I have been in Houston all week for a work related training seminar. As a result I have been off the radar and not posting on this blog. But tonight, the perfect combination of a stable internet connection at the hotel (who knows how long that will last), prediction of rain and no “homework” from the seminar this evening has allowed me to catch up on the blogs I normally review regularly. One article caught my eye in particular.
A group in the Washington DC area has started a website that is dedicated to “outing” gay Catholic Priests. The site, ChurchOuting.org states that the “site was created to provide you with the opportunity to save LGBT youth from the hypocrisy of priests in the Archdiocese of Washington who are socially, romantically or sexually active gay men, yet stand silent while Archbishop Wuerl and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops increase their dogmatic war against gay families.”
I fully support any effort to arrest the abuse of anyone by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Hypocrisy in the church, in whatever form it takes, should be exposed. I think that the Bishops should be held accountable for their actions and for the actions of those who do their bidding. I also think that Bishops are fair game if they are demanding a certain behavior of their parishioners and are not applying that same standard to themselves or their subordinates. I am not fully on board with the idea of outing priests (gay or not) who are faithfully and compassionately ministering to members of their parishes, no matter what the sexual preferences of those parishioners may be. To do so would be the equivalent of inflicting the same emotional, spiritual and physical abuse meted out by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. I don’t see this as holding the high ground.
I am left looking at the hierarchy of the Catholic church and seeing just how intellectually and spiritually bankrupt they are. Compassion and ministry have gone by the wayside. The church, seems so lost and unwilling to embrace the theology which they purport to preach. The targeting of homosexuals by the church is an abomination. For these “men”, these bishops to sit in judgement of anyone is beyond reason. I wonder how many bishops sitting in the meeting in Baltimore earlier this week are gay. Should that even matter? Whether they are sexually active or celibate, they should focus on their Christ’s message of love and acceptance instead of embracing a policy of intolerance and targeting a segment of their parishioners.
These are the same men who allowed pedophiles to prey on children and protected those predators from prosecution. This is the same church that blamed the pedophile problem on gay priests. These are men who have lost touch with the basic tenants of their own religion and lost their humanity because they have been seduced by the trappings and treasure that come with position and favor.
The Catholic church is on a course charted to its own demise. The spiral will continue as long as these old men are blind to the needs of their flocks. As long as parishioners support these Dioceses that embrace the targeting of any group, the active persecution of those who do not curry favor with the hierarchy will continue.
Is the solution the outing of gay priests? I don’t know. I am thinking that will make headlines, but it will not make headway. Casting that net will catch innocent priests along with those who truly are hypocrites. I am not sure the collateral damage is worth it. I recommend that parishioner let their pastors know where they stand by cutting off the flow of money into collection plates and saying “No” to the annual donation drives sponsored by the various diocese across the country. Cut off the money and the head will die.
Abuse is abuse and there should be no room for church sponsored bigotry in any Christian denomination.