Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival


New Catholic Hardball: Trading the Poor for Doctrinal Purity

posted by Diana Butler Bass

This morning’s Washington
Post
made me choke on my coffee: 
“Catholic Church Gives D.C. Ultimatum.”  The Catholic Archdiocese is playing political hardball by threatening to cut off social
services to the city’s poor–including the homeless, the hungry, the sick, and
children–if D.C. expands gay and lesbian civil rights and recognizes same-sex
marriage.

That’s right.  The
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is holding poor people hostage in
order to keep gay and lesbian persons from getting married.  They are willing to trade the indigent for getting their theological way.  

I don’t like to criticize other people’s religious faiths or
churches.  There’s plenty enough to
criticize in my own Protestant tradition. 
In the last year, however, we have witnessed a new authoritarian
activism on the part of the Roman Church hierarchy that has an impact well
beyond the Catholic Church.  This new coercive Catholicism is akin to the development of the Christian Right in
evangelical churches in the early 1980s–a religious-political movement that
reshaped American culture.  This is everybody’s business.

In the last year, new Catholic politics emerged in the Prop
8 campaign
in California where the church invested vast resources of money and
leadership to overturn gay marriage; and then did the same in Maine.  Last week, in a political maneuver
worthy of Tom DeLay, authoritarian Catholic bishops forced a Democratic
Congress to adopt the Stupak Amendment undermining the legal right to choice
by threatening to torpedo health reform.  Now they threaten the D.C. City Council?  Using the lives of poor people as a
political tool?

I don’t want to be alarmist about this.  Nor, in this ecumenical age, do I wish
to be seen as a nativist calling for a new anti-Catholic crusade.  That would be a terrible misrepresentation of these concerns.  Nor do I want to offend Catholic friends and family.  But it is profoundly disturbing that
the Roman Catholic Church appears to be using threats and fear to manipulate a
democratic political process to enforce Catholic doctrine regarding abortion
and human sexuality.  There seems
to be a political pattern developing that should cause broad-minded
citizens–Catholics included–to ask some serious questions regarding what is
happening within the Catholic hierarchy.

Recently, Congressman Patrick Kennedy did just that.  In an argument with his own bishop
about health care, Kennedy reminded the Bishop of Rhode Island that American
Catholics have a long history of diversity and dissent regarding formal Catholic
teaching.  Disagreement with the
Catholic Church was, Kennedy argued, part of the dynamic of being Catholic in a
democratic society.  Here’s the
bishop’s answer:

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not
make me any less of a Catholic.” Well, in fact, Congressman, in a way it does.
Although I wouldn’t choose those particular words, when someone rejects the
teachings of the Church, especially on a grave matter, a life-and-death issue
like abortion, it certainly does diminish their ecclesial communion, their
unity with the Church. This principle is based on the Sacred Scripture and
Tradition of the Church and is made more explicit in recent documents.

For example, the “Code of Canon Law” says, “Lay persons are bound by an
obligation and possess the right to acquire a knowledge of Christian doctrine
adapted to their capacity and condition so that they can live in accord with
that doctrine.” (Canon 229, #1)

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” says
this: “Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles, ‘He who hears you, hears me,’
the faithful receive with docility the teaching and directives that their
pastors give them in different forms.” (#87)

 

It is worrisome that a Roman Catholic bishop would remind a member of
the Kennedy political family that “docility” is the primary calling of faithful
Catholic laity.  What about courage, compassion, and creativity?  

Oddly enough, Roman Catholic leaders have adopted a strategy of
authoritarian engagement with the body politic at the very moment at which
their church is declining. One in ten Americans is now an ex-Roman Catholic, with numbers
dwindling, churches closing, a decline in the number of priests and religious,
and with only immigration holding the number of communicants steady. With the
church clearly in crisis, the bishops apparently have chosen to use the sick,
poor, homeless, children, the faithful laity, and marginal as tools to increase
their public power and influence by coercing public policy to fit their
theology.  You’d think that they
would be looking inward to see what is eroding Catholic congregations instead
of lobbying Congress and threatening politicians. 

