Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

You can recognize Catholicism when it's convenient

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Oct 22, 2013

On October 21, the state of New Jersey began recognizing same-sex marriages, and Salon rushed out with a celebratory headline:

Retired Catholic priest officiates midnight vows for gay couples in New Jersey

Who is this man, described by Salon as a “retired” Catholic priest? The Asbury Park Press adds an important nuance:

The Rev. Thomas Pivinski, a former Catholic priest who now is an Episcopal minister, officiated each wedding and said the state's recognition of gay marriage was long overdue. [emphasis added]

An Episcopalian minister presides at a same-sex marriage ceremony? Not a story. A Catholic priest presides? Big story. So if the celebrant is an Episcopalian minister who was once a Catholic priest, how do you make it a big story? You turn him back into a Catholic priest again.

Maybe Salon was making a point about the permanent character of priestly ordination. Or maybe Salon was looking for a splashy headline. Your guess is as good as mine.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 23, 2013 12:35 PM ET USA

    But Phil,though neither you nor I should have any formal expectation or accountability towards any eccentric and perhaps even pagan journalist we do have “a Church…” (or at least so it is said) with “deacons” “priests” and “bishops…?”Is that indeed so? If anyone cares to give credibility to any “strange” journalism, that is their business, but there is a time, my dear brother,when a man needs to put down his pen and look to his "commanding officer" for orders… And where, dear brother, are they??

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 23, 2013 10:53 AM ET USA

    Have to agree with gdfsmith: talking about the "marriage" of two blokes or two gals is like talking about the funeral of someone still alive. You can call it what you will, but that doesn't make it so!

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Oct. 22, 2013 5:14 PM ET USA

    Episcopalian minister or no Episcopalian minister, those gays are no more married now than they were before NJ passed the law allowing them to go through with the charade. I hope any Catholic neighbors of theirs tell them to their faces that they are still singles.