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In a new Press Release dated yesterday, April 20, Catholics for Equality is urging Catholic Parishes Nationwide to Oppose Bishops' Efforts to Turn Liturgy into Anti-Gay or Political Activity.

WASHINGTON - Catholics for Equality, the country's largest national political organization of Catholics who put their faith into ethical and effective political action on behalf of the LGBT community and their families, representing the views of over 75 million American Catholics, announced a nationwide campaign for observant Catholics to visibly, vocally and financially oppose efforts by Catholic bishops to introduce anti-gay political activity into the liturgy of the mass.
They note that:
This year Catholic bishops in Maryland, Maine, North Carolina and Washington and conservative anti-gay Catholic organizations like the National Organization for Marriage, Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbus are leading state-wide political campaigns to prevent lesbian and gay couples from being legally recognized by the government. These campaigns include the use of parish facilities and the liturgy of the Mass to gather signatures for ballot measures in as well as to mobilize voters to attack lesbian and gay.
You may have noted the experience of a Pastor in Washington State who got a spontaneous standing ovation during Mass from the congregation when he refused to collect political campaign signatures for his Bishop.  
Rev. Michael G. Ryan, pastor of St. James Cathedral, the seat of the Archdiocese of Seattle, said, "Doing so would, I believe, prove hurtful and seriously divisive in our community.” Since Rev. Ryan's public refusal to participate, five other parishes have joined the resistance.
As the Catholics for Equality Executive Director Phil Attey says:
"Catholics in the pews respect the Liturgy of the Mass too much to allow it to poisoned by election year politics and anti-gay political campaigns.  We hope Rev. Ryan's leadership will inspire pastors and Catholic lay leaders across the country, especially in the states where parishes are being asked to participate in these petition drives, to do the right thing and respectfully decline participation."
See what you can do at your Mass to support the mission of keeping politics out of your Liturgy.  MORE BELOW SQUIGGLE

FIRST you must speak up financially as Mr. Attey says:

"There is no financial transparency once parish funds reach the office of the bishop," says Attey. It's likely that millions of our dollars are being laundered into these political efforts. "And it's sad, but a reality, that the only possible way for faithful Catholics to ensure their money does not fund political attacks against their own LGBT family and parish members is to completely cut off funding to their parish."
To aid this effort and spread understanding Catholics for Equality has created 'issue specific offering cards' for non-political and pro-equality Catholics to place in their envelopes or directly into the collection plate, instead of cash or checks.

Catholics for Equality-Offering Card

"These political campaigns put Catholics in the pews in a horrible position," says Joseph Palacios, Director of the Catholics for Equality Foundation. “We go to mass to celebrate and honor the life of Jesus Christ and not to participate in political campaigns to oppress the marginalized and the oppressed -- people Jesus told us to protect. If we are to be faithful to His teaching, we must be willing to stand up and speak out when injustices in His name are being conducted -- especially in His House."
To effect this aspect of the protest: Catholics for Equality has produced palm cards supporters can download and print out to distribute at mass should fellow parishioners hear anti-gay political statements at Mass. They include instructions on one side, and the following suggested respectful statement on the other:

With all due respect, we have come to celebrate Mass and not be involved in a political campaign. We are all God's children. Please do not mix our Mass with politics. Thank you.

After reading the statement, parishioners are asked to sit down and not engage in debate.

"Our intent is not to further disrupt the liturgy," says Attey. "Catholics in the pews are not introducing politics into the liturgy or our parish grounds. The bishops are. We are only standing up and respectfully asking that it be removed."
Catholics for Equality -Non-poltical Mass suggestions

Catholics for Equality - Response Palm Card

The Mass liturgy is not the place to hold discussions, as they recommend:

Catholics for Equality hopes parishes across the country will avoid disrespectful political messages, activity, and confrontations during the liturgy by holding parish group discussions outside of mass, where pastors, lay leaders and parishioners can openly and honestly talk around the bishops' increased involvement in anti-gay political activity and how it affects the LGBT members of the parish and the community at large. The organization says such open discussion forums are long overdue.
I for one am proud to be among these 75 million Catholics who will defend our faith community against untoward political activity and stand up for the true teachings of Jesus Christ.... to protect and defend the marginalized and oppressed.

NOTE: UPDATE: I felt I had the right as a lay Catholic to post this as I didn't change the message in any way, and it is a bit timely being Saturday. But Here is a message and wall post header I just got from a new fb friend, Phil Attey... yes the one mentioned above "

THE WORD IS SPREADING!
Thank you to Lee Dorsey of Daily Kos for helping us spread the word about this important campaign for Catholic parishes across the country to oppose our facilities, funds ... and our liturgy ... being used by the bishops' to orchestrate their anti-gay political campaigns.
UPDATE 2: Want to put it up here in case it gets lost in comments:
  Yes, CATHOLICS for Equality is in facebook. Please join and share, I think I have gotten 50 new members over the last few days considering how blatant and obstinate the hierarchy is being. Catholics for Equality, fb page

Originally posted to Shards ... fragments of life on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 08:46 AM PDT.

