Thursday, September 29, 2005


... but I do not see this as the right way to handle dissension in the ranks. The Associated Press is reporting ...
A Catholic priest in this town was temporarily pulled from the pulpit after refusing to support the state bishops' drive against gay marriage.
Evidently one Westborough, MA, Catholic parish has a high percentage of homosexuals in its demographics. For that reason, they apparently see the signature drive as a direct attack on homosexuals.

Well, they are right, of course! However, the ballot measure is a defensive response to a highly mobilized, deeply financed, and extremely offensive enemy!

On the other hand, taking over the parish worship services is many days late and many dollars short of where they should have been.
The Rev. George Lange of St. Luke the Evangelist was replaced last weekend by Bishop Robert McManus of the Worcester Diocese, who led the Saturday evening Mass and the Sunday morning Mass at the church.
Dissent is healthy if managed spiritually and with common sense; after all where would Protestants be without protest. A takeover at this juncture seems to me to bring unwanted attention and provides evidence of authoritarianism amongst the ranks of the pro-Marriage Amendment leadership.
The move came after Lange and his associate pastor, the Rev. Stephen Labaire, posted an item in the Sept. 11 church bulletin stating their opposition to a proposed Constitutional amendment that would ban on gay marriage. ... .

The bulletin item read: "The priests of this parish do not feel that they can support this amendment. They do not see any value to it and they see it as an attack upon certain people in our parish, namely those who are gay."
As I was warned early on in my ministry: "It is possible to be absolutely right in your views while being percieved as totally wrong at the moment." This warning should always be understood when planning to take a position on any issue at any time.
A spokesman for McManus, Raymond Delisle, told the MetroWest Daily News of Framingham that Lange and Labaire remain in place at the church. Delisle said the bishop's intention was not to rebuke the priests, but to "present the church's teaching on the subject."
I seriously doubt anyone heard the message, since the side show was so distracting. The PR fallout may be costly to the cause.

; ;

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