What If They Didn’t Fire The Person?

I noticed at Kathy Schiffer’s site on Patheos a note about the Archdiocese of Miami advising employees not to show public support for same-sex unions in that state–something recently opened up by the courts. How far do you suppose the Temple Police would go? I’m pretty sure the archbishop himself isn’t lurking on facebook and such.

Would it extend to any comment in the comboxes here? Or a favorable word on a link in the right sidebar?

I wonder if prelates realize they compromise their own authority by encouraging tattling. What do I mean? They set up an alternate magisterium in which “activists” give a bishop his marching orders. The bishop in turn disciplines or fires an employee. And the status quo of the hermeneutic of subtraction is reinforced. The local hierarchy is established:

Temple Police


Employee of a Pastor

Imagine a pyramid or such outlined around the words, if you will. Pointing up.

One of Ms. Schiffer’s commenters mentioned the problem of selective enforcement, where that Indiana diocese got into trouble. If a pastor knowingly hires a person who does not adhere to this letter, will he get fired? Likely not. Disciplined? Maybe, but we won’t hear about it. What if somebody doesn’t go to Mass? The TP is probably too busy keeping their own kids in order to notice who’s not showing up.

What if gossip-mongers were ignored? When we were kids, my mother told us she had to catch us in the act before punishment would be administered. She was well aware of the tendency among siblings to manipulate, tease, undercut, and such. In a way, too bad bishops aren’t married with children. I think they’d see things more clearly.

What if the archbishop’s letter were totally dependent on self-reporting? A person would have to turn herself or himself in for disciplinary action. Or be caught in the act: wearing a T-shirt or showing up at a courthouse while the prelate was paying off a parking fine or something.

If the Church stopped firing people, what do you suppose would happen?

It would have to be better than taking Archbishop Wenski’s letter to its extreme: anybody who buys products “made in China,” where abortion is enforced by the state, would be found guilty of (very) remote cooperation with extinguishing life in the womb, and thus would have to cede their job. Or worse: their credentials of the elder sibling pouting on the porch, peeking around the corner or into windows.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Hermeneutic of Subtraction, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to What If They Didn’t Fire The Person?

  1. Chris Sullivan says:

    Did US bishops ever threaten to sack employees who supported invading Iraq, a MUCH stronger violation of the gospel than support for gay marriage ?

    When we have to resort to bullying to hold the line, that seems a clear demonstration that we have lost the argument. Such bullying merely hinders the Church from having a proper listening, discussion and discernment around same sex unions by fostering a climate of fear instead of seriously discerning what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church.

    I write this as someone who has campaigned strongly against legalising same sex marriage.

    God bless

    • FrMichael says:

      “When we have to resort to bullying to hold the line, that seems a clear demonstration that we have lost the argument.” It’s not bullying when legitimate authority administers discipline to the erring. What Archbishop Wenski is dealing with is 1940 France about 4 weeks into the German blitzkrieg, just a few weeks from defeat. He has Fifth Columnists (starting with the USA’s most famed Lavender Mafia) inside his archdiocese as well as the “invasion” of the secularists and sects. At this late hour he apparently is trying to reverse the pervasive rot.

      There is no need for discernment when it comes to same sex union/marriage. It is a parody of the real thing straight from the bowels of Hell. The only discernment needed is how to defeat it, or where it has come about through elections, legislative action, or executive and judicial fiat, how to minimize the evil.

  2. FrMichael says:

    “If the Church stopped firing people, what do you suppose would happen?”

    What we have now: Catholic chancery, parochial, K-12, hospitals, and higher education systems shot through with large numbers of paid employees who don’t care one whit for Divine Revelation, the natural moral law, and the teachings of the Church.

    A Temple Police mentality could hardly do any worse that the current spiritual malaise AmChurch is.

    • Todd says:

      Except we don’t have that, do we? We have the news peppered with incidents of long-time employees being fired, despite everybody knowing their life situation, views, etc.. The Church gets bloodied in the public square yet again for hypocrisy, shifting standards, and unfairness.

      On the contrary, I think we have a MaChurch that cedes its authority to select bloggers, tattletales, and elder siblings. Often hiding, as you do FrM, behind varying degrees of pseudonymity, anonymity, or such.

