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    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    • Police, Pride, and Philando Castile June 24, 2017
      Well, now that Twin Cities Pride has reversed its decision regarding the presence of uniformed police personnel in tomorrow's Pride parade, I appreciate local community leader and businessman Ken Darling's invitation: Imagine this: What if the uniformed officers, whom the Pride Committee just asked to return to the parade, carried signs that said […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • A Visit to Grand Marais June 23, 2017
      This time last week my friend Kathleen and I were in Grand Marais, a town on Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior. It's a beautiful area of the state, and one which I had not visited since 2004. The area is renowned for its alternating rocky cliffs and cobblestone beaches, with forested hills and ridges through which rivers and waterfalls desce […]
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      The Marian Shrine of Litmanova, Slovakia.Christmas 2017A forest chapel at the Slovakian Marian shrine of Litmanova.Stunning painting of the Sacred Heart inside the forest chapel.
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    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
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      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
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      From The New York Times: a definitive list of all of Trump's Lies ... Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.What's appalling i […]
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Oakland Priest Protests the Church Exclusion of Marginalized: Women, Abuse Survivors, Gays

When the California Catholic Daily objects to something in the news, I often find it’s a good reason to track down the source. In this case, their outrage was at an opinion piece in the Oakland Tribune by a local priest, Fr Tim Stier, who has placed himself in what he calls “voluntary exile”, protesting weekly outside the Oakland cathedral at the failures of the church, and its treatment of marginalized groups. CCD thinks this is a scandal. I am impressed at the courage and sacrifice of this prophetic witness against the real scandal, the failure of the Church to take seriously the Gospel message of inclusion for all.

AS A Catholic priest in voluntary exile from the Diocese of Oakland since March 15, 2005, I decided a year ago to stand in public solidarity with those being hurt the most by my church. Every Sunday I stand outside Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland with a sign that reads: “Structural reform now! Include the Excluded: Women, Abuse Survivors, Gay Persons.”

One recent Sunday a young man approached, read my sign and said to me: “I have a better wording for your sign: (explitive) the pope.” Another passerby said to me, “Why reform the Catholic Church? Why not just shut it down?”

It’s hard to hear such extreme criticism of the church I love, but in light of what I know, it is justified. The recent grand jury report out of Philadelphia resulting in the arrests of four priests and the removal of 24 more makes clear that the unspeakable crimes against children and youth and their cover-up by bishops continue unabated.

Philadelphia is not atypical; it just happens to have a courageous district attorney (a practicing Catholic no less). The Catholic Church is in a state of collapse due to an institutional culture defined by secrecy, elitism and denial.

When I listen to Catholic bishops of late, I find myself wondering what planet these men inhabit. The current bishop of the Oakland Diocese, Salvatore Cordileone, is obsessed with saving California from what he sees as the grave threat of gay marriage.

(Read the full article at Oakland Tribune)

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