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Catholic priests applauded by parishes for not backing anti-equality referendum

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  1. I will hold judgement until June 6. As far as I’m concerned, if they manage to get the signatures, these tiny and insignificant events will have had no meaning.

    1. chris lowcase 19 Apr 2012, 1:06am

      no act is meaningless. the action of early gay rights activists could be seen as insignificant at the time. it has to start somewhere i guess. they have the support of some catholics, so its only fitting they should have the support of LGBT people.

      1. The problem I have with this is that it could very well be political. The catholic religion gets to say “see? These churches didn’t collect signatures so we’re an accepting religion”. Perhaps the church overall is so sure the state can get the signatures, they don’t even need to collect them everywhere to have a sure chance of winning. If they’re genuinely trying to help then I’m sorry but taking a neutral stance isn’t enough for me to be appreciative. It does too little.

        If by June 6, they’ve failed to collect the required amount of signatures, then I’ll respect the part played by the catholic church. Until then, I’ll not be thankful.

        1. chris lowcase 19 Apr 2012, 2:28am

          thats a good reason to reserve judgement, and it plays to me suppressed cynicism ;). but i hope you’re wrong. if you’re not, the least we can hope is that the gesture would create what they would see as a monster.

        2. Paddyswurds 19 Apr 2012, 11:05am

          @Matt….
          …””The catholic religion gets to say “see? These churches didn’t collect signatures so we’re an accepting religion”.” Well actually if you think again that would be a cynical move on the RC churches part and would be seen as such, as it is the church hierarchy that wants to collect the signatures. However I also think that the brave move on the part of these six parishes my well have a knock on effect and more will join the boycott of the signature drive. I also think it will have influence outside the RC churches and other denominations just may follow suite.
          In any case, this is a positive move from these men and ALL positive moves as chris lowcase above says, are to be welcomed, no matter what the quarter.

        3. Paddyswurds 19 Apr 2012, 12:23pm

          @Matt…
          ….” I’ll respect the part played by the catholic church.” I think you may be under the impression that that this is somehow as you say “the catholic church” It is not and if you reread the story you will learn that the hierarchy of the rc church in Washington actually are in favour of the referendum. this move is on the part of six parishes only.
          Ratzi the naz! isn’t about to lead a gay pride march through Vatican city…..

    2. I disagree that this is meaningless, since the publicity that this priests actions have generated is not insignificant.

      I do agree that it is difficult to bring about change in such an entrenched organisation such as the Catholic Church.

      However, on encouraging note, LGBT people in Spain are attempting to bring legal action against a Priest in the diocese of Alcalá de Henares. They are attempting to bring a legal case against the priests use of the pulpit to incite hatred against LGBT people.

      http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/liberal-outrage-in-spain-homosexual-groups-seek-prosecution-of-bishop-over?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=6cccc5d9e3-LifeSiteNews_com_Intl_Headlines_04_18_2012&utm_medium=email

    3. Be careful on this one. I know the head of the equality people in WA state. He said these good churches are in an area with a lot of gay people.

      Given certainty of getting the referendum on the ballot, there is no cost to being falsely nice

      When the bishops come out bluntly , sacrifice their carreers and stand up for civil marriage – social justice for our gay citizens, then I’ll believe them.

  2. Now if all of the Catholics did the same I might not think that they are all bad.

    1. de Villiers 19 Apr 2012, 10:28am

      They are not all bad. One might otherwise say all Jews are bad.

      1. Paddyswurds 19 Apr 2012, 12:28pm

        However it is their “bad” that more of them don’t stand up to the old men in frocks and say “this is not what we want our church to be…enough already!” With the rapidly diminishing number of bums on seats, congregations have a lot more power nowadays than here to fore.

        1. I was confused for a sec

          bums on seats – americanese a bum is a jobless, homeless, often drunk victim of captialism

          In english its a butt (arse) in americanese. :-)

  3. No comment.

    1. Paddyswurds 19 Apr 2012, 11:07am

      @Jonpol…
      ……. “No comment” is comment in itself if you think about it.

  4. David Waite 19 Apr 2012, 3:09am

    These six priests for certain, and probably every other priest at those parishes have defied their archbishop and the RC pope. They have ensured they will never rise higher in the RC hierarchy. They have put themselves at risk of retaliatory transfer to ‘difficult’ parishes elsewhere in the world.
    They did this, not for themselves but for their congregations, and for those most vulnerable within those congregations, in the name of Christ’s teachings.

    In response, some here seek to question their motives, even going so far as to suggest a plot by the RC hierarchy to “have it both ways.” Such a response is both fatuous and illogical. I don’t call the response unchristian; as an atheist survivor of Dominionist parents, I would never do so. However, we should at least try ascribing the same integrity to others that we demand from them about OUR motives. Any other response is unjust, and like all social animals we are hard-wired for justice.

