St. Bernadette's Revokes Membership to 'Gay Friendly' Worcester Art Museum

The Catholic church and school has revoked its WAM membership, "following the direction of the Diocese of Worcester."

St. Bernadette's in Northborough, credit Charlene Arsenault, Patch
St. Bernadette's in Northborough, credit Charlene Arsenault, Patch
The day that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act), the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester posted a congratulations to the gay community and a reminder that it is welcoming to gay weddings. 

Following the announcement, St. Bernadette Church, which also runs a catholic school, revoked its membership, reported the GolocalWorcester.com. 

The museum said it received no negative feedback, according to GoLocalWorcester, but that Fr. Stephen Gemme from St. Bernadette's wrote that “We are no longer an institutional member of the Worcester Art Museum, following the direction of the Diocese of Worcester.” 

Jim Halpin July 02, 2013 at 10:11 PM
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
jane July 03, 2013 at 10:08 AM
Another loving Christian act.
Carla M. Meehan July 03, 2013 at 11:07 AM
What would Jesus say ???? This is a very sad action taken by the Worcester Diocese... again, I am disappointed by a response from the Bishop.
Jeff Amberson July 03, 2013 at 01:25 PM
With all the troubles and conflicts going on in our world today, I find it disappointing that the Diocese would choose this issue to make a stand. What ever happened to live and let live?
Jim Halpin July 03, 2013 at 02:08 PM
According to an article in the Worcester T&G, this did not come from the Diocese: "Raymond Delisle, communications director for the Diocese of Worcester, said the diocese has not directed any Catholic church or organization to discontinue support of the Worcester Art Museum."
Prometheus July 03, 2013 at 02:57 PM
So lets be clear....it is ok to be gay...it is ok to support gays...but it is not ok to disagree. And all this time I thought tolerance worked in two directions.
Jim Halpin July 03, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Fortunately, for more open minded members of St. Bernadette's, the admission to the Worcester Art Museum is free in July & August! http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/arts/x296714336/Free-admission-at-Worcester-Art-Museum-in-July-and-August#axzz2Y15JZUtf
Carla M. Meehan July 04, 2013 at 08:39 AM
So where did Fr Gemme get, “We are no longer an institutional member of the Worcester Art Museum, following the direction of the Diocese of Worcester.” ??? I "heard" that he is on vacation all of July & August so he probably won't respond until September and the Associate Paster hired to assist him will be too busy ...
Stephen Georgeson July 05, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Although there are serious doctrinal differences between my beliefs as a Christian (Southern Baptist), and the teachings of the Catholic church, I stand with Fr. Gemme on this issue and applaud his boldness in taking this action. Please understand---taking a stand against homosexuality or gay marriage is not an act of hatred toward the homosexual community...they are sinners just like the rest of us, and we all have to deal with our sin problem. Rather, it is an expression of obedience and faithfulness to Christ and Christian principles, regardless of the cost, and to remain faithful to the teachings of the Bible. We all need to study our Bible. Being a Christian doesn't mean we smile and agree with everyone and anyone. It means we have decided to follow Christ according to God's word (the Bible), and strive to align ourselves with Christian principles. Homosexuality is clearly identified as a sin in the Bible and has no place in the Christian church. This isn't my idea, it's in the Bible (Galatians 5:19-24, Romans 1:26-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9, etc). Homosexuality, along with all other sins, needs to be dealt with and turned away from (repented of). The good news is that Jesus Christ was crucified to pay the penalty for all our sins. If we surrender to Him and receive Him in our hearts and obey His commandments, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, thereby making us right with God. Again, as Christians, we love our neighbor as God loves us. But that doesn't mean we have to accept everything they do and/or believe in. Are we Christians not allowed to be as passionate and outspoken with our beliefs as the homosexual or liberal community? The "live and let live" comment goes both ways.
Jeff Amberson July 05, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Stephen, I would never deny anyone the right to speak their mind, and that includes the Church. But, at the same time, I feel an obligation to speak up when I believe any group is being unfairly treated, even under the guise of religious correctness. The God I was taught about growing up would never condone such behavior.
