Tuesday, December 10, 2013

NCR Reader Responds to Firing of Michael Griffin in Bensalem, Pennsylvania: "They've Been Wanting to Get Rid of Him"

Oh, well, in for a penny, in for a: why not run the risk of appearing obsessed (and petty?), by posting yet another comment about that contributor to National Catholic Reporter threads, Purgatrix Ineptiae, about whom I've blogged a number of times (most recently here and here)?

As I've said before, I follow her commentary at various Catholic blog sites because 1) it's focused with laserlike intensity on gay men, and is designed to do as much harm as possible to gay men in the name of upholding Catholic values; 2) she used to hang out at Bilgrimage, and I therefore take her attacks on gay men personally; 3) I've learned to decipher her code, anticipate her arguments, and see the malicious game she's playing--a game that is, I suspect, not always evident to many of those who interact with her at Catholic blog sites, and regard her as someone with generally great ideas, and an unfortunate blind spot when it comes to those who are gay (to gay men in particular).

After NCR posted David Gibson's account of the story of the firing of Michael Griffin in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, to which I linked yesterday, she has been all over that story in the thread following David Gibson's account. Her take? Something's wrong with Michael Griffin.

She wants to discredit Griffin as a messenger. She wants to undercut his credibility as a spokesperson for moral values. And so she maintains that Griffin is engaging in theatrics (a favorite dismissive word of hers, as she talks about gay men), and pulling a media stunt akin to the one she thinks Nicholas Coppola pulled when he got himself fired as a communion minister in the diocese of Rockville Centre earlier this year.

Griffin "probably already has another job lined up for next semester," Purgatrix Ineptiae informs NCR readers--though how on earth she could know this is mysterious to me. And more insider information from a woman who lives in Boston rather than Philadelphia, and doesn't even know Michael Griffin: 

It sounds like maybe they've been wanting to get rid of him for a while, but didn't want the hassle and expense of a law suit. He made it easy for them.

It's Michael Griffin's fault, you see, that he got himself fired, just as it was Nicholas Coppola's fault that he got himself removed as a communion minister. Griffin was a pill, and Holy Ghost wanted to find a way to get rid of him. He set the whole thing up as a publicity stunt, and has another job lined up, in any case.

My question about this behavior, which is typical of that of a big slice of Catholics who profess to be the most orthodox, faithful Catholics of all: how is it possible to understand the experience of gay Catholics if one precludes out of hand all first-hand testimony offered by gay Catholics? How is it possible to hear the testimony of gay Catholics if one assumes that this testimony is tainted from the outset, solely because it comes out of a homosexual mouth?

And going beyond that question: how is it possible to represent the church you're defending as welcoming or loving, when you choose to treat a stigmatized group of human beings this way, and claim Catholic teaching as your warrant for this behavior? Your real bottom-line message is exceptionally clear: it's your church, not theirs, and you don't want homosexuals in it, unless they're willing to keep their mouths shut and endure in silence any filth you choose to sling their way. In the name of Jesus, of course . . . .

What does this have to do with the gospels and with the message that Pope Francis is thought to be urging on the church as he calls for Catholics to see the fundamental imperative of Catholic life as evangelizing by living the gospels in the world around them? The word "love" is at the very center of the message of the gospels.

Where is that word found in anything you say about your fellow human beings who are gay, or in what you say about the definition of Catholic orthodoxy?

No comments: