|Fr. John Coleman, S.J.|
On Saturday, at a reception honoring our retiring pastor, a man spoke to me to compliment me on my homilies. He then told me he was gay. He said he came to a Jesuit church because he had no fears in such a setting that his dignity would be assailed from the pulpit. I was surprised! I asked him if he had ever experienced such a denigration of his dignity from homilies in other settings and he assured me the answer was yes. Again, the issue of gay marriage roils our current political scene. I read recently the letter of Archbishop John Nienstadt of Minneapolis-Saint Paul to his priests about his concern to marshal an attack on gay marriage and support a referendum in Minnesota opposing it. He told his priests that this is one of the greatest challenges of our times and that he saw those who supported gay marriage as involving "an attempt to eliminate the need for marriage altogether." He made clear that he would not brook from his priests any open dissension on this issue. One of the dangers of Catholic attempts to fight gay marriage ( as we saw in California in 2008 at the time of the divisive Proposition 8 fight) is that the church runs the risk of allying its activity with other groups. In Minnesota, the Catholic effort seems to be allied closely with the Minnesota Family Council on whose web site one finds truly homophobic remarks which link gay orientation intrinsically to pedophilia and beastiality!