A priest’s simple 35-character message posted on an outdoor church sign in Buffalo, NY, has sparked international outrage after a photo of it began circulating on social media.
“Jesus had 2 dads and he turned out just fine,” read the sign outside St. Columbia-Brigid Roman Catholic Church.
If you are asking yourself how a simple message has drawn so much outrage and condemnation while there are an estimated “795 million people in the world who do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life,” welcome to Church Hypocrisy 101.
Catholic Family News blogger, John Vennari, visited the church last week to verify the sign’s authenticity.
“The sign was so scandalous I had a hard time believing it was not photo-shopped,” Vennari wrote last week. “This morning I drove to the church to see for myself. With great sadness I report it is true.”
“This pro-homosexual sign effectively mocks the Blessed Trinity, mocks the Hypostatic Union, mocks the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – some of the most sacred components of our Catholic Faith,” he added.
Bishop Richard J. Malone of of SS. Columba-Brigid Church said he spent “a good deal of time Monday afternoon fielding phone calls from around the world, from callers protesting the contents of the sign,” a spokesman for the diocese told the Buffalo News.
The bishop said he took “immediate action to have it removed” from the church lawn shortly after he became aware of the controversy.
“The pastor of SS Columba–Brigid Church told me that the ‘2 Dads’ were meant to refer to a child who has both a father and stepfather,” Bishop Malone said in a statement.
“There are several children in his parish who have both a father and stepfather. However, given the potential for the meaning of this message to be misunderstood and even perceived in a heretical way, it was immediately removed,” the bishop added.
Rev. Roy Herberger, the 73-year-old pastor who put up the sign, says his message was not intended to endorse gay marriage or same-sex parenting, but was just one of nearly a dozen slogans he stumbled upon while surfing the web.
“I just Googled ‘funny church signs,’” he told the Buffalo News.
“I only had one purpose,” Rev. Herberger explained to Yahoo Parenting. “After 48 years in the church, I see so many kids with stepparents, or even in single-family homes or being raised by grandparents, who feel that they’re not as good as other kids who have a nuclear mother-and-father family. I’ve seen what that does sometimes when they’re comparing themselves to that nuclear family and I wanted to say, ‘Hang in there. You’re good. Things will work out for you.’ I wanted to provide support and understanding for kids in that situation.”
“With respect, it seems hard to imagine anyone in our time not being aware of what the ‘2 dads’ term can imply, especially since the pro-homosexual book ‘Heather Has 2 Mommies’ has been around since 1989,” wrote Vennari.
“Obviously, I’ll be much more careful about selecting future signage,” Rev. Herberger told a local radio station.