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D.C. Council vs. the Catholic Church

The D.C. Council is considering a law forbidding discrimination against those in gay marriages. The law would apply to all groups that have contracts with the District, including Catholic Charities, one of the city's largest social services providers. The Archdiocese of Washington says that because of the Church's opposition to same-sex marriage, it would have to suspend its social services to the poor, the homeless and others rather than provide employee benefits to same-sex married couples or allow them to adopt. Read more at On Faith.

By Jodi Westrick  |  November 13, 2009; 4:00 PM ET  | Category:  Local , National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Wowsa. Talk about your poorly worded question. A much fairer question would be 'should the Church get taxpayer funds while being allowed to discriminate against gay people?'

The question makes no allowance for the fact that the Church is free to do whatever they want if they don't take taxpayer funds, and it also does not mention the fact that the City Council is allowing the Church to refuse to allow their church facilities to be used by gay people, even if their facilities are open to the general public on a for-profit basis.


The only thing they aren't being allowed to do is refuse health care benefits for gay employees, as long as they accept taxpayer funds.

I'd expect this sort of loaded leading question at Fox News or the Washington Times. It's disappointing to see the WP use it.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 14, 2009 7:24 AM

Hillman1's comment is 100% accurate. If the Catholic Church accepts taxpayer money, it must abide by government rules. If the Church doesn't use taxpayer funds, the law in question doesn't apply. The Post's choice of wording is substandard and biased. At best, the poll suggests the Post's main goal is to generate controversy.

Posted by: cew1 | November 14, 2009 9:45 AM

As others have pointed out, there are plenty of marriages that the Catholic Church doesn't recognize. Basically, any marriage not performed by the Church is considered invalid.

So by definition all Jews, Hindus, Protestants, etc. have invalid marriages, according to Church doctrine.

Do we allow the Church to discriminate against those couples, all of whom have a valid civil marriage license?

How about divorced people that then legally remarry, but not in the Church?

No?

Then why would we allow them to discriminate against gay couples? All of the groups I mention aren't considered recognized marriages by the Church, just like gay marriages aren't.

The church needs to man up. They can make some sort of statement reaffirming that they don't recognize gay marriage as blessed by the Church, but that they follow the civil law. That way, both sides save face.

And, in the end, would Jesus really be in the business of denying health care to anyone, gay or straight?

Using any reason to deny healthcare coverage is an obscenity, and highly unChristian.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 14, 2009 9:58 AM

The church worded that question for you, right? No self-respecting journalist would have done such an awful job of presenting the issue. What's immoral here is the church's arrogant bigotry and club-wielding threats. I agree with Hillman1 and CEW1 - and I also believe we should be asking how such a bigoted and misogynist organization keeps receiving our tax dollars. What's next - do they threaten D.C. over the issue of women in positions of leadership? Or refuse to assist the poor who use birth control or have been divorced?

Posted by: veolaluzporfa | November 14, 2009 10:02 AM

What a bad poll. Did Catholics write this?
It's like asking if you still beat your wife.

Of course the government shouldn't ask a religion to do what it considers immoral just as a religion shouldn't bully a government to spend taxpayer dollars to discriminate.

Beyond that, issuing ultimatums to the government as if the US were already a Donohue Catholic theocracy reaps well deserved attacks on the Catholic Church whose hypocrisy is beyond belief in that they don't similarly discriminate against those divorced or, apparently (by their aiding and abetting), against gay pedophiles in their clergy.

Posted by: coloradodog | November 14, 2009 10:13 AM

Come on WaPo, this poll poses the question towards a biased result. Any one not familiar with this story would be voting in the dark here.

Posted by: bobbarnes | November 14, 2009 10:42 AM

The Church and Bishops have my full support.

Besides terminating social services, I strongly urge the Bishop to close all remaining Catholic grade and High schools in the D.C. area.

All students would be transfered to the "wonderful" D.C. school system effective immediately.

The D.C. school system? Overwhelmed!

Property tax payers? Pinched .... big time!

Posted by: furtdw | November 14, 2009 11:28 AM

coloradodog ...... the ol' Catholic basher is alive and well this Saturday morning.

coloradodog, did you ever get your 80 year old mother outta that casino?

