The Rainbow Sash Movement believes in the sanctity of human sexuality. So it was with some dismay that we respond to the recent column of Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s blog on the subject of Ministry to homosexual people within the Church.
A scheduled Mass that was announced as a commemoration of Boston Gay Pride Month at St. Cecilia Church in Boston was postponed indefinitely. After criticism from local fundamentalist Catholics, the archdiocese instructed the pastor at St. Cecilia to postpone the Mass, and said in a statement that the bulletin announcement of the Mass “created the unintended impression that the Church was endorsing Gay Pride activities.”
The Cardinal’s public hand washing is a pious attempt to condemn discrimination while at the same time defending it. The Cardinal quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church to prove the correctness of discriminating against gays and lesbians.
He than says we are all called to live a celibate life outside of marriage. Sexual acts outside of sacramental marriage are sinful. Adultery, fornication and homosexual acts all fall into that category and cannot be promoted, and much less endorsed or celebrated. All of us are subject to sin and all of us are called to conversion, just as all of us can fall. However, in our journey of faith it is essential to recognize right and wrong as such, even if we do not always make the right choices.
This is a Irrelevant Conclusion. The Cardinal than says the Church’s Teaching is based on love for the person, not bigotry or hate. However, he is unable to address the conflict between what the Bishops say and what they do by opposing every gay rights social justice legislation that is proposed. The Vatican has engaged in a world wide attack on the rights of gays and lesbians the United Nations has recently taken a stand that human rights are the right of all people regardless of sexual orientation.
The Cardinal joins his voice with other members of US Conference of Catholic Bishops such Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, and Archbishop Dolan of New York who are openly engaged this form of Church sponsored bigotry. George is steering the Catholic Conference of Illinois in dismantling its adoption services because they are no longer able to discriminate against Gays and Lesbians in adoptive services. Archbishop Dolan will soon be taking the same journey if Civil Unions pass in New York.
Cardinal O’Malley’s blog shows how clueless men of the cloth can be when they try to conform their homophobic actions with their pastoral message. While they appear to be sincere, they are at the same time hypocritical.
The Rainbow Sash Movement agrees that the spiritual should impact the social, but that must be based on practical and not speculative theology. You cannot worship God and then look at gay and lesbian people created by God in God’s own image, as if they were lustful animals. The Church must return to its concern for compassion for the suffering of other people which should be the basis of its pastoral concern.
The Cardinal lips the words of respect for human dignity, but does he really understand what he is saying, or have these words come to lack any meaning? How can the Cardinal say on one hand that gay and lesbian people must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” We recognize that these persons have been, and often continue to be, objects of scorn, hatred, and even violence in some sectors of our society. Sometimes this hatred is manifested clearly; other times, it is masked and gives rise to more disguised forms of hatred. “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs.” While at the same time calling their love morally disordered.
Many Gay and Lesbian People understand the Cardinal’s blog is only for cosmetic religious purpose, and lack any integrity. Gays and Lesbians don’t need to be accepted, they need to be welcomed.
He goes onto say “Those who would minister in the name of the Church must in no way contribute to such injustice.” Yet in state after the state where social justice legislation has been sought by Gays and Lesbians they have lead opposition to such legislation. How hypocritical can the Cardinal be?
Cardinal O’Malley’s blog is rooted in the hateful conclusions of homophbia contrary to his statements to the contrary. Remember it was this man who was responsible for putting the theology over the welfare of orphans in the Archdiocese of Boston.
Rainbow Sash Movement