    1. johnny33308 19 Apr 2012, 3:21am

      Yes, I must agree….these priests have shown the true nature of what Christianity is supposed to be all about…the RC church is sadly entirely at odds to what JESUS taught and is reacting in a despicably antichristian manner…..it is warming to see “true” Christians stand up to the bigotry of those in the RC church, and in Christianity in general. For Christians to participate in hatred and bigotry destroys their faith and condemns them to the hell they claim LGBTIQ people will go to. It is long overdue for TRUE Christians to call out the FALSE ones on this matter….those who claim to be Christians but fail to obey Jesus and disregard His teachings are not Christians at all, only evil people hiding behind Christianity in order to commit great evil….

      1. “christianity” is about whatever the people who call themselves christians say it’s about. There are as many different versions of it as there are christians. Some are nice, some are nasty. Some are tolerant, some are hateful. But none of them is the “true” version because that’s not how cultures work, and religions are simply cultural artefacts, no more.

        What matters here is whether or not these are good people and whether or not they do ethically appropriate things, The fact they call themselves “christians” is a red herring – we are not judging them on how well they conform to an idiosyncratic personal code, that’s facile and irrelevant, we are judging them on whether they are decent human beings.

      2. Paddyswurds 19 Apr 2012, 11:16am

        @johnny33308
        ……I agree entirely. I have been banging on about this for years; why don’t those who really do “get” the whole Christ is Love thing stand up and say as these parishes have, “enough already. this is so not what we are about”.
        As the Rev Clarke said “I deeply believe, and say this with boldness, that this approach is not in the mind of Christ.”

    2. Contrary to what you think. These priests did it for themselves. They did it to get ‘standing ovations’ and commendations from PN and the likes. Priests are supposed to act in favour of God not in favour of man. As such where pleasing God would displease man, they must please God. Did you notice that not one of them quoted the Bible to support their stand? Rather, they relied on their personal opinion.

      1. “Did you notice that not one of them quoted the Bible to support their stand?”

        What bits do you want to hear, the one where god tells an old man to chop his sons head off then changes his mind for giggles, the whale that swallows a man and he lives in there quite happily for 3 nights , or the bit where you shouldn’t wear two types of cloth and eating shellfish is an abomination?

        Its all rubbish, so quoting a bible is akin to quoting the ramblings of a child.

      2. Paddyswurds 19 Apr 2012, 11:32am

        @…
        Actually Ken, RCs don’t lay a lot of weight on the “buybul” and tend to treat it as a rather odd appendage to their religion , and that it holds very little of any use in the modern world. This may not be the OFFICIAL line but as a survivor of an RC upbringing in rural Ireland, when i was at school , we were told “only Prods follow that rubbish” We did however have “bible study” which tended to be more a holy land geography and history lesson than a blood and brimstone and also tended to deal only with the new testament stuff.
        In any case this is a small move on the part of thsese six brave men and they are to be lauded for their courage and love and it proves to those of us who abhor religion in all it’s divisive ugly guises that there are still good people involved in religion and perhaps they are the foundations of what religion should really be or should become if it is to survive..

  5. I applaud them. It is telling that (to my knowledge) no Catholic priest in England did the same, refusing to read out the homophobic letter of the evil archbishop.

    1. For priests, rebellion is as grave as a sin as homosexuality. Thus any priest that remains IN the catholic church but oppose the doctrine of the church is nothing but a fake.He is more concerned with getting the applause and ‘standing ovations’ of sinful men than to be approved by God.

      1. You sounds nuts. Have you had a sever blow to the head recently, or were you born that way?

      2. Paddyswurds 19 Apr 2012, 11:34am

        Ken, are you really Keith by any chance. If not you should look him up. You would make a great team……

    2. Actually quite a few priests in England did not read out the Archbishops of Westminster and Southwark’s similar letter.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Apr 2012, 3:41pm

        Jez, how do you know that? I’ve not read anything about it.

    3. my parish priest refused to read it….

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Apr 2012, 5:40pm

        Interesting to hear it, but nothing reported in the media at the time the letter was read out to congregants.

  6. Wow…simply, wow! The words of Rev. Clark literally brought a tear to my eye and I’m an atheist!

    1. Paddyswurds 19 Apr 2012, 11:35am

      hear hear !!

  7. It is not a surprise that some Catholic priests refused to read the letter. This is because it is common knowlegde that there are FAKE catholic priests as we have seen from rape abd abuse cases. These priests have only succeeded in opposing themselves as being among the fakes and I would suggest strongly that they be closely monitored.

    1. “Fake” priests? You mean like “fake christians” lie you who think persecution, bigotry and small mindedness is “gods will”. I agree. Its all fake.

