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March 18, 2005

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I'm not a Catholic. Not even (though reared as one) a Christian. But sex obsessed does seem the appropriate term for this.

Ah, my former church. Kill a bunch of men for the Cosa Nostra and no problemo but to pleasure one.... bada bing bada boom.

Rather than go on my usual rant about religion, I'll just note that this cannot possibly go well for anyone involved now, as it will lead to interested advocacy parties digging through the private lives of anyone of potential ill repute buried in a Catholic ceremony in any of this diocese's churches. Ugly, ugly, ugly. And stupid and venal and painful for the family. It takes a special kind of person to do this to a grieving family, and by "special" I mean "evil."

I don't get this at all.

Sorry Bishop, but I imagine that if Mary Magdalene had met an untimely death prior to her expiation, I don't think Christ would have skipped her funeral on the grounds that her business was "inconsistent with Catholic moral teaching." If the concerns for this chap's profession are sincere, all the more reason to pray for his soul.

i'm there's s sick joke in there somewhere about Catholic priests...

I am, for once, with Macallan. Christ didn't scorn tax collectors and prostitutes on the grounds that he needed to avoid public scandal. When people asked him why he was consorting with those low-lifes, he told them where to get off. If bishops claim to be representing Christ, they might at least do him the courtesy of taking into account some of his more obvious views.

Plus, if one were going to get into the business of denying people funerals because their professional lives catered to sin, there are many better places to start than here. I think that the case for gay sex being wrong qua sex outside of marriage is a reasonable one, and this coupled with St. Paul's observation that it is better to marry than to burn has always seemed to me to form a good basis for Christian support for gay marriage. But the claim that gay sex, qua gay, is sinful is much more dubious; the clearest Biblical pronouncements on this score are in the Mosaic law which, according to Christians, Christ was sent to supercede.

But there are lots of other things that are plainly sins according to Christianity, and that some businesses cater to. Gluttony (McDonalds et al), anger (talk radio), vanity (too many candidates here to list), pride (ditto), and so on and so forth. When the Catholic Church starts denying burial to the heads of cosmetic companies, I'll disagree, but at least I'll be clear that they are being even-handed.

(I've always wondered why, with so many more serious sins around, so many contemporary Christians focus on the various sexual sins. My tentative answer is that they're the ones it's possible to not engage in through a simple act of will -- unlike pride or anger, say -- and thus allow greater scope for self-righteousness. When I was Christian, it seemed clear to me that pride, lack of generosity, vanity, and anger were far more serious threats to one's soul, and far harder to eradicate.)

I've always wondered why, with so many more serious sins around, so many contemporary Christians focus on the various sexual sins.

Cause Corporate America, the Republican party & the Church don't get a cut of the profits!!!

I am, for once, with Macallan.

Dang, bet that hurt...

According to this John Gotti was not given a funeral mass but was accorded a memorial mass and was buried in a Catholic cemetery.

Can someone explain what all this means?

"I've always wondered why, with so many more serious sins around, so many contemporary Christians focus on the various sexual sins."

Ick factor. Same reason they obsess over gay marriage and don't spend any energy on divorce.

Gluttony (McDonalds et al), anger (talk radio), vanity (too many candidates here to list), pride (ditto), and so on and so forth.

Usury!

Oh well, voice of dissent.

The Catholic Church can do what it wants. It's a private religion and, since it's set itself up as the direct conduit of God to Man, what it says God wants, God wants. If The Church says the Mafia is OK but Queers aren't, there's no logical or rational appeal we can make about our own interpretations of Christ's life that would work -- the fact that we disagree with them makes us wrong.

I appreciate that it's hard to acknowledge that the religion you are a member of hates your guts, but for Gay Catholics I really don't see any intellectually consistent way of getting round it. It might seem harsh (and I admit a certain heretical bias), but I honestly think the best outcome for this would be more Catholics saying "you know what? I don't need this bunch of tired-out, sanctimonious child-molesters telling me what God thinks, thank you very much." The Church has long outstayed its welcome as a socially important institution on this planet -- it's time to relegate it to the level of Zoroastrianism.

On the whole I agree with you, McDuff: religions get to set their own rules for their own religionists, and, providing they make no attempt to change civil law, I don't see why they shouldn't have their own rules which people who want to belong to that religion must obey or leave.

(I profoundly disagree with religious schools, because while parents have, unavoidably, the right to bring their children up how they like, children ought to have access to information coming from outside the religion - otherwise they can't be said to making their own minds up.)

But I think in this case the Catholic church is actually breaking its own rules. The rule is (I believe) that since no one can know what's in someone's mind at the moment of death, no mortal priest has a right to decide for sure that a person died in a state of mortal sin: they may have made a perfect act of contrition at the moment of death. No one can possibly know, therefore everyone can be given the benefit of the doubt.

So, by its own rules, the Catholic Church should assume that John McCusker may have achieved a state of grace, however sinful Bishop Brom may think his line of business was, and he was due a full Catholic funeral.

Jes, IIRC, you get the benefit of the doubt unless you've been formally excommunicated, which doesn't apply here.

If The Church says the Mafia is OK but Queers aren't, there's no logical or rational appeal we can make about our own interpretations of Christ's life that would work -- the fact that we disagree with them makes us wrong.

Yes, religions can make any rules they see fit, but when those rules are clearly hypocritical, it's worth pointing that out, no?

It appears that this bishop, along with too many other bishops, has confused what Jesus taught with what the Pharisees were being accused of doing. The Catholic Hierarchy appears to be intent on destroying the Church.

The Catholic Hierarchy appears to be intent on destroying the Church.

Would that it were so, but if history teaches us anything it is that religions not only survive being administered by venal, corrupt hypocrites, they seem to positively thrive on it.

I saw on Americablog that the Bishop has actually apologized now, and promised to preside at a mass.

On the other hand, Jeanne D'Arc has a scary post about the Argentine Catholic hierarchy (their past, and perhaps current, support for throwing undesirables out of airplanes into the sea).

If all of you that are quoting the bible saying, Jesus forgave tax collectors, and prostitutes you would always notice they were the repentant ones who reformed their ways. This guy not only did bad things but reveled in it and had not intention of stopping...that being said do I know if he went to Hell or not no nor does it really mean that much to me but I do know that by Church cannon he was not supposed to receive a funeral and bravo to Bishop Brom for standing up and doing what was right despite mainstream media's no one is really wrong attitude. He saw something that wasn't right and called it for what it was.

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