A well-known Catholic priest says he did not intend to spark controversy when he posted a sign outside his Buffalo parish.
The sign outside SS Columba-Brigid Roman Catholic Church at Eagle and Hickory streets read: "Jesus had 2 dads and he turned out just fine." It triggered many calls and comments from those who interpreted the message as being in support of same-sex marriage. Bishop Richard Malone's fielded many calls from around the world. The sign has since been removed.
Rev. Roy Herberger says he had no intention of implying that he supports gay marriage.
"All I wanted to do was to put up a sign saying, 'Hey, children, if you're in this situation for whatever reason [such as] divorce and remarriage and you have a couple of dads, don't worry. You're going to turn out just fine. There's hope. Don't feel like you're less than some of the other children,'" Herberger told WBFO.
Herberger says he has often looks for thought-provoking or humorous messages to post outside the church. He says he will continue the practice, but will be more careful to avoid messages with double meanings.
While many devout Catholics have reacted negatively to the sign, Herberger says he did receive one piece of feedback from a person who related with his intended message.
"One of the messages that I got was somebody who said 'Thank you very much. I'm in that situation. I'm a stepfather and I want to let you know I'm grateful for that message,'" Herberger said.
The pastor admits he has been outspoken on some issues over the decades, but he insists the recent controversy was not intentional on his part.
Will Herberger continue to post thought-provoking or humorous messages on the church's sign?
"Oh yeah," he replied. "Obviously, I'll be much more careful."