Friday, November 09, 2007

Come out at Mass! Or not.

Not much to blog about of late, but a press release titled "Fr. Euteneuer responds to Jesuit who 'came out' at Mass" caught a colleague's attention. Euteneuer is president of Human Life International, which bills itself as "pro-life" missionaries to the world. His "open letter" to Jesuit Thomas Brennan, who came out at a student Mass at St. Joseph University in Philadelphia, carried the usual denunciations of the "unholy desire" Father Brennan acknowledged. (Only Euteneuer's site and Lifesite News covered the incident.)

Ironically enough, I did find myself agreeing with one of Euteneuer's points (though not his constant personal attacks against Brennan):

"Holy Mass is not a forum for your self-expression. You chose the sacred liturgy and the pulpit reserved for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the launching pad for your personal testament to homosexuality ... You've read the same documents I've read about the liturgy, and none of them say the liturgy is your personal stage."

True enough, and it is a criticism that could be leveled equally against priests and homilists of various political persuasions. Though I think it can be appropriate for priests to come out--and thus put the lie to the claim that gay priests are somehow a danger to the church--the liturgy isn't the place. The Christian assembly has other work to do, and it needs its leader to stick to the task at hand.

But I do wonder why two prolife websites are so concerned about a relatively minor incident at a small Catholic college in Pennsylvania. What does a gay priest have to do with abortion or euthanasia?



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