Thursday, September 22, 2005

Dissenting Catholics

This morning downtown Beantown, a group of Roman Catholics who support same-sex marriage formally announced their petition for others in their religion to sign. It is online.

They claim to be in the thousands. Voting records in Catholic areas suggest they may be representative.

From their press release:
This Statement gives Roman Catholics an opportunity to publicly express their support for marriage equality and their respectful disagreement with the Roman Catholic hierarchy on this issue.

Many faithful Roman Catholics are deeply saddened by the Churches' decision to encourage the collection of signatures in support of a discriminatory constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. Members of Roman Catholics for the Freedom to Marry are upset that signature collection on this measure is taking place in houses of worship.
Their petition includes:
As Roman Catholics, we differentiate between sacramental marriage and civil marriage, and therefore we perceive that same-sex civil marriage poses no threat to our Church. While we respect the authority and integrity of the Church in matters of faith, our prayers and reflection have brought us to a new openness on this issue. We urge the Church to treat with respect in both word and deed same-sex couples who have entered into civil marriages.

It also lists the reasons for supporting same-sex marriage here:
  • The American principle of the separation of Church and State was enshrined in the Constitution to ensure that no particular religious perspective would be imposed on our pluralistic society.
  • Remembering that Roman Catholics were once denied civil rights, treated with suspicion, ridiculed because of our sacred rituals, and questioned as to our allegiance to 'foreign authorities,' challenges us to remain vigilant whenever bigotry and injustice enters into public discourse.
  • Catholic teaching on social justice has been central to the building of a just society, creating awareness of diversity in the human family, calling us to lives of respect for one another, and not merely tolerance.
  • Same-sex civil marriage does not in any way coerce any religious faith or tradition to change its beliefs or doctrine.

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