Also republished by Spiritual Organization of Unapologetic Liberals at Daily Kos, Maryland Kos, and Milk Men And Women.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is constructive (26+ / 0-)

    And I feel it will be ignored and ground under by the Powers That Appointed Themselves.

    I call for open rebellion in the Church and actively defy the male patriarchy that rules it.

    There, I said it.

    Better get back to the web. The internet isn't going to surf itself.

    by RodSerling on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 08:53:47 AM PDT

    •  wait -- in light of a constructive approach to (7+ / 0-)

      influence, dialogue and public advocacy you call for the inevitable defeat of the constructive approach in favor of schism and excommunication?

      that is not constructive.

      It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

      by Murphoney on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 09:26:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How about complaints to the IRS? (30+ / 0-)

        Open partisan campaigning has been extensively documented.  Catholics complaining to the IRS and threatening the  Church's tax-exempt status if their bishops don't stop partisan activity is certainly constructive, isn't it?

        When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

        by Dallasdoc on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 09:35:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  who could say? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GAS, Villanova Rhodes

          I can't attest to the likelihood that any documentation of discussions of issues related to election choices bear any provable resemblance to partisan candidate endorsements.

          I wouldn't know how real any "threat" might be, let alone what the probability might be that the IRS would change its course in the face of individual complaints, bearing in mind that any extensive documentation is, in all likelihood, already known to them.

          But, in general, I don't think of "threats" when I am trying to be constructive.

          It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

          by Murphoney on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 09:56:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What else do you imagine will work? (10+ / 0-)

            The Catholic hierarchy is not a democratic organization, so it is difficult to imagine what would be constructive -- in the sense of effecting change -- short of coercion.  The IRS will of course be loath to grasp this nettle, but with enough publicity its hand could be forced.  

            There was a diary a couple days ago giving the story of a bishop at the pulpit exhorting parishioners not to vote for Democrats.  It's hard to imagine a more partisan approach than that.

            When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

            by Dallasdoc on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 10:05:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The IRS would just make them martyrs (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              miracle11, lurkyloo, Cedwyn

              Nothing a zealot likes more than martyrdom.  Better to attack their status and power internally.  Empty the collection plates, refuse to comply at the parish level.  They're already short priests.  They no longer have the free labor from nuns.  Encourage more civil disobedience at the parish level.

              •  Martyrs? Come on now (6+ / 0-)

                The IRS doesn't employ lions, last I checked.  The bishops would be martyrs for being called out for not following the law?  That's crazy.  They're obliged to follow the law, just like everybody else.

                I agree with stopping donations at the parish level.  But it's actually illegal for churchmen to engage in partisan political activity in church.  Forcing them to accept the consequences of illegal action hardly makes them martyrs.  Claiming anything of the kind would put them in a very bad light for anybody not already on their side, for that matter.

                When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

                by Dallasdoc on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 10:38:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Did you go to Catholic school? (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't recall ever running out of martyrs.  If they weren't already into martyrdom many of them would never have become priests in the first place.

                •  "actually illegal"? No. It is not. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Murphoney, Ahianne, LOrion

                  The fact that some types of speech and advocacy may threaten a church's tax exempt status does not make those activities illegal. See U.S. Constitution, amendment 1. It's not a trivial or semantic point.

                  As to the activities that actually can threaten exempt status, it would be most excellent if people who keep clamoring to have that status yanked would educate themselves on where the line is and what factors the IRS actually uses to determine whether a church has crossed it. Unlike what non-Catholic Christian pastors have been doing for several election cycles, it appears the Catholic Church (having no shortage of educated lawyers) almost never crosses the line as far as I've ever read here or elsewhere. (The line is actually pretty hard to cross when it comes to issue advocacy, though easier w/re candidates.) This cycle may prove to be the exception, perhaps deliberately.

                  Here are two places to start:

                  IRS pub (PDF)

                  Freedom From Religion Foundation

                  •  You're right (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    blueoasis

                    I miswrote when I said it was illegal.  It is, however, not consistent with tax-exempt status according to the recent report I cited above.  The fact that Protestant churches have gotten away with it for decades is wrong, but doesn't make recent Catholic overreaching right.  The IRS should be putting a stop to this.