This is not what John F. Kennedy would have imagined for his beloved
church when he so courageously broke through the boundaries of anti-Catholic
prejudice to become the nation’s first Catholic president.  The eternal flame at his grave in
Arlington witnesses to the ancient Catholic vision of universal peace, justice, and love. The new authoritarian Catholicism is not
only playing politics but it is replacing a more generous vision of historic Catholic
faith–the traditional one that sides with the poor, the oppressed, and the outcast–with a vision of political power.  For that, I am deeply sad.  Coercive religion should have no place
in a church or a pluralistic, democratic nation–much less in City Hall or the
halls of the United States Congress.

 



Advertisement
Comments read comments(46)
post a comment
David Cope

posted November 12, 2009 at 7:56 pm


I don’t think an anti-Catholic crusade will be necessary. They’ll collapse under the weight of their own authoritative stupidity. First the Bishops try to chase abortion coverage out of privately paid for health insurance, now tossing the poor to the wolves to crush the GLBT community. I do think it would nice if they lost their tax exempt status in the U.S., though. Their collective behavior is far too political to ignore any longer.



report abuse
 

Blue Collar Todd

posted November 12, 2009 at 8:10 pm


I am not Catholic but the implications if gay marriage is approved are rather obvious. The public embrace of a sin like homosexuality will necessarily lead to a conflict with those who stay faithful to Jesus’ teaching and preach the repentance from sin. Under the assault of homosexuality the Catholic Church has shut down pro-life and pro-family adoption agencies because gay activists want to force acceptance on them. Why not create their own “gay adoption” agencies instead of attacking the Catholic Church? Will the Church be forced to extend health benefits to homosexuals and not be able to decide who they hire? Seems like legitimate concerns to me.
So really, it is the gay activists who cannot just live and let live here. They must attack anyone who disagrees with their sexual choices, even if that means shutting down those who do good in the community. Seems like Isaiah has something to say about this when sin is embraced and good is punished.
“Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20



report abuse
 

Daivd Welch

posted November 12, 2009 at 9:06 pm


This is not very complicated. The Catholic hierarchy was caught raping children on a global scale. We now know that this campaign was in place for over 30 years.
To believe that they “purged” this evil from their ranks is naive. These are the same people in charge and that were complicit in the raping of children on every continent on Earth.
There is no evil they will not commit in the name of God. The poor, homeless and others don’t stand a chance against these people.



report abuse
 

Lauren

posted November 12, 2009 at 9:20 pm


As a cradle Catholic I am floored and frankly, disgusted. The Church needs to stop being so rabidly focused on individual’s sex lives and reproductive choices. The golden rule is to love one another, not to manipulate the vulnerabilities of people in need to push through legislation bent on denying citizen’s civil liberties.
Blue Collar Todd,
Why not create their own “gay adoption” agencies instead of attacking the Catholic Church
What?? How exactly would that work?…How is a gay person or couple who are willing to open their homes and hearts by adopting a child, often one who is special needs, not affirming pro-family values important to Catholicism? And LGBT people do not have to “force acceptance” on us straight Catholics, for they should be afforded every dignity and respect any other person …(read your Catechism)



report abuse
 

Brett

posted November 12, 2009 at 9:32 pm


Your ignorance of the true nature of politics and city contracts is astounding…so is your inability to control your 2 or 3 comments from engaging in bigoted and outrageous remarks.
The hand of the Catholics is being forced by the government who is essentially saying either agree with our enforcement of extreme minority claims or get out of the charity business.
The government will now force all subcontractors to adhere to their vision of morality or they will not allow contracts to be in place. If you do not agree with homosexual “marriage” on religious grounds – too bad…
This is the government using extreme measures to force competing groups out of the charity business – if you havent noticed with banks and car manufacturers, the federal government does not like competition.
PS – comparing the homosexual demand for total affirmation in their lifestyle to the civil rights movement is an outrage to all black americans.
Get a grip!



report abuse
 

Dom

posted November 12, 2009 at 9:49 pm


Blue Collar Todd,
Could you tell me where in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John Christ condemns homosexuality? I know of several passages where Christ condemns violence, pride, and over-attachment to material possessions. I know of several passages where Christ urges compassion and love for the poor and less fortunate. But I am not aware of any condemnations of homosexuality. We must not be reading the same Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.