At her age, she should be in church.

Posted by: furtdw | November 14, 2009 11:31 AM

The Church loves homosexuals and wishes them eternal life with Christ. The Church abhors homosexuality. The Church loves alcoholics. The Church abhors alcoholism. Alcoholics and homosexuals need the Church to understand God's plan for them (for us all). The Catechism of the Catholic Church spells out beautifully how Christ's followers are to activate this love. Take a peek (it's online). The fact that homosexuals as a group die at a fearful rate should be a wake up call to right thinking men. The culture of "if it feels good, do it" is a loser, even if a judge says it's legal. As alcoholic behavior does to alcoholics, so does homosexual behavior brings death and despair to homosexuals. Let the Church stand as a signpost of Christian behavior to all. May God have mercy on us all.

Posted by: mmxr71 | November 14, 2009 11:42 AM

Actually, the Church considers all marriages between a man and a woman that are free from legal, moral, and prior marital constraints to be valid marriages. So valid, in fact, that the Church considers many of these marriages to be indissoluble.

Most restrictions on marriage in the law of Church specifically apply only to Catholics..

So by definition all Jews, Hindus, Protestants, etc. have valid marriages, according to Church Law.

The Church explicitly recognizes civil marriages between one woman and one man as valid (unless one of the parties has a legal, moral or prior marital constraint).

The Church is not being bigoted when she denies validity to Same-Sex marriages. She is also not bigoted when she denies the validity of polygamous marriages or inter-species marriages. The Church is only following what she believes to be the Will of God, who is the architect of marriage.

Posted by: GuarionexEG | November 14, 2009 11:54 AM

The point should also be made that it is precisely because the Church desires to obey the law (human, natural & eternal) that She has informed the D.C. Council that she will not be able to accept further public founds in D.C. if the law under discussion is passed without amendment.

The Church has not issued a threat or an ultimatum, She has simply stated a fact, and asked the Council to consider it.

Posted by: GuarionexEG | November 14, 2009 12:00 PM

DC wants autonomy yet is willing to destroy all Catholic Church is doing to uplift the people of DC. Ditto for Obama Congress which has outlawed any scholarships for Catholic students on the voucher program which has been abolished. Obama does not want black students to get a Catholic education as 99% of black high school students in Catholic high schools go to college. Obama prefers that black students go only to public high schools where teachers can brainwash black students into being abortionists and ultra liberal. Obama does not care that if black students leave Catholic high schools in which they will go to college and transfer to public high schools only 25% will graduate and only a handful will go to college. Obama's mantra is that of Robert Mugabe, "Rule or ruin". Blacks have been tricked royally by Obama and they think he is the messiah. LOL

Posted by: mascmen7 | November 14, 2009 12:50 PM

Stop allowing religion to challenge my civil rights !! this is a civil issue and has nothing to do with the catholic church. once they cross the line into political/court decisions then they lose their tax free status. those of us who are not religious are truly offended by what is going on today -where gays gain equality in a state and religion steps in to squash it !our cowardly politicians have allowed us to be thrown to the wolves.speak up ! everyone !!

Posted by: rick1236 | November 14, 2009 1:15 PM

Oh brother - more Americans who don't know their own founding documents. It's freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. That is, freedom from intrusion by the state. Instead of whining about their puerile (that's "childish" for the uneducated liberals out there) preoccupations, people should take the time to understand that the cause the Church defends, i.e., the Church's right to be heard in the public square, is the same cause which protects everyone else's right to be heard. The Church has a duty to counsel the state on ethical issues, a duty the Catholic Church takes seriously. While other groups run to cozy up with big government and every goofy and destructive philosophy known, the Catholic Church rejects the culture of death and works quietly to provide education and health to the disadvantaged, i.e., people largely ignored by secular society. A final note to militant atheists and anti-Catholic bigots: please refrain from denying to the Church the same right to free speech that you enjoy.

Posted by: misnich | November 14, 2009 1:59 PM

I suggest the church forget about the taxpayer dollars and use the funds from the November 21-22 Human Development Campaign.