      What you say about employees I suspect is at least as accurate about clergy. Gosh! What are we going to do with a Church full of–gasp!–sinners?!?

  3. One ponders in astonishment a number of things concerning this “news”-
    -What was the prompt for Wenski? Over a number of years the grapevines buzzed about his archdiocese’s own PR problems within the clerical and curial arenas. Is it simple CYB?
    -What diocese and its ordinary doesn’t have the same, virtually identical “at odds” circumstances? When authority randomly shuts one door, the likelihood of other doors, particularly ones labeled “Pandora”, opening increases exponentially. For what purpose?
    -This is the best the OHCAChurch can come up with as witness to faithfullness to Christ and the Gospel in this particular moment of history? In the USA?

    Atheist Max’s happy dances are accompanied by such fiddling. How ironic and un-irenic that our bishops are bowing these fiddles as Rome, once again, is burning and Christians are literally again being crucified, genocidally murdered and exiled. Not funny, maddening actually.

  4. Liam says:

    I found it interesting that Michael Sean Winters was chatting ++ Wenski up for a red hat in advance of the Pope’s announcement this past weekend. As it turns out, no Amurkans were tapped. I expect that ++ Gomez will be tapped in coming years. Not sure about ++ Chaput, but I would venture the odds favor it for 2016.

    On a very distant tangent – the promotions gambit – I regularly look at the Other Pontifical Acts section of the daily English language VIS offerings. It may well be confirmation bias on my part, but what I’ve noticed since the fall of 2014 is that Pope Francis appears to be favoring a tightening of the formerly wide angle of prelatial promotions. He seems to have a bias in favor of promoting ordinaries of suffragen sees to their metropolitan see – or to take prelates back to their province of origin (not necessarily birth, but where they were originally incardinated, or had significant pastoral experience) when they’ve been promoted away from it. I’ve yet to read any of the commentariat (online or dead-tree) pay much attention to this. I do wonder, for example, if + Coyne’s pending enthronement in Burlington VT is a potential prelude to his return as a successor to Cardinal Sean in Boston (if Pope Francis stays in office long enough).

    • Liam says:

      Correction: Fall of 2013, not 2014.

    • Katherine says:

      I come from a diocese that is one of the victims of the pattern you noticed — Pope Francis tore away from us a bishop we loved and with whom we were thriving, sending him back to his native state, to a diocese next door to the one he came from. (It wasn’t even a promotion, unless just having more people and greater resources to deal with, counts.) We were devastated. He had really made a home with us, and developed a deep feel and hands-on style of pastoral care for the issues and needs of a complicated and very poor diocese.

      It will soon be a year since the bad news of his transfer was announced, and we are still waiting for a new bishop.

  5. FrMichael says:

    “The Church gets bloodied in the public square yet again for hypocrisy, shifting standards, and unfairness.” Shifting standards? There isn’t a working person alive who has seen Catholic morality change in their lifetime. What was evil in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s is still evil in the ’10s. People employed by the Church who are grossly violating Catholic morality over the long haul should know that they are dead man walking employment-wise, subject to firing. We would have a lot healthier Church without Fifth Columnists working within Her.

    Look at my state. We have two Jesuit universities in the Golden State that openly pay for abortion on demand. One SJ university president took it upon himself to end this policy, at which point professors rose up by the hundreds publicly and made him backtrack. Absolute depravity.

    • Todd says:

      Shifting standards: one set for bishops, another for priests, another for lay people. I suppose we could look at history, but I think today has enough problems. I’m not sure that having a picture of one’s SSA sibling, niece, son, or whatever plus partner on one’s FB page constitutes a gross violation. We might have a healthier Church if clergy and bishops were called by laity instead of appointed from above. But then again, maybe not everywhere.

  6. David D. says:

    Just came across this photo and couldn’t resist

  7. Pingback: An Answer To A Question | Catholic Sensibility

  8. Pingback: Thoroughly | Catholic Sensibility

  9. Pingback: Again, What If We Didn’t Fire People? | Catholic Sensibility

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s