I’ve tried (really, I have) to be patient, understanding, TOLERANT, accepting and even forgiving of the Catholic Church. It’s important to note the distinction here that I’m speaking of the “Church” — not the faith in general and its membership (though my patience with some among its members has been tested, as well).
I readily admit I don’t understand all of the trappings, rituals and traditions of the Catholic Institution but in this instance and in this writer’s opinion, that really doesn’t matter.
This [blog] entry is about hypocrisy. Certainly, it’s fair to say that each one of us is occasionally guilty of being a hypocrite. We wish to believe the best about ourselves but even the best of intentions can fall to the wayside on occasion when our principles are thoroughly tested.
If you claim yours are not; that you never waver from your path — great for you! (That either makes you a liar or a saint.)
My own principles have been tested often and I’ll be the first to admit that on more than a few occasions, I’ve failed the test miserably. I’d like to think I’m too good to fail; that my morals are as strong as steel but the truth is [sometimes] when the cost of having to live by those principles is too great, I falter and take the easier route. I’m not going to beat myself up for it since I know I’m no saint; that I’m only human and as such, have fallen far short of being perfect by any measure of the definition.
But when I make a mistake, people don’t lose their jobs (as in “one person, PLURAL jobs”). The Catholic Church has demonstrated, once again, just how narrow-minded and hypocritical the organization can be. And before somebody says, “Michael, you’re slinging mud and making a baseless accusation” … BULLSHIT! I’m simply unwilling to sit on the sidelines and allow what I see as a transgression made by an institution against an individual go without response. Certainly, as a simple blogger on the Internet, I don’t really expect my words to make any difference in the grand scheme of things but I’ll give my own two cents worth of opinions and weigh in on the matter all the same.
But first a word of Congratulations…
to Al Fischer and Charlie Robin
Committed to one another for twenty (20) years, Al and Charlie were recently “married” in front of the Bethesda Fountain in New York City’s Central Park. They could think of no better way to celebrate their anniversary (nor can I). Of course, the Catholic Church being the almighty purveyor of sound moral values, acceptance and understanding (please, I’m being sarcastic) would much rather the two men continue to live their lives in secrecy; quietly in the shadows, void of having made any formal commitment to love, honor and cherish one another, both in good times and in bad.
The truth is they were never secretive about their relationship (it just wasn’t until they chose to get married that the Pope’s henchmen decided it was a “problem”).
Both men had been open about their relationship at St. Ann Catholic School where Mr. Fischer taught music and as well, at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Church where he worked as a part-time choir director. Both pastors were well aware of the men’s relationship (which begs the question, “If it was such a problem for them to get married, why wasn’t it a problem for them to receive communion? Isn’t that a BIG “no-NO!” in the Catholic Church?)
It wasn’t until Mr. Fischer told his colleagues during a staff meeting that he and his partner were to be married, that it “became” a problem. Those who worked alongside him applauded and showed their support but unbeknownst to Al, an official from the Archdiocese of St. Louis was present (I’m guessing the tattle-tale wasn’t clapping).
Mr. Fischer was informed a day later that he would have to leave his job. He had, after all, signed a witness statement that prohibited him from taking a public stand against the tenets of the church (see page 13). He was also relieved as part-time choir director of the church where he and his partner have worshiped for more than six years (they are looking for a new church to call home).
Lest anybody think otherwise, Mr. Fischer was a well-respected, “openly gay” man. Parents of his students opposed his dismissal, taking part in what has been described as a “spirited e-mail campaign” in support of him staying. None of that matters.
The Catholic Church has its reputation to protect, after all. They “claim” they don’t judge and are forgiving, accepting and tolerant of homosexual men and women but when it comes right down to it, the leadership of the church is more interested in towing the archaic rituals of a long, by-gone era during which LGBTQ persons were looked upon as mentally ill. I’d love to know what skeletons (and I’m sure there are a few) might be hiding in the Pope’s own closet, propped up next to his gaudy red Prada shoes.
And before anyone tries to justify these actions by using the well-worn out argument that marriage between two persons of the same sex goes against God’s intentions for marriage (actually, I think “marriage” is something we humans cooked up, fwiw)… Well, let’s talk about that.
Some believe that the purpose behind marriage is procreation. Bullshit! We don’t deny old people who are beyond their child-bearing years the right to marry. We don’t say to the barren woman, “Sorry, you can never marry because you cannot conceive a child” (or something similar to the man whose noodle is dysfunctional).
No, marriage is about LOVE! It’s not about bringing rug-rats into the world (though I love children and wish I had a few of my own).
What did Reverend Bill think was going on in the home of Al Fischer and his partner, Charlie Robin, all those years? That at the end of the day they were returning home to play house and count a few marbles; perhaps playing a game or two of Scrabble but (gasp! Dare I say it?) never would they think of that any other committed couple might do. Certainly they wouldn’t have friends over for dinner or comfort one another at the loss of a family member and God forbid, SURELY they would never, EVER express their love in the dead of night, as they lay wrapped in each other’s arms in the same bed. Oh my! It’s just too much to consider so I’m certain good old Bill MUST have restricted his own thoughts of the two OPENLY gay men to “they’re just ‘friends’!” Yeah, that must have been it because everybody knows that a good Catholic homosexual man must remain chaste, just as a good priest must keep his dirty mits off the underage children.
I’m tired of the hypocrisy, folks. If the Catholic Church wants my support for the good works that they do (and I know that they have done good things for some), they need to pull their heads out of their arses and recognize that their approach to LGBT issues is out of touch and (put quite simply) WRONG.
To end this post on a more positive note…
Openly gay Dallas County District Judge Tonya Parker is taking a stand for marriage equality. Ms Parker is refusing to exercise her “right” to perform marriages on behalf of “straight couples until marriage equality arrives in Texas.” (As a District Judge, she is not required to perform marriage ceremonies — although she does have the right to do so if she chooses.) Because of the stand she has taken, the Stonewall Democrats are lining up behind her in support.
Namaste and peace be with you,