Minneapolis (AP) The leader of a local Roman Catholic church known for its support of gay and lesbian issues said he will comply with an order from the Vatican to remove Gay Pride material from the church Web site.
The Rev. George Wertin of St. Joan of Arc said he would also stop allowing unordained guests to speak during the celebration of Mass, which was requested two weeks ago in a face-to-face meeting with two local bishops.
However, Wertin said the local church would keep with its long practice of community decision making, so several parish committees would consider precisely how to respond. "It takes awhile to turn a ship around," he said. [Source]
Turning the ship around is certainly accurate since they have been going the wrong way for years. Fr. Wertin’s decision to comply is not exactly resounding obedience by the tone of the letter on St Joan’s web site.
A group of persons who attend our Sunday services alerted Rome of our stance and a certain cardinal promptly put the squeeze on Archbishop Flynn to get us in line. This, despite the fact that as a church we view the GLBT community for who they are – God’s children, like all the rest of us.
We have to clean up our act in other ways, too: no more outside speakers during Mass, and expunge an offending article on our Web site written by Father George in August reporting our involvement in the Gay Pride Parade.
How to respond to demands like these? That was the question that faced the 200 or so persons who attended a meeting in the church on Sunday afternoon. (The first of two; the second such meeting was on Monday evening and open to the whole parish as well.)
“I am an American Catholic. I wonder about my First Amendment Rights.”
“ Do we have the right to know who our accusers are?”
“I see this community as a grain of sand in an oyster.”
Come on, grains of sand, start scratching. We’re all destined to turn into pearls in the end.
…The larger Church, God bless Her, is slow to act and we are not the first to suffer from Her caution about questions Godly. Think about St. Francis, Telihard de Chardin, victims of the Crusades.
Funny I see this parish more as a gallstone in the body of Christ. Other comments made by the parishioners seem to indicate that they would comply mainly to keep their priest from being removed. They understand that their heterodox views openly assented to would not survive in the climate of most other priests. Their site is chuck full of the phrase "prophetic voice" and yet they don’t understand the prophets. The prophets preached a return to God when Israel was falling into the practices of false religion and living as the cultures around them were. Many of them were killed because the society did not want to hear their message of repentance and return. St. Joan preaches a message that is not at odds with the culture around them but also indistinguishable from it. This is another community that has confused love of neighbor with endorsement of the neighbor’s sin.