church was truly honest and speaking in love, the first thing they would do is defrock Bernard Cardinal Law and other church hierarchy who engaged in a deliberate cover-up of the sexual abuse of children and youth by Roman Catholic Priests.


  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-11-16 17:59:50

    OMFG. I love the last post.


  • gdhamf, 2012-11-16 18:23:04

    2012-11-16 16:21:11 It is with love that the Catholic Church calls homosexuality a sin That is fine, the church can do and teach whatever it wants, the fact is that no one in this country is compelled by law to go to church, but everyone in this country is compelled by law to obey the law of the land. This is a pretty simple concept, why does it need to be repeated ad-nauseam on a daily basis and it still does not set into some minds?


  • gdhamf, 2012-11-16 18:24:31

    keep your church out of my government, and I will keep my government out of your church ok people?


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