The Church should very seldom use tax payer dollars. . .that is the problem we get into with vouchers. .it is unfortunate that the Church can no longer subsidize some programs and must let them go. Let the taxpayer keeps his money and then let the state or city supply for what the church has to drop.

This way, we will shut off all this "well if it is taxpayer dollars, the church should acquiesce .. absolutely and en toto NO

Posted by: fatherjoseph | November 14, 2009 2:02 PM

I'm with Hillman1. This is a loaded question, and poorly-phrased.

The Church is holding the City's most vulnerable residents hostage against its anti-gay-rights stance, and it really does show their true colors. If they were all about providing charity to the poor and vulnerable, they would continue to do so whether or not they received City funds.

Commingling of Church and State is part of the problem here -- but since the Church decided to accept DC funds, they are obligated to follow DC laws, including ones against discrimination.

Posted by: seven_jaguar | November 14, 2009 3:37 PM

I think this is a brilliant idea. The second Catholics and other churches pay taxes .... all bets are off.

JUST TRY TO SILENCE US. We will have every right to violate the "separation of church and state" clause you bigots wield like a troll with a club. Because you clearly have no problem with the state interfering with the church on confirming the glories of homosex, but heaven forbid the church stick to hear guns and beliefs. And, you know, express them as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

In fact, if we pay taxes, I demand that the Bishops have a seat in every governing body in the United States. After all, we contribute to society, so we should have a voice as big as our tax dollars can buy.

And don't get your undies in a twist: this is YOUR logic.

If we don't pay taxes, we have to abide by the laws of the state. Fine. But when we start paying taxes, we don't have to do anything the state tells us.

Posted by: amylpav22 | November 14, 2009 3:52 PM

Hillman and the rest of you do not get it. The Church is not saying that they will stop services because of gay marriage. They are saying that they will be ineligible for gov't funds to provide services based on their stance. They are just making DC Government aware of this fact so DC can get ready to spend 3x as much and hire hundreds of new employees to fill this need. Or maybe DC will not fill it. It's up to DC.

Posted by: kieran2001 | November 14, 2009 4:15 PM

This is an outrageously biased and manipulative wording of the question!

Posted by: uh_huhh | November 14, 2009 4:25 PM

coloradodog ...... the ol' Catholic basher is alive and well this Saturday morning.

coloradodog, did you ever get your 80 year old mother outta that casino?

At her age, she should be in church.
________________________________

Hola amigo,

So pointing out the Catholic church selectively discriminates against gays and not against those divorced nor gays in it's clergy is "Catholic bash/ing"

I'll make you a deal, when the Chruch stops gay bashing, I'll stop Catholic bashing. Meanwhile, shouldn't you be rounding up and sending to prison several hundred pedophiles?

As for my mother, I took her to a casino last month for her 86th birthday. She won and goes to church, too.

Posted by: coloradodog | November 14, 2009 4:46 PM

I'm not a member of any 'faith' group, and I won't be governed by the 'beliefs' of any of those groups. If the church wants tax dollar proceeds and tax exemptions, it will abide by the laws that apply to all. If not, how about exempting gays from taxes? Why the hell should the tax dollars of gays be provided to an organization that discriminates against them?

Posted by: rtaylor3 | November 14, 2009 4:52 PM

Hopefully, the Catholic Church packs up and leaves the District. I want to buy the church property up the street, toss out the “holy” garb on the curb, and convert it into a boutique brewery – a real tax generating business.

Posted by: 6664U | November 14, 2009 5:39 PM

By what authority does the Wash DC council presume to instruct the Catholic Church on morals? And yes, yes, yes, I can hear the screaming from here, "Eeeeeee! Pedophile priests!!!!" The Church is peopled by imperfect people and cannot, by definition behave perfectly. But the failure of a flawed person does not negate a moral principle. Right and wrong are right and wrong whether or not we are capable of behaving perfectly. I can appreciate that this concept is difficult to grasp by anyone who believes in the absolute truths of
absolute moral relativism. Does the DC council have the authority to declare, as Hollywood recently seems to have done, that rape is not rape?

Posted by: member8 | November 14, 2009 6:36 PM

Congratulations - the author of this poll "question" wins best in show for most egregious abuse of language.

