On Wednesday, June 27, the U. S. Supreme Court handed down two decisions – on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Amendment – that eviscerated legal marriage in the United States. The following Sunday thus offered Catholic priests an opportunity to articulate the Church’s definition of what marriage is.
At San Francisco’s St. Ignatius Church, the 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday, June 30 was celebrated by the church’s pastor, Father Gregory Bonfiglio, S.J. Father Bonfiglio chose to read a letter written by Father John Whitney, S.J, of St. Joseph’s Church in Seattle. In the letter, titled “Why am I in the parade?” which ran to 1,098 words, Father Whitney justified his presence in Seattle’s Gay Pride parade. The letter was published in St. Joseph’s June 23 parish bulletin. In the letter Father Whitney equated Church teaching on homosexuality with Old Testament dietary restrictions and repeated the long-debunked assertion that the word “faggot” comes from faggot of wood.