Friday, July 25, 2014

Members of Theology Faculty of St. Thomas University, St. Paul: We Need "New Leadership at the Archdiocesan Level, Leadership That Includes Individuals Who Are Neither Perpetrators Nor Enablers of Abuse"

Brian Roewe reports today that five members of the theology faculty of St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota — Cara Anthony, Corrine Carvalho, Sherry Jordon, Sue Myers and Kimberly Vrudny — have issued a call for "new leadership at the archdiocesan level, leadership that includes individuals who are neither perpetrators nor enablers of abuse." The letter does not name specific persons in its call for new leadership, but obviously addresses the crisis of leadership in the archdiocese under its current archbishop, John Nienstedt.

Tom Reese on Catholic Bishops' Opposition to Executive Order Forbidding Anti-Gay Discrimination: "It Is Time for the Bishops to Sideline Their Lawyers and Consult with Moral Theologians"

Father Thomas Reese, SJ, on the U.S. Catholic bishops' bitter and mean-spirited (my words, not his) opposition to President Obama's executive order forbidding discrimination against LGBTI employees in federally contracted programs:

In the News at Week's End: Pastoral (?) Leadership (?) in Catholic Church, Faith-Based Anti-Gay Discrimination, Gaza, Immigrant Children, Healthcare, and Theocracies and Women

Michael Bayly, The Wild Reed:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Richard Rodriguez, Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography: "Until the Desert Religions See the Woman as Father, the Father as Woman, Indistinguishable in Authority and Creative Potence," They Will Continue Opposing Homosexuality

I'm reading Richard Rodriguez's book Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography (NY: Viking, 2013) right now. A theme running through the book is the distinctiveness of the monotheistic "desert religions" — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — all of which were born in the same desert crucible, are closely genetically related to each other, and focus on God's self-revelation in scripture (and there's significant interplay between the sacred books of all three desert religions). As a gay (and practicing) Catholic, Rodriguez is interested, in particular, in the jealous, vengeful maleness of the deity of the desert religions, and their seeming imperviousness to gay people (which is, he argues, intrinsically connected to their obvious allocation of second-class status to women).

Frank Cocozzelli on Opus Dei Ties of Supreme Catholic Men: "I Am Concerned about the Strong Influence of an Ultra-Traditionalist Catholic Mindset on the U.S. Supreme Court"

In light of the recent Hobby Lobby ruling of the five Supreme Catholic men, Talk to Action has chosen to republish an outstanding series of articles Frank Cocozzelli posted at that site in 2007, about the close ties of most of these five Supreme Catholic men to the ultra-secretive, wealthy, and very influential right-wing Catholic movement Opus Dei. Here are some excerpts from each of the three articles in the series:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rod Dreher on Nienstedt Story and Jennifer Haselberger Affidavit: "In the Present and Future War on Religious Liberty . . . the US Catholic Hierarchy All Too Often Behaves Like a Fifth Column"

Conservative columnist Rod Dreher, who left the Catholic church due to the disclosures about the abuse situation when the crisis broke wide open in 2002 and afterwards, weighs in on the Nienstedt story and Jennifer Haselberger's affidavit. Dreher stands with the bishops in their attacks on gay folks and women, and he agrees with them in their claim that religious freedom is under attack in the U.S. today. He reads the presidential executive order defending gay folks from discrimination in federal programs as an attack on religious liberty, as the U.S. Catholic bishops do, too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: John Corvino on Real Agenda of Social Conservatives — Dismantling the "Very Vocabulary by Which We Express and Realize Our Inchoate Longings for Intimacy"

At Commonweal, John Corvino responds to Michael Hannon's essay "Against Heterosexuality" in First Things. As he notes, it employs (a little bit of) queer theory to try to dismantle the entire enterprise of gay rights (my words and summary of Corvino's premise, not his), as it argues that the concept of sexual orientation is a social construct — and there's therefore no such thing as a "gay" person (or a straight one, either, for that matter, though the latter definition continues to stick as the default definition in this deconstructive argument, which is all about reiterating the normativity of heterosexuality in new, "queer" terms).