Last week we had a juicy front page story that was all about sex–Catholic style. Our Catholic High School in town, Mount De Sales, fired a popular young music teacher because he announced on Facebook that he was going to marry his gay partner. The students staged a march; the parents wrote letters; the whole Mount De Sales community rose up in arms against what seemed to be that “old Catholic discrimination” against Gays.
But this was not about Gays; this was about Gay Sex.
The Catholics have a law that says Gay Sex is sinful; there is no law that discriminates against a Gay man or a Lesbian woman. There is a big difference between sexual orientation and sexual actions. All of us are “oriented” toward sex but not all of us activate that orientation. This musician made it very clear for several years that he was “oriented” toward gay sexuality, just as his fellow teachers made it abundantly clear that they were oriented toward heterosexuality, but when he announced publically that he was going to enter into a “married” contract with another man, he flaunted his desire to “break this Catholic law.”
Now maybe it’s a stupid law. We have plenty of stupid laws. I think, for example, that ObamaCare is unconstitutional. I agree with four of the Supreme Court Judges that the Government cannot force a 28 year old healthy American to buy Health Insurance if he doesn’t want to buy it. But it’s now the law, and if I happen to be that young American who announces that he’s going to break the law, I know I’m going to face a whole series of consequences.
Our young musician knew this Catholic law. His school president had made it clear last October in a private meeting. That’s why this young teacher waited until after he signed this year’s contract to openly flaunt his opposition to the law. He knew very well what the consequences would be; he knew he would be fired, but he hoped a public out-cry would force the Catholic Church to change the law.
What do you think? Martin Luther King, Jr. staged many marches and public displays of opposition to the American laws of segregation and discrimination, and eventually those laws were changed. Would this work in the Catholic Church the way it worked in the American government? I don’t think so.
In the first place, the Catholic Church (and many other churches too) think that this law is backed up by the Old Testament and the New Testament, and can never be changed. Many learned Scripture Scholars disagree with this interpretation, but that’s irrelevant. The fact is: the Catholic Church is not a democratic institution. Its priests and bishops are not elected officials; they are all appointed. Even the Pope’s election is conducted by a small group of Cardinals who are forbidden to have any contact with outside Church members during the Conclave. You know that Protestant churches interview potential pastors and choose one who is then “called.” Catholic churches wait patiently and obediently to receive whichever priest their Bishop wants to send them. Catholic laws work the same way.
Here we have a Catholic School, Mount de Sales, and we know it abides by Catholic laws. Anyone connected with this school who openly flaunts opposition to these laws knows what the consequences will be. Our young musician was fired – not because he was Gay – but because he knowingly and blatantly disobeyed a law he opposed.