• RSS Queering the Church

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • To my Republican Friends July 6, 2020
      You voted for Trump even though you didn't like him. Doubted his character. Questioned his fitness for the job. Yet, your aversion to Hillary was even greater The post To my Republican Friends first appeared on Spirit of a Liberal.
      Obie Holmen
    • Wormwood and Gall a Midwest Book Award Finalist May 4, 2020
      The Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) recently named Wormwood and Gall as one of three finalists for a Midwest Book Award in the Religion/Philosophy category. The awards program, which is organized by MIPA, recognizes quality in independent publishing in the Midwest. The post Wormwood and Gall a Midwest Book Award Finalist first appeared on S […]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Ruth Ben-Ghiat on the Return of Fascism in Italy September 29, 2022
      Perhaps like me you’ve been long aware of (and troubled by) the rise of authoritarian leaders and governments around the world.The most recent example of this is in Italy where, in the wake of recent elections, the country’s first far-right leader since Benito Mussolini, Giorgia Meloni, has declared victory, as the right-wing alliance led by her Brothers of […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Summer’s Parting Gift September 21, 2022
      See also the previous Wild Reed posts:• Summer’s End (2021)• Summer Vignettes• Photo of the Day – June 22, 2018• Nelson Mandela and the Rainbow Connection• Late Summer Blooms• My Rainbow Sash Experience• Photo of the Day – August 27, 2015• First Signs of “By Far the Most Paradoxical” SeasonImage: Michael J. Bayly.
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

    • Ruth Krall, A Bilgrimage Bibliography April 2, 2021
       A Bilgrimage BiographyRuth Elizabeth Krall, MSN, PhDNote: Since 2015 my friend William D. Lindsey (Bill) has published my work on his blog Bilgrimage. At this time, the blog is inactive, so I have decided to pull together my various posts so that future researchers and academics can find them in one place.  I have arranged this bibliography so that more rec […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • Ruth Krall, "Persephone’s Journey into the Underworld: Lessons for Our Time" February 3, 2021
      Ancient portrayal of Demeter and Persephone, Apulian red-figure loutrophoro, ca. 4th century BCE, from the J. Paul Getty Museum, at the Theoi Project websiteWhen I announced at the start of this year that I've decided no longer to maintain Bilgrimage, I also noted that if readers have something they'd like me to consider for posting here down the r […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
  • RSS Enlightened Catholicism

  • RSS Far From Rome

    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • A saint for the millenials: Carlo Acutis beatified today in Assisi. October 10, 2020
       A saint for the millenials: the young Italian teen, Carlo Acutis, who died in 2006 of galloping Leukemia, will be beatified today in Assisi by Pope Francis (last step before being officially declared a saint). Carlo came from a luke warm Catholic family, but at the age of 7, when he received his first 'Holy Communion', he displayed an astonishing […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Unknown)
    • Ronan Park and Jack Vidgen: The Travails of Gay Pop Stars October 28, 2019
      (Jack Vidgen)Quite by accident, through a comment from a performance arts colleague of mine, I stumbled across the recent bios of two boy teen singing sensations, both of whom made a big splash worldwide 8 years ago. The first, Jack Vidgen, won Australia's Got Talent Contest in 2011 at the age of 14, primarily for his powerful renditions of Whitney Hust […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Unknown)
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • Elendil October 6, 2022
      There's an interesting article about The Rings of Power in the Hollywood Reporter: ‘The Rings of Power’ Showrunners Break Silence on Backlash, Sauron and Season 2[...] The call from the lawyers came in to Amazon on a Friday in 2017: The Tolkien estate was going to entertain proposals for a Lord of the Rings show. Prime Video, along with every other ente […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

And Yet Finn Remains Bishop

Originally posted at Talk to Action.

It has been well over two years since Bishop Robert Finn and was convicted by a Missouri criminal court for failing to report child abuse by Fr. Shawn Ratigan, one of his parish priests. Within that same period of time Ratigan pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and is now serving a 50-year sentence in prison. Finn was warned about Ratigan’s behavior but inexplicably waited six months before notifying authorities.

