Just saying no: Some Seattle parishes decline to circulate petitions against gay marriage referendum

And one of them is the cathedral parish.  Details:

A growing number of Seattle’s Catholic parishes are saying “no” to Archbishop J. Peter Sartain’s offer that churches become signature gathering points for Referendum 74, the ballot measure to roll back Washington’s recently passed same-sex marriage law.

St. Mary’s Parish in the Central Area, and the new, growing Christ Our Hope parish in downtown Seattle, are the latest to decide petitions won’t be circulated on their premises.

The decision at St. Mary’s was announced by pastoral life coordinator Tricia Wittman-Todd in a “Dear People of St. Mary’s” letter.  She wrote.

“After much prayer and reflection, I have decided we will not collect signatures at the parish.  I am certain you will find ample opportunity elsewhere to sign whatever petitions you choose.

“This decision is based on two primary considerations.  St. Mary’s mission is ‘House of God, Home for Everyone.’  One of our highest values is inclusion and welcome.  I fear that the collection of signatures would be hurtful and divisive to our parish.  I am particularly concerned about our youth who may be questioning their own sexual identity and need our support at this time in their lives.

“The second consideration is that as Catholics, each of us is asked to form our conscience and decide how to vote on this and other issues, i.e. tax policies, services to the poor, environmental laws, capital punishment, etc.”

St. James Cathedral, seat of the Seattle Archdiocese, told its parishoners Wednesday that it would not serve as a gathering point for anti-marriage equality petitions.  St. Joseph Parish has said no petitions will be permitted on the church campus.

The spreading dissent — although couched in respectful terms — comes at a time when the Catholic hierarchy is asserting its authority.

Read more.

  • pagansister

    Good for them! Each parish is making up their own minds regarding this decision. I’m properly impressed. St. Mary’s expressed their decision well, I think.

  • ron chandonia

    The problem the bishops face is a new secular moral orthodoxy radically at odds with Catholic teaching on sexuality generally and family life in particular. Since Humanae Vitae, the Catholic laity have grown accustomed to seeing our bishops as hopelessly out of touch on such matters if not (as the sex abuse scandal is said to illustrate) outrightly hypocritical in their defense of traditional values. So it is hardly surprising that so many Catholics would be appalled at the idea of a parish drive for a cause the secularists describe as “anti-marriage equality.” Who could possibly be against “marriage equality”?

    Frankly, I think the bishops’ recently-declared crusade for religious freedom will only lead us further away from the central catechetical issue we ought to be addressing forthrightly: How can we convince Catholics to adopt and champion a view of human sexuality that will allow natural marriage and real family life to become normative in this country once again?

  • Bill McGeveran

    I dont really think Humane Vitae is convincing enough to catch on in the future any better than it has in the past. But that aside, I agree with the woman from St. Marys. I think it’s one thing for a bishop or others acting in the name of the church to enunciate and defend what they consider to be moral principles, another for them to explain and justify what they consider to be reasonable application of these principles in concrete circumstances, and still another for them to initiate campaigns for and against controversial legislation affecting people of diverse beliefs in a pluralistic society. As you go to each level, individual conscience and judgment have an increasing role. I also think campaigns like the one referred to in the article are counterproductive and only antagonize those who disagree.

  • Klaire

    Well not really Pagen Sister. It appears that ONE women, with a badly formed conscience, is making the decision for everyone. Geeze, talk about “diversity.”

    Also, no one is being coerced into signing.

    Actually, collecting signatures after mass is a rather interesting experience. I did it in CA for both same sex marriage and adult consent for abortions. Had I not experienced it I never would not have believed that some Catholics do refuse to sign, especially the abortion consent. One father told me he would just “rather not know.”

  • MhariDubh

    The pastors/pastoral life coordinators are making fair decisions in regard to the location of those particular parishes. All three of them are located in a VERY diverse area of the city of Seattle, I’ve been to two of them. What people may not understand is that the Archdiocese of Seattle is geographically HUGE it stretches from the Canadian Border in the north to the border of Oregon and a ways east – pretty much the entire western part of the state. Because of the area it encompasses you’re going to encounter a lot of attitudes about all of the issues the church deals with. One of the parishes I attend regularly, south of the city has not pushed for signatures. The parish nearest where I live has encouraged parishioners to sign.

