CHANGE AND SHUT UP

Catalyst July/August Issue 1998

The Times Herald Record, a newspaper that covers Orange County, New York, wants the Catholic Church to change and shut up. Here’s the evidence.

In an editorial, the Times Herald Record took the Catholic Church to task for its rules governing qualifications for the priesthood: it wants women priests and married priests. Indeed, it even compared these Church rules to a fictitious ancient tradition that allowed country folk to determine by lottery who should be stoned to death. To top it off, the editorial asked area Catholics to call the newspaper registering their view on whether priests should be allowed to marry.

Imagine, just for a moment, an editorial blasting Orthodox Jews for its rules governing qualifications for the rabbinate. And imagine asking local Jews what they think about such rules. Keep imagining.

Interestingly, some local Catholics didn’t care for the newspaper’s voyeurism and let them have it. In reply, the editors said they had every right to stick their nose in the Church’s business because “the Catholic Church is a highly political institution.” They then cite the Church’s teachings on abortion, birth control and domestic partnership as proof that even non-Catholics must deal with the consequences of the Church’s efforts.

Of course, the case could be made that Catholics must live with the consequences of the efforts of atheists, secularists and bigots, but that wouldn’t be fair: the Times Herald Record would then have to look at itself in the mirror. And that wouldn’t be a pretty sight.


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Written by Bill