Question: Should the Roman Catholic Church have to follow the rule of law?

I guess not - since Bernie Law is living like a modern day potentate in Italy. Could someone refresh me on our extradition treaties?

This is very sloppy but your goal is attained - now you can report your scientific poll reports ad nauseum.

Posted by: MMFrance1 | November 14, 2009 7:15 PM

More simply, Dear DC council,
Keep your laws off the Body of Christ.

Posted by: member8 | November 14, 2009 7:17 PM

In reality, the Catholic Church should not have any tax exempt status at all, since they lobby politically, are landlords (and often slum lords at that), and presume to override the laws of the land. But the Bishops seem to think we still live in Medieval times, when they could dictate to the rulers as well as the people. They can take any moral stance as well ... to their own parishioners ... but should darn well leave the rest of us alone. If not, they are no different from the ACLU, or any other lobbying organization, and should have to obey the law like anyone else. And pay taxes as well.

Posted by: calbooster | November 14, 2009 9:12 PM

CALBOOSTER, perhaps you can explain why the ACLU is tax exempt.

Posted by: kieran2001 | November 14, 2009 10:17 PM

"If they were all about providing charity to the poor and vulnerable, they would continue to do so whether or not they received City funds."

We intend to.

Posted by: edgydc | November 15, 2009 12:11 AM

The wording of the survey question is remarkably biased, and of course the outcome is what it is as a result of the wording. How about, "Should the Catholic Church use blackmail, threatening to abandon its charitable work in the District, as a means of influencing the City Council vote on equal civil marriage rights?"

Posted by: capcityman1 | November 15, 2009 5:15 AM

The Catholic Church has always been a Holy Then Thy, Hiding Behind The Cross type of Organization, With their past with the clery,They of all organization's should welcome Same Sex Marriage's,Take away their tax status, with those fund's the cities could provide with more fund's and get a better provider. I have always thought that church's of all kind's are to help EVERYONE, this is not True to the Catholiv church, they should think about the member's that are Gay and thier Famile's and Friend's or even their own clery. The clery of their organazation is having a same sex affair's.

Posted by: onesugar | November 15, 2009 6:02 AM

How did this poll question get past ANY second reader? (Or, for that matter, any second-grader?) Whatever the results are, I hope that no one uses them for anything other than as an example of what happens when one writes a clearly defective question, even for an poll acknowledged as being not worth anything.

The question SHOULD have read something like: Should the city require the Church to follow a law it considers immoral IN ORDER TO RECEIVE TAXPAYER MONEY?

Posted by: edallan | November 15, 2009 8:31 AM

MEMBER8 wrote"

"By what authority does the Wash DC council presume to instruct the Catholic Church on morals?"

----------------------------------

By what authority does the Catholic Church presume to instruct the Wash DC council on morals?

Posted by: coloradodog | November 15, 2009 9:29 AM

What does "RCC" stand for?

Republican Catholic Church?

Posted by: coloradodog | November 15, 2009 9:31 AM

WaPo needs to send the rookies Jodi Westrick and Gerson wannabe Lane back to the Farm League to review Journalism 101 regarding ethics in writing and preparing poll questions.

Posted by: coloradodog | November 15, 2009 9:38 AM

What percentage of Catholic Charities nationwide are funded by taxpayers money with the Church claiming credit for help actually provided by the government? It is high time that the government stop establishing religions and starts providing bias-free services.

Posted by: Respectthe9thAmendment | November 15, 2009 10:47 AM

misnich, you're dead wrong.

The Church is NOT a person, and has NO "personal" rights, although each of the real living flesh-and-blood members do.

Remember, this is government of, by and for the PEOPLE, not the CHURCHES, UNIONS or CORPORATIONS.

Sheesh.

Of COURSE the DC council has the right to set the terms, and weather the Church is "advising" the council of consequences or issuing a threat is entirely a matter of perspective. The council has the right and responsibility to set the terms, and if the Church can no longer accept OUR money, then good riddance.

Posted by: marioaz | November 15, 2009 12:26 PM

It seems the Catholic Church's dilemma is that it's willing to deny food to the hungry and shelter the homeless to make a political point. If they don't want to take public money as fee for service, DC can find another vendor. No special privileges for organizations with a history of collusion in child molestation.

