OpEd: The Catholic Church is filled with hypocrisy
I was not surprised to read that Roman Catholic Bishop Francis DiLorenzo fired John Murphy from his position as executive director at the St. Francis Home because he is married to a man. No news there: this IS the Catholic Church. However, I later learned that when hired, the St. Francis board chair assured Murphy that his sexual orientation and his 30- year relationship with his husband, Jerry Carter, would not be a factor affecting his employment.
The St. Francis Home board, having been told by the Bishop that they had to fire Murphy, unanimously voted to oppose the Bishop’s demands. Having been thwarted by the board, DiLorenzo then sent his own agents to fire Murphy. Several board members subsequently resigned in protest.
The actions of the church reek of hypocrisy. While the Catholic Church cannot find tolerance for same-sex marriage; it is the sin of child sexual abuse that is most disturbing. By its own accounting, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in April 2014, estimated that more than $3 billion had been paid out in court ordered disbursements for reckless endangerment and sexual abuse that was visited upon innocent children.
For generations, the Catholic Church allowed their priests to rape children. They not only allowed these monstrous crimes to occur, they protected the rapists. For years the church absolutely denied the abuse was taking place until finally enough evidence was publically produced that they were forced to admit their sins. They then referred to it as a “mistake.”
Protecting child rapists. It does not get more depraved than that.
Yet today, we have a man of integrity, a man who was helping the elderly, the poor, the disenfranchised, and the lonely. I am no theologian, but I think the scriptures instruct us to do that. And the Catholic Church fired that man because he was honest.
If Murphy had taken the route that many Catholic priests take and lied about his sexual orientation and personal life, he would still have his job. But for some reason, as they have already proven, the Catholic Church can have a difficult time dealing with the truth. Murphy told the truth, that he was in a 30-year committed relationship with someone he loved very much and that someone was a man.
The Catholics stated his relationship goes against the sanctity of marriage. What an insult to the countless numbers of gays and lesbians who have been coupled for years. Compare that to the fact that the heterosexual world has faced a 50% divorce rate for ages. And they have all the support imaginable to make their marriages work: backing from their communities of faith, society, their families and their friends. Yet many cannot make it.
Murphy and Carter grew up in a world with little if any support, yet for over 30 years they have made their marriage a successful one. If the Catholic Church really wants to see a real testament to the sanctity of marriage, they need look no further.
It will be interesting to see how this case proceeds, but one thing we know is, as much as the Catholic Church has robbed from countless numbers of victims, it cannot take away Murphy and Carter’s spirituality. And that is an ingredient, ironically, that they have depended upon for years.
Director Zachary Owen will be looking for three female and two male actors.September 27, 2016
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