Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Price of Catholic Homophobia: While Spending to Bash Gays, Minnesota Catholic Bishops Close Churches

I've noted in my previous postings about the current political initiative of the Minnesota bishops to affect the state's gubernatorial election by issuing an anti-gay marriage video that this initiative is thought to have a price tag of around a million dollars, though the Minnesota bishops claim not to know the cost of this video and its mailing, and are shielding the identity of the donor(s) who is paying for this political operation.

And now this:  yesterday, the archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, which is spearheading this partisan anti-gay political initiative, has announced plans to close 20 churches and merge many parishes.  Due to financial exigency.

At a time in which it cannot keep churches and Catholic schools open, a Catholic archdiocese has used lavish funds to mount a political attack on a targeted minority.  With the assistance of the Knights of Columbus, who gave $1.5 million last year to the anti-gay organization National Organization for Marriage, who were among the top donors to the battle to remove the right of civil marriage from gay citizens of California, and whose total donations to anti-gay groups last year totaled $4.7 million, while this Catholic organization gave $3 million to support works of mercy such as feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless.

All over the country, while Catholic dioceses and groups like the Knights of Columbus and the National Organization for Marriage spend huge sums of money to beat up on gay citizens as they seek to score political points for the Republican party, the Catholic church is closing parishes and schools and curtailing funding for works of mercy.  Something about the choice of the top pastoral leaders of the Catholic church to allocate money to political causes designed to deprive a vulnerable minority of rights, while money donated by faithful Catholics to support charity (and churches and schools) is diverted to this political cause, is deeply troubling.

Deeply troubling as a statement about where the core values of the pastoral leaders of American Catholicism lie right now . . . . Particularly when the gospels inform us that we will be judged at the end of our lives according to what we have done to the least of our brothers.

Matthew 25's description of the last judgment  talks about the hungry, the sick, the stranger, the homeless, the prisoner, and those without clothing.  I don't recall that it says a single word about the gays--or that Jesus ever mentions the topic of homosexuality in the gospels at all.

I wonder what the U.S. Catholic bishops imagine they are proclaiming, as they allocate money to gay bashing while removing it from charitable causes and the upkeep of parishes and schools.  It's hard to believe that they can imagine they're proclaiming the gospel through this choice.

Because they're not.
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