  • Joanc57

    RE: “This decision is based on two primary considerations. St. Mary’s mission is ‘House of God, Home for Everyone.’ One of our highest values is inclusion and welcome. I fear that the collection of signatures would be hurtful and divisive to our parish. I am particularly concerned about our youth who may be questioning their own sexual identity and need our support at this time in their lives.”

    I don’t get the inclusion thing. Either you can take communion with the Church or you cannot. How do you take communion with the church AND support ‘marriage equality’, or for that matter, disobey the Arch Bishop?

    I thank God I don’t live THERE.

  • pol

    Short of Gobal Thermonuclear War, Ron,I don’t see how that’s possible. Unless Catholics see that what you propose “works” for them on EVERY LEVEL, including financially etc, it’s NOt going to happen except with a very small number.

    Supporting the repeal will NOT help the Church except with allies it doesn’t and shouldn’t really feel comforatable with-Evangelical Prortestnts(who, if the truth be known, are NOT our friends).

  • Romulus

    The problem with HV isn’t an inability to convince; it’s the disobedience of those more interested in their own wills than in reasoned explanations, much less authoritative teaching.

  • pol

    Pretty easily, actually.

  • kenneth

    Churches have no business conducting partisan politics on their premises. It’s illegal under the terms off the tax exemptions they enjoy as religious/charitable organizations. Political lobbying is not tax exempt. It’s one thing for a pastor or bishop to remind churchgoers of their church’s position on such matters and the guidelines for forming one’s conscience. It’s quite another to conduct electioneering activities in church.
    Collecting signatures after a Mass is also sleazy and coercive in general. It has the effect of demanding a spot-inspection loyalty oath. “Real Catholics, step up and sign here. The rest of you, well….” I’m not Catholic, but I wouldn’t tolerate this sort of thing in my own religious rituals. If a fellow pagan asks me to sign some petition during or immediately after circle, I’m going to tell them to sod off, even if it happens to be a cause I dearly support. There’s a time and place for all things, and that ain’t it.

  • pol

    “Disobedience”? You’re are talking to educated, adults, NOT children! In many cases they know the teaching the of the Church, however, personal experience and conscience tell them something different.

  • ron chandonia

    Right now, the costs to the public of family breakdown in America are huge and growing. Reinvigorating the family makes great financial sense. The matter is urgent because the social welfare of future generations hangs on our ability to reverse the trend toward free-floating relationships in which children are often forced to parent themselves. Commentators of nearly every political stripe seem to recognize the problem, but few of them are willing to draw the connection between our ever-loosening sexual mores and the resulting family decay. Unfortunately, and no doubt because of its diminished credibility on sexual issues, the institutional Church seems to speak out only in response to relatively peripheral questions like same-sex marriage. I suspect nothing less than a reinvention of our code of sexual ethics–with a focus on the welfare of children–will garner much support from the Catholic laity, and it seems to me that the time is more than ripe to get that underway.

  • anthony

    In addition for speaking on behalf of her parish, Mrs. Wittman-Todd has top-billing on the parish website and throughout the parish bulletin, and it appears that she also authors the weekly pastor’s messages.

  • Jan

    Well H-E-double-hockey-sticks!

    Far be it from the Church to try and influence anyone in the face of “attitude.”

  • Klaire

    Pol you just described disobedience!

    FYI, a “rightly formed” conscience, which means in accordance with the teachings of the church, is the only one Catholics, in obedience, are able to follow.

  • Deacon Steve

    She has top billing because she is the day to day person entrusted with the care of the parish. Pastoral Life Coordinator appears to to be their title for a lay person that is placed in charge of a parish. She has a parochial vicar assigned for administration of the Sacraments. That is why she has “top billing” and authors the weekly “pastor’s” message.

  • RomCath

    She should not be authoring any pastor’s message. If I were the Archbishop she would be gone tomorrow.

  • Ty

    Do most Catholics really know the reasoned teaching of the Church in depth? Church attendance is notoriously low. How, when, where do Catholics pick up this teaching? Are they studying doctrine at home, or merely absorbing the secular culture? People hear what they want to hear.

  • Mark

    You’re confused about the terms. Partisan politics means endorsing and supporting candidates (of one party) over candidates (of another party) at election time.

