Archbishop William Lori asked that a letter of his be read to parishioners concerning the upcoming gay “marriage” vote.

It seems Fr. Richard Lawrence of St. Vincent dePaul parish in Baltimore did just that. And then he told parishioners exactly why they shouldn’t listen to Archbishop Lori and why he supported gay marriage.

Now, according to the pro-gay New Ways Ministry, he made four points, which are as follows:

1) There is a separation between religious law and civil law. While there are some civil laws we cannot accept, there are others than we can accept, even if we disagree with them. He makes the case that Catholic institutions (parishes, schools, hospitals) hire and provide benefits to people whose marriages are not canonically valid. We may not agree with the civil law in this regard, but, as Catholics, we support that law.

2) Fr. Lawrence states that “personally, we can go further than that,” as he explains a hope for the eventual change in church teaching regarding same-sex relationships. Citing Vatican II’s change in theology of sacramental marriage by making the procreation of children an equal function to the mutual support and common life of the couple, he notes that both became primary functions of marriage.

Developing this idea, he notes that the church marries elderly couples who cannot procreate because they are able to exemplify this other function of mutual support and common life. The same, he says, can be done for gay and lesbian couples, for whom reproduction is not possible, but mutual support and common life is.

3) If it is possible for church teaching on marriage to change, than why can’t civil law on marriage change, he asks.

4) He notes that Genesis his two different verses which are used to define marriage: ”Be fruitful and multiply” and finding “a suitable partner or helpmate” for the human being. A suitable partner for a heterosexual person is someone of the other gender, while a suitable partner for a gay or lesbian person is someone of the same gender.

He reportedly was applauded for this speech. I don’t know if that’s true or not.

If you’re wondering what the Archbishop is going to do about this, there’s some indication that something is happening.

The New Ways Ministry folks say you can watch the video of this on Vimeo but once you get there, it’s gone. It’s been pulled. It just says, “102812 Homily” was deleted at 3:27:35 Wed Oct 31, 2012.”

And even the parish’s website which has Fr. Lawrence’s homilies, doesn’t have any past October 14th. It could be they just haven’t uploaded them yet but I suspect there’s something more going on here.

I hope so.