Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Sad Day for Jim Corcoran and the Catholic Church

I Empathize with Jim Corcoran

After finding out about Jim Corcoran's complaint against the Diocese of Peterborough on Friday from Blazing Cat Fur's Blog, I did some of my own reading, and wrote my own post. But others dug deeper, and I picked up a pointer or two from Walker Morrow's The Lynch Mob Blog, did some more reading and updated my Friday post and reposted it on Monday, with a link to Mr. Corcoran's own blog at that time.

Last evening, I came across the real factual meat of the matter here at LifesiteNews.com. They also posted the Ontario HRT Form 1 that Jim Corcoran filed here.

Jim Corcoran did not create the situation that exists today. But, his response to it has made it untenable in man's eyes. The Good News is that God is bigger than all of that.

For his ordination as Bishop of London, Bishop Ronald Fabbro penned this prayer which I recite daily and offer up for Bishop De Angelis and Father Hood and the priests of the Peterborough Diocese, as well as their parishioners: "Merciful God, you care for your people with kindness, and govern them with love. Give Your Spirit of Wisdom to those you have called to lead your Church. May the growth of Your people in holiness be the eternal joy of your Shepherds."

Many years ago, I had a small computer software company, and one of my most important clients was the Diocese of London. It was 2 recessions ago, and we were struggling to keep afloat. In the midst of this, the Diocese hired away my key employee, without as much as a "by your leave". I felt that we had given everything we had to serve our Diocese. At the time, we lived next door to our Church, and the Vicar General was our own Pastor, and made the hiring decision.

I asked to meet with the Bishop, who at the time was Bishop John Michael Sherlock, who has since retired, and who I held and hold in very high regard. He listened to me, which I appreciated, since I probably did not make a lot of sense. I was probably pretty fear driven at the time. After all, this was my key employee, and we were in deep trouble at the time. We came to an understanding over the next short while. It did not resolve to my personal satisfaction, but I did have to trust in God, and there was no way that I was going to go outside the Church on this matter. In another matter years previously, with another Christian organisation, I had used lawyers to resolve an issue, and regret it to this day.

In the end, it took a few years, my business collapsed, my marriage ended, and life took turns I could never have predicted. Sometimes in my life I have been patient, trusted that God was in charge and it worked out. Sometimes I have been impatient, forgot to trust in God, and it was even more painful as it worked out, and I failed to see the lesson in it as it was working out.

Recently, I had dinner with two young women that I love very dearly, who are a Gay couple. We had a lovely time together, and at one time one of them said to me: "Do you think I would choose to be Gay?" There was a sadness like she was living out a cruel joke or something, or maybe I read more into it than was there. But, the emotion was very intense for her, and I felt it deeply.

I sensed it again in reading Jim Corcoran's Form 1 to the Ontario HRC. In reading the LifesiteNews article, there is a sense of Jim Corcoran as a man of deep faith, trying to live it out in accordance with the Church's teachings, and to find his vocation in the Church.

How many times in his life has Jim Corcoran felt shame for being who he is in a world that does not understand who he is, and sends him conflicting messages about who he MUST be? The Church is that one place where you can be accepted as you are. That's what Jesus taught us, right? Yes, but unfortunately, the Church is populated by human beings who are less human than he was when he was with us on the earth. Too often, we fail to love, and are driven by our fears.

I think that Jim Corcoran has a vocation within the Church. I really do. A man who knows his own sexuality, and is able to live it out in accordance with Church teaching can do a lot of good for young people who are struggling as he did when he was young, and as he does on a day to day basis.

It is sad that people have used a letter writing campaign to judge him to the Bishop, rather than spending time with him to get to know him and understand him. To them I say: "Judge not, lest you be judged."

It is sadder still that Jim Corcoran is now taking his hurt feelings to the Ontario HRC for redress.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At the heart of our faith is the fact that Jesus Christ died to free us from our sins. Yes, we are not to judge others. However, we also have a responsibility to clearly pass down Church teaching, particularly to our young people.

I do not know Jim Corcoran. However, his language in openly refering to another gay man as his "partner" suggests that there are significant disagreements between his beliefs and that of Church teaching. Even if he is living a chaste lifestyle, the confusion resulting from his use of this term would justify a less public role.