    It is quite acceptable for non-profit groups — and for churches — to engage in promoting civic participation, including allowing active Catholics to collect signatures on behalf of issues that are consistent with Church teachings.

  • Mark

    Tricia Wittman-Todd appears to be both politically motivated and heavy-handed. SHE won’t allow fellow parishioners to gather signatures for an initiative consistent with Church teaching. No mention here if the Parish Pastoral Council was consulted or approved HER decision.

    As for her political bias — and use of her Church position to promote her political views – on February 24 she said this on Facebook about Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum: “Santorum, with his anti immigration reform, tax the poor, pro war in the middle east, is a cafeteria catholic.” She signed her Facebook comment as “Pastoral Coordinator at St. Mary’s Church.” Her comment was in response to Santorum who had commented about Church teachings on capital punishment and who had said, “I agree with the Pope that in the civilized world the application of the death penalty should be limited. … there probably should be some further limits on what we use it for.”

    Don’t believe me? See for yourself here at: http://2012.republican-candidates.org/Santorum/Capital-Punishment.php

  • Tyler

    Kenneth & Pagan….I don’t know if your aware of this but same sex marriage is a sin, it’s an abomination to the natural law, homosexual acts are a sin, and it’s theologically arguable that attributing sexual compulsions with personal identity, and even more a “positive” personal identity is also sinful andbgoes against basic Christian doctrine let alone catholic Christian doctrine, as it relates to who we are as created by God yet with a sinful nature. There is no dignity in defining yourself publicly by a sexual compulsion. All Christians and churches are obligated to stand up against its cultural agenda, teach against it yet show mercy and compassion to people who struggle against it and be firm yet positive to those who support it and push it’s agenda in the public square. We as christians have as much a right to shape the culture and engage in the public square as self identifying proud homosexuals and their sympathizers.

  • Ty

    Yes, the term “marriage equality” is highly suspect. And, by the way, just how did that lesbian couple “get” that child?

  • Romulus

    The church’s teaching’s not hard to discover, for those open to hearing it.

  • pagansister

    Tyler, I’m very aware of the Church’s position on those matters you identified. I’m also aware that there might be some in the parishes who disagree with those teachings. As for signing petitions after Mass. As mentioned above–there is a time and place and after a church service or mass really isn’t the place. It was made clear that those that represented the parishes mentioned in the article didn’t think it was a proper place either—thus they are not participating in the Archbishop’s request. I admire them for that.

  • michele

    RomCath…actually, many Pastors don’t want to, or are unable to, write weekly messages. I write a weekly message for my parish in the bulletin called the Pastoral Corner…for Easter, my Pastor chose a website that we subscribe to instead of my weekly message as Pastoral Associate. It happens and with the Pastor’s approval.

  • kenneth

    The issue really isn’t the Church’s position nor the right of Catholics to vote their conscience. The insinuation of the column is that the decision by individual parishes not to inject partisan politics into the Mass is somehow an act of dissent or disloyalty. As I’m reading it, the archbishop did not mandate that all churches in his see collect signatures. He put it out there as an option. Some pastors, or lay parish officials answerable to the pastors, made the call, and a wise one I would argue, that the sanctuary is not an appropriate battle ground for the culture wars. The week has 167 other hours for such things.

  • michele

    Did any of you people see this article? Or, do you think Fr. James Martin SJ is a HERETIC? Read ‘em and weep!
    http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&entry_id=5053

  • Joanc57

    Wow.

  • deacon john m. bresnahan

    Maybe no parish in the diocese should waste its time collecting signatures. I say this not to support those Catholics who, in effect, endorse Gay “marriage” and trash thousands of years of Church and Biblical moral teaching, but because of the experience we had here in Ma. fighting Gay Power, and their rich allies in the media and the political world even though we had enough signatures to get the issue on the ballot.
    In the legislature maneuverings were done to still keep the question off the ballot. How did they do it? A quote from the front page of the Boston Globe by the leader of the Gay “marriage” lobby made it quite clear that politicians were bought off to keep the issue off the ballot. In fact the leader was brazenly quoted as lamenting that the biggest problem they had was keeping those politicians who had been bought to keep their part of the deal.
    And, if things develop in Washington like they have here in Ma. Catholics will soon find themselves barred from many social ministries and their children indoctrinated in anti-Christian morality in the public schools while any parents who want to object treated with contempt and borderline persecution by the public authorities.
    It is sad to see some Catholics willing to lick the boots of an increasingly decadent culture and not support fighting back democratically. It reminds me of the German Catholics who in the 1930′s let their culture and society be stolen from them even though there were courageous Church leaders fighting it (Like Bishop von Galen and Cardinal Fulbauer).

