Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Tale of Two Coasts

Over on the West Coast the Seattle Roman Catholic Archdiocese filed a friend of the court brief against gay marriage in Washington State. The court rejected the brief because it was late (17 months late to be exact). The archdiocese still wanted to make its case though:

The archdiocese filed its amicus brief Thursday, arguing that granting same-sex marriage would violate the church's ability to freely practice its religion. The Catholic Church believes marriage should be between a man and a woman and questioned whether allowing gay people to wed could, as one example, force priests to perform such ceremonies.
The archdiocese filed it late because happenings around the country. They actually blamed gay marriages in Massachusetts on the Catholic Charities decision to stop adoptions, I guess they didn't know that Massachusetts protects ALL its citizens through a non-discrimination policy that was in effect long before same sex marriage. In their brief they also used the same scare tactics the anti-gay forces used here that didn't work: "warning that the church could lose its right to decide who can be married in Catholic churches and possibly be exposed to discrimination lawsuits if it refused to marry same-sex couples."

Clearly the Archdiocese was trying to abuse the legal system submitting it way too late and making erroneous arguments.

Meanwhile on the East Coast news surfaced that another priest was accused of raping two teenaged boys over a 12 year period.

Genevive, 51, who lives in a Franciscan retreat in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., pleaded not guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to four counts of rape of a child and was released on his own recognizance by Clerk Magistrate Robin E. Vaughn.

Genevive appeared in court wearing civilian clothes without a clerical collar, Wark said. His next court date is Sept. 7 for a pretrial conference.

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, which oversees St. Anthony's of Padua in Troy, where Genevive worked when the alleged assaults took place, said that as a member of the Franciscan order, Genevive was not supervised by the diocese.

``It's unfortunate if indeed that occurred, but I don't know what else we can say," said spokesman Kenneth Goldfarb.

UNFORTUNATE? It's a crime! It's horrific! But there's more to the story:

The Rev. Robert M. Campagna, spokesman for the Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception, which oversees Franciscans, said Genevive was removed from active ministry on June 2, 2002, and now lives in a setting ``where he has no access to minors." He did not say why Genevive was inactive. why was the Franciscan priest removed from active ministry (and away from children) in 2002? Do you think they knew something and didn't tell authorities? Strange that it took for more than 4 years for this to come to light and it only appeared because the boy (now a man) is suing the church.

Another incident of the Church abusing the legal system. It was there responsibility to alert the authoritites if they knew abuse had been committed. I guess we will have to wait to see how this one turns out but it already isn't looking good for the Church. The question will be whether they will be forthcoming in information on this alleged rapist.

Funny, here in Massachusetts Franciscan Cardinal O'Malley wasted no time at all to ensure that gay couples wouldn't be able to adopt through Catholic Charities. He also promptly allowed anti-gay marriage petitioners to get signatures during Church masses. He also quickly appeared with Romney at a press conference asking the legislature to allow the people of Massachusetts to put discrimination in Constitution.

It appears that the Church still has its priorities in order. Loving gay couples, act quickly to stop them, abusive priests, drag your feet until you're found out. The Catholic Church has managed to abuse the system, not what you'd expect from a religious institution.


Ryan Charisma said...

Actually it's EXACTLY what I expect from a religous institution. Sad but true.

CrackerLilo said...

What's really stupid about this is that priests should know as well as anyone that they don't have to marry anybody they don't agree with. They don't have to marry divorced people or non-Catholics, for instance.

As for the raping of the teenage boys--I *do* expect that from them. And I think their priorities are way out of order.

Anonymous said...

Yes, perhaps the most disgusting thing about Amy Contrada and John Haskins is that they're abuse scandal deniers.

How one can simultaneously rail against gay marriage and turn a blind eye to the activities of the Church is beyond me.

Richard W. Lewis, Sr. said...

As a child raised in England I was accustomed to the Irish Catholics and Protestants killing each other.
In the middle east we have seen for decades the jews and Islam killing each other.
Indeed was it not the second pope who started the crusades by raising a catholic army with the promise that their sins would be forgiven if they would go kill the muslims. Anyone else see a pattern here? Churches extol the "Fear of God" then they routinely kill each other in the names of their respective gods. Makes gay marriage seem kind of mellow!

Anonymous said...

It helps if you stop thinking them as Christians and instead think of them as what they really are -- Republicans looking for wedge issues.

Amy Contrada and John Haskins have about as much use for real Catholicism as they do for gay marriage.