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Jul 04 2012

A custody fight

NPR’s god-besotted religious affairs reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty shyly points out that bears shit in the woods and the Catholic church is not the most liberal institution in the world. She’s very careful about it but even she can’t hide the scary.

Perceiving its core beliefs to be under threat from popular culture, the White House and even Catholics themselves, the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are pushing back.

She sure does give it her best shot, though. Here, Vatican, take this handy excuse with you before we spell out how you are “pushing back”: you are doing it all because you perceive your core beliefs to be under threat from popular culture, the White House and even Catholics themselves. No one can blame you for pushing back under those circumstances.

the Vatican made two significant announcements in a single week in April: First, that it wants to reconcile with the ultra-conservative Society of St. Pius the X, and secondly, that it will reorganize the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 80 percent of Catholic sisters.

As justification for the reorganization, the Vatican accused the group of “radical feminism.”

Radical feminism! Oh no!! Will the Vatican be calling the nuns “the Stasi” next?

Funny what strange people you can find yourself in bed with once you start “pushing back” against feminism and other social justice concerns.

Fabian Bruskewitz, bishop of Lincoln, Neb., says the nuns are a “precious treasure,” but that some of their leaders were promoting ideas about sexuality that were at odds with the Catholic Church.

When it comes to core doctrines, Bruskewitz says, the church is not a democracy.

“These are not open to votes,” Bruskewitz says. “These are what God has revealed, and the custody of that revelation is of course in the possession of the church.”

Bruskewitz says the church can’t compromise its views just because the secular world doesn’t like them.

Yes: that’s the crux right there. That’s where we part ways. That’s the “free” in “freethought” – it’s opposition to the claim that “God” has revealed any such thing and that we are obliged to obey what the church claims “God” has revealed. It’s opposition to the truly disgusting idea that human beings can’t base our morality on what we like but instead have to let the church trump what human beings like in favor of a non-existent revelation that is in the church’s “custody.” (That “of course” is choice, isn’t it. “Of course” the eternal rules for what everyone has to do that were made up by priests centuries ago are in our “custody” and no one else’s. We get to tell everybody what to do forever because!!)

16 comments

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  1. 1
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    Fabian Bruskewitz, bishop of Lincoln, Neb., says the nuns are a “precious treasure,” but that some of their leaders were promoting ideas about sexuality that were at odds with the Catholic Church.

    Interesting turn of phrase, that. This is exactly the kind of “women as treasure” rhetoric that conservative Muslims who promote the veil use when pretending that it’s all about “protecting” women. Oh, yes, precious, fragile, to be protected like a object devoid of agency.

  2. 2
    anthrosciguy

    From Wikipedia: “Bruskewitz was the only one of 195 bishops attending a June 2002 meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who refused to sign the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

    Which is:

    “In June 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) unanimously promulgated a Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The charter committed the Catholic Church in the U.S. to the goal of providing a “safe environment” for all children and youth participating in activities sponsored by the Church. To accomplish this, the U.S. bishops pledged to establish uniform procedures for handling sex-abuse allegations against lay teachers in Catholic schools, parish staff members, coaches and other people who represent the Church to young people.[43][44]

    The thrust of the charter was the adoption of a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual abuse.[45][46] The USCCB instituted reforms to prevent future abuse by requiring background checks for Church employees.[43] They now require dioceses faced with an allegation to alert the authorities, conduct an investigation and remove the accused from duty.”

  3. 3
    stewart

    Almost too obvious to bother doing, but I did it anyway:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=458121110873022&l=2623c2408f

  4. 4
    karmakin

    An individual has basically zero power for changing the direction of the Catholic church, especially from the inside. I’d actually go as far as to say that by remaining Catholic, you’re actually making the problem WORSE.

    Reasoning: If you decided to stop being Catholic..well then you’re gone. You’re no longer their concern, really, but if you’re causing trouble on the inside..well that’s PROOF how much of a threat that all these secular things are and they must be fought against tooth and nail.

  5. 5
    601

    from linked NPR article

    Bruskewitz says the church can’t compromise its views just because the secular world doesn’t like them.

    “Some lady [asked] me a short time ago, ‘Why don’t you adopt what is socially acceptable — divorce, contraception and so on?’ I said, ‘Well that’s not the criterion for morality.’ “

    morals: arbitrary selfish values
    ethics: community consensus values

    Rather than argue atheists are moral, I’d rather let the religious keep that for themselves, and instead say we are solely ethical.

  6. 6
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Accused of radical feminism. Accused. Of radical feminism.

  7. 7
    'Tis Himself

    Apparently radical feminism consists of working with the poor and disadvantaged and not being concerned with same sex marriage and contraception.

  8. 8
    julian

    Apparently radical feminism consists of working with the poor and disadvantaged and not being concerned with same sex marriage and contraception.

    Ignoring Church Doctrine to focus on their own petty problems. Who do they think they are?

  9. 9
    Nurse Ingrid

    Ugh. I was yelling at my radio this morning when this story was on. I wish all the so-called progressive/liberal Catholics would listen to what their own church is actually saying.

    It is saying: This is not a democracy. We don’t care what you think. What is moral is what we say is moral, regardless of any real-world harms to actual people.

    How anyone who considers themselves progressive could continue their membership in this hateful, authoritarian institution is utterly beyond me. And some people even knowingly and willfully join it, for supposedly intellectual and moral reasons!

  10. 10
    Campbell

    Can’t remember who first said trying to change the Church from within is like a POC trying to change the Klan from within.

    “And some people even knowingly and willfully join it, for supposedly intellectual and moral reasons!”
    QFT

  11. 11
    Sunny

    Isn’t the Pope elected by his minions in fancy dress?

  12. 12
    Ian MacDougall

    ” Isn’t the Pope elected by his minions in fancy dress?”

    Yes, but those minions are not elected, but appointed.

    Guess who by.

  13. 13
    InfraredEyes

    …and the custody of that revelation is of course in the possession of the church.

    Interesting turn of phrase, almost as if they have it under lock and key.

  14. 14
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Or… you know, those “core doctrines” they’re so worried about? They could be *gasp* wrong.

    (But we all know the Rape Children Cult will never admit to being wrong…)

  15. 15
    Roger

    “the ultra-conservative Society of St. Pius the X, ”

    Actuallt, antisemitic authoritarian and fascist-sympathising. You can tell something of the Roman Catholic mindset by the peoploe they want to get back.

  16. 16
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    She’s even quoting Bill Donohue, president of the “conservative” Catholic League.

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