I am responding to the coverage in the Sept. 17 Windy City Times article "LGBT group Hosts 9/11 tribute for Fr. Mychal Judge."
The coverage was troubling to me for a few reasonsand I found it ironic that it was juxtaposed to the Matt Simonette story, "Man fired from church job meets cardinal."
The fact this gathering took place in Old St. Patrick's Churcha Roman Catholic institutiononly lends credibility to misunderstanding. The cardinal's actions in firing the music director at Holy Family Catholic Church was a major disappointment to me. However, had the music minister at Old St. Patrick's done the same thing, the pastor would've fired him in the name of church teaching. There should be no confusion on this issue. To allow confusion by silence is to enable innocent LGBT people to be harmed.
I have donated to effort to get Judge recognized, and feel betrayed that this solemn event took place in a church where Catholic LGBT couples are not welcomed and would be denied communion.
I was also troubled that Victor Salvo, founder and executive director of Legacy Project Chicago, was in attendance at this event, lending credibility to the blurred boundaries of acceptance that Old St. Patrick's is trying to promote. There should be no doubt that this church supports the teaching that LGBT people are morally disordered and that discrimination, in its regard, is justified.
Certainly, there are other venues where this event could have taken place so that the whole community can be welcomed without selective homophobia being in the driver's seat.
We can and should do better.
Victor Salvo responds: Although I can certainly relate to the frustration and sentiment expressed by Joe MurrayI am a recovering Catholic with the therapy bills to show for itI think he missed the central point of showing the film tribute to Fr. Judge at Old St. Patrick's.
Rather than bemoan that the film was shown on church property, I pray "The Saint of 9/11" is shown in every Catholic church in the world!!! It should be lost on no one that half the people who attended that screening were not LGBT. And that was the point: to open eyes and hearts and minds, to support the terrified majority of Catholics who embrace LGBT people regardless of what the latest edicts are.
I applaud John Parro and his team at the LGBT Outreach of Old St. Patrick's Church for being committed to fostering dialog and creating opportunities for learning. Church-going Catholics are the only people who will be able to ultimately impress the need for change.
It is vital that every opportunity for dialog be embraced and celebrated. For those of you who would not think of entering a church space to watch that film, I totally understand. But I strongly recommend you rent it. It is extremely moving and healingexactly like Fr. Mychal.
[Editor's note: Old St. Patrick's declined to respond to Murray's letter.]