By JR on Friday, June 17, 2011
They think the RC church should bend to them! They should all become Episcopalians. They would be welcome there and the "bells and smells" are the same. And you can wear GORGEOUS vestments!
By Jeff Jacoby
From Boston's South End, home to the Catholic parish of St. Cecilia, comes a different tale of misplaced outrage.
St. Cecilia's worshipers include a considerable number of gays and lesbians, many of whom are active in the church's Rainbow Ministry. According to its mission statement, the Rainbow Ministry works to "welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics to worship God and . . . to embrace Jesus' call to unconditional love." Its goal is to "help LGBT Catholics seek reconciliation with the Church to enrich a spirit-filled life."
St. Cecilia and its pastor, Rev. John J. Unni, are obviously sensitive to the difficulties faced by gays and lesbians who are Catholic, and want them to feel fully appreciated as members of the congregation. That is admirable as a matter of basic decency. It's also in keeping with church doctrine: The catechism of the Catholic Church expressly teaches that gays "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity" and that "every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."
But even as it enjoins goodwill toward homosexuals, the church firmly opposes homosexuality itself. The same section of the catechism describes "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" as "objectively disordered," and says that gay sex can "under no circumstances ... be approved."
So St. Cecilia plainly crossed a red line when it announced last month that it was planning a "Liturgy To Commemorate Boston Pride 2011," and invited "friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston's Pride Month." After all, there is no way to square the church's condemnation of homosexual activity with a mass "in celebration" of Gay Pride Month. The Archdiocese of Boston ordered the parish to cancel the service -- and the result, predictably, has been angry indignation.
"I think that's horrible, just horrible, that they would cancel. What an abuse of authority," fumed Marianne Duddy-Burke, a gay Catholic activist. Charles Martel, co-founder of Catholics for Marriage Equality, went so far as to accuse the archdiocese of yielding to "a hatred for gay people."
Their anger may be sincerely felt. But denouncing a Catholic archdiocese for upholding Catholic standards isn't rational. The Catholic Church, like any great religion, is open to all who seek to be guided by its teachings. It can hardly be expected to discard those teachings for the sake of popularity or political correctness -- or to quell the outrage of parishioners who prefer a church more concerned with their self-esteem than with their spiritual well-being.