Gay Catholic delivers 18,000 signatures to bishop asking to be reinstated
From Religion News Service 11 April 2013
A gay man ousted from posts at his Long Island parish after a critic complained that he had married his partner delivered a petition with more than 18,000 signatures on Thursday (April 11) to Bishop William Murphy, asking to be reinstated.
“Bishop Murphy, please let Nicholas Coppola resume volunteering at his parish – and make it clear that faithful gay and lesbian Catholics are welcome to participate fully in parish life in your diocese,” reads the petition. Murphy is longtime head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre.
According to gay activist network GLAAD, which has been assisting Coppola, a security guard at the diocese agreed to deliver the petition but said that neither Murphy nor diocesan officials would meet with Coppola and representatives of the activist groups who accompanied him.
The diocese later released a statement saying that it “respects those who may have signed a petition” but said that it cannot change church teaching against gay marriage and expects others to respect that position as well.
Catholic doctrine “is not discrimination against homosexual men and women” and “no one has a right to discriminate against persons because of sexual orientation,” Murphy said in the statement.
But “all church institutions and teachers of the faith are bound to support this teaching, particularly by their public action,” the statement added.
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