  • Deacon Steve

    There is no Pastor at the parish, she is in charge of the parish, therefor she has the right to publish as the pastoral leader of the parish. There is no priest in charge of the parish, so who is going to write a “pastor’s corner”?

  • deacon john m. bresnahan

    pol- Although I am Catholic I feel much, much more comfortable with Evangelical Protestants who adhere to traditional Christian morality than with secularized Catholics who have sold their souls to a decadent culture on almost every issue in dispute from Gay “marriage” to abortion, to coercion of the churches and the trashing of the First Amendment. My mother was a Protestant and a far, far better and stronger Christian in her faith and morals than many sell-out Catholics.
    In fact, it has been Evangelicals who have been among the strongest supporters of the Catholic Church in its struggle to not have the state dictate morals to the Church in Obamacare. Many Evangelicals feel if Catholics lose this fight,they will be the next to come under secularist government diktat on some issue or another.

  • Tyler

    Kenneth,

    Yet the world practically breaks the church door down to directly engage it in the culture war. If you not think the church is suppose to engage the culture or politics you should watch father Barron’s latest word on fire video blog in which he dissects Andrew Sullivan’s recent Easter Newsweek cover story…his video blog’s is entitled Andrew Sullivan’s Non threatening jesus….

  • Tyler

    Disagreeing with the church does not automatically make one smart or admirable…rather in recent times and observations, it makes one a cliche, a leftist reactionary, a knee jerk contrarian, a baby boomer, or somebody trying to market a kind of poor and tired tailored individualism in order to stick out in a crowd.

    My suggestion is you too watch father Barron’s recent video blog entitled Andrew sullivns non threatening Jesus

  • Peter

    I think many people do not sign these as a protest of yet another example of bishops dragging politics into Church. Shame on the bishops for the “fortnight” of prayer for restoration of religious freedom, that they are organizing this summer as a blatant political campaign. Our bishops are doing such a splendid job running a church, that they are arrogant enough to think that they alone have the answers for our diverse society, incidentally, composed of many religions, not just catholics. I read nothing in the Bible about Jesus establishing a PAC at the Last Supper. A real good way to have even more problems in the catholic church is to turn it into nothing but civil politics, just like so many of these televangelists and similiar protestant preachers. If people like you are going to collect petitions for anything in the church, I’d rather see it for putting various things on the table for discussion in the full light of day that deal with the church, and not in the secret clerical cloisters as most decisions are made. “Render unto caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s”

  • Peter

    Amen, Kenneth.

  • Peter

    May I add that concerning your opposition to gay marriage, you fail to realize that the problem is heterosexuals not marrying and having this overwhelming percentage of children out of wedlock today.In 2010, there were 1.7 Million babies born to unwed mothers in the US, with a huge surge in the occurrence among white women. In the District of Columbia (where gay marriage is legal), at least the gays have stepped up to the plate and they account for 28% of the adoptions in the city, mostly of hard to place children with disabilities, or those who are older, according to a recent report on NPR.

  • Peter

    I feel sorry for your understanding on this. In other words, a brain is not necessary for a lay person. What about the Church’s teachings throughout the ages – debates on whether blacks and indigenous peoples had souls (finally decided yes, after eons of hesitation, but ultimately so that the lands could be colonized with the blessing to evangelize), the morality of slavery, again, not only tolerated a long time, but some religious orders owned slaves, all the petty civil matters that were dragged into the Inquisition, and for which many people were tortured and inflicted horrible deaths? Are you saying that people who thought that human rights must be respected, even by the church, were heretics?

  • Peter

    I do not think that Jesus ever intended it necessary for his faith to require an almost thousand page catechism along with volumes of canon law, to finally be considered a good catholic. Rather, I think he said it all beautifully in the Two Great Commandments. How little we hear them preached on, and how little we see them in practice in our church, and outside the church.

