I was invited to share with you a pastoral letter from the bishop of an inclusive Catholic church. You’ll find nothing like this coming from the Roman church.
Bread for All, Work for All, Dignity for All:
A Christian Revolution
A Pastoral Letter
Bishop James Alan Wilkowski
Evangelical Catholic Bishop for the Diocese of the Northwest
The Latin word “revolution” means to turn around, to take an opposite direction or make often drastic changes.
An infinite variety of reasons have been explored by historian presenting both justification for revolution as well as purely emotional and even irrational reasons for humankind’s behavior in this regard. Is there a “gold thread” as it was that has appeared in history which can shed some light on the causes of revolts?
It is necessary to travel back in time, perhaps tens of thousands of years to a time we call pre-history. Let’s look at a time when human population was small and our hunter gatherer ancestors were pretty much on their own in eking out an existence. There was a time when families joined together for their own survival. More and more families came together to form a clan, a group with the belief in the strength in numbers. Ultimately, there came a time when a structure was needed to address mutual issues. Nature was always a problem and it was much easier for a large group working together to provide protection and to insure food clothing and shelter be available.
Eventually, it became clear that a social structure was needed and leaders were selected as well as rules for living together. There came into existence what was called “the unwritten social contract”. This was a concept that stated that each individual would surrender some of his personal freedom so that there could be a harmonious social relationship. In order to receive assistance from the group, I will agree to abide by the rules, the structure of the group and I will be able to participate in the goods and services available to the members of the group. There was a group leader and members of a council responsible for organization of the distribution of goods and services as well as providing for the safety and protection of group members.
Complete Letter HERE!
By Mary Elizabeth Williams
Antonin Scalia, you crazy cutup, you. With the Supreme Court currently gearing up to review two cases that have the potential to become watershed moments in the fight for marriage equality, the famously conservative associate justice is facing his old nemesis yet again – the HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA. And he’s doing it in his usual way — by behaving like an arrogant, dismissive tool to gay people, right to their faces.
At a speaking event in Princeton on Monday, the justice was confronted by a gay freshman named Duncan Hosie, who questioned why he has equated laws banning sodomy with those banning bestiality and murder. “It’s a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the ‘reduction to the absurd,’” Scalia sniffed. That’s funny; I thought it was called hyperbole. Or maybe just a steaming pile of wrong.
“If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?” he continued. Exactly. If we do not want anchovies, do we not reject pepperoni as well? Can we truly expect human beings to have different feelings about entirely different things? Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you, is not Team Edward tantamount to Team Jacob? This is what gets you a black robe and a job for life. He then told the student, “I’m surprised you aren’t persuaded.” How dreary and tiresome to be Antonin Scalia, and live in a whole world full of people who are not.
There may be something vaguely admirable in the way Scalia, who also told the audience that the Constitution “isn’t a living document … It’s dead, dead, dead, dead,” sticks so consistently with his textualism. But it’s the way he desperately tries to wrap it around controlling behavior he finds icky that’s peculiar to the point of ridiculous.
Take, for instance, the statements that Hosie was referring to. In 1996, in his dissenting opinion in the gay rights case Romer v. Evans, Scalia huffed, “I had thought that one could consider certain conduct reprehensible — murder, for example, or polygamy, or cruelty to animals — and could exhibit even ‘animus’ toward such conduct.” And in his 2003 dissenting opinion in the landmark Lawrence v. Texas case, which struck down sodomy laws, Scalia cited “government interest in protecting order and morality.” He warned about “state laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity” and “the impossibility of distinguishing homosexuality from other traditional ‘morals’ offenses.” Back then, he concurred with the assessment that “certain forms of sexual behavior are ‘immoral and unacceptable,’” citing legal limits on “adultery, fornication, and adult incest, and laws refusing to recognize homosexual marriage.” And he warned ominously that “today’s opinion dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned.” Can you imagine how freaked out he must be, nine years later, now that this homosexual unions thing is happening? It’s everything he feared coming true. Hahahahahaha.
