Monday, May 18, 2009

Liberal Catholics rebuke conservative protesters

Trinity Washington University President Patricia McGuire speaks out:
"The real scandal at Notre Dame today is not that the president of the United States is speaking at commencement," McGuire said. "The real scandal is the misappropriation of sacred teachings for political ends. The real scandal is the spectacle of ostensibly Catholic mobs camping out at Notre Dame for the specific purpose of disrupting the commencement address of the nation's first African American president. This ugly spectacle is an embarrassment to all Catholics. The face that Catholicism shows to our new president should be one marked with the sign of peace, not distorted in the snarl of hatred."

McGuire continued, "The religious vigilantism apparent in the Notre Dame controversy arises from organizations that have no official standing with the church, but who are successful in gaining media coverage as if they were speaking for Catholicism. . . . They have established themselves as uber-guardians of a belief system we can hardly recognize. Theirs is a narrow faith devoted almost exclusively to one issue. They defend the rights of the unborn but have no charity toward the living. They mock social justice as a liberal mythology."
This goes along with another rebuke, delivered by a Jesuit as an op-ed in the Post a week or two ago:
I think part of the problem is that the bishops stopped listening and teaching and started ordering and condemning. With an educated laity it no longer works to simply say, "it is the teaching of the church." This is the equivalent of a parent shouting, "Because I said so."

The bishops must persuade and convince with arguments not by turning up the volume. When they resort to commanding and threatening punishments, people are turned off. Banning speakers, denying Communion, silencing theologians is a sign of weakness not strength. Censorship and violations of academic freedom come across as admissions that their arguments are not convincing and therefore the opposition must be silenced.
As we commented earlier, the conservative Catholics are even getting out of step with the Vatican. Could it be that the silent majority of Catholics are finally saying they've had enough?

Update,from AP:
The Vatican said Monday that President Barack Obama was clearly looking for some common ground with his speech at the University of Notre Dame about abortion.....The article didn't mention the protest by dozens of U.S. Catholic bishops who denounced Notre Dame for honoring Obama because his abortion rights record clashes with fundamental church teaching. Instead, it simply quoted Obama as inviting all Americans to work together to reduce the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies, and concluded he was searching for common ground on the "delicate question of abortion."
I think the Vatican is pushing back against the abusive politics as well. Good for them!


dr.primrose said...

OT (as usual). Today's N.Y. Times has a good article on one partner being kept away from their sick or dying partner in hospitals, even if they have medical power of attorney and other previously prepared paper work -- Kept From a Dying Partner’s Bedside. There's also an interesing set of comments on a related blog site Do Patients Have a Right to Visitors? The comments are particularly interesting from heterosexuals who say that if you say you're a sibling or a spouse, the hospitals neve question it and you're allowed free access. My favorite comment:

"I can also say from experience that anyone who tries to claim this has nothing to do with sexuality is naive at best and a liar at worst. Two years ago I was hospitalized with a clot in my leg that had thrown into my lungs. My then boyfriend (now fiancee) was allowed to visit and even stay the night no questions asked. Two years before that my best friend was hospitalized in serious condition and again I was allowed to stay with her, given constant updates on her status, etc."

IT said...

Thank you Dr Primrose. Ironically I had posted on exactly this topic at my new blog today. I've added this in an update.

Gay Married Californian.

Fred Preuss said...

Anybody should be able to say what he wants to; we don't have to keep a pretty smiley face on for anybody.
He's not a king-there'll be someone else in eight years. There's no annointing. It's not all about him.