Friday, October 28, 2005

The Hireling Report #1

Report on the USCCB, particularly Bishop Kevin Boland, Savannah

From TheFactIs,org: Culture & Cosmos
Volume 3, Number 13

October 26, 2005

Link to Original

Bishops Marriage Conference Led by Supporter of Cohabitation and Divorce

October 26, 2005
Volume 3, Number 12

A Catholic theologian who opposes Church teaching on divorce and supports creating a betrothal ceremony for cohabitating couples just led a colloquium to assist US bishops with writing a pastoral letter on marriage.

The colloquium, which ended yesterday, was sponsored by the US Bishops' Committee on Marriage and Family and hosted by the Center for Marriage and Family at Creighton University in Omaha. It featured theologians and social scientist and had as its theme, "Promoting and Sustaining Marriage as a Community of Life and Love." According to a press release, the colloquium was a "major step" toward developing "a pastoral letter on marriage" and was "intended for the current and incoming members and advisors of the Marriage and Family Committee."

The director of Creighton's Center on Marriage and Family, Michael J. Lawler, served as the colloquium's chief facilitator. Lawler is well known for his heterodox views on divorce and cohabitation. A review of Lawler's book, "Marriage and the Catholic Church: Disputed Questions," in the left-of-center Catholic magazine "America", explains Lawler's take on divorce: "The governing agenda is to show how divorce and remarriage can be justified historically, canonically and theologically. Lawler argues that the sacramental character of marriage depends on personal faith. Therefore (contrary to canon law and current official teaching), sacramentality cannot attend the union of two persons, even two baptized persons, who do not intend, or who cease to experience, a mutual love that in faith makes God and Christ present." According to the review, Lawler also "proposes a formal betrothal ceremony to recognize and legitimize [cohabitation] and to provide an opportunity for marriage preparation."

In 2004 the US bishops committed themselves to a multi-year National Pastoral Initiative on Marriage. According to the USCCB's website, the centerpiece of the Initiative will be a pastoral letter. "It will deal with contemporary concerns about marriage from a foundation in Catholic doctrine and pastoral practice. It will draw from the experience and expertise of many, including engaged and married couples, social scientists, theologians, educators, communications experts, and others." Savannah Bishop J. Kevin Boland, chairman of the Marriage and Family Committee, said, "The colloquium will play a key role in our pastoral initiative by bringing together Catholic teaching on marriage with the latest research from the social sciences."

Theologians at the colloquium included Dr. John S. Grabowski, Catholic University; Dr. Julie Hanlon Rubio, St. Louis University; and Dr. Wendy M. Wright, Creighton University. Social scientists included Dr. Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, National Marriage Project and Rutgers University; Dr. W. Bradford Wilcox, Institute for American Values; and School Sister of Notre Dame Barbara Markey, Ph.D., Family Life Office, Archdiocese of Omaha.


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