Last November, Maryland had a referendum on same-sex marriage. In the run-up to the election, the Catholic archbishop of Baltimore wrote a letter effectively ordering the faithful to vote against gays and lesbians marrying, and directed that it be read aloud in every pulpit. A friend of mine, from a venerable and distinguished Catholic family, was in church that Sunday with her two teen-aged daughters, both of whom attend Catholic schools. After Mass that day and hearing the letter read, they announced to their mother that they were finished going to church — and obviously, short of dragging them physically, the mother had no way of forcing them into the pew. So that was that: the Church had just lost two bright young members.
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