    2. Paddyswurds 19 Apr 2012, 11:49am

      @Keith..
      …and what would you propose doing about the parishioners who stood and gave an ovation for this brave move on the priests part. You are a shining example of what is wrongg with religion in general and with xtianity in particular…. As and atheist, I am only sorry the “héll” is fiction because it will never be full till you and your ilk are in the hottest part of it. You are a total failure as a human being.

      1. Paddyswurds 19 Apr 2012, 12:35pm

        @Keith..
        …and what would you propose doing about the parishioners who stood and gave an ovation for this brave move on the priests part. You are a shining example of what is wrong with religion in general and with xtianity in particular…. As an atheist, I am only sorry that “héll” is fiction because it will never be full till you and your ilk are in the hottest part of it. You are a total failure as a human being.

  8. Looks like some members of the RC Church are satnding up for us, baby steps, but seems like some progress all the same!

  9. GingerlyColors 19 Apr 2012, 9:42am

    Could this be the beginning of a Catholic enlightenment? We are now seeing priests and entire Catholic nations breaking rank with the Church of Rome and acknowledging that we too are supposed to be made in God’s image.

    1. It is nothing new. We are used to priests ‘breaking rank’ with the Church by engaging in sexual molestation of young boys.This is just another example of the fake priests in the catholic church. I suggest they are watched closely!

      1. Yawn. Is this is? Is this the sum total of what you can do??? Repeat the same tired old crap on a gay news site?

        LOL! Is there any doubt why we’re winning and the likes of you are losing?

      2. I suggest that as Preists they care more about following Jesus’ example than the will of an institution that has spiralled from something that was founded on hope, acceptance and love into a cesspit of despair, regret, guilt and ultimately the desire to control.

        I’d say they were better Christians than those higher up in the Church’s hierarchy.

  10. I’m nof really sure what to make of this. Should I be glad that they are not signinv the petition? Yes. But they aren’t exactly speaking out in favour of equality either so sholud they be applauded for doing nothing, in effect? A bystander watching bullies hit a kid in school yard isn’t actively taking part but neither are they doing anything to stop it.

  11. I think that Rev Clark is in error in trying to treat his church as a democracy – there is no evidence at all that his behaviour will influence the hierarchy.

    Honestly – I consider birth control to be a critical issue in the church, more so than its stance on LGBT rights. And yet despite most catholics, at some point in their life, use birth control against doctrinal instruction, that instruction has never changed. Why? Because there is no incentive to do so as long as there are bums on seats and cash in the collection plate.

    I see a symbolic act of protest (good for him), but it is a voice that cannot sway the powers that be.

    Now consider that he got a standing ovation. He clearly knows his congregation – what would have happened if he had done the opposite and tried to collect signatures. Would that have outraged people and sent them away from his church – which, in turn, would hurt his bottom line? Is it necessarily an altruistic act.

  12. darkmoonman 19 Apr 2012, 2:49pm

    Just an FYI: the priests of the parishes are being accused publicly by anti-gay activists of trying to prevent people from exercising their right to vote (which is, of course, just so much conservative propaganda).

  13. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Apr 2012, 3:11pm

    We’ve yet to find one catholic priest in the UK who would be so courageous and do the right thing.

    Already, the Vatican has clamped down on American nuns, about 55,000 of them, for not railing against same-sex marriage, abortion and homosexuality. I expect these priests in question will be getting a nasty warning from their bishop in due course to tow the line or get out.

  14. Good man. He’s 100% right when he says it is not the example that Jesus set. The wider Catholic Church’s hatred of gays is based upon Leviticus and St Paul- two very insignificant people compared to Jesus. I would say that anybody who lets their views overshadow everything Jesus said about love and tolerance and not judging people has clearly missed the point of Christianity: I’m not religious but even I’ve grasped the concept that the SON OF GOD IS SUPPOSEDLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE BIBLE.

  15. Catholic priests make Jesus cry. Where is the love ?

  16. The comments made by Rev. Clark remind me of comments attributed to an altogether more famous Catholic, the late Pope John Paul I:

    “The day is not far off when we will have to answer to these people who through the years have been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, whose human dignity has been offended, their identity denied and their liberty oppressed. What is more we will have to answer to the God who crated them”.

    Admittedly, these comments have been challenged by senior Catholics, but it kind of fits with the late Pope’s stance on other issues affecting Gay people.

    Unfortunately, the ‘smiling Pope’ died suddenly (and mysteriously) after the briefiest of papacies in September 1978, only to be replaced by the ultra conservative John Paul II.

    How different things might have been?

    1. … “the God who created them” (typo)

  17. Be careful on this one. I know the head of the equality people in WA state. He said these good churches are in an area with a lot of gay people.

    Given the certainty of getting the referendum on the ballot, there is no cost to being falsely nice

    When the bishops come out bluntly , sacrifice their carreers and stand up for civil marriage – social justice for our gay citizens, then I’ll believe them.

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