Additionally, Boston Catholic Marilyn LoPresti contacted the CDF and Apostolic Nuncio and received assurances that the Pride Mass at St. Cecelia's had been canceled. She was also assured that the Cardinal sent a communication to all pastors: they are to disassociate with the secular Gay Pride celebrations here in Boston and they are not to organize or celebrate such a Mass. These clarifications sent to priests from His Eminence were also supposed to be published in a public media statement.
But in its stead, Boston priests received this peculiar and truncated statement from Terry Donilon:
Recently a Mass was scheduled for St. Cecilia Church in Boston and was publicized in the parish bulletin as being held in conjunction with Gay Pride Week. This created the unintended impression that the Church was endorsing Gay Pride activities. It is not. The Mass has been postponed and will be rescheduled to a later date.
Saint Cecilia Parish is a loving and welcoming faith community and the Catholic Church treats all people with dignity and respect. The Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality and the dignity of the human person are rooted in faith and revelation.
The good news is, the statement clarifies secular festivities of Gay Pride week cannot crescendo in a Catholic Liturgy, and emphasizes the Catholic Church treats ALL PEOPLE with dignity and respect.
That ends the good news.
Now, let us pull out our BS detectors and have a go at the rest of it.
The statement seems to isolate St. Cecelia's as the only Catholic parish in the Archdiocese where gays are welcomed and treated with dignity and respect.
The last thing we need are statements coming from the Archdiocese validating acumen that Catholics-at-large want the Catholic religion to be reserved for heterosexuals.
People are hurt by this message. You're repeating the urban legend that in the Catholic Church, except for a few people, they are rejected.
Nice job fellas.
Thanks be to Jesus this crew was not in place at the time of the Civil War. The South would still be flying the Confederate flag.
Further, the spin the timing and placement of the announcement of a Mass in St. Cecelia's bulletin and Gay Pride Week is all a big misunderstanding is not gelling. Even with the Globe:
Donilon declined to answer questions about the apparent contradiction of the church’s bulletin and his statement.
Statements that nobody can swallow seems to be the public relations policy of this Archdiocese.
Why not just say there was a theological misunderstanding that is pastorally being aligned to outreach programs consistent with Catholic teaching?
He digs himself further into the hole:
He said, however, that there would be a Mass in the future to welcome the community, but not specifically gays and lesbians.
Is there going to be a broader list?
I hope we can move them beyond their fixations on who is sleeping with whom.
I wonder if we can migrate them to focus physical attributes?
How about segregating out parishes for fat people and skinny people?
It could work.
I'll tell you right now, I'm going to the parish that welcomes skinny people. Keep your coffee and donuts. I'm going where there'll be green tea and fruit cups.
I've got just the song for the welcome home Catholics program: Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks, even kids with chicken pox.
Where are they going with this?
Does Donilon believe a Mass in the community to welcome all is something novel?
This is what every other Mass, on any other day, in any other community has been doing for the last 2000 years.
Why is it the policy of the Archbishop to publish the notion that loving and welcoming is reserved to a couple of handfuls of Catholics, and gays must flock to these places or face the hatred stewing in all other parishes?
Can't they see that they are the ones inflicting wounds?
How would you feel if suddenly the Archdiocese set up the dynamic that there are only a few parishes in town where orthodox Catholics are loved and welcomed in accordance with the Catholic religion?
The moral of the story is, this is another shining example of how Cardinal O'Malley is dismantling the unity of One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in Boston.
He is fractioning our religion to places where every priest or every part of town has its own gig. He's made clear that in the future, it will all soon be handed over to the authority of those in these philosophical and structural subdivisions.
There is a set of teachings in the Roman Catholic Church that should be taught in every parish by every priest and should all be consistent with what is taught by the roots of our faith and tradition, the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
All are most definitely welcome.
We listen, we learn, we strive, we struggle, we are tempted, we fall, we repent and we use the Sacraments to amend our lives in accordance with the Deposit of Faith.
Most if not all of us have at one time or another thought some teaching was foolish and resisted accepting and guiding our lives by the teaching. Some of us even have periods in our lives when the teaching was too much of a burden on our own desires and we checked out.
Sometimes, even a priest will derail and come up with an idea that is not theologically sound. There is supposed to be a local shepherd, the Bishop, who rescues his straying priests and brings us all to unity under sound Catholic teaching and theology.
In the absence of this in Boston, things and people with an ax to grind against religion or Catholics are going to pick up the story and use it for ammunition to divide and conquer.