Saturday, January 03, 2004
Peace, all. A word about critique of Church officials. Some have been amused I would single out an allegedly "liberal" bishop for criticism. People who know me shouldn't be surprised. In the 80's when I was a grad student and attended a very progressive parish, I occasionally found myself at odds with the parish powers-that-be on issues such as inclusive language. Though I agreed with the staff in principle, I disagreed with the reasoning that the matter was "too vital" to risk losing a parish-wide vote. This from a parish that spent months studying the sanctuary movement and voting by an enormous margin to break US law and harbor refugees from Central America. The same process of education, negotiation, prayer, and town meetings would have produced a fairly well-formed laity on the language issue. And a satisfactory result, I thought. Instead, we had simmering resentments in liturgy while the parish justice ministry enjoyed universal support, even if some supporters remained uncomfortable. I would be myopic if I suggested that progressives have any less a degree of failure than other Catholics. It's only human, after all, to make bad decisions at bad times for bad reasons. I made them frequently when I was in my 20's, and danged if they don't still plague me today. Usually I hope they don't have catastrophic implications for my spirituality or family or job. Otherwise I just try to hold down the typos here on my site. And since it is my site, and it seems a good chunk of the posters (if not readers) are more progressive-oriented, I feel relatively safe in kicking a bit of sand on a bully, even if the bully tends to be a liberal. That seems the most sensible course, doesn't it?