Author: Emily Reimer-Barry

Toxic Shame and Sin-Talk: Church Militant Has It All Wrong

Church Militant continues to claim that Fr. James Martin is a heretic while misrepresenting his book, Building a Bridge. While it is certainly painful to see a good priest attacked in this public way for his attempts to create spaces for dialogue in the church, what is particularly troubling to me is the way that Church Militant employs sin-talk and shaming discourse. Among the list of their complaints: “Fr. Martin publicly suggests that God created homosexuals that way.” Despite the fact that medical and mental health professionals have long noted the dangers of so-called conversion therapies or reparative therapies,...

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Threats, Fear, and Intimidation: Just a Regular Day at the Rectory?

This Saturday, at 11am, Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan and Father Lucio Castillo, OMI, together with other concelebrants, will host a liturgy for families of the LGBT community in the Diocese of San Diego. The Mass will be held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in the Hillcrest neighborhood. The Mass is an anniversary celebration of “Always Our Children,” the 1997 pastoral message of the USCCB that encouraged parents of gay and lesbian children to accept and love their children and encouraged all readers to avoid stereotyping and condemning. While much has changed in the world in the past twenty...

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Labor Justice and the Catholic University: Labor Day Reflections on Contingent Faculty, Catholic Teachings, and Catholic Praxis

In chapter four of his book, University Ethics, Jesuit theologian James F. Keenan remarks that “there is within the university structure a cultural myopia that allows us not to think about the adjuncts.” He acknowledges his own previous blindness in this regard, and invites tenure-line faculty to consider how little they know about the real struggles of contingent faculty on their campuses. Perhaps Labor Day is a time to reflect on these faculty members’ realities in light of problematic contradictions between Catholic teachings on labor justice and the everyday practices of most Catholic institutions of higher learning, and then...

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Remembering Our Past, Securing a Just Future: On Confederate Graveyards and the Wisdom of Christian Ethicists

In June I had the opportunity to visit a confederate cemetery in Point Clear, Alabama. I was there to honor Lillie A. Smith (1875-1947), a woman who meant a great deal to my extended family. But since her grave is very close to the confederate cemetery, we also toured that portion of the property. I had mixed feelings on our visit. On the one hand, it is a beautiful property with old oak trees, magnolia trees with Spanish moss, and exudes a peaceful atmosphere for remembering the dead and considering one’s own eventual death. On the other hand, I...

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White Christians in a Racist Country: Rupert Mayer, Pray for Us

Last summer I had the opportunity to visit the tomb of Rupert Mayer, a Jesuit priest who was a leader in the Catholic resistance movement against Nazism in Munich, Germany. Fr. Mayer’s early ministries were among the poor, especially immigrants. He also served as a military chaplain during the first world war, sustaining a serious injury to his leg. Fr. Mayer was an outspoken critic of Nazism, regularly condemning Nazism from the pulpit. In 1923 he was invited to address a Nazi gathering on the theme “Can a Catholic be a National Socialist?”” As he rose to address them, the...

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