                    When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

                    by Dallasdoc on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 12:51:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Report? what report did you cite? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Villanova Rhodes

                      I am missing the report citation.

                      It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

                      by Murphoney on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 12:57:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Remembering a diary a few days ago (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        blueoasis

                        I won't bother going back to try to find it, sorry.

                        When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

                        by Dallasdoc on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 01:02:25 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  oh. a diary. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Villanova Rhodes

                          It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

                          by Murphoney on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 02:03:44 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  It was the bishop who likened Obama to Hitler (0+ / 0-)

                            ... and insisted that no Catholic could support him.  Does that ring a bell?

                            When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

                            by Dallasdoc on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 03:47:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've heard a lot of discussion and reaction to (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Villanova Rhodes

                            that putz, but any of it is a far cry from what could be deemed a report.

                            I don't believe that the IRS should nor does make judgments based on uproar, not even justifiable uproar.

                            It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

                            by Murphoney on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 05:23:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I have since read the actual homily, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Murphoney

                            rather than whatever diary was posted here. It does not speak of parties at all, let alone tell people not to vote for Democrats. He said:

                            This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences,
                            Homily text

                            That statement alone is not going to get IRS attention, and shouldn't.

                            With regard to the bishop's offensive comments about the president, Barry Lynn's brushback pitch is probably worth making, but I doubt it will trigger significant IRS action. Given the entire context, I could argue it either way but would expect nothing more than a warning letter and probably not that, particularly given the clarifying (CYA) comments by the diocese after the flap. See: "Further details"

                            Of course, one could argue that the IRS treatment of these issues is unduly deferential to churches, but that's a different matter from predicting how it will act under its current guidelines.

                          •  He's a bloviating, oligarch with tunnel vision & (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Villanova Rhodes

                            a penchant for simplifying circumstances beyond their relationship with the truth, but I wouldn't be surprised if, while describing how "every practicing Catholic" must form their voting decisions, he did not cross the line between issue-advocacy and politicking.

                            He might be a pompous, lying little shit, but he's a practiced, pompous, lying little shit.

                            It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

                            by Murphoney on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 06:37:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Had I made such an argument, you'd be right. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Murphoney
                      The fact that Protestant churches have gotten away with it for decades is wrong, but doesn't make recent Catholic overreaching right.
                      Of course, I made no such argument. As I suggested, some Catholic clergy may have decided to join in the deliberate efforts to challenge the IRS regs -- efforts led by certain non-Catholic Christian churches -- to voice more explicit candidate-specific opinions. I don't have evidence of that, but given recent muscle flexing, I consider it possible.

                      I didn't see the report (diary) to which you refer. Because diaries and comments on the subject regularly misrepresent or speculate about the facts, I'll pass on concluding one way or the other about the "don't vote for Democrats" claim. (With more than a few Democratic officeholders being homophobic and anti-choice, it would be a strange blanket dictate anyway.)

                      Most of the comments calling for stripping the RCC of its tax exempt status arise in the context of diaries like this one, concerning issue advocacy, more often than not LGBT concerns and, secondarily, reproductive freedom. If you are arguing that the Church's activities regarding those issues are incompatible with its 501(c)(3) status, you would need to produce more facts than anyone has here.

                  •  THANK YOU.... posted it under Phil Attey's (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Villanova Rhodes

                    link to this blog!

                    We are the 99% ... we will be heard. We are WOMEN... we Will be Heard.

                    by LOrion on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:11:49 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Worth doing (6+ / 0-)

          whether or not IRS has the stomach to take on the still politically powerful Catholic Church.

          We had an issue in our district during the Kerry campaign. where the local biship was, at least, treading very close to the line -- I had the documentation but our local party organization was dismissive. I retrospect, I probably shouldn't have allowed them to discourage me from complaining, but I was shy of being point person.

        •  I believe there already is group proposing this. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SeaTurtle, blueoasis

          Will go see if I can find it.

          We are the 99% ... we will be heard. We are WOMEN... we Will be Heard.

          by LOrion on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 11:28:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As I understand it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Villanova Rhodes

          their status only excludes candidates (or parties) - commenting on issues/questions is allowed. Liberal clerics are free to remind their congregants: "Please reach out to your colleagues, neighbors and friends to help defeat this divisive, ugly measure that is anything but Christian."

          •  They've crossed that line (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SeaTurtle, EdSF, Cassandra Waites

            A diary here two or three days ago cited a bishop in the pulpit warning congregants not to vote for Democrats.  The IRS should already be sending that bishop registered letters.

            When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

            by Dallasdoc on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 12:03:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Complaints Already Being Filed With The IRS. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dallasdoc, gramofsam1

              http://www.chicagotribune.com/...

