The forced resignation of San Diego gay pastoral worker Aaron Bianco because of violent threats against him, his husband, and his family by right-wing Catholics has other members speaking out in support of Catholic values which affirm LGBT people. Yesterday, Bondings 2.0 reviewed a National Catholic Reporter article that featured the voices of Catholic LGBT advocates. In today’s post, we highlight a National Catholic Reporter essay by one of Bianco’s former colleagues, Maureen K. Day, who is also an assistant professor at the Franciscan School of Theology, California.
The heart of her essay is contained in the following paragraphs:
“There are parts of Catholic teaching that are inviolable. Among these are the recognition of the dignity of the human person. Each person is made in the image and likeness of God; we must never do anything that violates the human dignity of another. Nothing justifies it. And these events are why I now realize that today, in the United States, in our church, standing in solidarity with members of the LGBTQ community is a pro-life issue.
“A truly pro-life stance warrants that we pay attention to a variety of issues: abortion, torture, human trafficking, education, clean water and proper nutrition, euthanasia, religious liberty, war, capital punishment and others. These are issues that focus on the existence of life as well as the flourishing of life. When we see a person or population threatened or prevented from receiving access to goods that would promote human flourishing, we need to speak and act in a way that brings about justice.
“Someone with whom I have shared a meal at a diocesan event, collaborated and exchanged small talk left a job because of the hateful actions of those who transgressed a critical teaching of Catholicism (to speak nothing of legal matters). They used church teaching on marriage to justify violating a fundamental precept of the faith. When we discuss differences, we need to keep St. Paul’s words to the Corinthians in mind: No matter what works we do or words we speak, if we do this without love, it is nothing.”
Day continues with a powerful analysis of Bianco’s case in light of the gospel story of the Good Samaritan. It’s worth reading her entire reflection, which you can find by clicking here.
One of the most powerful ways to demonize a group of people is to speak of them primarily and exclusively in terms of their sexuality. By categorizing solidarity with the LGBTQ community as a pro-life issue, Day reminds us all that LGBTQ issues are primarily issues of human dignity and respect for human life.
For New Ways Ministry’s response to the threats against Aaron Bianco, click here.
—Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, November 4, 2018