As a Catholic for 70 years, I have a deep sense of shame over the recent advisory from the bishop's office on funerals for gay people. It reminds me of the time before Vatican II when suicide victims were given restricted funeral rites and buried in a separate section of the church cemetery.

Vatican II gave us Catholics hope, as well as new guidance. Using one's conscience was deemed essential in all moral decisions.

Being gay is not a "lifestyle." Neither is it a choice. How can we in good conscience condemn people for accepting and living out their sexuality, which was given by God?

Regretfully, Bishop Robert Morino has tried to step back from Vatican II. Besides encouragement of the Latin Mass, a return to communion is on the tongue and, most notably, a re-emphasis on church law over the role of conscience and human needs.

My parents used to affirm the church teachings that each person is made in the image and likeness of Christ, suggesting that "if you don't see Christ, you aren't looking hard enough."

So my plea to the bishop is this: Use your conscience, open your eyes, see the image. Minister to everyone.

Gregory Sheehy, Middleton

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