Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Hall of Shame: Catholic Dioceses Across U.S. Support Maine Diocese's Attack on Gay Brothers and Sisters

In the posting I just uploaded, about shutting down the GayTM, I noted that the Catholic church in the U.S. has mounted a nationwide attack on LGBT human beings.

As I noted this, I offered a link to a 23 October financial statement that the Portland Catholic diocese provided, listing donors to its attack on gay citizens of Maine and their human rights. This link points to a report of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices listing contributors to the Portland diocese's attack on gay persons and our human rights.

This report makes clear where that mysterious money came from that the Portland diocese kept finding to carry on its attack on gay people in the recent Yes on 1 initiative. It came, in fact, from all over the United States--from Catholic dioceses across the nation.

While it has been closing Catholic churches and schools, the Catholic diocese of Portland has been passing the hat around among bishops all over the place to collect money to attack a vulnerable minority. And bishops all over the place (many of whom are facing financial constraints similar to those of the Portland diocese, and many of whom are also closing churches) willingly put money into the hat for this cause.

Money given by Catholics in their dioceses to support schools, churches, programs to feed the hungry and heal the sick. Money Catholics around the nation have not given to attack their gay children, brothers and sisters. Tax-free money given as donations to churches, without any political intent other than healing the wounds of the world in the mind of many Catholic layfolks donating that money.

Make no mistake about it: the Catholic bishops in the United States, many of them, are involved in a full-scale, take-no-prisoners attack on gay lives, gay human beings, gay brothers and sisters. This is a cynical, cruel, calculated attack.

And it will not end until Catholics who put money into the collection plates of Catholic churches across the nation stop supporting this attack on their LGBT brothers and sisters by refusing to donate.

You can read the list of dioceses donating to the Portland diocese's attack on gay citizens of Maine at the Maine Ethics Commission website. But just so that the names receive as much attention and distribution as possible, here's the Hall of Shame of dioceses that gave financial support to the Portland diocese's anti-gay initiative:

Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
Diocese of Arlington

Diocese of Atlanta
Catholic Foundation Archdiocese of Baltimore

Diocese of Baton Rouge
Diocese of Biloxi

Bishop Lori of Bridgeport

Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn

Diocese of Cincinnati

Diocese of Colorado Springs

Diocese of Columbus

Diocese of Crookston

Diocese of Erie

Bishop of Fall River

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
Diocese of Fort Worth

Diocese of Gary

Diocese of Grand Island

Diocese of Green Bay
Diocese of Hartford
Diocesan Center for Family Life Jacksonville
Diocese of Jefferson City

Diocese of Joliet

Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas, Kansas City

Diocese of LaCrosse

Diocese of Las Cruces

Bishop Kurtz of Louisville

Diocese of Metuchen
Diocese of Mobile

Diocese of Newark

Diocese of New Orleans
Bishop LeVoir of New Ulm

Diocese of Parma

Diocese of Philadelphia
Diocese of Phoenix
Diocese of Pittsburgh

Diocese of Portland, Oregon

Diocesan Assistance Fund of Providence
Diocese of Rockford

Diocese of Rockville Center
Diocese of St. Louis

Diocese of St. Thomas Virgin Islands
Bishop Brevard of St. Thomas

Diocese of San Angelo
Bishop Gomez of San Antonio

Diocese of Savannah

Diocese of Scranton
Bishop D'Arcy of South Bend

Bishop of Springfield

Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

Diocese of Wilmington

Diocese of Winona

Diocese of Yakima

Diocese of Youngstown

Know any of these places? Know Catholics in any of these places? If you do, do you suspect that many Catholics who put money into their churches' collection baskets in these places in the past year had no idea they were donating to a political cause? That their money would be used to mount a mean-spirited attack on their gay brothers and sisters?

There will come a day when historians will take note of this list for what it really is: a hall of shame of American Catholic dioceses which, in the first decade of the 21st century, chose to use the resources of their faith community to make the lives of a targeted minority harder than they already are.