The Roman Catholic Church and the Gays

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger

On this Easter weekend, I was dismayed when I learned that the Roman Catholic Church recently decided that helping the poor in Colorado obtain health care is fine, as long as the organizations assisting these needy folks were not gay or “hanging out” with the Gays.

“For three years now, Compañeros, a small nonprofit organization in rural southwestern Colorado, has received thousands of dollars from the Roman Catholic Church to help poor Hispanic immigrants with basic needs including access to health care and guidance on local laws.  But in February, the group was informed by a representative from the Diocese of Pueblo that its financing from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, an arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops devoted to ending poverty, was in danger.

The problem, the diocesan liaison explained, was Compañeros’s membership in an immigrant rights coalition that had joined forces with a statewide gay and lesbian advocacy group, recounted Nicole Mosher, Compañeros’s executive director.” New York Times

I attended Catholic Elementary schools and I just can’t imagine that the good Benedictine Nuns that taught us would agree with the Catholic Bishop’s stand that if there is any connection to an “evil” group, the funding that goes to the neediest among us will be stopped dead in its tracks.  The Jesus that our nuns taught us about made no distinctions about helping the poor and needy.  He didn’t say that we should only help the needy who are true Catholics!

While come Catholics and Catholic organizations are speaking out against the decision to defund Companeros and other needy organizations, the Bishops are holding fast to their decision.

“Some bishops, though, are pushing back. In September, Bishops Jaime Soto, chairman of the subcommittee on the antipoverty campaign for the bishops’ conference, and Stephen E. Blaire, chairman of its committee on domestic justice and human development, sent a memo asserting that virtually all the accusations were without substance.   “We rely on the judgment of the local bishop and diocese, not the repeated accusations of those with clear ideological and ecclesial agendas,” they wrote in the memo, which went out to all American bishops.”  New York Times

Is it possible that the Catholic Bishops are responding to the money that the conservative Catholic organizations bring to the table more so than the evil allegedly inherent in these cloudy ties with evildoers?  Didn’t Jesus teach us to love our enemies?  If we are supposed to love our enemies, how can the RCC continue to defund needy organizations that are doing the Lord’s work? How can helping poor people be a bad thing for the Church?

I have seen this type of head in sand mentality at work in our local Diocese when fundraising for the poor was stopped because the coordinating Protestant organization had a speaker from a Pro-Choice group speak at one of their conventions.  It is sad that in an era of decreasing governmental assistance and programs for the needy, the Catholic Church cannot see past its nose to help people who, in many cases, have nowhere else to turn.  The question that kids everywhere wore on bracelets in Catholic Schools has been forgotten by our Church’s leaders.   What Would Jesus Do?




42 thoughts on “The Roman Catholic Church and the Gays”

  1. I can’t for the life of me imagine that God will say, “‘I will punish you because you are black, you should have been white; I will punish you because you are a woman, you should have been a man; I will punish you because you are a homosexual, you ought to have been heterosexual.’ I can’t for the life of me believe that is how God sees things.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

  2. artiwhitefox, I can dare it all I like, for the life of me I can’t tell the difference between people like you and the people who want sharia law to be the law of the world.

  3. “Poor Jesus if he only knew what kind of unchristian people would be running his churches maybe he should have just jumped off a cliff and made life easier on all of us.”

    Or he’d have thrown the priests out of the Temple along with the money changers and put the Gnostics in charge. 😀

  4. This has been an interesting topic. I know second hand info isn’t admissible in court but take it for what its worth… Cardinal Dolan is from St Louis he held many high positions here for many years… Being gay and out I know more than my fair share of gay priests, I have heard them talk about Dolan when he was Vicar General here, the general consensus was as I recall under all that fat, jolly exterior was a man who is driven to succeed no matter who gets stomped on, a true politician determined to get to the top. Poor Jesus if he only knew what kind of unchristian people would be running his churches maybe he should have just jumped off a cliff and made life easier on all of us.

    1. How dare you speak of Jesus saying he should nave killed himself. Humans have not followed his example. That’s why humans are the way they are.

  5. Bob Kauten,
    Glad for the fact filled reply,
    I had trouble in school, also in the 50’s. Went on to get a BSEE from NCSU in ’59.
    Regimentation, isolation, immersion, exposure to odd use of values based on conversion goals, etc. Good summary.
    School got a bit better in high school, where the class quality at times was acceptable. . We did not have school prayer, nor religious assemblies.
    Nobody was openly religious at high school. High point for me was a biology project. I chose to demonstrate. hydroponics. The teach was seemingly without a clue, I realzed later. Chose bulb plants who by nature don’t like to be immmersed in water. That and overdosing chemicals in hopes of getting a proper solution guaranteed failure. But I waw hqppy trying.

  6. idealist,

    You’ve inferred from my remark more than I implied. I actually meant only what I said.

