Bishop Gumbleton tells Queer Catholics: ‘You’re Okay’

A retired auxiliary bishop who reportedly has worn a mitre with a pink triangle and a rainbow ribbon on it has publicly gone against the words of Archbishop Allen Vigneron who recently said that those opposing the Church’s teaching on gay marriage should not present themselves for Communion. [Holy Communion is the central part of the Mass where the faithful receive consecrated wheat wafers or  the ‘body of Christ’. In orthodox catholic teaching, those who have committed mortal sin shouldn’t receive communion without having first gone to confession. This statement by the Archbishop actually implies that those in same sex relationships are in a state of perpetual sin]

“Don’t stop going to communion. You’re okay,”  was the  Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit Thomas Gumbleton’s message to gay, lesbian and Queer Catholics.

The homophobic ‘Catholic Press’ is livid.  In the ultra Conservative National  Catholic Register, one reads: Bishop Gumbleton has long been a contrarian on many things. He’s publicly spoken at events and has been honoured by organizations like New Ways Ministry, an organization dedicated to supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics.

The Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage ‘assured’ Catholics that New Ways Ministry is not in conformity with Catholic teaching and should not identify itself as a Catholic organization.

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

Bp. Gumbleton has also spoken at events sponsored by the group “Call to Action” which awarded then excommunicated Sister of Mercy Margaret McBride with the 2011 Call To Action Leadership Award at their annual conference precisely for her role in a decision at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Centre in Phoenix to abort an 11 week old unborn baby.

“If you look at it from a pastoral point of view where you’re trying to reach out to people, trying to draw them in, then the last thing you want to do is impose a penalty or make them feel like they have to impose a penalty upon themselves,” Gumbleton said.

The bishop says the church’s approach should be pastoral not punitive.

Just this week, he counselled a couple with a gay son. “Husband, wife, raised seven children, Catholics all their lives, they’re in their eighties now, and the mother says to me, you know I can’t go to communion anymore,” said Gumbleton. “They’re hurt and she’s crying because we can’t go communion and that means so much to them.”

Gumbleton says it’s a matter of conscience, which is deeply personal. “Not everybody’s going to come to the same conclusion at the same time, so we have to keep on working with people and trusting people that they’re trying to do the right thing,” he remarked.

Gumbleton’s brother reportedly is gay and this revelation made a big impact on the now retired bishop.

Archbishop Vigneron has no jurisdiction to ask gay Catholics not to receive communion. He can, of course, refuse to distribute communion to gay and lesbian people at his mass, but that’s going to really stir up a hornet’s nest, a section of the Catholic Clergy have observed.

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Posted by on April 22, 2013. Filed under RAINBOW,USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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