October 6, 2008

Wow. CA Priest Speaks Out Against Prop 8

This is well worth a read. Father Geoffrey Farrow of the Saint Paul Newman Center on the campus of the University of California gave what was probably his last mass last Sunday, when he spoke out against the Bishop's recommendation that Church members vote Yes on Proposition 8.

The entire thing is beautifully written (and very well-argued,) but here's my favorite parts. It's rather long, but that's because the whole thing was freaking fantastic.

The statement made by the bishop reaffirms the feelings of exclusion and alienation that are suffered by individuals and their loved ones who have left the Church over this very issue. Imagine what hearing such damaging words at Mass does to an adolescent who has just discovered that he/she is gay/lesbian? What is the hierarchy saying to him/her? What are they demanding from that individual? What would it have meant to you personally to hear from the pulpit at church that you could never date? Never fall in love, never kiss or hold hands with another person? Never be able to marry? How would you view yourself? How would others hearing those same words be directed to view you? How would you view your life and your future? How would you feel when you saw a car with a "Yes on 8" bumper sticker? When you overheard someone in a public place use the word "faggot?"
The bishop states: "The Church has spoken out constantly that those with a homosexual orientation must be respected with the dignity of every child of God. Every individual is created in the image and likeness of God and should never be subjected to prejudice or hatred." A pious thought uttered by a cleric, robbed of any substantive meaning, as the executioner begins his work. Only a few select people actually read those documents. What most Catholics hear about being gay or lesbian at their parish church is--silence. A numbing silence, which slowly and insidiously tells them, "You don't belong here, this is not for you, and you are not welcome." It is not the crude overt vulgarity of some churches. But rather, it is the coldness of a maitre d' who simply won't seat you, or the club which has put you on a waiting list with no intention of allowing you to join. And simply asks you to wait in polite almost, apologetic tones. ... This "theology," which is parroted by clerics in polished tones from pulpits, produces the very prejudice and hatred in our society which they claim to abhor.

Thank you, Father Geoffrey, for being so brave and honest.

H/T to Pam's House

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