Friday, September 30, 2005

Priest: No value in attack on gays

Because we campaign against the monolith that is organised religion, it may sometimes appear that we don’t acknowledge enough the acts of courage and integrity shown by individual members of the clergy.

A case in point is the statement by a Catholic priest in the United States who, together with his congregation, was asked to sign a petition to include the repeal of equal marriage rights for lesbian and gay people in Massachusetts.

According to a story in the Boston Globe, the Rev George Lange of St. Luke the Evangelist church in Westborough and his colleague Rev. Stephen Labaire said in response to the request:

"The priests of this parish do not feel that they can support this amendment. They do not see any value to it and they see it as an attack upon certain people in our parish, namely those who are gay."

We can only applaud such an honest, frank and unequivocal reply to such a bigoted measure.

Unfortunately for the Revs Lange and Labaire, their superiors in the Catholic Church saw things differently. They were pulled from the pulpit, and, according to parishioners, their “hands were slapped very publicly."

Apparently, though, no disciplinary action will be taken, but the Church’s policy on “gay marriage” was “explained”.

In another story, the Globe reports a fire-fight after another priest had allegedly endorsed a local gay pride march.

Of course, as we’ve reported recently the situation for gay priests is tenuous. Can the position of gay-friendly priests be secure for much longer?


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