Thursday, January 27, 2011

P.S. to Posting re: Nicholas Kristof on "Tussling Over Jesus": Kristof Features NCR Reporter Jamie Manson

This is a quick p.s. to my posting earlier today about Nicholas Kristof's op-ed piece in the New York Times today entitled "Tussling Over Jesus."

When I blogged about Kristof's column, I meant to note that when he discusses the case of the Phoenix hospital, St. Joseph's, from which Phoenix Catholic bishop Thomas Olmsted has removed the designation "Catholic," he's featuring a recent National Catholic Reporter article by reporter Jamie L. Manson.   As I've noted in a number of previous postings, I find Jamie Manson's work outstanding, and I take hope in the fact that NCR has given her a regular column.  Manson is a current interpreter of the Catholic tradition whose voice I find credible. 

For Jamie Manson's take on the 12-step program in the Colorado Springs Catholic diocese about which I blogged a few days ago, which seeks to "support" Catholic gay folks seeking to deal with their "addiction," see her latest article in NCR.  Manson notes that, though officials of the Colorado Springs diocese claim their program does not aim at reparative therapy, it is modeled slavishly on the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.  And if you substitute the word "homosexuality" for the word "addiction" in AA's programmatic self-description, you end up with precisely the program Colorado Springs is offering gay Catholics who want "support."

As Manson concludes, the Colorado Springs program is all about denial--about reinforcing shame and denial in gays who happen to be Catholic; about making gay Catholics think of their God-given nature with its God-given ability to love as an "addiction" to be overcome (denied and suppressed) by prayer.  Manson notes that denial is what many Catholic pastoral leaders do very well right now:

But denial is what the hierarchy seems to model best these days: whether it's denying communion to women religious who use their consciences, denying justice for sexual abuse survivors, or denying the dignity of women called to ordained ministry. 

And it's because of insights like this that I'm glad to see Jamie Manson is now getting a national audience through Nicholas Kristof's column in the New York Times today.

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