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Catholics Carry Parish Banner in Gay Pride Parade

A group of Catholics holding the banner of their parish, St. Andrews, marched in the Portland Pride march today despite being asked by their archbishop not to.


This year, members of St. Andrew Catholic Church, who have been participating in the parade since 2001, were asked specifically not to carry a banner representing the church.

But they did just that.

"It has been a very important part of our ministry and our outreach," said parishioner Joy Wallace, who is co-chair of the Welcoming the Whole Family Committee.

She said many parishioners were surprised when newly installed Archbishop Alexander K. Sample asked the church to skip the parade this year.

"The archbishop would prefer no parishes be in the gay pride parade and be identified as a parish," said Wallace. "As individuals we could walk but not as an identified church."

But parishioners say representing their church is the whole point. That's why church leaders made the decision to march in the parade despite the archbishop's request.

"It isn't a case where we are trying to be disobedient," said parishioner Jerry Deas, who is also a co-chair of the Welcoming the Whole Family Committee. "We're trying to be obedient to the gospels and obedient to this mission."
One might wonder where they'd get the idea this was acceptable.

Well, the banner on top of the home page of St. Andrews reads:
St. Andrew is a faith community baptized into one body, which honors and celebrates diversity. We welcome and include persons of every color, language, ethnicity, origin, ability, sexual orientation, gender expression, marital status, and life situation.
Oh. That's where.

The parish's "Whole Family Committee" states on the parish website this description:
St. Andrew is proud of its ministry to gay, lesbian, transgendered, questioning and queer people since 1996. The Welcoming the Whole Family Committee consists of lots of straight allies, as well as gay people, who work to make our parish a welcoming place to all people.

Goal: To support St. Andrew Parish in its mission to honor and celebrate diversity, especially in making gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual Catholics feel welcome.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with tolerance and welcoming. But too often that's code for anything goes.


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Gail Finke said...

Well, doing as the bishop asked and marching individually if they liked WOULD be being obedient, wouldn't it? To their bishop and to their personal (if wrong) interpretation of the gospels... Why do people who say "We're not trying to be disobedient..." always seem to be people who are actually disobeying something?

Fr. Erik Richtsteig said...

Only the tip of the iceberg as to what the Archbishop will have to deal with.

Catholic Defender said...

Homosexuality is NOT a sin... but condoning them is something that makes me wonder why the Bishop cannot even sanction their stubbornness.. a "catholic" parish?

I doubt their being catholics...

NickMcC said...

The parish is way out of line to have participated as a parish in the Gay Pride Parade because they disobeyed their Archbishop's order. By the parish's reason, their authority within the Church is greater than their own Archbishop's! Ack! A great mistake!

Now, whether or not the parish is tolerant of SSA (same-sex attraction) and transgender persons in a relativist way is not clear based on the information given. What is known to us through our Catholic faith is that persons with SSA and those who have issues with their gender must be loved always and who's sins must not be perpetuated. Perhaps this is the mission of the parish, just poorly worded?

We are to be Christ in the world; Christ didn't come to crush sinners, he came to crush sin. Christ loves sinners. Let us too crush sin and love sinners.

NickMcC said...

*in Christ (should be added to the last sentence).

Mack Hall, HSG said...

Faith and Gomorrah

That which was ever forbidden
Is for the present permitted
And will soon be mandatory

Joe Potillor said...

This is only the tip of what needs to be dealt with...Kyrie eleison

Scott Woltze said...

As a Portlander, my guess is that around one percent of catholics in the diocese actually believe and strive to live by the faith and morals of the Church. Of course 80% do not attend mass every Sunday, and then of the 20% who do go, about 1 in 20 are actually onboard with the faith (most dissent on the sexual revolution issues). Maybe it's a bit higher, but not if you limit it to adults between 18-65. Can you say, "Great Apostasy"?

Gail Finke said...

There has to be a way of making people who are attracted to others of the same sex feel welcome at Catholic parishes (and BE welcome at Catholic parishes) without participating in things like this, which are political and devoted to massive social change (not to kindness and respect). I would like to know how people really go about addressing this, particularly in an age when people attracted to others of the same sex are encouraged to view this as essential to their identities.

ProudHillbilly said...

"That's why church leaders made the decision to march in the parade despite the archbishop's request." The pastor?

