July 29, 2013
Pope Francis Indicates a Possible Shift in View Toward Homosexuality
The Wall Street Journal has reported that when asked about the Church's position on gay priests, he responded, "Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord? [...] You can't marginalize these people." In the wake of the sexual abuse scandals, many gay priests and seminarians felt judgment and pressure to leave on the basis of orientation. To the extent that such judgment and pressure comes from bishops and those responsible for priestly formation, it would seem that Pope Francis is likely to find it problematic.
November 17, 2012
Teen Denied Confirmation and Communion for Opposing MN Amendment 1
Lennon Cihak, a 17-year-old from Minnesota, has reportedly been denied confirmation and communion for opposing Minnesota Amendment 1 on his Facebook page. The unsuccessful amendment would have defined marriage in the Minnesota Constitution as between one man and one woman in the state. According to the report below, Cihak's entire family has been denied communion.
October 20, 2012
Endorsements and Theology
I am very disappointed in Rev. Billy Graham. As a Catholic, I do not share all of his theology, but I have generally held him in high regard as a Christian leader. If, as a matter of conscience, he has decided to endorse Governor Romney, that is fine. If, as a matter of theology, he holds the conviction that Mormonism is a cult (a view he has publicly maintained for decades), that is his right. However, hiding/denying the latter in order give greater credibility to the former strikes me as hypocritical. If this effective endorsement represents a shift in his theology, it would be far more meaningful to publish a statement indicating that Rev. Graham no longer believes that Mormonism is a cult.
An archived version of the characterization of Mormonism as a cult, pulled from the Billy Graham website after it became obvious that it was in tension with the effective endorsement, may be found here...
October 19, 2012
Another Circuit Strikes Down DOMA
On October 18th, the Second Circuit struck down DOMA in Windsor v. United States. According to the majority, Section 3 of DOMA requires heightened scrutiny. Combined with similar First Circuit precedent and the Ninth Circuit's decisions related to Proposition 8, it is now even more likely that the Supreme Court will take it upon itself to resolve the split.
July 31, 2012
Another Judge Finds DOMA Unconsitutional
In the latest of a series of decisions striking down DOMA, today in Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, Judge Vanessa Bryant of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut found Section 3 of DOMA to violate equal protection. In her 100-plus page opinion, Judge Bryant, a George W. Bush appointee, conlcudes that "homosexuals display all the traditional indicia of suspectness and therefore statutory classifications based on sexual orientation are entitled to a heightened form of judicial scrutiny." Even so, she goes on to find that the statute fails to pass muster even under the rational basis standard.
April 18, 2012
Reflections on Wealth
The following article has interesting thoughts challenging assumptions regarding wealth. While the author's arguments are not made in the context of Catholic teaching, several of his points seem consistent with aspects Catholic social thought. In particular, the article reminded me of the the Pastoral Letter, Economic Justice for All, and last Sunday's Reading from the fourth chapter of Acts. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/16
April 09, 2012
Harvard Undergraduate Speaking on Christianity and Homosexuality
Below is a link to a recent talk given by Harvard undergraduate, Matthew Vines, on Christianity and homosexuality. He has a good grasp of scripture and Church tradition on the topic, which is impressive for someone his age. However, I believe that people are responding to his presentation because of the sense of authenticity, integrity and engagement he communicates. Although Vines does not address the particulars of contemporary Catholic teaching on the topic, I believe that the video will be of interest to many Mirror of Justice readers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezQjNJUSraY
March 08, 2012
Casualties of the Culture Wars
The Wall Street Journal has a sobering article on the plight of LGBT homeless youth. Although I understand the impulse of the Church and the LGBT community to take positions on marriage equality, it is deeply saddening that more resources are not spent protecting children. As a Catholic, I am particularly concerned that public political discourse by both the laity and the clergy contributes to a culture that considers these children disposable. Although this consequence is generally not intended, a distorted view of Christianity sometimes provides the basis for abusing or abandoning LGBT young people.
February 23, 2012
Another District Court Finds DOMA Unconstitutional
Yesterday, Disctrict Court Judge Jeffrey White granted the plaintiff's summary judgment motion and ordered OPM to enroll the same-sex spouse of a federal court employee in its benefit program in a 43-page opinion finding DOMA to be unconstitutional on equal protection grounds. White was a George W. Bush appointee.
See http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2017573133_gaymarriage23.html and --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2012 WL 569685 (N.D.Cal.)
February 09, 2012
WA Marriage Equality Bill Passes with Some Republican Support
The bill which would allow gay marriage in the State of Washington received support from Republicans in both houses. Maureen Walsh (R) from Walla Walla, in the southeastern part of the state, made a particularly passionate plea for bipartisan support that can be viewed here...
The bill is expected to be signed by the governor on Monday. However, it will not become effective unless and until it receives voter support in a planned referendum and initiative intended to prevent the bill from becoming law (presuming they qualify for the upcoming November ballot).