Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gay Priest to Minnesota Catholics: You Can Oppose Marriage Discrimination

Father Bob Pierson quoted a theologian, Joseph Ratzinger's words as the reason why Catholics can validly dissent from the hierarchy's orders on "how to vote." “Our holy father taught in 1967 that we must obey our own conscience, even if it puts us at odds with the Pope. I doubt that he knew that he was going to be Pope when he said that.” Father Bob is a living reminder that all faith must both be grounded in reason and be reasoned. He is also a living reminder that all faiths, at core, share the central value of compassion. When any faith stays from this value, it strays from its polar star and the truth.


wild hair said...

Father Bob Pierson is a very courageous priest given the climate created by the archbishop of St. Paul and the rest of the American hierarchy.

The archbishop and other bishops complain that their religious freedom is threatened.

I don't think they have any idea what it means to have their freedom taken away.

Gay and lesbian persons really do know that oppression.

Thanks to Minnesota Catholics who will vote no to oppose marriage discrimination.

Rafi said...

The sheer hypocrisy of the hierarchy is astounding. They have revealed themselves to be a bureaucracy more concerned with the powers of this world than with being brave exemplars of the love and peace of Christ.

Yet this political alliance with economic determinists and evangelical ultra conservatives will not work. The former is nothing less than accepting Mammon. The latter is a desperate attempt to re-establish themselves as moral authorities. Apparently they have forgotten that the 3rd K of KKK was for Catholic. And they obviously want to remain in denial about their allies' all too common judgement of the Catholic Church as the anti-Christ and its priests as "Romosexuals."

Made worse by the fact that that the ordained and the members of religious orders are predominantly gay. The bureaucrats know this. But remaining in power is apparently more important than telling the truth. The truth that for two millennia, lesbians and gays have served the church faithfully. The truth that they covered up the abuse and let it continue when they had the authority to remove the abusers.

This turning on their own kind is vicious, ugly scapegoating. A de facto sacrifice of those who have done nothing wrong to serve as cover for those who did.

This nonsense that gay marriage is a threat to the family. By this logic, aren't celibate priests also a "threat to the family?" Again, it's about issues not talked about openly.

Why do they think that imposing their narrow definitions on all Americans is a good idea? I'd bet they know enough history to realize that would happen if one religious group gained the power to impose their beliefs on everyone else. That's been done. Why would they risk repeating such a sordid history? It must be because they believe that the survival of the Church is at stake.

They're wrong-- because they have made the horrible error of identifying what's best for them with what is best for the Church. And they are obviously willing to skew the truth and mislead the membership in order to keep power. They have thereby amply demonstrated what is most important.

Tal said...

Fr. Bob Pierson is one brave guy. Fr. Geoff, that must hit home given your own sacrifice and bravery on this issue.

Ultimately, the hierarchy's argument is unconstitutional, un-American, and un-Christlike. Fr. Bob is right when he says the hierarchy substitutes God's judgment for God's love. And that's because true love conveys no material power, and takes nothing, as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians. Love is effective faith, but not particularly effective control.

Accepting people as they are, for who they are, as expressions of God's will, is not easy. It's always easier to preen, to assume oneself the measure of all things, and to insist on conformity to oneself. The hierarchy would do well to heed 2 Timothy 3:9 ("they will not get very far because [...] their folly will be clear to everyone").

This Father's Day, I'll be sure to keep you both in my prayers.

God bless.

Matthew said...

Andrew sullivans blog The Dish for the past week has been profiling each day thoughts by sister Jeannine gramick. It's called ask sister Jeannine gramick anything. She is another and we need to promote their voices as much as possible and is as many forums as possible. She has weighed In on gay marriage and women priests and her fight with the Vatican among other topics. Matthew