Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: "Instead, We Are Left with the Likes of John Allen and Rocco Palmo Who Are Just Pole Dancers at Bishop Conventions"

In response to Kaya Oakes's recent article about John Allen's decision to turn to the Knights of Columbus to fund his Crux journal, which I discussed yesterday, Tony Adams writes

No one gets the kind of long time access granted to John Allen by the hierarchy unless he is useful to the conservative Catholic Church. He remains a complete and unrepentant tool for the cardinals and bishops. He reminds me of Wolf Blitzer nervously hawking his sponsor's brand rather than really delivering the news. I am surprised by your overly cautious labelling of the outlets you mention as "leaning" conservative or liberal. John Allen has seen and heard much. I wait for the day when he decides to speak from the heart. Two other Johns - John Muthig and John Willig both gay who died young from AIDS - had great access and would have become more trustworthy voices had they lived. Instead, we are left with the likes of John Allen and Rocco Palmo who are just pole dancers at bishop conventions.

Tony's absolutely right in this assessment, in my view. And as I said yesterday, for its own health — and if it expects its proclamation of the good news of God's loving embrace of the world in Christ to make any sense at all to people today — the Catholic church needs to find a way to hear the voices of gay (and lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer) people like Tony Adams.

Instead, in "liberal" Catholic conversation spaces (e.g., Commonweal, which recently erased a comment by someone challenging Nancy Danielson's homophobic statements in a thread at that blog site), ugly homophobes are allowed to parade their bigotry without any check from the moderators of those Catholic conversation spaces, while remarks by LGBTQ Catholics and those in solidarity with us challenging the bigotry wrapped up in Catholic theological terms are often expunged by moderators as rude. 

The message this moderating practice gives the LGBTQ community is loud and clear. 

It completely undercuts the claims of the Catholic community at this point in time to be about proclaiming the gospel to the world.

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