Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

Sometimes things are happening in the world around us that provide a very good context to listen to the Scriptures, as we’re doing this morning during this liturgy. What’s going on, you may have heard about, is controversy within our church. This past week, there was a demonstration [in Detroit] of people who call themselves Fortunate Families. They were demonstrating in front of the archbishop’s office because they’re families who have committed gay members within them, or lesbian members.

They refuse to say, “I can’t go to holy Communion because I accept my child into my home,” so they’re demonstrating. This evening, there’s going to be a Mass at Marygrove, and it’s sponsored by Dignity, a Catholic organization of gay and lesbian people. We’ve been notified that there’s going to be a group there demonstrating, protesting. They call themselves the Cardinal Newman Society. They feel Dignity — this group — ought not to be able to celebrate Eucharist.

This is a very difficult struggle going on in our church — trying to come to grips with church teaching regarding homosexuality and perhaps a need for some new understandings on our part. But if you were listening, that’s nothing new that there would be this kind of dissention going on in the church. It was there right at the very beginning. When you listen to the Acts of the Apostles this morning, Luke has kind of glossed things over so it really doesn’t seem as difficult as it was, but this is a struggle that went on for probably 30 or 40 years. Luke was writing in the late 80s, but the struggle started right at the beginning, practically, 30 or 40 years before.

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