report abuse
 

Daivd Welch

posted November 12, 2009 at 10:07 pm


Brett – You said:
“If you do not agree with homosexual “marriage” on religious grounds – too bad…”
“…comparing the homosexual demand for total affirmation in their lifestyle to the civil rights movement is an outrage to all black americans.”
So the religious folks that did not believe in the civil rights of blacks were right? The Justice of the Peace in Louisiana was correct to deny a marriage certificate to an interracial couple?
Really? You REALLY want to go there?
Take your medication, Brett.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted November 12, 2009 at 10:52 pm


This Catholic is not offended by the article. This Catholic says, “Shame! Shame on the Archdiocese!” I would also not be surprised if more bishops begin doing this type of thing. And, I would bet that one reason is because the Catholic Church has had to spend millions of dollars on the sex-abuse scandals, and less and less money is being “tithed” to the church because of the sex scandal AND because millions of Catholics are tired of being told by the church WHO to vote for and WHAT to vote for. The Church will say it’s because of “Catholic values” that they are denying money to the city, but it’s really because they have had to spend so much money on lawsuits. Lay Catholics with a conscience and a sense of moral decency, as usual, can still rescue our Catholic Church from politically-motivated clergymen by speaking out. I hope it is not too late. Another very sad day for Catholics. Shame!



report abuse
 

Brett

posted November 12, 2009 at 11:46 pm


Nope, David, I am saying that comparing the true battle for civil rights of african americans was a just one and, by the way, one lead by the Christians such as MLK.
The push for gay marriage is a sham because there is fundamental and natural differences between traditional marriage and homosexual marriage – namely procreation and the face that thousands of years are civilization are built upon one but not the other.
Civil unions are fine – but marriage for homosexuals is a misnomer and is a shell game to force affirmation of homosexual lifestyle on all of society – which REJECTS it in EVERY state where it was on the ballot.
Don’t compare your strong arm tactics to true civil rights…



report abuse
 

Brett in Oregon

posted November 12, 2009 at 11:47 pm


I guess I don’t understand why the Catholic Charities can’t just disband and just have the churches run most of those programs? If they want to follow their Catholic values then they can do it in the private sphere without tax dollars from the people some of which are “morally disordered” or following Catholic values. Why would they want their money anyway? They wouldn’t have to provide benefits or services to those that offend their Catholic values. Aren’t non-Catholic/once-divoreced marriages not recognized by the Church? Why do they give benefits or services to straight married partners of Lutherans for example?
I’m sure the D.C. can find others to take over those services. The City will have $18 to $20 millions dollars to be giving out after all.
But good news! The City is digging in: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/12/AR2009111210789.html?hpid=topnews



report abuse
 

Brett

posted November 12, 2009 at 11:54 pm


Final note — this is Catholic bashing pure and simple.
The Church is not giving the ultimatum but, the city is doing just that by refusing to allow for religious exemptions that were even advocated by the ACLU at the hearings on the matter.
This is not about homosexual rights – this is about homosexual and government power to silence critics and any group with opposing views.
Obviously gay power is now more in vogue than first admendment rights to the free exercise of religion…



report abuse
 

Brett in Oregon

posted November 13, 2009 at 12:20 am


I fail to see where I’m Catholic bashing. Sure, I’m a proud ex-Catholic that has issues with the higher-ups and their theology (and yes, the guilt stays – not over being gay or having a boyfriend mind you). But my mom is still Catholic afterall.
I see it as the archdiocese saying “You can’t make us!” and the city saying “Do what you must. We must follow the laws. Go now in peace.”



report abuse
 

David Justin Lynch

posted November 13, 2009 at 12:35 am


Not all catholics are Roman. Episcopalians are catholics, too. We have female priests, married priests and gay priests. Our church government is democratic, not authoritarian. We welcome persons with differing opinions. And we are sensible about all things sexual. Solemn High Mass with us doesn’t mean you have to check your brains at the door!



report abuse
 

Brett

posted November 13, 2009 at 12:39 am


Brett in OR – this is not as simple or neutral as that.
This is a law that attacks the heart of religious organizations ability to act in the public realm because it forces them to contradict their teachings on morality.
The key here is also the narrowness of the exemptions – if exemptions were allowed for freedom of the exercise of religion then there would be relatively no issue.
This is forcing the hand by government and it is on an issue that would get rejected by a democratic vote.
This is an attack by government and an extreme minority on the majority of citizens and religious rights in particular.