Gail Finke has a good question but what I've noticed is that we live in a culture that behaves like a spoiled brat. Told "no", no matter how it's explained, they throw a temper tantrum. With truth being relative, anyone who disagrees with them is just being mean and bigoted. Bishops and pastors have tried the "honey, not vinegar" approach for decades. What has that gotten except more Catholics declaring that they are wiser than the Church? We've worked with gay couples at my parish. End result - because nobody would tell them what they wanted to hear (that their sexual behavior was a positive good) they left. It didn't have anything to do with how they were treated by those who knew of the relationship - it's just that we wouldn't tell them what they wanted to hear.

John F. Kennedy said...

The parish is rotten to the core.

This site has more on the story.

Proteios1 said...

There are some amazing tidbits in this piece.
1. Like Christ, they are reaching out to everyone. Yes, we must. The article doesn't say whether they continue in that by living faithful lives. Struggling with sin...? Yep. Condoning it. Nope. Fr once I think the blogger is right in jumping to conclusions. Lets use their own words.

2. Listen to the "goal". ' a faith community...which honored and celebrates diversity..' I have no idea what that means. I'm a PhD working at a university (ominous theme music fades in) I've taken the 'training' workshops. No one can tell me what any of this means with any consistency. But that's neither here nor there. The goal of every Catholic it's to "...honor and celebrate JESUS" anything else is Protestantism.

3. I can't stand the political/social trend of misleading through names and words. Whatever happened to saying it like it is? Yes. Welcoming the whole family is a great name for the group. But I don't welcome my family misbehaving. I accept it. Love it. And we work to end the bad behaviors.

4. Bishop Sample is a great guy. Met him multiple times. We must remain obedient to the contemporary apostles. If we lose obedience, we lose a central part of our faith. Then it just becomes do whatever feels right Unitarian nonsense. Or the pro corporate cult of atheism.

Jpatt said...

Catholics are a broken faith in America. We don't excommunicate Catholic politicians for their abortion support. Catholics overwhelmingly voted Obama in '08 and '12. Catholics are not to stray from Rome's teachings. Rome doesn't accept gay support. What a mess.

Jpatt said...

Catholics are a broken faith in America. We don't excommunicate Catholic politicians for their abortion support. Catholics overwhelmingly voted Obama in '08 and '12. Catholics are not to stray from Rome's teachings. Rome doesn't accept gay support. What a mess.

William Meyer said...

Look at the St. Andrews website. No page for their clergy. On the Contact Us page, at the bottom of the (alphabetical) staff list is the pastor, Fr. Zegar, bereft of any clerical garb. If that is his self-image, and the public image he believes proper to his role as pastor, then is it any wonder they are so far off the rails?

Unknown said...

This will be a test for Abp. Sample. He may summon the pastor on the this matter, and the pastor may likely tell him, "We will do what we will do, and you can't stop us." Will the Archbishop then come down on him like a ton of bricks? I hope so. But that could also lead to a Diocese-of-Chur type of situation, in which the dissenting clergy start making life miserable and impossible for the Archbishop...

William Meyer said...

Yes, it is and will be a test. The pastor owes obedience to his Ordinary, and can be replaced, or simply removed as pastor. An Abp. will not have a happy life in any event, if his parishes are filled with dissident priests. It is his duty to clean up the mess.

ProudHillbilly said...

"It is his duty to clean up the mess." Exactly. Even if the price is even more misery from people throwing temper tantrums. They accepted ordination to the episcopate - this is part of it. Leaving these situations just leads to worse - those who struggle to follow Church teachings but feel undermined by an episcopacy that appears to look the other way have the faith is undermined, and encouragement is given to the idea that people should be able to do what they want. And public sacrilege continues when those known to act against Church teaching receive the Eucharist.

Donna M said...

Oh Portland!
Wasn't it in your diocese, that had the apostasy about Mary Magdalene, being a "secret" priest? And a renegade, female wanna be, told parishoners to "boycott" Mass in protest?
As in this case, too.
Being identified as "gay" first, is more an important priority, than their faith or obedience to the Catholic faith!

Reality alert! Preeminent domain belongs to the Church! Can't get that right, can' t get "anything" right!

Donna M said...

Thank you Fr Richsteig!
I have been faithfully remembering you and your Diocese in prayers, since the last nonsense! I see that you still have that "enormous" bullseye on your chest!
YOU ARE OUTSTANDING! So glad to hear from you!
We love our Priests and pray for you all!
We will keep the Archbishop in prayers.
The BVM will take care of this!


Iowa Mike said...

Perhaps Fr. Zegar would be happier if he led a parish in WheretheheckamI, Alaska. I hope the archbishop can accommodate him.

Burt said...

Send 'Dave' packing Archbishop. He can go celebrate the diversity of sodomy somewhere else but not in a position where he is supposed to be enabling Catholic souls to Heaven.

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