Gay Long Island Man Ousted from Church Involvement to Deliver Over 18,000 Signatures to Diocese

April 9, 2013

Gay Long Island Man Ousted from Church Involvement to Deliver Over 18,000 Signatures to Diocese

Stripped of all parish involvement by the Diocese of Rockville Center after marriage, Nicholas Coppola Requests reinstatement to all volunteer positions

On Thursday, April 11, Nicholas Coppola, the man stripped of all involvement at St. Anthony Parish after marrying his husband, will deliver the signatures to the Most Rev. William Murphy, Bishop of Rockville Center, requesting to be reinstated to his volunteer positions. A press conference will proceed the delivery.

 More than 18,000 people signed a petition, organized by Faithful America, requesting Nicholas be allowed to return to his involvement in parish life. The wording of the petition read:

"Bishop Murphy, please let Nicholas Coppola resume volunteering at his parish -- and make it clear that faithful gay and lesbian Catholics are welcome to participate fully in parish life in your diocese."

 Where: Diocese of Rockville Center, 50 N Park Ave, Rockville Centre, NY

When: Thursday, April 11. Press Conference at 9:00 AM, Delivery at 9:30

Who: Nicholas Coppola, an openly gay man, is a member of St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church in Oceanside, New York, where he used to lead religious education classes, serve as a lector, and visit homebound parishioners. After Nicholas got married, an anonymous letter was sent to the diocesan bishop, who then directed his local priest to remove him from all his volunteer positions.

Background:

Roman Catholic leaders Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Wuerl, and Sister Mary Ann Walsh(and others) have been making the media rounds, asserting that the Roman Catholic Church is open to all, including gay and lesbian people.

  • 62% percent of Catholics said they were in favor of legalizing marriage for same-sex couples. (NYT/CBS)
  • Catholics approved of same-sex marriage at a higher rate than Americans as a whole (which is 53%) (NYT/CBS)
  • 52% of Catholics say church leaders are out of touch with the views of Catholics in America today (Quinnipiac)
  • 55% of Catholics say the next pope should move the Church in new directions (Quinnipiac)