              A prominent advocate of church-state separation filed a formal complaint with the Internal Revenue Service on Thursday, accusing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria of violating federal law by intervening in a political campaign.

              The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, alleges that a fiery homily delivered by Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky last Sunday effectively urged Catholics to vote against President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

      •  it's totally constructive (11+ / 0-)

        dwindling rolls, empty pews, and nixing donations are extremely productive in marginalizing this nonsense.

        Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

        by Cedwyn on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 10:07:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's in essense the approach the diarist invokes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Villanova Rhodes, Cedwyn

          yes, that is a type of participatory dialogue and can be a constructive form of protest if it's not an end in itself but is accompanied by communication and a way forward, toward understanding and healing.

          but this is not what I would think of when someone calls for "open rebellion in the Church and actively defy the male patriarchy that rules it"

          It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

          by Murphoney on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 10:14:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  they can send a note in their absence (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Murphoney, Villanova Rhodes, majcmb1

            letting those in charge know precisely what it will take to get them back to church.

            and then they can set about their spiritual pursuits free of church dogma.

            Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

            by Cedwyn on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 12:43:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yep - again, sounds very similar to the diary... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Villanova Rhodes, Cedwyn

              and constructive.

              and separate and apart from schismatic revolt.

              It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

              by Murphoney on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 01:00:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i see the mix-up (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Murphoney

                since vast swaths of catholic parishoners seem to ignore vast swaths of catholic teachings already, i took "open rebellion" to mean the things i mentioned...parishoners withdrawing all support.  

                i just don't see that there are enough priests, etc., who would "rebel" for it to make a difference, and so just assumed we were talking about churchgoers themselves, not the clergy.

                and i do see people leaving the church as a laudable end result.  sort of an "I'm leaving you and this is why" versus "if you do these things, I'll come back."  the latter lets them know you still care, which one should never let on when trying to play hardball.  imo, the higher ups have to believe the church's very being is in mortal peril before they will budge one inch.

                power is never conceded willingly and these asshats have been at it for a long-ass time.

                peace

                Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

                by Cedwyn on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 06:58:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  What I think of (0+ / 0-)

            The time has come to act.

            We can use some open rebellion.

            Just watch us.

            Better get back to the web. The internet isn't going to surf itself.

            by RodSerling on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 11:49:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Il Papa has give you a choice (10+ / 0-)

        Bow before his reactionary teachings or get out. He will not reform and he will not tolerate reformers. His attack on American nuns shows us how willing he is to ignore everything that the Roman Catholic Church has done in the last half century.

        As far as Benedict is concerned, Vatican II is dead. Why should any Catholic listen to him or follow what he teaches? There is no reason for Catholics to stay bound to this man or the ever-more-reactionary bishops who represent his power in the United States.

        I am glad that the bishops condemned Ryan's budget, but that does not make up for their other actions in the past few decades. Too bad Ryan refuses to acknowledge that he is channeling Ayn Rand and has totally rejected what Jesus taught.

        The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

        by freelunch on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 10:37:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Benedict is a man (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne

          and, as my mother used to say, "This too shall pass."

          Faith should be larger, more important than any one man.  Benedict will not be Pope forever.

          It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

          by Murphoney on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 12:52:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Catholics are like abused spouses w/that meme (5+ / 0-)
            and, as my mother used to say, "This too shall pass."
            They have a moral responsibility to stand up on moral issues.  Silence when people are being persecuted is equivalent to endorsement:

            Here's MLK:

            “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
            and MLK again:
            "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."
            "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
            Catholics MUST Speak Out!

            I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

            by SeaTurtle on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 01:18:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't see anything barring Catholics (0+ / 0-)

              from speaking their minds without necessarily resorting to a self-defeating open revolt.  

              I don't believe that it violates any tenet of faith to stand on humanitarian principles.

              It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

              by Murphoney on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 05:33:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  The Church is in open Civil War (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LOrion

        What is constructive is open defiance of the male Patriarchy.

        Make it peaceful. Make it universal. Defy the power that has long lost its ways from Jesus' teachings.

        Just watch us.

        You got a problem with that?

        Better get back to the web. The internet isn't going to surf itself.

        by RodSerling on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 11:27:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This has been going on since 1517 (13+ / 0-)
      I call for open rebellion in the Church and actively defy the male patriarchy that rules it.
      Of course, it's much easier to just drop out. That's what many do. Empty pews and coffers will have the same impact. And when lay Catholics ignore the Bishops' political messages, politicians will no longer feel a need to pander to the Church hierarchy.
      •  Leaving the RCC in the US is easy and effective (6+ / 0-)

        There are plenty Episcopal or Lutheran churches that use a very similar order of service to the current mass and give you a wide range of political options. There are even a few congregations that are Catholic in every way other than accepting the authority of the bishops.

