Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

One key word missing in Detroit Free Press sermon on behalf of gay Catholic couple

One key word missing in Detroit Free Press sermon on behalf of gay Catholic couple

You pretty much know, when you read a headline that says "How a married gay Catholic couple lives their faith," that the story under that statement is going to be a sermon on behalf of progressive Catholics who want to modernize the teachings of their ancient church.

So the contents of this Detroit Free Press story didn't surprise me, especially since the Religion News Service picked it up, as well. So bah, humbug, to all of you pro-Catechism Catholics out there.

Actually, in this age in which Kellerism is becoming the newsroom norm in coverage of moral and social issues, it was unusual that the the story features a short passage quoting an articulate, qualified voice for church teachings. It's also unusual that (a) this person is not a public-relations officer and (b) that the Free Press team appears to have actually interviewed her -- as opposed to featuring one quote from a weblog or printed statement. More on that later.

The story also, as is now the norm, acknowledges that Pope Francis continues to defend the church's teachings on sex outside of the sacrament of marriage. However, it follows the now-established news logic that his "tone" on gay issues has changed everything and made his own words irrelevant. The story never quotes Francis defending the church's doctrines.

So what makes this story worthy of comment, if it is so predictable? Let's start with the lede and look for the key word that is missing.

DETROIT -- Because their Catholic faith is against same-sex marriage, Bryan Victor and Thomas Molina-Duarte made their wedding vows this summer before a Protestant minister in a Detroit Episcopal church.

So these men were married in an Episcopal parish, but they have not done the logical thing and joined that parish -- which affirms the doctrinal changes that they have affirmed.

The second paragraph introduces the man who may be the key player in the story. It's hard to tell, and that is the point.

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