Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Letter to Editor: When It Comes to Enforcing Catholic Sexual Teaching, Depends on Who's Calling the Shots

A letter to the editor of my statewide free newspaper Arkansas Times that caught my eye this week: this is a response to the firing of teacher Tippi McCullough by Mount St. Mary school in Little Rock when she chose to marry her partner Barbara Mariani:

Catholic debate 
Sam Seamons doesn't get this issue regarding the Mount St. Mary's firing of Tippi McCullough. It's not a matter of expecting the Roman Catholic Church to change its teachings on human sexuality based on how current culture has changed its views, as Seamons posits it. It's the hypocrisy of the deep, abiding and long continuing cover-up by the church all the way up to the Pope of aiding and abetting the sexual abuse of children by priests for decades, while firing a lesbian teacher for getting married on the other. That's what most of us are finding so blatantly wrong with this picture. Change the church's views on human sexuality? The church appears to a lot of us to merely pick and choose which human sexuality it chooses to abide or not. It just depends on who is calling the shots. Sexual abuse of children by priests? Hey, you get to keep your job! We'll promote you even. A lesbian marriage? You're fired. 
David H. Williams

The Sam Seamans to whom David Williams refers is a bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church, who published a letter in Arkansas Times several weeks ago defending Mount St. Mary's choice to fire Tippi McCullough, and who appears to think that what the Roman Catholic church teaches and believes is synonymous with what its hierarchy decrees--a position problematized by the fact that a significant majority of lay Catholics oppose hierarchical teaching about gay people and gay issues, as Michael O'Loughlin points out yesterday at Huffington Post.

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