        If the RCC hadn't set up the ownership so the bishops controlled every parish, there would probably be a lot more independent Catholic parishes, but the bishops have a long history of refining control.

        The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

        by freelunch on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 10:43:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed. And the Old Catholic Church should also (0+ / 0-)

          be an option.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 11:24:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes,. also there are parishes not in Vatican chain (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SeaTurtle

          of command. I do not undestand this myself but a friend who is an Episcopal Bishop does and has explained it. I will come back with it in lay terms after I ask him again.

          We are the 99% ... we will be heard. We are WOMEN... we Will be Heard.

          by LOrion on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 11:30:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That is decidedly not what happened in 1517. (10+ / 0-)

        There is historical dispute as to whether the Reformation was, to put it overly bluntly, "good" or "bad" for women.

        In general, it did close off the one avenue women had to spiritual leadership - the convent, and did eliminate one of the prominent female divine images left in medieval Christianity, Mary as mediator.  At the same time, women were being systematically shut out of the guilds they'd been participating in for centuries.

        Women in the 16th century had a variety of reactions to to the Reformation, some horrified (Caritas Pirckheimer), some eagerly embracing it (Marie Dentiere), but in general, historians such as Lyndal Roper, Merry Wiesner, and Sigrid Brauner have shown that the net effect was pretty much that patriarchy either stayed in place or was reinforced.

        That Protestant churches made faster headway than Catholic churches on women's ordination is due to later historical developments, but it certainly wasn't the goal of the reformers, who were perfectly happy to hold up Pope Joan as proof of the disruption of the apostolic authority of the papacy.

        If religion means a way of life, and life's necessities are food, clothing, and shelter, then we should not separate religion from economics. - Malcolm X

        by dirkster42 on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 11:39:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here from knowlegable Episcopal Bishop... (4+ / 0-)

        Yes, gay, yes married. "The problem with Romanism is that it is a hierarchical monarchial church with power vested in a Vatican curia, and enforced by papal nuncios worldwide. Women are on pedestals and simultaneously put in place. All bishops are chosen by the Vatican and 98% of all bishops were theologically educated in Rome under the gaze (literally for the cute ones) of curialists who choose the men who lead the Church worldwide. They have purged all liberals from the episcopate, and they miss one, like say Hunthausen, they depose him because of an 1870 promulgation of "universal episcopacy" which, more important than papal infallibility, also promulgated at Vatican One, states that the pope is the real bishop ordinary of every diocese throughout the world, and that the man who is there is his proxy."

        We are the 99% ... we will be heard. We are WOMEN... we Will be Heard.

        by LOrion on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 12:26:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and, LOrion, to draw that to its logical ..... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          majcmb1, lurkyloo, Cedwyn, freelunch

          conclusion:  Iif the Vatican is a State, which it is.... then the net effect of

          states that the pope is the real bishop ordinary of every diocese throughout the world, and that the man who is there is his proxy."
          is that we have representatives of a foreign government meddling in our national affairs when they dictate to their parishioners how to vote on issues which are in accord with their beliefs.

          Bout time that that is explained and understood.  Would we put up with the Saudi's lobbying state by state for all women wearing the burka here?  Or women not being allowed to drive? I don't think so.  So, why put up with the STATE of the VATICAN trying to control our cultural issues?

          LOrion, once again thanks for this great diary!  Please keep us informed.

          I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

          by SeaTurtle on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 01:26:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ugh. I hate the "foreign government" argument, (0+ / 0-)

            mostly because it feels like a throwback attack from the Kennedy era on rank & file Catholics (if not a throwback to the Know-Nothing era, when churches and convents were actually burned down). Also because it's really not the best way to not alienate those very rank & file Catholics whose hearts and minds we're trying to capture for our modernist agenda.

            The last time the Republicans were this radical, they were working to elect former slaves to Congress. What a difference a century and a half makes!

            by jayjaybear on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 07:02:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  ELCA churches (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freelunch

        should be a good choice for progressives. They (and their predecessors) have ordained women since the 1970s. Since 2009 they have ordained GLBT individuals and performed same-sex marriages. They publicly support marriage equality.

      •  This is true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SeaTurtle

        However, the hierarchy is small, fragile and weak.

        I suggest we Occupy the Church.

        I suggest we defy the monolithic patriarchy from the top.

        I suggest we peacefully force the departure of the corrupt power structure.

        I suggest open rebellion and challenge the power of the so-called infallibility of the Pope and his thugs in the Church.

