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Eminence, the emeritis cardinal archbishop of HGN

Friday, December 21, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Will The Bishops Ever Learn

Finally, a study that tries to understand the child sexual abuser and some of the institutional causes for the condition.  I was interested in this book review by John C. Seitz, Fordham University Associate Professor of Theology that appeared recently in the National Catholic Reporter. He was reviewing the book Child Sexual Abuse and Catholic Church: Gender, Power, and Organizational Culture by Marie Keenan.

Book Review by John C. Seitz 'Perfect' priests and their 'sacrificial lambs'

There should be more reviews and research like this one by Marie Keenan.  The bishops should fund this sort of research. It would be money better spent than trying to defeat civil marriage equality for gay and lesbian persons. 
Seitz's review highlights how Keenan has studied the worlds that formed clerical sexual perpetrators.  The core of her studies were interviews with nine retired or laicized Catholic priests and brothers from Ireland. After caveats about not excusing the abuse, she is able to direct the light of her research on the environments in which these men were trained.
Keenan argues that the men she interviewed were not bad men, they were just trying to be perfect priests and brothers. Seitz states that it is in the second half of Keenan's book where she focus her investigation on the worlds of seminaries and seminarians as incubators for sexual abuse.
Seitz writes: “Her focus is on seminary culture and education (in the period before the 1990s) and the kind of living it enabled and disabled. In these spaces priests learned to fear sexuality, disavow their bodies and emotions, bury non-priestly components of themselves, and adapt to emotionally isolated and lonely lives.”
Seitz indicates there is another theme that Keenan takes up that grows an environment for an abuser. The reviewer then describes what Keenan found out about the education and formation of these men. 
"The other most compelling theme concerns moral education. The church, Keenan argues, has offered poor tools for making judgments. Instead of judging out of a context of relationships with particular others and dynamic processes of introspection and empathy, seminarians were instructed in the technical and intellectual application of fixed, universal and external rules. Impersonal and abstract, this moral theology enabled abusers to treat their behavior as a matter of sin against God and purity and not as a matter of harm for others. Moreover, the confessional, with its seal of secrecy, further enabled the abuse by providing a context for expiation of this sin. Regular confession helped convince the priests that they were at least trying to meet God’s standards. All of the nine priests confessed their abuse in confession -- according to their reports, only once did a confessor alert the abuser to the criminal nature of the offense. The system advanced a purity ethic at the expense of a relational ethic."
It seems to me that after Vatican II there were men in charge of formation who must have had some intuition that the closed seminary system Keenan describes was not healthy. One friend who came through formation in a religious order during those years used to tell the story with just a bit of amusement how his directors tried arranging dates for the novices. I suspect there is some element of truth to the story. These directors must have known at some level the dangers of the closed seminary culture. I also suspect back then these same directors probably would not have wanted to find or even thought about finding dates for any gay seminarians in their programs.

These were the years when dioceses and religious orders wanted to move seminarians from that closed culture. This was the time of rise of the Theological Unions like the ones in Chicago and Washington, D.C. There was also a movement to train seminarians and religious at University Campuses and Catholic Divinity Schools on University Campuses because those places, it was assumed, offered places of more normal interaction. Here a Catholic man preparing for priesthood or brotherhood would benefit by regular contact with lay students and women. In recent years what seemed to be movement in a healthy direction has been replaced by a growing clericalism. This has all been reinforced by the recent decree from the Vatican that bishops and priests should wear cassocks.

Clericalism Is Alive and Well in the Roman Catholic Church

A few years ago I was with a diverse group of priests who were not directly involved in preparing seminarians for ministry, but would be informed enough about what was happening in seminaries. I asked has much changed in the preparation of men for the priesthood after all the scandal of sexual abuse of minors by clergy and religious? Their answer was: "No".

It might be wise for the bishops to spend some time and money looking at the clerical system that prepares men for ordained ministry. I know the bishops seem to think marriage equality is the real evil. So bishops waste money trying to force everyone into their bubble of so called "religious freedom" and amuse themselves worrying about clerical dress and bringing back meatless Friday's.

Works like Marie Keenan's deflates all the self adulation of the bishops on how they have dealt with the abuse crisis. It seems that Keenan is on to something that the bishops do not want to address. They should. Here is Keenan's judgement as reported by Seitz in his review.
"The stunning conclusion of this work is that for those who embraced the idealized model of perfect celibate clerical masculinity, seminary and priestly life were in themselves abusive contexts"
They still are. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

One Term More - I Approve This Message

Since some bishops can endorse candidates, I decided to offer my own. 

