WA: Pastor receives standing ovation for not joining anti-gay signature drive

The Rev. Tim Clark received a standing ovation Sunday from the congregation at Seattle’s Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church when he announced that the parish would not gather signatures for a referendum to repeal same-sex marriage.

“I am happy to report that Our Lady of the Lake parishoners have been overwhelmingly and, thus far, unanimously supportive of the decision I made NOT to gather signatures in support of this Referendum,” Clark wrote in response to an e-mail.

“The standing ovation experienced during one of the Masses says less about me and much more about the health of this parish. I only wished the archbishop could have experienced the sustained applause — the ‘sensus fidelium’ — of the people. He needs to listen to this ‘voice.’ That is my prayer.”

Rev. Clark has said that faith should not be politicized:

“What troubles me is the message this whole approach sends which I find discriminatory and insensitive. To follow through with his wishes would be hurtful, divisive and a countersign to what we are trying to foster in this Catholic community in Wedgwood.

“I deeply believe, and say this with boldness, that this approach is not in the mind of Christ.”

Archbishop Sartain left the decision whether or not to gather signatures to the discretion of pastoral leaders.