report abuse
 

Brett

posted November 13, 2009 at 12:41 am


“Solemn High Mass with us doesn’t mean you have to check your brains at the door!”
Yes, you sound very open minded…



report abuse
 

Brett in Oregon

posted November 13, 2009 at 1:45 am


Brett
We’ll have to agree to disagree. I’m supposed to believe that religious organizations ability to act in the public realm will be imposed by whether or not they get tax dollars? I’m sure plenty do without tax dollars help. They’ll just have to reorganize to do good works. You make it sound like they’re welfare junkies!



report abuse
 

Blue Collar Todd

posted November 13, 2009 at 1:46 am


@Dom,
No where does Jesus teach counter to the Old Testament’s condemnation of homosexuality either. Just because Jesus did not directly refer to homosexuality does not mean He therefore accepts it. Same could be said about any other thing Jesus did not directly address. It seems rather that Jesus affirms the view that marriage is between a man and a woman. He also warns about Judgment when people are being married rather indiscriminately and even says it will be like Sodom and Gomorrah before the End.
@Lauren,
Every one of us is created in God’s image and has intrinsic value because of that. We are all also sinners in need of repentance. Why suddenly claim that homosexuality is no longer a sexual sin? I guess we could say adultery is no longer sin as well if we follow that logic. God’s design for the family is rather clear in that it is a man and a woman that should be the nucleus of the family. The promotion of the sin of homosexuality undermines the family teaching our children there are no normative forms of sexual expression and marital relationships.



report abuse
 

Mere_Christian

posted November 13, 2009 at 7:46 am


The very word and position “progressive” is NOW an afront AND an attack on Christian truth. The mask has been discarded BY progressives more than a decade ago.
“Progressive” means non and anti Christian beliefs being forced into and onto The Church.
Finally, Catholics that follow the Gospel are standing up and standing against the evil that has masqueraded as truth within their midst.
Liberal and progressive fruit (abortion and sodomoy) cannot be validated any more than idoltry can. Progressives and liberals have got to be expected per the Apostolic witness to give up their desires to live a worldy life, and to stop forcing Christians to bow to secularism, with its vice and corruption so celebrated by the world.
It is now time to treat liberals and progressives as you would the pagans and tax collectors (literally) that they have shown that they are (literally) over and over and over again. Their deaf ears opened by worldly and permissive calls.
The Catholic Church is not giving up the poor and needy, they are just UNYOKING themselves to unbelievers. It is the godless desiring to continue to use the poor and needy. The Church will always be there for those in need. It will just no longer be part of a sick and evil ideology.
It is the liberals and progressives that use the poor as fodder to implement their paganism and tax collecting ways on an unwilling populace. The evidence is all too overwhelming to view.
Now, that is more obvious than ever.
Progressives join with the worldy and Godless to denounce Christians that desire to live as they are supposed to.
Here is good advice still to 21st century “progressives”:
We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians (and 21st century Progressives), and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.
////
Progressives, listen to your desire for the abortions and sexual perversions of the godless.
////
Do Not Be Yoked With Unbelievers
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?
What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
////
Progressives,
This war against The Church, being waged by the worldly and the Godless, has been going on since the beginning of The Church.
Why are you joining the world?
Catholics are desiring to contend for the faith delivered only once to the saints.
They should hear a voice of encouragement, NOT the voice of the Godless.



report abuse
 

hootie1fan

posted November 13, 2009 at 7:51 am


Divorce and remarry and divorce and remarry and divorce and remarry and get benefits, but same sex couples get nothing and neither do the poor. The Catholic Church is better than this.



