Catholic Bishops: Clueless or not?

What is happening among the US Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) ? One can only observe that the Bishops appear to be having a Bizarre melt down. The issues while not uniform are showing the Bishops are increasingly hitting the panic button when responding to reasonable opposition. This certainly brings into question their ability to deal with controversial issues in the public sector when their only response is locked in the trenches of ignorance.

Thomas Merton once observed that spiritual growth is not a matter of going from question to answer but from question to question. The Bishops could learn much for this deceased monk’s spiritual walk if only they had embraced spiritual humility rather than dogmatic arrogance.

In the Archdiocese of Boston “The Pilot” printed a homophobic commentary. After a public outcry the author of the article resigned from the USCCB’s subcommittee on marriage. However, the editor of the newspaper claimed the commentary was not properly vetted, and should not have been published. The commentary basically said homosexuality was of the devil, and not God. Further that the mother played a part in the child’s disorder. It is a tragedy that throughout this issue Cardinal O’Malley remained silent.

In New York City Archbishop Dolan feels the need to rub the salt in by proclaiming that no Church property, and this includes chalices, vestments, and one would presume church wine cannot be used in any gay marriage ceremony. I am not quite sure who his intended audience was, but local Catholics overwhelming supported Gay Marriage as did a majority of priests. At the end of the day poor Dolan is being dismissed not because he is an Catholic Archbishop but rather because he comes across as irrational on the subject.

Than the Six Bishops of Illinois gave Governor Pat Quinn a tongue lashing only to be followed by Cardinal Francis George, leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, saying that he regretted not having all the facts when he allowed the Catholic Conference of Illinois to issue a statement on behalf of the bishops criticizing Quinn’s affiliation with a political action committee that supports abortion rights.

The Governor responded “I always feel that when you have an issue that you’re concerned about, the best thing to do is pick up the phone, set up a time, an appointment, and come on in and have a face-to-face dialogue,” said Quinn, a Catholic who has long clashed with the church about abortion rights.

It is a sad day when a Catholic Politician has to tell a Cardinal how to be pastoral.

Not to be out done Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles says democracy in the U.S. is under threat with recent government acts of suppression of religious freedom. Gomez, cites the push to legalize “same-sex” marriage as example of government suppression of religious freedom.

Archbishop Charles Chaput painted a stark picture for the future of Catholic social ministry work in America that the Obama administration is “unfriendly” to religion, he predicted that “we’ll see more attempts by the state to interfere with the church’s ministry.” This was a stealth reference to the state defunding of Catholic adoption agencies in Massachusetts, Washington, DC and most recently Illinois.

The wagons are circling and the bishops are losing the cultural war, the Rainbow Sash Movement believes most reasonable people are dismissing them because they are locked in myth and stereotype, and just don’t sound reasonable.

Pat Smith
Rainbow Sash Movement

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