In much of Europe, and in South Africa where I come from, May 1st is the time to remember and honour labour and workers’ rights. Catholics who feel marginalized and offended by Catholic teaching on sexuality and sexual ethics are often reminded of the forgotten treasure of the Catholic Church, its valuable social teaching. For the past century and more, that social teaching has included an important emphasis on the rights of workers. As in so many other areas however, the Church itself does not practice what it preaches.
The Americans celebrate Labor Day today – and at Bondings, Francis DeBenardo has a useful suggestion: let us remember those LGBT people who have lost their jobs with the Catholic Church, simply for their insistence on living lives of honesty and integrity, obedient to the words of scripture, and inappropriately quoted by then Cardinal Ratzinger of the CDF in his infamous Hallowe’en letter on the pastoral care of homosexual persons, “Speak the truth in love”.
On Labor Day, Let’s Remember LGBT People Fired from Catholic Institutions