Huge news for Washington State today: In a somewhat confusing pastoral letter to his suburban flock yesterday, Martinsville, Indiana Archishop William Friedkin reversed his diocese’s previous position on two of Washington State’s most hotly contested statewide initiatives, expressing support for Referendum 74, which would uphold the right of same-sex couples to marry, while switching sides to oppose Initiative 502, the marijuana-legalization measure.
Regional Vicar Ellen Burstyn quipped acidly that it remains unclear just how much impact the Martinsdale Archbishop’s somewhat stunning reversal will have on the upcoming Washington State elections.Although Archbishop Friedkin did not elaborate on his theological justification for opposing the marijuana law, his letter did include a resounding defense of “our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters who wish to participate in that most sacred rite of marriage.”
Previously, the prelate had stridently opposed gay marriage, arguing that it defied the eternal word of God, which Friedkin's powerful predecesser, Archbishop William Peter Blatty—now Indiana state Cardinal—said last year, “endangers religious liberty and jeopardizes our freedom as Catholics and as Americans.”
The reversal did not go unnoticed by regional Vicar Ellen Burstyn, who quipped acidly that it remains unclear just how much impact the Martinsdale Archbishop’s somewhat stunning reversal will have on the upcoming Washington State elections, but the news is sure to send the state’s Catholic voters reeling.
Hat tip Joel Connelly.