After that story this morning, of that parent, that very religious parent, that very religious parent who is a pastor no less, and his stance on having gay children, I was all tingly inside about religious folk, and hoping for a change.
Then I read this …
Paul Huff and Tom Wojtowick have been a couple for over thirty years, and have been very active in their local church, St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Montana for more than a decade. That may change now that they’ve gotten married, simply so that they can make medical and financial decisions for each other as they grow older.
Samuel Spiering, the new parish priest, found out about the marriage, and instantly sent his Flying Monkeys out to the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, as well as Bishop Michael Warfel, to fix this horrific situation.
Christian love, y’all.
Spiering, Warfel, and some big-shots from the Diocese decided that these two men would be forced to write a "restoration statement," declaring their support for the Church's teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman. Sadly, they agreed to make that statement, and Tom explained it like this
"It was not our intent to challenge that (concept), but to have the rights of civic protections in our old age."
And that's when Tom and Paul said no.
Bishop Warfel says he likes Tom and Paul, and likes that they kept their shameful secret, you know, getting married and all, but once word got out about the two queers being married and being Catholic, he had no choice but to tell them to condemn their relationship, divorce one another and live separately because, well, God.
He then says he isn’t punishing gay folks, he’s simply taking a stand against same-sex marriage, something only gay folks can do, you know. He seems to miss the irony there.
Father Spiering, for his part, isn’t playing the Double-Speak Game of Love the Sinner, hate The Sin of Same-Sex Marriage, he’s just keeping his yap shut, saying it’s a private matter.
For their part, Paul Huff hasn’t returned to St. Leo’s though Tom Wojtowick attends half the Mass, leaving before Communion is offered, though they have consulted with lawyers who believe that St. Leo’s the Great Catholic Church may have violated canon law.
They certainly violated the laws of Christian love. Perhaps the Priest, the Bishop, and the whole damn Diocese needs to have a good long sit down with John Pavlovitz and listen to him speak about The Gays and religion.
On the up side? Well, attendance at St. Leo’s has plummeted since Tom and Paul were told to divorce, and the pastor at the local Episcopalian Church says the couple is welcome, married and all, to take Communion there … and even sing in the choir.