Monday, November 13, 2017

The Bridge-Building Project in the U.S. Catholic Church and Reaching Out to the Poor Bishops as A Primary Task: My Take

It's very hard to get my mind around Catholic groups, including ones working for the full inclusion of queer people in the Catholic church, which think that the major challenge today is to invite the bishops to the table and to avoid being "angry" at the bishops.

I'd have thought the really big challenge is to create a table large and inviting enough to bring to the table all the people who have justifiable anger at the pastoral leaders of the Catholic church, and have been shoved from the table by those pastoral leaders.

The focus on the bishops, on the challenge of bringing the bishops to the table, appears to ignore and denigrate the justifiable anger and hurt many Catholics have at the abdication of pastoral and moral leadership by many of our bishops.

What a different kind of church these Catholic groups working to change the church could help to build, if they stopped thinking in such parochial terms, which cripple their analysis of what the church needs right now, and started inviting to their tables the many people the bishops have made justifiably angry.

Though those Catholics may no longer appear the kind of cozy, parochial Catholics that these groups like to use as their index of what it means to be Catholic . . . .

P.S. If you imagine that the U.S. bishops did not know the full score about white evangelicals when they signed on for their culture war against women and LGBTQ folks back when — signing on to white evangelicals' attacks on federal actions abolishing racial segregation at the same time — you need to think more carefully. The fatuous claims of many Catholic conservatives outside the South that they and the U.S. bishops just didn't know what white evangelicals were all about as they created the religious right in the latter half of the 20th century, and that Catholics can sign onto white evangelical racism as an unfortunate price they have to pay for opposing abortion, while Catholics remain aloof from Southern racism: these self-serving claims do not hold moral water.

Catholic "pro-lifers" and those who continue according respect to the U.S. bishops as moral leaders: take a good look at Roy Moore. This is whom you chose to hop into bed with in order to win your culture-war battles against women and gay folks. 

This is who you are.

The headscratcher illustration is from The Evening Ledger (Philadelphia, May 4, 1916), and was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Johnny Automatic of Open Clip Art Library.

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