While it’s fair to say that the Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati is on the mend under recently appointed editor Steven Trosley, it still gives off a schizophrenic vibe week to week. The latest edition is a perfect example. On the editorial page, Fr. Earl Fernandes’s latest Q&A column, which replaces the confusing ruminations of the late Fr. John Dietzen, tackles the redefinition of marriage and directs readers to solid and reliable resources. If you don’t think you need to know how to engage in this debate, you haven’t noticed the number of equal-sign bumper stickers on the highway. Here’s a sample:
Archbishop Cordileone led the prayer at the recent March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the mainstream media ignored the March for Marriage in general and some of the remarks of Archbishop Cordleone. USA Today’s Richard Wolf interviewed him. In that interview, Archbishop Cordileone gives clear answers, which can be useful to many Catholics in defending marriage as a union between man and woman. Often the debate has been framed around “equal rights”; he frames the debate around what marriage is. There are two very different understandings of marriage competing with each other. [I would also refer you to an excellent book by Sherif, Girgis, Ryan Anderson, and Robert George, What is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense. This book gives clear answers as to how to defend marriage.]
Archbishop Cordileone shows how favoring traditional marriage is not bigotry or discriminatory in the way that racial prejudice was. He begins to tell a few stories of people who have been harmed and who could be harmed by the redefinition of marriage; telling the narrative is critical to persuading the public. He is one bishop, but he is the chairman of the subcommittee, and many bishops, of course, share his sentiments.
Yet in the featured story pages, you’ll find longtime reporter Eileen Connelly’s account of notorious theologian Richard Gaillardetz’s recent talk at the University of Cincinnati on Vatican II. For the uninitiated, Gaillardetz has spent most of his career kicking sand on Church teaching on the all-male priesthood, contraception, and papal infallibility, and yet Connelly barely hints at the controversy that surrounds his work and quotes only one source who showers him with praise. Here’s a snippet from Connelly’s report:
Gaillardetz noted the importance of preserving the riches of Catholic tradition and the “enduring elements of our faith,” while also undergoing conversion. “All of us have to have the humility to put aside our own agenda and listen to the Spirit,” he said, and in doing so can be “the kind of church that can once again be the face of Christ to the world.”
In response to the presentation, Zalar said, “Dr. Gaillardetz led us in a fascinating inquiry into the historical purposes and outcomes of the Second Vatican Council. This was university scholarship at the highest level presented in a way that held a popular audience rapt with attention. It was precisely the kind of talk promised by the Catholic Studies Lecture Series. It challenged intellectually, provoked impassioned questions, and sparked conversations that lasted beyond its conclusion. Not everyone agreed with Dr. Gaillardetz’s remarks. So it is with university learning, which comes to us as propositions for wider review. One goal of the Catholic Studies Program at UC is to provide a forum for this review to occur. We welcome all Catholics to bring their learning to bear upon the important topics of our time.”