So it's Sunday morning and I wake up to this news: "San Antonio Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantu, who ordered a local parish to stop hosting a weekly Mass for gay and transgender Catholics and their families. The letter, dated October 13, 2010, ordered the liturgies to end as of October 18, 2010."
As reported in the publication DignityUSA, the bishop most likely believes he is upholding the church's teachings. Instead, he is casting out LGBT singles, couples, and families (some with children) who have used the church as their spiritual home for more than 15 years.
This is Christian?
The article goes on to quote Fred Anthony Garza, who was a member of the ousted church group, who says: "Our community was shocked to arrive for Mass and discover this was the last time we could meet at the parish that has been our home for more than 15 years. It's like being kicked out of our home. We are all very sad. It's especially sad for the members of our community who have children, who could not find Catholic parishes who would baptize or provide First Communion for them. Those children have grown up in our community, and can't understand why their family cannot go to Mass here anymore."
This is Christian?
I'm posting this now because, as I said at the start, it's Sunday morning. For me, raised in a staunch Italian/Catholic family, Sunday mornings once meant getting ready to go to mass, to share in communion, to smell the scent of incense, to watch the priest lift the host high and say, "Take this, all of you, and eat it, for this is my body..."
If it sounds like I'm a little nostalgic for those Sunday mornings, you'd be right. I miss the traditions and the beauty of a Catholic mass, but it's been many years since I've felt welcome in a Catholic church, precisely because of human elements like Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantu.
I feel sorry for my LGBT brothers and sisters who wanted to stick with the Catholic church and to be excluded like they have been is, sadly, not shocking, but revolting.
I just don't know how that bishop can honestly answer that often bandied question: "What would Jesus do?" with "Throw 'em out!" and believe he's answering it truthfully.
Shame on you, Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantu! And thank you to the Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, who has opened their arms to the group.