Friday, December 19, 2008

Response to A Pastoral Message to Homosexual Catholics in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

This writing is in response to a letter from Cardinal Roger Mahony and the bishops of Los Angeles.  They wrote a letter to gay Catholics that can be read here:

Dear Roger:

I am truly quite surprised at the lack of understanding and caring in this matter.  You stated that homosexuals are "cherished members of the Catholic Church" and that you value us "as equal and active members of the Body of Christ."  What kind of equality is it where you worked to rid us of one of our rights?  How cherished are we?

You stated that the passing of Proposition 8 does not diminish our importance, but you fail to recognize that it takes away one of our rights.  If the same were to be done to you, how important would you feel?

You said that Proposition 8 was not intended to ban gay marriage, yet that is exactly what it was for.  Heterosexual marriage was never in jeopardy, and is not diminished by allowing same sex couples to wed.  

You use the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights as part of your argument, yet when has the Catholic Church ever been dictated to by the UN?  This argument is totally without merit and only shows the homophobia within the church.

You stated that "If we had ever thought that the intent of this proposition was to harm you or anyone in the Sate of California, we would not have supported it."  This is a lie, and you know it.  You knew full well that this initiative was anti-gay and yet you supported it fully.

You state that you began pastoral outreach to gays 20 years ago, yet you fail to mention that you closed down the office designed for this purpose, or that only four parishes throughout the entire archdiocese have gay ministries.  If you were so intent on being inclusive of us, why wasn't the creation of gay ministries made mandatory throughout Los Angeles?  Obviously, this is nothing but lip service to our community.

You stated that "Supporting marriage as it has always been understood diminishes none of us."  Please explain to me how supporting same-gender marriage diminishes any of us.  It does not.

What you did was discriminate against a group of people, some of us who happen to be Catholic.  I have retaliated by submitting empty collection envelopes into the basket each Sunday.  The money that would have been used to support the church is now being used to fund the lawsuits against Proposition 8.  What this means in practice is that money that would have gone to the Catholic Church is now going to fight the Church.  

Congratulations, Roger.  You took money away from a church that needs it in order to fight for rights that you wanted to deny.  I hope you realize what a mistake this was on your part.