This has apparently been around for about two months. I just saw it today and decided to put it here. It was rather refreshing to listen to something musical after all the political ads in the battleground county in a battleground state where I live. The video is a parody from the song "One Day More" from Les Miserables.

One Term More!  A time to celebrate democracy
Repeal Republican hypocrisy.
This man who would unseat Barack's
A bleak choice at the ballot box.
One Term More!
A G.O.P. perdition-bound,
All sense of right & wrong eroded.
One Term More!
With laws that let 'em stand their ground,
Republicans are locked & loaded.
Contraception's now a sin,
Screwing G.M. in the clutch.
Incivility's a virtue,
Homophobic. Out of touch.
Filibusters. Budget scrums.
Ultrasounds & speculums.
To the Dark Side they've succumbed.
Soon Election Day will dawn,
We were meant to hold this seat!
At the ballot box of freedom,
Unemployment's in retreat!
Now the battle lines are drawn,
And Detroit's back on its feet!
Will you take your place with me!
The time is NOW the vote is NEAR!
One Term More!
One more day to re-election,
And until the music stops,
We will fight to save the jobs of
Teachers, firemen & cops!
One Term More!
One more day to resolution,
We'll defeat those fetid nuts,
We are fed up with pernicious
Talk of prostitutes & sluts!
Watch 'em throwing up,
Minting malcontent,
Drinkin' all that tea's
Made them incontinent!
Dissembling persists,
Divisiveness prevails,
Calling colleagues Communists
Is OFF the rails!
Listen to them spew,
"Femi-Nazi" rage,
Misogynistic rants
From the Jurassic Age!
To Obama's second inning,
He'll drive home another run!
Norma Rae let sisters sing,
Rosa Parks let freedom ring!
For Obama's just beginning,
Yes! The West Wing WILL be won!
AND we'll get the Dream Act DONE!
My place is here, I vote with you!
One Term More!
Emboldened by Star-Spangled myth,
We want a JEDI…NOT a SITH!!!
Petty partisan obstruction's
Why we've gridlock on the Hill!
One Term More!
Healthcare is a right,
Medicare's a must,
Don't let rogue Republicans
Betray that trust!
Speaking of betrayal,
Bullied by his peers,
Tackled to the ground,
Screams turned into tears.
Hunting down the queer,
Cutting off his hair,
SPIKED the ball, yet… "Can't
Recall" if he was there???
It's his character we question!
Mom, apple pie & Chevrolet,
Don't let 'em down Election Day!
That's when we will determine
What our God in Heaven has in store!
(One More Time!)

The video was downloaded from

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Republican Rape Advisory Chart.

I am still trying to find out how Todd Akin's anti rape sperm defense shield works. How does it deploy? Can it be made to work in non rape situations? If it did, what would the RC bishops' position be?

It does not seem the republicans know much more than I do. In the interest of public service and information I am publishing this Republican Rape Advisory Chart. It has appeared in a few places. I saw it at Dailykos.  Here:

DailyKos...Diary on Republican Rape Advisory Chart

The chart is above.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

US Election - Hate - Bishops - Democracy - Shepherds

Folks have been complaining about the tone of this 2012 campaign in the US. First of all the  Republican Party needs to reform its act if they want to survive as a viable voice of democracy. I say this because it seems that the whole process in this election cycle has been poisoned by the obscene amounts of anonymous money flowing into the campaign. The more important issue for republicans is the level of ignorance and hate that has been directed at President Obama.

The US Catholic bishops have been complicit in the debacle of the 2012 election. I would hope his eminence; Cardinal Dolan will be polite and try to be even handed at the Al Smith Dinner tonight where both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will be his guests. There should be no partisan prayers.

Dolan and his cohorts deserve to lose the tax exempt status for the catholic church for the way they have acted and inserted themselves into this election. The US bishops under Cardinal Dolan need to reform. The US bishops under Cardinal Dolan bear some share for the ignorance and hate that have marked this campaign. The bishops talk about freedom, but they have really shed no light on this election other than to posture to take away others’ constitutional freedoms. Their scream for religious liberty is a move to take away freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. The bishops have not acted like shepherds concerned for all the flock. They want to be politicians. They have succeeded. They may say they are following the lead of Pope Benedict. Yet bishops have a lot of freedom to speak out in their own dioceses. Mostly they have spoken to aid and abet the worst of republican hate. If the bishops cannot change, they need to be replaced by real shepherds. 

