News Flash: Gene Robinson Opposes Church Discipline

By Barton Gingerich, Juicy Ecumenism

Bishop Gene Robinson took up his pen to give Pope Francis & Co. a few pointers on church leadership. It seems unusual that an openly gay bishop who oversaw the precipitous decline of his New Hampshire diocese should offer advice to the head of the world’s largest Christian communion. Citing a study that argues ex-Catholics are America’s 3rd largest “denomination,” Robinson (now a Senior Fellow at the Center of American Progress) analyzes the perceived ailments of Roman Catholicism in the United States.
The retired bishop opines, “Many Catholic laity are experiencing a painful disconnect between the official teachings and pronouncements of the Catholic hierarchy and what they believe in their hearts.” And what do these laypeople believe? According to Robinson, many cradle Catholics want same-sex marriage, abortion, and contraception, all of which are expressly forbidden by the Vatican. These moral constraints on human morality act as levees, blocking out a flood of potential church members.
So what does CAP’s bamboozler of orthodoxy recommend to the Washington Post‘s loyal subscribers? Well, chaos of course! Bishop Robinson advises an abandonment of the Church’s anthropology, founded as it is on the idea that man is the Imago Dei. Moreover, the Episcopal figure condemns any kind of punishment for violating the Church’s teachings. “I believe that using Communion as such a manipulative tool surely profanes the sacrament,” he crows, “Perhaps these Catholic leaders should revisit their church’s theology of the Eucharist.” Robinson urges that, if the abusive pedophile clergy can partake of the sacrament, so can those who identify as pro-choice or engage in homosexual activity. Later, he claims, “It seems that Catholic laity are refusing to be treated like morally ignorant children who cannot think for themselves… [I]t appears that the hierarchy wants to shut down open discussion by punishing those who would raise any questions about the church’s stance on these issues.”
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