Posted by: JoeinSF | November 15, 2009 1:08 PM

MMFRANCE1 asked "Could someone refresh me on our extradition treaties

Sure. By practice dating back to the first millennium, every cardinal of the Roman Church has diplomatic immunity throughout the civilized world. This resulted from the Vatican operating the oldest functioning diplomatic service in the world.

Cardinal Law's track record in management and prudence is flawed, even regrettable. What is your point?

Posted by: rossacpa | November 15, 2009 1:56 PM

Try rephrasing it as "Should the city require the Church to follow the law?"

Posted by: CactusWren1 | November 15, 2009 2:07 PM

Those of you questioning the US Church's federal tax exemption are ignorant of the relevant law.

Any IRC §501(c)(3), including any religious organization so recognized, is forbidden from seeking to influence in any way the election of a government official.

In matters of policy and legislation, however, §501(c)(3) organizations may spend a small portion of their budget in influencing those discussions and their outcomes. The safe-harbor amount established by the IRS is up to 30% of the organization's annual revenues based on a five-year average.

I think the real issues here are the last permitted American bigotry, anti-Catholicism, and the fact that the Church dares to actually use rights and freedoms granted tax-exempts by the federal government.

Posted by: rossacpa | November 15, 2009 2:14 PM

1. A mind-boggling team that includes the ACLU and most religious freedom legal institutes and academics in the country are lining up to make sure this ordinance is stopped by injunction until SCOTUS can declare it unconstitutional.

2. This probably will not be necessary, because the defendants of normal marriage will petition the Congress to block the DC ordinance. These will be the same folks who have now blocked alleged "gay marriage" in 31 states. They do not want to bring or send their children to the nation's capital to be schooled in perversion.

3. Here's the deal that was made in the 60's: You can engage in any perversion you want behind closed doors, but it can never spill out into social commerce. Many of us think that is way more than fair.

4. Are you really willing to bet on home rule for something this stupid? Over the last 125 years, DC has gained and lost home rule several times. Sounds like a great start to a new cycle.

Posted by: rossacpa | November 15, 2009 2:16 PM

"Church... facilities are open to the general public on a for-profit basis.
Posted by: Hillman1"

Uh, not really.

Your values seem rather far from that of the Church, which uses their facilities not to maximize its profits as measured in dollars, but to maximize God's profits as measured as love on earth directed to God and neighbor.
To recognize gay marriage would be to deny God's law, deny Him and thus deny part of ourselves. How can you pass a law that asks the Church to deny itself? Does not the First Amendment provide for the free exercise of religion?

Posted by: cprferry | November 15, 2009 2:40 PM

"The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn't change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care." Let's just translate that - "if you don't allow us to practice bigotry then these deserving and helpless people can go rot.". Is there anything I missed there? I don't think so. So much for compassion. Supernatural beliefs do not entitle any organization to break the law. Simple as that.

Posted by: rwseighty | November 15, 2009 3:13 PM

Many of the commenters are speaking as though the government is giving the Church money as some sort of gift. Not so. The Church accepts the funds to provide services that the government would otherwise have to provide directly, which would require setting up a large and expensive bureaucracy. The Church is merely saying that they cannot continue to accept the funds if doing so would require it to violate the moral law. Period. Don't know why that's so controversial.

Posted by: dmpk218 | November 15, 2009 3:16 PM

I agree with Hillman1, "A much fairer question would be 'should the Church get taxpayer funds while being allowed to discriminate against gay people?'"

Posted by: revnate | November 15, 2009 3:55 PM

You don't get it CPRFERRY. The church can say whatever it wants about a law, but it can't break the law. That's where it changes from speech into action. And dude, lots of people think "God" likes gay marriage. So once you start telling people that we need to follow "God's Law" you really have no standing.

Posted by: borduin | November 15, 2009 4:20 PM

ROSSACPA Any links for assertion number 1?

Posted by: borduin | November 15, 2009 4:23 PM

There's a common theme in bad movies where the villain presents a hero with an ultimatum, and claims that if the hero doesn't comply then the villain will kill the hero's girlfriend or whatever. Well done. The catholic church's grasp of morality has been reduced to the level of a bad movie villain. Well done guys! Your bigotry makes Jesus proud.