Scalia is still clinging tenaciously to his “ew, gross” vision of homosexuality — and working with all his might to prove that the great love of his life, the Constitution of the United States of America, agrees with him. In October, he eye-rolled at a lecture, “Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state.” It must be difficult to find himself, a man appointed back in the glory days of Ronald Reagan, to be on the increasingly smaller, losing side of the culture war. To be the great and powerful Antonin Scalia, facing off against a measly college freshman, and to come across so defensive, so hollow and so very, very wrong. It’s called reduction to absurd. Scalia’s living it.
Complete Article HERE!
File under: More of them dangerous nuns on the loose!
By DOUG ERICKSON
Two longtime Madison nuns who lead an interfaith spirituality center have been banned by Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino from holding workshops or providing spiritual direction or guidance at any Catholic churches in the 11-county diocese.
Sisters Maureen McDonnell and Lynn Lisbeth, both Sinsinawa Dominicans, have diverged too far from Catholic teaching, according to a confidential memo sent Nov. 27 to priests on behalf of Morlino. A copy of the memo was leaked to the State Journal.
Two other women connected to the interfaith center, called Wisdom’s Well, also have been banned as part of the same action.
The memo says Morlino has “grave concerns” about the women’s teachings, specifically that they “espouse certain views” flowing from such movements as “New Ageism” and “indifferentism.” The latter, according to the memo, is “the belief that no one religion or philosophy is superior to another.”
The women “may not share an authentic view of the Catholic Church’s approach to interreligious dialogue,” the memo said.
Brent King, a spokesman for the diocese, said three other potential parish guest speakers, all male, have been banned “in recent years.” The women are not prohibited from attending Mass or, if Catholic, from receiving communion, King said. Asked whether they could contribute to parish life in other ways, such as reading Bible passages from the pulpit or chairing a church committee, King said that would be up to individual priests.
The action comes amid a papal crackdown on nuns. Earlier this year, the Vatican accused the most influential group of Catholic sisters in the U.S. of “serious doctrinal issues” for not following Rome’s lead on topics such as the male-only priesthood and homosexuality.
Wisdom’s Well was founded in Madison in 2006. The center has no physical facility but offers workshops and retreats on topics such as nonviolence, contemplative living and Christian meditation.
The center’s website says it “serves to support those who desire to grow spiritually, seek inner wisdom, and yearn for a transformative spirituality.” Its mission statement says the center is “grounded in the Christian tradition, while embracing the wisdom found in other religious traditions.”
Along with the sisters, the third staff member is Beth O’Brien, a married mother of two and a religious layperson affiliated with the Benedictine community. She also is banned, as is Paula Hirschboeck, a philosophy professor at Edgewood College in Madison who helped found Wisdom’s Well but is no longer on its staff.
The women declined comment, referring questions to the Dominicans of Sinsinawa Congregation, based in southwestern Wisconsin.
The order’s spokeswoman, Tricia Buxton, released a statement saying McDonnell and Lisbeth are “respected and valued members” of the order, and that both women “have been dedicated to religious life and preaching and teaching Gospel values for nearly 50 years.” The Sinsinawa Dominicans “wholeheartedly support our sisters and hold them in prayer as we continue our mission of participating in the building of a holy and just church and society,” the statement said.
Buxton said Sinsinawa Dominicans have never before faced a prohibition like this in the diocese. The order has 521 sisters.
Both McDonnell and Lisbeth are well-known in Madison. McDonnell served for 21 years on the campus ministry staff at Edgewood College, her alma mater. Lisbeth regularly leads classes in spirituality at the Madison Senior Center.
At the time the memo went out, McDonnell was co-facilitating a series of weekly classes with 12 students at St. James Catholic Church in Madison titled, “Just Peace Initiative: The Challenge and Promise of Nonviolence for Our Time.” The class has been moved, according to an organizer, who did not want the new site published.
The memo sent to priests says the four women “are not to be invited or allowed to preach, catechize, lead spiritual or prayer instructions or exercises, or to provide spiritual direction or guidance at churches, oratories or chapels within the Diocese of Madison.” No publicity materials from Wisdom’s Well are to be allowed inside parishes.
The memo does not give specific examples of things the women may have said that violate church teaching. Rather, the memo references problematic statements on the center’s website, including that the sisters embrace “the wisdom found in other religious traditions.”