report abuse
 

Lauren

posted November 13, 2009 at 8:42 am


Brett,
“The push for gay marriage is a sham because there is fundamental and natural differences between traditional marriage and homosexual marriage – namely procreation and the face that thousands of years are civilization are built upon one but not the other.
Civil unions are fine – but marriage for homosexuals is a misnomer and is a shell game to force affirmation of homosexual lifestyle on all of society – which REJECTS it in EVERY state where it was on the ballot.
Don’t compare your strong arm tactics to true civil rights…”
Get a grip! Seriously, chill out.
Thousands of years of civilization are based on polygamy, not monogamy and would you seek to deny marriage to those couples that cannot procreate, ie infertility?
Would you support that everyone that is joined by the state (i.e. justice of the peace) as having a civil union (regardless of the gender of the couple involved) and have everyone who is married by a religious institution be “married” regardless of gender of the couples? I know my parents consider themselves married because they were joined in a religious,Catholic ceremony not because of the state.
As for the state ballots…well, what is popular isn’t always right and what is right isn’t always popular and besides, my generation (I’m 22) is decidedly moving towards LGBT acceptance so I think gay marriage will occur mostly everywhere in my lifetime. I think marriage is a social good and we should encourage people to make such a loving commitment to one another (not mention to look at our own failings in regards to marriage, ie the pitiful 60% divorce rate). Personally, I think divorce does far more harm to children and the family values then gay marriage ever could.(not popular, I know)…
What do you consider “true” civil rights??
Brett,
Is it sin if it is something you have no choice in? Evidence mounts that homosexuality has biological and environmental (ie pollutants) foundations (though I will acknowledge publishing bias). Furthermore, marriage is a social good and a commitment that is used to prevent sexual promiscuity…what do you think the ramifications of preventing a group of people the right to marriage? Sexual promiscuity and adultery will not lessen, I imagine, but intensify which is bad for society. As for teaching normative forms of sexual expression…most homosexuals came out of heterosexual pairing families…how did this lesson pass them by? I suppose what truly has me angry, in an adoption scenario, is that the Church is willing to deny children a home because of the apparent sins of the would be parents.
I won’t be responding back. Unfortunately, graduate school papers are going to be taking up all my time in the next few days. :(



report abuse
 

EllieDee

posted November 13, 2009 at 9:20 am


Thank God, and God Bless a thousand fold, for the truth that comes from a Mere_Christian



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted November 13, 2009 at 9:28 am


(The Catholic Archdiocese is playing political hardball by threatening to cut off social services to the city’s poor–including the homeless, the hungry, the sick, and children.)WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS STATEMENT? Where in the Heck is the state at on providing these services themselves? I have personal experience with this issue myself! The state turns you down because your GROSS INCOME of $400.00 a month is seen in the eyes of the state as being plentiful to make ends meet. In these times of severe lack for the economy, a system that you have paid your taxes in for most of your life, and the state turns forgets WHO’S tax dollar their holding on to! As for HOMOSEXUALS AND LESBEIANS the best I can remember that I was taught by my church and my family and my grandparents is that it was ADAM & EVE (NOT ADAM & STEVE)



report abuse
 

Ant C.

posted November 13, 2009 at 10:03 am


I knew this post was a lie. The church never threatened to cut off social services for the poor. It did threaten to end the contracts between the church and the city of Washington D.C. If you were familiar with state and local governments you would realize that this happens all the time and is not a big deal. Just another round in the anti-Catholic smear campaign. Perhaps you should have read the entire article and then posted.



report abuse
 

Joe

posted November 13, 2009 at 10:28 am


What most disturbs me about this turn in RC political strategy is that it risks sacrificing the breadth of RC social teaching in order to promote the interests of just one small (and relatively recent) part of the church’s teaching. There are so many ways in which Christian progressives have common cause with Catholicism and have drawn on its wisdom and theological traditions to think about a truly Christian social vision. But with this revival of ultramontanist, authoritarian Roman Catholicism, the church whose spirituality and sacraments nurtured St Francis, St Teresa, and Dorothy Day is in danger of being reduced to a shell of itself. Thank God for the Jesuits!
I think that the good news is that there are people (perhaps the majority) within the RC church that see this change and can no longer remain silent. And if the Pope’s goal in the end is to make the beauty and social vision of catholicism capture the imagination of the world, I think he better consider whether this is better done in the spirit of Vatican I or Vatican II.



report abuse
 

Mere_Christian

posted November 13, 2009 at 10:35 am


Remember in the metaphoric story of Sodom and Lot, there was only one progressive that was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back at the life she left behind.
All the rest of them stayed in Sodom.
Poof!
This is all playing out like the Bible said it would.
But woe to those that cause stumbling.
But then again, you have to have eyes to see with and ears to hear with.
And to preach that is now considered a hate crime.
Hmm, wasn’t Lot also charged with a hate crime?



