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your collection plate dollars at play

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 03, 2003

A commenter on Dom Bettinelli's blog rightly objects to the pink triangles and rainbows that decorate the web pages of the Diocese of Cleveland's Gay & Lesbian Ministry Office. Obviously, there's ample room for deniability here, and anyone desirous of ignoring the obvious can pretend that the symbols are wholly innocent ("I mean like the homeschool orthodoxy police will ban children from drawing rainbows next!"). But the signal, though coy, is clear enough. You won't find pink triangles and rainbows used by Courage.

Do you notify the Chancery about the problem? The Chancery is the problem -- not only in Cleveland, but in the majority of American sees. Detroit auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, who ought to know whereof he speaks, said this at a New Ways Ministry conference in 1997:

The most important thing probably bishops, ministers, all of our leaders in the church, the most important thing we can do in our pastoral care, leadership and service is to try to create a church community where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people can be truly open about who they are. I encourage this because I hope that within our church every gay person, every lesbian person, every bisexual person, or transgendered person will come out, because that is how our church is going to truly change ... I would say this especially to priests and bishops in our church.

Gay bishops and (for the most part) gay priests don't come out, because -- in spite of Gumbleton's urging -- they realize they are more effective agents of change when camouflaged by the ambiguity of clerical celibacy and when trading on the capital of good will amassed over the years by truly chaste priests. Episcopalians give gay clergy the green light and liberal Catholics give them a flashing yellow and they arrive at exactly the same destination -- with the important difference that the huge majority of Catholic layfolks will persist in believing that Father Ray's pastoral outreach to gays is, in fact, pastoral outreach. It's a tactical advantage too great to lose.

So lay indignation will come to naught and the Diocese of Cleveland's rainbows and pink triangles will continue to multiply discreetly. The gay apparatchiks must find it amusing, preprandial Dewars in hand, to chuckle over the ironies of the situation: you play on the conservativism of Catholic foundry workers and millwrights to continue giving financial support to the Church -- which entails giving their own children less -- and you use the money for the precise opposite of the reason it was donated, funding gay agitprop and educating seminarians into a culture of contempt for the world of blue collar loyalties. Best of all, when one of the brethren gets caught out in an indiscretion, you not only pay for his obligatory "therapy" from the proletarians' purse, but you hire -- with dollars earned at the lathe and the forge -- a counselor to help the neanderthals deal with their fear of alternative sexualities once Father is returned to his parish.

They must wet themselves laughing.

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 03, 2003 11:01 PM ET USA

    Oh, how I've thought much the same thing, but could not have said it nearly as well. My congratulations on hitting the mark so exactly. However, let's add this scene: Laying down in an alcohol-induced bliss, reflecting over a night of gay frivolities the bishop looked up to admire the pectoral cross he had spent so many years pursuing. "Precious, truly precious," he said. Then, closing his eyes he felt his old heart stop and a darkness gathering around, and heard the accusations--of children...

  • Posted by: Sterling - Oct. 03, 2003 8:52 PM ET USA

    "Dollars earned at the lathe and forge???" Foundry workers, mill workers, taking food from the wee tykes' mouths? While swilling preprandials scheme to take their dough? This is indeed thrilling stuff. Is there a movie of this? We'd love to see John Wayne finally get FED UP, and let his mallet swing! Those rosy triangles would fly off that web page - cool! Just teasing Diogenes, we applaud your passion.

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