Time magazine's Tim Padgett, who claims to be a Catholic, used the rose-colored glasses of his leftism to mercilessly bash his own church in an article on Monday where he compared Catholic bishops to "white Southern preachers [who] weren't ashamed to degrade African-Americans," labeled the Church "misogynous," and accused the institution of an "increasingly spiteful bigotry" against homosexuals.
Padgett, who wrote back in January 2009 that the communist Cuban revolution "deserves its due," launched a full-bore attack on the Church in the Time.com article, "The Vatican and Women: Casting the First Stone." Padgett wasted little time in unleashing his rage against the Church, labeling a recent Vatican document, which listed "grave crimes" according to canon law, "Rome's misogynous declaration," since, in his view, was an "avowal, as obtuse as it was malicious, that ordaining women into the priesthood was a sin on par with pedophilia."
The document in question, which revised the Catholic Church's concerning "exceptionally serious" crimes against faith and morals, does no such thing. Philip Pullella of Reuters reported on July 16 that "Monsignor Charles Scicluna, an official in the Vatican's doctrinal department, said there was no attempt to make women's ordination and pedophilia comparable crimes under canon...law....While sexual abuse was a 'crime against morality,' the attempt to ordain a woman was a 'crime against a sacrament,' he said, referring to Holy Orders (the priesthood)."
The Time writer used his mistaken premise to further attack the Church's hierarchy:
Rome's misogynous declaration, tossed into its new guidelines on reporting clerical sexual abuse, did more than just highlight the church's hoary horror at the idea of female priests...It also pointed up an increasingly spiteful rhetoric of bigotry. When Argentina in mid-July legalized gay marriage, the country's Catholic bishops weren't content to simply denounce the legislation; they used the occasion to argue for the subhumanity of homosexual men and lesbians, the way many white Southern preachers weren't ashamed to degrade African Americans during the civil rights movement. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio not only called the new law "a scheme to destroy God's plan"; he termed it "a real and dire anthropological throwback," as if homosexuality were evolutionarily inferior to heterosexuality....
What's at stake is the Catholic Church's ability to salvage any moral authority from the sexual-abuse tragedy. The fact is, it can still do that without ordaining women. But it can't do it while digging itself a deeper hole like a defendant hurling insults at a judge. It can't do it by excommunicating a hospital nun, as an Arizona bishop recently did, because she signed off on an abortion that saved a mother's life. It can't do it by losing sight of the difference between dogged traditionalism and mean-spirited obscurantism, as it so often does these days.
And it's sounding that way to Catholics as much as it is to non-Catholics. Many if not most of us Catholics remain Catholics today not because of the church's leadership but in spite of it. In a new Gallup poll, 62% of U.S. Catholics say gay relationships are morally acceptable. Which means we're not thrilled to have our religion represented by a bunch of homophobes wearing miters....
If the Catholic Church's perennial teachings on the absolute immorality of abortion and homosexual acts send you in that much of a rage, why is Mr. Padgett sticking around? There are plenty of other denominations that he could join that are more in line with his liberal thinking. They have sold out orthodox Christian teachings and principles in order to stay "relevant" in eyes of the secular world.
The heterodox Catholic revealed his just-below-the-surface dissent against Catholic Church teaching on sexuality and embryonic stem cell research more than two years earlier in an April 19, 2008 article to mark Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the U.S. Throughout his most recent piece, the writer made it clear that his objection to Catholic doctrine had reached a new level since the Pope's visit. He, like many of his fellow travelers, wants to remake the Catholic Church in their left-wing image. That is the source of his outrageous vindictive against the Church.
Earlier, at the beginning of his first paragraph, Padgett hinted that he believed the feminist, neo-gnostic theory, popularized by the DaVinci Code, that Mary Magdalene was an apostle:
What a rich coincidence we Roman Catholics got to experience at Mass on Sunday, July 18. The scheduled Gospel passage was Luke's story about Jesus visiting the sisters Martha and Mary of Bethany (who Catholic tradition says was Mary Magdalene). Many biblical scholars believe the narrative shows Jesus encouraging Mary to assume the role of a disciple, like Peter and the guys.
Padgett became more explicit in his endorsement of this DaVinci Code theory later in his piece:
Its argument for keeping women out of the priesthood — Jesus had no female apostles — is as shamefully bogus as it is unjust. The hierarchy, threatened by claims of Mary Magdalene's ministerial status, has long tried to identify her with the unnamed "woman caught in adultery" in the Gospel of St. John. When that woman was dragged before Jesus for judgment — death by stoning, the men demanded — Christ famously said, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone." The church wants us to embrace that compassionate teaching when it comes to pedophile priests, and yet it is deaf enough to cast stones at the "crime" of female priests.
The writer couldn't be more wrong if he tried. There is no longstanding conspiracy against St. Mary Magdalene. Father Prosper Gueranger, a 19th century French Benedictine monk and theologian whose cause for beatification opened up under Pope Benedict XVI, quoted from another great theologian, a teacher of none other than St. Thomas Aquinas, to praise the biblical woman: "[Saint] Albert the Great assures that, in the world of grace...God has made two great lights...the Mother of our Lord [the Virgin Mary] and the sister of Lazarus [St. Mary Magdalene]....As the moon by its phases points our the feast days on earth, so Magdalen in heaven gives the signal of joy to the angels of God over one sinner doing penance."
Also, if the Church is trying to be "compassionate" towards pedophile priests, as Padgett claimed, then why is it doubling the statue of limitations from 10 years to 20 years in cases of priests suspected of child abuse, among other tougher guidelines, in the very document that the writer himself maligned?
The Time writer concluded his writer with more left-wing condescension toward the Catholic Church:
My daughter happened to be serving as an altar girl at Mass on Sunday. She was smart enough to sense that in the gospel reading, Jesus was relating to Mary as if she were a disciple. And she'll learn that the New Testament is full of other passages that indicate Jesus believed women could be alteri Christi, or 'other Christs,' as priests often call themselves. Real Catholicism encourages that kind of enlightened thinking — and it certainly doesn't call it, as the Catholic Church does, a crime.
Mr. Padgett, you have no right or standing to define what "real Catholicism" is. Be intellectually honest with yourself and your audience: your religion is your liberalism, and the Catholic Church is not the best fit for you. Stop trying to change the Church to fit your left wing agenda.