In the fearful, homophobic, panicky and reactionary world of Roman Catholic traditionalists and the neurotic camp-followers of B16, there was a dust-up over my Bilerico article about the fledgling "Catholics for Equality" organization.
The article contained some errors, one of which has been fixed. (The writer had listed me as Father Tony Bilerico! Bil favors the more southern lilt of Tony Billie Rico!)
The article suggested that the recent attack by Cardinal George on New Ways Ministry was perpetrated in retaliation for the formation of "Catholics for Equality" as outlined in the Bilerico post. I don't know if I agree with that cause-and-effect assertion, but of more interest were the 95 comments that ensued.
Reading these comments is a clarifying tour of the twisted thinking of those Catholics who are adamantly against Catholic equality for queers and women and married folks. They see themselves as faithful followers of their bishops. They can't imagine the possibility that their bishops are wrong.
This set of comments includes almost every major assertion used to deny queer Catholics their rights:
it's a disorder, like alcoholism
it's a choice
it's a mortal sin
gay is OK but gay sex is sinful
tradition teaches us that its wrong
the bishops have the magisterial authority
it's a cross to bear
the bible tells us it's wrong
some things really are black or white
This thread should be read by anyone attempting to understand the homophobia embraced by the far right of American Catholicism.
I was amused by their hysterical demands that I unveil myself in detail, as if I were not already overexposed in a number of venues! This, however, is an admirable zinger, and one I wish I had written myself:
I googled "Father Tony Adams, wiki" and the name which appeared first was Victoria Beckham. So, either you aren't as famous as you'd like to believe or the internet is having trouble distinguishing over-the-hill spice girls.
Some gave me more credit than I deserve:
Now you, Tony Adams, used by these dark forces, collaborate in the overthrow of Western morals.
While these comments are important in order to "know thine enemy", we ought not lose sight of the fact that this ship of fools is a distorted copy of the vessel of Christ which is the true Catholic Church, a church that was and will be welcoming and inclusive of all. Those traditionalists have tried their best to push aside the real Jesus and to steer the ship in their own religious and clubbish image. They are now in the shallows and dangerously close to the rocks. Want proof? Take a look at this recent and startling survey conducted by their very own plumed Knights of Columbus, some startling pages of which makes it clear that the youngest Catholics (the Millenials) don't think there is anything wrong with gay and also don't think that there is anything wrong with Catholics practicing other religions! The kids are OK! That is why none of this worries me. The battle for equality in the Catholic Church will probably be over within my lifetime. We'll have women priests, married priests and openly gay priests. Popes, cardinals and bishops who are sexually obsessed with the placement of the American penis during sex will be shooed out of the bedrooms of American Catholics and will die off.
Meanwhile, I will continue to be a comfortably retired vox clamantis in deserto. And to all of my readers who continuously wonder why I bother with the Catholic Church when there are other welcoming churches all around us, I can only say that I don't want another church. The Catholic Church is MY church. I am its ordained voice. Saying these things is probably exactly why I was ordained. It just took me a few decades to figure it out. Those homophobes have hijacked my church and I want it back. They have the real estate, the gold, the red silks and the pointy hats, but the heart of the American Catholic is with those who ask for equality and are filled with the Spirit of Jesus despite their bishops' frantic attempts to deny them the grace of God.
The expensive infrastructure will eventually collapse without the financial support of American Catholics who have begun to see their bishops as wrong-headed and who have already politely begun to ignore B16, to doubt his infallibility and to resent his cold-hearted mistreatment of the flock. The only good side effect of the pedophile priest scandal is the opening of the eyes of the Catholic laity who will take it upon themselves to cure the sickness that has debilitated their leadership. We are entering an age when the sheep must guide the shepherds back onto the correct path.
I won't be hurt if they continue to call me a heretic, an apostate, and the anti-Christ. I'll be glad if you simply call me a prophet, albeit a lazy one.