Opinions

39 posts

If the church is serious about welcoming gays…

By Marianne Duddy-Burke and Mary Ellen Lopata

In an Easter morning appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, spoke words that some gay and lesbian Catholics thought they might never hear.

Asked by the host, George Stephanopoulos, what he would say to people who felt excluded from the Roman Catholic Church because of their sexual orientation, the cardinal said: “Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, ‘I love you, too. And God loves you. And you are made in God’s image and likeness.’ ”

In the spirit of compromise, then — and realizing that we and the cardinal are not soon going to agree on how the church and state should treat same-sex couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other — we offer a few suggestions that do not require the hierarchy to adjust its teachings on the nature of marriage, but would send a clear message against distaste and mistrust.

The case of transgender Catholic school teacher Mark Krolikowski: Keeping the faith while gender notions evolve

By Jim FitzGerald

Mark Kroilkowski wore his hair at shoulder length, his nails long and well manicured, and his ears pierced. His appearance, which evolved over the 32 years he'd spent teaching at St. Francis Prepatory School in Queens, had always been considered a bit unconventional for a Catholic school teacher, but it had caused no poblems until October 2011 when the parent of a freshman student complained, setting in motion a series of events that culminated in Kroilikowski's dismissal. 

The former teacher says he was laid off because he informed school officials that he was transgender. He has filed suit. The school’s attorney says Krolikowski was fired for “nondiscriminatory reasons.”

The acronym LGBT has entered into common use in recent years, as a quick way of referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. But even individuals who are L, G and B don’t always know much about those who are T. As Christians we believe that the church must work to dispel this ignorance, and to support this deeply stigmatized population.

Peace begins in the gay-friendly home

By Casey and Mary Ellen Lopata

As the new year begins, our list of threats to world peace includes the usual suspects: poverty, hunger, disease, environmental degradation, the availability of devastating weaponry and sectarian violence. To this list, Pope Benedict XVI would like to add our neighbor Bob.

In his message for the World Day of Peace, which takes place January 1, the pope said that allowing gay and lesbian people to marry “constitutes an offense against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace.” That the pope holds these notions is not news. He has previously said that gay marriage threatens the “future of humanity itself.”

We are fortunate enough to be able to contrast the pope’s rhetoric with the reality of Bob’s life, and those of many other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people whom we know. They don’t seem like threats to world peace or the future of humanity. They are men and women trying to earn a living, love their spouses, raise their children and contribute a little something to their churches and their communities.

These aren’t my grandfather’s Knights of Columbus. And that’s a shame!

By Marianne Duddy-Burke

When I was younger, the words “Knights of Columbus” conjured up fond images of my grandfather donning his cape and plumed hat to march in a parade, or slipping into his regalia for a special Mass at his parish church. The Knights council helped coordinate an annual festival for people with developmental disabilities and my whole family volunteered. The Knights of Columbus were good guys in my eyes. They raised money for hot meals, warm clothes and wheelchairs for families that could not afford them.

Boy Scouts’ discriminatory policy finds no support in Catholic teaching

Because the U.S. Catholic hierarchy strongly opposes legislation that would grant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people fuller equality, Catholics can be forgiven for assuming that church teaching always supports one particular “side” in our country’s culture wars. The Boy Scouts of America, for instance, have recently reaffirmed their […]

Blessed are they who mourn?

“Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” –Jesus in The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:4. Imagine, for just a moment, being in the midst of the shock and grief of losing your mother and turning to your church for the comfort of the familiar rituals and sacraments associated […]

Same-sex marriage IS dangerous for church workers

By Marianne T. Duddy-Burke

 

On this St. Valentine's Day, we have a new step towards justice and equality for lesbian and gay couples to celebrate. Just yesterday, after Senator Ed Murray welcomed us to "the other side of the rainbow," Governor Christine Gregoire signed marriage equality into law in Washington state. As I watched the very moving and joyous ceremony, where the belief that this was the right thing to do was so very apparent, I rejoiced for all same-gender couples who will experience the profound joy of having their commitments and love legally recognized in the Evergreen state.

A Catholic case for same-sex marriage

This month in Maryland and the state of Washington, an extraordinary dynamic is playing itself out:  Two Catholic governors are prodding legislators to pass bills legalizing same-gender marriage. Like Govs. Andrew Cuomo in New York and Pat Quinn in Illinois — whose states recently legalized same-sex civil unions — Govs. Martin O’Malley and Christine Gregoire are acting against the strongly expressed opposition of their church’s bishops.