Mel White, a national leader in attempting to make Christian churches more
hospitable to gays, was to have given the homily at the 9 and 11 a.m. masses
at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in south Minneapolis Sunday. But on Monday,
St. Joan officials telephoned White to tell him that Archbishop Harry Flynn
was forbidding him to use the St. Joan’s pulpit.
The archbishop’s last-minute decision is believed to have been influenced
by a conservative organization within the church, Catholic Parents Online,
which was offended by the thought of a gay man preaching at a Catholic church.
It actually doesn’t matter what his message was going to
be anyway, only ordained Deacons, Priests, and Bishops are allowed to preach
a homily. Listen to the bias of this reporter "apparently
doesn’t think his flock has anything to learn from a man who travels throughout
the country to deliver
a message of love." This message was probably not going to be
about love anyway, but about accepting the homosexual lifestyle. Love as defined
by St. Thomas Aquinas is willing the good for the other. Since as Catholics we
believe that homosexuality is "intrinsically disordered", then
for us to will acceptance of this behavior is not love. I have much sympathy
for those who suffer with same sex attraction since this is a heavy cross.
I also have sympathy for those who suffer from sexual temptations and desire
to have sex with someone who is not their spouse. If I were to go on a campaign
to encourage the tolerance for sexual activity of people who are cheating on
their spouses I would not be encouraging love. We are all called to be chaste
whether married or single, whether we suffer from temptations of the opposite
or the same sex. If I were to condemn adultery I would not be called a Cheater
Basher, adulteryphobic or said that I was intolerant. But if I say that living
the homosexual lifestyle is not good then I am branded a Gay Basher, homophobic,
and intolerant. The other day I compared the action of a Bishop not speaking
out against same sex marriages as similar to people in Germany ignoring the
many things that were happening during Hitler’s reign. On one web page I was
saying "Gays wanting to marry is the same as loading Jews into trains and gassing
them?" I wonder when the intolerance and hate speech of these activists towards
people who don’t believe that the homosexual life style is a good thing is
going to stop.
The archdiocese’s action has been greeted by a large gulp at St. Joan’s, a
progressive church that for decades has opened its pulpit to a wide variety
"We’re very disappointed we can’t have Mel speak," said the pastor,
the Rev. George Wertin. "I respect him very much. He was not going to
say anything contradictory to church teaching."
I would have a tendency to doubt that statement. Looking
at Mel White’s web site he directly attacks the Catholic understanding of homosexual
acts as defined in the Catechism. Nowhere on his site does he encourage people
to live chaste lives. He also identifies with Dignity the un catholic organization
condemned by the church. As is usually the case the sin is confused with the
sinner. The identity of the person is connected to the sinful activity and
their personhood is then narrowed to just a sexual inclination.
Wertin said he will deliver the message that White was planning to deliver,
which White said is about embracing Jesus, the church and each other.
"I’m planning to do some healing," Wertin
…He looks at the archdiocese’s decision to shut him out
with a little humor
and a lot of concern.
"I wasn’t planning to be controversial," he said. "I
was going to give what I thought would be a ringing homily. I was going to
the queer preacher can love Jesus, too. . . . . To be invited to speak at a
Catholic church was astounding. To be thrown out by the archbishop puts me
in the ranks of the martyrs and saints."
Not being allowed to preach contrary to the faith makes
you a martyrs and saint?