From the “Catholic News Agency”:
Jim Corcoran, who was an adult altar server at St. Michaels’ Church in Coburg, Ontario until last April, has charged that he was removed because of his sexual orientation. According to the Peterborough Examiner, Corcoran says he lives as a “chaste gay man.” His partner was also reported to have been an altar server.
Corcoran reported that the request for him to step aside came after the bishop was sent a petition signed by twelve parishioners. He said that he still attends the parish, but those who signed the letter of complaint do not.
“I stepped aside — but I challenged the version of why I was asked to step aside,” he told the Peterborough Examiner. “I am not being disloyal to the bishop. I did what was asked — but I am asking for accountability for the decision. I’m simply asking why I was asked to step down. The only possible answer is because I’m gay.”
Corcoran filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
Bishop De Angelis responded to the controversy at the parish in a September 12 letter to St. Michael’s parishioners and the faithful of the diocese.
Explaining that he wrote with “sadness of heart,” he said recent events at the parish have revealed an attitude “contrary to the life and nature of the Church.”
Agreed. We have no business judging the interior state of any person’s soul. There is no sin in being gay, and Corcoran insists that he lives a chaste lifestyle. The church teaches furthermore that we are to promote social justice. It is abundantly clear that this exclusion is entirely contrary to the life and nature of the Church.
Responding to the claims of an adult altar server who reported the Diocese of Peterborough to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal for removing him from service, Bishop of Peterborough Nicola De Angelis has denied the authority of the tribunal to interfere in Church governance and has appealed for Catholic unity.
How does driving away the gay Catholics help Catholic unity? Or is he only interested in the unity of the self-proclaimed righteous?
The bishop has also fulminated about the “interference” of the state in canonical affairs:
“If the Human Rights Tribunal should choose to interfere with the Church’s governance, this will be most shocking,” Bishop De Angelis wrote. “The Tribunal has no authority to place itself as an arbiter of canonical precepts.”
Really? And if the hierarchy of the church “should choose to interfere with state governance,” say by raising money for a ballot about civil marriage, is this not also “most shocking”?
This is yet another example of the hypocrisy and double standards of the church establishment. It is well known that a significant proportion of the clergy do not keep their vows of celibacy; that a further significant proportion are gay; that the majority of Catholics simply do not comply with official teaching on all sexual matters. Yet they blithely ignore their own teaching on the importance of the “sensus fidelium “and on social justice, to placate the bigots while alienating a persecuted minority within the church, and will not even allow discussion on married or women clergy.