    There were a couple of weird teachers, and the rest were nice. Nice teachers are just well-intentioned. That’s the only slack I’m giving them. They aren’t necessarily doing the right thing.

    The nun who taught my seventh-grade class told us that she wouldn’t be teaching us biology. She said she didn’t like “creepy, crawly things.” It’s OK. I went on to major in biology and study biochemistry in graduate school.

    I don’t think my going to a religious elementary school was very good for me. I was isolated from people of other religions and philosophies.

    We used to contribute to a fund that rescued “pagan babies,” buying them from their Asian parents. That now seems very odd to me.

    Constant immersion in a religious environment can feel oppressive. Lots of guilt. Communism, in those days, was demonized, being the nemesis of the Catholic church. I’ve since heard that the Knights of Columbus contributed to the insertion of “under god” into the Pledge of Allegiance.

    A parochial education may have made me skeptical toward religion, however, which I consider good.

    I didn’t go to a secular (public) elementary school, so I can’t compare the systems. It was the 1950s, so I suspect a lot of malarkey was taught in public schools, also.

  7. Bob Kauten,

    Many of us were NOT taught by catholic nuns.
    And we got our minds bent too, without oak pointers, but equally painfully.

    And let me extend your reasoning a bit.
    “Most were nice peope”, you say, which can be said to be true for all people—–but does that mean you necessarily agree with what they teach or how they treat children?

    My fight is not with you, but with those who run our schools. The RC ones I have no knowledge of. But your reasoning gives them a lot of slack. Or not?.

  8. Swarthmore mom,

    Yes, I thought about gay nuns when I wrote my comment, but I decided not to go there. I’m sure it’s common, why not?

    I would have been more accurate if I’d said that the nuns wouldn’t be discussing gays.

    Amazing how many of us were schooled by nuns, yet somehow survived. I recall that an oak blackboard pointer, applied to the head, is very painful.
    But most of them were nice people.

    Was The Penguin, in The Blues Brothers, a Benedictine? Her habit looked very familiar.

  9. raff:

    Good story and good insight. I guess the Church missed this line:

    Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but let God be the one who punishes, as Scripture says: Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. And it adds: If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him to drink; by doing this you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not let evil defeat you, but conquer evil with goodness. (Romans 12:19-21)

  10. Joan Chittister was mentioned up-thread which reminded me of a long drive to work one weekend back in 2007… Chittister’s engaging interview with Krista Tippett of American Public Media kept me awake.

    “In over 50 years as a Benedictine nun, Sister Joan Chittister has emerged as a powerful and uncomfortable voice in Roman Catholicism and in global politics. If women were ordained in the Catholic Church in our lifetime, some say, Joan Chittister would be the first female bishop.” -American Public Media

    “On Being” Interview with Krista Tippett: “Obedience and Action”

  11. Swartmore mom,

    The bishops are out of touch. They don’t seem to understand or care about the “common” people and their problems–just like most of our politicians.

  12. Bob, I think perhaps more than a few of the nuns were gay but had not on a personal level come to terms with it.

  13. I have found a LGBT friendly catholic church with a large hispanic ministry also, but I am so disappointed with the bishops that I won’t be going today. Really have gone very little in the past few years. I know there are a lot of older liberal priests and nuns that are suffering under the weight of the bishops but it won’t change under this pope, and he has made many conservative appointments that will be around for a long time. The younger priests seem to be on the conservative side. The south is very churchy and the catholic and other churches will be standing room only today. I went to catholic schools for twelve years and back then the nuns instilled a sense of social justice in their students.

  14. rafflaw,

    I agree with much of what many people have already said. I had a similar parochial school experience with nuns as Bob…with a couple of exceptions.


    Joseph Amodeo Quits Catholic Charities Board Over Cardinal Dolan’s Stance On LGBT Youth
    By VERENA DOBNIK 04/ 7/12


    NEW YORK — A day before Easter, the head of New York’s Roman Catholic archdiocese faced a challenge to his stance on gay rights: the resignation of a church charity board member who says he’s “had enough” of the cardinal’s attitude.

    Joseph Amodeo told The Associated Press on Saturday that he quit the junior board of the city’s Catholic Charities after Cardinal Timothy Dolan failed to respond to a “call for help” for homeless youths who are not heterosexual.

    “As someone who believes in the message of love enshrined in the teachings of Christ, I find it disheartening that a man of God would refuse to extend a pastoral arm” to such youths, Amodeo said in his letter to the charitable organization last Tuesday.

    Phone and email requests from the AP for comment from the archdiocese were not immediately answered on Saturday.

    The conflict started with a letter to Dolan from Carl Siciliano, founder of the nonprofit Ali Forney Center that offers emergency services to homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people. He said the cardinal’s “loud and strident voice against the acceptance of LGBT people” creates “a climate where parents turn on their own children.”

  15. This is rich LOL. talk about shouting I have conditional love to everyone confirming the Hipocracy of their Church showing all that they are idol worshipers.

Comments are closed.