But for a spelling mistake and a broken washing machine my pastor may have continued down an unknown road.  Normally I attend an 8:30 Mass on Sunday mornings.  Last weekend I was getting ready to go when a friend e-mailed me and explained there was a terrible spelling error in something I wrote about the late “Beau” Biden.  Mortified I started looking for my mistake and finally found it on my Twitter feed.  I had called the former Delaware attorney general a “mice” man instead of a “nice” man.  I corrected my mistake but was late for church.  Instead I went to the 10:30 service.  As I explained last week there were two men there and I had seen them before.  They were featured a few days earlier in the local newspaper celebrating at their wedding reception.  They received communion last week.  I wasn’t sure my pastor knew their back story but in the days that followed some acquaintances from Catholic radio explained he very well knew and was rebuffing questions from members of the parish.

I took to the web, radio and wrote diocesan offices.  The latter was the least successful effort.  No one in Boise wanted anything to do with the crisis.  After a series of e-mails with the communication director my missives became a one-way street.

This morning I planned on my usual 8:30 service but when I went to dry some clothes I would be wearing the dryer bit the dust.  I had to wait several hours for them to dry in a breeze.  As I arrived for the 10:30 Mass I spotted Fr. Mike chatting amiably with the two married men and thought it a lost cause.  Then he chatted with some old women and wandered into the sacristy.  As I knelt to pray the same-sex couple simply rose and walked out of the church.  They don’t recognize me, I guess, so all was quiet.  After the procession Fr. Mike glanced to where they would be seated and I saw an unpleasant look cross his face.  Then his gaze moved half-a-dozen rows back and he saw me.  The expression on his face now looked even more unpleasant.

I had been told Father had last week cut off a communion server for even asking questions about the men being provided the sacrament.  I found myself before the same server today and he gave me a broad smile as he said, “Body of Christ!”

I guess this means someone got the message.  I must admit I felt badly for the two men as they left.  Clearly their feelings were hurt, however.  We aren’t guaranteed pain free lives.  I prayed as they left and asked God to forgive me and forgive them.  I also prayed and asked the Lord if I was wrong to please show me the right way.

It’s possible the same-sex couple didn’t know the position of the Church on their relationship.  On the other hand their use of local newspaper and television media raise concerns this is part of a much larger challenge.  The Bride of Christ certainly doesn’t recognize their civil vows.  Increasingly we’re seeing pressure where government orders religious institutions to violate conscience.  God-given First Amendment rights may be subservient to not hurting the feelings of men and women with alternate lifestyles.

Is the Law of God flexible? Courtesy, Bill Colley
Is the Law of God flexible? Courtesy, Bill Colley
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As for me I’m now terribly uncomfortable attending Mass at St. Edward the Confessor.  On Saturday night I went so far as to peruse the website of the local Eastern Church.  Unlike the Roman Church the Eastern Orthodox aren’t currently in media and liberal crosshairs.  The target isn’t large enough to satisfy the totalitarian and politically correct left.  Not yet.  If the largest domino falls the others will follow.  I’m also somewhat concerned about yours truly.  Now I’ve got a target on my back, as usual.  What keeps me going?  Look, I’m much closer to the end of life than the beginning.  The worst they can do is kill me.

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May I share one other point.  Some say this should be a matter kept hushed within the walls of the Church.  I disagree.  This is one of the greatest challenges of our modern era and we need a public discussion.