If there’s any doubt that “fear” is the right description here, just read the following quote from Archbishop James Weisgerber:
“He’s not being excluded because he’s homosexual. He’s being excluded because he takes public opposition to an important teaching of the church……I kept hearing more and more objections, and I began to do some research and I realized that he has taken very public and a very clear opposition to the church’s teachings in this area. That’s a very different matter.”
So, if Mr. Loney were just a closeted homosexual — a man who was not public about who he is and how he understands his God-given sexuality — then all would be ok? Church leaders like Archbishop Weisgerber do a grave injustice to the Church’s mission to constantly seek the truth and to grow in understanding about all things. By encouraging silence rather than dialogue, the good archbishop is failing in his pastoral duty and responsibility “not to lord it over” those entrusted to his care. A truly good shepherd listens to and embraces ALL his people, not just those whose raise their voices the loudest in condemning others.