Monday, September 24, 2007

Bishops' Move is too Little too Late

Friends, I know that I may be overstepping my bounds a little. Dym Tim has allowed me to serve as a kind of myntor to our various ministries and I have sought to keep within this restricted role and be a peacemaker here at SOV2. I want to help you fulfill the mission to bring the spirit to the world and touch the hearts and minds of those poor deluded people caught in the trap of out-moded spirituality and narrow-mindedness. Yet, I feel impelled by the spirit to speak out today, and as we know: “if it feels right, don’t think twice!” in the words of James Taylor.

Sisters and Brothers, recently many have become upset over the appointment of Kathy Saile, a Lutheran, as director of public policy for the USCCB. We do not name names, but we know their type. Of course there will always be those who are upset by appointing a womyn to any position of authority. Others will be upset because she is of an alternative faith tradition. But there are also those who oppose her because they suspect she may in fact be “pro-choice.” If only it were true!

Yes Kathy Saile is in many ways a “progressive” on some of the issues that are important to us like health care, housing, and immigration, but she is a self-professed anti-abortionist. She belives she can "reach out to us" and "challenge" us with the idea that progressive issues are not incompatible withthe "pro-life" position. But let me assure you that she and the bishops have no right to lecture us on matters of social justice until they recognize that social justice begins with a womyn’s right to control her own reproductive health.

I applaud the Bishops in taking this small step of appointing a non-catholic christian to such an important role, but it is merely that: a small step. Really folks, did they look very far when they appointed a Lutheran? Wouldn't it have been more courageous to select a non-christian?

Yes it is too small a gesture in so many ways, and it is too late to heal the wounds that the bishops in the United States have caused through their reckless intransigence. True, among the bishops we have some who are trying to move the church in the right direction, but this is not enough to appease those who have been disenfranchised by years of scorn and indifference. In fact I am more insulted than I am placated.

Is the USCCB really interested in forging a path to reconciliation? If so here are a few steps they can take which would let us know that they are serious.

1. Renounce the “Pope” and publicly condemn his teachings.
2. Sell all church property and donate it to the United Way General Fund and the UN Population Fund.
3. Stop all “missionary” activity that has the appearance of proselytizing.
4. Issue formal written apologies to every women’s health clinic
5. Hold a new Catholic Church of the Americas conference and invite those theologians who have been condemned to teach us the proper way forward
6. Disband and set up a volunteer lay council made up of retired university professors to draft a new catholic social teachings guide to replace the rigid official “catechism.”

Until such time I think we have an obligation to continue our mission to reach out and challenge them.

H. Robert Williams


Father Tim said...

Hey! Great points, H. Robert. Like you, I was initially really happy about Kathy Saile, not only because she wasn't one of those people carrying around Catholic Guillt, but because she seemed to be totally in line with the USCCB Administration (not the Byshops, mind you, but the Administration - the peoples who really run the USCCB). Anyway, it sounded too good to be true - a Social Justice oriented Democrat who was solidly pro-choice.

I feel betrayed - not just by Mrs. Saile, with her anti-womyn gender treason, but also by the USCCB, which has a clear mandate from the peoples to advance progressive causes like open immigration and social justice.

Anonymous said...

I suppose it should be known that I applied for the job .... like I said earlier, I don't interview well!