I have a problem with any faith that promotes or tolerates prejudice. Aren't churches places of fellowship and belonging? What do you think of the following issue?
The following article appeared in our local newspaper today...
Gay parishioner takes case against Church to Ontario Human Rights Tribunal
Posted By VALERIE MACDONALD VMACDONALD@NORTHUMBERLANDTODAY.COM
Posted 10 hours ago
Long-time Grafton-area spa owner Jim Corcoran has involved the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal in a Catholic Diocese decision to remove him as an altar server from St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Cobourg because of his sexual orientation.
At the request of St. Michael's priest Father Allan Hood, and after training and serving in the voluntary position for about six months along with a group of other men, Corcoran says, he and his partner were asked to quit after Easter services this past spring.
Despite what 12 parishioners wrote to Peterborough Diocese Bishop Nicola De Angelis, Corcoran says he and his partner "have been chaste for many years" and are good Catholics following those teachings.
While the decision that they must quit their voluntary church work came down from De Angelis in April, Corcoran's application to the tribunal was only filed about two weeks ago, he told Northumberland Today. That's because the same group of 12 parishioners are continuing a vendetta against Father Hood and had circulated yet another petition against his decisions and actions, he said.
"It was then I decided to file the complaint," Corcoran said.
His tribunal application lists as part of the "remedy" he is seeking an apology from the bishop, publication of an article about the Catholic Church's position "on inclusion" and that the Church create a policy about discrimination. It also asks that each petitioner who signed the letter pay him $20,000 and the diocese pay $25,000, plus legal fees.
Money is the only thing the Church and the group of 12 will take seriously and get their attention, Corcoran says, adding the money will go to a charity of his choice and not to himself.
He says he believes it is the only way to stop the un-Christian behaviour of fellow church-goers who signed the original letter based on what they read into his blog (http://steannes. blogspot. co m) and to stop the harassment campaign against Hood.
Corcoran's partner did not file with the tribunal and his name has not been made public.
Neither Hood nor De Angelis returned telephone messages left by this newspaper by press time.
Ontario Human Rights Tribunal counsel to the chair, Margaret Leighton, says a response is awaited from the 12 letter-writers and the bishop of the diocese. The matter could go to mediation, but if not, then to a hearing. It may not be heard for eight to 10 months. Corcoran's application has not been made public by the tribunal, she said.