Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Right-Wing Catholics Suddenly Tired of Pope's Scoldings: Where Were These Folks During Papacies of JPII and BXVI?

Well, isn't this special? Right-wing Catholics Elizabeth Scalia and Carl Olson are tried of being "scolded" and "harangued" by a pope, as David Gibson reports in a Religion News Service article today about the drop in Pope Francis's approval ratings after he issued Laudato Si'.

Curious: I don't recall ever having heard Scalia or Olson complaining about the "scolding" and "haranguing" dished out by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI to LGBT human beings, and fellow Catholics who happen to be LGBT, repeatedly during their papacies. Remember those scoldings? They went on and on and on during the past two papacies.

The scoldings and harangues included the invention of a totally new term to slam those of us who are LGBT: we were told we're "intrinsically disordered." Benedict repeatedly used Christmas and New Year's speeches as an occasion to claim that gay folks represent a dire threat to the human ecology of the planet.

Did any of the rest of you hear Scalia and Olson complaining about papal scolding then? If they did so, I have no recollection of their complaints.

And Rita Ferrone, doctrines not only develop and change: they're sometimes simply wrong, and they're repudiated, as happened with the longstanding prohibition of usury in Catholic moral teaching or the support for slavery. This is, in fact, one of the primary points being made by Sister Mary Scullion, Joan McConnon, and James Maguire in their statement on the firing of Margie Winters by Waldron Mercy Academy — the statement to which you're objecting.

As they say rather plainly and, to my mind, persuasively,

But we believe that the Church’s truest integrity is at risk when it emphasizes orthodoxy and doctrine without meaningful engagement with human and historic realities. We love the Church: We draw deeply from its rich traditions of spirituality, compassion, service, and justice. But we also recognize (and need to take responsibility for) our many historic blind spots — persecution of heretics, oppression of indigenous peoples in the name of “mission,” and second-class status for women. 
While it is painful for us to have to publicly dissent, we are convinced that this is a moment when insistence on doctrinal adherence is clashing with what we believe the Spirit is unfolding in our history — just as it has in the past, with issues like slavery, the rights of women, and the environment. Many Christian denominations have listened to the movement of the Spirit and moved toward both full inclusion and full embrace of the gifts of our gay and lesbian sisters and brothers.

These aren't, of course, insights that will be so plain and so persuasive to Catholics who refuse to stand in solidarity with their LGBT brothers and sisters as those people experience oppression while the catechism is cited, but who prefer to stand instead with the Scalias and Olsons of the church.

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