The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced today that it will hold a series of events, entitled "Defending Marriage in the Public Square," around Maine this fall. Nine such meetings are scheduled statewide, in places like Caribou, Scarborough, Waterville, and York.
In addition to local parish staff and representatives from the Diocesan Office for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, four out-of-state guest speakers will address the meetings.
A few years ago, I interviewed sometimes-Portlander Chris Korzen about his book, A Nation For All: How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America From the Politics of Division (Jossey-Bass), and organization for which he serves as executive director, Catholics United.
That organization is taking a high-profile stand in support of members of Congress (specifically, pro-life Dems) who voted for health-care reform and are now taking heat from anti-abortion activists
Richard Malone, bishop of the Diocese of Portland (which covers all of Maine), wrote an opinion piece in this weekend's Maine Sunday Telegram, addressing climate change, and arguing that the interests of "a global community for which we all must care" require us to deal with the climate crisis.
His arguments are cogent and strong.
The Colorado Independent has the story: the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has instructed pastors nationwide to distribute anti-healthcare-reform literature in church and to preach against it from the pulpit.
I'm no Catholic, but with the Church's opposition to same-sex marriage (in an unholy alliance with Mormons and evangelical Protestants) and now the basic human right of healthcare for all, I'm not sure what being Catholic is anymore.
Another Schism, anyone?
The National Catholic Reporter has a story about Pamela Starbird Beliveau of Lewiston, a lector and Eucharistic minister in her Catholic parish, who wrote an op-ed piece in the Sun Journal supporting same-sex marriage - and who very quickly received a letter from her parish priest saying she would no longer be allowed to lead worship services, specifically because of her pro-equality stance.
The National Catholic Reporter carried a story yesterday about the split in the Catholic Church in Maine, with many practicing Catholics publicly breaking from Bishop Richard Malone, who has led the anti-same-sex-marriage fight. (The Church has put up a lot of money, but so has a group reportedly closely tied to the Mormon Church.)
The latest Repeal Equality Campaign ad (embedded below) just outright says that gay sex will be taught in Maine's grade schools. Suddenly, it seems, the Catholic Church, which is a major backer of this campaign, is concerned about kids learning about sex at a young age, and is concerned about the appropriateness of what they are learning.