In Wake of Anchorage Voting Down Prop 5, Catholic Archbishop Reminds Faithful of Duty to Be Respectful


From the Catholic Anchor, the newspaper of the Catholic archdiocese of Anchorage:

"...Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz was among the prominent religious leaders who urged residents to vote against the ballot measure. Following the election, he issued a public statement affirming the dignity of each person.

“The people of the Anchorage Municipality have spoken, and Proposition 5 appears to have been defeated,” he said. ” Although I did not support Proposition 5, I fervently oppose unjust discrimination against any person or group.”

He added: “I pray that Anchorage will strive to be an ever more tolerant city for all our citizens. The basis for our social interaction must remain a deeply held respect for the dignity of each human person — a dignity that comes not from the state but from our Creator. I reiterate what I stated in my pastoral letter, the Catholic Catechism, #2358 states that people with homosexual tendencies ‘must be accepted with respect and compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.’

In the lead up to the vote, Archbishop Schwietz wrote an open letter to area churches warning that Proposition 5 threatens the religious freedoms of churches, schools, businesses and other organizations.

The letter denounced any attempt to “advance disrespect or unjust discrimination against people of homosexual orientation” but stated that there is “an essential distinction between unjust discrimination, which is the arbitrary violation of human rights, and the necessary limitations on the exercise of our rights when it is required to protect the justice that is due to others, and the common good.”

Archbishop Schwietz added: “Proposition 5, regrettably, makes no such distinctions. It sweeps with a broad brush, and would usher in a new era of intolerance in Anchorage, all done in the name of ‘ending discrimination.’”