  • Peter

    Somewhat related, there is an esteemed woman theologian in our parish who of course is not allowed to preach. In a beautiful irony, she has a small on-line business in which she writes weekly homilies , with subscribers all over the English speaking world. In other words, she is actually preaching world-wide every Sunday, despite the ban!

  • Chris

    I also don’t recall Jesus handing out KY Jelly at the Last Supper, but by all means, let’s not offend the sodomites by encouraging Catholics to connect their brains to their religious faith.

  • Chris

    The problems are manifold — first and foremost being that society has abandoned the sanctity of authentic Holy Matrimony. Your stats on problems with authentic marriage are not indictments against Church teaching. Quite the contrary, they speak volumes in favor of Church teaching about love and fidelity and building up family units that have Christ at its center instead of Steve Jobs. Adopting children into disoriented relationships only serves to diminish the dignity of the adoptee, who, like children of divorce, are cheated of the opportunity to have both a mother and father who can help him or her achieve full human development. Point being, just because heterosexuals are ignoring the Church, doesn’t justify pouring accelerant on the fire by throwing open the doors to alternative “commitments” that are to authentic marriage what a “Bouncy Castle” is to Buckingham Palace.

  • Chris

    Churches have every business conducting partisan politics where the faithful are at risk of losing their immortal souls for the sake of supporting a government which is openly at war with the Church.

    Are you upset the Church got involved with driving Communism out of Eastern Europe? Talk about sticking its nose into partisan politics…

  • Chris

    The Church isn’t a democracy, and parishes are bound to obey the bishop when a directive is issued. It’s a hierarchy, and that’s how it will always be. In other words, the buck private doesn’t get to say “no” to the General, regardless of a person’s personal discomfort over having petitions signed after Church. Bishop Sartain transferred to Seattle from my diocese, where he was bishop, and petition signing was hardly controversial.

  • Chris

    Our consciences are poisoned by concupiscence. The heroin addict takes heroin because he perceives it to be a good, whereas it’s really just frying their brain. The contraception addict uses contraception because they perceive it to be a good, whereas it is really reducing human sex to the level of beasts mounting each other in the field.

    Oh wait, never mind. Bad analogy. The beasts in the field actually welcome new life.

  • Chris

    Get used to it, Joan. The State Approved Church already has its adherents ready to be called forth.

  • Deacon V

    I am blessed to have been Ordained by now Archbishop Sartain. He’ll handle this uprising just fine don’t worry.

  • Klaire

    Last time I attented mass in Seattle, a lay women gave the homily!

  • RomCath

    Deacon, you answered your own question. Since there is no pastor there can be no “pastor’s message”. If she wants to write a message just don’t say it is from the “pastor”.

  • Lawrence Cunningham

    A few years ago I gave the “Seven Last Words” talks at the cathedral in Seattle but stayed for the entire Triduum. Rarely have I been in a parish with such beauty, piety, and participation. If the rector decided not to have petitions signed my instinct tells me he had very good reasons for doing so. Since the cathedral is where the bishop’s cathedra resides he must have had good reasons for his decisions. Maybe we need more facts and less heated moralizing.

  • Romulus

    Peter, the two great commandments are great because they partake of infinity. Yes they are simple, but that simplicity is not impoverished but rich and enriching. Within them there’s easily enough to fill a thousand thousand catechisms. Being radical commandments, their purpose is to change us at the root. There’s easily enough there to lead us to the humility, obedience, and fidelity that some reject in preference of their own rebellious wills.

  • anthony

    Many diocese do not give the title of Pastor to a parish because the Bishop is THE pastor of the diocese. They then give the title parochial vicar to the “pastors” of the parishes. If there were in fact no pastor at the parish then his title would be “sacramental minister”.

  • anthony

    1. yes of read the article
    2. while not heretical, I wouldn’t call him a bastion of orthodoxy either

  • Mark Greta

    The state’s four Catholic bishops all signed a letter against same-sex marriage in January. This seems to point only at one Bishop without detailing this fact.

    The letter announced their support for Referendum 74 and said they “have approved the gathering of signatures in parishes over the next few months.” The bishops said pastors have “received from us information regarding the signature drive.”

