Catholicism is awesome, isn't it? Whilst we've all been appalled by the international scope and scale of the decades long abuses against children in the Catholic Church in Europe something all too typical has been going on within its walls right here at home.

First of all, in Colorado, we have the Rev. Bill Breslin, an Irish American pastor, defending his decision not to allow the child of a lesbian couple to continue to attend school in his parish. That kid should have picked better parents, apparently.

I confess I'm no biblical scholar but I do recall that Jesus said something very specific on this topic: "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God."

As biblical pronouncements go, that one's pretty stark, isn't it? Rev. Breslin must think very poorly of gay people indeed if he's of a mind to go mano a mano with Jesus Himself.

Then we have Catholic Charities in Washington D.C., who in their opposition to the District’s new gay marriage law, closed its adoption and foster care programs and cut spousal benefits to future all employees, straight and gay - to avoid providing services to homosexual couples. This is the ecclesiastical version of taking your ball home to ensure that someone you dislike doesn't inadvertently benefit after you're gone.

What about the kids caught up in that fight? Well, what about them. The Church has bigger fish to fry so they're out of luck.

And gilding the lily so there's no missing their gays-are-a-bridge-too-far point, all of Catholic Charities new employees will have to sign a promise that they will not “violate the principles or tenets” of the church. In journalism that's called a gag order. It tells all new employees—and existing employees as well in a way—that if they speak or act against the Catholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage, anywhere, ever, they risk being penalized or fired. Basically if you speak in favor of marriage equality you can be thrown out.

It gets better (or worse). This week the Catholic Church in Maine, led by Irish American Bishop Richard Malone, has cut off funding for a group that helps the homeless as revenge for the group's support of the Maine "No on 1" campaign last fall. Question 1 sought to invalidate Maine's marriage equality law, and was approved by voters.

The Homeless Voices for Justice program has lost $17,400 this year and will lose $33,000 that it expected for its next fiscal year. So, simply put, Bishop Malone is punishing the homeless because of politics. He's not above using poor people as pawn in his political power plays.

But making your stand on the backs of children and the poor is shameful. So you have to wonder at them, after all we've just witnessed both here and abroad. For the faithful, the message is clear: charity depends on what you believe and who you love.

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