The Best of Kresta in the Afternoon
First Topic – Kresta Comments – New Ways Ministries
The president of the US bishops' conference has issued a reminder that New Ways Ministry, a Maryland-based group that works with homosexuals and lesbians, "has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church." Cardinal Francis George of Chicago added that New Ways Ministry fails to provide "an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching." "Like other groups that claim to be Catholic but deny central aspects of church teaching," the cardinal observed, New Ways Ministry does not speak for the Catholic faithful. The group's founders, Sister Jeanine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent, were warned by the Vatican in 1999 that their public statements on homosexuality contained "ambiguities and errors." They were ordered not to speak or write on the topic-- an order that Nugent has observed but Gramick has defied. New Ways Ministry issued a statement of its own claiming to be "astonished" by Cardinal George's public caution and complaining that the group was not notified that the cardinal would be issuing such a statement. Al has experience with the group and tell us about them.
Second Topic– Marriage, Prop 8, and the Battle for Hearts and Minds
Should the pro-marriage votes of Catholics, Baptists and other people of faith in California be disregarded as irrational, “discriminatory” and unconstitutional? That’s the extraordinary question being asked in a federal lawsuit argued on behalf of two same-sex couples to overturn Proposition 8, the 2008 measure passed by 52% of California voters to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. During two and a half weeks of rapid-fire testimony in San Francisco, the plaintiffs’ legal team worked to build a case claiming that Prop. 8 should be thrown out, in part, because it was swept to victory on a tsunami of “irrational” religious “prejudice and hostility,” generated by discriminatory “messaging” put out by a broad coalition of Mormons, evangelical Christians and Catholics. We caught up with Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage at the Legatus Summit last week. We share that interview with you now.
Third Topic – Pope’s Intervention on Britian “Equality Bill” Stirs the Pot
Pope Benedict told a group of bishops last week that the equality bill before Britain's Parliament might force it to hire gays, violating church doctrine, among numerous other moral problems. The bill seeks to address a host of inequalities, from low wages to women to limited educational opportunities for the poor. Britain's parliamentarians are mulling a radical equality law that its sponsors claim has the power to reshape the country into a fairer, less class-driven and discriminatory society. But in some circles in England the bill is stirring unease because, in its quest for equal treatment for all, it appears to require private organizations to make hiring decisions that conflict with their deeply held beliefs. British Catholic journalist Joanna Bogle weighs in.