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Catholic Church Values Discrimination Over Charity

November 12, 2009

Absolutely shocking news coming in from the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.  If the city council moves forward to institute marriage equality, they’ve threatened to close down their social services programs, including adoption, homelessness and health care.  Since it’s looking VERY good that the Council will approve this, I have a feeling this threat will be tested shortly.  More to come on the fight for equality in DC.  From the Washington Post:

Catholic Charities, the church’s social services arm, is one of dozens of nonprofit organizations that partner with the District. It serves 68,000 people in the city, including the one-third of Washington’s homeless people who go to city-owned shelters managed by the church.

But here’s the really crazy part.  It’s not because they would have to perform same sex marriages (the bill protects them from that), it’s because marriage equality would mean they couldn’t discriminate against the spouses of gay employees.

Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

The oddest part here is that the Church has had no issue taking funds from the city council they are now trying to blackmail.

From 2006 through 2008, Catania said, Catholic Charities received about $8.2 million in city contracts, as well as several hundred thousand dollars’ worth this year through his committee.

“If they find living under our laws so oppressive that they can no longer take city resources, the city will have to find an alternative partner to step in to fill the shoes,” Catania said. He also said Catholic Charities was involved in only six of the 102 city-sponsored adoptions last year.

I have nothing against individual Catholics, but I’m developing a real issue with the Catholic Church.  The fact that they’d close churches in Maine while giving over half a million dollars to take away the rights of committed gay couples and use completely underhanded and deceptive techniques is appalling.  People reacted more harshly against the Mormon Church in the wake of Prop 8, and I think that the Catholic Church hasn’t seen the same public outcry because of their status as being a bit more mainstream.

What can you do?  Write an email to the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.  Their email addresses are freely available online, but to save you a step, I’ve included a list  of leadership below (conveniently separated by semi-colons) if you want to share your feelings:

tburnford@adw.org; dcc@adw.org; jenzler@adw.org; koconnor@adw.org; kdempsey@adw.org; cnoguchi@adw.org; sgibbs@adw.org; chancery@adw.org; communications@adw.org; mfisher@adw.org; mscott@adw.org; abosnick@adw.org; mmcginnity@adw.org

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2009 5:45 pm

    Christianity in general – actually all 3 of the Abrahamic faiths – and Catholicism in particular hold that homosexuality is a grievous sin. Since Catholic Charities, the church’s social services arm, is not exempt under the proposed law, they would be forced to go against their faith and support homosexuality if they continued operated in the District.

    But I suppose you think it’s OK to force them to go against their religion. It’s amazing how Americans’ right to religious freedom means nothing to people who want something from a religion’s adherents.

  2. clockwatcher23 permalink
    November 12, 2009 6:13 pm

    Poor old Catholic Charities. They’ve done so much good in the world, and are generally staffed by warm, wonderful individuals who simply want to help the less fortunate.

    But the Church’s leaders are willing to discriminate against other human beings just to push an ignorant agenda that is, in no way, going to aid the less fortunate. Bottom line, for an increasing number of Catholics and ex-Catholics, there are a lot more reasons to leave the Church than stay with it.

Trackbacks

  1. DC Archdiocese Follows Through on Marriage Equality Threats « Leave it to Seaver
  2. Confirmation « Nadia Williams
  3. Confirmation « Christianity
  4. Catholic Punish Maine’s Homeless for Attempt at Marriage Equality « Leave it to Seaver

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