Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

let's accentuate the positive!

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Mar 30, 2005

Picture two Scottish Catholics. One dour lass always thinks the worst of bishops, either ignoring evidence of episcopal virtue and fidelity or else distorting it so as to present it as cloaked malice. Her cousin, by contrast, always thinks the best of bishops, either ignoring evidence of knavery and apostasy or else twisting it so as to present it as rectitude disguised ("if we only knew…").

Now take the recent incident whereby Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Edinburgh sawed the floor out from under Bishop Joseph Devine by declaring that Catholic schools will show no opposition to hiring and retaining gay schoolmasters:

Cardinal O’Brien said: "If there happens to be a gay teacher and he does happen to be living with a partner, that's their personal, private life. I don't see it as a problem." He added there would be no investigation into whether a prospective or practising teacher was gay or lesbian, saying there was no "witch hunt with regard to morality or lifestyle". Church insiders said the cardinal has stepped in to exert his authority and defuse what may be perceived as a row among the hierarchy over issues of faith and morals.

There are two ways to read this story:

  • Take One: In Scotland, Catholic schools are state funded. If the Catholic schools violate the state-mandated anti-discrimination code, they could lose funding and would close. Cardinal O'Brien does not believe what he said about the harmlessness of sexually active cohabiting gay teachers. He sold out the Catholic doctrine through an expedient tactical lie in order to maintain the good will of the government and keep the monies coming in.
  • Take Two: O'Brien truly believes what he said about sexually active cohabiting gays and would have said the same thing even if funding were not an issue or even if the statement worked to the detriment of such funding.
  • OK, here's my question: which one is the sunny interpretation, the reading that belongs to our Catholic Pollyanna?

    Correction: In the original post, Diogenes said that Catholic and Church of Scotland schools are state-funded. In fact, there are no denominational Church of Scotland schools, publicly funded or otherwise. Control of the Church of Scotland schools was handed over to the government in 1878.

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