I still get emails from change.org, even though they banned me a long time ago. Sometimes their petitions amuse me. Sometimes I actually agree with them. I did find the following petition rather curious:
My name is Nicholas Coppola. I’m a Catholic. And I’m gay. For more than 5 years, this wasn’t a problem. I taught Sunday school; I helped people grieve at funerals; I served Communion; I gave readings at Mass. Members of my parish knew that I was gay, and they accepted me.
Then after a Mass in January, I was told that, at the direction of my Bishop, I was no longer welcome to help with or volunteer in the church in any way. Just because I had married my partner, David.
But Cardinal Timothy Dolan — the highest ranking Catholic in America — recently spoke out to say that the Church needs to do better at listening to and supporting gay people. I don’t want to turn my back on the community I love, so I’m inviting Cardinal Dolan to break bread with my family and set an example for other Catholic leaders — including my Bishop — that they must be tolerant and accepting of gay families.
I started a petition on Change.org asking Cardinal Timothy Dolan to break bread with my family so that he can see we’re just like any other American Catholics, and shouldn’t be excluded from helping the Church. Click here to sign my petition.
I first came to the Catholic Church after an injury prevented me from continuing my job as a construction worker. Participating in the ministries at St. Anthony’s gave my life a purpose and connected me to an incredibly caring community.
I have always been open and honest about my relationship with my now-husband David, and many of our church’s parishioners even attended our wedding. Just the other day, an elderly woman came over and sat by me during Mass. She held my hand the entire time.
I’m 47, and I’d like to think I have pretty thick skin. But what if I was 15 years old and still questioning who I was? What if I saw the church treating others this way, or worse, what if I was publicly rejected by my faith community? That’s why I felt like I needed to speak out, for those young people, and with the help of GLAAD, I’m doing that with my petition.
As for the Catholic church, I’m certain that if enough change.org members sign a petition, it will abandon its belief in the Bible and embrace sexual diversity instead. In the face of all those signatures, God will surely change his mind – and so should the Catholics. If they don’t do so willingly, we can always have an inquisition, right?
But in all seriousness, perhaps I’m old-fashioned, but I was under the impression that religion is supposed to be about believing, not about democracy or consensus. Last time I checked, Christianity (including Catholicism) placed a lot of emphasis on the Bible, even to the point of believing it – at least in theory. The Bible is very clear on what it thinks of homosexual relations. In the book of Leviticus, such relations are described as an “abomination.”
I don’t think that homosexuals are that way by choice and I’m fairly certain that most religious people would not condemn a person for having those urges. But there’s a big difference between having those urges and acting upon them. And then there’s another big difference between acting upon them and actually sanctifying such a union. It’s almost as if a Jew were to complain that his synagogue rejected him because he opened a restaurant next door that specialized in pig products. I don’t blame the Catholic church for kicking him out. I would suggest that Mr. Cappola join a Buddhist temple. Or perhaps he can found his own religion.