Friday, May 29, 2015

End-of-Week Commentary on Irish Rainbow Referendum: 5 Links

And since it's clearly impossible for me to go a day (on which I post) without saying something about the recent remarkable rainbow referendum in Ireland, here's a highly selective set of articles commenting on that historic event to which I want to draw your attention as this work week ends:

1. The Democracy Now video above, in which Amy Goodman and Aaron Maté discuss the Irish vote with Gavin Boyd of the Rainbow Project in Belfast, is from Truthout. I'm struck, in particular, by this point made by Boyd:

And remember, in Ireland, most young people go through 12 or 14 years of Catholic education, and after that, they still support marriage equality. So really this was about taking the skills that Irish Catholic children were taught in school and applying them to the civil politics around them. I think Pope Francis, if he is as intelligent as I believe, will look at the result coming from Ireland, will take, as the archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said, a reality check, and recognize that the church needs to strongly consider how it articulates its views on these issues and how it can make itself more relevant to young people in Ireland and across the world today.

2. I noted on Wednesday that the Vatican has responded to the rainbow referendum in Ireland through a statement of Pope Francis's Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin deploring the Irish vote as a "defeat for humanity." Here's Frank De Bernardo at Bondings 2.0 reflecting on Parolin's statement and how church leaders would be better advised to respond

With such momentum underway on the part of many nations and Catholic populations, Parolin’s extreme language will only continue to alienate people from Catholicism. It seems that he hasn’t learned that such language only pushes people further away.  . . . 
If the Irish example teaches anything, it should teach church leaders that dialogue is the answer to how to proceed regarding not only marriage equality, but all LGBT issues.

3. And here's Jamie Manson at National Catholic Reporter on the good cop, bad cop dynamics she thinks the pope is employing with Parolin

But rather than respond directly to Ireland himself, this time, Pope Francis is putting the harsher, condemnatory language in the mouth of his secretary of state while he does the work of evangelizing the youth about the truth and beauty of the church's teachings on marriage. 
Parolin is taking on the old-fashioned role of Vatican scold while Francis takes the new, more merciful, catechetical approach. But ultimately, both men agree with the institutional church's opposition to marriage equality. Both men believe same-sex relationships violate the traditional understanding of natural law and gender complimentary.

4. Here's NCR editorializing today on why that kind of tactic will clearly not work, and on what wise pastoral leaders would attempt instead:

It is time for church teaching to reflect what social science tells us and what Catholic families have long understood: Catholicism must cast off a theology of sexuality based on a mechanical understanding of natural law that focuses on individual acts, and embrace a theology of sexuality that has grown out of lived experience and is based on relationships and intentionality.  . . . 
On the issue of church teaching on sexuality, the time for dialogue is likely passed. Action is needed. The strongest message out of the Irish referendum is that on its teaching about sexuality, the church today faces a watershed moment, just as it did in 1968 with Humanae Vitae.

5. Finally, here's Joanna Moorhead in The Guardian on why the top Catholic primate of Ireland Archbishop Martin responded to the Irish vote in a very different way than the Vatican has done:

What led to Martin’s radical rethink was simple: the fear that he will soon be leading a church without any followers. For thousands of years, the men at the top of the Catholic church thought power flowed just one way: now, at long last, they’re realising it’s not that simple. Because a church with no worshippers wouldn’t be a church at all, and the men who run it would have no power any more.

Hard to lead a church when no church is there to be led, isn't it? 

(Thanks to Rachel Fitzgerald of the evolving deep forms blog for pointing me to the Democracy Now video, and to Chris Morley for pointing to the Joanna Moorhead article.)

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