Letter from Fr. Frank Regarding Same Sex Couple Blessings

I know that the recent pronouncement from the Vatican stating the impossibility of blessing same sex unions in the Catholic Church may have come as a surprise. The reason for this teaching is nothing new: that the church can only recognize marriages between a man and a woman open to life. A “civil union” tries to parallel marriage, something which only adds to confusion, says the statement, in so many words.

The statement is a disappointment to countless individuals, sowing further seeds of anger and frustration. I recognize the pain so many are feeling after learning of this recent pronouncement signed by Pope Francis. I promise I will do everything I possibly can, as your pastor, to continue to speak out against any form of discrimination. And I will always support the LGBTQ community as I work to establish a ministry of support in our parish. My heart goes out to anyone who will feel even more excluded by our church after learning about this statement.

While this teaching is nothing new, since most people are aware that the Church teaches that human sexuality can only be expressed in a heterosexual marriage, I thought there might be at least some dialogue and input before issuing a statement like this. Being blindsided is never helpful in trying to give some perspective to challenging teachings. I never expected the church to change its teachings, just to listen to other voices, perhaps coming up with something that might be workable and a step forward. We must help people who are struggling with their sexuality in such a way that their dignity is affirmed in no uncertain terms. I am deeply concerned for our young Catholics, who need all the support they can get, as they work through how their identities will be expressed in a way true to who they are.

Easter is fast approaching, a Feast of joy and new life. We will gather as a parish of welcome to ALL God’s people, no exceptions, as we celebrate our God who is Love. God so loved us that he gave us the gift of His only Son, who entered all of our lives, suffered and died for us, only to Rise forth from that tomb. Christ, our Risen Lord, did all of this out of love. Where there is love, there is God. To all my LGBTQ parishioners and non- parishioners, my heart is with you. May we have the courage to rise forth from disappointment and disillusionment and be witnesses of God’s love...without condition.