One re­li­gion, dif­fer­ent view­points

Catholics in Los An­ge­les see the same- sex mar­riage rul­ing in dis­parate lights.

Los Angeles Times - - CALIFORNIA - By Cindy Car­camo

The U. S. Supreme Court’s rul­ing in fa­vor of same- sex mar­riage na­tion­wide makes sense to Marcelino Victorio. The 43- year- old Catholic said he be­lieves that as long as there is love, the cou­ple’s gen­ders shouldn’t mat­ter.

“They should have the right to marry,” he said.

Just a few feet away Maria Flores, 52, said she re­spects the high court’s de­ci­sion but doesn’t agree with it be­cause it doesn’t align with the Bi­ble’s teach­ings.

On Sun­day, Victorio and Flores lis­tened to a ser­mon at the Epis­co­pal Church of the Mes­siah in Santa Ana. Although both said that their faith shapes their takes on same­sex mar­riage, their views re­main far apart.

The dis­parate opin­ions on the court’s his­toric de­ci­sion are in­dica­tive of how the is­sue has po­lar­ized peo­ple of faith across the na­tion.

Even in Cal­i­for­nia — long pro­gres­sive on same- sex mar­riage — the faith com­mu­nity’s opin­ion is as di­verse as the state’s pop­u­la­tion.

Although the Catholic Church of­fi­cially con­demns same- sex mar­riage, Pope Fran­cis has of­fered a more le­nient view on gen­der iden­tity, re­spond­ing “Who am I to judge?” when asked about his views on ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity — a move

that caused a stir not only among Catholics but world­wide.

At the Cathe­dral of Our Lady of the An­gels in down­town L. A., Lu­cille Leal said she was “sad” about the rul­ing, call­ing it the latest in a string of “im­moral­ity.”

“I’d love to see it over­turned,” said the 87- yearold, who serves as a Eucharis­tic min­is­ter at the church. “It’s go­ing to bring a lot of changes in our so­ci­ety, and I don’t know if we are ready for all these changes.”

Chuck Blair, a 31- year- old Catholic vis­it­ing from Min­neapo­lis, also dis­agrees with the court’s rul­ing. Still, he said, it’s time to move on.

“There are big­ger f ish to fry,” he said. “Poverty, there are peo­ple go­ing hun­gry. The church does more than just marry peo­ple. It buries peo­ple, bap­tizes peo­ple.... In the great scheme of things, life goes on.”

One con­gre­gant, who has at­tended the church for four years but didn’t want to give her full name for fear of reper­cus­sions, called the rul­ing “awe­some.”

“I be­lieve quiet prayer changes things,” the 45year- old woman said. “I think the Catholic Church needs to em­brace love be­fore em­brac­ing rea­sons to be afraid.”

Arch­bishop Jose H. Gomez of the Arch­dio­cese of Los An­ge­les, who cel­e­brated the 10 a. m. Mass, did not re­fer specif­i­cally to the court’s rul­ing dur­ing his ser­mon. But in a state­ment that ap­peared in the church’s online news­let­ter Fri­day, Gomez said that the “Supreme Court’s de­ci­sion is not a sur­prise. But it is dis­ap­point­ing and trou­bling.”

“The court ac­knowl­edges that mar­riage has ex­isted ‘ for mil­len­nia and across civ­i­liza­tions,’ ” Gomez said. “So it is hard to un­der­stand how the court can feel so as­sured that it has the power to dis­card and re­write the def­i­ni­tion of mar­riage that has ex­isted since the be­gin­ning of history — as the life­long union of one man and one woman.”

At the Epis­co­pal Church of the Mes­siah, the Rev. Abel E. Lopez took the same- sex mar­riage is­sue head on dur­ing the Span­ish- lan­guage ser­vice. He called the court’s land­mark de­ci­sion an “im­por­tant step for­ward for lib­erty and jus­tice for all.” He said the move would bring “heal­ing” to the na­tion.

Lopez also warned con­gre­gants to not dis­crim­i­nate against les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der peo­ple, say­ing that they were in dan­ger of “los­ing their soul” if they did so.

“The love of God is for ev­ery­one, and if we don’t love ev­ery­one, as God loves us, we are frauds,” he said.

Irene Bautista, who has at­tended the church for the last 27 years and sings in the choir, said she may not agree with the court’s rul­ing but said she re­spects it and ev­ery­one else’s opin­ion on the mat­ter.

“Who am I to judge?” she said. “Only God can judge.”

Christina House For The Times

PARISH­IONERS at the Cathe­dral of Our Lady of the An­gels two days af­ter the high court ruled on same- sex mar­riage.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.