Please read this excellent essay by Jamie Manson recently published in NCR: Are Francis and Parolin playing good cop-bad cop on same-sex marriage? We found the two paragraphs below especially interesting:
If the vote (for marriage equality) in Ireland proves anything, it is that both Francis, the good cop, and Parolin, the bad cop, will fail in their efforts. Ireland demonstrates that the pope's understanding of acting mercifully toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will not be adequate to bring them into the pews.
What we found interesting is the way in which the Vatican led church treats gay catholics so closely mirrors the unjust way that they treat women. To illustrate the point we modify Jamie Mansons’ text:
Sure, Pope Francis believes the church should minister warmly to WOMEN, but he also believes they should never be given the impression that THEY have the same potential for goodness and holiness IN PRIESTLY MINISTRY AND CHURCH LEADERSHIP ROLES as THOSE BLESSED ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN BORN WITH MALE BODY PARTS. The pope's brand of mercy suggests that WOMEN should be tolerated by the church, but not embraced with genuine justice.
We love Jamies' phrase "embraced with genuine justice". This is exactly what we have a both human and baptismal right to expect from OUR Church.
The Roman Catholic Church must embrace both Women and lesbian/gay people with genuine justice. We’re waiting Francis. ORDAIN WOMEN NOW. MARRY GAY AND LESBIAN COUPLES NOW.
Justice demands nothing less.
From NCR: Five things to look for in the encyclical on environment by Thomas Reese |
Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment is being translated into multiple languages and will be published probably in June. Here are five things to look for in the new encyclical. continue reading
Jesus did not spend a great deal of time discoursing about the trinity
or original sin or the incarnation, which have preoccupied later Christians.
He went around doing good and being compassionate.
From NYT: On Same-Sex Marriage, Catholics Are Leading the Way by Frank Bruni
Take a look at this list of countries: Belgium, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, France, Uruguay, Luxembourg and Ireland. Name two things that they have in common.
From Huffington Post: Ireland Votes Yes To Legalize Gay Marriage In Historic Referendum Reuters by Shawn Pogatchnik
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland's citizens have voted in a landslide to legalize gay marriage, electoral officials announced Saturday — a stunningly lopsided result that illustrates what Catholic leaders and rights activists alike called a "social revolution."
We call that "social revolution" - JUSTICE.
“This decision makes every citizen equal and I believe it will strengthen the institution of marriage,” Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said.
The archbishop of Dublin said "the result should be a wake-up call for the Catholic church in Ireland." We agree entirely with the archbishop. The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland (and worldwide) needs to "wake up". You, archbishop, should be fighting FOR justice rather than against it.
From NYT: A Victory for Pope Francis By Paul Vallely
The assassinated Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero is at the final milestone of a tortuous road to sainthood with his beatification by the Roman Catholic Church on Saturday. The occasion has brought celebrations of the highest order in his native El Salvador. But the event calls for much wider rejoicing — for it reveals a victory over malign influences within the church and provides further evidence of the radical nature of the revolution Pope Francis is forging in Rome. continue reading
This is progress...
From NYT: Boy Scouts’ President Calls for End to Ban on Gay Leaders By Erik Eckholm
The president of the Boy Scouts of America on Thursday called for an end to the group’s blanket ban on gay adult leaders, warning Scout executives that “we must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be,” and that “any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement.”
Is Jeb Bush ignorant or corrupt? You decide.
From Talking Point Memo: Jeb Bush: It's 'Arrogant' To Say Science Is Decided On Climate Change by Catherine Thompson
For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you. It's this intellectual arrogance that now you can't have a conversation about it, even. ~Jeb Bush sspeaking about Global Warming. read more from Talking Points Memo or from CNN
Sorry to say it. There is no other choice. Anybody who "denies" or "doubts" the facts about Global Warming is either ignorant or corrupt - or both. In any case, no such person is qualified to hold national office. This includes Jeb, Rubio and - well - honestly - every other republican candidate for the presidency. We don't like being forced into being so partisan. However, the well-being of your children and grandchildren is critically dependent on our collective world-wide response to global warming over the next 10 years. We don't have time to waste. The damage we are currently doing to our planet is, for all practical purposes, permanent and irreversible.
From the Star Tribunte: Coming out: Catholic Ireland looks in mirror as it debates whether to legalize gay marriage By Shawn Pogatchnik Associated Press
DUBLIN — Gays in Ireland often have faced a stark choice between leading secret lives or emigrating to more liberal lands. This week, the Irish could turn that tradition on its head and vote to legalize same-sex marriage in the world's first national referendum on the matter.
Our God is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of our God is, there is freedom.
And we . . . grow brighter and brighter as we are being transformed into the image we reflect.
This is the work of our God, who is Spirit
(2 Corinthians 3:17-18). [The Inclusive Bible]
This Friday is the referendum on marriage equality in Ireland. If the vote goes as expected, Ireland will become the first country to establish marriage equality by a popular vote of its people.
It’s good to see the Irish people continue to shake off the narrow moralism that is the unfortunate legacy of their history as a majority Roman Catholic Country.
In the United States, we have an equal protection clause in our Constitution. By the end of June, we expect that the US Supreme Court will rule that this clause of our Constitution requires marriage equality nationwide.
