More than sixty church workers have lost their jobs in LGBT-related disputes since 2008, but the recent news of Tony Spence’s departure from Catholic News Service(CNS) gained wider attention in Catholic media because of his high-profile position.
Spence was director and editor-in-chief of CNS, which is owned by the USCCB. His forced resignation has chilling implications for church workers and for the bishops’ conference. It raises troubling questions for the U.S. church primarily because the USCCB responded so swiftly and completely to accusations leveled against Spence by several small right-wing Catholic groups. The alleged offenses for which Tony Spence was fired are sending tweets about LGBT news stories. For example, in one tweet he described a story about transgender Catholics sharing their stories as “fascinating.” In another, he called anti-LGBT laws in places like Mississippi and North Carolina “stupid.”
Robert Mickens, writing in Commonweal, said the Spence situation was “further enabling homophobic and hate-mongering heretic hungers” on the church’s right wing. Mickens said the USCCB caved to the extremist attacks on Spence, and without warning, asked for his resignation, despite his sterling professional record which includes being an advisor to the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
Source: Bondings 2.0