US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Weekly roundup: A bishop, a nun, and an atheist monument

By Kira Dault | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Another week. You know the drill by now. This is your Weekly roundup.

First up in this week's news: Last week Friday, Bishop Thomas Paprocki met with Sr. Jeannine Gramick (a long-time advocate for LBGTQ folks) in front of 150 people at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ. The agenda? To debate same-sex marriage. Recent public opinion polls show that a majority of Catholics now support same-sex marriage, and it showed in the crowd's response to Bishop Paprocki, who suggested that those who disagree with church teachings on same-sex marriage should just become Protestants. 

The Boy Scout drama continues, even after Catholic officials made a statement that the BSA's decision to not discriminate against gay troops was not in conflict with church teaching. A pastor in Bremerton, Washington made a particular splash, writing an open letter to his congregation in which he claimed that same-sex attraction can be attributed to, among other things "dislike of team sports (boys)" “Lack of rough and tumble play (boys),” “Mother emotionally unavailable (girls).” Needless to say, the letter included the decision that the congregation could no longer sponsor its Boy Scout troop, joining a number of other religious institutions. (Read Scott Alessi's comments on the BSA controversy here.)

In Ohio, the president of Ohio State University, Gordon Gee, has decided to retire amid some scandal. He made a few jokes about the Catholics at Notre Dame and, though he called it a "poor attempt at humor," was pushed out.  Gee's gaff forces us now to ask the question: is joking about faith over? For our good and the good of all the church, I hope the answer is no.

Also in Ohio, a teacher who was fired for getting pregnant, but not the old-fashioned way, was awarded $170,000 in her suit against the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The deciding factor - she was not a minister, according to the jury, (she was a computer teacher) and therefore not bound by the morality clause in her contract. (Read Scott Alessi's comments on the case here.)

In Florida, a first-of-it's-kind public monument is being unveiled. A monument to unbelief will be unveiled in front of a court house, paid for by the group American Atheists. The monument was built partly in response to a sculpture of the Ten Commandments that was erected on the same property.

Were you aware that American Catholics are a somewhat divided group? Tom Roberts at NCR compares Boston's Cardinal O'Malley to Philadelphia Archbishop Chaput, claiming that these two represent the quintessential differences in the paths of the church.

Finally, there will be no vacation for Pope Francis this year. While previous popes usually spent their summers at the papal villa at Castle Gandolfo, Pope Francis has announced that he will remain at his residence in Domus Sancta Marta. He will, however, slow down his schedule a bit for the summer months.

That's all, folks! May your weekend be worthy of early June.