Thursday, May 23, 2013

Quote of the Day

There’s so much in the media . . . about the progress of gay rights, especially on the marriage front. But in the republic of Georgia just days ago, Orthodox priests led thousands of people in an anti-gay attack. In Greenwich Village, a young gay man was fatally shot in what’s been deemed a hate crime.

And at a kitchen table here in central Ohio, [Carla Hale], a typically cheerful woman, dabbed her eyes and wondered aloud what she’d done wrong.

The answer is in one sense simple: she made a life with another woman. While the Catholic Church doesn’t condemn homosexuality per se, it considers any physical expression of it sinful. And Carla’s “public declaration of an extramarital relationship,” [in her mother's obituary], indicated that she was flouting Catholic tenets and thus breaching her contract [with the Ohio Catholic high school where she'd worked as a gym teacher for 18 years], according to a statement the diocese e-mailed me.

But things get complicated when you consider the selectiveness of the church’s outrage, the capriciousness of its mercy.

Until public exposure shamed them, many church leaders protected priests whose sexual transgressions involved minors and were criminal.

Church leaders tolerate teachers at Catholic schools who are married with no kids or with few. Some are surely using artificial birth control, which the church officially opposes.

Besides which, Carla was guiding students through sit-ups, not psalms. The school hired her though she’s Methodist, not Catholic.

. . . “A lot of people want me to be bitter and go after the Catholic Church,” she said, adding that others want to cast her as a lesbian heroine. She just wants her job back, a recognition, she said, “that I’m a moral individual who happens to be gay.”

– Frank Bruni
"One School's Catholic Teaching"
New York Times
May 20, 2013

Related Off-site Links:
Carla Hale Story Goes National Through Frank Bruni Column in New York Times: "Consider the Selectiveness of the Church's Outrage" – William D. Lindsey (Bilgrimage, May 21, 2013).
Ohio Catholic High School Fires Gay Teacher For Naming Partner In Mother’s Obituary – Zack Ford (, April 18, 2013).
U.S. Catholics Break with Hierarchy on Gay Relationships – Cathy Lynn Grossman, (USA Today, March 23, 2011).
Why Do So Many Catholics Support Marriage Equality? Blame the Catholic Imagination – Jamie L. Manson (National Catholic Reporter, October 10, 2012).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Truth-Telling: The Greatest of Sins in a Dysfunctional Church
The Catholic Church and Gays: An Excellent Historical Overview
Our Catholic "Stonewall Moment"
Catholic Hierarchy Can Overcome Fear of LGBT People
Catholic Attitudes on Gay and Lesbian Issues: An Overview

Image: Kristen Solberg.

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