A Hot Summer for Catholic Bishops

Well it is starting out to be a hot summer not only weather wise, but also religiously speaking.

In New York Archbishop Dolan has engaged in a hysterical response to the possibility of Gay Marriage being passed by that state senate. The demos are building for each side. The outcome is unsure for both sides, but the gay marriage side is most probably going to win. Twenty-nine of New York’s 30 Democratic senators support the gay marriage bill. Two Republicans, Sens. Roy McDonald and James Alesi, also support the bill, creating a 31-31 tie. Two or three Republicans are undecided on their vote. The vote could come on Wednesday.

Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage. Of them, all but Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., allow at least limited religious exemptions.

Than we have the situation in Boston where Cardinal Sean O’Malley has allowed himself to be manipulated a group of fundamentalist bloggers.  The Cardinal initially had authorized the cancellation of the “All Are Welcome Liturgy” at St. Cecilia Parish, because some thought it endorsed Gay Pride.

Boston’s St. Cecilia Parish will host a gay pride Mass on July 10 after an original service planned by the parish’s Rainbow Ministry was canceled by the archidiocese following a outcry by bloggers and other Catholics. The Rainbow Ministry hosted an outdoor alternative service on Sunday that drew 250 participants.

In the Chicago Archdiocese Cardinal Francis George is having a tough time. The Catholic Conference of Illinois under his leadership had sought to defeat the recently passed “Civil Unions” bill. Failing that he tried to get an amendment to include a “Conscience Clause.” Failing that he appears to be opening the flood gates state wide to close down the adoption/foster care arm of the various Catholic Charities Offices throughout the state.

We understand that an attempt is being made to engage the Illinois Catholic Conference in a dialogue process, but this is not the Cardinal’s strong suite.  In his recent column in the Catholic New World he basically  used the same argument he uses against women’s ordination He said that Marriage was gender specific between a man and a woman. Like the issue of ordination it is not the Church’s preview to change that. Apparently he only understands the Catholic understanding of marriage, and not the State’s. I guess if you disagree with the Cardinal’s definition you are promoting the false definition of marriage whatever that is.

Look for more Catholic adoption agencies under Catholic Charities to close down across the state of Illinois, because as the law now stands if you are taking state funding for your agency you cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation. This will most likely be Cardinal George’s legacy closing down adoption/foster care agencies in the name of pure dogma.

Next we have a situation with the United Nations on 17 June, the UN human rights council passed a resolution in favour of the rights of lesbians, bisexuals, gay men and trans people; the coalition that opposed this included Russia, Pakistan and Nigeria. And, of course, the Catholic church.

It indeed will be a hot summer in more than one way.

Bill O’Connor
Rainbow Sash Movement

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