HIGHLIGHTS OF HETERODOXY
Catalyst July/August Issue 2002
There are many Catholic organizations and publications that reject the Church’s teachings on sexuality. We’ve been tracking what they’ve been saying in this time of crisis and, predictably, the voices of dissent want to turn the Church upside down and inside out. Here’s a sampling of some of the more inane comments we’ve come across.
Call to Action is generally regarded as being at the forefront of “progressive” Catholic activism.
· On May 29, the group put out a news release listing its recommendations on what the bishops need to do. It came out against “zero tolerance” for priests who molest children.
· On June 16, following the Dallas meeting, it criticized the bishops for not endorsing “zero tolerance.” “This is not the zero tolerance that the Catholic people want and deserve,” is what Call to Action said in a news release.
We have a recommendation: Call to Action should adopt an internal policy expressing zero tolerance for lying.
Frances Kissling claims to be a Catholic but there is good reason to believe that she excommunicated herself when she ran abortion clinics illegally in Mexico. At any rate, her well-funded fax machine of an “organization,” Catholics for a Free Choice, still gets some attention, though not nearly as much as it once did.
· In April and again in May, Kissling urged the U.N. to investigate sexual misconduct by priests.
No one paid any attention to her either time. But we’d like to see the IRS investigate her.
· During the Dallas meeting, Kissling said, “It is clear that the policy which will be approved leaves too much power in the hands of the bishops and too little in control of the faithful.”
That may be true, but it’s a moot point for her: she’s not one of the faithful.
· Also during the Dallas meeting, Kissling declared, “I want a priesthood that has heterosexuals, homosexuals, women, married people, unmarried people, temporary priests. I think we could solve this problem if people were only priests to some extent for only ten years.”
And we think the idea of term limits is so good we should begin with her: having been Ms. Queen of Abortion for decades, Kissling ought to resign immediately.
Catholics Speak Out is the brainchild of Sister Maureen Fiedler. And what they speak out about is of no interest to most Catholics, much less non-Catholics. But they do have a friend in columnist Emily Minor. Here’s what Emily had to say about one of the group’s officials, Rea Howarth:
· “Every day, all day, Howarth thinks about the things that separate many of today’s women from the church. It’s beyond contraception and divorce, abortion and female priests. It’s the notion—the reality—that politics and reform are not discussed with women. Ever. End of story.”
Maybe Rea should stop thinking about things that get her down every day, all day. On this business about no one ever discussing politics with Rea, we have good news for her: we’d be only too happy to put her in touch with Jerry Springer.
Dignity is a homosexual activist group of men and women who profess to be Catholic even though they reject the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. They have been quite exercised over reports that most of the molesters are gay. Marianne Duddy is the executive director of Dignity and here is what she said about those cardinals who have expressed concerns about so many homosexuals in the priesthood:
· “These irresponsible comments have done untold harm to thousands of people, creating a new class of victims in this horrible scandal. We continue to demand a full retraction of all statements linking homosexuality and child abuse.”
And we will continue to say that there is a word in the English language for male-on-male sex (which is the case in 82 percent of reported cases of sexual abuse by priests). It is called homosexuality.
The National Catholic Reporter has been promoting, and celebrating, dissent within the Catholic Church for decades. Here is what its editor, Tom Roberts, had to say about the scandal:
· “Within this deep embarrassment and this awful moment for the church are the seeds for growth and reform. And what I think whether bishops are wont to admit it or not, those reforms are along the lines of what the people in Call to Action have been discussing for a long time.”
What is truly embarrassing is to read that the answer to sexual permissiveness among some priests is to adopt a sexually permissive philosophy that justifies it. It’s on the order of saying the answer to theft is to legalize it.
New Ways Ministry was founded in 1977 by Sister Jeannine Gramick and Rev. Robert Nugent. In 1999, after it became clear that both of them openly defied the Church’s teachings on sexuality, they were banned by the Vatican from working with homosexuals. Their answer to the problem of priestly sexual abuse is to promote the homosexual agenda. At their most recent national conference, several speakers had specific recommendations. Our favorite came from Helen Deines.
· Helen Deines is a professor from Spalding University. She wants to stamp out what she calls “heterosexism.” To this end, she recommended that we stop celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day; presumably, they make kids who have two mommies or two daddies feel uncomfortable.
Deines is right about this but she didn’t go far enough. We need to eliminate Martin Luther King Day because it makes racists feel uncomfortable. We need to eliminate President’s Day because it makes Al Gore feel uncomfortable. We need to eliminate the Fourth of July because it makes traitors feel uncomfortable. We need to eliminate Labor Day because it makes bums feel uncomfortable. We need to eliminate Thanksgiving because it makes PETA feel uncomfortable. And we need to eliminate Christmas because it makes the ACLU feel uncomfortable.