Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hurray for the SISTERS !

Nuns blast bishops over gay teen suicide

An organization of American Catholic nuns has denounced the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for reiterating its opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage at its annual meeting in Baltimore this week while remaining silent on anti-gay bullying and gay teen suicide.

In a statement released Tuesday, the National Coalition of American Nuns accused the bishops of acting like “blinded Pharisees” for waging a fight against marriage equality while failing to speak out on gay teen suicides brought about by school bullying and harassment.

“More than a month has gone by since the media broke the news about a series of gay suicides,” the nuns’ statement says. “During that time, the U.S. Catholic Bishops failed to make a single statement regarding these tragic, preventable deaths.”

The statement adds, “Not one bishop’s voice was raised to condemn a culture where youths are bullied for being who God created them to be and are sometimes pushed by society’s judgments to attempt suicide.”
The Conference of Catholic Bishops, which represents Roman Catholic bishops in the U.S., held its annual fall General Assembly meeting this week in Baltimore.

Don Clemmer, a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., the newly elected vice president of the bishops’ conference, gave a presentation on the marriage issue before the conference’s Ad Hoc Committee on Defense of Marriage.

He said Cardinal Frances George of Chicago, the outgoing president of the conference, announced to the gathering that the ad hoc committee was being elevated to an official subcommittee of the Conference of Bishops.

Clemmer said he was not aware of any discussion or agenda items at the Baltimore meeting addressing gay teen suicide or anti-gay harassment or bullying. He said the final two days of the meeting set for Wednesday and today were closed to the public and it was possible that items not posted on the public agenda could be discussed.

“The National Coalition of Catholic Nuns calls on all U.S. Catholics to rise up and say, ‘Enough, enough!” says the nuns’ statement. “No more discriminatory rhetoric and repressive measures from men who lay heavy burdens on the shoulders of others and do not lift one finger of human kindness and compassion,” it says “We all need to work for a holy and just society and church.”

Sister Jeannine Gramick, a longtime supporter of LGBT rights from the D.C.-Baltimore area, is a board member and executive coordinator of the National Coalition of American Nuns.

In a separate statement, the LGBT-supportive group Catholics for Equality expressed concern that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops broke a long-standing tradition this week by not electing its current vice president, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., as the new president.

Kicanas, who Catholics for Equality describes as a “social justice champion,” was bypassed for the president’s position when the Conference of Bishops elected instead Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage equality and LGBT rights, according to Catholics for Equality.

The group noted that the bishops’ conference elected Archbishop Kurtz, the head of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, as its new vice president.

“Archbishop Kurtz … has led the Catholic hierarchy’s national campaign to deny marriage and family rights to gay and lesbian citizens,” Catholics for Equality said in a statement released Wednesday.
“That campaign has been financially assisted by the national office of the Knights of Columbus, most recently through the production of videos that demean and discredit gay and lesbian relationship, as well as single parent and extended family households,” the statement says.

“In his report from the Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Kurtz makes it clear that our bishops are waging a new political campaign to change the laws in our country,” said Ariello Alioto, a Catholics for Equality board member.


J said...

Isn't it interesting that this dispute is just like a dispute between managment and labor? The difference is that a labor union will have no power to bring about change unless it can and will sustain a strike. And if rank and file priests and nuns were to strike, the Pope,like the bad old robber barons of old, would probably lock them out and excommunicate them. As for moral suasion, it doesn't go very far when the boss, claiming divine sanction, defines what is moral and what isn't. So what we are left with is a sort of schizophrenic intellectual sit down strike in which the rank and file still go to their jobs but ignore Rome's edicts. Doesn't sound like a happy or healthy organization to me.

Jabacue said...

Leave it up to the women!!! The world would be better off if women 'ran' things. They seem to do alright bringing up kids and looking after the family.
Good on the them for making the Conference of Bishops tremble a little. Those guys don't want to be messin' with those gals!!!
I was taught by Sisters/Nuns and I must say they were the best teachers I ever had.
I can almost 'smell' the demise of the old RC hierarchy. I hope I am around when it comes toppling down in favour of more compassionate and intelligent leaders.
Justin, you got me goin' again!

JustinO'Shea said...

Got ya going, eh? Kool. . .hahahaa
Hey, bro, face it: IT's in our genes....doesn't take much rattlin'. . LOL

And if we believe WE are the Church. . .and we do, don't we!. . .then the Church must be ever-changing, always in process of growing, renewing. . we call it The Body of Christ. . we ARE the Body of Christ...

Well, our human bodies/persons are always in process of 'becoming' so then. . .so is the Church! Try all they want to keep it static. . it just won't work. . . stasis is stopped only by death. . . so get ready, it's gonna be a bumpy ride, to quote Saint Bette Davis. . .but ride we shall. . . .yaaahoooo.

LOL.. .hmmm..what's in this orange juice?!


GoodRock said...

Did you see this?
The pope reverses stand on condoms!

Coop said...

You go Girls! Wow. . . Hurrah!

I guess I wasn't the only one scratching my head and wondering where MY church was as the Lutheran bishop was announcing Loudly and Proudly that LGBT people are loved by God just as much as God loves his other human children.

Gary Kelly said...

J makes a good point but I'm not sure it's only the boss who claims divine sanction.

How can one God act as both the defense and the prosecution?