Posted by: jm_birkett | November 15, 2009 4:37 PM

I also write to protest this poorly worded poll question. Who wrote it? Which editors or polling professionals vetted it? Certainly not someone who knew what they were doing or someone who wanted any accurate result. It's a lazy, inflammatory take on the complex issues involved in this matter. So, I did not participate in the poll and I urge Wash Post readers to ignore it and to demand another, fairer framing of the question.

Posted by: mitchw7959 | November 15, 2009 5:25 PM

I'm with the others: The question is so poorly worded that there's no answer to be given.

For the record, I think the Catholic Church should stop taking city money to provide services if they are unwilling to abide by the law. They are not being required to marry anyone they disapprove of, merely to recognize the fact of that marriage by providing benefits. I assume they provide them to the married Protestants or other faiths they have working for them.

Posted by: Fabrisse | November 15, 2009 5:36 PM

This discussion once again proves that 90% of people either do not read or cannot comprehend what they read. This includes Washington Post reporters. Sad.

Posted by: kieran2001 | November 15, 2009 6:04 PM

Just so people here know, Fr Zulhzdorf at his blog is sending people here to pump this poll:

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/11/poll-alert-wapo-dc-and-catholic-charities/

Fr Z does this regularly for polls of this sort. His blog is a regular poll-pumping machine, if you review it over time. Of course, these polls have ZERO statistical validity, and they don't even inform the Post of what its readers think. Then again, how a Catholic priest has free time for this activity is another question.

Posted by: Karl4 | November 15, 2009 6:42 PM

Not to state the obvious, but this is another reason against ballot bigotry. Your question is extremely slanted and biased. You might ask: Should the church withhold charity from poor people in order to punish gay and lesbian citizens of this city who simply want the same thing of any other citizen -- equal treatment, and the full right to have life and have it more abundantly.

Posted by: mradams | November 15, 2009 9:02 PM

The poll question: If the parts don't fit, should we still call it marriage?

Posted by: mdgree | November 15, 2009 9:19 PM


The catholic church promotes homosexuality in the form of the pedophiles it puts into its churches.


Posted by: mortified469 | November 15, 2009 9:23 PM

The poll question would better phrased:

"Shouldn't the Pope get on his magic hotline to God and ask him to magically remove this government impediment to their ability to discriminate against gays and lesbians?"

Posted by: futility | November 15, 2009 10:34 PM

1. "Of course, these polls have ZERO statistical validity, and they don't even inform the Post of what its readers think."

Exactly so. I wonder why sites like the Post continue to employ such "polls." This one has as much validity with 3/4 against the Catholic Church's position as it had with 3/4 in favor of it - that is to say, none whatsoever. It's simply too easy for a motivated group (or a handful with the ability to get around the cookie requirement) to manipulate. It happens all the time.

Posted by: athelstane | November 15, 2009 10:51 PM

Hello Mortified:

"The catholic church promotes homosexuality in the form of the pedophiles it puts into its churches."

Are you equating homosexuality with pedophilia?

That will create an interesting discussion here.

Posted by: athelstane | November 15, 2009 10:52 PM

"It seems the Catholic Church's dilemma is that it's willing to deny food to the hungry and shelter the homeless to make a political point."

In fairness, I don't think they're willing to abandon that mission (feeding and housing the homeless). But they seem to be saying they will sooner try to accomplish it (probably on a smaller scale) without DC funds if these conditions are imposed on their acceptance.

Maybe that's what it will come to in the end. He who pays the piper seems to insist on calling a new tune. I think many religious entities are starting to rethink their earlier enthusiasm for faith-based social services funding.

Posted by: athelstane | November 15, 2009 10:58 PM

It's aparent to me that the Catholic Church is nothing but a money grabbing organization,living off the good and decent people of that noble city of Washington D.C. After reading some of these posts,I would have sworn we were talking about San Francisco! Feeling guilty as all get out now,because I am a Catholic,I have a suggestion for the Archdiocese.Tell the city to keep their "pieces of silver",close the schools to all but CATHOLIC students,accept only CATHOLIC patients at our hospitals,feed only hungry CATHOLICS,provide shelter for only needy CATHOLICS,and any other services needed for CATHOLICS only.Let Acorn take care of everyone else.

