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:
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.