Nicholas Coppola, the gay Long Island man fired from his charitable work for his part in a same-sex marriage, is petitioning the Diocese of Rockville Centre with thousands of signatures, asking to be reinstated in his volunteer position at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Oceanside, along with further dialogue regarding his dismissal, according to Eyewitness News, Thursday, April 11.
Last week, reports from Long Island conveyed that a volunteer church leader, Nicholas Coppola, a recently married gay man, was removed from his charity work due to his same-sex marriage and now a backlash of phone calls and signatures are asking to revive his position at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church of Oceanside.
The 47-year-old misses his church duties, which always provided him with a sense of purpose. He has been an active Catholic, a Eucharistic Minister, volunteering, teaching religious education classes to children and attending Mass regularly, even as the parish understood he was living an openly gay life.
After completing a same-sex marriage commitment, which violates Catholic Church doctrine, Bishop Bob Brennan from the Diocese of Rockville Centre issued a letter to the pastor of St. Anthony’s, Rev. Nicholas D. Lombardi, stating an anonymous parishioner complained that a gay man was teaching religion to children.
The problem is he is a homosexual. He was recently married to another man…why is this permitted?
The happily married Long Island man’s life changed with that anonymous complaint to the Diocese that set the plan in motion to remove Coppola from his volunteer duties and prompted today’s issuance of a petition to reinstate him.
Today, Nicholas Coppola and gay rights supporters delivered the petition, signed by more than 18,000 people, asking the Diocese of Rockville Centre to rescind its decision to remove him from his volunteer work at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church of Oceanside because he married another man, his long time partner of ten years, David Crespo, this past October, a wedding that clergy from Long Island attended.
Maybe the Bishops can really get to know us, invite us and sit with us and maybe come to our homes and know who we are, that we’re just like any other loving married couple.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre immediately shot back, critical of the news channel’s photo opportunity of Nicholas Coppola with members of GLAAD and Faithful America carrying three boxes, stating “in fact, two boxes were empty.”
The Catholic Church recognizes that all persons share equally in the dignity of being human…this does not however justify the creation of a new definition for marriage.
This has been a difficult time for Nicholas Coppola, who still attends Mass regularly at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Oceanside. He holds no ill will for the pastor who removed him from volunteering because he is in an openly gay marriage and is trying to fill the void from no longer participating in good deeds, hoping that one day he can return to his duties within the Long Island parish.
Sources: First at 4:00PM Eyewitness News and NBC New York News
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