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October 10, 2010

Response to Fr. Araujo

Just a quick response to Fr. Araujo: First, my post did not make this clear enough, but I do not believe that the difference between Fred Phelps' rhetoric and opposition to SSM is simply a matter of degree; I was not vouching for that position, I was just describing that position as a formidable obstacle to the Church's arguments against SSM.  I reject that position, though I should have made it clearer.  Second, in the Twin Cities, the news was filled with stories of gay teenagers' suicides at the same time the DVDs were making news.  Whether or not certain bishops have made statements in the past on this issue againt bullying, I believe that it is important to make such statements when the public is focused on the issue, especially when the only mention of the Church's advocacy during that news cycle focused on the DVDs.  On an issue that is this explosive, and on which the media is more inclined to report counter-cultural Catholic teachings, it is important to make the anti-bullying statements (and perhaps even support anti-bullying legislation?) over and over and over. 

Posted by Rob Vischer on October 10, 2010 at 01:31 AM in Vischer, Rob | Permalink

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I would add to Rob's point that, not only was the news filled with stories of gay teenagers' suicides, but in the same week the DVD was mailed, there was an attack on a student at a local college (Augsberg) based on sexual orientation. So while I agree with Fr. Araujo that the Archbishop has no obligation to go scouring journals and address points raised there, to send the DVD under these circumstnaces with no comment was, in my view, something it is fair to criticize.

Posted by: Susan Stabile | Oct 10, 2010 8:03:15 AM

Father Araujo says: "When reporting sensitive and strong-response raising issues, do those who control, direct, manipulate the "news cycle" have a duty to state fully the efforts of the Church and anyone else involved with the issue being reported and whose role is either being critiqued or will reasonably be critiqued by others?"

If I understand the question (and I confess I often do not understand what Fr Araujo is saying), he seems to be asking if when reporting on a hot-button issue involving, say, the Church, it is the duty of the press to put the events in some kind of overall context, and to raise and answer issues not directly involved in the events being reported on, but which others might conceivably raise in reacting to the story. So he seems to be saying (again, if I understand him correctly), that in reporting on the distribution of the DVD opposing same-sex marriage, it was somehow the duty of the press to say something along these lines: "Although the Archdiocese did not mention the recent suicides by gay teenagers who had been bullied for their homosexuality, it is the position of the Church that those with a homosexual orientation must be treated with respect, compassion, and sensitivity, and every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."

It seems to me, then, that the answer to Fr. Araujo's question I quoted at the beginning of this message is, "No, of course not." It would be the duty of the Church, in this situation, to anticipate public reaction to the DVD campaign, not the press.

Posted by: David Nickol | Oct 10, 2010 3:46:22 PM

I remember the way it was on the playground and among boys when I was in middle school. Boys who were perceived as not being masculine were teased -- and bullied in varying degrees. It had nothing to whatsoever with "Church teaching" (of which most or all of the boys were unaware (in those days homosexuality was not introduced as a subject for discussion among children as it is now)) or, for that matter, any other aspect of adult culture. The notion that bullying arising in response to Church teaching is absurd.

Posted by: Dan | Oct 10, 2010 8:56:04 PM

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