report abuse
 

Theo

posted November 13, 2009 at 11:32 am


“The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is holding poor people hostage in order to keep gay and lesbian persons from getting married. They are willing to trade the indigent for getting their theological way.”
There is, of course, another way to describe what is happening. Could it be that the city of Washington is holding the Catholic Church hostage to its own political agenda? It seems to many that the city is demanding that the church act contrary to its own principles. Here is a different angle: One More Liberty Lost. There is no reason why the church should be asked to sacrifice its own understanding of the truth for pragmatic reasons. Would you wish to be forced to do the same?
Your post is unnecessarily tendentious and it does nothing to advance dialogue over differences on fairly crucial issues. It may be easy to vilify the “authoritarian” Catholic Church and the Christian Right because they happen to disagree with you, but you would do a greater service to everyone if you were to make an effort to understand their position rather than to draw caricatures.



report abuse
 

Andy

posted November 13, 2009 at 12:45 pm


“Coercive religion should have no place in a church or a pluralistic, democratic nation–much less in City Hall or the halls of the United States Congress.” Really, how about saying Coercive gays rights advoctes should have no place in forcing a church or state to bend to their will while disrespecting deeply held religious convictions. Truth is, it is not the Church that is playing hardball, but those seeking to force the Church into accepting and even blessing those unions which they believe to be contrary to God’s Word. This article is a lie, it is the council which will not allow for diferences, and it is the council which is playing progressive hardball.



report abuse
 

Mike

posted November 13, 2009 at 1:37 pm


I really hate to admit that my first reaction to reading the AP article was, “We now have a Christian Taliban operating, and it’s name is the Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops.” Harsh, I realize, but the disgust at this type of religious manipulation and control is horrifying. And it is not just in this arena, but in the lobbying (interestingly, somehow they get around being a registered PAC) on the health care/abortion issue.



report abuse
 

Ami

posted November 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm


To those who are attempting to twist the situation and say D.C is holding the Catholic Church’s rights hostage: Your logic is absurd.
“There is no reason why the church should be asked to sacrifice its own understanding of the truth for pragmatic reasons.” Yes, there is. For one, the Church is using government funds, then flailing wildly when its Right To Discriminate Against Innocent Persons is taken away. If the Catholic Church were discriminating against people of color and insisting that it would not allow them to obtain help or jobs from the Church, would any self-respecting person bother defending the Church? I certainly hope not.
Regardless of “the word of God”, the Church is using government funds and is therefore under government law. That is the way society works.
What I see as the most horrible part of this situation is not the Church’s stance against homosexual people (I have come to accept that ignorance and hatefulness), but the Church’s decision to take away the needs of almost 70,000 people for its own selfish agenda, from which NO good will come.
The Church is essentially insisting that it be allowed to continue its hate crimes or else it will starve children.



report abuse
 

stephen

posted November 13, 2009 at 4:24 pm


>Regardless of “the word of God”, the Church is using government funds and is therefore under government law. That is the way society works.
Well, if the Church is using government funds, then the government can just give those funds to some other charitable organization. Right? So, how is it that the Church is holding the government hostage?



report abuse
 

Rachel

posted November 14, 2009 at 10:15 am


the Catholic church is doing exactly what Jesus would NOT do! it’s a very sad day when a religious institution will punish the poor & needy in reaction to a social/equality movement
instances like this make reinforce my decision to leave the catholic church. Jesus was a radical who promoted equality & compassion for all human beings (He chose to hang out with the women & men whom the church deemed social outcasts) and don’t forget he despised the authoritarian culture of the politicized church.



report abuse
 

Raymond Bianchi

posted November 14, 2009 at 11:49 am


One of the characteristics of Roman Catholicism has been that it can be both progressive and conservative at the same time. Both Francis and Dominic were reforming the Church in very different ways at the same time. The Church created the Reductions in Paraguay and at the same time Matteo Ricci was dialoging with China. In the 1950’s the Church could house Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, and William F Buckley and Claire Booth Luce. This has defined us for generations.
Pope Benedict has decided that there is no room for this anymore in our Church. He is a narrow minded man who is much less progressive than even John Paul II. The Church is becoming a parody of itself trading our rich life for revanchism, neo-traditional latin Masses, and EWTN. We are a Church that has chosen narrow minded ness over Creativity and it is a sure sign of Decline. But we survived the Borgia Popes and the Reformation and we will survive this but we are in need of the holy spirit, NOW



report abuse
 

Lou Koumades

posted November 14, 2009 at 12:37 pm


This “middle ages” mindset of the “First Estates” authority over the “Second Estate” has never worked for the Roman Church post the Renaissance, be it threatening kings and princes in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries or the French and Italian people and politicians in the nineteenth century. If anything this strategy backfires on the church again and again. Leaving the church the loser in regards to its constituents’, property and power. The sin of pride and egotism by the church hierarchy is killing this venerable intuition.



