Is it just me, or does it sometimes feel like there’s a new story about anti-LGBT spiritual bullying from the Catholic Church coming out every single day?
Here’s the latest: Right on the heels of a statement from San Francisco archbishop-elect Salvatore Cordileone that sexually active LGBT Catholics are unworthy of participating in the Sacrament of Holy Communion (the central act of Catholic worship and the cornerstone of Catholic identity), Newark Archbishop John Myers is going one step further, declaring in a “sweeping pastoral statement” issued Sept. 25 that all pro-marriage-equality Catholics are unfit to partake in the Eucharist. The Record reports:
He … said in the statement, a copy of which was provided to The Record before its release, that Catholics who disagree with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on marriage should “refrain from receiving Holy Communion.” He said he issued the statement because of what he described as a lack of clarity on the subject by other bishops.
Myers also says that in considering how to cast their ballots in November, Catholics should scrutinize the “full spectrum” of each candidate and not vote for any candidate who does not endorse what he calls “proper” marriage. He also supports gay people marrying non-gay spouses; according to The Record, Myers “wrote that it is possible for gay people to be married to members of the opposite sex and live ‘good, faithful and even joyous married lives. It is a lie to say that they are living, or have lived, a lie.’” Finally, Archbishop Myers compares same-sex marriage to incest: “Even those who propose radically altering the definition of marriage would not advocate allowing two brothers or sisters or an uncle and his nephew to marry (say, for the tax benefits, or for hospital visiting privileges).” According to The Record, a notice will be distributed to parishioners in churches all across the Newark Archdiocese this Sunday informing them of the letter and directing them to the archdiocesan website, where it’s posted.
Let me be clear: When Archbishop Myers says that Catholics who don’t subscribe to that church’s Stone-Age sexual mores are unworthy of full participation in the church, he’s not talking about a small sliver of the Catholic population. On the contrary, polls consistently show that Catholics support LGBT equality at a higher rate than the general public. In fact, a whopping 71 percent of Catholics support full civil marriage rights for same-sex couples.
But as far as Archbishop Myers is concerned, these pro-equality Catholics — nearly three-fourths of all Catholics in America — aren’t really Catholics at all, at least not Catholics in good standing. With prelates like Myers promulgating these appallingly divisive and discriminatory views, it’s no wonder that membership in the Catholic Church is falling fast and the number of young men training for the priesthood has cratered.
Apparently, though, all of that takes a backseat to spiritually bashing LGBT people. How profoundly sad.
Originally published on the Huffington Post.