Enter Pope Francis. On a myriad of issues the new pontiff has been a breath of fresh air. But when it comes to removing Bishop Finn as head of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Missouri the air has gotten quite stale. Finn has yet to be removed.

Just last month Cardinal Sean O’Malley was interviewed by the CBS program 60 Minutes. O’Malley is not just any Cardinal but named by his close friend Pope Francis to lead the Vatican’s new sexual abuse commission aimed at strengthening rules to protect children. When the conversation turned to Bishop Finn, Cardinal O’Malley did not mince his words:

Norah O’Donnell: I want to ask you about Robert Finn, who is the bishop of Kansas City/St. Joseph and, as you know, he pleaded guilty to a criminal misdemeanor for not reporting one of his priests to authorities. Bishop Finn wouldn’t be able to teach Sunday school in Boston.
Cardinal Seán O’Malley: That’s right.
Norah O’Donnell: How is that zero tolerance…
Cardinal Seán O’Malley: Well…
Norah O’Donnell: …that he’s still in place? What does it say to Catholics?
Cardinal Seán O’Malley: Well, it’s a question that the Holy See needs to address urgently.
Norah O’Donnell: And there’s a recognition?
Cardinal Seán O’Malley: There’s a recognition of that.
Norah O’Donnell: From Pope Francis?
Cardinal Seán O’Malley: From Pope Francis.
If anything sounded as if Bishop Finn I was on his way out the door, it was that exchange. The 60 Minutes statement struck me as two minute warning that Finn would be sacked within the week. But it was not to be.

It has now been more than a month since that interview. Bishop Finn still remains in charge of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Why is he still there?

Bishop Robert Finn is very antithesis Pope Francis. Where the Pontiff is tolerate and more open-minded, Finn is a shrill cultural warrior. More importantly, Finn – a member of Opus Dei – apparently sees the Catholic Church in terms of being an institution whereas Pope Francis – a Jesuit – often talks about the Church and its relationship with helping the marginalized, such as the poor. The differences in styles and agendas could fill the Grand Canyon. This only makes the Pope’s inaction even more puzzling.

But more than anything else, inaction in this matter only hurts Pope Francis. It undermines his credibility by casting him as a leader who says the right thing but does nothing. As long as Finn remains a bishop in control of a diocese there is a black stain on this papacy.

In stating the obvious, it is time to remove this stain in Missouri.

Ken Cuccinelli’s Use of Acts-Person Distinction: Continuing Dishonesty in Catholic Approach to Gay Persons

Several days ago, the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli, was asked if he thinks that gays are a detriment to our culture.  This question came on the heels of a ruling by Cuccinelli instructing the commonwealth’s universities to rescind policies prohibiting discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

Cuccinelli’s response to the question about whether gays are a detriment to our culture is interesting.  It illustrates a point I made several days ago in my posting about disordered acts and disordered persons: namely, that right-leaning Catholics want to use the distinction between disordered gay acts and disordered gay persons to continue discrimination, even as they claim that it’s the gay acts and not gay people they’re combating. Continue reading

From Objective Disorder to Male-Female Complementarity: The Official Catholic Response to Gay Rights Movement

In my most recent posting, I surveyed the attempt of a group of Catholics acting as apologists for the magisterium to downplay and even outright deny what the Catholic church has chosen to teach in recent years about gay and lesbian persons.  I focused in particular on the recent (and innovative, in terms of the Christian tradition) magisterial teaching that those who are gay and lesbian are disordered human beings, because they do disordered acts.

