Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Andrew Sullivan on Story of Paul Huff and Tom Wojtowick: Can the Church Survive in America?

Andrew Sullivan looks at the story of Paul Huff and Tom Wojtowick — two Catholic men who met in a Catholic church, sing in the choir of their parish, have been together over 30 years, and, at the ages of 66 and 73, have just been told they cannot receive the Eucharist because they are married — and asks, "Can the church survive in America?"

In Sullivan's estimation, "If the church upholds this kind of decision, it is endorsing cruelty, discrimination and exclusion." He concludes,

None of this is compatible with the core moral teachings of the church – about fairness, truth, compassion, forgiveness, mercy and inclusion. And this is clear to large numbers of Catholics – especially the younger generation who will rightly view this kind of decision as barbaric and inhuman. There is only so much inhumanity that a church can be seen to represent before its own members lose faith in it. I recall the feelings of my own niece and nephew who lost a huge amount of respect for the church when they heard a homily denouncing the civil marriage of their own uncle. I notice the outcry among Catholic high school students when a teacher was fired for the very same reason. When a church responds to an act of love and commitment not by celebration but by ostracism, it is not just attacking a couple’s human dignity; it is also attacking itself. 
What was once a blemish can become a defining wound. It has split one small parish. It may slowly wreck the whole church. 

And he's right. 

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