ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE BISHOPS GROW
Catalyst July/August Issue 2003
The four bishops of Massachusetts have taken a stand against same-sex marriage. Their statement comes at a time when the state’s Supreme Judicial Court is contemplating a decision on the constitutionality of homosexual marriage. On June 1, gay activists objected to the bishops’ position by protesting during Mass in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston; about a dozen people walked out during the homily given by Monsignor William H. Roche.
We wasted no time coming to the defense of these bishops. Here is the text of our news release:
“More disturbing than the temper tantrum that took place in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the political agenda of the activists. Their goal is to silence the bishops, especially on matters of sexual morality.
“Protesters told reporters that Church officials have no right to try to influence public policy. Gary Daffin, a member of the Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, goes further by saying the Church has ‘no moral authority to be beating up on gay people.’ David Breen, a board member of the group, says the bishops have no credibility to be speaking to the issue of same-sex marriage; he invokes the passage from Scripture about throwing the first stone to make his point. An official from the state’s chapter of NOW says the bishops are trying to deflect attention from internal Church problems. Holly Gunner of the state’s ACLU affiliate questions the right of the bishops to speak to the issue at all, holding that in this country ‘we don’t have one religion using the government’s laws to get everybody else to follow that one religion.’
“These activists are out to silence the Church. Their goal is to intimidate the bishops, and other Catholics, from exercising their free speech rights. They need to be told, in no uncertain terms, that despite the failures of some of the Church’s teachers, there is nothing flawed about the Church’s teachings. This is not the time to lower the bar; rather it is time to help everyone clear it. This is also not the time to allow our foes to muzzle the Church’s voice. Kudos to the bishops of Massachusetts!”