Same-sex marriage support costs Catholic woman her ministry

LEWISTON — A local Catholic woman has lost her position as a lay minister at the Prince of Peace Parish churches this week after penning a newspaper column in support of legalizing same-sex marriages.

Pamella Starbird Beliveau

Pamella Starbird Beliveau

Pamella Starbird Beliveau, 47, of 40 Hillcrest Ave., said she met with Monsignor Marc Caron on Wednesday and was notified in writing Thursday that she had been dismissed as a lector and as a Eucharistic minister.

Her column, "A committed marriage is a worthy aspiration," appeared in the Oct. 18 edition of the Sun Journal.

"We were both very sad that it had come to this point, but I was treated with the utmost respect," Beliveau said. "I take no pleasure in being in conflict with my pastor."

Beliveau was not surprised by the dismissal, she said.

"The Catholic Church has every right to determine who can and cannot minister," she said. "I fully respect that."

Beliveau has been a member of the parish for 20 years, and a lector, reading for parish Masses at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. She has also been a lay Eucharistic minister for much of that time.

The Sun Journal contacted her by phone Friday night after word of her dismissal had spread. It was mentioned in an Oct. 30 open letter to the Maine Council of Churches that defended Ann Underwood, a Catholic member of the council, for her support of same-sex marriage.

Beliveau said she wanted to keep people focused on the issue of same-sex marriage.

"I do not want this to become about me and my ministry with the church," she said. "I want to keep our eyes on the issue. This is about equality for the gay and lesbian friends, neighbors and family that live and work and love in our state."

Beliveau said she was told she could ask to return to her ministry through a tribunal process.

"I will be there on Sunday," she said. "I am a Catholic."

Neither the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland nor Monsignor Caron could be reached for comment Friday night.

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Was it necessary to list her

Was it necessary to list her home address so that some zealot can now stalk her? Shame on you SJ

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Isn't there somewhere in the

Isn't there somewhere in the Bible where Jesus admonished his deciples to love one another as he has loved them? To love the Sunner but hate the sin? Just checking.

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Very nicely put!

Very nicely put!

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Devoutmainecatholic, please

Devoutmainecatholic, please be careful in implying that you know the workings of the church better than others. For instance, people are not denied communion because they are divorced. That changed a long time ago. Believe it or not, part of the Catholic faith is a continuing collection of wisdom and writings that evolve through the ages. Faulty or no, many church "rules" have changed, particularly since Pope Paul and Vatican II. The Pope is no longer declared to be infallible. That changed more than 40 years ago.

Perhaps the church will change it's position on same sex marriage in time as well. Maybe it won't. I believe no one truly knows God's will. We do the best we can and aspire to the model set before us by our faith. I am voting No on 1. I too used to serve Communion, lector, etc. The Church no longer fits for me. As I learned more and more about the workings of the Church, I found that it truly didn't fit my heart. There are many good things but I no longer believe that this is the Only Way. As for the woman in the article, she is right, this is not about her, it's about doing what you truly believe is right. God gave us our intellect and hearts to put to good use.

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Note to Gaby; Re: "Times

Note to Gaby;

Re: "Times change and we have to change with those times."
Correction; Just because you WANT to change, doesn't necessarily mean WE (heterosexuals) have to change.

Re: "All people must be treated equally for this society to be at some peace."
I agree. However, why is it that if an assault is performed against a homosexual (or other minorities), it's a "hate crime", yet if an assault is performed against a heterosexual, it's not a hate crime, and the punishment isn't as severe for the attacker. Where's the equality in that? That is CLEARLY preferential treatment. Why is a homosexual's life more valuable than mine, as a heterosexual male? The gay community has enough special rights as it is. I'll be voting "YES."

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Bill of Augusta, you are

Bill of Augusta, you are just plain ignorant.....

As far as you changing as a person, you can't speak for all "heterosexuals", if you choose not to accept change then you are going to have major issues as your life goes on. In case you are unaware of this Change is a MAJOR part of every day and it is INEVITABLE.

