Equal Justice

AS A GAY CATHOLIC, I deeply appreciated the commentary "Practicing What We Preach," calling upon Christians and church leaders "to work to change the atmosphere where gays are seen as less than complete human beings with the full civil privileges of other citizens."

Over a year ago, the American Catholic bishops’ pastoral letter "Always Our Children" affirmed that "the teachings of the Church make it clear that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended and all of us must strive to eliminate any forms of injustice, oppression, or violence against them."

While for a moment the conscience of the nation was stirred by the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, the Catholic bishops missed an opportunity to comment on the issue. How is it that the bishops are so adamant on the rights of the unborn but seem silent in the face of discrimination and violence against gay persons? If the bishops preach on hungering and thirsting for justice, it should be the justice of God that applies to all of God’s creation, all members of society, all members of the church, both heterosexual and homosexual. In their pastoral letter speaking to homosexual Catholics they stated, "In you God’s love is revealed." A year later, I sometimes wonder whether they meant it.

Tom Monteleone, Williamsville, New York

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 1999
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