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Maine Marriage Equality Update

March 28, 2010

Following the news last week of Bishop Richard Malone and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland pulling funds for Preble Street’s Homeless Voices for Justice program and the public’s response, Bill Nemitz published a column in the Portland Press Herald on Saturday taking Malone to task using the story of the Good Samaritan.

Now, I readily admit I’m no theological scholar. But I was always taught that the message behind this timeless tale is simple and straightforward: When you see someone in need, you help him. You don’t check first to see if he shares your race, your politics or, for that matter, your road map to salvation.

You just help him.

All of which brings us, regrettably, to Bishop Richard Malone and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

News this week that Catholic Charities Maine, which Malone oversees, and the national Catholic Campaign for Human Development have yanked their funding for Preble Street’s Homeless Voices for Justice program is proof positive that in this day and age, Roman Catholic charity begins – and in this case ends – with a litmus test.

Nemitz also provides a much-needed overview of the details and timeline of the controversy–the column is worth a full read.

In related news, Equality Maine held their annual awards dinner where Anne Underwood, of Catholics for Marriage Equality won a “Faith in Action” award and announced that Donald Sussman of North Haven donated $17,400 to cover the January to June loss.  Said Sussman,

This is about righting a wrong.  The Preble Street organization is an angel to those in need. They don’t discriminate in who they help, and we need to support them in their important work. It’s disappointing that funding was lost for this critical work, but I’m glad to be one of many who have joined together to help make things right.

You can still help out by donating here (note it’s for Homeless Voices for Justice).  $12,000 was raised in the first 3 days.

State Senator Dennis Damon was also honored at the dinner, among many others.  The dinner was reportedly very well attended and a substantial amount of money was raised to support pro-marriage equality officials in future races.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 30, 2010 2:44 pm

    The Roman Bishops are the modern Pharisees whom Jesus constantly criticized for their self-righteousness, their faulty presumptions of infallibility, their inability to think outside-the-box of tradition and legalism, and their dearth of spirituality, compassion, and healthy development. Their obsessive homophobia was already unhealthy, but now it’s become cold and ruthless.

    Like Jesus, we are called to separate our faith in God from the abuses of hierarchy. As Fr. Mychal Judge, ‘the Saint of 9/11’, said, “Don’t let the institutional church get in the way of your relationship with God.”

    A Franciscan friar friend is convinced that there is a Divine hand behind the timing of this story with the latest Vatican scandals — revelations that the Pope personally enabled and protected serial pedophiles, and the male prostitution ring operating out of the Vatican. “What goes around comes around,” he says.

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