At Mirror of Justice, Rick Garnett responds to my piece yesterday about hiring and firing of LGBT Catholics in ministerial positions. As always, Garnett's thoughts are important to consider, but I continue to think he misunderstands the proper relationship the Church should take to legal advice, and also the degree to which the Church should resist the urge to see others as opponents, even if they see themselves as such.
There are many realities in American politics that are perplexing. Why do so many working class voters support candidates who enact tax and spending policies that benefit the wealthiest Americans? Why do Democrats insist on running candidates who favor expansive abortion policies in districts where voters are culturally conservative and opposed to such policies? But, no issue is more perplexing than guns and gun rights.
First, a clarification. In my article last week looking ahead to the new year in the life of the Church, I noted that Bishop Robert Barron's "Word on Fire" ministries had retweeted an old article of his in which he complained about the "Fetishism of Dialogue" and wondered how that squared with Pope Francis' repeated calls for dialogue. I was contacted by Brandon Vogt, Content Director at Word on Fire, who explained to me that these retweets of old articles are computer generated at random. I had no idea such technology existed. I have even less of an idea why anyone would use it.
This weekend, my colleague Michelle Boorstein had a finely done article in the Washington Post about the issue of hiring and firing LGBT Catholics from certain positions in the Church. She specifically focused on the case of a cantor at a Catholic Church here in the Archdiocese of Washington who was fired after he contracted same sex civil marriage.
A great column, proposing a great idea, but with a huge dose of sadness: Harold Meyerson's last oped column in the Washington Post. Meyerson has been a stalwart defender of labor and the little guy on those pages and I do not see anyone else taking up his causes with the consistency he expended on them. And, the repeal of 10(b) 18 is a good idea on its face.
First Things has now posted the text of Ross Douthat’s “Erasmus Lecture,” delivered at the end of October, and a curious text it is, starting with the title. Is there really a "crisis" for conservative Catholics, or is it just a snit? Douthat is smart, but he has for too long accepted at face value the American conservative, or neo-conservative, narrative about developments within the Catholic Church over the past fifty years.
Michael Sean Winters offers Onion-style news stories that you won't read about in 2016 but you kind of wish you could. Happy New Year!
Distinctly Catholic: Let's close this look ahead by examining the intersection of religion and politics, the estuary where they combine, and which currents will become dominant or wane.
In this morning's Washington Post, Ruth Marcus says that Trump is right: Bill Clinton's predatory sexual ways are fair game in his wife's campaign. I am ambivalent here. I would not let Mr. Clinton near my daughter if I had a daughter. But, I do not assess his presidency, or FDR's for that matter, because neither man was entirely faithful to his wife.
Distinctly Catholic: Let's look at what 2016 might hold for the Catholic church -- shakeups in the Curia, a consistory and an apostolic exhortation.