Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Church’



July 4, 2013

I saw this article yesterday in the STRIB and quickly captured my thoughts on paper to share…then decided that I should let them sit a bit in view of fact I had just ranted about the Catholic Church and the Milwaukee Arch-Diocese.

I think many people are cautious when criticizing actions of any church, especially if they respect the rights of all to hold opinions, the freedom to worship in their own way as guaranteed by our country,  and understand that the Christian faith, like most others, has evolved with many interpretations of the same original data source.  So I often chastise myself for voicing my criticism but generally do so when doctrine and actions are not in sync or when hierarchy trumps the status of the worshiper.  And so, I put my thoughts aside to ruminate.

Unfortunately, I felt the same way this morning;  and I was encouraged to see several people wrote Letters to the Editor on the same subject, so here goes:

How did Mark Motzel, co-President of Totino-Grace keep a straight face when quoted as saying “Hudson had an excellent record of accomplishment and provided strong academic and financial stewardship at Totino-Grace during his tenure (but) leading a Catholic School while living in a committed same-sex relationship is not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.” 

Really?  He ought to check with a few archbishops around the country or the Cardinals at the Vatican! But of course, an 18 year committed relationship is a lot different than example after example of sexual abuse of children among the Catholic Church clerics and hierarchy…apparently no one sees inconsistencies in the teachings of the Catholic Church in those instances.  Most offenders just get a slap on the hands, help in a cover up, a transfer to another church, or a “buy-out”.  Can they recognize in themselves the actions of the Pharisees against whom Jesus so often preached?

Yes, this relationship of the departing Hudson speaks to love, dedication and equal rights…and apparently we just can’t have that!

Meanwhile, a small Maple Grove church with a 40 member congregation has been vandalized THREE times with hate graffiti because they support same sex marriage.  I’d like to think the vandalizer(s) are simply illiterate, uninformed, throw-backs to a time long since past…but perhaps I am wrong.  Perhaps they are Catholics, just following the example of their church!  Why not? Look at the role models they have to follow – the hypocrisy of Totino-Grace and the Catholic Church hierarchy! 

Please understand, I don’t dispute the teachings of the Catholic Church; I only dispute their actions in direct contradiction to the teachings. And yes, we would do well to remember – actions speak louder than words.



 UPDATES FROM THE STRIB Letters to the Editor July 4:

This must be a difficult time for Catholic priests who … expound on the radically inclusive and forgiving Jesus so clearly portrayed in the gospels.  When Jesus was judgmental, it was in his criticism of a rigid and intolerant church establishment.”                                                                                Curt Oliver, Brooklyn Park

Hudson’s gracious and peaceful demeanor in this mess seems far more Christ-like than his church’s “holier-than-thou” stance.                                                                                      Curt Oliver, Brooklyn Park

I am angry and deeply disappointed in losing Hudson….a learning opportunity for students….an unfortunate lesson.  Being president with “an excellent record of accomplishment” and earning “the utmost respect” of the community doesn’t matter if you are also gay and in a committed relationship for 18 years.                                                                                                                                     Larry Voeller, Roseville

But there is another lesson I hope they do not overlook:  the courage and grace shown by Hudson in speaking the truth, despite the consequences.  His action puts to shame the actions of the board members and the institutional church behind them.                                        Larry Voeller, Roseville

(Note:  Voeller is a former co-chair of the Totino-Grace board, a parent and supporter of the school)

Totino’s loss is potentially another school district’s gain…There is no lack of irony here:  Hudson would have fared much better at Totino-Grace if he had been a misbehaving priest.       Steve Watson, Mpls








June 26, 2012

Ask yourself WHY these two  institutions are currently (and again) in the midst of pedophile national scandals.

The Press coverage and guilty verdicts last week of Sandusky and the Monsignor have had my brain churning.  What is it about sports and religion – both of whom purport to help children as one of their objectives- that fuels these awful nightmares?

Do they naturally attract pedophiles because that is where they find vulnerable children looking for a caring adult role model?

Or is the answer not in the pedophiles themselves, but in the institutions to which such individuals are attracted?

Why does it seem the institutions “cover up” or ignore as their first priority?  It’s getting hard to continue to accept that those who could step in and stop the atrocities “didn’t know” or “couldn’t believe it”.  After all, how many times over the last 50 years has it happened?

And yet, it is equally as hard to believe that either institution could with good conscience put their institution’s reputation, desire to win, fame, money, or whatever the motivator of the day is above the very audience they proclaim they serve.

Do they believe their championing of a “greater good” can ever be an excuse for the evil within their ranks?

I have no answers; I wrestle with this each time another horrendous occurrence surfaces. So I was encouraged to see the Monsignor found guilty. The Church may not think they have an issue, but the citizens that judged them found them guilty; perhaps that is signal that we need to look deeper for the source.

A Letter to the Editor in the Strib today presented the argument this is an abuse of power – and that when protection of power is pitted against the protection of disadvantaged and vulnerable people, “power will do whatever it has to do to protect itself”.   That may be so, but it does not make it right; so how do we make those responsible accountable?

The author of the Letter to the Editor suggests that we each individually now have a choice to make:  Do we pretend Sandusky and Penn State did not happen or do we learn from it no matter how painful?

And of course, that leads my brain to larger questions… Is it a reflection of OUR values that allows this to continue?  Why do we not routinely question responsible sources for cover up and hold them accountable? 

For me, there is no logical pathway to the answers.  The only thing I know for sure is that it is not enough to find the pedophile himself guilty; we have to fix the systems that value a win or power or whatever  more than we value the victim….even if it means a major RETHINK should be applied to both as we now know them.   Both the sports world and the Catholic Church need to understand the end does not justify the mean.