Sunday, June 03, 2018

Maine Catholic Diocese Quits Council of Churches Over Gays

Anti-gay Catholic bishop Robert Deeley
Time and time again we see news outlets breathlessly gushing over supposedly "gay friendly" statements by Pope Francis.  Meanwhile, NOTHING has changed in terms of official Catholic Church dogman which labels gays as "intrinsically disordered" - this from a church with a still rampant global sex abuse scandal driven by its celibacy requirement for clergy (even though eastern rite priests can marry) and a bizarre obsession with sex and sexuality.  If Francis truly wanted to change the Church's treatment of LGBT individuals, he need mere issue a pronouncement "ex cathedra" - e.g., the pope speaks infallibly when speaking ex cathedra on questions of faith or morals.  This has not and, I suspect will not, happened.  Thus, all the gushing and breathlessness in the media is meaningless and simply provides cover for Catholics who like to pretend that they are not supporting an anti-gay church (not to mention the rape of children and youths).  The real story of the Catholic Church's position on gays is on view in articles reporting on the firing of LGBT teachers and staff and, recently, the exit of the Maine Catholic diocese from the Council of Churches which is too "gay friendly."  Here are excerpts from the National Catholic Reporter:  
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, is withdrawing from the Maine Council of Churches in a bid to distance itself from LGBT advocacy and other stances that the church says could compromise its public moral witness. The decision comes after a council decision to let its public positions be determined by a majority vote among its members. Previously, the council would only take a stand when its eight denominational members voted unanimously to do so. "Our continuing participation could result in me advocating for two different, and even contradictory, positions," writes Portland Bishop Robert Deeley in an open letter published by the Portland Press Herald. "What I advocate for cannot be simply determined by a majority vote. Executive Director Jane Field. She noted that mainline Protestant churches represented on the council have become more affirming of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as full participants in their churches and ministries. Roman Catholic teaching holds that homosexuality is "intrinsically disordered" and does not condone same-sex relationships.
"Remaining silent on issues, especially related to LGBTQ justice and equality, wasn't tenable for all of our other seven denominations," the Rev. Field explained. "It was enough of a discomfort that it needed to be addressed openly. It wasn't healthy to be silent anymore."
Field said member denominations discussed the option of issuing a minority report in situations when not all members could support the council's stance. But the diocese opted instead to withdraw.
Other dioceses in recent years left state councils in New Hampshire and North Carolina, Field said.

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