To the editor:
On the heels of the publication of Father Richard McBrien’s essay “The church should be welcoming to all” (Catholic Courier, July 2007), it is particularly frustrating that the New York State Catholic Conference is negating this welcome yet again. On the weekend of July 14/15 an article was published (in the Catholic Courier weekly edition appearing) in every Sunday bulletin in the diocese, “Catholics decry same-sex bill,” communicating our bishops’ attempt to rally members of the community in opposition to a bill that would provide equal marriage rights in New York state. The headline itself puts out a subliminal message that re-enforces the marginalization of the lesbian and gay members of the church and seeks to undermine the civil rights of same-sex couples.
This is yet another example of our religious leaders failing to listen to the lived faith experiences of the people. Purporting to preserve some objective moral order, they close their ears to the stories that would challenge their comfortable certitude and would deepen their understanding of the human person fully considered. Desiring to advance the common good, they close their eyes to the moral obligation to uphold the rights of every marginalized minority — the very ones whom Jesus always included, even when it created scandal and brought condemnation from the establishment.
Yes, “as citizens, Catholics should always make their voices heard to their elected representatives,” but would it not be more faithful to the social gospel to affirm the dignity of every human person and the integrity of all loving commitments, and to establish protections for all families?
Michael J. Nicosia