A Tale of Two Sees

Interesting contrast in approaches to the children of same-sex couples. Even the conservatives of the blogosphere aren’t unified in opinion. It’s rather refreshing to see people grappling with a serious issue bereft of the ability to pull a quote from the catechism out of the air and march thenceforth in lockstep.

In Denver, one priest suggested the parents might be more comfortable raising their kids as Episcopalians. The archbishop there, meanwhile, is silent about the throw-the-fish-back approach. He seems fine with children being formed in parish religious ed … just not the one taught by the school teachers.

In Boston, a parish school bounces a son of two lesbian parents and the archdiocese steps in with a promise to relocate him. Mark Silk headlines the story as O’Malley v. Chaput, and I’m sure that combative sentiment has a certain appeal to the us-against-the-world approach of the neo-orthodox Catholics.

Yet it begs the question of what really happens when two archbishops rub shoulders at the USCCB meetings. Do these guys just nod and sip their coffee and figure out how they can do one of those weird Rockies-Red Sox or Pats-Broncos sports wagers? Or is there any effort among the bishops to be proactive on matters in which Rome and the Catechism give them the leeway to actually make prudential decisions that promote or sink the Gospel?

What the pope and curia have promoted over the past three decades is what we see in these curious contrasts. It’s every bishop for himself as he works his was up the corporate ecclesiastical ladder, avoiding the traps set by the fringes on the Left and Right as best he can.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to A Tale of Two Sees

  1. Mark Silk says:

    I noticed your link and just thought I’d note in response to your question that in this particular case, both of the principals are Capuchin friars and old acquaintances. So whatever they think of each other now, they rub shoulders at the USCCB as brothers-in-arms.

  2. Jimmy Mac says:

    Maybe it is time that they become brothers AT arms, particularly O’Malley.

  3. smf says:

    Well, the scenario you lay out is a clear sign of the failure of collegiality.

    These sorts of things are likely to happen in many diocese, so its an obvious case for the bishops perhaps needing to compare notes and come up with some common basis for deciding these things. Further, it seems to me the first place a bishop should be doing some collegial consultation would be with his archbishop, or when he is an archbishop, with his suffragen bishops. Likewise, it wouldn’t hurt to engage the priests of the diocese in thinking through these things.

    That said, ultimately someone does have to make a decision, on their own authority, and not just pass everything off on some committee.

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