"a wolf in sheep's clothing"
that's exactly what it is. Kudos to Bishop Egan.
The Largest and most liberal Church in the Paterson Diocese
The Following were invited to a VOTF meeting:
** Leonard Swidler, professor of Catholic thought at Temple University. Well-known for his work in the formation of a "global ethic" with dissenting theologian Hans Kung, Swidler is also the founder of the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (www.arcc-catholic-rights.org). As the chair of the association's constitution international drafting committee, he's responsible for drawing up a constitution for a more "democratic" church which includes the proposal for elected leaders; term limits for those leaders; a legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government; and opening up leadership positions to all people, including "women and minorities."
** James Carroll, columnist for the Boston Globe. Carroll, a self-proclaimed Catholic, was ordained a priest in 1969 but left the priesthood in 1974 and married before his laicization, effectively excommunicating himself. His columns in the Globe confirm that he believes in contraception, abortion, and women's ordination. Additionally, he rejects numerous fundamental Church teachings, such as the divinity of Jesus Christ. In a July 16 column, Carroll stated that at the VOTF convention, "deeper questions must be confronted as well -- the role of the laity in church governance, assumptions of sexual morality, the place of women, the pathologies of clericallism, the 'creeping infallibility' that corrupts church teaching."
** Debra Haffner, a member and former president of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). SIECUS promotes guidelines for sex education for children grades K-12, guidelines which approve of children ages 5-8 being taught that masturbation and homosexuality are acceptable practices. Not only that, they also urge that 12- to 15-year-olds be taught how to obtain and use contraceptives.
Haffner is also the cofounder of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing (www.religionproject.org). The institute's "Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing" calls for "theological reflection that integrates the wisdom of excluded, often silenced peoples, and insights about sexuality from medicine, social science, the arts and humanities; full inclusion of women and sexual minorities in congregational life, including their ordination and the blessing of same sex unions...[and] support for those who challenge sexual oppression and who work for justice within their congregations and denomination." Haffner has also been quoted as saying, "No matter what gender orientation you have -- bisexual, transgender -- no matter what sex you are, no matter what age you are, no matter what marital status you are, no matter what sexual orientation you are, you have a right to sex."
** Tom Groome, professor of theology at Boston College. Groome gave an interview to BBC 4 World Forum on the sex-abuse scandal in which he commented on the Church: "Catholic Christians are...distinguishing between their faith in the tradition and their faith in the institution.... The Church is terribly important to us, but we won't exaggerate the importance, as it were, of the institution." On priestly celibacy and women's ordination: "I think that [priestly celibacy] has to be revisited, likewise the exclusion of women from ministry has to be rethought. But that's not a liberal position...." On ecclesial hierarchy: "I would love to see an overhaul in how our bishops are chosen because right now they're chosen by a kind of subterfuge -- a kind of backroom politics." And finally, on the pope: "I do think that the problem of an enfeebled pope becomes fairly trransparent, especially when the Church faces such a tragedy in a crisis time as we are in at the moment."
** Michele Dillon, professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Dillon has published several books, including Debating Divorce: Moral Conflict in Ireland; Gay and Lesbian Catholics; and Catholic Identity: Balancing Reason, Faith, and Power, a work focusing on why "pro-change" Catholics (such as those who support abortion, women's ordination, and homosexuality) remain in the Church.