The bishops for their part have fueled the level of ignorance and hate that has specifically been directed at the president. This account is from a person who attended a Mitt Romney campaign event. The event involved watching the second debate between the presidential candidates around a large screen TV. The writer comments on what he heard.  This is what he reported. My question is have the bishops tried to bring any kind of civility or honesty to this debate and this election? No. They might as well been some of those gathered around that tv screen.

Now, I remember I was not happy with George Bush when he “won” the election in 2000. I recall that I cut him slack after 9/11. The worst that I think I ever said about him after Kerry lost in 2004 was that Bush was not my president.

I have a very difficult time understanding the level of ignorance and hate directed at President Obama in this election cycle. A person just has to listen to the republican minority leader of the Senate who said his main goal was to make Obama a one term president. Then, there is the obstruction led by John Boehner in the congress against any kind of movement to create jobs which was the so called republican alarm call for 2010. Why don’t the US bishops call this out? I mean, Mr. Boehner is one of their sheep.

Given all this, I really wonder about the sanity of people taken in by all the republican hate. I wonder about the pastoral instincts of the US bishops who have aided and abetted this mess. It may be getting a little late to save democracy or sanity. Maybe the UN can offer the US a rescue mission and some mental health counseling. The US bishops could be the first in line.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

UPDATED... 9-28-12 One of Benedict's Parrots... Bishop Paprocki

Bishop Paprocki says he's not going to tell you how to vote. He only uses code words to tell you that if you vote for President Obama, you are going to hell. 

Background to the story here...Republicans are Angels; Obama is Satan! 

Bishop Paprocki organized a conference two years ago in Baltimore on exorcism for US bishops. He's looking for less hysterical approaches to exorcism these days like strongly hinting how you should vote.

You'd have to be living under a rock not to know that "intrinsic evil" is a code word for same sex marriage or any steps promoting the freedom of gay and lesbian persons. The IRS should be paying close attention to what he says. This man is not a shepherd.

The bishop is covertly taking a political position and urging and pressuring catholics to vote his way and the pope's way. 

The bishop does not appear to be a person who can think for himself. No red hat for him, from me. Maybe a multi-colored parrot one. Too bad, it could not be a peacock. 


Yesterday I said Bishop Paprocki is not a shepherd. I even suggested the bishop was one of Benedict’s parrots. Today I want to state he is not a shepherd because he is not a teacher.

Here is a link to a piece written by Jana Bennett who is the Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Dayton and is a contributor to a site dedicated to Catholic Moral Theology. She is a teacher.

Here is a link to the site and her article.
Catholic Moral Theology Site and Article by Jana Bennett

Dr. Bennett speaks to the limitations of making lists of intrinsically evil acts like the bishops have done for the last two political campaigns. She expands this concept to show its inadequacy if this is all you use in a political campaign to tell people how to vote the bishops’ way. Comments by others who are also contributors to the Catholic Moral Theology Site are also reflective and instructive. 

When I compare this essay to the statements of Bishop Paprocki, the bishop appears as a poor excuse for a political hack, likely another Dolan hack.

Here are a few quotes from Jena Bennett’s post at Catholic Moral Theology. 

“I worry that focusing too much on intrinsic evil enables us to avoid thinking about the many and varied ways that evil infuses our lives.”

Dr. Bennett suggests that even lists of intrinsic evil acts such as Bishop Paprocki would promote as the hallowed official teaching of the church in this year's election are very limited and time sensitive. One “intrinsic evil” that she states should have been included in any list for the 2008 election would have been torture. She suggests that maybe it should be considered this year.

“... given the degree of discussion about torture, perhaps we would want to add that intrinsic evil as well?  (At the least, it should have been on the list of non-negotiables in 2008, but it was not….”

On the intrinsic evil of abortion and how some politicians pander to the issue, Dr. Bennett says this: “This is one of the worries when it comes to voting on the basis of intrinsically evil acts: even if I vote for someone who publicly states that he or she is anti-abortion, I may well be inviting a whole host of other, potentially more grave evils, and that requires some very careful prayer and discernment.”

