Anti-Gay Bullying at St. John’s

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However, the bullying carries much farther than a high school or university classroom. Homosexual men and women, as well as those who support them, are being turned away from one faith community.

Times Writers Group: Anti-gay bullying seen in church

A renewed examination of bullying and harassment related to sexual orientation has begun in the midst of four teenage suicides this past month related to young homosexuals feeling dejected and unaccepted among their peers and society,

However, the bullying carries much farther than a high school or university classroom. Homosexual men and women, as well as those who support them, are being turned away from one faith community.

Two weeks ago, about 25 people — including students, three nuns and one priest — wore a rainbow pin or ribbon to the student mass at St. John’s Abbey. When the group got in line to receive communion, Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt gave communion to a few, and, after recognizing the rainbow colors, refused the rest of the group.

A positive message

This was no protest. This was College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University students and community members supporting a positive message — one of equality for all men and women regardless of their sexuality.

I have no doubt this group wore rainbow buttons or ribbons to the mass to oppose the recent distribution of the mindless and distasteful 400,000 DVDs delivered to Minnesota Catholics in which the church shared its teachings on gay marriage. But the assumption and judgment these students were there to mock and remonstrate the Catholic Church is asinine.

Of course, Nienstedt has made no comment on the incident and likely never will being that he is too busy calling for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to be put before Minnesota voters.

His claim that the DVD distributed about six weeks before the gubernatorial election was not a “political statement” or an endorsement of any candidate is downright ludicrous. Furthermore, even though the incident of refusal of communion at St. John’s had no direct ties to same-sex marriage, the Twin Cities archdiocese will now run with that claim.

Archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath, who has yet to speak to Nienstedt or anyone who attended the mass, still felt compelled to throw stones at the homosexual community and those who support it. In news reports, McGrath describes with negative connotation the group’s display of rainbow colors as a political demonstration. However, Catholics who would rather see the “generous donation” of money given to produce and distribute the political DVDs go to the poor have no option to refuse the church’s actions.

In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, McGrath said Tuesday that any churchgoer who wears any symbol with the intention of making a political statement or protest could be denied communion. He then contradicted himself, saying most priests would not deny communion to Catholics wearing buttons opposing abortion.

This not only demonstrates the Catholic Church is willing to play politics, but its leaders will bully, deny and outcast if opposing voices are heard.

In a Catholic Online article about the communion incident at St. John’s, Deacon Keith Fournier solidifies, in his unjust and indecent words, the true reason for the support homosexuals are receiving: They are crying for dialogue with the church.

Essential acceptance

The problem does not lie in the state-by-state decisions on same-sex marriage. It is first and foremost the essential acceptance of every single member of the faith community.

These homosexual men and women being refused the Body and Blood of Christ are faithful, loving and devoted Christians, and the Church continues to turn them away. In particular, young men and women are not about to be subjected to outdated doctrine that leads to unjust treatment by their faith community. There is already a large number of highly regarded church leaders who oppose the church’s latest push to oust the homosexual community as out of touch.

The students saw it that night at the Abbey when they were offered communion from another priest, as well as in the number of heterosexual students who support the community.

The Catholic faith continues to crumble in the shadows of abuses and political schemes, losing the young voices it carried when Pope John Paul II lived. The origin of Catholic, derived from the Greek word for “universal,” signifies the long road back to the message of Jesus Christ, to love every human being, to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

This is the opinion of Eric Loehr, a student at St. John’s University in Collegeville. His column is published the second Monday of the month.

View Original Article Here

This is the opinion of Eric Loehr, a student at St. John’s University in Collegeville. His column is published the second Monday of the month.

St. Cloud Times
Times Writers Group: Anti-gay bullying seen in church
October 11, 2010

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Topics: Eric Loehr, Homosexuality, Opinion

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