According to this post Cardinal Dolan compared LGBT folks as a childhood friend who was welcome at his home and table, but who had to be corrected about coming with his hands dirty,. So Catholics in New York are going to demonstrate about this characterization. I said:
Frank (Bernardo), the stories are unending and sad not to say compelling. The actions are valid. The responses, “dirty hands”, “hands tied”, are ridiculous. But the expectation is “old church”–trying to hope, and yes, demonstrate with stories/petitions that a Pope, a majority(?) of bishops, will change the teaching (Catechism 2357,8,9) of the church on homosexuality. This is not how the church to which we say we want to belong to operates. Frankly, I wouldn’t want change to happen just because –in history–I had the money, the guns and the majority. True we don’t have another model on which to operate. But why not get another model into the works? First we have to acknowledge that there are opponents to the teaching. We don’t have to look for the Randy Engels in the church. There are many in the “pews” who oppose us just as conscientiously as her. Nicolas Coppola certainly feels support, but I don’t agree that we have the entire support from those in the “pews” and we have to accept that it’s not just the “hierarchy”. For a sample about people who think differently from us: an article by Prof. Tracey Rowland in the Catholic World Report. She entitled it,"Benedict XVI and the end of the Virtual Council" meaning that the media and "congregationalist" thinking among some liberal catholics has come to an end.
We have a case of dissent on our hands. And although not as bad as methods in the past, we’re still engaged in a destructive and lengthy tug and pull as ever. I believe we’re putting the church authorities in an impossible bind, to come up with a way to love us sinners while they have to uphold the doctrine that homosexuality is depraved in practice. Why not collectively call for a method I’ve been talking about, “The Galileo Reconciliation Commission-GRC”? I thought something like this would have come out of Vat. II. I still can’t believe the church hasn’t figured out it has a moral obligation to avoid killing/condemning and the like over dissent. We had the Reformation over legitimate dissent, but still killings. Let’s not talk about Crusades. How can we allow another Galileo case–the LGBT is but one of them, although for me a personal issue– go on and on and on?
O.K. I’m entitled by virtue of age and training to bring up the criticism of our shortcomings in the LGBT camp. People like me, an ordained priest, faithful to the promise of celibacy, simply disobeyed church law and married–in the thousands in the 70′s–thinking that this would produce change. Instead, at least in my case, we left the church–clearly not alone–and the post Vat II era was taken over by the conservatives. So we’ve seen the schism described so well by Matthew Fox in his, “The Pope’s War”, I lost my role as priest and had to totally reconstruct my life. (Not just boo-hooing for myself: The church lost thousands of priests.) Now some of us want to play a role again inside the church. Why not just work within a community that answers our religious conscience? Even those churches that insist they are “catholic”? For me it is mainly to rescue the current and future victims of the teaching on homosexuality (not to mention all of sexuality). But, of course I am concerned about the entire church and its mission for justice.
So why not get the silent majority of those in the pews, among the priests, and among the hierarchy to call for a GRC? With our moral force (no the church is not a democracy and doesn’t govern by majority rule, but by clear, demonstrated inspiration based on Jesus and history) we certainly could have a chance at stopping the violence all the while not “changing” doctrine. How do we get an item on the GRC agenda? The LGBT issue certainly has to be at the top of a doctrinal dissent list–married clergy, even women priests are not doctrinal issues. This would be where all the stories, sad and compelling, would come in. We would be including people who are professional theologians. And I’m not embarrassed to say some of us with white hair and personal history ought to have some role. Standing up and being openly counted is the moral force needed–within the church. Direct action beyond petitions, “dirty hands” demos might be necessary. But this should take less time than the old violent, monarchical, method. And it would prepare the church for doing what is necessary for doctrinal change in due time. Tom Luce ,
See http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/2196/benedict_xvi_and_the_end_of_the_virtual_council.aspx#.UYQcmZX3Dog You will see how much Prof. Rowland appreciates "The Virtual Council" meaning the press and popular, "congregational" catholicism. We have to relate to this body of the faithful, not just our own supporters. Thanks