Saturday, May 4, 2013

Most Catholic State, Rhode Island, Enacts Marriage Equality, and Bishop Tobin Calls for Catholics to Shun Gays (But We Love You, Don't Forget!)

The "most Catholic" state in the union, Rhode Island, enacted marriage equality this week, and the response of Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence is to pen a nasty, ungracious "pastoral" letter telling Catholics under his care to shun their gay fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, or uncles who may choose to affirm their love for another person through civil marriage. And who may choose to take advantage of the full range of rights afforded to heterosexual couples who are civilly married, which make it possible to sustain committed relationships and to raise families with some degree of comfort and ease . . . .

But we love you, don't forget! Tobin makes that mendacious claim even as he singles out gay citizens of Rhode Island for censure and shunning that no Catholic bishop anywhere asks Catholics under his care to practice towards, say, a family member who is divorced and has remarried, or a family member who practices contraception.

Jeremy Hooper gets this ugly Catholic shell game of "love" and "welcome" just right:

I think that this anti-gay stuff is seriously threatening to destroy an already-battered Catholic church; and remain shocked that this church thinks they can detach us from our attractions, use vicious language against these attractions, and still claim to be nice and loving.

We love you! We just don't want you to 1) accept yourself as God made you, 2) have any kind of a life,  3) be protected from violence and bullying when you're in school, 4) have a chance of a life that involves intimacy and commitment, 5) have open, public acceptance for who you are and for your loving relationships.

But we love you. Please don't forget!

I wonder if these fellows ever give any thought not only to what they will look like at the judgment bar of history, but to what they already look like as "pastoral" leaders and "loving" disciples of Christ to increasing numbers of people, including many lay Catholics.

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