06/15/2011 10:57 am ET Updated Aug 15, 2011

Selective Welcoming in the Catholic Church

It took me a day before I could bring myself to finish reading The Boston Globe article on the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston's decision to ban a scheduled Mass with the theme "All are Welcome." St. Cecilia Parish had planned the Mass to commemorate Boston's Gay Pride month. Spokespersons for the diocese believe it gave an unintended impression that the Mass is in support of Gay Pride week. The article cites the source of the opposition stemming from a post by a local blogger, Joe Sacerdo. "There's not a place for a Mass like that in the Catholic Church." Hmm ... the Mass is not a place to celebrate Gospel values of love, mercy, peace, reconciliation, non-judgment ... confusing indeed.

Mr. Sacerdo claims that his position is not based in hate or lack of acceptance of people with "same-sex attractions." The Catholic Church, he explains "believes sex between men and men, or sex between women and women, is morally wrong and sinful. Period."

I get that ... but please correct me if I am wrong. I thought churches were for sinners? As a life-long practicing Catholic who has a committed a few sins in my lifetime (some of the sins are the same ones over and over again), I don't ever recall experiencing that I was not welcomed at Mass as result of my sins.

If churches are for sinners, then why are only gay and lesbian sinners excluded? Why are only sexual sins of gays and lesbians off putting? What about heterosexuals who commit sexual sins? What about gay and lesbians who are celibate; for example, the many priests and women religious who are gay or lesbian? Are they welcomed? If you have same sex attractions, say in your dreams, does that count for being excluded? If you have sex with the same gender and go to confession, are you eligible to be welcomed at Mass?

How can a Mass with a theme that all are welcomed -- even in Gay Pride Month -- be so offensive? Most confusing indeed.