Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Always be followed by your conscience

By Diogenes ( articles ) | May 24, 2007

Joe Murray has something on his mind.

Joe, who identifies himself as the US Convener of Rainbow Sash Movement, has announced the annual gimmick in which militant homosexuals will wear their identifying sash, and present themselves to receive Communion in various cathedrals, defying bishops to exclude them.

Now you must understand that Joe and his colleagues are all sweetness and light, bursting with charity toward everyone. The bishops are the problem. Got that? Clear? If they don't administer the Eucharist to people who are trumpeting their disdain for Church teaching, then: "They are desecrating the Holy Eucharist by making it a weapon of division and exclusion."

Joe Murray, no doubt hoping to promote unity and inclusiveness within the Church, says that the bishops have no way to know his heart, but he happens to know that they are acting out of "fear and their own homophobia." They have been "viciously" opposing equal rights, he says. And he can't resist asking "how much hush-money the Church has paid." You get the picture: spreading sweetness and light, and wondering why the bishops can't be equally nice.

Once or twice, in the course of reading the press release, you've just got to stop and scratch your head. For instance:

Church officials have chosen to go against their own teaching, that individual conscience is paramount in guiding the individual to spirituality.

Yes, one must respect an individual's conscience. But is conscience a guide to spirituality? I always thought the spirituality came first, and then the conscience kicked in to guide judgments on moral behavior. But if one's spirituality is framed by an a priori commitment to a particular sort of behavior, then the conscience is-- probably running in reverse, isn't it?

These Bishops need to be reminded they are pastors, while they call themselves Princes. Try finding that in the scriptures!

Hmm. Interesting observation. Except that to be fair, it would be easier to find a prince in the Scriptures than to find a contemporary American bishop who refers to himself as a prince.

Just by the way, I'm curious why Joe's press release capitalizes "Bishops" but not "Scriptures" or "Communion." Did I mention? I think he has something on his mind.

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