Deacon Sandy of the now infamous Good Shepherd in Wisconsin video has replied to me on Facebook. In fairness I think all people should see his response. Since this is already a public response, I think it is fair to re-print it here along with my brief reply.
Hi. Deacon Sandy Sites here. I am the one who is on the video that your website/blog is lambasting.
I could not find a way to post to the blog so, after some research about you, I found this Facebook page. First I wish you the peace of Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Having read all the posts, there are some things I wish to bring to your attention.
1) The bread we prepare for Eucharist allows us to experience both a licid and valid consecration. It is unleavened bread.
2) The fact that we do not have kneelers dates back to when the church was build in 1957. Canon law allows for an exception for a Catholic Church to not have kneelers in certain circumstances, including ours when there is a period of 30 or more consecutive years when kneelers have not been present. We have permission from our prior archbishop citing the expense that we – a parish facing financial hardship – would incur, and loss of worship space seating that would be caused by adding kneelers.
3) Our Gay and Straight in Christ ministry, (which I believe started this whole thing and brought us under your microscope), is consistent with Catholic Catechism #2358. We do not condone same sex marriage. We do not condone sex between members of the same sex. We do welcome our sisters and brothers who have been unduly shunned. (As we welcome all without asking questions. Who of us could withstand the judgement of God?) Like Christ engaging with the woman at the well, we begin by engaging in respectful dialogue, and then catechize.
4) I do not think you realize that the video you continue to show is being shown illegally. Given the negative (and angry) feedback generated by the video, we felt it best to take it down. On your blog page you admit to anticipating this and making a copy of it (downloaded it). Good Shepherd owns the content, and YouTube owns the distribution rites via the original poster. Your downloading and then re-posting constitutes a violation of YouTube licensing agreement. We respectfully ask that you remove the video. Your continued display of it is only causing further damage and separation between to groups of well intentioned Catholics who should be praying and reflecting together, and not arguing and condemning. I have said enough. I hope to get a reply.
And my brief reply.
Deacon Sandy Sites
1) Ok, that is good to hear.
2) That may be true, but it is not an ideal and probably not be presented in such a manner.
3) That is not something that brought you to our radar but rather added later and I critiqued only you verbiage which I think is fair game. You talked about a communities rightful place in the Church. Not individuals, but a community that identifies with a behavior, not just attraction. I think your language is fair game. I notice also that you do not address your linking to Call To Action.
4) Your video is fair game for discussion, you posted it to promote your parish and your ideals. Now you want to hide from it. The ideas and attitudes in it are wrong and I believe disastrous for the Church. I understand your wish to hide it now, but I don’t think that is fair. This should be in the light. If you will no longer show it, somebody else should.
I will add that if Deacon Sandy wants to remove the video because you are now ashamed of it, I will gladly comply.
If however, he simply wants it removed because he doesn’t like the scrutiny, I think it should remain.