- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2015

A sign was taken down from outside of a church in western New York this week after its message — “Jesus had 2 dads and he turned out just fine” — prompted worldwide backlash against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

Bishop Richard J. Malone of of SS. Columba-Brigid Church said he spent “a good deal of time Monday afternoon fielding phone calls from around the world, from callers protesting the contents of the sign,” a spokesman for the diocese told the Buffalo News.

After becoming aware of the sign, the bishop said he took “immediate action to have it removed” from the church lawn.

The priest who put it there, however, said he wasn’t trying to cause a stir.

“The pastor of SS Columba–Brigid Church told me that the ‘2 Dads’ were meant to refer to a child who has both a father and stepfather,” Bishop Malone said in a statement.

“There are several children in his parish who have both a father and stepfather. However, given the potential for the meaning of this message to be misunderstood and even perceived in a heretical way, it was immediately removed,” the bishop added.

The pastor, 73-year-old Rev. Roy Herberger, said the sign was not intended to endorse gay marriage or same-sex parenting, but was just one of nearly a dozen slogans he stumbled upon while scouring the web.

“I just Googled ‘funny church signs,’” he told the Buffalo News.

“I only had one purpose,” Rev. Herberger explained to Yahoo Parenting. “After 48 years in the church, I see so many kids with stepparents, or even in single-family homes or being raised by grandparents, who feel that they’re not as good as other kids who have a nuclear mother-and-father family. I’ve seen what that does sometimes when they’re comparing themselves to that nuclear family and I wanted to say, ‘Hang in there. You’re good. Things will work out for you.’ I wanted to provide support and understanding for kids in that situation.”

The sign has since been changed to read “Walmart Isn’t the Only Saving Place,” but not before first drawing fire from Catholics who called the original message blasphemous and an insult to the religion.

“With respect, it seems hard to imagine anyone in our time not being aware of what the ‘2 dads’ term can imply, especially since the pro-homosexual book ‘Heather Has 2 Mommies’ has been around since 1989,” wrote John Vennari, an editor for Catholic Family News who alerted the diocese to the sign’s original message earlier this week.

“Obviously, I’ll be much more careful” about selecting future signage, Rev. Herberger told a local radio station.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide