. . . The boycott [of the Basilica of St. Mary's Annual Block Party] is a direct way of saying to the [St. Paul-Minneapolis] Archdiocese and Archbishop Nienstedt: since you seem to have no trouble raising big bucks to throw a roadblock in the path of gays and lesbians who wish to marry, you should have no trouble finding the big bucks you need to keep your Basilica, your co-cathedral, from falling down on your head the next time you're there.
[Some people] say the Basilica is a gay-friendly parish. [They] need to define [their] terms. For a number of years the Basilica did have a LGBT group that met on the premises. That ended. You can go to the Basilica website and find that it's been completely scrubbed of any mention of gay and lesbian persons, even under their so-called "Social Justice" pages – it's not a justice issue they dare talk about. And if you're gay or lesbian? Fine, but don't talk about it, and don't even expect as much as a public acknowledgement that you and your loving partner are full and faithful members. Because unless you make an effort to live without all sex for your entire life, and unless you see your homosexuality as a problem, a "trial," to be suffered as Christ suffered, then you are not welcome. Just ask the pastor. He'll tell you that's what the Catholic Church – and he – teaches.
. . . The issue is not about getting the Catholic Church to change its teachings about homosexuality in general and same sex marriage in particular. It's about objecting to Catholic leaders who believe that their teachings about same sex marriage should be enshrined in civil law. The Catholic Church is unlikely ever to bless a Catholic gay or lesbian couple's marriage. But it has and will be spending millions of dollars to make sure no gays and lesbians outside their church have that right either.
. . . [C]onsider these facts: the Catholic Church in Malta recently fought that country's legalization of divorce. It lost. In the Philippines recently, the Catholic Church loudly opposed the legalization of contraceptives. Lost again. In 1995, the Catholic Church finally lost its long-standing fight against the legalization of divorce in good old Catholic Ireland.
And there's more: everywhere that gays and lesbians have won the right to civilly marry or enter into civil partnerships (Spain, England, Ecuador, Ireland, for example) the Catholic Church has been in the forefront of opposition to any change in civil law that would grant these rights to same-sex couples. In some countries of the world, the Catholic Church is still fighting gay and lesbian anti-discrimination laws that we take for granted in this country. And of course the Catholic Church in this country is vigorously opposed to gays in the military, and of the right of same-sex couples to legally adopt or foster children.
So [while] the Catholic Church does [do some] good around the world, it also spends a lot of energy and money opposing what we would consider basic rights. As long as it seeks to enshrine its teachings into law, people will quite justifiably seek out ways to oppose it. The boycott is simply one way to do this.
Related Off-site Link:
Basilica Block Party Caught Up in Fight Over Marriage Amendment – Doug Grow and Joe Kimball (MinnPost.com, June 14, 2011).
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Basilica Artist-in-Residence Suspended Over "DVD to Art" Project