My friend David McCaffrey, co-founder of the Twin Cities-based Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (the organization to which I serve as executive coordinator), has a letter in today’s St. Paul Pioneer Press. David’s letter is in response to an earlier one by Phyllis Plum, who charged that CPCSM is “not a Catholic organization.”
Following is David’s response:
Judge by letter of law or by love?
As co-founder and board vice president of the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities – a local, independent coalition of Catholic LGBT persons, their families and friends, priests, religious and other pastoral professionals – I take exception to Phyllis Plum’s assertion that CPCSM is “not a Catholic organization” (“A straight line can't be crooked,” March 19). CPCSM has a 27-year record of ministry work among many LGBT Catholics who as a result feel welcomed and affirmed by the Church.
In the long history of our Judeo-Christian tradition, there have always been those who have challenged the status quo – such names as Galileo, St. Joan of Arc, St. Francis of Assisi and, oh, yes, Jesus of Nazareth, come to mind. Speaking of Jesus, didn’t he have some strong words for authoritarian people who were known to judge others by adherence to the letter of the law rather than by the love within their hearts?
Above: CPCSM’s 25th Anniversary celebration – April 2, 2005. Those in attendance who were members of the first CPCSM board were (from left): Lucretia Kirby, Karen Chicoine, Bill Kummer, and David McCaffrey.
Karen Chicoine, Bill Kummer, and David McCaffrey were among the founding “CPCSM Six” who met with Archbishop Roach in May of 1980 and shared their faith journeys as LGBT Catholics. (The other three from the six co-founders, not in attendance at the April 7, 2005 celebration, were Rev. Herb Hayek, OP; Donna Kurimay; and Cynthia Scott.)
Above: CPCSM co-founder David McCaffrey (center) with (from left) Paula Ruddy, Mary Lynn Murphy (CPCSM president and co-founder and coordinator of Catholic Rainbow Parents), Lisa Nilles, and Georgia Mueller – January 2006.
Along with a number of other Catholics, CPCSM co-founder David McCaffrey played a major role in the organization’s efforts to oppose (and ultimately defeat) the proposed “marriage amendment” of 2005-2006. This proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution would have not only banned the possibility of same-gender marriage in Minnesota, but “all legal equivalents” – including already existing domestic partnerships and civil unions.
Our organizing efforts involved collaborating with a number of ecumenically diverse faith communities - all of which were similarly dedicated to defeating the proposed amendment. From this proactive and ecumenical dialogue and action emerged the Faith Family Fairness Alliance, of which a number of Catholic organizations and individuals are members.
This was a very energizing time for CPCSM, and our activities involved many planning and strategizing meetings – three of which are pictured above and below.
Above: Brigid McDonald, CSJ; Georgia Mueller, Paula Ruddy, Tom Murr, David McCaffrey, Michael Bayly, Brian McNeill (Dignity Twin Cities) Mary Lynn Murphy, and Tom White – October 2005.
Above: CPCSM executive coordinator, Michael Bayly, and CPCSM co-founder, David McCaffrey, at a Faith Family Fairness Alliance meeting – March 2006.
Recommended Off-site Link:
The Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM) website, established and maintained by David McCaffrey.
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Thoughts on Authority and Fidelity
CPCSM’s Year in Review (2006)
Who Gets to Be Called “Catholic” – and Why?
Comprehending the “Fullness of Truth”