I am heterosexual, I have friends who are gay, and quite frankly, they are much more respective of "all" people, regardless. I think that we all have special rights at one time or another..... What about a black person who is missing vs. a white person, who do you think is going to get more attention on the news? How often do you see reports looking for a black person...... So what I am hearing from you is that you don't think that people who are being miss treated should get special treatment. Just tar and feather the person who cares right? Thank god that changed!

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That is correct

That is correct unforgivenjimi

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I just can't imagine why the

I just can't imagine why the Catholic Church is losing churches all across the nation and losing members at such a rapid clip. Must be all that haterade they keep spewing. Can't wait till the Church disappears. People will have to learn to think for themselves. They'll have to actually read the bible. Good times!

Any problem that can't be solved with taxcuts, republicans pretend doesn't exist.

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It is amazing, the church

It is amazing, the church hides it pedephiles, yet is able to criticize this woman. Reminds me of how well the catholics helped the jews in germany, and the Spanish Inquisition. What is next? Uniformed pedephile priests kicking in doors late at night or in the wee hours of the morning? The church lost me a long time ago, was this poor woman any more of a bad influence than hiding those pedephile priests? I think not.

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Church teaching is one

Church teaching is one thing. Maine's constitution and its laws are another. They are separate and should remain that way. If the Catholic Church wins this one and imposes its religious views on society at large, watch the next step: remember that divorce is condemned by the Catholic Church: THERE'S a real threat to traditional marriage. Wonder how that referendum would turn out!

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I am curious to know how

I am curious to know how many of the people, who are against same sex marriage, have broken any of the commandments during their lifetime. If you have, shame on you, you hypocryte!
Times change and we have to change with those times. The bible has been written by different people according to their interpretation. Look how many years it took society to accept people of all color. Remember slavery! Now people are starting to accept same sex relationships. Why not marriage? They simply want to have the same rights as a marriage between a man and a woman. What is wrong with that? They are not asking for "special privelages" and the whole balogne about teaching same sex marraige in school, they make it sound like it's going to be a mandatory class!!! Wake up people! All people must be treated equally for this society to be at some peace. Treat people how you want to be treated.

RONALD RIML's picture

The Church burns Joan of Arc

The Church burns Joan of Arc to death for being a Heretic - then they canonize her, declaring her Saint Joan of Arc. One day's sinner is another day's Saint.

God Bless Pamella Starbird Beliveau!!

When I was a young Sailor - I drank like a Sailor, fought like a Sailor, and screwed like a Sailor. Now that I am old and wise - I have a few scars, but many fond memories.

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Religion of anykind has " NO

Religion of anykind has " NO RIGHT PLACING THEIR NOSE WHERE IT DON'T BELONG". Religion and politics "DO NOT MIX". People that feel they are above god and think they know the rules, are in for a sad awakening on judgement day. God himself is the only one that can make the world decision if a person goes to heaven or hell.

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Why now? Why has the church

Why now? Why has the church decided to make a stand like this now? What about the church teachings that say if you don't follow you will not be able to receive the sacrament of holy eucharist? This goes for all of the people who have been divorced and don't have the marriage annulled, also all politicians that support abortion! I believe Monisgnor Caron needs to look at his actions and if he does this for one, he must do it for every other person as well. Why signal out one person about this? I applaud Ms. Beliveau for standing up and believing in what she feels is right. Here is another catholic who will be voting NO on 1.

RONALD RIML's picture

Chuch not change? I don't

Chuch not change? I don't believe they sell indulgences any longer, but they do tend to move rather slowly........

When I was a young Sailor - I drank like a Sailor, fought like a Sailor, and screwed like a Sailor. Now that I am old and wise - I have a few scars, but many fond memories.


This is how the Catholic

This is how the Catholic church gives thanks to a follower who has for the past 20 years given of herself by being a leading participant in weekly masses. It is so sad that the church also insists on controlling her thoughts, her opinions and her right to free speech. I suppose it is required to be a puppet in order to be a "good catholic". I feel for Ms Beliveau but admire her for standing by her convictions. I am another catholic who will vote NO on question #1. Or should I say former catholic.

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Even after all of this she

Even after all of this she still wants to 'keep the eyes on the issue' for equality. W O W! That is truly rare and inspirational! =]


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