Friday, May 22, 2015

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: "Civil Rights for Gays Must Be Understood and Incorporated into the Catholic Tradition"

Jim McGarry, a retired religious studies teacher in the archdiocese of San Francisco, cited by Dan Morris-Young in an article discussing the clashing visions of church evident in this diocese right now:

Quote for Day: "Brand of Gay Equality That’s Developing in Ireland Right Now Deserves Broader Attention" for Its Emphasis on Family and Catholic Social Teaching

Mo Moulton, lecturer in history and literature at Harvard, writing in The Atlantic about the Irish campaign for marriage equality: 

The Curious Saga of Josh Duggar, Anti-Gay "Family Values" Champion, Or, Aristotle Was Onto Something When He Said That Hubris Courts a Big Fall

Big news in my own state of Arkansas as this week ends, which has implications that reach far beyond the borders of the state, since this news involves a family with a national presence and following in the religious right and the Republican party: as In Touch Weekly reported several days ago (and here), anti-gay family-values religious-right superstar Josh Duggar, executive director of Family Research Council's FRC Action arm, was reported to the police in 2004 by his father for molesting underage girls. 

Patricia Miller's Takeaway re: Recent Pew Study Showing U.S. Catholic Church in "Demographic Free-Fall," with Notes about Recent Débacle re: LGBT Youth Conference in Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis

As I noted last week, the most recent Pew Research Center "Religious Landscape" report on the state of religious affiliation in the U.S. finds that, among Christian groups, the greatest loss of adherents in the period 2007-2015 has been in the Catholic community. Pew finds that nearly a third of American adults report having been raised Catholic, and of that group, 41% no longer identify as Catholic. 12.9% of American adults are former Catholics. As the Pew study notes, "No other religious group in the survey has such a lopsided ratio of losses to gains."

News in Catholic Abuse Crisis: Continued Outrage that Finn Will Ordain Seminarians, St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese Under New Criminal Investigation, Sensational Accusations Against Vatican Official Cardinal Pell

In the area of the abuse crisis in the Catholic church, several stories and pieces of commentary in recent days that deserve attention, I think:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

As Ireland Heads to Vote Tomorrow, Valuable Last-Minute Wrap-Ups About the Irish Marriage Referendum

As Ireland prepares to vote on a referendum to change its constitution so that the constitutional definition of marriage includes same-sex civil marriage, many journals and newspapers are issuing "briefings" and overviews of the issues on this final day before the vote. I've cut some snippets out of several of these for your to read. As you'll see, my focus has been on commentary dealing with the issue of Ireland's Catholic identity and what that means for the vote tomorrow.