The countries which currently have full legal marriage equality are:
We saw, in a recent Plain Dealer announcement, that the Cleveland Diocese will ordain four men to the priesthood this Saturday May 16th.
For these men, It will certainly be a joyous occasion. We wish each of them many blessings as they begin their priestly ministry.
However, there’s a larger story here. First some background. In 1970, the Cleveland Diocese had close to 600 male priests in active ministry. Now, that number is about 400. To make matters worse, only a very tiny percentage of these priests are under the age of 40. Just to maintain its already diminished number of priests, the diocese must ordain nearly 400 men in the next 30 years. Unless something changes drastically, this is not going to happen. In the next couple decades, as the total number of Roman Catholic Priests in this diocese falls below 200, we will see a large percentage of Catholic parishes closed, merged or functioning without a priest. In Cleveland, as throughout the developed world, the priesthood of the institutional Roman Catholic Church is in a slow, but inexorable decline.
The institutional Roman Church has nobody to blame but themselves. Many men and women are still called to the priesthood. More than enough to shepherd our parish communities. However, there’s a problem. Most men and women who are called to the priesthood are concerned with Social Justice. The Institutional Roman Catholic Church has a TERRIBLE reputation in this regard. The Rome led church is the largest institution in the world actively promoting the notion that women are inferior to men. Sure, they say nice things about honoring the unique and special “roles of women” or some such meaningless platitudes. However, the roles this all male leadership allow women to have ensure that women will remain subservient - that no woman will ever rise to a leadership position. This is wrong. Absolutely wrong.
The institutional Roman led church also has a deplorable record on social justice related to LGBT people. The institution clings to an ignorant and stunted version of “morality” which denies the fullness of human experience - love and marriage - to people who are gay and lesbian. Many LGBT people make excellent priests. Many heterosexual people understand that the Roman Church’s unjust treatment of LGBT people is profoundly wrong. A sense of ethics and justice would prevent these men and women, otherwise called to the priesthood, from joining an unjust institution such as the Roman Catholic Church.
And, tell us again. Why is it that priests can’t be married?
Until the Roman Church figures out how to do justice with respect to Women and LGBT people, we expect that the numbers of men becoming priests in this - currently - all male institution will continue inevitable decline.
In the mean time, men who feel the call to priestly ordination should seek that ordination in an organization which also allows the ordination of women.
Roman Church - hear this clearly - the days when you can exclude women are over. ORDAIN WOMEN.
From AP: Pope: God will judge you on whether you cared for Earth by Nicole Winfield
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis warned the rich and powerful on Tuesday that God will judge them on whether they fed the poor and cared for the Earth, his latest exhortation on the environment ahead of his eagerly-awaited encyclical on climate change and its effects on the world's most vulnerable.
From NYT opinion pages: Obama’s Catastrophic Climate-Change Denial By Bill McKibben
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — THE Obama administration’s decision to give Shell Oil the go-ahead to drill in the Arctic shows why we may never win the fight against climate change. Even in this most extreme circumstance, no one seems able to stand up to the power of the fossil fuel industry. No one ever says no. continue reading
From aeon: Why does the Vatican accept the Big Bang but not evolution? by John Farrell
…When it comes to human evolution, the Vatican of 2015 is stuck in a time warp, unable to integrate the explosion of new knowledge about humanity’s origins and its potential future into a meaningful narrative for the Catholic Church, whose 1.2 billion members worldwide look to it for guidance in a changing world.
From Religion News Service (RNS): Christians lose ground, ‘nones’ soar in new portrait of US religion
WASHINGTON (RNS) The United States is a significantly less Christian country than it was seven years ago.
...Right now, the church has contradictory teachings about women's roles. It teaches that women are equal but that they are forbidden to exercise that equality in church decision-making. If this crazy-making cognitive dissonance prevails, women will forever be deprived of full participation in church life and leadership, not to mention the selection of pastors, bishops and popes.
From Religion News Service: Plans announced for England’s first women-only mosque
CANTERBURY, England (RNS) The country’s first women-only mosque will open in Bradford, a 19th-century industrial boomtown and one of the most heavily Muslim-populated cities in the U.K., the Muslim Women’s Council announced.
This is a significant step forward for our Muslim sisters. We wish them well.
A horrible decision from the Obama administration -
From the New York Times: Administration Gives Conditional Approval for Shell to Drill in Arctic
There is no reason at all to believe that Shell, or anybody else, can “safely” drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean. Imagine, for a moment, a gulf of Mexico style disaster in the arctic. It would never be cleaned up. Regardless of any of that, if we are to leave a habitable world for our children and grandchildren we must rapidly STOP using fossil fuels. We have to leave these materials in the ground. A rapid transition to clean renewable energy sources is imperative. We call on the Obama administration to reverse this decision immediately.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration gave conditional approval on Monday for Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. to start drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean this summer.
Also on this subject, from Common Dreams: ’Climate Denial, Plain and Simple': Feds Approve Shell's Arctic Drilling Plan
From NCR: To have a truly just church, Pope Francis must move beyond complementarity by Jamie Manson
Pope Francis seems to be saying a lot about women lately. Headlines declaring his call for the church to hear the voices of women and his call for equal pay could be spotted in both the religious and secular press during the last two weeks of April.
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