Bishop Issues Letter to Catholics with Regard to the Wichita non-discrimination ordinance (NDO)


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I wish to take this opportunity to humbly thank all those who reached out to our city council representatives and to our mayor over the last two weeks making the voices of faithful and concerned Catholics in Wichita heard with regard to the non-discrimination ordinance (NDO) or creating chapter 2.06 of the code of the city of Wichita pertaining to discrimination.

You may have read that the ordinance, on a second reading, was delayed 90 days until October. At that time the council members may take the ordinance back up for discussion. Ideally, we would have liked to have provided the Catholics of the City of Wichita with a clear and more direct stance on this matter; however due to the pace of the ordinance proceedings, we focused on communicating as quickly and widely as possible.  I want to be clear that we do not promote hate or discrimination as some may think.  In this complex matter, while respecting the dignity of each person, we also insist on the civil protection for Religious Liberty, which is a fundamental right enshrined in our Constitution.

During these times, I am reminded of the words of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “We are at the end of Christendom. Not of Christianity, not of the Church, but of Christendom. What is meant by Christendom is economic, political, social life as inspired by Christian principles. That is ending – We’ve seen it die.” Archbishop Sheen went on to say “These are great and wonderful days in which to be alive. It is not a gloomy picture – it is a picture of the Church in the midst of increasing opposition from the world.”

As Catholics, who are called to be light to the world and the salt of the earth, let us embrace ever more personally the commandment of the Lord to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In our culture’s search for healing, we are reminded that only true and authentic love of neighbor will help us overcome discrimination and religious intolerance.

Humbly Yours,
Bishop Carl A Kemme