Archbishop’s Theology is Wearing No Clothes

Many readers of Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s blog think there is layer upon layer of deep theological thinking about natural law, church-state relations, and the like. I am here to assure such well-meaning colleagues that nothing of the sort lurks in these lines.

As New York State moves closer and closer to approving same-sex marriage, Dolan becomes, as Peter Montgomery points out, increasingly histrionic unto hysterical. His remarkable blog entry, “The True Meaning of Marriage,” will endure as the intellectual last wag of the dog’s tail on a question that has long been solved in the minds of many Catholics.

Timothy Dolan apparently subscribes to the Sarah Palin School of Research: saying it makes it so. Showing zero familiarity with the ample body of evidence that marriage is a changing institution, he pronounces the “undeniable truth” about what marriage means. One may not like that marriage has changed over time, and one may not think it ought to change over time, but these proclivities are not license to pass over the historical reality before us. Everyone understands and expects disagreement, but no one is fooled by truth claims that do not hold water.

http://tinyurl.com/4xq3kct

 

Methodist Clergy Risk Careers To Defy Gay Marriage Ban

A growing number of pastors in the United Methodist Church say they’re no longer willing to obey a church rule that prohibits them from officiating at same-sex marriages, despite the potential threat of being disciplined or dismissed from the church.

In some parts of the U.S., Methodist pastors have been marrying same-sex couples or conducting blessing ceremonies for same-sex unions for years with little fanfare and no backlash from the denomination. Calls to overturn the rule have become increasingly vocal in recent weeks, ratcheting up the pressure for the Methodist church to join other mainline Protestant denominations that have become more accepting of openly gay leaders.

http://tinyurl.com/6k33v2t

Bishops Empower Themselves Not to Report Abuse Allegations, Catholics Speak Out

Statement from Call To Action Regarding

Bishops’ 2011 Spring Assembly:

Bishops Empower Themselves Not to Report Abuse Allegations, Catholics Speak Out

After this year’s revelations that the Philadelphia Archbishop and Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop failed to report sexual abuse allegations to their review boards and to civil authorities, Catholics of good will expected the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to revise their sexual abuse policies at this week’s Spring General Assembly.  Today, the bishops conclude their gathering without making any substantive changes to their sex abuse policies.

The bishops did manage to authorize work on a new preaching document, issue a policy statement and approve new musical translations of the new liturgy to begin in September.

However, when it came to changing and further strengthening the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and its related Essential Norms, they added little and made minor tweaks to dates and numbers.   One bishop even suggested that some of those who have abused should be able to return to ministry. Equally egregious, the bishops did not add a section to the charter that would mandate Bishops share sexual abuse allegations with their own diocesan review boards and, thus, potentially keep known abusers in ministry.

As a result, the power to keep a pedophile religious leader away from children continues to rest in the hands of the bishop–the same place it has always rested. Based on the last fifty years of scandal, we know this only leads to additional abuse victims and greater harm to the Church as a whole.

Call To Action encourages fellow Catholics to continue to speak up about any signs of abuse and direct their concerns, not only to church authorities, but to civil authorities. For assistance, contact SNAP, the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests, http://www.snapnetwork.org

Bishops Won’t Focus on Abuse Policies

Despite recent cases in which Roman Catholic bishops failed to report or suspend priests accused of child sexual abuse, the bishops head into a meeting in Seattle on Wednesday proposing no significant revisions to the abuse prevention policies they passed in 2002 at the height of the scandal.

The bishops had promised that they would take a hard look at their policies in light of new accusations in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Mo., that have shaken many Catholics, not just in those dioceses, but across the country as well. The incidents have led some Catholics to question whether bishops are complying with their own policies, and whether there is any accountability for bishops who do not.

In the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Bishop Robert W. Finn admitted last month that he allowed a priest who had taken pornographic pictures of parish girls to continue celebrating Mass and having access to children.

http://tinyurl.com/6kr8zb4