CONDEMNS GAY CONFERENCE
Source: Dignity USA News Release, 1997-MAY-12. Contacts: Marianne Duddy, President at
617-278-4111 or Peggy Hayes, Board of Directors at 617-306-0170
Boston - In a letter sent to approximately 750 priests, bishops and
deacons of the Archdiocese of Boston, Bishop William Murphy forbids
Diocesan personnel to participate in the national convention of
Dignity/USA, which will be held in Boston July 10-13. Dignity is the
national organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
Catholics, their families and friends.
The letter advises priests that Dignity should receive no support
because "they espoused a position contrary to Catholic moral teaching
supporting that (sic) moral correctness of sexual relations between
two persons of the same sex in a 'faithful and loving relationship.'"
Dignity/USA President Marianne Duddy, a Boston resident, commented,
"We certainly did not expect the support of the Archdiocese -- I think
it's safe to acknowledge that we disagree on certain questions of
sexual morality. However, this prohibition goes far beyond a lack of
support. It's a clear statement that the Church in Boston refuses to
even have dialogue with us. I would have hoped, in these days of the
late Cardinal Bernadin's Common Ground initiative, we would be beyond
this kind of pettiness.
This letter also prevents local priests from exercising their own
best pastoral judgment. The Dignity Convention will offer significant
resources for priests seeking to better understand gay and lesbian
Catholics in their parishes, for parents and family members of gay and
lesbian Catholics, and, importantly, for gay and lesbian people who
are struggling to remain connected to the Church. Bishop Murphy has
effectively obliterated access to this resource."
Lourdes Rodriguez, another Boston resident and co-chair of Dignity's
Convention Planning Committee, responded, "This letter shows precisely
why Dignity has to exist. The Church hierarchy has refused to accept
gay and lesbian people. The Dignity Convention is a place where
people will feel embraced by a loving God, instead of rejected by
Church officials. It makes the Convention even more important. Where
else will the children of God get what they need?"
Dignity's convention features internationally known speakers such as
Dr. Elizabeth Stuart, Chris Glaser, and Dr. Mary Hunt, and will draw
participation from throughout the US and Canada. Comedienne Kate
Clinton will perform a special show. In addition, the Convention
offers nearly two dozen workshops on topics such as "Pastoral Care for
People with AIDS" and the "Role of Straight People in the Gay Movement."
It will be held at the Park Plaza Hotel.
Dignity's Boston Chapter celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year.
Chapter President Michael J. Leclerc expressed dismay about the letter
from the Archdiocese, noting, "This is another example of how the
hierarchy is out of touch with the people who are the Church. What a
shame they felt the need to do this."
For more information about the Convention, whose theme is "We Are
Called...Prophets to the World," call Dignity/USA at 1-800-877-8797,
Their WWW site is at:
Return to the Homosexual News page