Mudcat Café message #3488586 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #149850   Message #3488586
Posted By: Joe Offer
10-Mar-13 - 03:45 AM
Thread Name: BS: Catholic religion response to 'today'
Subject: RE: BS: Catholic religion response to 'today'
The Catholic Church policy against contraception has been in a stage of "benign neglect" for most of the time since Pope Paul VI prohibited "artificial birth control" in his Humanae Vitae encyclical in 1968. For the most part, the same goes for the policy against homosexual sex. In most parishes I know of, there are at least a few openly homosexual couples who are accepted and welcomed as members of the community - they don't go around broadcasting the details of their sex lives, but neither do heterosexual parishioners. For the most part, people and priests in Catholic parishes go about their daily routines of trying to be good people and serving the poor and trying to worship God in one way or another - and all of this other stuff just doesn't come into play very often.

Yes, most of the allegations of wickedness in the Catholic Church are true, but the proportion of wickedness is about the same as it is anywhere else. Yes, there were Catholic officials who assisted the Fascists during WWII, and there were Catholic officials who heroically rescued Jews and worked in the Resistance. Yes, there were were far too many priests who molested children and far too many bishops who covered up their misdeeds or at least bungled the handling of these crimes. And yes, most Catholics (and the vast majority of priests and bishops) know about these crimes and are outraged by them. At least in the United States, there are now very strict procedures that attempt to eliminate the molestation of children in the Catholic Church. As a volunteer who works with youth in the Catholic Church, I had to take a 90-minute class on abuse of children just this week, and I was fingerprinted to see if I had any arrest record. I thought it was a very good course, by the way - and it's not the first one I've had to take.

Yes, I would like to see divorced-and-remarried lesbian bishops who are allowed to practice birth control, but life goes on pretty well without that accomplishment. For the most part, those who practice birth control and homosexuality, will be welcome in the Catholic Church as long as they don't make an issue of these issues. And while women can't be ordained priests, they can have a lot of power in the Catholic Church. I spent the day today with a nun who is probably the most powerful woman in Sacramento - she runs an amazing center for homeless people, and she regularly does battle with all the movers and shakers in town.

Somebody said churches shouldn't be involved in politics. I disagree. Should my powerful nun friend back down on her fierce defense of the homeless, just because she's a nun and religious people shouldn't do that? Should my boss the nun stop getting arrested for protesting against warfare and capital punishment? Must I quit my association with an interfaith group that is campaigning for more humane treatment of releasees from our county jail?

In this thread or another, somebody was saying something about the duplicity of the Catholic Church in calling itself "pro-life" and allowing members to become soldiers and allowing nations to engage in "just war." Well, the Catholic Church is slowly and quietly moving toward a fairly complete pacifist stance, while allowing members to make their own decisions about their own lives.

I suppose it would be very nice to have a Catholic Church with all the "i"s dotted and the "t"s crossed, but it muddles along pretty well without those things. I'm sure it's not perfect enough to satisfy the absolutists, but maybe that's a good thing.

I went to the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress two weeks ago, the largest annual gathering of Catholics anywhere (some 30,000 Catholics meeting across the street from Disneyland). We had the best speakers and the best musicians the Catholic Church has to offer, and it was a lovely weekend. There were fundamentalist Catholic and Protestant protesters outside the area, shouting about how horrible it was that we weren't worshipping according to their specifications. If those hate-filled people were against us, then we must have been doing something right. Heck, they even said we had a "homosexual agenda."

-Joe-