Today's L.A. Times
reports (click on this post's title) on yesterday's centennial Mass at St. Victor Parish in West Hollywood.
In case you do not know about St. Victor Parish, here is the first entry that turned up in a Web search on "St. Victor" and "West Hollywood" (I've put brackets around the entry):
[St. Victor's Catholic Church
Urban community of faith that welcomes all, regardless of race, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation.
Category: California > West Hollywood > Catholic
Now you know. Here are excerpts from the Times
report on the 100th anniversary Mass:
"On Saturday, with the church's choir and massive pipe organ in full voice, the narrative of St. Victor's was given thunderous celebration at a centenary Mass presided over by Cardinal Roger Mahony, who said the church has had a 'wonderful 100-year span.' In his sermon, he spoke of the importance of the broader church to be inclusive to all people.
"The present-day uniqueness of St. Victor's, said Msgr. Jeremiah Murphy, who is 69 and has been pastor at the church since 2000, is traceable in part to the congregation's sizable contingent of entertainment industry hopefuls and gays....
"Beginning with [former and now emeritus pastor Msgr. George] Parnassus' tenure, the parish long has been welcoming to gays.
"Catholic doctrine forbidding gay marriage and Pope Benedict XVI's declaration that men with 'deep-seated' homosexual tendencies should not be allowed to enroll in seminaries have fed the widespread perception that the church and gays are adversaries. The perception, Murphy said, is a false one.
"'I find the gay community takes religion seriously and are very faithful to religious exercise — saying the rosary, doing meditation, going to church,' he said. 'That may be the reason they're hurt more when the church is portrayed as against them.'
"Sexual orientation is irrelevant to religious belief, said church member John Aiello, a 46-year-old former casting director. Aiello is chairman of the church's finance committee and life partner of 52-year-old Bryan Smith, a lawyer and recent Catholic convert who sings bass in the choir.
"'Our faith is our faith,' he said. 'It's spiritual. It's not political. It's not an orientation thing.'
"Gay church members include those who have committed themselves to chastity — a requirement for receiving the Eucharist — as well as those who are [homo]sexually active.
"'We try to shepherd them toward the ideal,' Murphy said, 'but we also accept them as they are and honor their contributions to the church and to society.'
"St. Victor's also has fostered candidates for the priesthood. One of four newly ordained priests from Los Angeles County is from St. Victor's, with six other parish men in various stages along the route to priesthood."
So the parish finance committee chairman is the "life partner" of another man.
It would be nice, to say the least, if the Cardinal and the pastor would clarify in unmistakable terms for the public that "inclusive to all people" and "we also accept them as they are" must never include giving absolution in Confession, and giving Communion, to anyone who commits homosexual sins without repentance, Confession, penance and a firm purpose of amendment.
It would also be nice if the Cardinal and the pastor would clarify in unmistakable terms that anyone with "deep-seated tendencies" may not be admitted to the seminary or Holy Orders.