As I noted, what makes the attempt to deny that this official church teaching exists remarkable is that the attempt is being spearheaded by the very same group of Catholics who, in every other respect, loudly demand that all Catholics accept every jot and tittle of papal teaching, precisely as it’s written.  Catholics who question any aspect of magisterial teaching that these right-wing Catholics regard as sacrosanct are accused of being “cafeteria Catholics,” though in reality, anyone living within a long, complex, and rich religious tradition like Catholicism inevitably selects some elements within that tradition to emphasize, while ignoring or rejecting others.  As William F. Buckley’s famous statement about the social teachings of the church—mater si, magistra no—illustrates, right-leaning Catholics are as inclined as anyone else to pick and choose those parts of the tradition they intend to respect and implement. Continue reading

Disordered Acts, Disordered Persons: Revisiting the Discussion (and Keeping It Honest)

On February 15, the National Catholic Reporter published an editorial entitled “A Teaching That Is Disordered.” The editorial was a response to a February 5 statement of the president of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Francis George, condemning a Catholic ministry of pastoral outreach to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community, New Ways Ministry.

As the NCR editorial notes, in 1975, when Paul VI was pope, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics” that sought to distinguish between the homosexual “condition” and homosexual acts.  The 1975 CDF document revolves around the distinction between the gay orientation as morally neutral, and gay acts as morally disordered. Continue reading

For Further Reading on the Catholic Right: Frank Cocozzelli’s Commentary

2008 Faith in Public Life Survey, Younger American Catholics

As an appendix to my discussions of the shared political objectives of the Catholic religious and political right—of the Catholic right’s subordination of Catholic ideas and values to neoconservative economic and political ideology—I’d like to recommend an extremely valuable resource to readers seeking more information about this topic.

Frank Cocozzelli, Director of the Institute for Progressive Christianity (and an Open Tabernacle collaborator), has done yeoman’s work for some time now tracking and exposing the Catholic right. His ongoing multi-part series on the Catholic right at the Talk to Action website is must-reading for anyone concerned about the collusion of the Catholic right with right-wing money and power, and about the effects of that collusion on our political process. A chronological listing of all his articles and postings at Talk to Action is on Frank’s profile page for the site. Continue reading

What a Tangled Web: Tracking Connections Between Catholic Right and Political Right

National Catholic Prayer Breakfast 2007

In my previous posting about Catholic restorationism at the end of the 20th century, I argued that the Catholic religious and political right have a shared interest in controlling discourse about the connection of Catholic faith and values to the political sphere.  My posting notes that watchdog groups monitoring what theologians teach and write are not confined to the religious right, but that the Catholic political right also has a keen interest in controlling theological conversations within the church—particularly those that constitute a continuation of the project of Vatican II—because of the political implications of those conversations. Continue reading

The Restorationist Moment: Collusion of the Catholic Religious and Political Right

The Traditional Latin Mass

In what I post today, I want to respond to some valuable observations from my colleague and fellow blogger Colleen Kochivar-Baker.  On February 26 last year, Colleen posted a comment on my Bilgrimage blog that started me thinking about a shift that took place in Catholic colleges and universities during the previous papacy and has continued under Benedict XVI.  In some significant ways, this present posting builds as well on the discussion that followed my recent Open Tabernacle postings about Edward Schillebeeckx, whose theology significantly influenced the Second Vatican Council.

In that posting, I noted a catechetical shift that occurred as a result of the council, in which less stress was placed on rote memorization of dogmatic and moral formulas and more stress was placed on internalizing theological insights and ethical values, as well as on the role of conscience and discernment in the Christian life.  The discussion that followed my first posting about Schillebeeckx’s theology focused on this catechetical shift, and its implications for how Catholics are educated in their faith. Continue reading

The Madness of Robert P. George

Originally posted at Talk to Action.

Catholic neoconservatism has been guruless since the passing of  Richard John Neuhaus.  I thought at first, that newly minted conservative Catholic Newt Gingrich might be the logical successor.  Much like Neuhaus, Gingrich was a Protestant who converted to a strident form of Catholicism, thus straddling both worlds.

But I was wrong.   Gingrich is, after all, just a politician who may even be casting an eye towards the 2012 Presidential Elections.  Both neoconservatism and its religiously orthodox variant, theoconsevatism, require leaders who do not themselves seek elected office but instead, seek to influence others who do.  To that end there is another contender for the Neuhaus Throne:  Robert P. George.  I should have known. Continue reading