    For a priest to say no to this direct order regarding matters of faith and morals seems to speak for itself. We had a debate recently about a priest trying to protect the Eucharist. Many here supporting this disobedience seemed happy to have the Bishop remove the priest. The priest followed his vow of obedience even if he believes he was in the right to protect the Eucharist. He has the right to take his case to Rome. So now if the Bishop removes these priests and ends the term of this “Pastoral Life Coordinator” as well as that office entirely, I would hope for the same type of support of the Bishop. There can be no defense given for the outright disobedience of a direct request of the Bishop that I can find anywhere in canon law or in the teaching of the Catholic Church.

    Also I find offensive a statement by this woman who thinks she runs the Church in her domain without ordination, is her decision to remove the religious liberty and freedom of speech rights by saying that no one can collect signatures anywhere on campus as if this is her property. What is obvious here is a woman who is filled with the serious sin of pride and delusions of grandeur. She needs to be helped off the campus so she can begin her search for a church that even remotely agrees with her personal teachings of what the Catholic Church is supposed to believe.

    I suspect she might be failing in the first and most important commandment of our Lord in not being able to give all her soul, heart, and mind to Christ and His Church which cannot be separated. If you find yourself in disobedience to the Bishop on matters of faith and morals, you need to do an examination of conscience because you are probably in the hands of the enemy of God.

  • Mark Greta

    Peter, the usual defense against sin is to point out other sins as justification. If we have termites, breeding rats to live in the home does not solve the termite problem. It simply now means we have two problems.

    If I have a problem with my one child who is addicted to drugs, I do not make the situation better by placing her in situations where that problem will be made worse. What is needed is for her to be placed into an environment where this lifestyle is not celebrated or she is removed from temptation. Those who think that introducing a relationship with grave evil acts at its core and calling it be the same name as sacred marriage between one man and one woman in union with God are making the critical building block of societies, the family, become less. We have termites in many who are living outside of marriage in hetrosexual relations, a grave sin and many more trying to live in marriage while ignoring God’s role in that marriage to create life. Introducing another perverted lifestyle that has at its core the gravely evil act of homosexual sex cannot but harm what is already under attack, marriage and the family. The simple fact that natural law prohibits the creation of life in homosexual acts in all cases can never be changed no matter how many laws man tries to put in place of what God has given us. Man has also said that killing infants is OK but only the most perverted support this law or those who support it and keep it legal at the price of their souls.

    What God has made, let not man put asunder. The four Bishops in union have sent information to all the parishes under their leadership to have these signatures collected. For a Catholic, especially a priest or others within the parishes in various positions, this shoud mean immediate obedience even if they have issues with the letter.

  • Mark Greta

    kenneth, on matters of faith and morals, the bishops have not only the right to speak out most especially to the parishes and all Catholics in their dioceses, but the moral obligation. Tax laws that inhibit the rights of anyone to speak out on matters of faith and morals should be reviewed and changed. The might be restricted on supporting a candidate by name, but have every right to speak out on issues. If the candidate is tied to those issues, that is by their own choice. If the candidate claims to be Catholic and is that far out of line with the teaching of his Church, one should wonder why any Catholic would be inclined to support them for office. Bishops have been pounded for not speaking out about those accused of abusing a child, but are supposed to remain silent about issues where the perverts are killing babies or on issues which attack the fabric of families. Liberals have strange rules. If anything should have been learned by the Bishops in the abuse scandal is that society wants them to speak out boldly when they see evil.

  • kenneth

    Nowhere is it clear that any bishop ordered any parish to participate. The way I keep reading it, they put out a letter which said, in effect “here’s this campaign, parishes are free to participate, contact us for more info…”
    Refusing an order is dissent or disobedience. Declining an invitation is not. Most bishops aren’t keen on doing a lot of micromanaging of parishes. Pastors aren’t free to make up their own doctrine of course, but they are given broad discretion to do as they think best for the pastoral care of their parish. Every archdiocese has any number of campaigns for this or that cause. Not every parish has the time or resources or local interest to throw itself into every one.
    Likewise, a pastor might reasonably decide that Mass is not a great place to highlight and fan bitter divisions within his own flock. A big steaming plate of culture war acrimony might not be the best after-Eucharist dessert… As to whether this lay leader is exceeding her authority or acting in disobedience, they can sort that out without a thousand armchair ecclesiastical authorities a thousand miles away. They have a bishop for that sort of thing, and he worked so hard to get that funny hat. Let him do his thing. Unless you live and contribute in that parish, or can show something truly amiss in canon law, it ain’t nobody’s business how some other parish runs its affairs.

