Keep Politics Outside the Church Doors

No matter the issue, politics really don't have a part to play in a house of worship. Well-intentioned as the advocacy may be, it degrades the effort to create a universal, accepting church.

The Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, has made Mass political.

According to an Associated Press report, the diocese is apparently asking its priests to take up a special, second collection during services this weekend to raise money to give to activist groups trying to reverse a law that allows gay marriage in the state.

The offense of banning gays from marrying is only part of the diocese’s breach of morality. It spits in the face of all the good things a Catholic Mass tries to accomplish. First, church and God and religion should not be muddied in politics. Church is for transcending the vulgar in the hope of something better.

Not only that, but Mass is when Catholics come together to hope as a community. Fighting to exclude gays from marrying is not in line with the effort to create a universal church. And perhaps moreover, taking up a collection during Mass over a divisive issue — divisive even among heterosexuals — destroys any chance of receiving the body and blood in a friendly, communal way.

The Catholic Church does many great works and has been a vehicle for hope, solidarity and learning for 2,000 years. But it threatens to negate all that good with political statements and exclusionary teachings that, to many people, look a lot like hate.

— Ben Wolford
Managing editor

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