Friday, August 16, 2013

Steve's Comment as His Niece Invites Him to Her Wedding but Excludes Me: "The Facticity of Catholic Hate"

In today's mail, an invitation to the upcoming wedding of Steve's niece: that's the first of the two documents at the head of the posting. I've excerpted the invitation section of the document. 

That invitation came to Steve and his brother, who receives mail at our house. Two large envelopes.

To me came the second invitation, the second excerpted bit above. Notice any difference? We did, immediately, since the envelope of the invitation to me was considerably smaller than that containing the invitations to Steve and his brother--a giveaway that I was getting a different kind of "invitation."

Steve opens the two, looks stunned, and says, "Here's the facticity of Catholic hate."

As Steve's spouse, you see, I can't be invited to a Catholic wedding, because Catholic weddings are all about a man marrying a woman. And having gay couples in church at such events dilutes the Catholic meaning of the wedding.

This is what Steve's sister-in-law explained to us several years ago (via an intermediary) when another niece pulled the stunt of inviting Steve to her Catholic wedding, but excluding me. She did the same to another of Steve's brothers who's gay and partnered. I've written about that previously here, and about the hurt it created for Steve--and the polarization and disruption in his entire family.

The niece now pulling the same stunt is the daughter of one of Steve's sisters. I wrote some time in the past about the visit of that sister, her husband, and their family to us several years ago. We prepared meals for them, invited them to stay with us, took them to dinner on one occasion.

But they insisted on staying in the large recreational vehicle in which they were traveling. And when they got home and the sister sent us a thank-you note for our hospitality, it ended with a statement that this Catholic family couldn't, of course, condone homosexuality, hence the refusal of our offer for the family to stay in our house with us while they visited.

After this, the daughter of that sister who has just sent us the wedding invitation graduated from her home-schooling and sent us an announcement. We sent congratulations and $100. A curt note arrived in the mail shortly after this, thanking us for the $100 and informing us that the niece had given the money away.* 

Can't have money from a dirty gay couple dirtying her clean Catholic hands: that was the loud, clear message from the curt, unfriendly "thank-you" note the niece sent to her uncle.

And now this:

Uncle: We "cordially invite you to attend the ceremony of their wedding in the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony." 
Uncle's spouse of 40+ years: We "cordially invite you to their wedding reception."

What was it I was saying just two days ago?

It's all about judging, condemning, and making unwelcome, and I'm going to take a break for a few days now, since I'm reaching one of those points at which I have to eliminate some of the toxins these people inject into my psyche and soul through their comments on Catholic blog sites.

I wonder if these folks have any clue how really pathetic they appear to much of the rest of the world? Such petty, low, venal attempts to send gross messages about how much you disdain others, including members of your own family and the people they love. 

And such an obvious and really grievous betrayal of all that the Catholic tradition really stands for, as it prohibits us from judging the souls of others and insists that we make room at the table of the Lord for everyone. As Jesus himself did. 

P.S. Steve's sister and niece--and most of his immediate family--live in the Crookston diocese in Minnesota, where a Catholic pastor informed a gay couple last fall that they were not welcome to receive communion, where a teen was denied confirmation for supporting marriage equality and his family was barred from communion for supporting him, and where a teacher in a Catholic school lost her job last year because she supported marriage equality.

Wonder how Pope Francis's new tone for the Catholic church in how it deals with LGBTI individuals is playing out in the American heartland . . . ? And wonder what message the bishops of Minnesota have sent to Catholics in the state by their vituperative and very expensive attack on the lives and rights of LGBTI citizens in recent years?

Meanwhile, have a look at a comment Thom Curnutte has published today, which someone left at his outstanding Faith in the 21st Century blog site. As I said two days ago, in many ways the anti-gay hate has actually stepped up at Catholic blog sites after Pope Francis asked how anyone has the right to judge gays.

*Steve tells me we sent $100 each. And I don't mean to toot our horn or be tacky in mentioning money and amounts, but I mention the figures to make the point that we wanted to go out of our way to recognize this niece's accomplishment, and her response seemed very ungracious and crude.

Please see this continuation of the preceding posting, which responds to comments readers have made following the preceding posting.

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