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December 27, 2010


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Barrows saved Jon's life twice. That's enough to endear them to me forever. As for Olmstead, the parade has passed him by. He seems to see the world through 30 year old glasses. Just look at his photo!

This cradle Catholic agrees completely with Jon Talton's essay.

I agree with you Jon. It seems the Catholic Church has several significant issues that they do not see the need to address proactively.

Since this story started, I have waited for these questions to be asked and answered.

1. Did Olmstead consider that if the hospital had NOT decided to save the mother by terminating the pregnancy, that both the mother and the fetus would have likely died?

2. Did Olmstead consider that there were other children at home who would have lost their mother if the hospital had done nothing?

When prayers echo off the marble ceilings of bunker cathedrals...

My mother spent 10 of her twilight years in a CHS-affiliated nursing home that specialized in Alzheimer's care. Bishop O'Brien performed his court-ordered community service there so I got to know him a bit. He was friendly but not particularly pastoral to the demented residents. I sensed he was sexually curious about me but he was in no way obnoxious.

I'm not Catholic, or Christian, so I didn't really care. The Phoenix gay community knew O'Brien as a friend who was instrumental in setting up HIV care programs. His successor, by contrast, has gone out of his way to cut off gays from the Church despite being more than a little effeminate himself.

You try to balance out the good with the bad in an effort to avoid condemnation of others. The Catholic Church, however, seems oddly detached from this ethical housekeeping. It's not just the pedophile priests it imperiously protected from the law. It's the extraordinary manner in which it judged others for failing some cruelly absolutist standards of its own. One example: in 1949, the Church excommunicated every Communist by edict of Pope Pius XII. This is the same pope who refused to excommunicate any Nazi, including Hitler.

I grew up in a period in which there were singing nuns, liberationist theologians, guitar masses, the Kennedy hagiography, and a activist priests like the Berrigan brothers and Robert Drinan. Then in the late 70s the clerical counterrevolution began and all that ferment for justice and compassion was driven underground. Now the Church's base in Europe and North America is severely eroded. The rottweiler Pope, another effeminate man, wields canon law against sexual freedom and reproductive choice as if modernity can be damned to hell. This lack of engagement with reality is stunning but a telltale sign about an increasingly inconsequential institution. We either change or die. The Church is choosing death.

The wisdom of the Kooks is that MDs know less about medicine than politicians, priests, and prosecutors, and that they are little better than baby-killers and drug dealers, so they must bear the full weight of the "LAW", unless of course they see the light and pimp for the Kooks.

There are a number of "recovering Catholics" in our rather progressive and enlightened Methodist church here, where the denominational floorline is "open hearts, open minds, open doors".

I'm married to a woman whose elementary education was in a convent school. She says she'll always be a Catholic in her heart, but like many she has no respect for how the church seems to operate with closed hearts and minds. In times of personal crisis, they were never "there" for her.

I say we're lucky to get Pulitzer worthy essays from a free, non-newspaper blog. Thank you Mr. Talton.

Even 35 years after my catholic youth "education" was over I still feel guilty for questioning the catholic leadership authority ... even when their behavior and decisions were hurtful and self-serving. Fortunately, I am now a Methodist and have support in a growing group of recovering catholics. No church is immune to having hurtful and self-serving people but it is a blessing to be in a faith community that holds its leaders accountable and is not ideologically blinded, exclusionary, and judgmental.

30 years after my Catholic education, I feel content in having questioned the Church in my raw youth. I feel even more content in having permanently left at the earliest possible moment. Amen, suckers!

I continue to meet great people of all walks of life at my Catholic church. I also see a gigantic effort to rid the church of jerks like former Bishop O'Brien.

Why stay on? Because the Catholic Church does not have a monopoly on two-faced leaders and members. Prosecute pedos and other law breakers.

As far as Olmsted... It appears he was brought in to be an enforcer and not play in the gray areas. A clean up guy after the douchebags that were there before him. (O'Brien and Fushek) Letter of canon law and not the spirit of it.

Corruption usually starts at the top: if it isn't tolerated it can't flourish and become commonplace.

The Pope seems to function largely as a figurehead, and the Catholic Church is run like a good-old-boys club; it is concerned first and foremost with the career interests of its members, and secondly with the enforcement of a tiny handful of "essential" dogmas; neither deep spiritual values nor the good of the community are given more than lip service (but it sees fit to hire a whole public relations machine to insure that this lip service is the very best that money can buy).

* * *

This is completely out of place, but I had to say how much I enjoyed the two-page spread with a Q&A style interview in the Arizona Republic in mid-December: front-page (of the Arizona Living section) with a full-page continuance inside. Nice photo, and nice job by Kerry Lengel. They even printed the URL to Rogue.


i like to read your posts. thanks for this one.

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