Monday, 19 May 2008

Adelaide Catholic gay media awards - why not?

Cath News this morning reports that an Adelaide radio station is going to be awarded first and second prizes in the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Annual Media Awards for a program highlighting problems of ageing gay people and women with HIV (entitled 'conversations around queer aging'):

When the original recommendation was made by the external judge for the awards, a church official - surely correctly - rejected it, on the basis that entries should be in line with church teachings and principles.

You don't need to listen to much of the program in question to understand why it might be considered inconsistent with a catholic award. Let's just say it isn't exactly about the struggle to remain chaste.

The judge, however, saw the decision as 'a continuation of the Catholic Church's bigotry', and went to the media. The archdiocese wilted under the pressure, reversed the decision, and has apparently made it clear that the official had acted 'without consulting the church leadership group of Catholic Vicar-General Monsignor David Cappo, Auxiliary Bishop Greg O'Kelly and Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson'.

Well yes, church officials should alert their hierarchy on a decision that is almost inevitably going to have some media fallout. On the other hand, one assumes the person in question thought that the decision was pretty clear cut in that the purpose of having catholic awards was surely to recognise media reporting that was consistent with Catholic teaching rather than a celebration of a lifestyle of mortal sin (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paras 2357-9).

It all raises a number of questions, not least how on earth the judge for the awards was selected in the first place.

It is pretty disappointing that the official's decision was not defended.

Archbishop Wilson has after all, only just been re-elected President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. And only this week, the Vatican re-iterated the prohibition on homosexuals entering seminary formation:

The gay lobby in the Church is apparently alive and well in Adelaide.

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