report abuse
 

James Gilmore

posted November 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm


Would Jesus Christ hold the poor hostage like this? I think not.
The Roman Catholic Diocese should be ashamed of themselves. Anyone on here who defends their actions should be ashamed of themselves. You need to repent now of your attitudes, beg God for forgiveness, and start working against this injustice.



report abuse
 

Theo

posted November 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm


“The Roman Catholic Diocese should be ashamed of themselves. Anyone on here who defends their actions should be ashamed of themselves. You need to repent now of your attitudes, beg God for forgiveness, and start working against this injustice.”
And how exactly do you know that the Catholic Church is committing an injustice? By what or whose authority do you make this judgement? Is it the larger society which has now decided that something scripture labels sin is now, not just okay, but a positive virtue to be defended with government moneys? And just where does the larger society find its authority?
I am amused by the description box for this blog. It is quite the feat to “stand firmly within” a tradition that shifts with every tectonic movement of society. The biblical prophets called the people back to obedience to the law. Our latter-day prophets call us (authoritatively!) to embrace the prevailing social anomie. Fascinating, but not very convincing, I’m afraid.



report abuse
 

James Gilmore

posted November 15, 2009 at 11:16 pm


And how exactly do you know that the Catholic Church is committing an injustice? By what or whose authority do you make this judgement?
Well, the Bible, for starters. Jesus makes it pretty clear that His priority is the poor and oppressed, not to legislate one narrow sect’s sexual morality into civil law. (The early Christians also eschewed temporal and worldly power, seeing that it corrupted. If only the Roman Catholic Church had followed their lead instead of turning to the path of Constantine.)
Is it the larger society which has now decided that something scripture labels sin is now, not just okay, but a positive virtue to be defended with government moneys? And just where does the larger society find its authority?
Please show me exactly where in the Constitution of the United States (which lays out exactly how the United States Government draws its authority from the people) the input of Scripture is sought or given any weight whatsoever. Civil law in a secular society should have absolutely no concern for what one religion’s scripture labels sin. And yes, people’s right to marry should be defended with government money, just as all other rights should.
It is quite the feat to “stand firmly within” a tradition that shifts with every tectonic movement of society.
It’s better to be open to God moving in our society for greater love and acceptance, than to cling obstinately to a “tradition” of bigotry and hatred.
The biblical prophets called the people back to obedience to the law.
The Biblical prophets made it pretty clear that society would be judged by the way it treated its poorest and most needy populations. Given that the Roman Catholic Diocese is holding the poorest and most needy hostage in a political pissing match trying to throw their temporal power around, I have a pretty strong hunch about where the Biblical prophets would side on this one.
Our latter-day prophets call us (authoritatively!) to embrace the prevailing social anomie.
No, our latter-day prophets call us to stand against the consumerism, greed, and selfishness that have gripped American culture as a whole, and to stand against the bigotry, fear, and small-mindedness that have gripped the conservative churches. Our latter-day prophets call us to work for and serve the poor, not to hold them hostage for the sake of a social agenda.



report abuse
 

Theo

posted November 16, 2009 at 5:01 pm


“Civil law in a secular society should have absolutely no concern for what one religion’s scripture labels sin. And yes, people’s right to marry should be defended with government money, just as all other rights should.”
“No, our latter-day prophets call us to stand against the consumerism, greed, and selfishness that have gripped American culture as a whole, and to stand against the bigotry, fear, and small-mindedness that have gripped the conservative churches.”
Mr. Gilmore, your own religion appears to assume that consumerism, greed and selfishness are sinful. Given your first statement above, it is unclear that civil law can even address such phenomena. Your religion presumably opposes murder and theft, and yet I assume you would have government act to curb these sins. You’ll have to do better than this.
As for the right to marry, everyone has always had an equal right to marry, including those of differing sexual orientations. What they have not had, until recently in some jurisdictions, is the right to redefine whatever relationships they are in as marriage. There is nothing especially bigoted or oppressive in recognizing that marriage has an intrinsic God-given nature that mere human beings are not authorized to tamper with.