It’s instructive that one of the latest polls from Pew Research shows that Catholics see through the shallowness of appeals like Bishop Paprocki’s.

A story and a link to Pew Research's lastest finding on the Catholic vote

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Forecast....Dolan Prays Away Antichrist Hurricane?

Red Hatted Dolan is going toTampa as a humble priest to pray. First he will need to pray away the Jewish Issac/Antichrist Obama Hurricane from raining on Romney's Parade. We could just use a little rain where I live.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ryan Pick Divides Bishops?

                                                     Bishop Morlino

I have been wondering if the selection of Congressperson Paul Ryan of Janesville, Wisconsin who is Catholic and lives in the Diocese of Madison whose Bishop is the Most Reverend Robert Morlino will support Mr Ryan's candidacy. Here is a thoughtful reflection outlining the issue. Ryan, A Cafeteria Catholic? The Horror! 

The sisters  Catholic Sisters Rally Against Ryan's Budget ; the Franciscan Friars have invited Mitt Romney to come and meet real poor people Franciscan Friars Criticise Mitt Romney and the Embracing of the Ryan Budget ; and even the bishops themselves have criticsed the budget proposals submitted by Congressperson Ryan as hurtful and harmful to the least among us. ( Matt. 25.) US Bishops Say Ryan Budget Hurts Poor .

I want to know what Bishop Morlino is going to do? Is he going to threaten to deny communion to Congressperson Ryan? Is he going to call for dialogue with Mr. Ryan? Will he send out a pastoral letter saying that Catholics will incur excommunication if they vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket. It's clear Mr. Ryan has no regard for Roman Catholic Social Teaching.

Sunday, July 29, 2012



A new pastor for the archdiocese of San Francisco?  It's more like a political appointment in this US election year.

Go here for a solid analysis.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fortnight of Freedom... Hey bishops Listen To This!

Rev. Dr. William Barber II
President NC NAACP

Now this is a message of freedom I can support. It is worth the fifteen minutes it takes to watch. This is the address of Rev. Dr. William Barber II to the NAACP yesterday, July 11th. He spoke after Romney. Rev. Dr. Barber is a preacher who can preach it. I was waving my hands at the end, too.

Rev. Dr. William Barber II's Address to the NAACP

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Personal Rant on the "new" Roman Missal

Cardinal Pell and the new missal
I have been looking for places and things to do to protest the new RC Missal. Last weekend I presided at two public RC liturgies. I tried to adhere to the new book. I think it is cumbersome and violates the norms the Second Vatican Council set down for the use of vernacular languages. The new lectionary reads like nothing I have ever spoken.

My host pastor asked me what I thought of the new missal. Since I was in somewhat new territory, I tried to be careful.  I said I did not like it. He then offered some examples that made me think I was in friendly territory.

The Vatican under Benedict seems to be in disarray. If the new missal is supposed to be part of Benedict’s legacy, then I think the Benedict will not be remembered as great.

I listened to the talks with Cardinal Pell who shepherded the "new" missal to completion. I listened as Benedict praised Pell for his efforts in binging about the "new" missal. Benedict and Pell were stroking one another and were removed from reality. They where talking to one another. The were not talking to me.  A good priest friend of mine tried to tell me that the whole "new" missal was insignificant. He would go on his way and do pastorally what would give him life. In the meantime I am stuck with a really crappy translation of the Mass.

I would still like to find ways to protest what Benedict has wrought. Suggestions!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It Does Get Worse

Greg Burke

So, the US bishops thought they needed a PR person to help them be seen in a better light.

Well, the Vatican has beat them to it. "Gerg Burke, a Fox correspondant for Europe and the Middle East and a member of the right-wing Catholic group Opus Dei, has been hired as a “senior communications advisor” to the Vatican’s political arm, the Secretariat of State."

More of the story is here. Vatican Hire Fox News Correspondent and Opus Dei Member Communication Consultant

I would not put much trust in a person from "fair and balanced" fox. It will take more than this to reform the Vatican and men in the Curia and the image of the church they project.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nuns On A Bus...Question Austerity

This caught my attention over at Dailykos this morning. Progressive folks in Wisconsin began the "Operation Light Brigade" as a way to rally folks during the recall election of Governor Scott Walker.

