Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Lethal Love Letter from the Catholic Bishops of the USA

Got Catholic friends in Maine? Send them this. I suspect the final draft of the Pastoral Letter on Marriage was deliberately leaked to coincide with a certain situation in Maine.

A Love Letter from the Roman Catholic Bishops of the USA from tony adams on Vimeo.


Birdie said...

Once again, you create your own lightning.

That ancient beginning of the Roman Catholic Church established an authoritarian model that worked well with uneducated masses. But trying to maintain order at any cost by imposing obedience to the office instead of the person is doomed to either failure or corruption. No wonder there is such a network of support among the hierarchy; if people learned how fallible the leaders are, their power would disappear. They cannot control without cooperation.

I have to say that it appears that you are knocking on the Wittenberg door here. Luther stated that the priesthood has only the power we grant them; and that “we are all consecrated priests through baptism.”

Living in the Information Age has not given us the self-actualization so many believed would be the outcome. We have access to more information at the stroke of key than anyone could ever have imagined. And even with that access, we still venerate the “experts.” That leads so many to hand over their fates to others, fearing those leaders must know something we don’t.

The certainty expressed by leaders is so mesmerizing. It is a siren call. I will have my answers at last! Ultimately it comes down to whom we can trust. (Since I cannot be an expert in all things, I ask myself “Who stands to benefit?” when faced with persuasive rhetoric.)

The church has reached the point where the man behind the curtain is visible to those who will see. But while you hold the curtain open and hope everyone will open their eyes, elsewhere you claim a love for the very church that has betrayed you. I understand that, for we all claim and discard elements of any doctrine based on our own knowledge and growth.

What keeps you in the fight? And—in case I’ve missed something—what are you fighting for?

Doralong said...

Wow, misogyny, homophobia and hard line pro choice all at the same time. How tremendously unsurprising.

Doralong said...

PS- My apologies for the earlier sarcasm Father T. I generally try to avoid commentary on a serious subject unless I have something substantive and not merely ill tempered to say. I fear the current climate of rampant fear mongering amongst the right and faithful types has left me more than a bit frustrated. While no theologian, and not to be overly simplistic- I really did think the teachings of Jesus were about inclusion and love.

Anyway, as per usual Birdie vocalized my thoughts far better, but I did feel an apology was in order.

Tony Adams said...

Dear Doralong,
I don't see what you have to apologize for, unless you were calling ME misogynist and homophobic which I doubt. You and Birdie both are so quick to apologize for possible slights when in reality you are both among the most gracious of our little dysfunctional family.

Birdie said...

Well, I do need a comma after "doctrine" in the next to last sentence; it clarifies the meaning.

But thank you both for your kind remarks.

Doralong said...

Tony- Not likely. I daresay it would be damn near impossible for me to come up with a derogatory term for you. (OK does gorgeous bitch count?) But then again, I don't live or work with you dear.

Birdie- Yes I think you are correct regarding the comma. And nothing kind about it- your train of thought is (to me) always clear, well reasoned and rationed with a good measure of compassion for those you may not agree with, which is something I both struggle with and strive for.

And Tony I rather doubt either of us will ever stop apologizing, Some things simply are what they are.

RawForReal said...

Hi again, Father Tony. I think that the Catholic Church, and every church, should be in the marriage business. I think the State should be involved in the Civil Union business. They should be mutually exclusive. If one wants marriage, and if one's Church condones it, all well & good. If not, then Civil Union from the State should suffice & provide all the benefits that a "traditional" and "religious" marriage currently provides.

Re: Divine Revelation. I agree with you that the Bishops have ascribed that concept as unique to themselves. But I also have to wonder why all the Saints weren't also Bishops. Was St. Maximilian Kolbe a Bishop? Was St. Sister Faustina a Bishop? (OMG, a WOMAN Bishop?) I wonder how the Bishops would reconcile the fact that these 2 saints were certain that they had received Divine Revelation.

By now I guess you know that I'm a "lapsed" Catholic. I've received my Sacraments in the same Church (building) where I was Baptized. I'm also a gay man. I have serious issues with the Catholic Church. I think that Christ would be appalled at what Holy Mother Church has become. I think that Christ would be appalled with the heirarchy. I think Christ would be even further appalled with the hypocrisy and the fund-raising, i.e. the Bishop's Annual Appeal and the Peter's Pence Collection. I know...I'm disillusioned & I'm bitter. I desperately want to believe in the Religion that I was taught by nuns in Elementary school. I desperately want to believe in the Religion that I was taught by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in high school. I've been an adult for a long time, and I've learned to think for myself. I wish I could speak with Jesus just to help me to reconcile some of my issues with the Church. I've babbled enough. Thanks for listening.

RawForReal said...

Me again. Thank you for a wonderful & insightful blogpost, Fr. Tony.


When the time came, I requested the Last Rites of the Roman Catholic Church. Although my family has been at war for at least 400 years on religious issues, I wanted first to make peace with the Church of my father, and I donated most of my possessions to the Church who had raised my father through orphanages.

If there is, if there was, if there should have been a Deity, my debt is acknowledged, though not repaid.

Now it matters little. I can do nothing about this imperfection I am leaving for what can only be an imperfection of another kind.

Whatever your belief, whatever your practice, the condition of the world shows in every way that all of it is poorly done. As for me, I'm glad I was good when I was good. And when I was bad, I was even better.