Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Maine Catholic Diocese Keeps Giving Itself Black Eye: More Church Closings as Money Flows to Anti-Gay Campaign

And now an update to a story about which I’ve blogged a number of times in the past (here and here).

As the postings to which I’ve just linked note, the Catholic diocese of Maine has made it a priority to roll back same-sex marriage in Maine—such a priority that the diocese has mysteriously found major funds to help support the campaign to remove the right of marriage from gay citizens of the state, even while the diocese announces financial exigency. Where those funds are coming from and how they happen to be in the coffers of a diocese that is closing churches due to financial hardship has never been fully explained.

The diocese’s fixation on combating the civil rights of a targeted group of citizens and its willingness to donate lavishly to that political cause while closing churches is not sitting well with many Maine Catholics.

And it looks as if those Catholics now have more to be upset about. The diocese has just announced that it will close two more churches by the end of this year, as plans are in the works to shut more Catholic churches in Maine down the road.

As I said in my last posting about this story,

The Catholic church gives itself a black eye when it talks out of one side of its mouth about the need to defend human rights, while out of the other side of its mouth, it calls on citizens to combat the human rights of a targeted minority. People tend to look at what we do and not what we say, when we preach.

And this latest chapter in the saga, coupled with the moral pusillanimity of many U.S. Catholic bishops in the health care debacle, surely doesn’t give me any reason to change my mind.