It appears those progressive Wisconsin people plan to continue "Operation Light Brigade" and the movement for progressive causes. So they invited the sisters who where on a bus trip to join them. The sisters were on their way from the Wisconsin home of Congressman Paul Ryan when they received an invitation to one of the OLB protests. The purpose of the nuns' bus tour is to highlight the difficulties those in the lower income tiers are suffering because of all the government austerity moves especially with cutbacks in social services to the poor. The nuns accepted the invitation to join the Overpass Light Brigade and took a place on one of Wisconsin’s interstate overpasses to "Question Austerity".

The hierarchs aren’t the only ones who can play politics. This will probably cause some of those cardinals especially in Rome to get their capae magnae twisted in a knot. It's a great story. The nuns continue to be on the cutting edge. You've gotta to love the sisters.

The story is here: Nuns Join the Overpass Light Brigade


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Catholics And Same Sex Marriage in Washington State

                                                 Governor Chris Gregoire
                                            A Courageous Catholic Leader

A friend called before 7:00 AM this morning to make sure that I heard the story on NPR about the vote for marriage equality in Washington State. He said that NPR interviewed the pastor at St. Joseph's Church in Seattle who supports civil marriage for same sex couples. The pastor, according to the story, received overwhelming support from the parish.

At the close of the story, a young fifteen year old girl who has reached Confirmation age, is asked her opinion. The interviewer suggests her opinion is reflective of a newer and yournger generation of Roman Catholics.

The link to that story on Morning Edition is here.
Interviews with Catholics about Same Sex Marriage in Seattle

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Poor Benedict and Pentecost

The face of the pope's church; investigating gospel inspired nuns, Vatican bank scandals, leaked papal documents, back stabbing cardinals, lousy new liturgy translation, and of course not honestly addressing the whole sexual abuse crisis. Poor Pope.

I worry about those little lambs at the wolf's feet.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Harvey Milk's Birthday, Belated

Yesterday was Harvey Milk’s birthday. Bill in Portland Maine reminded me of the event in his tribute to Harvey Milk in his diary over at DailyKos, Cheers and Jeers, which he posts every weekday Monday through Friday.

Bill in Portland, Maine's Tribute to Harvey Milk

I have been a follower of BinPM since my early days at DailyKos. I believe it was his daily entries that got me hooked at DailyKos. You might enjoy his writing, too.

The centerpiece of Bill’s post was Milk’s call to be hopeful. Before Milk’s murder in the San Francisco City Hall in the fall of 1978 he was an out gay man from the Castro who won one of the positions for supervisor of the City of San Francisco in the late 1970's.

I felt Milk’s call for hope resonating even more loudly yesterday when crazy anti gay preachers like the one in North Carolina who called for us to be fenced in and starved. I felt Milk’s call resonate in my own life as I reflected on my own journey of "coming out". I felt how important that call for hope is today for young and maybe not so young gay, lesbian, bi, and transgendered people as they mature into their own identities. I even felt that call for hope as the Roman Catholic Church, particularly the cardinals and bishops of the United States, struggle with their own demons of bigotry and ignorance.

So, I repost the heart of BinPM tribute to Harvey Milk commemorating Milk’s birthday yesterday along with an icon of Robert Lentz honoring Harvey Milk as a gay saint.

"It’s about the us’s out there. Not only gays, but the Blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s. Without hope, the us’s give up. I know you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. So you, and you, and gotta give em Hope."

I think this is a wonderful message. May it resonate with you as Pentecost approaches.




Sunday, May 6, 2012

Future Church

So this is where Benedict is taking his church.

Here is an item to go with the picture. It's from a diary over on Daily Kos from a relatively new writer there. I like her spirit. The links are good also.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bishop Jenky's Mind Is Terribly Screwed Up

Bishop Jenky compares Obama to Hitler and complains about Obama's "extreme secularist agenda".

Here: Diary on Jenky on DailyKos
and here: Article at Think Progress

Jenky is reading from the bishops' playbook and seems to have gone over the top. His mind is scrambled. I thought Obama was the socialist. Jenky has Obama coming after the catholics, but it really seems like Jenky and his version of the church are the ones coming after Obama and his followers. I mean Jenky and his republican cohorts have even been calling Obama the socialist.

