Friday, November 13, 2009

Holy Roman Canon Fodder 

The Medievel Order of Cranks in Cassocks haggles with the fate of the hungry and homeless.

From BeliefNet:
New Catholic Hardball: Trading the Poor for Doctrinal Purity
By: Diana Butler Bass
Thursday November 12, 2009

This morning's Washington Post made me choke on my coffee: "Catholic Church Gives D.C. Ultimatum." The Catholic Archdiocese is playing political hardball by threatening to cut off social services to the city's poor--including the homeless, the hungry, the sick, and children--if D.C. expands gay and lesbian civil rights and recognizes same-sex marriage.

That's right. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is holding poor people hostage in order to keep gay and lesbian persons from getting married. They are willing to trade the indigent for getting their theological way.

Read full article at link above.

If you are somehow captive (or predisposed) to the kind of holy scree that litters the Roman Catholic high altar - and - you are growing tired of the stale authoritarian diktats of an increasingly reactionary "holy government" - well - screw it. Cross the courtyard and throw a few bucks into the alms basin at your local Episcopal church.

The Episcopal Church was active in the Social Gospel movement of the late nineteenth century and since the 1960s and 1970s has played a leading role in the progressive movement and on related political issues. For example, in its resolutions on state issues the Episcopal Church has opposed the death penalty, and supported the civil rights movement and affirmative action. Some of its leaders and priests marched with civil rights demonstrators. The church calls for the full civil equality of gay men and lesbians. Most dioceses ordain openly gay men and women; in some, same-sex unions are celebrated with services of blessing. In 2009, the church's General Convention passed resolutions that allowed for gay and lesbian marriages in states where it is legal. On the question of abortion, the church has adopted a nuanced position. About all these issues, individual members and clergy can and do frequently disagree with the stated position of the church.

The Episcopal Church ordains women to the priesthood as well as the diaconate and the episcopate. The current Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first female primate in the Anglican Communion.

On gender and sexuality
In 1976 the Convention declared that homosexuals are "children of God" and "entitled to full civil rights".
In 1979 the Convention endorsed the Equal Rights Amendment and urged legislatures to ratify it.
In 1988 the Convention reaffirmed the expectation of chastity and fidelity in relationships.
In 1991 the Convention restated that "physical sexual expression" is only appropriate within a monogamous "union of husband and wife". The Convention also called on the church to "continue to reconcile the discontinuity between this teaching and the experience of members", referring both to dioceses that have chosen to bless monogamous same-sex unions and to general tolerance of premarital relations.

In 2000 the Convention affirmed "the variety of human relationships in and outside of marriage" and acknowledged "disagreement over the Church's traditional teaching on human sexuality."

The 2006 General Convention affirmed "support of gay and lesbian persons and children of God"; calls on legislatures to provide protections such as bereavement and family leave policies; and opposes any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriages or civil unions."

The 2009 General Convention affirmed that "gays and lesbians (that are) in lifelong committed relationships," should be ordained, saying that "God has called and may call such individuals to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church." The Convention also voted to allow bishops to decide whether or not to bless same-sex marriages.

What are ya waiting for? If I wasn't a long ago lapsed Roman schismatic barreling down an unimproved road to Hell with one eye on the rearview mirror and another on the high weeds and hoar frost in front of me - and for some reason decided to return to the fold - I'd probably join up tomorrow (or the next day, or after the playoffs, or whatever).

In any event, if you are a disenchanted RC looking to refinance your salvation you can (as I understand**) always shift your debt obligations to the Episcopalians. Pre-existing conditions** and all.

**Disclaimer: I am not now nor have I ever been affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Any offers or guarantees made here on behalf of the Episcopal Church are purely suppositional and derived from previously advertised informational data available to the general laity. So help me gawd.


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