Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Catholic Outrage: Bishop D'Arcy Issues Statement Opposing S.B. Gay Rights Ordinance

Joining forces with the same bigoted people who fought to make Catholics second-class citizens in Indiana 80 years ago, Bishop John M. D'Arcy brought discredit to the diocese he represents by issuing a public statement against South Bend's proposed gay rights ordinance. D'Arcy claims the ordinance is "about validating in law the homosexual lifestyle."

" As reported by the South Bend Tribune, D'Arcy had the following to say about a proposed ordinance to add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to South Bend's human rights ordinance:

While I do not question the good intentions of those involved in this effort, my concern as a Catholic pastor is that this ordinance appears to be more about validating in law homosexual lifestyles and behaviors than it is about addressing unjust discrimination," D'Arcy wrote. D'Arcy said the main reason for his opposition is sexual orientation and gender identity go beyond "self-identity" and include behaviors, expression and appearance.

D'Arcy said that in other communities these types of changes in the law have led to wider efforts to promote homosexuality. Citizens with "principled objections" are often labeled as prejudiced or homophobic, he said."Without question, everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with dignity. Everyone should enjoy the same basic human rights," D'Arcy said.

"Along with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I wish to deplore any type of violent action or hateful speech aimed at homosexual persons. Such activity is morally wrong. At the same time, we must be very cautious lest we validate in law lifestyles and behaviors to which many of our citizens are deeply in conscience opposed."

While Bishop D'Arcy has been generally lauded for his efforts to clean up the embarrassing priest-child abuse scandal within his own diocese that has rocked the Catholic Church nationally and here in Indiana, his statement against the human rights ordinance is a major setback in the Church's effort to restore its credibility. By joining forces with the religious voices of intolerance, Bishop D'Arcy is turning his back on the voices of moderation of other Judeo-Christian denominations in this state who once fought side-by-side with Catholics to eradicate the dominating influence of the Ku Klux Klan.

Please contact Bishop D'Arcy and let him know how disappointed you are with his statement on behalf of the Catholic Church in support of treating Indiana's GLBT citizens as second-class citizens. You can contact him by clicking here.


Anonymous said...

Gary, ask D'Arcy what Jesus said about gays and lesbians? Do you know the answer? Jesus said NOTHING.

Martin said...

If D'Arcy couldn't get Fr. Jenkins to ban the Queer Film Festival and Vagina Monologues from Notre Dame, what makes him think the South Bend City Council will be more pliable?

Oh well. D'Arcy is just one more reason I'm proud to be an apostate.

Anonymous said...

I was raised and went to a Catholic school.I hid all my life out of fear of societies prejudices and bigotry.Only by GOD's and Jesus's Love and Compassion am I still here today.
I was content in leaving this world but the Lord wouldn't let me.I had to face who I am and be honest with society.Lord knows I'd preferred to have left.
Now if Jesus can show me how much he loves me and his compassion for me.Why can't some religions including the Catholic church do the same.After all in Matt. Ch.7 it states judge not least ye be judged.What sinner is worthy of judging another sinner or soul in Jesus's place.
Rights must be protected for all human souls even if some organizations don't agree with how another lives,as long as their not phyically hurting another or exploiting another.
How would the bishop like to live in the old USSR where religion was restricted and if he doesn't think laws are necessary to help protect everyone why would our founding fathers make the First Amendment about having the right to practice ones religion without fear of persecution or from one being persecuted by any religion.
Organizational rules,laws and beliefs can not dictate another persons freedom or rights.It's againist the law according to our constitution.Or would he have us live as they did in the old USSR where government controlled religion or vice versea religion governing freedom and rights according to organizational beliefs.
That's why in this time in America laws must be made and stated to protect everyone regardless of belief or what other call lifestyle.Laws should be made and stated to include all so-called lifestyles based on common human decency towards one another not some organizations belief.If it is what organizations laws will Americans be subjected to next.Think about it.
NOTE:I tried to e-mail the bishop with the link you provided but apparently theirs no e-mail address to send it too.
Dee Tate

Gary R. Welsh said...

Dee--thanks for the comment. Bishop D'Arcy doesn't furnish an e-mail address; he does provide a phone number at that link.

Catholicity said...

Dee, this comment comes a couple years after the story was posted, but I had to respond to some of your statements. You
stated that "rights must be protected for all human souls even if some organizations don't agree with how another lives,as long as their not phyically hurting another or exploiting another..." You seem to be forgetting that Catholics also enjoy that same right, as do Muslims, Jews and unbelievers. You don't enumerate what rights you're speaking of, but do you think there should be limits?
You also state that "organizational rules,laws and beliefs can not dictate another persons freedom or rights" but that is simply not true. You list three categories that can't limit us. Organizational rules can limit us, if we affiliate with that organization. The organization decides who is "in" or "out" of the organization. They have every right to do so. If you join the Boy Scouts, you have to be a male between the ages of 11 and 18. If you join the Strawtown Food Co-op, you have to pay dues and help break down the wholesale lots into smaller boxes once a month or you're out.
You also state that laws can't put limits on our freedom, but they also do. If you don't think you should be required to stop at red lights, you're going to be ticketed and eventually have your license suspended. If you think it is okay to streak down Main Street at noon, you'll soon find out that you're sadly mistaken. You also mentioned beliefs can't put limits on your freedom, but the basis for common law for centuries has been "community standards." One community may be more open to certain things, and another may not be. The community decides what is appropriate and what isn't. This is still the law of the land, and it has been used to shut down or move liquor stores, topless bars, "head shops" and other nuisance businesses. Some cities police them, some move them, some shut them down or don't allow them to open. Based on the convictions of the community.
Just because lobbyists gain some clout in certain generations to promote unhealthy, publically unacceptable, and patently immoral behavior doesn't mean the issue in question will win widespread favor in society. At best it might gain grudging toleration. Homosexuality is one of those issues. Organizations, governments, and communities have, do, and will continue to put limits on the freedoms of such individuals as they see fit. Right now police are battling the use of state parks and highway rest areas by homosexuals as public brothels. And while they might not be prosecuted as "gay" crimes, they still go into the books as public indecency and such.