        When you confront and fight, you will be amazed by what the people, more inspired by the Mission of Jesus and his teachings, rather than the gold and the power can do.

        Occupy the Church.

        Better get back to the web. The internet isn't going to surf itself.

        by RodSerling on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 11:44:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sympathetic, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, GAS, Ahianne

      and what kind of rebellion would you recommend?

      One could become a Protestant, perhaps, not that all of them are any better, or join with an alternative group such as Roman Catholic Womanpriests?

      Or did you have something else in mind, such as demonstrations? It's difficult to imagine the Church bureaucracy changing much, really, at least before  the current generation passes away in the course of nature.  And if it's going to change even then, there will have to be a lot of groundwork happening right now...

    •  Excellent dairy, TX. Pls Note Hans Kung's new bk: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dirkster42, LOrion, Dallasdoc, gramofsam1

      Finally Catholics are waking up and realizing that the real power is in their hands.  

      THIS EXCELLENT ACTION ADVOCATED BY Catholics for Equality is EXACTLY WHAT HANS KUNG ADVOCATES IN HIS NEW BOOK:

      "Can the Catholic Church Still Be Saved?"
       (not yet translated into English, can get it on Amazon.Germany if you can read German.  Now, I wonder why this book hasn't come to the American market? Hum?)


      Kung urges peaceful revolution BY LAITY against roman absolutism

      Hans Kung urges peaceful revolution against Roman absolutism
      'few people realize how powerful the pope is,' Kung said..

      Famed theologian Fr. Hans Kung has called for a “peaceful” revolution by world Catholics against the absolutism of papal power.

      He made the call in a video message June 10, the first evening of a conference in Detroit of the American Catholic Council.

      “I think few people realize how powerful the pope is,” Kung said, likening papal power today to the absolute power of French monarchs that the French people revolted against in 1789.

      “We have to change an absolutist system without the French Revolution,” he said. “We have to have peaceful change.”

      So my hats off to Catholics for Equality for giving us an excellent example of how the "People of the Catholic Church" can orchestrate a Peaceful Revolution against the "Absolutism of Papal Power."

      Excellent, excellent new!  Thanks.  Please keep us posted.

      I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 12:15:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am sure very soon (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc

      the Catholic Church will make even DISCUSSING equality for LGBT people grounds for ex-communication, just as the did for discussing the ordination of women.

      This is a great response to a depressing situation. Luckily, I know not all Roman Catholic churches are like that. In 2004, after someone snuck into their parking lot and put those 'Five Non-Negotiable Issues" pamphlets on windshields, the priest at my friend's church stationed a security guard in the lot and told the congregation that church was not the place for promoting political opinions.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 04:46:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think this the perfect way to proceed... (17+ / 0-)

    Hit them in their pockets and turn the situation into a learning experience.  This empowers the "people in the pews" to demonstrate their cohesiveness and insistence that the mass be used for its designed purpose.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 09:11:47 AM PDT

  •  Jesus Hussein Christ -- Into the LITURGY?? nt (5+ / 0-)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 09:21:36 AM PDT

  •  This needs to be expanded to include women (19+ / 0-)

    The bishops seem to be on an anti-women crusade and if it takes denying healthcare to tens of millions they'll do it.

    Those 5 Catholic men on the SC need to hear from Catholics too.

  •  the basic authoritarian nature of the RCC is (11+ / 0-)

    emerging into the daylight again.  I once heard that the worse people to deal with was middle management (with apologies to middle managers here) because they were high enough on the hierarchy to receive blame for whatever goes wrong but not high enough to garner praise when things go right.  Therefore, they proceed to manage with an eye towards making sure they receive no blame because they have no expectation of praise.

    This makes for a very authoritarian, rigid structure where tradition and precedence are valued over innovation and what is is more important than what will be.

    With celibacy,  the Bishops have to vie for temporal power within their own pecking order and the one with the most favors to trade is traditionally the next Pope, with some notable exceptions    

  •  Stop the complicity (16+ / 0-)

    This is a wonderful response to the out-of-control hierarchy of the Church.  Catholics who do not support the right-wing hijacking of their church will need to stop donations and make their displeasure known, or be content knowing they are complicit with that right-wing agenda.  LGBT folks aren't the only ones targeted, let's remember:  women's reproductive rights are under equally aggressive attack.

    The bishops need to hear the voices of their parishoners in a way they can't ignore.  Hitting their income is the only way I can imagine that can be accomplished.

    When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

    by Dallasdoc on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 09:33:30 AM PDT

    •  excellent, excellent comment Dallasdoc (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, Ice Blue, RodSerling, LOrion

      Indeed, Catholics DO NEED TO STOP THE COMPLICITY!

