A sign outside the SS. Columba-Brigid Catholic Church in Buffalo, New York, recently read, "Jesus had 2 dads and he turned out just fine."
Rev. Roy T. Herberger took the message down on Nov. 10, which he did not see as a popular pro-gay sentiment. “I just Googled 'funny church signs,'" Herberger told The Buffalo News.
Herberger said that he intended to provide encouragement to people who grew up outside a traditional nuclear family.
Pastor Bill Campbell, of the St. Johns Methodist Church in Nashville, had the same intention when he put up the sign in 2013, reported WPTV (video below, picture above).
“My only purpose was to say, ‘Look, hang in there. People understand what you’re going through. Don’t give up on yourself,’ ” Herberger told The Buffalo News.
A spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo said that Bishop Richard J. Malone spent “a good deal of time Monday afternoon fielding phone calls from around the world, from callers protesting the contents of the sign.”
Catholic Family News, which first reported on the sign and called it "blasphemy in Buffalo," released a statement made by Malone to those who complained about the sign:
Thank you for your message regarding the sign at SS Columba – Brigid Church here in Buffalo. As soon as I learned of this sign, I took immediate action to have it removed. 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.
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.”
Margaret McGrath, a member of the church’s parish council and director of its Family Resource and Advocacy Center, told The Buffalo News that Herberger recently preached to church members about accepting all loving relationships.
“We all have two dads – we have God the Father, and we have our earthly father,” McGrath added.
Now, the sign reads, “Walmart isn’t the only saving place. Welcome.”