Reflections on the Pope

March 01, 2005

To the Editor:

Thank you for the powerful reflection on news reports that Pope John Paul II has linked same-sex marriage to “an ideology of evil” in a forthcoming book (“A Pontiff Beyond the Pale,” by Paul Schindler, Feb. 24-Mar.2). As members of Dignity, the organization for LGBT Catholics, we have spoken out loudly over the years against each of the outrageous lies about our lives, relationship and families mentioned in your essay. Like you, we believe that the pope, Vatican officials and the bishops must be held fully accountable for the un-Christian and often violent actions against members of our community that have been motivated by statements such as these.

We have no illusions that the thinking of these high-ranking officials of the Catholic Church can be easily changed, if at all. But we are encouraged by enormous progress in the development of more affirming attitudes toward LGBT people among ordinary Catholics, and believe that the Catholic Church as an institution must eventually reflect these changing attitudes. Further, we continue to embrace the many positive and inclusive aspects of our faith tradition, which teaches at the most fundamental level that God is love, and that all who abide in love abide in God.

Jeff Stone

Secretary Dignity/New York

February 25, 2005

To the Editor:

I am responding to Paul Schindler’s letter from the editor "Pontiff Beyond the Pale.” I found Schindler’s observation about William Donohue’s comments interesting. However, over the years I know who likes my core identification and who does not. I can assure you William Donohue does not like my core identification. Forget the olive branch, work on reconciliation.

The gay parents in California have not had their children removed from the Catholic School system, nor has any significant Catholic voice supported such a fundamentalist logic. You need to give more credit to Catholic lay people.

Concerning Schindler’s comment about his faith. Certainly he has prayed over this. I respect his decision, and only hope he has not thrown out the baby with the bath water. I am a Vietnam veteran, and because I believed in peace, fellow Americans thought I should leave the country. That is what I mean by throwing out the baby with the water.

The pope is a product of homophobia, news flash. I wonder how many gay journalists would stand up against gay bar owners on the issue of drugs, promiscuity and AIDS? It is possible to be in a faithful LGBT relationship in the LGBT community but that message is hidden in some LGBT press. Perhaps reflection is called for.

Joe Murray

U.S. Convener Rainbow Sash Movement


Art and Politics

February 27, 2005

To the Editor:

Did Gregory Montreuil see the same show at Artist’s Space that I did (“Cabin Fever,” Feb. 24-Mar. 2)?

It is hard to fathom how anyone could have curated a more amateur, lamer show, hard to imagine that there are that many untalented gay artists in New York City peddling similar interpretations of the same shopworn clichés at any one point in time.

Gay City News is generally a good paper, but a more mature and discerning eye from your reviewers would be most welcome. Here is a hint for future reviews: just because the artists are gay, doesn’t mean that the show is good. The concept of the “Log Cabin” show held great promise, but if this show truly represented the best of a younger generation of artists examining "the impact of a neo-conservative agenda within the queer community," then we all might do better to just embrace the dominant paradigm and stay home watching re-runs of Lawrence Welk from the Nixon era.

At a time of great turmoil when true art is sorely needed, this show offered not a "cacophony of viewpoints" but a cacophony of… umm… crap.

Jack Murray

Jersey City


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