Editor’s Note: The author of the following article wishes to remain anonymous so as to avoid possible negative consequences for her parish.
I had heard that in “honor” of World Marriage Day last Sunday, the chancery had asked parishes to speak out in support of the constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
My parish is open and accepting. Many of my closest friends are parishioners, and many of them are LGBT. In fact, our community prides itself on its diversity and support of all its parishioners. I wondered how we were going to manage this “request” by the archbishop.
What I experienced greatly saddened me but also made me very proud of my parish. As the mass began, I was waiting for the archbishop's World Marriage Day “message” to be delivered. I listened intently during the readings and as the priest began his homily, I braced myself for the “message.” It never came. In fact, the homily highlighted the courage the leper demonstrated by approaching Jesus and asking for healing, in total violation of the law. The priest also pointed out that Jesus was breaking the rules of his time by interacting with an “unclean” person. Not the message I expected to hear.
As the mass came to an end and the announcements began, I again thought I would hear the “message. ” Still, nothing. As the closing hymn ended I went back to pick up the bulletin . . . and that's when I found it. There was a full page insert in the bulletin, each side announcing at the top that the message was from the archbishop. I won’t dwell here on the message. Enough to say, that his message is wrong on all counts.
What struck me was not the message (his stance is not exactly a secret) but rather how hard my parish had worked to minimize the impact and distribution of the mandated message. I later heard that ushers were instructed not to distribute the bulletin. Clearly the staff of my parish, unlike the archbishop, understood the pain this message would inflict and was trying, as best they could, to minimize its damage.
I am deeply grateful for my parish and its compassionate staff. I am also sad that this man is our archbishop. I can’t say I know the man but he seems to have a singular focus which will brook no dissent. He does not reflect the love of Christ for me. I am thankful my parish does.
Recommended Off-site Link:
Mass Uprising – Dominic Holden (TheStranger.com, February 14, 2012).