report abuse
 

Jenny

posted November 27, 2009 at 12:54 pm


In fairly recent history, the Catholic Clerical Union (a group of Episcopal priests who opposed the ordination of women and preferred incense and High Mass) had a significant number of closeted gay clergy. Some of the most homophobic evangelical leaders have also been ‘outed’. I propose there is a connection between secret/exclusive groups and homophobia where people demonize that which they cannot accept in themselves and try to deal with their internal self-loathing by projecting it out onto ‘evil’ others. There is nothing life giving in their fear and the behaviors that issue from it.



report abuse
 

JAMI35Boyer

posted March 15, 2010 at 9:55 am


Lots of specialists tell that home loans aid a lot of people to live their own way, because they can feel free to buy needed things. Moreover, some banks present auto loan for all people.



report abuse
 

Mark

posted June 10, 2010 at 6:40 pm


I think I just have been informed about this issue
at job 1 day ago by a friend, but at that time
it didn’t caugh my attention.



report abuse
 

41

posted June 23, 2010 at 8:12 am

Adidas Digital Watch

posted June 26, 2010 at 12:48 pm


To be a noble benign being is to be enduring a kind of openness to the far-out, an gift to trusteeship undeterminable things beyond your own pilot, that can front you to be shattered in uncommonly outermost circumstances on which you were not to blame. That says something remarkably weighty with the fettle of the righteous life: that it is based on a corporation in the fitful and on a willingness to be exposed; it’s based on being more like a weed than like a sparkler, something rather fragile, but whose acutely special attraction is inseparable from that fragility.



report abuse
 

Alice

posted July 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm


n every tom’s sustenance, at some dated, our inner fire goes out. It is then break asunder into flame at hand an face with another hominoid being. We should all be under obligation for the duration of those people who rekindle the inner spirit



report abuse
 

Linda

posted July 16, 2010 at 6:11 am


In the whole world’s sustenance, at some occasion, our inner foment goes out. It is then bust into flame by an be faced with with another hominoid being. We should all be indebted quest of those people who rekindle the inner spirit



report abuse
 

Alice

posted July 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm


In the whole world’s sustenance, at some occasion, our inner fire goes out. It is then blow up into enthusiasm beside an contend with with another hominoid being. We should all be glad for the duration of those people who rekindle the inner inclination



report abuse
 

Aisha

posted August 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm


In everyone’s life, at some pass‚, our inner throw goes out. It is then blow up into enthusiasm at hand an encounter with another human being. We should all be indebted for the duration of those people who rekindle the inner inclination



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Progressive Revival. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!  

posted 2:50:10pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Why Jews Around the World are Praying for the Victory of the Egyptian Uprising
Originally appeared on Tikkun Daily BlogEver since the victory over the dictator of Tunisia and the subsequent uprising in Egypt, my email has been flooded with messages from Jews around the world hoping and praying for the victory of the Egyptian people over their cruel Mubarak regime.&nb

posted 1:48:39pm Feb. 01, 2011 | read full post »

When Generosity, Love, and Kindness are Public Policy, the Violence We Saw in Arizona will Dramatically Diminish
The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords and the murder of so many others in Arizona has elicited a number of policy suggestions, from gun control to private protection for elected officials, to banning incitement to violence on websites either directly or more subtly (e.g., Sarah Palin

posted 2:44:04pm Jan. 19, 2011 | read full post »

The Spiritual Messages of Chanukah and Christmas -- and Their Downsides
Christmas and Chanukah share a spiritual message: that it is possible to bring light and hope in a world of darkness, oppression and despair. But whereas Christmas focuses on the birth of a single individual whose life and mission was itself supposed to bring liberation, Chanukah is about a national

posted 12:59:53pm Dec. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Obama (and Biden) Have No Clue About What's Bothering Their Political Base
Shortly before the California Democratic primary in 2008, the San Fransisco Chronicle invited me to write a short article explaining why I, chair of the interfaithNetwork of Spiritual Progressives, was supporting Barack Obama. Like most other progressive activists, I understood that a pres

posted 1:44:11pm Sep. 30, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.