BY MICHAEL MULLINS
USA Today’s Cathy Lynn Grossman blogs on the lesbian woman denied Communion at her mother's funeral Mass.
She reports that the priest then walked out on the burial service, and the upshot that the Archdiocese of Washington DC was “officially appalled”.
“The US Conference of Catholic Bishops … makes clear that while the church speaks against homosexual behaviour, it calls for all people to be treated with dignity…
"The doctrine is that people who are actively choosing to continue sinning should not present themselves for Communion … But most bishops do not refuse Communion to anyone in a public setting.”
Meanwhile Terry Weldon at The Tablet blogs on special masses for gay Catholics, after Archbishop Vincent Nichols last week reaffirmed his support for these events as long as long as they do not “oppose or confuse church teaching”.
“The perceived (or experienced) hostility of the Church has led [many homosexuals] to reject it entirely. This may result in taking up the hedonistic lifestyle… These Masses are widely misrepresented by our critics. They are emphatically not a place for campaigns against church teaching, nor are the refreshment times occasions for sexual hook-ups. While the question of celibacy is not directly discussed or even raised, there is a tacit understanding of the Church's teaching, including its teaching on conscience.”
Sentire Cum Ecclesia comments on religious freedom and Special Religious Education (SRE) in Victoria.
“[SRE] has become a cause for controversy, largely because of the objection to “proselytising” … The real issue seems to be that there are some secularists who regard it as improper that there should be any kind of religious catechesis offered in public schools in public time … Professor Stan van Hooft of Deakin University [asserts] that people are entitled to religious practice as long as it “does no harm” … Note too his forceful and unsupported assertion that “religion is a private matter” and hence should have no place in the public square …
“It is about the rightful place of religious communities within our society. The secularists are attempting to exclude religion from the public space by arguing that religious freedom means only the the free right to exercise your religion in private.”
Gerard Henderson has a section in his Media Watch Dog blog that is headed ‘Sectarianism Watch’. On Friday he slammed the routine labelling of Tony Abbott as the “Mad Monk”, with particular reference to last Monday’s “sectarian sneer” on ABC TV’s Q & A.
“Tony Abbot is not mad. And he is not, and never has been, a monk. This is just a sectarian sneer aimed at the fact that Mr Abbott is a practising Catholic and, these days, Christians in general and Catholics in particular are fair game – provided of course, they are not lefties. Particularly on such programs as Q&A where sneering secularists make up a large section of the audience… It is impossible to imagine that the Q&A production team would approve a question which referred to a secular Muslim leader as the 'Mad Mullah' or the 'Mad Imam'."
dotCommonweal’s Lisa Fullam comments on Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s clarion call for Catholics to speak up on political matters.
“He might want to be a little cautious about what he asks for here. Catholics are in favour of lots of what Dolan opposes … A poll found 63% of Catholics in favour of the mandate, and growing majorities favour same-sex marriage …
Fullam also points out that the cardinal is on shaky ground when he refutes the claim of same sex marriage advocates that there is a right to marriage.
“He … might want to study up a bit. ‘I don’t recall a right to marriage,’ he said. I would point him to Pope Paul VI’s Populorum Progressio, 37, viz.: When the inalienable right of marriage and of procreation is taken away, so is human dignity. I think most Catholics stand with the late Pope on that one.”
Opthomistic at Being Frank warns against making celebrities out of priests.
“Living in a secular age of celebrity, it is not surprising that some fans have taken to elevating certain Catholics to celebrity status … While there can be positive outcomes from this influence, it also leaves the celebrity and the wider public vulnerable to scandals, alleged and actual …
"[Examples include] Fr Corapi, a regular guest speaker and TV show host on EWTN was accused of financial misconduct, drug use, cohabitation and sexual relationships with prostitutes … Fr Euteneur resigned from Human Life International after admitting to sexual relations … Rev Alberto Cutie was a regular guest speaker on secular shows like Oprah … After it emerged that he was cohabiting with a divorced woman, he apostatised to the Episcopalian community … Perhaps we should take a long pause, ourselves, before contributing to the ‘celebritisation’ of people.”
David Timbs at v2Catholic reflects on the Vatican’s rapprochement with the Society of St Pius X (SSPX).
“Bringing back the leadership of the SSPX and reincorporating its followers has become a priority of Benedict’s pontificate … To their dismay and frustration, the SSPX are not rolling over in compliance. They are digging in [and] are engaging in tactics the Government of Nth Vietnam perfected during the closing stages of the American War, namely, negotiate while still fighting…
“While the SSPX present themselves as moderate and reasonable, there remains a strong element of total rejectionism of Vatican II and this extreme view might well be very close to the surface even among the mainliners… There is also a small but very entrenched corps of sedevacantists – those who do not accept the legitimacy of popes after PiusXII. They patiently await union with the next reliable Pope.”
The Faith in our Future blog of the Parramatta Diocese’s mission team reports on the recent “full house at St Bernadette’s Parish, Castle Hill”.
“Over 150 parishioners … filled our third consultation session toward our Diocesan Pastoral Plan … Once again, youth was the most popular priority …
The suggestions made were both practical and challenging. The need to make the most of school holiday times for evangelising and recreation with youth in the context of faith …
“It was noticeable that the issue of responding to ethnic diversity within the Diocese was not chosen by many participants, despite the multicultural reality of the Diocese (at least a quarter of Parramatta Catholics were born overseas in a non-English speaking country). Nevertheless, the contributions in this area were important, including the need to welcome newcomers, especially refugees, to our Catholic communities and the need to encourage familiarity with the diverse expressions of Catholic faith as it is lived and celebrated by these communities.”
Michael Mullins, founding editor of CathNews, compiles this 'Blog Watcher' column every Monday.
Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.