November 29, 2005

Vatican edict tests faith, gay group says

Miami Herald


True to Catholic tradition, Joe Mele marched a crucifix to the altar ahead of the priest this past Sunday, rang the Sanctus bell at the right times and pressed a wine-filled chalice to the lips of the faithful during Communion, solemnly intoning the words ``the blood of Christ.''

But when asked what he thought about the Vatican, which is expected to issue an edict today barring most gay seminarians, Mele, 58, arched a bushy eyebrow and wryly asked, ``Who?''

Hard feelings toward the Vatican run strong among congregants at the weekly services held by Dignity USA, a national organization for gay and lesbian Catholics that is not recognized by the Archdiocese of Miami, nor, at a national level, by the Roman Catholic Church.

Mele is one of 40 or so members of the group's Fort Lauderdale chapter. Like them, he struggled with the Vatican's hard line against homosexuality, before reaching the heartfelt conclusion that he was entitled to practice his faith as a homosexual, regardless of what the church's highest earthly authority said.

Posted by kshaw at November 29, 2005 07:58 AM