Posted by: slingshot1 | November 15, 2009 11:12 PM

I'm pretty sure the U.S Constitution prevents the DC City Council from forcing the Catholic Church to provide services it does not wish to provide. All City Council can do is revoke funding.

This poll is very poorly worded. The DC Council can't require the Catholic Church to violate the Church's own tenets. All the council can do is withhold funds...which the Catholic Church will not accept, anyway, if the proposed gay marriage bill passes.

For a quick reality check, please substitute some other words into this poll and see what you think - for example, "Should the City require a Muslim/AME Zion church member/Buddhist/Sikh/Jew to follow a law he/she considers immoral? Well...maybe some of these other religious groups get a little more consideration, and maybe they don't. I'd guess, though, that they aren't the subject of ridiculous and biased polls like this one.

For all of you who think this means the Church won't help the poor, you don't understand the Catholic Church at all.

PS - Shame on you, Post, for adding fuel to this ridiculously biased fire. The DC City Council has many tools at its disposal to prevent Catholic Charities from ending services, including the religious exemption amendment it rejected. Let's look at both sides of the issue from now on, shall we?

Posted by: italiascuola | November 15, 2009 11:13 PM

Hello Slingshot,

Except the Church doesn't believe in a completely privatized faith - and for that matter that is the position of many Christian denominations, who have to face the Great Commission, which specifies not only to feed the poor regardless of whether they are Christian or not, but also to evangelize them.

In the end I think they'll sacrifice the funding and keep the doors open to the poor regardless of who they are, though they'll have to operate on a reduced basis. On the other hand, you may have a point in regards to employment, as they may end up tightening their standards on that score.

"Money grubbing organization." I think if you had the chance to meet some of the people employed by the Church in these charities (with long hours at low pay, even at the most senior positions), you might think otherwise.

Posted by: athelstane | November 15, 2009 11:21 PM

Yes, the church should be required to obey the law. Even if they have some kind of weird moral objection to the fact that the law forces them to turn known pedophiles over to the proper authorities, even if they happen to be priests, that doesn't give them the right to just ignore the law without consequences. We have laws for a reason.

Posted by: phantomreader42 | November 16, 2009 12:14 AM

Over 30 years ago, I sat helplessly by unable to think of anything to comfort my father when my mother died. They had been together for over 51 years. I had never seen my father cry until that day and I could only hold his hand, hoping that would give him comfort. Nine years ago a friend of mine from army days lost his partner to death after 15 years together and once more I could only sit and hold his hand while he cried. While I knew that my parents loved each other, I could not tell you why they loved each other and the same thing was true about my gay friends.

Any organization that puts some pathetic babble from Bronze Age herdsmen ahead of the welfare of living human beings isn't fit to work for the city and we lose nothing by the church returning to its own business.

Posted by: mickle1 | November 16, 2009 12:19 AM

You might as well ask "Can the church choose to ignore laws at will?" Since obviously the priests/bishops/etc. have no problem overlooking tedious little laws like those against rape, I think relying on the Catholic church to make some kind of effective moral judgment is a little foolish, don't you?

Everyone lives under the law. Many people, one law. Those are the rules. Don't like it, you know where the door is.

T

Posted by: ThomasTheobald | November 16, 2009 2:45 AM

"Everyone lives under the law. Many people, one law. Those are the rules. Don't like it, you know where the door is."

That's true. But then - this is not a law yet. It will be a law if the Council passes this bill.

Until that time all citizens have a right to make their opinion known on the bill, which presumably is what the Church - corporately a citizen and also composed of citizens - is doing here. As are those who favor it in its current form.

And on all evidence if it passes, the Church will abide by it, apparently by declining city contracts in cases where it would have to violate its own principles.

Posted by: athelstane | November 16, 2009 7:31 AM

I'm amused that despite the pathetically poor wording of this poll question, those who voted were neither misled, nor the least bit hesitant in voting "yes" despite the obvious slant of the terminology used.

