Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The immorality of the Catholic Church

The parishioners of St. Agnes Catholic Church in Roeland Park, Kan., can rest easy tonight, or at least, that's what the church leadership may well want you to believe. They have succeeded in firing their church music director for the crime of refusing to deny his own truth.

Nadeau, who is gay, was fired from the suburban Kansas City church after it became known that he leads KC's gay chorus.

He told the Kansas City Star that he was told he could have kept his job if he had complied with the pastor's request to "stop leading the Heartland Men's Chorus, to say he would be celibate, and state that he agreed with church teaching that homosexuality is a disorder."

Can you imagine being asked to do such a thing? Can you imagine ever asking heterosexuals to claim that their God-given sexual orientation was a disorder and requiring them to remain celibate for no other reason than to stay employed?

There's nothing illegal about what the leaders of St. Agnes did.

If a law were passed forcing a church to go against its own teachings and keep the apparently horrifying Nadeau on staff, I'm not even certain that kind of law would be a good idea.

It might cause more harm, and certainly a lot of grief to the Nadeaus of the world, although I may well just be getting a tad old and a little tired. I'm willing to let that point go without any further argument right now.

This real issue isn't legal. I think it's moral.

In my very personal, very biased opinion, what the leaders of St. Agnes did was a sin. It has got to be immoral for an institution founded by a teacher preaching the Golden Rule to fire someone for honestly living his life.

But then I believe the Catholic Church's teachings on homosexuality are destructive and immoral. When it comes to judging people who love other consenting adults of the same sex, the Church doesn't seem to care how a person acts.

You can be promiscuous or not, loving or violent, saintly or petty. You can sacrifice your life for your lover or your country. You can believe in the same God and worship in the same way. You can care for children and provide them with the emotional support and food and clothing they need. You can be as pure as Mother Teresa, and it won't matter. If you're gay, you're automatically wrong in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

The only sin I can see that us gay people actually commit is that we're refusing to use sex to procreate. If that is truly a sin, then most of the world is heading to hell.

Luckily, the attitude of the pastor of St. Agnes isn't the only one held by religious people. The Star quotes Mandy Caruso, a seminarian at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City.

"What Jesus taught is, you're supposed to love your neighbor and love God," Caruso said. "If loving your neighbor means kicking them out of church, that does not express love in my understanding of what love is."

1 comment:

John the Movie Man! said...

Thank you for posting on this subject - I missed this story about the shenanigans at St. Agnes. Of all of the problems we face in the world, it is sad that this is the type of story we have to focus on.