      To repeat what I said in another comment, Catholics who just shrug off the Vatican or the bishops are now guilty of complicity by their silence:

      Here's MLK:

      “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
      and MLK again:
      "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."
      "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
      Catholics MUST Speak Out!

      I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

      by SeaTurtle on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 01:32:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Simple remedy. (5+ / 0-)

    Remove tax exempt status.  

    There would be an immediate end to political discussions in church.

    We're resigned to our collective fate because we've been conditioned to believe that this is as good as it gets. It's not.

    by Richard Cranium on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 09:39:54 AM PDT

  •  On May 6, the Protestant lectionary contains (5+ / 0-)

    the story of the Ethiopian eunuch, a man who was an outcast for his sexual status, and who was baptized into the new faith not yet called Christianity.  This would be an excellent time for protests. But, perhaps seeing the problem, the Catholic church chooses an alternate story, that of Paul, executor of Christians, being accepted into the fold.

    The Protestant story is in Acts 8:26-40.  I'll be preaching on it that day, although the sexual status part will only be touched on, as its not what my congregation need.

    Five years after I chose my username, happily living somewhere else.

    by Tenn Wisc Dem on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 09:51:11 AM PDT

    •  How about using Canon Oestreicher's message? (0+ / 0-)

      Anglican priest from Conventry Cathedral...
      Jesus Christ ‘Most Likely’ Was Gay Says Anglican Priest

      "writes today that the “homosexual option simply seems the most likely,” Oestreicher writes, because the “intimate relationship with the beloved disciple…John whom Jesus, the gospels affirm, loved in a special way…points in that direction.” Oestreicher, also a chaplain at the University of Sussex, acknowledges that it could be a “divisive issue,” especially on Good Friday, but adds that Jesus being gay “in no way affects who he was and what he means for the world today. Spiritually it is immaterial.”

      Was that divisive issue a subject for Good Friday? For the first time in my ministry I felt it had to be. Those last words of Jesus would not let me escape. “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman behold your son!’ Then he said to the disciple. ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”
      "

      This could be a very interesting homily... or, ummm, not.

      We are the 99% ... we will be heard. We are WOMEN... we Will be Heard.

      by LOrion on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 12:11:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, LOrion, but there is also the Gnostic Gospel (0+ / 0-)

        which speaks of his close relationship with Mary; and there is even the 'Gospel of Mary Magdalene'.  (This is not just Da Vinci Code stuff.)

        I doubt that there is enough consistent evidence known to go either way.

        I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

        by SeaTurtle on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 01:35:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is much we do not know (0+ / 0-)

        One of the beauties of the Bible is the way that it can be interpreted in so many ways.  The first reading and the gospel reading for April 29 seem to directly contradict one another.  But I hesitate to consider that Jesus might be gay for the same reason that I will not consider the possibility that Jesus was the product of pre-marital sex between Mary and Joseph.  I don't think that someone in either of those positions would have had the ego strength necessary to, in the latter case, raise the son of God, or, in the former, confront the powers that be forcefully and without his gender identity being the issue.

        I do consider plausible (though never to be known) the theory that Mary Magdalene wrote the Gospel attributed to John and is the beloved disciple, although again I don't see extramarital sex because of the strong taboos of that culture. I also consider the theory that Mary was raped by a Roman soldier to be plausible. We can never know on this side of the veil, and probably not on the other.

        In any case, in my small congregation, I have no need to be particularly challenging on either of these points.  My folks are quite tolerant and aware, but are not called to take this particular issue as their own.

        Five years after I chose my username, happily living somewhere else.

        by Tenn Wisc Dem on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 02:02:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I fully agree, and I'm not surprised that other (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, greengemini

    Kossacks agree as well; however, I expect that many Catholics will adamantly DISagree and some will increase their contributions to make up for any shortfall.

    Since the "traditionalist" movement kicked up in opposition to V2, blaming "modernists" for disunity in the Church, there's been disagreement on just about everything until today the Church is virtually split between conservatives and liberals. A catalogue of points of disagreements would cover everything from whether to stand or kneel to how nuns should dress to whether gay men should be admitted to the priesthood to whether social programs are helpful or just make people dependent, and much, much more. It's a big mess. Sometimes I wonder whether the Church will split in two. Other times, I think it already has.

    Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

    by RJDixon74135 on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 09:53:32 AM PDT

    •  NO, I don't agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, greenbell, RJDixon74135

      I doubt there are enough rabidly conservative Catholics left to "make up for any shortfall." They could not even come close to making up the shortfall in places like Boston when laity rebelled against payouts to settle priest pedophile cases. This church has such a long roster of problems that it's way beyond a neat 50/50 split of "This half supports gay marriage and this half doesn't." In fact, it's clear the message here is that people don't want ANY political proselytizing from the pulpit.

