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Statement from Catholic priests, nuns and laypeople

On May 17th the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will begin issuing civil marriage licenses to same sex couples. This has provoked considerable controversy. Many in our state are opposed and many are in favor. As members of the Catholic community and people of faith, we are reminded of the pastoral message the United States bishops issued to parents of homosexual children, "always our children", and recall the guidance they offered with reference to a previous Vatican document:

"Respect for the God-given dignity of all persons means the recognition of human rights and responsibilities. The teachings of the church make it clear that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended and that all of us must strive to eliminate any forms of injustice, oppression, or violence against them." (cf the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,1986,no10).

We call on all our brothers and sisters in the Commonwealth to treat same sex couples with respect, and to do no harm to them or their families. We urge a respectful discourse and dialogue among all people.

Robert V. Antonucci, President, Fitchburg State College, Fitchburg, MA.

Reverend John F. Baldovin, S.J., Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge.

Mary Jo Bane, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Sister Nancy Ann Braceland, C.S.J

Dr. Thomas Beaudoin, Visiting Assistant Professor, Boston College.

David J. Brennan, Doctoral Program, Boston College, School of Social Work.

Sister Rosemary Brennan, C.S.J.

Mark Brown, Jesuit Urban Center, Boston, MA.

Reverend Robert D. Bruso, Saint Anthony di Padua Church, Fitchburg, MA.

Rosa Buffone, Newton, MA.

Reverend Robert Bullock, Pastor, Our Lady of Sorrows, Sharon, MA.

Lisa Cahill, Theology Department, Boston College.

James Carroll, Author, Boston, MA.

Thomas Carroll S.J., Director, Jesuit Urban Center, Boston, MA.

Sister Betty Cawley, C.S.J.

Reverend William E. Champlin, Immaculate Conception Church, Worcester, MA.

Elizabeth Christiansen, Medford, MA.

Francis X. Clooney, S. J., Professor of Theology, Boston College.

Deacon Charles Clough, Our Lady Help of Christians, Concord, MA.

Gloria Clough, M. Div. Board of Directors, Weston School of Theology, Cambridge.

Attorney James F. Connors, Fitchburg, MA.

Magnolia Contreras, MSW, AIDS Action Committee, Boston, MA.

Sister Anna Crann, C.S.J.

Sister Margaret Crann, C.S.J.

Chief Edward Cronin, Fitchburg Police Department, Fitchburg, MA.

Reverend Walter Cuenin, Pastor, Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton, MA.

Sister Patricia Cushing, C.S.J.

Robert J. Daly, S. J. Professor Emeritus of Theology, Boston College.

Sister Eleanor Daniels, C.S.J.

Patricia & Paul Daoust,Boston, MA.

Edward J. DeMers, Brighton, MA.

Joseph DeNucci, State Auditor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Attorney Christopher F. DiSesa, Leominster, MA.

Sister Maureen Doherty, C.S.J.

Reverend Paul J. Doherty, Saint Mary's Church, Uxbridge, MA.

Anne Barrett Doyle, Coalition of Catholics and Survivors.

Matt Doyle, OFM, Saint Anthony Center, Boston, MA.

Sister Joan Duffy, C.S.J.

Sister Anna Edge, C.S.J.   Continued...

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