In the aftermath of the bombshell from Obama on Tuesday that he no longer intends to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, I missed an opportunity to immediately blog about a story that came out earlier that same day.
Several weeks ago I wrote that the Gay Liberation Network was planning to host a sidewalk demonstration in front of Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago (see my original post for the full back-story).
What was the offense committed by these unsuspecting Catholics? They believe that marriage is only between one man and one woman.
This simple fact was offensive enough to the Gay Liberation Network that they decided to protest the Mass, complete with chants, rainbow flags, and nasty placards and banners (see some of them pictured to the right).
This sort of protest in front of a religious service is not an isolated occurrence. As I’ll detail further down, it’s happening around the country and around the world, too.
Cardinal George responded to the protest with a statement, which concluded this way: “No matter the issue, Catholics should be able to worship in peace, without fear of harassment,” he continued. “An open display of prejudice against the Catholic Church because of resentment of Church teachings prejudices civil discourse in our society.”
What does the Cardinal mean by an “open display of prejudice”? See for yourself:
There’s a silver lining here: faithful Catholics who heard about this planned protest showed up as well to show solidarity with the Church’s position. Some of them wore “Love is the Answer” t-shirts. I like and agree with that message. After all, Christ reveals to us what true love is.
It turned out to be a bit providential that I was delayed in writing about this protest, because just yesterday I came across this inspiring story about how Catholics in Peru defended their Church when gay activists tried to stage a “kiss in” before their Cathedral (underlining mine):
On Saturday, Feb. 19, hundreds of Peruvian Catholics gathered at the entrance to the Cathedral of Lima to pray a Rosary for Peace in response to a “Kiss-in Against Homophobia” organized by a small group of homosexuals and lesbians just a few yards away from the church.
This was the second time gay activists staged a “kiss-in,” after their first protest ended with police forcibly removing them from the steps of the cathedral on Feb. 12.
This time they came with the explicit blessing of Lima’s mayor, Susana Villaran, who has voiced her support for homosexual unions on numerous occasions.
Despite a heavy media campaign to promote the Feb. 19 “kiss-in,” only eight people showed up in Lima’s central square.
In response to the planned protest, some 200 Catholics showed up at 3:30 p.m. outside the cathedral and formed a human barrier for more than three hours. The group spent the time peacefully praying the Rosary and singing hymns.
The group of Catholics promised they would gather again if the gay activists staged another protest.
This quote from one of the organizers of the peaceful counter-demonstration is beautiful:
“The Catholic Church isn’t a pile of bricks. The Church is all of us Catholics who live and profess our faith,” Freundt said.
Amen to that!
Those Peruvian Catholics and the faithful Catholics who came to Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago last weekend have it right: we have to defend our Church, because it protects the truth about love and human fulfillment which sets us all free. We have to show up with our bodies (and our hearts and minds as well) to defend the wonderful gifts God has given us.
That’s how we’ll show love to those who hate us. That’s what Christ did. We can do no less.