King said it is both the diocese’s duty and right to ensure parish speakers transmit true church teaching. “A proposed speaker’s association with a group whose philosophy is inconsistent with the Catholic faith disqualifies a proposed speaker,” he said.
The prohibition against the sisters came only after the diocese “patiently and prudently” investigated the matter, King said. The memo says the diocese “sought clarification” from the sisters, but “the responses from these individuals proved insufficient and inconclusive to resolve grave concerns.”
Complete Article HERE!
By Matt Pearce
Some had waited decades for this. So early Sunday, the first day they could legally wed, same-sex couples in Washington state held marriage ceremonies immediately after midnight and made plans to get hitched en masse.
At the same time, the Seattle Times reported, another ceremony took place between Mary Davidson and Monica Rozgay at the Seattle Yacht Club. The brides wore twin white dresses. A photo from the celebration showed a 6-year-old nephew snoozing in a chair after the late-night ceremony.
Sunday morning’s red-eye ceremonies were expected to be followed by waves more throughout the day after the state’s voter-approved law legalizing same-sex marriage took effect.
Robyn Wyss, of Seattle, told the Associated Press that her marriage to five-months-pregnant Danielle Yung was “more emotional than I thought it would be,” adding, “Our friends are here, it’s a beautiful space and there’s all this love and appreciation. We’ve been thinking about this as more of a political celebration for all of Washington state, but obviously it’s very meaningful for us and our future child as well.”
Washington’s same-sex marriage law look effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, allowing couples to buy marriage licenses. But the three-day waiting period meant they could not wed before Sunday.
A maximum of 841 same-sex couples could marry Sunday. That’s how many were issued licenses issued across the state on Thursday, according to a tally by county auditors. But that tally could include a few different-sex couples in three counties — including King, the largest — that declined to track licenses by gender.
King County accounted for more than half the licenses issued, and in the three-day gap between licensing and matrimony, officials said they issued an “unprecedented” 623 marriage licenses.
The result: 140 couples were scheduled to marry at Seattle City Hall between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, with each ceremony lasting about 15 minutes.
Sixteen judges volunteered to perform the nuptials for the Seattle couples, which were about two-thirds female, the city said in a blog it set up to document and celebrate the day.
The number of newlyweds could grow even larger by the end of the day.
“We’re ahead of schedule here at City Hall — we can take 10 more couples,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGuinn tweeted. “If you want to marry here, check in at standby on 5th Ave.”
The city set up a live feed that showed the bustling scene inside City Hall, with friends and and families milling around as couples hustled in to be wed.
Among them was syndicated “Savage Love” columnist Dan Savage, who arrived with his partner, Terry Miller, in tuxes even though the two had already wed in Vancouver in 2005. “This happened,” Savage tweeted afterward, with an Instagram photo of him and his husband descending a flight of stairs together.
Other couples showed up in matching outfits, some in military uniforms. More events were scheduled around the city.
The Washington Legislature passed the same-sex marriage bill in February, but foes gathered enough signatures to require a referendum and put the law on hold. Voters ratified the law Nov. 6, along with an aggressive ballot initiative to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana. That law also took effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
Maine and Maryland voters also approved same-sex marriages on Nov. 6, but weddings have yet to begin there.
Same-sex marriage is also legal in Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York and the District of Columbia.
Vicky Dalton, the Spokane County auditor who headed the statewide marriage licensing effort, said the turnout Thursday for same-sex marriage licenses in Spokane County was lighter than she expected. People filed into the auditor’s office to celebrate and to applaud couples who picked up new licenses, but only 23 were issued that day.
Then that number came into perspective when she heard someone ask a visitor why he hadn’t gotten one.
“They said, ‘I thought you guys would have been one of the first,'” she recalled, “and he said, ‘You know, we woke up and we realized, we don’t have to rush. We don’t have to worry. This is not going away. We can get a marriage license wherever we want now.’ ”
“There’s no rush, nobody has to get down here immediately,” Dalton repeated to herself. “That was probably one of the most powerful moments of the day for me.”
Complete Article HERE!