Jim Halpin July 05, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Stephen, since we are all "sinners" please share what museums you go to, so Fr. Gemme can withhold support from that institution too. After all, heterosexual "sinners" are just as bad as homosexual "sinners", right? We shouldn't hold one class of "sinners" to a higher standard than others, that would be discrimination.
Stephen Georgeson July 06, 2013 at 08:52 AM
This is a really complex issue that has so many facets to it...social, legal, spiritual, physical etc. It all comes down to personal convictions, doesn't it? It's hard to debate it on a bulletin board. Doesn't seem to be any depth to it this way. Wouldn't it be great to have a public dialogue? If it can be done civilly and peaceably. Anyone up for a good public debate?
Charlene Arsenault July 06, 2013 at 09:56 AM
If a public debate is decided upon, Patch would certainly like to cover it/record it and report on it. Let us know over here.
Robert Kebartas July 06, 2013 at 10:16 AM
The message of Christ seems clearly to be radical love and that there are no "others". If we had a public, civil discussion with this in mind perhaps we could all find some common ground? How could we logistically make this happen?
Jeff Gauvin July 07, 2013 at 05:05 AM
I am in complete agreement with Stephen. But please hear what I have to say as it seems him and I are the minority here. If you disagree then it seems the tendency is to look for holes to poke at instead of trying to see where we are coming from. The main point is that Christ has died our hell death (2 Corinthians 5:21). But faith in Him doesn't mean we want to go on living in sin, nor does it mean we will live without sin (Romans 6-7). But a Christian does grieve their sin and strives for repentance, not proudly live in it. I have a friend who is homosexual and believes in Christ, knows his tendencies are sinful, and is striving to honor Christ with his life. My repeated message to him is that he doesn't have to stop 'feeling' gay to belong to Jesus, he simply has to place his hope in Jesus work on the cross. I believe heaven is filled only with those who knew they were sinners and were not relying on their own goodness to save themselves (please, please read Luke 18:9-14). Love does not equal complete acceptance of another's actions or beliefs. I will always love my children, that doesn't mean I would not be grieved and plead with them to change if they are making sinful decisions, be they homosexual or heterosexual, or gluttony or gossip, etc. There is also the issue of the bible. Many seem content to cut and paste what they like, ignore the parts they don't like, and misapply other parts because they have no understanding of the context of the verse. And then there is the issue of the buzz words that are misused like 'tolerance'. I can tolerate someone's opinion and at the same time be in disagreement with them. Tolerance has become a synonym of 'acceptance.' There is much more to be said and I can already think of several questions from my own comments coming back to me. So I also agree with Stephen that a public debate is the best thing. Hopefully it can be civil, rational, and with love. That being said I've been around long enough to know that few who are entrenched will change their view, if anything perhaps we can have a better understanding of where they other person is coming from. Grace and Peace.
Robert Kebartas July 07, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Was it necessary to disavow WAM because they welcome gay marriages? If a gay couple had their reception at a local hotel would we have to avoid that hotel? What was the point of this action by Fr Gemme?
Carla M. Meehan July 07, 2013 at 04:37 PM
If, indeed "Raymond Delisle, communications director for the Diocese of Worcester, said the diocese has not directed any Catholic church or organization to discontinue support of the Worcester Art Museum." what gave Fr. Gemme the authority to state, “We are no longer an institutional member of the Worcester Art Museum, following the direction of the Diocese of Worcester.” ??? Who IS Fr Gemme? How does his "authority" over rule his diocese? OR was he stating Fr Gemme's opinion on the issue? I found it very encouraging when the Supreme Court stepped into the 21st century last week and ruled for the change in the legality of "Gay Marriage." But, rather sad that the "Roman Catholic Church" (RCC) maintains an antiquated view on "birth control", "divorce", "gay marriage" and the like. However, the RCC did change their policy on the antiquated "allowing priests to marry" and "the NO meat on Friday" sins. It seems that some of these man-made laws can be changed to suit someone - but some cannot. If the RCC wants communicants and parish members who live in the 21st century, then those in "control" need to do some 21st century updating.


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