Following in the footsteps of their political partners, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Roman Catholic "Archbishop" for the military, Timothy P. Broglio, has issued instructions to Catholic chaplains and military service personnel about how equally they can treat gay and lesbian service members in the post-DADT and post-DOMA worlds. Despite the recent words of the Bishop of Rome, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (aka "Pope Francis") declaring that his Church should not be so vocal about gays and abortion, Mr. Broglio has declared that
No Catholic priest or deacon may be forced by any authority to witness or bless the union of couples of the same gender.Shockingly, this includes funerals, as Broglio states:
...a priest may not be placed in a situation where his assistance at a funeral for a Catholic would give the impression that the Church approves of same sex “marital” relationships.So, no consolation for your spouse if you're a dirty, subhuman f*g. Nice, Mr. Broglio.
Follow me below the squiggle for why this is so infuriating.
Mr. Broglio explains his position by stating:
A clear disservice is rendered if the truth of the Gospel is confused by the actions of those ordained to disseminate that truth. The current situation makes it necessary to reiterate with clarity the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality.In order to make sure that this teaching is clear, Mr. Broglio provides the following guidance:
No Catholic priest or deacon can be obliged to assist at a “Strong Bonds” or other “Marriage Retreat”, if that gathering is also open to couples of the same gender. A priest who is asked to counsel non-Catholic parties in a same-gendered relationship will direct them to a chaplain who is able to assist. Catholic parties will, of course, be encouraged by the priest to strive to live by the teaching of the Gospel.
Participation in retirements, changes of command, and promotion ceremonies is possible, as long as the priest is not required to acknowledge or approve of a “spouse” of the same gender.
Because, of course, homosexuality is a sin, according to the Catholics. Guess what else is a sin: 1) being a Protestant, 2) being a non-Christian (including Jews, Mormons, Baptists, Hindus, Muslims and many more), 3) being a divorced and remarried Christian of any kind, and 4) being married in a non-religious ceremony. Yet the Catholic church does not bar its chaplains from marriage retreats that are open to heretics (category 1 above), pagans (category 2), fornicators (category 4) and adulterers (category 3), nor does it direct its chaplains to refuse comfort to non-Catholic widows and widowers of Catholic service members lost in the line of battle.
We should be glad, I suppose, that Mr. Broglio's instructions don't prevent military commanders from implementing benefits for the dirty homos. Although the Church teaches that Catholics cannot engage "in morally illicit cooperation with evil," Mr. Broglio instructs military commanders that they would only be doing so if they engaged in
affirmation of unions contrary to natural law, as well as of the actions that contribute to fatherlessness or motherlessness of childrenHowever, military commanders may still recognize gay and lesbian service members' rights to benefits without such affirmation
...out of obedience to the chain of command not for the sake of promoting immorality, but to maintain the commander’s position/rank/grade...In other words, covering one's ass and keeping one's pension are totally good reasons to cooperate with evil. I would expect nothing more from the Church the recognized Newt Gingrich's third marriage as valid.
As a recovering Catholic, I get that the Church has certain teachings, and I would not expect a priest to officiate at a same-sex marriage ceremony, but not being able to even acknowledge the existence of a same-sex spouse in any circumstance? That's simply ridiculous. If the Church tried to issue a similar proclamation preventing its chaplains from treating Jews or Mormons equally, the outcry would be immediate - as it would be if the SBC had directed its chaplains to treat Catholics (who worship Satan, according to the SBC) with this level of disrespect. Quite frankly, if Catholic chaplains cannot treat all service members equally, they should not be chaplains.