gay Catholics

Seattle Weekly offers the story of a heroic gay mayor and the 'prison' that is Catholicism

Seattle Weekly offers the story of a heroic gay mayor and the 'prison' that is Catholicism

The mayor of Seattle is a gay Catholic whose 2013 wedding to his male partner was at the local Episcopal cathedral. Ed Murray’s insistence on staying Catholic fascinated one editor at the Seattle Weekly to the point where he asked the mayor if Murray would expound on his faith.

The result was this nearly 4,000-word piece that ran about a month ago. The reporter stated up front that he didn’t wish to raise the issue of whether Murray was a “true” Catholic in terms of abiding by the doctrines of his faith, but instead learn why the mayor has stuck with a church that on many levels doesn’t want him. We will not read, in this long piece, what the church teaches about marriage and how the mayor flouts it.

Still, as far as I know, this is the only article anyone has done on the mayor’s faith journey. This is something the Seattle Times should have done years ago.

Thus, I am glad the Weekly stepped up to the plate, even though the premise is those who defy the teachings of the Catholic church are heroic while those who honor their vows to the church are, at best, robots.

After some intro paragraphs, the article picks up with:

Murray’s Catholic faith can seem a study in contradiction. Not only is he a practicing Catholic in a secular city, he is a gay man who has remained in a church that has been outright hostile toward homosexuality; he is a public official who seeks to follow the path of (Catholic Worker Movement foundress Dorothy) Day, who refused financial assistance from the government and declined to pay her taxes for years at a time; he is an impossibly busy man who says he feels closest to his Catholic faith when he is practicing quiet Benedictine meditation, which requires he wake at 5:30 a.m. if he has any hope of doing it at all.

After describing Murray’s childhood, it relates how he found certain Catholic institutions more gay-friendly than he had anticipated.

After graduating from high school, Murray attended St. Thomas Seminary in Kenmore, exploring the priesthood. After a year there, he decided against it, and finished his college studies at the University of Portland, a Catholic institution. There he got to know Trappist monks who introduced him to monastic worship, and counseled him on, among other things, his homosexuality, which he began to acknowledge in college. Far from the pious recriminations one might expect, Murray says that in college he was encouraged by priests to embrace that part of himself, rather that feel shame about it. It was further evidence, for Murray, that the Catholic Church, especially in its social-justice form, was a home for him, rather than the prison many people considered it.

“Many people?” Who does the reporter have in mind?

Please respect our Commenting Policy

Philly Inquirer stories on fired gay Catholic educator lack some basic questions and answers

Philly Inquirer stories on fired gay Catholic educator lack some basic questions and answers

It’s the same story we've been reading a lot about this year: A Catholic school fires a loyal, some would say "faithful," but gay worker.

The school in question this time is a community on the Philadelphia Main Line extending west out of town. The director of religious education was outed by two parents; one of whom went to the archdiocese of Philadelphia to complain. Consequently, the DRE found herself out of a job.

And to heighten the media drama,  of course, Pope Francis is visiting the area in September. The Philadelphia Inquirer story on it all starts thus:

The e-mail left many parents at the private Catholic school upset and confused. The well-respected director of religious education had just been fired.
Nell Stetser, principal of Waldron Mercy Academy, an elementary school in Merion, sent the e-mail Friday to say that Margie Winters was out of a job after eight years…Winters married her wife in Boston in 2007, seven years before a federal judge struck down as unconstitutional Pennsylvania's 18-year-old law banning gay marriage…
Winters said she and her wife "kept a really low profile" about their relationship at the school.
"I actually had a conversation with the principal a few weeks after I was hired to say, how should I handle this," said Winters, adding that she was advised that she could be open about her life with the faculty but to avoid discussing it with students' parents.

So the plot thickens.

Please respect our Commenting Policy