Catholics United Continues Search for Christ’s Elusive Condemnation of Gays

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WASHINGTON – With the oral arguments underway at the Supreme Court for cases relating to California’s controversial Proposition 8 decision and the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, activists on both sides of the marriage equality debate are demonstrating in front of the highest court in the land.

On hand are so-called “family values” groups who claim Biblical authority of carrying out Christ’s message in their opposition to civil same-sex marriage rights. Noticeably absent, however, are the purported words of Christ to support this endeavor. Catholics United continues to search for that elusive condemnation text supposedly hidden somewhere deep in the Gospel.

Of course, that’s impossible. Christ never said anything about gay people. Still, this hasn’t stopped certain right wing groups from using his word to divide and confuse.

“Christ did indeed say many things, but let’s face it: not one of them was about condemning gay people,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United. “It’s troubling that so many people who claim to follow his word have such difficulty understanding his real message. Christ’s message was to bring good news to the poor, not to ostracize gays, inflame phobias or create division.”

Salt said he hoped that lay Catholics, who, according to a March 2013 nationwide poll by Quinnipiac University, support marriage equality by a much higher margin than the general public, can continue to be an example of inclusion and healing for those hurt by years of unjust law.

“What’s most important today is to focus on the real Gospel mission,” said Salt. “Under the leadership of our Holy Father Pope Francis, we hope Catholics everywhere will remember that our faith is about love, not hate. Lay men and women will continue to work toward providing healing to the sick, ailing those affected by economic injustice, protecting our environment and working toward advancing the Common Good.”

Founded in 2004, Catholics United, and its educational arm, Catholics United Education Fund, are non-profit, non-partisan organizations dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the Common Good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition.

HABEMUS PAPAM! Catholics Celebrate Pope Francis

Catholics Celebrate Pope Francis

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina selected to rebuild this Church

WASHINGTON – Catholics United Executive Director James Salt made the following statement upon the election of Pope Francis as the leader of the universal Church:

“So as God called on St. Francis of Assisi to ‘rebuild His Church,’ Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, has been called to rebuild the worldwide Church on Earth.

“We are grateful to have a leader like Francis, with a long history of solidarity with the poor in the developing world, to continue to guide the Church into the 21st Century. We hope and pray that our Jesuit Holy Father has the wisdom and strength to direct the faithful around the world in a radical new direction: one that emphasizes the rich tradition of caring first for the least among us. May he be a prophetic voice of hope against oppression, and a leader of a social justice renewal of the world.”

Catholics United has spokespeople available in Rome, Washington, Los Angeles and elsewhere for comment.

Founded in 2004, Catholics United, and its educational arm, Catholics United Education Fund, are non-profit, non-partisan organizations dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition.

For more information about Catholics United, “like” us on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CatholicsUnited), follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/CatholicsUnited) or on our blog at www.OurDailyThread.org.

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Los católicos celebran al Papa Francisco
El cardenal Jorge Bregoglio de Argentina fue electo para levantar y reconstruir esta iglesia

WASHINGTON – El director ejecutivo de Catholics United James Salt hizo la siguiente declaración justo después de que se diera a conocer que el Papa Francisco será el líder de la iglesia católica:

“Así como Dios le pidió a San Francisco de Asís a ‘levantar y reconstruir su iglesia,’ el Papa Francisco, ex cardenal Jorge Bergoglio de Argentina, ha sido llamado a reconstruir la iglesia a nivel global sobre la tierra.”

“Estamos muy agradecidos de tener un líder como Francisco, con una larga trayectoria de solidaridad con los pobres en países en vías de desarrollo, para seguir guiando a la iglesia en el siglo XXI. Esperamos y oramos que nuestro Santo Padre Jesuita tenga la sabiduría y la fuerza para dirigir a los fieles de todo el mundo en una nueva dirección radical: una que haga hincapié en la rica tradición de cuidar primero a los más necesitados entre nosotros. Que él sea una voz profética de esperanza contra la opresión, y un líder de renovación de la justicia social del mundo.”

Catholics United tiene voceros disponibles en Roma, Washington, Los Ángeles y otros lugares para hacer comentarios.

Fundada en el 2004, Catholics United, y su rama educativa, Catholics United Education Fund, son organizaciones sin fines de lucro, no partidistas dedicadas a promover el mensaje de justicia del bienestar común que se puede encontrar en el corazón de la tradición social católica.

