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Seattle Jesuit: opposing same-sex marriage is ‘denial of civil rights’

Catholic World News - June 07, 2012

A Jesuit priest who serves as pastor of a parish in the Archdiocese of Seattle has told National Public Radio that opposition to same-sex marriage is a denial of civil rights.

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain has asked priests to collect signatures for a referendum on the State of Washington’s recent redefinition of marriage. In February, Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Catholic, signed into law a bill that legalized same-sex marriage in Washington.

Among the dozen priests who have refused to permit signature collection is Father John Whitney of St. Joseph’s Parish in Seattle.

“It's a denial of civil rights,” the Jesuit told National Public Radio. “I think civil marriage should be defended as something possible for all people. And I think the referendum is wrongheaded in that sense.”

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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jun. 15, 2012 4:03 PM ET USA

    This Bishop's bluff has been called... If there is one person who is brazen enough to challenge "the Church" publicly then there are at least 10 who feel the same way but will not speak. If the Bishop steps back the petitions lose much of their substance.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jun. 08, 2012 2:45 PM ET USA

    Defender, Fr. John must also have been playing hookey the day they taught that the Church is hierarchical.

  • Posted by: unum - Jun. 07, 2012 9:58 PM ET USA

    It looks like Archbishop J. Peter Sartain has his work cut out for him. Will he act? Or will he think about it for a while like so many of the other unaccountable bishops.

  • Posted by: visions - Jun. 07, 2012 6:10 PM ET USA

    "I understood the Cross as the destiny of God's People, which was beginning to be apparent at the time(1933). I felt that those who understood the Cross of Christ should take it upon themselves on everybody's behalf......." St Teresia Benedicta of the Cross

  • Posted by: normnuke - Jun. 07, 2012 1:22 PM ET USA

    It used to be said, with pride, that getting an education from the 'Jebbies' taught you how to think. Now it makes you want to wear a paper bag over your head.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jun. 07, 2012 11:33 AM ET USA

    And to have a priest, any priest, give support to the unsupportable gives scandal. Fr. Whitney, et al, was obviously absent from the seminary the day that they discussed the sacrament of marriage (man, woman, children-remember?). He obviously never learned in school that not everything is a "right" because some people say so. I'd say it was a Jesuit-thing, except there seems to be a lot of priests who think this way, too. Things will continue this way until bishops put their own house in order.

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