Massachusetts | News | Religion

Massachusetts Church Sends And Then Removes Anti-Gay Message


Above you see the recent message sent by St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet, Massachusetts. It reads "Two men are friends, not spouses."

The church's director, Steven Guillotte, insists it is a neutral message. "We don't feel that there's anything hateful in it," he said.

Protester Kim Miska, however, sees things differently: "I think it was bigoted ... very ignorant. You can believe in what you want to believe in, but there's no reason to shove it down everybody's throat.”

The church has since removed the message, put up Tuesday, and replaced it with a more neutral message about the upcoming mass, yet deny their decision is over any kind of protest.

The message below the sign, in case you can't read it, says, "You may not be welcome at this church, but all people are welcome in this community. Spread love, not hate."

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  1. Two messages, one from church full of hate on a billboard. The other one written in a paper full of love. Shows how love always wins hate.

    Posted by: Matt26 | May 16, 2012 3:43:01 PM

  2. It's stunning to me how the haters never see themselves and their actions clearly. They are always so stunned when they are called out on their hatred. It makes me wonder how truly miserable their daily lives must be if they can't even recognize that this kind of message is, in fact, hateful.

    Posted by: kit | May 16, 2012 3:51:34 PM

  3. That is a particularly eloquent and awesome response to teh church's hateful message. It's simplicity speaks to its sincerity.

    Posted by: MT | May 16, 2012 3:51:56 PM

  4. Since under MA law two man can in fact be spouses, and in 1000s of cases are, that church is deliberately spreading falsehoods. God would not approve.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 16, 2012 4:00:13 PM

  5. Catholic priests have no business lecturing anyone about marriage, which is an institution with which they have no personal experience.

    Go ahead. Keep on flogging that hateful opinion (and it's just that... a simple opinion... no better than anyone else's). It's clear to everyone that the society is racing toward equality at what amounts to break-neck speed. You'll hate yourselves into utter irrelevance, spend generations living down the horrible rhetoric of your predecessors, and then maybe... just maybe... many decades from now... you'll find your true calling and focus on love and charity and kindness.

    And three cheers for whomever put that sign up there. That's love for your fellow man right there. The churchgoers could take a lesson.

    Posted by: The Milkman | May 16, 2012 4:08:35 PM

  6. Thanks to Tim last week ......I quote again his reference:

    As Holden Caulfield said;
    "Old Jesus would just puke."

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | May 16, 2012 4:13:32 PM

  7. @ERNIE
    We don't always agree, but I feel very respectful of you when you say such smart things. You have left me nothing to add.

    Posted by: NullNaught | May 16, 2012 4:19:24 PM

    The pope and bishops are conducting WAR against you. I suggest you to to your church before mass and stand on the front steps, telling everyone that you won't be going in, and asking them to withhold donations until this changes.
    Or you can be "nice catholics" about it

    Posted by: Bob | May 16, 2012 4:32:51 PM

  9. The church's sign makes about as much sense as if it said "Divorce doesn't exist." It quite simply is not true.

    Posted by: Kenneth | May 16, 2012 4:36:52 PM

  10. One Black woman and One White man are Friends, not spouses. Is that neutral also? Must be.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | May 16, 2012 4:47:45 PM

  11. @Kenneth: Ah, but the Church has "redefined" divorce. They call it "annulment"...

    Apparently they're in favor of "redefinition" when it benefits them, and against it when it punishes those they hate.

    Posted by: Vint | May 16, 2012 4:49:28 PM

  12. My anger fills me. I was a priest at this parish for three years. It seems like a long time ago and I have grown and traveled far.
    I feel the sentiments expressed in the paper sign speak the mind of the good people of this church. The church sign expressed the bigotry and ignorance of the catholic hiararchy. May their power die as the sunshine warms the earth.

    Posted by: frank | May 16, 2012 5:31:25 PM

  13. Hate in the name of religion is bigotry and delusional NOT belief.

    Posted by: Brian B. | May 16, 2012 5:31:51 PM

  14. @Vint: I've always been curious (but obviously not enough to research), in the eyes of the church, an annuled marriage in effect never existed, correct? What, then, is the status of the children produced by the marriage that never existed? Are they bastards to Mother Church? My soon-to-be ex-sister-in-law is catholic. I'm assuming she'll go for an annulment, but what about the 3 nieces & 1 nephew I have?

    I'm with you, the very hypocrisy of the church using re-definition when it suits very catholic.

    Posted by: jim | May 16, 2012 5:50:41 PM

  15. @Jim: The children of an annulled marriage are considered legitimate. (Canon 1137 in the Code of Canon Law specifically states this). This seems to be based on expediency rather than logic.

    I can't imagine it would make much difference in any case. The Church's opinion of someone's legitimacy matters only if they want to become a priest, I think. And really, there are easier ways to date altar boys.

    Posted by: Vint | May 16, 2012 6:26:58 PM

  16. Reminds me of when I was a youngin' back in the 60's. At family gatherings, Unlce John was always with his "friend" with whom he lived for 47 years!

    Posted by: pete | May 16, 2012 6:34:08 PM

  17. Leave them a protest voice mail at 2am:

    133 Main Street Acushnet, MA 02743
    (508) 998-7445

    Posted by: Rod | May 16, 2012 8:55:38 PM

  18. I'm grasping at straws to see how this is not a hateful message.

    Posted by: Lis | May 16, 2012 9:50:04 PM

  19. All religion is bat sh*t crazy. Break free of it and live full and happy lives.

    Posted by: Giles | May 17, 2012 7:15:21 AM

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