The Catholic Church has given itself another black eye when it comes to the issue of Charity. This time it involves a homeless shelter “Francis House” that gets its funding from Catholic Diocese. The Diocese of Sacramento, California sent a letter to Rev. Faith Whitmore who is the director of Francis House, to say that her public statements clashed with Church teaching. The letter said it would be “impossible for the diocese to continue funding Francis House” in its annual Catholic Appeal specifically because of Whitmore’s involvement.
It should be pointed out that neither the director, nor Francis House are Catholic. The shelter is non-denominational. It seems that Rev. Whitmore expressed her personal views that she both supported Gay Marriage and a women’s right to choose. These views apparently did not sit well with folks over at the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento.
According to the Rainbow Sash Movement News, Francis House is one of the largest agencies serving the homeless in the Sacramento region, with upwards of 25,000 clients and an annual budget of around $500,000. The diocese has contributed between $7,5000 to $10,000 to the agency every year for at least two decades, a significant amount in a struggling economy.
This is another example of how far off the mark the Hierarchy is getting from the idea of not only Catholic Social Justice, but also the Parable of the Good Samaritan. True Charity is supposed to be without conditions.
As LGBT Roman Catholics we condemn Bishop Jaime Soto for his action against this homeless shelter and his recently released strategic plan, titled “A Hopeful and Effective Sacrament of Christ in Northern California,” on March 6. The Plan calls for service to the poor, but in this action directed at the homeless of Sacramento Bishop Soto lays out the true agenda of his plan, and that is selective charity for the poor that only support Catholic Dogma.
The Diocese and its planners should be holding their heads in shame. Is this how you, “announce the Gospel in the public square of social media, serve the poor and marginalized more effectively, and harness the resources so this can all be done?” What hypocrites.
Rainbow Sash Movement