Married gay New Yorker Nicholas Coppola who was shunned from his Catholic parish in January will formally seek to be reinstated by Church hierarchy on Thursday. Coppola has gathered more than 18,000 signatures on a petition organized by Faithful America which requests that he be allowed to return to parish involvement.
Coppola will present the signatures to Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center, the man who opted to have him removed from duties at St. Anthony’s Church in Long Island. Murphy alleged that Coppola, by entering a same-sex marriage, had made a “public statement against church teaching.” A press conference will be held to announce details of the petition.
“Bishop Murphy, please let Nicholas Coppola resume volunteering at his parish – and make it clear that faithful gay and lesbian Catholics are welcome to participate fully in parish life in your diocese,” the petition reads.
Coppola was informed of his removal from church participation after he returned from his honeymoon. He married his partner David in October 2012. Coppola explained to 429Magazine that despite the initial shock, his faith was now stronger than ever.
“David has been so supportive. The day it happened, I cried and he hugged me. The positive feeling from parishioners gets me through it. In my heart of hearts my conscience tells me this is right,” he said.
“Overall, this has not shaken my faith but strengthened it,” he added.
Coppola also commented on the support he had received from parish members. He said this had continued after his wedding, which some parishioners attended.
“I was always out to my parish. It’s such a welcoming parish to both David and I. Their true message is love, which is simple, one of equal treatment,” he concluded.