Friday, October 9, 2009

The Exiling of a Gay-Friendly Catholic Leader - BY MICHAEL A. JONES

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton is a lot of things. He's a former Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit. A founder of a peace and justice organization that a certain blogger used to work at. A leader in the peace movement since the 1970s up through today. And a Bishop who has challenged the concept that to be Catholic means to be anti-gay.

Because of those beliefs, he's being exiled from the Catholic Church.

The latest example comes from Marquette, Michigan, where a local group of peace activists invited Bishop Gumbleton to come and give a talk. Marquette's Bishop, Alexander Sample, issued a public letter saying that because of Bishop Gumbleton's stance that gay people should be treated as human beings, he's not welcome in the diocese.

"Given Bishop Gumbleton's very public position on certain important matters of Catholic teaching, specifically with regard to homosexuality and the ordination of women to the priesthood, it was my judgment that his presence in Marquette would not be helpful," Bishop Sample wrote.

Mind you, Bishop Gumbleton was coming to speak about peace -- not about gay rights or ordaining women. Yet this is what the Catholic Church has come to: censoring -- nay, banishing -- Catholics who won't toe the homophobic line of certain U.S. bishops and the Vatican. Read complete article and learn moreby Michael A. JonesGay Rights –

(Michael is the Communications Director for the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, and previously was Communications Director for Pax Christi USA, a progressive Catholic human rights organization.)

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