  • Mark Greta

    Ron, When did the Church not face the world at odds with the teaching of Jesus Christ and His Church? When in history did we not have human leaders who failed to live up to Christ teaching? The secular world is controlled by the enemy of Christ, the prince of lies who would use terms like “marriage equality” as his mask for the grave evil or homosexual act normalization or “choice” for the killing of millions of innocent babies. Evil always uses names to provide cover for those who love evil or to fool those to lazy to follow the narrow path.

    Not long ago, we had another grave evil under the banner of “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” and gradually we found great evil hidden into its core leading to a complete united front of every single Catholic Bishop against this grave evil. Some had been fooled by the words thinking it helped everyone find quality care, a long term goal. As above, the prince of lies, hides his evil for if those who pushed this evil ever labeled it for what it was, it would have no support. Accepting evil a little bit at a time has been Satan’s way since the garden. What is a few abortions added to the mix or the lose of religious liberty or the massive increase in power over the people by the godless sexular state??

  • Mark Greta

    Romulus, you always have to remember that the philiosophy of the secual godless world is based on there things

    If it feels good do it

    Whats in it for me

    Whats the least I can do and still get what I want

    How does obedience to God fit into this world? Remember you are talking to educated adults who purchased their freedom by simply giving up their soul in the garden of eden. They don’t have to surrender to Christ and His Church. They are smarter than everyone as told to them by the prince of lies.

  • Mark Greta

    Where is this in canon law? Everything I have seen makes the PLC “accountable to the canonical pastor”, not some independent ruler of the parish. She needed the cannocial pastors OK to do this and if she did not have that she was wrong and if she did, that cannonical pastor is in direct disobedience to the Bishop. Now the Bishop simple needs to determine which of these or if both are now in violation of Catholic teaching concerning the authority of the Bishop in his dioceses. This is the problem when you start to put in place confusion about who is in charge and has the full responsibility. Some might actually believe that they now have a woman priest over them and we all know that will never happen in the Catholic Church.

  • Mark Greta

    The issue here is that she identifies herself on facebook by her position in the parish

    Tricia Wittmann-Todd · Pastoral Coordinator at St. Mary’s Church

    Seems like in doing this, she is advocating against a candidate by name and she uses the standard democratic talking points on how to dissent from Catholic teaching and still be democrat.

    I have forwarded this link along to the Bishops attention in the dioceses so they can be aware that she is identifying her position and advocating against a candidate by name. Seems like important information should they want to not lose tax exempt status. She whould be removed. If she had simply used her name and not her title and parish, then it would be her own opinion.

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    “Mark Greta”…

    I see a lot of FB postings by priests from around the country who identify themselves as being part of a particular parish — some are even pastors — and espouse strong anti-Obama political views. Many have come out passionately in support of Santorum. Some even have anti-Obama images and slogans as part of their FB profile. If you like, I can dig up some of those links, and you can contact their bishops, as well.

    Dcn. G.

  • Melody

    “A big steaming plate of culture war acrimony might not be the best after-Eucharist dessert…”
    Regardless of where one stands on this issue, that line is well-put and something to think about.

  • pagansister

    Chris, I guess all the children that same gender couples adopt, those with disabilities, older children with problems etc. are much better off in the “system”. Love and security and care given by those who happen to be same gender parents doesn’t count—-they are unable to love and care for children, right? Children of all stripes deserve love and security, something not accomplished when they are packed off periodically from foster home to foster home. Also, many people get married outside of churches…..and are just as married as those who chose a religious wedding.

  • pagansister

    Apparently, Chris, those particular parishes disagree with you about being bound to follow a directive—at least in this case.

  • anthony

    but aren’t we supposed to be transformed by the Eucharist and then go out and transform our culture spurred on by the grace of the Eucharist?

  • pagansister

    You don’t know, Ty?

