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By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 07, 2003

The Massachusetts bishops insist that the media got it wrong in reporting that Bishop Daniel Reilly went wobbly on public benefits for gay households when the issue was considered by the state legislature.

Bishop Reilly finished his testimony by telling the committee that the Church could "join the discussion" if the "goal is to look at individual benefits and determine who should be eligible beyond spouses." Many press reports interpreted this as a signal of new support for same-sex relationships and "domestic partnership benefits." That interpretation is wrong.

Oh, yeah?

All the more curious then, that the National Catholic Reporter -- with plenty of time to consider the testimony and the "clarifications" of the testimony -- should single out Bishop Reilly for praise, on precisely the grounds the bishops would have us believe is a faulty interpretation:

Reilly's comments won't please those who want no legal distinctions made between gay unions and heterosexual marriage. And he's sure to draw fire from some Catholics and from the Christian right for acknowledging that gay couples and their children face unjust discrimination.

The NCR goes so far as to call Reilly's remarks "fortuitous." Why fortuitous? "The last few months have been a very trying time for gay Catholics, their families and loved ones" on account of --wait for it -- the CDF's declaration on Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons. Regardless of his occasionally orthodox past, if a bishop can saw off the Holy See at the knees, especially on matters of infertile sex, he rockets to the top of the NCR pantheon.

Perhaps a further clarification is necessary.

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  • Posted by: - Nov. 08, 2003 6:57 PM ET USA

    It appears that the MA Catholic Conference will not contadict the Hierachy on any position they take. They are not there to refute false statements by the Archdiocese. They need the Archdiocese for credibility.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Nov. 07, 2003 1:29 PM ET USA

    When Pres. John Kennedy got two contradictory messages from the Soviet Union during the height of the Cuban Missile crisis, he said accept the first message and ignore the second. No one outside of Reilly's inner circle, on either side, is accepting Reilly's second message. He joins the compromisers list headed by Bp William "I have no choice" Levada.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 07, 2003 1:04 PM ET USA

    Know what's even wackier, Diogenes? The statement you quoted from the Pilot isn't from the Massachusetts bishops...or from anybody, as far as I can tell. The disclaimer at the end of the article: "“Notes from the Hill” is provided by the Massachusetts Catholic Conference (MCC), the public policy voice for the four Catholic dioceses of Massachusetts. “Notes from the Hill” is not an official statement of the bishops of Massachusetts or MCC."