On June 19, the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics posted an online petition at change.org to express “sorrow and solidarity with the LGBTQI community in the United States” following the horrific shooting by Muslim Omar Mateen that claimed the lives of 49 people and wounded 53 others inside a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida." The petition went on to say that “even during these dark days, not only lay people but also our Catholic leaders have made public their solidarity and empathy in ways that we have never seen before. The words from many bishops, like Robert McElroy of San Diego pledging, ‘I stand with you,’ encourage us to keep working.
"McElroy went on to say, 'This tragedy is a call for us as Catholics to combat ever more vigorously the antigay prejudice which exists in our Catholic community and in our country.’
"We applaud the bishop, and look forward to his instruction to the priests under his authority that they begin officiating at same-sex marriage ceremonies held within Catholic churches. We also eagerly await his response to Chris [formerly Christine] MacDougal, a transgender man who has responded to God’s call and presented himself as a candidate for the Roman Catholic priesthood in the San Diego Diocese.
"The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, 'Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination.' But it does not specify that the person must be a man at the time of their baptism. Chris MacDougal spent years discerning his true gender, and has undergone a powerful transformation to bring his body into alignment with his person. And it was only after achieving this transformation that he further discerned his vocation. All he wants is to love God’s people through the ministry of the Church. And Bishop McElroy’s words have given us hope that he will someday be able to do just that. Because nothing says ‘antigay prejudice’ like refusing the sacraments of marriage and holy orders to the faithful.”
At press time, the petition had received 414 supporters.