The media reports that more than 100 protesters went to the chancery in Cincinnati this week to deliver 24,000 signatures on a petition asking Archbishop Dennis Schnurr to remove several new clauses from the contracts for Catholic teachers. Those clauses include a requirement that they refrain from any expression of “public support for a homosexual lifestyle”
According to New Ways Ministry’s blog, Bondings 2.0, parents, teachers, and parishioners were among the protestors. One teacher, who also happens to be the parent of a gay man, was emphatic in her refusal to comply with a contract that essentially calls on her to withdraw support for her son. She described her son to WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, as someone who “in my eyes, my God made perfectly.”
In this season of “unbounded Easter joy” as one wise priest described it, to be Catholic is to affirm life in all its magnificent diversity. We cannot let ourselves be limited by what we see when we wear the blinkers of power, bigotry and denial of science. The situation in Cincinnati, and in Honolulu where similar contracts have been announced, is more than sad. It is un-Christ-like. It should move Catholics everywhere to be mad enough to say to the Bishops: this must stop.
We are the church. The contracts make a mockery of that statement. They encourage hypocrisy and hiding. They feed fear and loathing. If “we are the church” is to mean anything, that “we” must mean everyone, not just the ones who are most like us, or with whom we feel comfortable. To be catholic surely is to be universal in our embrace of all creation.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: