I suppose only rational people have the temerity to point out that the Church's mandates and doctrines are there as a proposition to all, and therefore can be accepted or rejected. One is not forced to be Catholic. Hey, you want to embrace that activity, but the mean old Church won't let you? Quit already, or quit whining. You like a liturgical type of worship without all the inconvenient truths associated with it? Call the Anglicans.
And, finally, a word about 'courage'. The article cites the 'courageous' stand of the leftist nuns who sold out the unborn on the altar of Baal in order to force taxpayers to pay for their retirement care. And the article cites the 'courage' of the apostate priest who gives in to the tempation to gravely sinful acts rather than try to live the sacrificial life to which all of us-- but especially priests-- are called.
We are living out 1984 for sure. Crass self-interest is courage. Grave sin is love. Indifference to the eternal salvation of your neighbor is compassion.
All I can do when reading stories like these is to lament the degradation of a priest of God, and to lament my own sinfulness that contributes to the weakness of Christ's Body on earth. Where will this all end?
From the full article, with just a few of my own emphases:
Catholics Face Vocal 'Mutiny' Over Teachings On Gay Marriage
By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service
WASHINGTON (RNS) For 13 years, the Rev. Joseph Palacios lived, prayed, and studied with the Jesuits. But he left the Roman Catholic order in 2005 because he would not profess a vow of obedience to the pope.
"I felt that I could still be a Catholic priest," Palacios said, "but I could not deal with that kind of scrutiny and command from the top."
Now, the 59-year-old priest and adjunct professor at Georgetown University, the nation's oldest Catholic university, is again at odds with the church's hierarchy, this time on one of its signature issues: the definition of marriage.
In recent years, Catholic bishops have used their moral influence and deep pockets to push for bans on same-sex unions in states from California to Maine.
But a new corps of increasingly vocal Catholics is urging a "mutiny" against the hierarchy, in the words of one activist, particularly on gay marriage and related matters.
For example, on Sept. 14, Palacios and other advocates launched Catholics for Equality, a group that aims to persuade believers in the "movable middle" to defy the bishops and support civil rights for gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people.
Similarly, on Wednesday (Sept. 29) four Catholic groups with a combined 112 years of activism on gay issues announced the formation of Equally Blessed, a coalition dedicated to providing a voice for "faithful, pro-equality" Catholics.
Also this week, a mailing of 400,000 DVDs sent to every registered Catholic family in Minnesota, explaining the church's position on marriage sparked a "Return the DVD" campaign; a Catholic artist pledged to make a sculpture with discarded discs.
The "defense of marriage" is a top priority for the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference, which formed a special committee last year to promote church teachings through mailings, videos, and political activism. The committee's $418,000 annual budget will be bankrolled by the Knights of Columbus through 2011.
"Much of the public discussion has been focused on rights," said Andrew Lichtenwalner, a program specialist for the bishops' marriage committee. "What the bishops are doing is teaching about the unique meaning and purpose of marriage, which has been missing from the conversation."
Catholic gay-rights supporters have been emboldened by the example of nuns who bucked the bishops by supporting the health-care overhaul Congress passed last March, said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, one of the groups involved in Equally Blessed.
"People are using that as a touchstone," he said. "They see that the nuns were courageous and they feel like they can be courageous. Courage is contagious."
But one man's courage is another's heresy, and the bishops are keen to quell dissent within the church.
Palacios, who is openly gay, says he knows the risks, and has been careful not to give the impression he speaks for the church. He rarely wears a cleric's collar in public, and his biographies on the websites of Georgetown and Catholics for Equality omit references to his ordination. Palacios also says he is not advocating against church dogma--just its political positions on gay issues.
But Catholic leaders say there is no wiggle room between the two, and Palacios is shirking his priestly duties.
"The role of a priest is to help people understand more deeply the teachings of the church," said Susan Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington, where Palacios works, "not to simply move with the winds of secular culture."
As is common practice in the church, Palacios was given priestly faculties--sanction to perform the sacraments--when he moved to Washington from Los Angeles, where he was ordained, Gibbs said. Gibbs said she raised questions with Los Angeles officials last year after Palacios testified in favor of gay marriage before Washington's city council.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles said of Palacios' advocacy, "We are now aware of it and are assessing his participation," in Catholics for Equality.
Georgetown University, which has been criticized for employing a priest who advocates against church teachings, said Palacios was hired to teach part-time on the merits of his credentials, "not based on any affiliation he may have with external organizations that is conducted in a personal capacity."