By Robert Klein Engler -
Colin Collette, former music director at Holy Family Catholic Church in Illinois, says his partner, William Nifong, asked to “marry” him while they stood in front of St. Peter’s Basilica on a recent trip to Rome. In Illinois and Chicago, thanks to Catholic Democrat politicians, same-sex marriage is legal, so the two men planned a wedding.
When Colin returned to the Chicago area, Father Terry Keehan of Holy Family Catholic Church, asked Collette to resign. Colin refused, and was subsequently fired.
According to Collette, someone sent Francis Cardinal George a Facebook picture of him and his husband to be. That precipitated the firing.
The Chicago archdiocese said in a statement, “Those that serve as Ministers of the Church, including worship ministers, are expected to conform their lives publicly with the teachings of the Church…Pastors hire and dismiss all parish personnel and govern according to the teachings of the Church and Archdiocesan policies. This is a matter of personal integrity on their part.”
No mention was made in the statement by the archdioceses of the Democrat, Catholic politicians who went against Church teaching and passed same-sex marriage into law in Illinois. No mention was made, either, why Catholic political hypocrites were not excommunicated for their vote to further same-sex marriage, or how their actions were like a thumb in the eye of Francis Cardinal George.
Did Francis Cardinal George’s refusal to excommunicate Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and State Rep. Marty Moylan contribute to an occasion for sin and allow the two men to think the Church would not take seriously their planned same-sex marriage?
We have no knowledge of this one way or another. As far as we know, Gov. Quinn and State Rep. Moylan still claim to be Catholics, still support same-sex marriage and are still welcome at Chicago area Catholic Churches.
Is there a double standard here? Ordinary Catholic laymen are fired while Democratic politicians remain both in the Church and are in good standing. It seem ironic that in Illinois, Democrats who make a sin possible are treated better than those who consider a sin.
If you are a gay music director at a Catholic church and come out for same-sex marriage, you lose your job, but if you are a Democratic, Catholic politician responsible for making same-sex marriage legal in Illinois, the archdiocese looks the other way. To fire one and not excommunicate the other sends a mixed message to Catholics in Illinois about same-sex marriage.
It is uncertain to what degree the two men understood the teachings of the Catholic Church on same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, during the debate that led up to the passage of the new marriage law in Illinois, the Pope’s condemnation of same-sex marriage was distorted by some Illinois politicians.
“State Rep. Marty Moylan, a Des Plaines Democrat, says he came to his ‘yes’ vote after Pope Francis famously said of gay people: ‘Who am I to judge?’”
Even national figures like Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, also a professed Catholic and supporter of same-sex marriage, may have influenced Collette and Nifong and led them to stray from Church teaching.
Pelosi often refers to the “famous remark by Pope Francis: ‘If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?’” as a reason why she supports same-sex marriage.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that homosexual persons are called to a life of chastity. Are not Cardinals called to a life of enforcing the teaching of the Church fairly and consistently? Aren’t politicians called be honest and not hypocrites?
No one can blame another for their sins. We have free will in these matters. Nevertheless, Catholic Democrats like Gov. Quinn and State Rep. Moylan may be blamed for setting a bad example by furthering same-sex marriage. In turn, the saints may be praised for setting a good example by furthering chastity. Beyond that, it does little good to punish the peasants who steal the monk’s wine, but do nothing to punish the knight who opened the cellar doors.
The next step in this complex weave of politics, faith and same-sex attraction is a lawsuit by Collette to get his job back. Cardinal Francis George, who may have to undergo more chemotherapy, does not need another lawsuit on his hands.
Governor Quinn, who has his re-election to worry about, is not worried about his excommunication. The Catholic Democrats of Chicago will continue to go their merry way down the road of hypocrisy.