As a baptized Catholic in a long-term loving and committed same-sex relationship, I feel compelled to respond to the letter from the vicar general with approval of Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison diocese.

The scandal spelled out with these “considerations” lies totally with the hierarchy. It is clear there is complete lack of understanding of sexual orientation or identity on the part of the local bishop. We are all created in God’s image, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics. The lack of pastoral care from this diocese is sad. Jesus always hung out with those who were marginalized. He had choice words for the pharisees, as does Pope Francis.

When gay folks, including clergy, try to deny their sexuality, we often become victims of alcohol and other drug abuse. With sobriety and acceptance of self comes freedom to love God and self as gifts from God to the church, not abominations. Further in the so-called “guidelines” to the diocesan priests, one of questions to be asked was, is the gay Catholic repentant before death? Repentant for what? For being made in God’s image.

Truth be told, most gay Catholics have not left the church, but the institutional church has left us. We appreciate all the priests who are gifted to minister to and with us. We apologize to all the extended gay family members who are also victims of this rhetoric coming from the Madison diocese.

Jim Green, Middleton

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