At some point, the Catholic Church needs to figure out where it stands on various issues. Does it have a problem with homosexuality or not? Does it support marriage or not? Because the way they’re handling these situations is just reeking of hypocrisy.
Colin Collette was an openly gay director of worship at Holy Family Parish in Inverness, Illinois. There was no problem with that. He served in that position for 17 years.
But this week, just days after he got engaged to his long-term boyfriend, the pastor of his church told him to come in for a meeting:
“He said, ‘I know this is something you’ve longed for your entire life.’ I said yes. He said ‘in light of that, I’d be happy to accept your resignation,’” said Collette.
Collette refused and says he was fired the next day. He had worked at Holy Family as director of worship for nearly 17 years and he says his sexuality was no secret. His partner has been to mass at the church, and even read scripture on special occasions. What changed was his intent to get married.
To be sure, there’s nothing illegal going on here. That’s not the point. The point is that the Catholic Church continues to punish gay people for the crime of wanting to commit themselves to another person for the rest of their lives. The Church, you’d think, would want to bless than union, not use it as a cause for termination.
But that’s how backwards they are.
Joe Offenburger is a mass coordinator at Holy Family, a place many describe as a progressive parish.
“It’s like a dagger in your heart for this parish,” said Offenburger. “To me, I think the Church needs to step into the 21st century, not stay back and I think the hierarchy is the last do that.”
“It’s a place for Catholics where we had hope, until now,” said Collette.
The problem is that people like Offenburger and Collette, who know the Church’s position on this is wrong, never walk out. They continue defending the Church, working for it, giving money to it. They say, “Yep, this ain’t right,” but refuse to do the one thing that might actually cause that change to happen.
I feel bad for Collette, since this incredibly happy moment in his life is now tainted by his firing, but he knew it was coming. He had plenty of time to find another job, but stayed at the church out of… obligation, I guess.
Did he really think the Church would do the sensible thing? It’s not like they have before, so why would they start now?