November 28, 2009

Catholic Priorities

Today Digby wrote:

Perhaps the Church should just concentrate on doing good works for a while and not concern itself with others' moral failings until it gets itself institutionally straight.

But doing good works doesn't seem to be on the agenda for the Catholic Church these days. They seem to be focused on trying to make a significantly more conservative church by casting out the liberal Catholics who believe prejudice against gays is anti-American. Recently NPR broadcast a segment that said the Catholic Church was threatening to stop delivering charitable services in DC unless they were allowed to discriminate against gays. As Adam Bink wrote in OpenLeft, this is the Church blackmailing DC so they can practice bigotry. Obviously, in the Church's eyes, servicing the poor is not as important as the Church's ability to discriminate against gays. One wonders what Jesus would say to this.

What's behind the Church's more aggressive assault on American pluralism and tolerance? According to Frank Cocozzelli in the Public Eye, this is the result of a very conservative Pope leading a conservative Vatican deciding that it is time to purge the Catholic Church of its more liberal members so that it can reclaim its patriarchal authority. And the way to do that is to push out the whimpy liberals in favor of the obedient conservatives.

But I think that the Catholic Right and the reactionaries in the hierarchy do indeed know what they are doing. They want those of us who embrace religious pluralism and liberalization within the church to leave a global religion –with its well-organized hierarchy and diplomatic nation-state status – solely in their hands. The movers and shakers of the Catholic Right are indeed attempting to provoke a modern day schism within Catholicism and they are willing to lose untold numbers of members in order to achieve a leaner, arguably meaner, but in any case more traditionally orthodox and authoritarian Church. The Pope himself has called for a "a leaner, smaller, purer church."

Not only reproductive justice and equality issues are at stake. The time-tested Roman Catholic concern for economic justice and the poor, the rights of workers and immigrants, and a responsive government are anathema to the groups pushing for a more traditional church. The Catholic parish as a vital community for immigrants and poor people will be lost.

They believe shrinking the Church would only be temporary. Actually, a “pruning” is the more apt description of the agenda of those pushing schism. Liberal and moderate members – many of whom have small families – would be replaced by more traditional-minded Catholics who eschew family planning and would quickly augment the Church’s numbers.

The current Pope seeks to regain the patriarchal authority that the 13th Century Pope once wielded and believes that with his conservative acolytes he will own the ultimate truth and the full power bestowed on him by God. Perhaps it isn't such a surprise that Newt Gingrich has decided to join this cause.

Posted by Mary at November 28, 2009 12:02 AM | Religion | Technorati links |

What is it with you people and the Roman Catholic Church? Jack Kennedy was a Roman Catholic and answered this question once for all time. Get over it. Maybe that Ted has gone, it's okay to go after them again.

Or, are you pulling out a fav to take the heat off the EAU CRU crisis?

"SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years."

Who does this? What a crock, scam they cooked up. Who else was with them? Hansen, the folks at Hadley? Who? These folks better resign soon folks. And that Denmark meeting, cancel that one too, no reason to have it now.

Posted by: peter at November 29, 2009 03:20 PM

Oh, maybe this is about religion, Roman Catholicism verses AGW or Global Warming. "Cardinal" Gore would be proud, but would he put up with the junk that Rhode Island bishop put up with while on the Chris Matthew's Show?

Posted by: peter at November 30, 2009 04:44 PM

If the current occupant of the Vatican succeeds in his purge of moderates, the college of cardinals will have a much smaller, more radical pool of candidates for the next selection. Maybe, they will c0ntinue to purge and shrink (rinse-repeat) until they no longer pose a threat to secular society. It's always possible.

Posted by: therealhellkitty at December 2, 2009 03:22 PM

I like this news
What is it with you people and the Roman Catholic Church? Jack Kennedy was a Roman Catholic and answered this question once for all time. Get over it. Maybe that Ted has gone, it's okay to go after them again.
maybe this is about religion, Roman Catholicism verses AGW or Global Warming.

Posted by: Nike air max at December 3, 2009 05:07 PM

I hate it when they get involved in politics, rights etc... i know it is sort of up to them how they run things within themselves, which is where I get all confused!

Posted by: Rugby Nick at December 3, 2009 05:41 PM

There are an awful lot of Catholics that are Deomocrats. If you keep playing the religion card, you are going to lose the rest of us that remain. Most of us probably don't go to church that often, and most of us I suspect are pretty good at sinning. But if you keep hammering at the Church's conservative positions, you will inevitably lose your base.

80% of this country are Christians. We all know full well about what happened with altar boys, their position on gays, and their position on premarital sex. As Christians, we all have to suffer through it.

But if you keep whacking us over the head about it, people will choose their faith, not a political party. So for the sake of everyone, please let it go.

Posted by: Michelle at December 8, 2009 02:33 PM