Didn’t Martin Niemoller say of the Nazis: "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-Because I was not a Socialist.Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-Because I was not a Trade Unionist."  Who is coming for whom?

I will be polite and not go to the extreme of suggesting that maybe Jenky is the nazi. 

It does seem like it's time to speak out against bishops like Jenky. He's from Peoria. So what would you expect.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Foolish Obedience

A foolish obedience is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and Polish and German popes.

I paraphrased Emerson because obedience in today’s catholic church has become the new foolish consistency. Obedience is elevated as the highest virtue. It is a tragedy that this kind of consistency much beloved by small and insecure catholic minds finds support in the Vatican.

I encountered a story about this kind of foolish obedience at the blog Enlightened Catholicism, and it got me thinking. I appreciate what Colleen unearths on her blog. Her comments are always insightful as well as many of the follow-up comments. 

The blog article is about Father Adrian Egan of Mount St. Alphonsus Monastery in Limerick, Ireland. Father Egan complains publicly about the treatment of some of the priests in his group. One priest in particular, Father Flannery, a popular retreat director had been reported to the Vatican by these conservative church police. Father Egan calls them “Catholic agents”. He said these "agents" were subjecting some priests in his order to FBI-like attention.

The story continues that Father Flannery was reported to the Vatican for some deviation from the catechism. Father Flannery was called to the Vatican to defend himself. The result is that now Father Flannery is forbidden to write in the Redemptorists’ magazine or publish on the order’s web site. This article in the Irish Examiner details more about these events.

Obedience as the new foolish consistency may give those embracing it a sense that it keeps the group together and provides order; but this comes with many serious negative consequences. I wonder how the church got itself into the position where it will silence creative and original thinkers and theologians who spend their lives trying to make faith understandable and allow the Mystery of the Catholic faith to stir our hearts then discard them as today's rubish. The Vatican for its part reacts to these reports from scared, small minded people fearful that there is a violation or opposition to what's in the universal catechism by silencing dedicated and creative people.

A person does not have to be a genius to tell when someone is coloring outside the lines. It also does not make that person an art critic. In the church it seems that when these fearful people succeed in getting the Vatican to silence creativity the human spirit suffers. When someone’s fear of heresy based on the reading of the catechism causes this silencing of men and women of good will who serve the mission of the gospel, then true religion suffers. The Catholic Church suffers.

In the thoughts and words of two artists the problem can be expressed this way. Georgia O’Keeffe said: “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't  say any other way - things I had no words for.”  Francis Bacon put it this way: “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” Theologians like artists try to say things and explain faith in a way to deepen our understanding of Mystery.The result of right wing conservative “church agents” denouncing creative theologians who in their own way are like artists kills the Spirit.  Benedict and his church "agents" seem satisfied with a coloring book religion.

UPDATE - April 11, 2012 - From Clerical Whispers
Statement from Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland

Sunday, April 1, 2012

What do one hundred and fifty Chicago priests know that Cardinal George does not know?

Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Chicago
This article about Bishop Geoff Robinson was in the National Catholic Reporter. I missed it last week, and a friend from Australia alerted me. My friend tells me that Bishop Robinson was his canon law professor in the seminary.
NCR article

Recently I put up a link to Bishop Robinson’s website on this blog after Bishop Robinson’s very well received talk at New Ways Ministry’s Seventh Symposium in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Bishop Robinson's Web Site

Following the New Ways Symposium Bishop Robinson began a speaking tour of the United States. According to the NCR article the ordinary in Detroit advised his priests to avoid going to hear Bishop Robinson when he came there to speak. It seems this was also the case in Baltimore. 

What most interested me in the NCR article was the report that one hundred and fifty Chicago area priests attended Bishop Robinson’s talk while he was in the windy city. 
Now my question is what do these priests know that the cardinal does not know? At least the cardinal appears not to have instructed his priests not to go to hear Bishop Robinson. Maybe the pastoral experience and sensitivities of these priests have already informed them that there is something very inadequate about the present roman church’s official teaching on sexuality. Bishops and cardinals seem slow or reluctant to hear the same message.

An assessment of Vatican II as it ended was that one area needing to be addressed by the bishops gathered in council which was neglected was the area of sexuality. Looking back it might be this failure to address the topic of sexuality with the world’s bishops that began to signal the end of the reforms that brought so much promise and hope to many areas of the church’s life in the mid twentieth century. At least one scholar suggests that the reforms of the council ended in 1968 with Paul VI’s encyclical on birth control.

