Your archdiocese here in Philadelphia stands alone as the only archdiocese in the nation to charter buses to the March for Marriage, an anti-LGBT rally in Washington, D.C. At the rally there will almost certainly be speakers who label the LGBT community as dangerous, a people of sin, immoral and inhuman - and these, your Holiness, are the polite terms.
This effort has a price tag of $5,000 for the chartered buses, and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC), in lockstep with the archdiocese, is also providing promotional efforts for the event. When Philadelphia Gay News called to ask for comment, the archdiocese claimed to have received the $5,000 through a donation, and offered no further details.
This occurs at a time when the archdiocese is closing churches and schools. It seems that the PCC is taking time away from their previous high-priority tasks: requesting state tax dollars for church-sponsored organizations and lobbying state representatives not to change the statute of limitations so that the church is not liable for the older cases of child abuse.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput (right) says: "Laws that defend the traditional definition of marriage were enacted for sound reasons-namely to defend the rights of children and contribute to the well-being of the larger community." By that very statement he insults the children now living in same-sex marriages and makes their lives much more difficult. The church should be embracing families, not insulting them. He further went on to describe gay relationships as working against human dignity.
The law in Pennsylvania has been changed, and the legal battle over marriage equality is over. And with Pennsylvania, 44% of the nation now has marriage equality, and each remaining state without it has similar court cases in the pipeline, a fact that the opposition should note.
In the last 15 cases, each of those 15 courts - including many judges appointed or recommended by Republicans - have found that in the U.S., denying marriage to LGBT people is unconstitutional. Why must the Archbishop continue to enrage the community?
The Archbishop has yet to even meet with members of the LGBT community, and he continues along with PCC to stand in the doorway of enacting non-discrimination in Pennsylvania.
It's time for talk, not hate.