Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Profound Waste of Catholic Resources to Attack Gays Is Profoundly Profane

One of those good droppings from the Catholic birdcage that I occasionally post here: this is Kate FitzGerald responding to what I posted yesterday about the collection of funds from Catholic dioceses across the country to attack gay citizens of Minnesota:

While diocese across the country are being tapped by the USCCB to provide mega-financial resources to prevent same-sex marriage legislation and to promote anti-gay efforts in a number of States, it has also been successful at literally reinventing the Knights of Columbus' agenda so that approximately 6 million of its monies last year supported the same efforts. We can assume that the dioceses and the Knights have revved up their monies in this election year. The efforts are profane as is increasingly concluded by the hearts, minds, and consciences of Catholics and all people, making the mega-monies a profound waste of Catholic resources, and making the prelates of the USCCB nothing short of profoundly profane.

I like Kate's use of the word "profane" here.  It seems to me precisely apt.   Pro- as "outside" or "in front of" the fanum, the temple.  What is profane doesn't even make it into the sacred precincts, the temple.  In the name of defending religion and religious values, the Catholic bishops and those who walk lockstep with them are actually betraying religion and religious values in their ugly, mean-spirited attack on a vulnerable minority community.

Kate's right: this is profane behavior.  And it radically undermines the moral credibility of the Catholic bishops and the entire Catholic community.  

Meanwhile, my partner Steve showed me a front-page picture yesterday from his hometown newspaper in the Crookston diocese in northwest Minnesota: it shows a banner promoting the anti-gay amendment to the state constitution, which had been placed in front of his family's parish church, torn down.  Someone has taken the banner and the poles holding it up and has dismantled it.

This is the parish in which Steve grew up after the bishop closed the German parish in which he was baptized.  It's the parish in which he made his first communion, was an altar boy, was confirmed, and went to Mass and confession every week until he left home, as well as to the stations of the Cross and adoration anytime these were offered.  It's the parish in which one of his Benedictine aunts was once a parish administrator.

And this destruction of the anti-gay banner in front of the Catholic church is now front-page news in his small town, which is over 50% Catholic.

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