Para más información a cerca de Catholics United, nuestra página de Facebook es (www.facebook.com/CatholicsUnited), síganos en Twitter (www.twitter.com/CatholicsUnited) o en nuestro blog www.OurDailyThread.org.

Catholics to Seattle Archbishop: Stop Bigotry in Our Parishes

In response to a diocesan priest’s absurd claims about gay kids, Catholics United asks bishop to reaffirm Catholic teaching

WASHINGTON – Last Sunday, Fr. Derek Lappe of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Bremerton, Wash., decided to cut ties with the Boy Scouts of America. The reason? The Boy Scouts’ recent decision to allow gay kids to join.

According to a statement from Fr. Lappe, his parish cannot affiliate with an organization “that has decided to ratify or approve the self-identification of a 10-18 year old boy as ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual.’” In Fr. Lappe’s mind, gay kids don’t–or shouldn’t–exist. He supposed there may be instances of “same-sex attraction,” which are brought on by “lack of interest in sports,” “extreme shyness,” “lack of hand/eye coordination and resultant teasing,” and other theories.

“Fr. Lappe’s decision to disassociate his parish from the Boy Scouts is a sad reminder that too many Catholic leaders are out of touch when it comes to understanding the nature of human sexuality,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United and an Eagle Scout. “This priest’s use of stereotypes to describe the cause of same-sex attraction is offensive and not in line with basic Catholic teachings.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly states that discrimination of homosexuals is contrary to the faith and does not promote Christian values.

“The Catholic Church has long held that individuals with same-sex attractions should be respected and protected from discrimination,” said Salt. “Catholics United calls on Fr. Lappe’s superiors to condemn this kind of bullying from a man who is supposed to be a witness of Christian love and acceptance.”

Catholics United is organizing an online petition, found at www.Catholics-United.org/BoyScouts, asking Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain to make the Church’s position on care for gay people clear to this priest.

“There is already a crisis of leadership within the American Catholic Church,” said Salt. “Because of embarrassing pronouncements like Fr. Lappe’s recent letter, the Church is ever more becoming known as a harbor for bigotry and shaming gay people, and not promoting Christ’s good news for all people. We ask Archbishop Sartain to help bring healing to innocent kids and hurting souls who deserve better than bullying.”

Founded in 2004, Catholics United, and its educational arm, Catholics United Education Fund, are non-profit, non-partisan organizations dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition.

For more information about Catholics United, “like” us on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CatholicsUnited), follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/CatholicsUnited) or on our blog at www.OurDailyThread.org.

Progressive groups also subject to IRS scrutiny, despite claims by Catholic far right

Those who lack moral credibility should be ashamed for politicizing personal issues

WASHINGTON – Anne Hendershott, a far-right Catholic political activist aligned with Glenn Beck, today made the claim that the IRS’s 2010 audit of her personal finances was directly motivated by her criticisms of “ObamaCare” and the law’s proponents, such as social justice organizations like Catholics United. Talking to Glenn Beck’s online publication, TheBlaze, Ms. Hendershott repeatedly misstates facts about Catholics United and other Catholic groups.

More importantly, however, Ms. Hendershott erroneously implied that only conservative organizations were the subjects of heightened IRS scrutiny. In 2010, Catholics United Education Fund, an affiliate of the progressive advocacy group Catholics United, attempted to incorporate as a tax-exempt non-profit organization. The application languished for years, required multiple follow-up informational requests and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. After many months of examination, the registration was approved.

Catholics United Executive Director James Salt made the following statement in response to Ms. Hendershott’s recent publicity blitz:

“Ms. Hendershott likes to throw around the ‘fake Catholic’ slur at anyone who disagrees with her narrow vision of Catholicism. The fact Pope Francis is now the spiritual leader of our faith should give partisan operatives like Ms. Hendershott pause. Despite the Holy Father’s abounding concern for environmental justice and care for the world’s poor, it’s amazing that supposedly ‘real’ Catholics like Ms. Hendershott have done little to nothing to advance these important church priorities. Instead, people like Ms. Hendershott overly focus on social wedge issues that divide our community. Perhaps Ms. Hendershott is the one who should examine her conscience before issuing pointless politically charged broadsides.”

Founded in 2004, Catholics United, and its educational arm, Catholics United Education Fund, are non-profit, non-partisan organizations dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the Common Good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition.