In the hierarchical zeal meant to mobilize Catholics around the proposed marriage amendment, something profoundly Christ-like is being profoundly overlooked.
Pastoral, compassionate ministry.
Plain and simple, the continual act of reaching out to those who are marginalized, whether they exist in our Sunday pews or not.
Think of our Catholic sisters and brothers who may be uncomfortable with marriage equality but equally uncomfortable with their leaders' efforts and money poured into changing a constitution that will change nothing (same-sex marriage is already illegal in the state of Minnesota). These Catholics are being told they are not faithful if they do not defend the hierarchy's agenda.
Think of the Catholic, church-going parents and grandparents of GLBT persons. They are told that if they invite their gay child and his/her partner to dinner--any night of the year, they risk their own salvation.
Think of LGBT persons who are sacrificing themselves daily as parents. They are being told in no uncertain terms that they are doing a violence to children.
Think of LGBT persons who are hanging on by their fingertips to their involvement in parish life. They are being constantly reminded of their "internal disorder" by the unprecedented efforts to deny them a place at the table.
If you are a Catholic pastor or pastoral minister, we implore that you do not forget these people who are hurting, these who deserve the compassionate care of your good servant leadership.
For a sense of how the Catholic church has suffered in the same regard in other states, go to this New Ways Ministry blog post.
The marginalization must stop.