Action Alert!

The vicious cycle of failure. And me.

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 14, 2003

Andrew Sullivan provides us with a suitable companion piece to Bishop Reynolds's rant blogged below:

The combination of the cover-up of sexual abuse and the extremity of the language used against gay people by the Vatican has made it impossible for me to go back inside a church. I do believe that something is rotten in the heart of the hierarchy, that it is bound up in sexual panic and a conflicted homosexual subculture that is a deep part of the Catholic Church. Until that is dealt with, until a new dynamic of hope and honesty replaces denial and authoritarianism, I cannot go on. Am I still a Catholic? I don't think I can call myself such publicly any more. Privately, I think I always will be in some place in my heart. But I cannot enable the vicious cycle of failure and scapegoating that now animates what amounts to the leadership.

Just don't get it. If the Church were wrong now, but per impossibile changed into what Sullivan would have her be, would she then be worthy of respect? Wouldn't he harbor a doubt that, having erred in the past, she might well err in the future -- and indeed be erring in the present about things to which Sullivan has devoted less of his scholarly attention? If so, who needs her?

The post contains one minor masterpiece of self-parody, though. Were Sullivan writing on any other subject, we might think the humor was deliberate:

[There's] A worthwhile piece in the Boston Globe yesterday on how gay Catholics are struggling with a Church hierarchy that has declared war on gay lives and, especially, gay loves and relationships. Since the summer, I haven't written about this much, because it felt increasingly inappropriate to bring such deeply private issues into the public arena.


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  • Posted by: Sterling - Oct. 20, 2003 11:29 PM ET USA

    Today's NY TIMES had an article by Andrew Sullivan and the Church intolerant and how Andrew's SO outta there. Get this: two men in Andy's parish were CUT FROM CHOIR because they married in Canada - bummer man. (Andy writes that both guys spent 20 years in the choir loft together, but you call that tolerant?) Hey, Andrew, tough break, wedding bells breaking up that old gang of thine and all, but listen, fella, whining about choir assignments isn't a cool guy thing to do.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 16, 2003 9:09 AM ET USA

    Dear Karen, By "extreme" language do you mean, the way Jesus talked, the way St Stephen talked, the way St. Paul talked? I didn't know there was any other way we were SUPPOSED to talk.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 14, 2003 11:30 PM ET USA

    It did what? It "felt" what? Inappropriate. My 2 favorite emotivist buzzwords.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 14, 2003 7:26 PM ET USA

    What's stopping this Bishop from leaving? Is anyone barring the door?

  • Posted by: - Oct. 14, 2003 6:07 PM ET USA

    Karen: I also thought today's liturgical reading from Romans focused right on--wish all would meditate on these inspired and inspiring words. And may I suggest more than a glance at Psalm 79 (78): "The heathen have come into thine inheritance; they have defiled thy holy temple; they have laid thy Church in ruins: they have made of it a place to keep fruits." (RSV/D-R, conflated) The answers have been there all along. So how do some manage to be so unaware of them? Look at Romans 1.21-22,24.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 14, 2003 1:51 PM ET USA

    Possibly, if the Vatican had used "extreme" language years ago about the gay subculture there may have not been a sexual abuse scandel to cover up. And, there certainly is a "conflicted homosexual subculture" and that it has infiltrated the Church is a tragedy. So many dissendents can't tell the difference between authoritative and authoritatian. It frightens me sometimes how blinded we can become when enslaved to the sensual. The Mass readings this am from Romans says it all. Kyrie Eleison