Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This is why our Building guidelines exist

The Gay Nazis are coming!
From an Anonymous poster:
Maybe the Bishop of Jackson has not alerted, nor explained to all priest what is going on. He may not think, because same-sex "marriage" is not being voted on, a real concern here. It is how the Bishops wish to proceed and is under Religious Liberty. If Kansas' ordinance continues, then the Church will either have to stop renting out their space, or face being sued. I would wonder if they had parishioners who wanted a gay "marriage" if they could refuse their facilities as they belong there. It gets complicated and will vary. The focus on teaching what marriage is and why it is important, is what we should be doing. To know that dangers are present is not delusional.

What he/she is referring to is this:
Hutchinson Human Relations Commission has explained that, under the new regulations, churches that make their buildings available for the general public would not be able to refuse gay couples. This essentially means that churches would be forced to, via rental agreements, support gay nuptials.

“They would not be able to discriminate against gay and lesbian or transgender individuals. That type of protection parallels to what you find in race discrimination,” Meryl Dye, a spokesperson for the commission, said in an interview with Fox News. “If a church provides lodging or rents a facility they could not discriminate based on race. It’s along that kind of thinking.” (I highlighted some points in red).

In prudence, we at St. John's have pretty strict guidelines for use. On page two, you will see:

Purpose and Use
All requests for use of facilities must be approved by the pastor, or
whomever the pastor delegates for such purpose, prior to making
reservations with the parish office administrator.
Parish facilities may not be used for political activities, private profitmaking
ventures or any enterprise, fundraiser or activity that opposes
the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Important point highlighted in red.
Where two or three are Zumba-ing...
Now I do know, very well, that a lot of Catholic churches in the diocese "rent" or allow the use of their facilities for anything from the Humane Society fundraiser to ZUMBA! classes (I added the exclamation point because Zumba is nothing without it). Most times it is not to "make money" but to keep sustenance funding in the parish. I argue that it may be time for that church to quietly close, but that's not the discussion here.

We had two old houses that pastors before me rented to students or others. I was not sure if that was prudent and was joined in the concern by parish council members. When we were debating over the use of the buildings I asked a HIGH-RANKING DIOCESAN official about stopping rental of church property and the response was something about the SISTERS HOUSING THOSE WHO HAVE NO HOME and THE RENT SUPPORTS THE MISSION OF JUSTICE. I said, "And can open us up for lawsuits". The response was sort of like, "DON'T BE SQUARE! LET THE MAN TRY TO SUE US!"
But with my knowledge of the Church and law, I get the lawsuit thing.

Now if we're not talking about the Parish Hall, Parish Center, Parish Office, Labyrinth, or anything like that and we're talking about the CHURCH, then I will be referring to Canon Law (yeah, I said the "C" word):
1210: "In a sacred place only those things are to be permitted which serve to exercise or promote worship, piety and religion. Anything out of harmony with the holiness of the place is forbidden. The Ordinary may, however, for individual cases, permit other uses, provided they are not contrary to the sacred character of the place."

I know we have a long way to go until our sacred is truly sacred again. And it may be more of "TONIGHT! THE SONGS OF JOURNEY IN THE SANCTUARY OF ST. CUNIGUNDA'S!" or "DANCIN' WITH THE OLDIES AT HOLY INNOCENTS PARISH. MEDICS AVAILABLE!"
But here in Oxford, we worship in Church and when we have fun?
We're Catholics! We go to bars!*

*Segue into TONIGHT! GOOD CHEER! @ THE LIBRARY OFF THE SQUARE! George Kehoe, actor and playwright is the speaker. He will speak on drama, faith and how they interact. And he will NOT perform his excellent play based on the last days of Bobby Sands in the Church. 7pm