When Right Is Not Always Good
I have been carrying around in my mailbox several news accounts involving a June 12 letter addressed to pastors, clergy and administrators of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois. Bishop Thomas Paprocki outlined his expectations of his clergy in their public and sacramental ministrations to those in same sex marriages. I am linking here to the Washington Post story as well as to the document itself. The policy has drawn considerable reaction in both the religious and secular media, and I doubt that it would serve much useful pastoral purpose. On the contrary, as thousands of Catholic leaders gather here in Orlando this week to map strategy for evangelization, the bishop’s statement is probably as good an example as any of why Catholics leave the Church. The essential point: while the bishop’s statement is technically compliant with a literal reading of the Catechism, it is pastorally deficient at the least, and in some ways positively harmful to the Church. My first reading led me to conclude that the policies are unjust and worse, discriminatory; an excellent example of how something might be right but not good.
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