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Baltimore priest preaches on his support for same-sex marriage

October 30, 2012

A priest who has served as pastor the same Baltimore parish since 1973 has preached in favor of same-sex marriage, gaining a standing ovation from his parishioners.

“I will continue to stand in genuine awe of all those couples--straight, gay and lesbian--whose day-to-day, year-to-year, and decade-to-decade faithfulness to each other is to me a sacrament, a believable embodied sign, of the absolute faithfulness of God to us all,” said Father Richard T. Lawrence, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church, after reading a letter by Archbishop William Lori urging Catholics to vote against an amendment that would permit same-sex marriage in Maryland.

“We could come to recognize the total, exclusive and permanent union of gay and lesbian couples as part of the sacrament of matrimony,” he continued. “Even if we do not believe that gay marriage ever could or should be allowed in the Church, we could live with a provision that allows civil marriage of gay and lesbian couples.”

“Personally, however, I would go farther than that,” he said. “I personally believe that this is a possible line of future development in theology and perhaps eventually even in Church teaching. And if this is even a possibility, could we not judge that civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples ought to be allowed by the state at this time?”

“Could not civil law be allowed to progress where Church law cannot go, at least not yet?” Father Lawrence added. “Personally, I believe that it can and that it should.”

“So there you have it: the official teaching of the Church and my personal reflections.”


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Show 8 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Nov. 01, 2012 8:51 PM ET USA

    Oh please people,civil rights are not the same as a sacramental marriage.

  • Posted by: John Chrysostom - Oct. 31, 2012 6:57 PM ET USA

    And exactly how is Archbishop Lori guiding one of his priests on this matter? We know that Cardinal Keeler did not teach affirmatively on this issue.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Oct. 31, 2012 7:50 AM ET USA

    A priest is in open rebellion against his bishop and his Church -- time to go. There may be a priest shortage, but I would rather have quality vs quantity.

  • Posted by: GrdKv8526 - Oct. 30, 2012 9:13 PM ET USA

    It's unfortunate (to say the least) for those of us who live in Baltimore that such an overt expression in support of gay marriage is delivered from a Catholic priest, here in the primal see of the United States. I agree that Archbishop Lori must exercise his disciplinary authority.

  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 30, 2012 6:42 PM ET USA

    Can we infer that both Fr. Rickey and his cheering congregation are not exactly open to Church teaching on the subject of homosexual marriage?

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Oct. 30, 2012 6:29 PM ET USA

    Hopefully this parish will be one that gets closed due to the priest shortage and lack of funds.

  • Posted by: Leferink557202 - Oct. 30, 2012 12:21 PM ET USA

    Hopefully he'll be hearing from Archbishop Lori VERY soon.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Oct. 30, 2012 7:32 AM ET USA

    It's time to go now, Fr. Ricky. Thanks for your (dis)service.