Thursday, December 25, 2008

What Would Jesus Do?

While other Catholic dioceses reach out to gays, Tucson's Bishop Kicanas refuses to show the love

(Editor's Note: Tim Vanderpool of the Tucson Weekly has a great article in their current edition about Tucson's Roman Catholic Bishop, Gerald Kicanas, the same one who wrote and spoke out in favor of Arizona's Proposition 102.)

Terry McGuirk calls himself a "cradle-to-grave Catholic." And he's as dedicated as any good Catholic can be, with stubborn faith and a bulldog loyalty. At 72, he's also enough of a curmudgeon to grouse over the hurt he feels.

McGuirk says Tucson's diocese deliberately turned its back on gays like him. "That," he grumbles, "really pisses me off." Look into his eyes, and you know it cuts even deeper.

He emerged from the closet 30 years ago, never an easy step, but particularly hard for old-schoolers coming of age in the paranoid, corseted 1950s. Still, he felt welcomed by the late Manuel Moreno, who was named Tucson's bishop in 1982. Even when Moreno fell ill, surrogates celebrated Mass for gays, lesbians and for those suffering from AIDS.

That all changed, McGuirk says, when Bishop Gerald Kicanas succeeded Moreno in 2003. Kicanas quickly disbanded the gay and lesbian task force Moreno had begun, and Moreno's gay Mass. In the last two statewide general elections, he also enthusiastically campaigned for laws to ban gay marriage in Arizona. His political efforts proved successful this year.

Read the rest of this insightful article here.

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