I never thought I’d see the day: Just a few weeks after Baltimore’s new-ish archbishop William Lori was a total bummer about the Supreme Court’s overturning DOMA, and a few short months after he campaigned against marriage equality in Maryland, the most important Catholic official in Baltimore has said something pretty tolerant about homosexuality.
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In the early decades of the nineteenth century, Mary Elizabeth Lange founded the first order of African American Catholic nuns, the Oblate Sisters of Providence, under the blessing of the Archbishop of Baltimore. Now, more than 130 years after her death in 1882, Lange is being considered for canonization — which would make her the first African-American saint in the history of the church.
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In case you weren’t raised Catholic, let me tell you that when Pope Benedict XVI announced earlier today that he would be resigning the papacy effective February 28, it was a big deal. A pope hasn’t resigned in over 600 years. Popes are encouraged to hold the position until their death to avoid the divided loyalties that may arise when you have a pope and an ex-pope alive at the same time. Read More →
As you’ve probably heard, Baltimore’s new archbishop, William Lori, sent a letter urging “Catholics and faithful citizens” to “show up on election day and do our part by voting against Question 6,” the bill that would establish marriage equality in Maryland. But some of Baltimore’s Catholic leaders are speaking their mind in quite a different way.
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Tuesday Links: Baltimore’s Tax Sale Near Blunder, City Gears Up for War of 1812 Attractions, and More
Baltimore’s tax sale: liens sold on 6545 properties, raising $20 million for city – Baltimore Sun
Baltimore homeowner almost ends up in tax sale over lost check – Baltimore Sun
War of 1812 ticket packages available for Baltimore landmarks – Baltimore Business Journal
E.J. Dionne Jr.: Did the Catholic organizations have to sue over the health care mandate? – Washington Post
Is college too easy? As study time falls, debate rises – Washington Post
Wednesday Links: Baltimore Housing Has Become Less Affordable, Baltimore’s Own “Doctor Death” Faces New Charges, Senate Approves Tax Increase, and More
Baltimore housing over the decade: less affordable, more likely to be fixed up – Baltimore Sun
Baltimore’s 16th archbishop prepares for office – Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Doctor Who Helps Terminally Ill Patients End Their Lives Faces New Charges – CBS Local
Less than half of money needed for Baltimore arena project raised – Baltimore Business Journal
Maryland Senate approves income tax increase, pension shift – Baltimore Business Journal
Evidence from trial of George Huguely in Yeardley Love’s murder displayed – Baltimore Sun
These Cute Dogs Could Soon Sniff Out Oil For The Largest Energy Companies In The World – Business Insider
To get ready for his new high-profile role as the Roman Catholic archbishop of Baltimore, William Lori went on Meet the Press to decry society’s moral decay. Particularly, Lori had beef with the “erosion of religious liberty,” in the form of religious institutions being forced to provide coverage for contraception in their employee healthcare plans.
“Religious liberty?” Is everyone picking up this new definition from Rick Santorum? Will America’s religious groups only be free when everyone else is forced to abide by their religious convictions? Is that the new bizarro meaning of liberty? I know, I know. The sticking point is that these institutions would be footing the bill for something that doesn’t square with their beliefs. But surely of all the things your money is used for without your approval (war, unmanned drone assassinations, etc.), the pill has got to be the least of your worries.
Lori said that America’s various faiths “contribute to a moral consensus that underlies our laws.” An interesting statement, when there is no “consensus” on contraception within Christianity, let alone among the several religions. Presbyterians, Unitarians, and Anglicans, among others, are in fact for it. And anyway, you want to talk about consensus? 98 percent of sexually experienced Catholic women have used contraception — how’s that for consensus?
At the end of March, the Senate passed a bill that would allow employers to refuse to cover anything they find morally objectionable. So, if you’re working for a Catholic institution that ends up denying you contraception coverage, you can be happy you don’t work for Jehovah’s Witnesses; they probably wouldn’t cover blood transfusions.
You could hardly blame Cardinal Edwin O’Brien for leaving his post as Baltimore’s archbishop last summer. He was named grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and that’s a hard gig to turn down. But O’Brien’s ascension has meant that Baltimore has been archbishop-less for nearly a year — leading, no doubt, to even more untrammeled vice and revelry than usual.
That can all stop, though — thank you-know-who! — because we’ve finally got a new archbishop. William E. Lori, soon to be the 16th archbishop of Baltimore, comes to Charm City from Bridgeport, where he was in the tough position of dealing with a sex abuse scandal. He instituted a zero-tolerance policy (there wasn’t one before?), tried to block the public release of church documents, and fought Obama on the religious exemption to the health care law. He’s a busy man!
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Friday Links: Basilica Needs Millions in Repairs, Baltimore Efforts Under Way to Rally Support for Trayvon Martin, Etch-a-Sketch Stock Soars and more
City Makes $1.4 Million Billing Mistake – The Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Basilica Needs Millions in Repairs After Damage from Earthquake Found – The Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Efforts Under Way to Rally Support for Trayvon Martin – The Baltimore Sun
Trayvon Martin and Dangerous Times for Black Men – The Washington Post
Trayvon Martin Case Brings Attention to Neighborhood Watch Groups – The New York Times
Maryland Watershed is One of the Most Polluted in Nation – The Baltimore Sun
In Wake of Romney Aide Gaffe, Etch-a-Sketch Stock Soars – The Atlantic
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