  • pagansister

    No Chris, accepting ABC is —a woman/man wanting to be able to give a child food, clothing, love and security and if they don’t have the physical means (as in money) then they will space those children or not have them to begin with. Yes, many folks also us it for, “casual sex” but then again, there won’t be a totally unwanted human being as a result. Right or wrong in the eyes of some folks, I’d rather have no conception take place than an abortion as the “solution” to an unplanned pregnancy. Your animal comment on how they “welcome life” is a bit far fetched—they are, after all, just that–mating with whatever female is in heat. (unless they are being raised for food, milk etc. and their mating is controlled by man.)

  • Mark

    Mark Greta,

    Thanks for pointing out the tax-exempt status implications of a Pastoral Coordinator taking an authentically partisan tone against a political candidate in public. That had not occurred to me when I dug out the Facebook comments by Ms. Wittmann-Todd. If you are right, then it is something for which she should be admonished and disciplined.

    During the 2008 cycle we had a very popular priest in the NY-Long Island area — a pastor — who happened to make a comment in public about a candidate for President, and he was reprimanded for it and apologized. We also had the case of the clownish Fr. Michael Pfleger of Chicago who made the most scurrilous comments about then Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2008 while he was serving as pastor of St. Sabina parish. He was suspended for two weeks.

    Shouldn’t Ms. Wittman-Todd be held to the same standard, since she too is in charge a parish?

  • Melody

    Without a doubt yes. But one may question that signing political petitions in the back of church, after Mass, is the best way to do this.

  • http://balancingtheledger.blogspot.com/ Joe Cleary

    The following from the Seattle Times appears to be key to this whole conversation

    “Yet in supporting the gathering of signatures in local parishes, Sartain went further than other bishops, some of whom more recently have backed off their opposition to same-sex marriage, or even come out in support of arrangements such as civil unions. Still, his recommendation was not a dictum, and he left it to the discretion of pastors to decide for themselves and their parishioners how best to handle the matter.”

    I will take the Archbishop at his word and trust when he left it to the parishes to decide, he was giving them a real option to opt out of the signature gathering.

  • Tyler

    Pol,

    You should really get this very straight in your mind right now. Compared to the mind of the creator in the Universe and everything in it?…..not only are we “Not Thinking Adults”…”Not only are we not Children” but objectively speaking, compared to the Creator, we are at the critical thinking level of single-celled organisms. One reason we are obedient is that we have been given the gift to actually loosely grasp this awe inspiring thought. Yet another reason we are to be obedient is that the Creator gave us free will, which means we are not robots, so we can act like impetulant children with the knowledge that we shouldn’t be paradoxically. And finally, even more ponderous is that God has revealed that he actually loves us. Contemplate those thoughts in that order…and than think very carefully about the next time you open your mouth on issues of obedience.

  • pol

    I just read your post and I did. I STILL haven’t changed my mind.

  • pagansister

    Wouldn’t her priest have to review what she writes? He must know what does, right?

  • pagansister

    OOPS. the above was supposed to be in response to Klaire.

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  • Deacon Steve

    Mark Canon 517 paragraph 2 allows for a lay person to be placed in charge of a parish, and that a priest is to be appointed to provide for the pastoral care of the parish with the faculties of pastor, but without being the pastor. The priest is there to administer the sacraments to the parish, and the lay person can be in charge of the parish.
    And RomCath on the website her message doesn’t say it comes from the pastor but from her desk. She didn’t write it from the Pastor.

  • sentinel1513

    Melody,
    Homosexual activists are transforming the culture through politics. It’s time Catholics wake up and do the same.

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  • Jimmy Martello

    This was not her decision to make. It was the bishop’s. To further the problem, this woman says that as Catholics we are to form our conscience on such matters. That is not now, nor has it ever been, the Catholic position and teaching and shows a breathtakingly ignorant concept of what it means to be Catholic.
    Simply put, the bishops in communion with the Bishop of Rome are the Ordinaries of their respective dioceses and are responsible for a faithful transmission of the authentic Faith, which in turn, is the criteria by which an informed conscience can legitimately reasoned out. We are not free to do, think, or believe whatever we wish and remain faithful, honest Catholics. By the way, free will isn’t the freedom to believe whatever we wish. Free will is nothing more than the freedom to say “yes” or “no” to God’s Will.
    This woman should have been fired instantaneously and the cathedral rector transferred out.


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