Catholic Priests Concerned about Consequences of the Ban
Today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel features a front page story about Father Bryan Massingale, a priest with the Milwaukee Archdiocese who has expressed concerns about the second sentence of the amendment and its impact on families.
An excerpt from the story:
Father Bryan Massingale, an associate professor of moral theology at Marquette University, wrote a lengthy essay in which he struggled with the idea that "the amendment, read in its entirety, poses a dilemma for many faithful people."The article also mentions a statement from the Milwaukee Priest Alliance, representing 140 priests, that concurred with Father Massingale's understanding of the amendment:
"The amendment upholds certain beliefs about the uniqueness of marriage," he wrote in the Sept. 21 issue. "But it does so at a cost, namely, potentially damaging impacts upon the welfare of individuals and their children."
He also dealt with the issue of homosexuality.
"Too often, discussions of this issue treat 'those' people - specifically, gays and lesbians - as if they were an alien species," he wrote. "They are not. They are our sons and daughters; our sisters and brothers; our aunts, uncles, and cousins; our friends, neighbors, students and co-workers; our priests, ministers and parishioners. 'They' are us!"
Massingale concluded that "voting 'no' on the marriage amendment, in my judgment, is the best way to respect all of our Catholic beliefs and values."
"We share his well-founded fear that the amendment may be construed to deny rights and services, including health care, not only to those in civil unions but many other citizens of Wisconsin as well, irrespective of their marital status," the statement read.It means a lot to me personally to see Catholic leaders publicly express their concerns about the ban.
I was raised Catholic. My family attended Mass every Sunday. I was confirmed and attended CCD all the way through high school. Both sets of my grandparents are/were also Catholic. My deceased grandmother worked for their parish, and sometimes I would tag along with her when she went to clean the church. My grandfather still attends Mass almost every day. He believes it's only right to allow gay couples to have civil unions.
When I came out, my family accepted me and today fully supports me and my partner. They don't have much extra money, and they don't even live in Wisconsin, but they've given money to help Fair Wisconsin. I believe it's precisely because of their Catholic values that they fully accept me, oppose these kinds of amendments, and want to see my family have basic protections.