A New York Catholic bishop has refused to be drawn into a battle over why he had a married gay man removed from church participation. Nicholas Coppola was removed from the parish ministry in January following his marriage late last year. He has gathered 18,000 signatures requesting to be allowed to return to his involvement at St Anthony’s Church.
However, Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center simply responded with a blank cover letter titled “From Your Faithful Roman Catholic Bishop.”
“I really don’t understand what sort of message Bishop Murphy is trying to send. Is he no longer listening to the voices of the faithful? I have more questions than anything now,” said Coppola.
It is Catholic Church policy that bishops respond to all letters directed to them. This is the reason why a reply was issued, in what is described as a “return to sender” approach.
Following this petition being sent, Coppola subsequently launched a second campaign. This time he asked that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, have a conversation with him over the relationship between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and LGBT people.
In an earlier interview with 429Magazine, Coppola said that his faith had not been diminished by the exclusion he faces, but has become stronger.
“The positive feeling from parishioners gets me through it. In my heart of hearts my conscience tells me this is right. Overall, this has not shaken my faith but strengthened it,” he concluded.