Monday, November 11, 2013

U.S. bishops put the kibosh on pope's plan

Only in America. Y'all know about the pope's survey, right? He's directed every parish to ask questions about how parishioners view the church's teachings on those touchy issues -- like the automatic excommunication of Catholics who divorce, and the raising of children by gay couples. You know, the good stuff.

But in this Kansas City Star opinion piece by Mary Sanchez, I found an interesting note on the process:
But what happened next [i.e., after the pope's request[ is nearly as interesting. The Bishops of England and Wales posted the survey online. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wasn't quite so eager. The cover letter it sent to dioceses with the questionnaire implied that it was the bishops whose "observations" Rome should receive.
This is the exact opposite of what the pope requested. More from the article:
The letter from the Vatican instructed the bishops to distribute the document to the dioceses "and ask them to share it immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received regarding the themes and responses to the questionnaire."

That certainly sounds like the Vatican is seeking replies from the faithful, not the gatekeepers.

Read more here:
So let's recap. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops decided that the pope didn't really mean what he said. The pope couldn't possibly want to hear from rank and file believers. What good would that do?! No, no, no. He wants to hear only from the church's polizia, the bishops.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has acted like agents of the Spanish Inquisition in recent years. It is their authoritarian thoughts that are promulgated throughout Catholic America. And they've told parishioners in clear language that gays are anathema, that abortion will bring down the wrath of god, that American nuns are evil feminists who must be disciplined, and that divorce means being severed from the church for all eternity.

These guys don't want to let go. Remember, it is the insipid and valueless Archbishop Dolan of NY who headed the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in recent years. It is he who led the national pogrom against gays and gay marriage. The man detests gay people and has devoted his priestly life to demonizing them.

And now the US Conference of Catholic Bishops seems to think the pope wants to hear their opinions rather than those of the, you know, believers. Every church around the world understood the pope's request -- except Catholic leaders in the United States.

I hope the pope smacks them down. He can't be pleased with their authoritarian reaction to his straightforward attempt to poll the believers. Go get 'em, Francis. I've got your back.