Bishop Advocates Words Not Actions

A curious thing or two from Oakland bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone at the USCCB meeting. According to CNS, he “urged his fellow bishops June 15 to fight back in the war of words over efforts to redefine traditional marriage.”

Words? Whatever happened to actions? Traditional marriage is under no threat from people seeking same-sex unions. It’s really not some kind of legal zero-sum game. If it were, traditionally married couples would be discouraging their kids and other young people from marrying and stealing part of the pie of benefits given by society.

Bishop Cordileone:

Our culture is one that often forgets the sacred gift of the child, and in so doing it also fails to recognize the vital importance of a mother and a father together for the life and upbringing of that child. In contemporary debates about the meaning of marriage, the rights and dignity of the child should be at the forefront.

If that mother and father both were of vital importance, then more bishops and more diocesan adoption agencies would work harder to encourage Catholic families and couples to adopt more of the 130,000 kids who lack mother and father, either because of being orphaned or the sorry inability of mothers and fathers to parent their birth children.

Sorry, I just find this whole line of reasoning to be impoverished from both a logical and a moral viewpoint. I’m not saying the bishops are off-base advocating for stronger marriages between a man and a woman. By dragging SSA people into the matter, they’re just losing oodles of credibility. At least in my eyes. If children were so important, more bishops would be promoting more adoption. Why not burnish the pro-life cred, if this fussing is really about children?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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9 Responses to Bishop Advocates Words Not Actions

  1. FrMichael says:

    His statement seems eminently reasonable. We are losing the war of words by references to “same sex marriage” and “gay/lesbian families” when these concepts are in fact oxymorons. Slowly the Catholic Church will get squeezed out the adoption process and we already have the pastoral problem of children being raised in those households. Since the business of writing and interpreting the law is one of words, it seems that part of our response must be a “war of words.”

    • Todd says:

      “Slowly the Catholic Church will get squeezed out the adoption process …”

      The truth is actually that since the early 1970’s (and we all know why) the Church’s (and every other agency’s) “supply” of infants has dropped to a fraction of what it once was. Many dioceses not looking for an ideological platform in the news (including my own) have given up “traditional” adoption services because there are too few babies (in northeast Iowa 7 in five years) to justify the work.

      ” … and we already have the pastoral problem of children being raised in those households.”

      Which I cite seems to be a non-concern for the bishops. Otherwise, one would think they would encourage Catholic families to flood the market with home-studied and certified parents.

  2. Liam says:

    A genuine oxymoron is something that is, btw, true, though paradoxically so. It’s not a false contradiction in terms, by contrast…..

  3. FrMichael says:

    Liam, thanks for the gentle correction. I looked at the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary to ensure that I was using “oxymoron” in the right context, but the definition was detailed enough. Your correction reminded me of my 8th grade grammar teacher’s good work so long ago– an oxymoron is, in fact, true.

    Todd, I’m in agreement with you with respect to promotion and support of adoption at the diocesan and parochial levels. Nonetheless, that still doesn’t obscure the reality that we are slowly being squeezed from that apostolate by threat of hostile legal forces.

    • Bill Logan says:

      Is it that Catholic agencies are being squeezed by hostile legal forces, or is it just that Catholic agencies are unwilling to do the work unless it’s on the state’s dime? IIRC, Catholic Charities in MA no longer does adoptions whereas LDS Family Services still does. The difference is that LDS Family Services doesn’t take government money for their work. It’s like it’s part of their apostolate or something.

  4. FrMichael says:

    Actually, in San Francisco after losing their contract with the City and County of San Francisco despite being the most efficient provider, Catholic Charities was providing money for adoption services to another NPO. Then it was discovered that said NPO was a freak pro-LGBT cesspool. So we have institutional corruption out here to deal with as well.

  5. Jimmy Mac says:

    ” — a freak pro-LGBT cesspool –”

    Pardon me, but your ontological chance needs a good mouthwash.

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