As we continue to see punitive actions against same – sex Catholic couples who choose to protect their relationships in civil marriage, it’s worth noting that there is in fact nothingin formal Church doctrine, as found in the formal Vatican documents, to bar couples from doing so. Numerous individual bishops have made clear their opposition, but this does not yet constitute magisterial authority.
On the other hand, opposition to violence or malice against gay people, in speech or in deeds, has been firmly part of Vatican doctrine for decades, articulated for example in Cardinal Ratzinger’s letter to the bishops on the pastoral care of homosexual persons (also known as his notorious “Hallowe’en letter). Yet we seldom hear of Catholics being dismissed from church employment or ministry for such very clear contraventions of church teaching – until now.
An assistant coach at a Roman Catholic high school has resigned over his role in a beating that left two gay men injured, church officials in Philadelphia said Thursday.
About a dozen young adults were linked to the 11 September encounter after police released surveillance video Tuesday and social media users mined online posts, including a group photo taken at a restaurant, to try to match the faces with names.
“Violence against anyone, simply because of who they are, is inexcusable and alien to what it means to be a Christian,” Archbishop Charles Chaput said Thursday in a statement.
Technically, the coach (unnamed, in this report), was not dismissed, but resigned. It’s important to note however, that the church has stated that he will no longer be allowed to teach, anywhere in the diocese.
The large group included former students at Archbishop Wood, located in the Philadelphia suburb of Warminster, the archdiocese said. The part-time coach had worked at the same school but now is banned from coaching anywhere in the archdiocese, the church said.
“A key part of a Catholic education is forming students to respect the dignity of every human person whether we agree with them or not,” Chaput said. “What students do with that formation when they enter the adult world determines their own maturity and dignity, or their lack of it.”
It’s gratifying to see these sentiments from Cardinal Chaput, whose own record on respect for queer families is hardly stellar. Perhaps he’s another who is coming under the Francis effect (or discerning which way the ecclesiastical wind is blowing).