From the USA, Bondings 2.0 reports that
Kentucky Catholic Priests Urge Faithful to Demand LGBT Rights Protections
Four priests in Kentucky are calling on Catholics to organize for a statewide Fairness Law this weekend, adding their voices to broader efforts for LGBT non-discrimination protections in that state.
In a letter published by The Courier-Journal, the priests, from the Archdiocese of Louisville, say that Pope Francis’ “Who am I to judge” remark prompted them to ask:
“Can we, as Catholics, allow any of God’s children to live a life filled with judgment and discrimination?”
Joined by the Kentucky Catholics for Fairness, the priests — Fr. Joseph Fowler, Fr. James Flynn, Fr. John Burke, and Fr. Joe Mitchell, CP — are advocating for LGBT legal protections in Kentucky related to employment, housing, and public accommodations. While some communities have implemented legal rights, discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is still mostly legal there. To combat this unjust reality, the priests extend the following invitation:
“On Sunday, Feb. 15, Kentucky Catholics for Fairness will unite in our fourth annual Pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Assumption in support for a statewide ban on LGBT discrimination, and we hope you will join us…
“If you’re a Catholic who believes, like we do, that every person deserves a fair chance to earn a living, put a roof over their head, and eat at their favorite restaurant without the fear of being turned away just because of who they are, we ask that you join our Pilgrimage.”
In their explanation for their involvement with this justice issue, the priests argue first from liturgy, specifically the Mass, which Vatican II identifies as the “source and summit” of the church’s life. They then move into Catholic teachings about social justice. Calling Mass “the most sacred of all our prayers,” the priests write:
“The prayers of Mass repeatedly affirm our Catholic faith’s inherent belief in the dignity of all people. We pray that all of God’s creation is holy, that all human life is sacred, and that we all are created in the image of God. We pray to safeguard the dignity of human life, to be a leaven and soul of human society to transform it into a family of God, and to make the church present and active in the affairs of this age. We pray to be one family of the people, and for all to have work that begets their dignity.
“Historically, Catholics have lived out these prayers in myriad ways — by caring for the poor and infirmed, fostering the education of youth, and serving the community in hospitals and orphanages.”
Also at Bondings 2.0, see these previous reports of Catholic priests standing up for LGBT protection and inclusion:
- Valentine’s Day Message of Love and Equality from Ohio and Kentucky Catholics (February 2014)
- In Trinidad, a Catholic Priest Speaks Out Boldly for LGBT Equality (March 2014)
- Australian Priest Publicly Endorses the Goodness of Same-Gender Relationships (May 2013)