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Two churches sack gay choir members – for being married

Two churches sack gay choir members – for being married

The men pictured above are two of three gay guys who are at the centre of a controversy that erupted in a tight-knit Roman Catholic Church parish north of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Last month Travis Loeffler, left, Bob Bernard and Dominic Mitchell were dismissed from their churches’ choirs after a newly appointed priest – Father John Drees – discovered they were in same sex marriages.

According to this report, Loeffler and Bob Bernard are longtime members of St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Taylors Falls and had served in the choir for a combined 22 years. Their roles in the ministry, however, came to an abrupt last December when Drees – in his first year with the parish – dismissed them both.

Fr John Drees

Loeffler’s husband Dominic Mitchell was simultaneously dismissed from his role with St Francis Xavier in Franconia.

Drees denies the move was due to the men’s sexual orientation, with Loeffler still waiting for an official explanation. Bernard, however, says the reason was clear to him from the beginning.

[I was let go] because I entered into a civil marriage with another man. We understand what the church’s teachings are on marriage at the same time I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

Drees, according to this report, has refused to publicly comment on the issue, and has not talked about the dismissals in sermons, but he has reportedly questioned why he didn’t find out about the gay marriages until months into his job.

Chris Hudspeth, a trustee, said that he explained to the priest that such is the makeup of the community.

That’s why a lot of people come to Taylors Falls and St Croix Falls, (Wis) – it’s an inclusive community, and that’s why he didn’t hear anything.

In the wake of the sacking, another church Trustee Larry Julik-Heine stepped down from his position in peaceful protest.

We’re all entitled to be treated with respect and dignity. I examined my conscience and I just couldn’t support it.

Despite the incident, he remains a loyal St Joseph’s parishioner.

Bernard, who was dismissed as the parish’s only on-staff musician, insisted that he doesn’t want the issue:

To turn out to be another ‘bash the Catholic Church’ story, and we’re emphatic about that.

He said that protests and controversy would be harmful to the parish he has always loved, and cause “trauma” to many that he loves.

10 responses to “Two churches sack gay choir members – for being married”

  1. Farmer Giles says:

    Gay Bad
    Pedophile OK

  2. Italian Scallion says:

    Screw the Catholic Church. Screw “ALL” churches. When are these idiots going to grow up and act like human beings? Gay marriage or not, people should live their lives according to what they believe, not what some dumbass church dictates. Once again I say, banish “ALL” religions as they are evil and bad.

  3. John the Drunkard says:

    Why on earth SHOULDN’T this be a ‘bash the Catholic church’ story?

    And why would these men give decades of service to an organization that systematically dehumanizes them?

  4. Like all other gay Catholics, these guys must be mentally deranged to be members of one of the most homophobic Churches on the planet – one which is officially totally opposed to same sex marriage.

  5. Broga says:

    They are well out of it. What are they doing in such an outfit anyway?

  6. Italian Scallion says:

    I read with great pleasure the story of a Catholic Church being demolished in China. I loved it. All churches should be torn down.

  7. Tony says:

    Who would want to sing in a Catholic choir? Surely there are other choirs that are made up of normal people!

  8. RIchard W says:

    Sadly, those runnning this church ARE living as they believe. What they believe is that gT people should be discriminated against and single-sex marriage should not be tolerated. I think they’re bonkers, but just saying that people should live as they believe is not the answer to the issue.

  9. Here is the Roman Catholic Church’s official policy on homosexuality as stated in its catechism:

    •Homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
    •This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.
    •They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.
    •Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

  10. Robster says:

    Outrageous costumes: Yes. Impressively silly hats: Check. Hateful nonsense dogma: Yep, plenty of that. Sanctioned bigotry: Yep, that too. Why would anybody want to be a part of it?