Adam Kotsko wrote in February:

“Fast forward to the aftermath of Vatican II, where a spirit of reform and openness to the modern world dominated — and one of the innovations of the modern world was of course The Pill. A council of experts recommended that the Catholic Church change its anti-contraception stance, but in 1968 the pope rejected their recommendation and reaffirmed the status quo in the infamous encyclical Humanae Vitae. In retrospect, this moment could appear to signal the premature death of the ‘spirit of Vatican II.’”

It could also be argued that the failure to address issues of sexuality in some way at the Council contributed to the present disaster of sexual abuse in the church.

According to the NCR article, after Bishop Robinson’s talk in Chicago, Sister Barbara Reid who is a vice president at the Chicago Theological Union quoted from John’s gospel: “the truth will make you free” (John 8.31-41).” She continued: “We have nothing to fear from speaking the truth.”

Hearing the truth on the subject of sexuality seems to be what a good number of Chicago area priests understand. It’s time to open the windows of the church again. Let the leaders of the church, like Cardinal George and many other bishops in this country breath the fresh air of truth as spoken by Bishop Robinson. It is past time for the church to have an open discussion on all matters of sexuality.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Davey Wavey Goes To Church ...Davey Needs to Debate Cardinal Dolan

This is Davey's account of going to church.

Davey goes to a gay church

Davey is doing a video on the topic that gay people are religious. It is even possible to go to the church service from his page. I am a little amused that Davey calls it a "hot Mass" if I heard correctly.

I keep Davey's site listed on my little blog because he comes out of the Roman Catholic tradition. He has a healthy sense of body and sexuality and Davey is articulate. At this time when the whole gay marriage debate is heating up in the US, I think it would be helpful to have a debate between an hierach like Cardinal Dolan and Davey Wavey.

Davey Wavey was obviously moved by his church going experience. It probably tapped into some wonderful memories. It's regrettable that the Roman Catholic Church has isolated itself from the religious experiences and lives of gay and lesbian people. I mean even as a social group gay and lesbian people don't exist as far as the church is concerned. It's probably one reason the roman church can never have a dialogue with gay and lesbian people. So if Cardinal Dolan plans to reach out to the evil secular world, maybe he could start by talking to Davey.

Somehow I think it would be headlined: Davey meets Tower of Babel.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Bishops On Funding Contraception

Here is a letter/diary from this morning over on DailyKos that deserves mention.

The writer is Catholic and is critical of his bishop's recent letter chastising the Obama administration for requiring employers like the church to pay for health care coverage that includes contraception. The letter and many of the comments are worth reading. The writer's solution at the end of the letter is a good one. Obama and the bishops should take notice.

I’ve included the opening of the letter. The link will take you to the letter/diary.
My Dear Lord Bishop X.
(I just assume you prefer the medieval title)
I sat in the pew on Sunday morning recently and listened with interest to your letter warning of the threat to religious liberty posed by the Obama administration's recently announced rules regarding mandated coverage for contraception and other health care procedures you find distasteful. I have to say I found it to be the most brilliant letter from you regarding the Churches Social Teaching since the one last year about the rights of workers to bargain collectively.
What's that you say? You wrote no such letter? I could have sworn that a courageous leader such as yourself would loudly proclaim the Church's teaching on this matter in light of the highly public efforts in Wisconsin and Ohio to curb this fundamental human right which was the foundation of the Church's modern Social Teaching way back in 1874.
Oh well, never mind. I must thinking of your forceful letter endorsing an end to capitol punishment consistent with the church's longstanding teaching regarding the sanctity of human life. ... You never wrote such a letter? Oh...

Click here to go to the diary/letter on DailyKos

I especially like the additional comment from the diarist concerning a statement from the same bishop complaining in a column in the diocesan paper about the hymn All Are Welcome. The bishop didn't think that's true. According to the diarist the bishop said that all are not welcome. Some are damned. How do these bishops presume to call themselves shepherds?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Archbishop Sanctorum Preaching to the Choir

Over the weekend, Santorum again spoke out on gay rights, suggesting that same-sex relationships don't "benefit society."

Well, the man believes passionately. He's just an out of touch spokesperson for the RC hierarchy. I should feel sorry for him.

Please don't get santorum all over my blog.