FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: John Becker, Director of Communications
Truth Wins Out Slams New Jersey Catholic Archbishop for Anti-Gay Pastoral Statement
Newark Abp. John Myers’ Declaration that Pro-Equality Catholics Should Not Receive Communion is Reprehensible, Says TWO
BURLINGTON, Vt – Truth Wins Out slammed Newark, New Jersey Catholic Archbishop John Myers today after he said in a pastoral statement that Catholics who support marriage equality are unfit to partake in the Eucharist and should “refrain from receiving Holy Communion.” Notices informing parishioners of Myers’ statement, in which he also compares marriage equality to incest, will be distributed this weekend in every Catholic parish in the Newark Archdiocese.
Myers’ anti-gay remarks come just one day after Salvatore Cordileone, archbishop-elect of San Francisco, told the Los Angeles Times that gay and lesbian Catholics who are sexually active should not present themselves for the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
“The actions of Archbishops Myers and Cordileone make it abundantly clear that homophobic bigotry is the official institutional policy of the Roman Catholic Church,” said TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen. “The American Catholic bishops have gone off the deep end with their anti-gay extremism and get crazier every day.”
“Archbishop Myers’ use of the Eucharist – the central act of Catholic worship and the cornerstone of Catholic identity – as a weapon with which to divide his flock and silence pro-equality Catholics is religion-based bigotry in its most reprehensible form,” added John Becker, Director of Communications & Development for Truth Wins Out. “Catholics believe Holy Communion to be the body and blood of Christ, and I can’t think of a greater distortion of Jesus’s message than excluding those who believe that all people, regardless of whom they love, should be equally welcome at Christ’s table.”
In Myers’ statement, he also explicitly endorses the practice of gay people marrying non-gay spouses, saying that such couples were capable of living “good, faithful, and even joyous married lives. It is a lie to say that they are living, or have lived, a lie.”
Dr. Amity Buxton, founder of the Straight Spouse Network and co-author of Unseen-Unheard: Journey of Straight Spouses, strongly disagrees with Myers’ claim:
“While some gay/straight marriages work and some may even be happy, hiding a part of oneself from one’s mate is not only dishonest but also harmful to one’s own integrity or wholeness. In the many cases where gay or lesbian spouses eventually come out, after struggling to be straight for years, the revelation makes straight spouses realize they have been unknowingly living someone else’s lie,” she told TWO. “Their own identity, integrity, and belief system are shattered. It takes three to six years for them to to reconfigure self-confidence and trust. Since most couples divorce after disclosure, their children have to grow up in a broken family.
In an interview with the Record, a northern New Jersey newspaper, Myers blamed the media, divorce, and contraception for the surge in social acceptance for same-sex marriage. He also indicated that he didn’t believe polls showing that a majority of Catholics support marriage equality.
“Despite what Abp. Myers may wish to believe, polls consistently show that Catholics support LGBT rights, including full civil marriage equality, at a higher rate than the general public,” said Becker. “When he says that Catholics who don’t subscribe to that church’s Stone-Age sexual mores are unworthy of full participation in the Church, he’s not marginalizing a small sliver of the Catholic population, but nearly three-fourths of all Catholics in America. With prelates like Myers promulgating these appallingly divisive and discriminatory views, it’s no wonder that membership in the Catholic Church is falling fast and priestly vocations have cratered.”
Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to create a world where LGBT people can live openly, honestly, and true to themselves. TWO monitors anti-LGBT organizations, documents their lies, and exposes their leaders. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating, and fighting for LGBT equality.