The Catholic Diocese of Sacramento has cut all of its support for Francis House, one of the largest shelters serving homeless people in Sacramento, because its new director supports marriage equality. Despite having started as a Catholic-run charity, Francis House is now run by Rev. Faith Whitmore, a United Methodist minister who openly defied church law by marrying same-sex couples in 2008 and who also supports a woman’s right to obtain an abortion. According to spokesman Kevin Eckery, the Diocese argues it is unfair to spend parishioners money — up to $10,000 a year — on an organization whose leader does not represent Catholic values:
Eckery said he was unsure whether the diocese had received complaints about its donations to Whitmore’s agency. “But if we haven’t had one yet, we would get one,” he said. “We like to get out in front of these things.
“Francis House is a great charity, and we respect the fact that the director’s views are different from the diocese’s. But money collected during the annual appeal is very much Catholic parishioner money,” said Eckery.
“Why would we ask someone to contribute money to an organization and ask them to overlook all of those things that undermine the church’s teachings?“
This is only the latest decision that reflects an effort by the hierarchy of the Church to wipe its hands of anything that promotes LGBT equality or recognizes same-sex relationships. This particular example clearly demonstrates the bishops’ hypocrisy and expectation for special treatment. They claim that the government should support them like it does other charities, even though they pick and choose which organizations to support based on their values. They then justify their decisions by claiming they have to represent their parishioners who contribute money, but they have no consideration for the government’s interest in respecting its LGBT taxpayers.
The Catholic Church wants to have its cake and discriminate too. Don’t expect food or shelter if you’re not prepared to discriminate as well.