Friday, August 1, 2014

Another day, another Catholic music leader purged

Meanwhile, from Chicago, we find that another musician purged from his Catholic church for getting married to his same-sex partner.
Collette, 52, was fired Monday after working for the Archdiocese of Chicago for 23 years, first at St. James Catholic Church in Bronzeville. ...
Collette said the church’s pastor knew he was gay, and had attended dinners with the couple. He also helped him walk down the aisle during his mother’s funeral two years ago.
Ah, sounds like a gracious priest.  But here we have another example of violating Roman Catholic "don't ask, don't tell."
Collette told the Chicago Sun-Times someone sent to Cardinal Francis George a Facebook image featuring the couple after their engagement. The cardinal then sent the church’s pastor an email calling for Collette’s resignation, he says. When he refused to resign, he was fired.
So, someone decided to denounce Mr Collette by forwarding his facebook picture to the Bishop.  Really?  What is it with conservative Catholics that they are so obsessed with denouncing their fellow Catholics?  It's quite shameful.

Mr Collette responds with grace.
“This voice inside of me said, ‘No, wait a minute. Well, no. I didn’t do anything wrong.’ I said, ‘I’m not going to resign. God brought me to this moment and God is saying this is why I created you. You are here to live and love.’”

“I’m not angry. The closest way to describe how I feel is if you’ve ever lost anyone that you loved, your mom or dad or grandmother,” Collette said. “That feeling you get in your stomach that your life is never going to be the same. That’s what I’m feeling. Only instead of losing one person, I just lost 3,000 people.” 
Writing in the National Catholic Reporter, Fr Thomas Reese comments,
The bishops say they do not discriminate against gay employees but do not want to be seen as endorsing homosexual activity or gay marriage. As a result, we see employees who for years were known to be gay being fired from church-affiliated organizations after they got married. We also see bishops opposing the granting of spousal benefits to gay spouses. 
I am old enough to remember the days when church employees were fired for getting remarried after a divorce. In those days, the church used the same arguments that it is using today against gay employees. 
I have never understood how the bishops with a straight face can impose their sexual ethics on gay employees if they are not willing to do the same with their heterosexual employees.
Today, divorced and remarried employees are no longer fired. Nor are employees fired for extramarital activity. Spouses of divorced and remarried employees get spousal benefits. Why can't gay spouses be treated the same? 
The bishops are losing the battle against gay marriage in the court of law and the court of public opinion. How the bishops deal with defeat will be telling. Can they accept the defeat over gay marriage as an earlier generation of bishops accepted their defeat over the legalization of divorce and move on? Or are they willing to ghettoize Catholic charities and other institutions by forbidding them from accepting federal contracts and following the law? 
Previous coverage of Roman Catholic anti-gay purges here. 


JCF said...

Interesting piece by Reese. Come on, Papa Francesco, ACT! Get rid of the homophobic hypocrisy!

JCF said...

Faithful America has set up a petition for this case:

Please sign!