(Note: The lesson one may learn from this report is, that the mentality of bishops and their national conferences on disturbing issues – in this case against gays and gun control -does not vary much from country to country whether in India or US. In the article below, the writer is merciless in her condemnation of convictionless, soulless, shallow, biteless and therefore ritualistic motions of issuing statements gone through by some of the US bishops. When every body shouted in horror the bishops also had to do the ritual of issuing statements of sympathy, so they did it. But in India, it was horribly and scandalously worse in the case of Indian bishops’ reaction to the unheard of kidnap and torture of their brother Bishop Gallela of Cuddapah on last April 25th for enforcing the Reddy Caste superiority of the attackers and for grabbing quick money. Both gays and low caste persons like Bp. Gallela are looked down with contempt by high castes in India, especially in AP. While the head of US Bishops’ conference Archbishop Joseph Kurtz made a statement steering clear of words like gay or LGBT his Indian counter part, the CBCI Chairman, Cardinal Baselius Cleemis of Trivandrum, has neither uttered a word in public nor issued a statement to condemn the 3 Caste crazy priests and show sympathy to and solidarity with Bishop Gallela even to this day, that is even after two months. Fr. Bosco sj of Cuddapah who organized a sympathy rally wrote, he didn’t even get a reply to his letter on the issue sent to Mar Cleemis after the attack. Cardinal Gracias of Bombay, who was the first to issue a condemnation immediately after the kidnap failed or purposely avoided mentioning caste practice infecting the whole body politics of the Catholic church as the main villain. To prove this point to the hilt, we cite two other instances: the statement of Andhra bishops and the belated condemnation of racial attacks on Africans by the Secretary General Bp. Theodore Mascarenhas of the CBCI. HereH H AP bishops deftly avoided mentioning the word Caste or Casteism as the main cause of the kidnap while CBCI Secretary General thought it necessary to condemn racial attacks on Africans, but did not think it his Christian duty to say a word at least, on Kidnap and attack on Bishop Gallela. Coming as the last from CBCI, Yes, it acted like the Last Straw that broke this camel’s back, that is, this scribe’s hope to see any compelling sign for reposing trust in what the vast majority of bishops in India say or do. Since the eternal principle for all mortals is: “Dum Spiro, Spero = I will press on to hope, till I breath my last”, I can only request all readers to keep on hoping against all hope even if it is to live in hope only to die in dispair! james kottoor, editor)
The U.S. Catholic bishops met in Huntington Beach, California this week, just days after the Orlando massacre. And despite the fact that the church’s most powerful prelates were all gathered together at a time when the nation is desperate for pastoral leadership to counter the vitriol spewing from Donald Trump and his ilk, this was the official, and only, USCCB statement on the massacre released by conference president Archbishop Joseph Kurtz:
It’s an amazingly tepid, generic statement in the face of such tragedy that touches on two areas of special concern to the bishops: guns and gays. While the bishops’ conference officially backs gun control proposals put forward by President Obama and the Democratic Party, it has put almost no energy into pushing for them. Imagine if Catholic bishops rallied from the pulpit against politicians who failed to vote for common sense gun control legislation with the same energy they put into opposing John Kerry and other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights? Or with the sustained effort they put into opposing the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act, with their Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Freedom, their annual “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign and countless statements and interventions by leading bishops?
The bishops’ silence on animus toward the LGBT community is more understandable, although no more acceptable, given their own role in fostering it by suggesting that the legalization of same-sex marriage was some kind of cultural Armageddon and that refusing to accommodate gay people is a protected form of religious martyrdom. Only Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida, had the guts to admit that the Catholic Church was complicit in fostering a culture of hostility toward the gay community:
…sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence. Those women and men who were mowed down early yesterday morning were all made in the image and likeness of God. We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that.
By comparison, in his statement on the massacre, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone revealed the dark heart of what so many in the church’s leadership believe to be the truth about LGTB individuals:
…we stand in solidarity with all those affected by this atrocity, regardless of race, religion, or personal lifestyle.
That’s right, it’s too bad your “personal lifestyle” got you killed. Just as the Catholic Church still insists on referring to LGBT individuals as “people who experience same-sex attraction,” the church offers its sympathy with a not-to-pointed reminder that ultimately it believes homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism are lifestyle choices that can be rejected, and indeed must be rejected, to be fully accepted by the church.
Similarly, Kurtz’s official statement, with it’s reminder of how “precious life is” and call for “protecting the life and dignity of every person,” is a not-so-subtle reference to abortion. Nothing like using a national tragedy that has absolutely nothing to do with abortion to push your anti-abortion agenda, boys.
But conservatives within the church will continue to push the line that it’s an “abortion mentality”—as well as a lack of respect for the special sacredness of heterosexual, procreative sex—that allows all forms of violence to flourish, ultimately making gay people, not guns, responsible for the violence visited upon.