In the increasing hot culture war, the Catholic Church is going to be torched more and more often. Here is an example.
A disturbing article appeared in the site NorthJersey.com.
East Rutherford Catholic church’s gay music director to quit over priest’s sermon
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
BY DEON J. HAMPTON
EAST RUTHERFORD – A gay [I detest the misappropriation of that word] Catholic church musician on Wednesday said he will voluntarily leave his post in two weeks because his pastor allegedly created a hostile work environment after preaching against homosexuality. [I wonder how many staffers using contraception would be willing to do the same?]
“Marriage between two men is a lie,” Robert Russell, who has been a music minister at St. Joseph Parish for 22 years, said the newly appointed pastor preached to the congregation July 10. [That was a sentence?]
The Rev. Joseph Astarita, who became pastor of the church in July, declined to comment.
Jim Goodness, Archdiocese of Newark spokesman, also declined to comment on the resignation. But he did say, “Catholic churches are allowed to employ people based on [the church’s] belief.”
[Get this one...] The Vatican does not condone homosexuality.
“My feeling at that point was to walk out,” Russell, 58, of Hackensack said of the alleged comments made during the sermon. “But I didn’t because I have a responsibility to the choir and church.”
He said he met with Astarita in August to discuss the remarks and to reveal he was gay and had a partner of 15 years.
“His comments against gay marriage were insensitive and uncomfortable,” said Russell, who admitted he felt pressured to leave his job. He has retained attorney David L. Wikstrom.
Wikstrom said that Russell “couldn’t properly perform his work because of his sexuality, thus creating a hostile and adverse work environment.”
According to Russell, the pastor expressed concern about his involvement in a yet-to-be created children’s choir and allegedly told him he would be a “poor example.”
Longtime church member Pam Lakefield was in the congregation when Astarita preached the sermon and said his comments were “offensive,” and that the priest is teaching horrible thoughts.
“He’s losing parishioners,” said Lakefield, a member since 1970, who is strongly considering leaving the church. [Same ol' same ol'...]
St. Joseph members say the church has traditionally been liberal, but the pastor is “ultra-conservative.” [blah blah blah]
The parish was once led by the Rev. Mychal Judge, chaplain of the New York Fire Department who was the first confirmed death of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In the years since his death, it has been widely reported that Judge was a celibate gay priest.
Russell said the church has been run by the Franciscan order for the past 99 years. But the order gave up the church in July due to low staffing numbers and the archdiocese took over in July, he said. Astarita joined the church after the change.
Russell said his last day will be Sept. 30.
“I felt his words were an attack on my integrity and I felt it was hostile and it was harassment.”
Rather PC, no? Lot’s of twists and turns to that twisty turny piece.