Friday, March 16, 2007

Archbishop Bans Gay Mass

This is a story from my home Diocese. A friend sent me this article about Archbishop Harry Flynn laying down the law with a fringe gay Catholic ministry group.

I will highlight some interesting notes about this story:

Archbishop Harry Flynn, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, sent a candid letter last month to New Ways, stating concern about the symposium's topics and featured speakers "who are known to have publicly contested Church teaching."

Flynn prohibited symposium participants from celebrating Holy Eucharist, saying to do so might mislead Archdiocese members into believing the speakers' views had the church's sanction.

"Hopefully, that will at least minimize potential confusion and scandal," Flynn's letter concluded.
I first off have to applaud Archbishop Flynn for standing up for Catholic values, he's started to turn things around in the past few years, I remember back when he decided to distribute the eucharist to the Rainbow Sash crowd.
"This does seem a little harsh for a couple of reasons," DeBernardo said of Flynn's decision. "We have known Flynn as a good and pastoral man when it comes to lesbian/gay issues. So we were surprised that he made this decision. He has been willing to dialogue and compromise. He hasn't been a stone wall, as some other bishops have been."

The negotiations failed late last week.

And Tuesday, one of the bishops expected to attend the symposium left a voice message with DeBernardo saying he had "been told not to come."

"I think there was a Vatican intervention," DeBernardo said late Tuesday, saying he had yet to reach Bishop Leroy Matthiesen, of Amarillo, Texas, to get an explanation for his dropping out.

So, since there was a "Vatican Intervention" this means something is wrong with the Vatican then, not something wrong with some of the things your group says? I'm just saying...
Flynn's decision "is a betrayal of the core of our Catholic faith," Bayly said. "The church should be big and wide to support diverse opinions. For God's sake, it's Catholic — it's universal."
The "core of our Catholic faith"??

The symposium has been organized every several years on different topics relating to homosexuality and Catholicism, with an emphasis on finding common ground. The Eucharist has been celebrated in Washington, St. Louis, San Francisco, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Louisville — though the New Ways Ministry did run into problems at its most recent event in Kentucky.

There, DeBernardo said, Archbishop Thomas Kelly told New Ways Ministry that he had been told by the Vatican not to allow the Eucharist — a decision that lies with the head of the diocese under church law.

Kelly invited conference participants to instead attend Mass at his cathedral — but New Ways Ministry declined and conducted the Eucharist anyway, saying Kelly's letter fell short of forbidding the sacrament.

"We saw it as a loophole," DeBernardo said.

I'm sure that when you're knocking on those pearly gates, and St. Peter is standing there as you approach the seat of judgement, exploiting an ecclisal loophole won't help your cause any.

Peace and long life.

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