Bishop DeAngelis, one of the defendants in Jim Corcoran’s OHRT complaint, has issued a letter to the members of his diocese explaining the church’s position on the matter. In it, DeAngelis lays out what bloggers have been pointing out for weeks:
If the Human Rights Tribunal should choose to interfere with the Church’s governance, this would be most shocking. The tribunal has no authority to place itself as an arbiter of canonical precepts.
[The position of altar server] is an invitation from the pastor or bishop which can also be terminated at any time; particularly when the voluntary service gives rise to tension, animosity, discord, or division in the life of a parish.
The Northumberland Today continues to acquire great quotes from Corcoran, though. In response to the letter, he says that his complaint has highlighted a split in the church, one group that agrees with him and “feels it’s high time that the church was held accountable”.
Held accountable to whom?
Any honest Christian will confess that the Church is accountable only to Jesus Christ its head, not busybody government agencies. Individual congregations or denominations derive their authority from their voluntary members, and not the state. It’s about the same as using the OHRT to force a bunch of guys playing poker to include someone they don’t like.
The other group, Corcoran says, “don’t like homosexuals and do what the bishop wants”. If he’s talking about practicing homosexuals, then that is a crude representation of Biblical teaching. Earlier, Corcoran also viciously attacked this “other group”, showing nothing of the piety he claims to have:
Some make me laugh, others make me cringe, but in general I feel great sympathy for people who are so unenlightened and live with so much hate.
Corcoran continues his ad hominem and baseless attacks:
There must be a great sense of loneliness to be filled with hate and racism.
As indicated earlier, Corcoran wanted this whole thing kept under wraps. Now that the bishop has circulated this letter, Corcoran’s feeble attempt at anonymity is further dashed. Considering he is providing interviews to newspapers, I think it’s more about controlling the message than his own privacy.
There were tens of thousands of people in this diocese who were not aware of this issue. By putting this document in their hands, it’s firstly bringing the attention to me once again, and, secondly, identifying me as an abhorrent, disobedient Catholic. The bishop may be subjecting himself to the possibility of a lawsuit.
Tens of thousands of people are now aware of the possibility of their church being dictated to by a government organization. Corcoran and the OHRT understandably wants to keep their state oppression of the church as quiet as possible – nothing spoils injustice quite like the general public being aware of it.
We also see Corcoran beginning to use libel chill to put a lid on the public protest. Corcoran is threatening lawsuits at the bishop for daring to inform his diocese of a serious crisis affecting all of them. This is a common tactic used by those who want to limit public participation in public matters.
Finally, Corcoran admits that he is acting like an abhorrent, disobedient Catholic. This observation came straight from his mouth – the bishop’s letter, as far as I know, never spoke of Corcoran by name or made any mention of a member’s misconduct. Rather, it was directed solely at the OHRT. Any perception that Corcoran is an abhorrent, disobedient Catholic originates with Corcoran himself.
All I can add, is, if the shoe fits…
[ ED NOTE: You can also read this at Scary’s blog, here. ]