Janet Edwards on DC Catholic Diocese decision regarding family benefits

Pittsburgh's own Reverend Janet Edwards examines the decision of former Pittsburgher, now D.C.'s Archbishop Donad Wuerl to eliminate family benefits (including health care) for Catholic Charities.  This came in response to the legalization of marriage equality in D.C.  As we wrote last month, Reverend Edwards is now a regular contributor to the Washington Post blog, on Faith.

Jesus' example has inspired Christians through the ages to reach out to the hungry and needy, the orphan and the widow, including the long mission of Catholic Charities in the Washington Archdiocese. This service has been life-giving and a witness to the love of Christ for all.

And so it grieves me to see Archbishop Wuerl and the Catholic Charities choose to deny help to those in need because they have judged certain parents unworthy of adoption, and certain employees' spouses unworthy of health care and other benefits.

As Christians who strive to follow Jesus' example, we are called to minister to the weak and to rejoice when the longsuffering find relief — including the stalwart LGBT couples who have waited so long to get married. We all know Jesus loved a good wedding feast.

I hadn't really thought about the Catholic Church being called to minister to LGBTQ families and individuals as part of their long history of social service outreach.  Typically, when one thinks of ministering to the LGBTQ community, one thinks of “pray away the gay” or the very dedicated LGBTQ community of faith.  I have struggled to understand why otherwise sane gay people remain wedded to their Catholic culture.  Perhaps Janet is right and the ministers on the front lines grasp this in a way that Archbishop Wuerl has chosen to reject?

I suggest you keep up with Reverend Edwards' column as she continues to frame LGBTQ issues within the American cultures of faith.


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