      So no, I don't think so.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 05:07:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You may be right about the money. Maybe the (0+ / 0-)

        RWnutcase bishops just have exceptionally loud voices, but I see more things like this:

        Catholic Bishop Claims Obama Is ‘Following A Similar Path’ To Hitler

        In a mass proceeding a Catholic men’s march this weekend, Bishop Daniel Jenky delivered a homily that appears better suited to an episode of the Glenn Beck Show than to a celebration of religious faith. As part of a lengthy historical lecture on past attacks on the Catholic church, Jenky claimed that President Obama is following in the footsteps of Adolf Hitler:

        The Church will survive the entrenched corruption and sheer incompetence of our Illinois state government, and even the calculated disdain of the President of the United States, his appointed bureaucrats in HHS, and of the current majority of the federal Senate. . . .

        Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.

        In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

        and less Social Justice all the time.

        Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

        by RJDixon74135 on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 06:13:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That bishop is (0+ / 0-)

          not "beloved" in his diocese.  In fact, many of his flock are simply ashamed to admit that he's their guy.  A friend who has multiple degrees in theology, etc., is just beside herself, and that was before the latest idiocy.

          -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

          by luckylizard on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 09:57:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I've posted several comments lately with the (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, cany, LOrion, SeaTurtle, gramofsam1

    theme that it's time for the grassroots to put the Bishops in their place and to leave the "wrong" kind of note in the collection basket.  

    Heh.  Looks like that movement got underway well ahead of my suggestions.  Sweet!

    My initial comment related just to birth control and the need to possibly use the collection money to pay for birth control instead.  But, dang it all, the more you think about it, the more issues there are to justify withholding.  So pick your cause and tell the Church you're mad as Hell and you're not going to take anymore.

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 10:33:25 AM PDT

    •  Yes, I was waiting for 'official' permission... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SeaTurtle

      I have turned my back a few times in Mass, but had no way to say why. This gives you a quiet method to 'say it all'.

      We are the 99% ... we will be heard. We are WOMEN... we Will be Heard.

      by LOrion on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 12:17:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hurray, hurray, hurray (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LOrion, SeaTurtle

    I thought they'd never ask!

    Are they on Facebook?

  •  This is exactly what I was so hoping to see (5+ / 0-)

    coming from pew sitters in the RCC.

    Thanks for sharing this and i hope it is successful!

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 11:21:24 AM PDT

  •  Is this Pope German? Some of US read historical (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    records.  I support all efforts to return financial assets, and art to the children of Jews stripped during the Holocaust. I will not rest while Swiss Banks protect the papacy.

  •  Oh the humor to think that early christian (5+ / 0-)

    congregations elected their leaders.

  •  This is excellent news! (0+ / 0-)

    It almost makes me wish that I had stuck with the Catholic Church rather than "falling away" after growing incredibly disillusioned with the hierarchy and with the Christian Brothers and their "exploits" while in college.

    I have some progressive, still-practicing Catholic friends and relatives.  I will most certainly pass this along to them.

    "Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."

    by Glinda on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 02:09:05 PM PDT

  •  If Christ returned.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Guyer, RodSerling, LOrion

    he'd probably be excommunicated by this Church.

    I would like to see a campaign that is much broader than to focus just on the lack of equality for gays, or for women.  Really, what these guys are doing is also an offense against Christ himself, whose gospel is being ignored in his own church, in favor of a political agenda which he never taught or believed in.

    A diary yesterday pointed out this story, which says:

    WASHINGTON — The Vatican has launched a crackdown on the umbrella group that represents most of America’s 55,000 Catholic nuns, saying that the group was not speaking out strongly enough against gay marriage, abortion and women’s ordination.
    As I noted in the comments, neither did Jesus Christ; he never said a word against any of those things.

    In traditional Catholic theology, the magisterium of the Church only has authority to teach those things which come directly from Christ, called the "deposit of faith".  This consists primarily of the teachings of the gospels, with weight also given to the traditions of the early church, especially those which were so universally followed, that they must have come from Christ.  

    Could it be any more plain that none of these things which the bishops today seem to care most about could have possibly come from Christ?  

    •  The leader of the women religious group (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      acerimusdux, SeaTurtle

      said that their focus is on "people on the margins." Strikes me that's more in line with what Jesus preached. Maybe they should ordain the nuns and defrock the bishops, since the nuns seem more on message.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 05:10:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LOrion

    How many of the people that are going to have a sad over Catholics for Equality's request are also in favor of Right To Work?

    Just sayin'.

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