The Internet in Nashville has been buzzing lately over Father Joseph’s Breen’s recent video comments that priests should be allowed to marry and couples should be allowed to use birth control. The whipped cream and cherry on top of Father’s smash hit video, was his statement that Catholics don’t have to obey the Pope. While watching him say that, I instinctively scooted back from my monitor. My personal response is only three words: Amen, Amen and Amen!
According to my mom, I was “born” Catholic. I’m not sure how she knew that, but that is what she said when I told her, years ago, that I was crossing over to the Protestant side of the street. Even though I agree with Breen, he was wrong to say those things about “company policy” on a video posted on the church website. To me, Father Breen let his mouth get way ahead of his brain in a fashion eerily reminiscent of General Stanley McCrystal’s recent brain freeze. When you are on a team, you are bound by the team rules. When you accept a paycheck, you are expected to support the company’s policy. Father Breen had no more business producing that video than the General did in being so candid with “Rolling Stone”. President Obama wisely removed the General. On Friday the Diocese of Nashville announced that Breen, longtime pastor of St. Edward Catholic Church on Thompson Lane, has withdrawn his statements and apologized. I’m not sure I understand how you “withdraw’ something like that. The press release said that Bishop David Choby has allowed him to keep his job until his retirement at the end of 2011. That could well be a long sixteen months!
The solution to this whole fiasco could have been for Father Breen to do what Pastor Don Fento did years ago. When his church told him he couldn’t say and do some things that didn’t mesh with church dogma, he left and opened up shop down the street. And God blessed his ministry in a mighty way. My guess is that there are already quite a lot of people in heaven, with more on their way, who are there because Don chose not to continue doing what he knew to be wrong.
What do you think? To post your comments click “comments” on the left.
See excerpts from my new book “UNSCREWED” at http://johngouldener.com/?page_id=95