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Bishop Scalzi Issues Pastoral Letter

July 27, 2017

Pastoral Letter to the Good People of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic

Over the past day I have been thinking about, and praying about, President Trump’s announcement that our transgendered brothers and sisters would no longer be permitted to serve in the armed forces of the United States. (As I am writing this, a news report was just released from someone in the Pentagon who said that no changes in policy would be forthcoming in the near future.)

I have found myself conflicted over this announcement. Of course, our Old Catholic Church is completely supportive of the LGBTQQI community, and we have the history and ministries to prove it. I personally have been involved in a number of community groups and events which have been very public in their affiliation with our gay and lesbian brethren. (I have even declined an invitation to join one organization because they were not open and affirming of LGBTQQI folks.)

But my thoughts migrated toward those individuals who are transgendered: how would they be received into the military? I know that there are thousands of transgendered troops currently serving. How are they being treated? Are they respected? What are their stories?

And then (I guess) the Holy Spirit entered my thought process and I began asking myself this very simple question:

If President Trump announced that anyone who is _________ would not be allowed to serve in the armed forces of this country, what would my reaction be? I began to fill in the blank with:

  • Male
  • Female
  • African-American
  • Asian
  • Latino (etc.
  • Straight
  • Gay
  • Christian
  • Jewish
  • Muslim (etc.

Truth be told, I would be incredulous.

If someone comes forward and exhibits a genuine desire to preserve, protect, and defend our country by serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America, then, unless there are circumstances which would immediately preclude that person (i.e. severe and debilitating mental illness or some other malady), we should be grateful to that person and work to make sure that they are accepted, properly trained, and nurtured in their service.The House of Bishops are working on a more formal statement, but these are my personal views.

I’d be interested in knowing yours. You may reach me at BishopMichaelScalzi@yahoo.com.

,

Most Rev. Michael J. Scalzi
The Old Catholic Church, Province of the United States (www.TOCCUSA.org)
Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic (www.MidAtlantic.TOCCUSA.org)
Mailing Address: 9 Carousel Circle, Hershey, PA 17033
Phone: 717.439.4769

 

 

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