Nebraska Lesbian Couple's Wedding Announcement Is Nixed by Archdiocese

I am just returned from England, where I participated in several World Pride events.  It’s somewhat amazing that on my last day there, news about a lesbian couple from Nebraska is making headlines.  The Daily Mail newspaper reports:

Lizz Dyer and Katie Brown

“A newlywed Nebraska couple is outraged after the Omaha Archdiocese pulled their wedding announcement from their high school’s newsletter.

“Lizz Dyer and Katie Brown were thrilled when someone from Marian High School offered to publish news of their wedding in the Catholic school’s quarterly publication, but the Archdiocese nixed their announcement before it ever went to print.

“A school official tipped off the religious headquarters who opted to censor the high school sweethearts’ ceremony, saying the would not support the celebration of a wedding not upheld by the Catholic Church.”

While the archdiocese sees this as a matter of principle, the couple see it as a factual statement:

” ‘We’re just asking that they share with our classmates and friends that we got married, which we did,’ Mrs Dyer said.

“The pair had met at the school and remain close with their classmates, many of whom attended the ceremony. The photographs of the brides kissing, holding hands and exchanging vows never made it to the newsletter.”

Friends of the couple have started a petition to have the school print the announcement and have collected 700 signatures, though the archdiocese says it will not bend on its decision.

Situations like this are troublesome and frustrating, no doubt.  As more and more lesbian and gay graduates of Catholic high schools and colleges decide to take advantage of new marriage equality laws, situations like this one are bound to multiply.  Church officials need to devise a better pastoral response than simply, “No.”  They can start by eliminating their prejudice that lesbian and gay marriage is the worst of all things that can happen, and start talking with lesbian and gay couples to find out more about their lives and relationship.  The pastoral challenge that this situation presented could have been an opportunity for growth, not a publicity nightmare that is spanning the Atlantic Ocean.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry




0 replies
  1. Mike
    Mike says:

    This is sad but totally to be expected as the Catholic Church and it’s hierarchy believes it has final authority, about all things. Functionally, it is not a democracy but rather, it’s leaders have total dictatorial authority as they have for centuries. While our country was founded upon the freedoms of a representative government, transparent and accountable to the people, for some reason, the church along with a few dictators and absolute monarchs have been able to hold onto power. The only difference in this case is we’re US citizens. Our history, culture and way of life is about transparent, accountable leadership. The church has this power because the faithful give her that power. Today, the best way around this is to send your children to Jesuit schools that are not under any bishop’s authority. Or other faith based schools where the bishops have final authority. I agree, the bishops will not budge on these issues. They have too much to loose and will continue to hold onto what little power the faithful will give them. Sadly, most of them surround themselves with lackeys who foster their belief that everyone is standing with them.

  2. Marge Mayer
    Marge Mayer says:

    Very sad. I guess it would have been a “bad example” to the current students. It shouldn’t be a surprise to us though—knowing our church leaders

  3. Richard Baldwin Cook
    Richard Baldwin Cook says:

    Banishing news of the happiness of a committed, married couple is easy to do. So is banishing priestly clerical abuse of kids – call 911. But an archbishop finds it necessary to do the one while Cardinals, archbishops, bishops and priests cannot bring themselves to turn in a rapist. The question is: why? Why is it so much more satisfying to the hierarchical conscience to discard the joyous couple and then look silently on the coerced coupling?

  4. Allen
    Allen says:

    will the diocese also amend the gospel of John that calls John the “disciple that Jesus loved?” They already eliminated John’s head from Jesus’ chest!

  5. MCP
    MCP says:

    The Catholic church does not recognize gay marriage as valid. Agreeing to publish this would be contrary to the beliefs of the Catholic church, as it would be validating the union. I’m not sure why anyone would expect a Catholic school publication to publish this, even if you believe differently than the Catholic church. Print the announcement in a non-Catholic publication that recognizes gay marriage. Although the Catholic church should most definitely turn in rapists, that, unfortunately, is not the issue at hand.


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