Church forced to remove controversial sign after Catholic community is outraged at the implied endorsement of gay parenting.
A sign that read “Jesus Had 2 Dads and He Turned Out Just Fine” outside Saints Columba-Brigid Roman Catholic Church in Buffalo, NY created ripples within the Catholic community.
Although it had been put up earlier, it sparked global outrage only when John Vennari, the Editor of Catholic Family News posted a photo of it on social media. Several people brought it to the attention of the Diocese of Buffalo, and Bishop Richard Joseph Malone acted immediately, instructing the parish to have it taken down.
While it is widely acknowledged and a fact that St. Joseph was the foster father of Jesus, the former revered in the Roman Catholic Church as the patron saints of fathers, this sign rubbed people the wrong way on multiple counts. Vennnari said it was common knowledge what the term 'two dads' implied – a reference to a gay couple. The Church has for long maintained that homosexuality is wrong, it being punishable by death according to the Law of Moses in the Old Testament, and finding resonance in the New Testament. St. Paul upholds this fact in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, specifically stating in Chapter 6, Verse 9 that homosexuals would not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
— Ed Reilly (@WKBWedreilly) November 12, 2015
Fr. Roy Herberger, the pastor at the church who approved that the sign be put up, had only noble intentions at the time – he wanted children in his parish to feel comfortable being raised by a stepfather while still having another biological father. Now 73, he has been with the church in Buffalo for sixteen years now, and over the course of his ministry, seen several children in this situation. Fr. Roy Herberger made the news earlier for becoming emotional following the closure of nearby St. Anne's, a 154-year-old church that faced structural issues and could not be renovated owing to a paucity of funds, with the repairs estimated to cost $7.5 million. He also helped establish Bissonette House, a halfway home for ex-convicts in Buffalo.
Even if the sign was not in support of gay marriage, there is only one possibility how a child could have both a living biological father and a stepfather at the same time – the child's mother would have had to divorced the biological father and remarried. Divorce too is taboo in the Catholic Church. It does not recognize divorce, and any person who has obtained one civilly is not permitted to receive Communion, although they may attend Mass. They cannot remarry in the Church.
The sign has since then been replaced with the message "Wal-mart is not the only saving place."