Friday, September 2, 2016

"Priest Suspended for Supporting Gay Groups?" by David Gibson, My Response: Stop Demonizing Gays, Follow Jesus' Example of Inclusivity
Fr. Warren Hall in a 2014 photo (Photo by Frances Micklow/courtesy of The Star-Ledger)

"The Catholic archbishop in New Jersey has barred a gay priest from ministry because the cleric supports gay advocacy groups and has backed a Catholic high school counselor who was fired when church officials discovered the woman was in a same-sex marriage.
Fr. Warren Hall said he was notified by phone on that Newark Archbishop John Myers, an outspoken conservative who has submitted his retirement papers to Pope Francis, says Hall's actions are "confusing the faithful."
As a result, Hall will no longer be able to celebrate Mass in public, present himself as a priest or work in the New Jersey parishes where he has been ministering.
"The problem is that we have an archbishop who doesn't believe you can be gay and Catholic," Hall, who is on vacation, wrote in an email."
Bridget Mary's Response
Archbishop John Myers decision to punish Fr. Warren Hall for his service to gay groups demonizes gays in the name of religion. This action contradicts Jesus teaching that God is love and that we are called to love one another as God loves us! Jesus included everyone in God's circle of compassion. He left no one outside on the margins, labelled no one excluded. According to the Gospels there was room for everyone at the table where Jesus dined. So it must be today.

 Therefore, our church must change its toxic teaching on homosexuality because it does not reflect the inclusivity Jesus demonstrated in the Gospel. As followers of Christ, our mission is to do justice and love practically and compassionately. The  Irish writer, James Joyce, once said, Catholic means "here comes everybody."  It is a big tent and we are all part of the family, spiritual equals in the Body of Christ, the beloved of God.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the LGBTI Community. All are welcome at the Banquet Table to receive Eucharist and all sacraments in our inclusive communities. 
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP
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