It also amuses me that the pro-church commenters have a predilection for referring to the church as "she", considering it's such a bastion of male supremacy.

Posted by: laboo | November 16, 2009 7:45 AM

"Tell the city to keep their "pieces of silver",close the schools to all but CATHOLIC students,accept only CATHOLIC patients at our hospitals,feed only hungry CATHOLICS,provide shelter for only needy CATHOLICS,and any other services needed for CATHOLICS only."

That's the exact opposite of what Jesus did and instructed.

And I don't recall Jesus threatening to withhold his services if the local government didn't allow him to refuse medical treatment to gays or anyone else.

In fact, Jesus treated the Roman centurion's 'companion' with nary a thought to the fact that they were most likely gay lovers.

If only the Catholic Church could be a bit more like Jesus.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 7:52 AM

The Roman Catholic Church does not have the right to use taxpayer money to further its religious doctrines. No one forced Catholic Charities or the other arms of this huge organization to take taxpayer money. If they don't want to follow our civil rights laws, then they don't have to enrich themselves at the public trough.

Posted by: david6 | November 16, 2009 7:59 AM

Hillman1,

Lol. Well, the Church sure gets beat up for her teachings like Jesus did. Lol. Shows what you know about Him.

Ryan Haber
Kensington, Maryland

Posted by: withouthavingseen | November 16, 2009 8:26 AM

The Church is the largest and most cost-effective provider of social services in the world, and the second largest in pretty much any particular part of the US, after the government. It is for that reason, because they can get more mileage for their money, that governments have for a long time contracted the Church to perform some of the functions that it had already appropriated to itself. In the DC area, these contracts include schools, adoption services, hospitals, crisis pregnancy centers, soup kitchens, job placement centers, shelters, free clinics, nursing homes and hospices for the indigent, parenting and literacy classes, and more.

Now the city is come along and said, "Hi, we are only going to contract with agencies, from now on, that do some things that you folks find deeply repugnant. So either, switch up your whole worldview concerning sexuality, or else, we are not going to contract with you to feed poor folks, etc."

It's perplexing, really. Why should they stop contracting the Church to take care of the indigent ill if the Church won't adopt children to gay couples?

If the city cared about its poor, it would not put the service-providers of the poor in such unnecessary binds.

In reality, this move is only the latest in a series of failed attempts by David Catania and company to put the screws to the Catholic Church, of which he is formerly a member. He has stated this intention as his own during at least one occasion in the past. He and his cohort are trying to make a point. That's all. And they don't give one lick about the homeless. The homeless, after all, don't usually vote. And they have no money, certainly not as much as the city's affluent homosexual population.

So, the Catholic Church, a bit perplexed, has simply made certain that the city is aware of the implications of its decisions. The city perhaps feels it can find another organization to contract with for those services. Maybe it will serve them directly itself.

Lol. Good luck, DC. Like you're that great at the social services you already provide on your own. Lol.

It's no skin off our backs though, because we weren't in it for ourselves anyway. We just don't like to see the poor steamrolled by other political concerns. Again.

Ryan Haber
Kensington, Maryland

Posted by: withouthavingseen | November 16, 2009 8:27 AM

David6,

If you think ANYONE in the Catholic Church is getting enriched "at the public trough" you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. You only need to set foot in any Catholic parish, or see any Catholic social worker's paycheck, to be disabused of that notion.

For everyone's information, the Church has been contracted by the City for decades because she is GOOD at doing these things, and because the City feels that the Church can do it better than the City can itself. If the City suddenly wants to go at it on its own, good for it.

Best of luck. Lord knows the District government is competent in all its other endeavors.

Ryan Haber
Kensington, Maryland

Posted by: withouthavingseen | November 16, 2009 8:30 AM

"Hi, we are only going to contract with agencies, from now on, that do some things that you folks find deeply repugnant. So either, switch up your whole worldview concerning sexuality, or else, we are not going to contract with you to feed poor folks, etc."

Nonsense.

They can still keep their stunted and hateful worldview.

All they have to do is say 'we don't approve of gay marriage and you aren't considered married by church standards, but we recognized that you are legally civilly married, and we will follow the law, while still noting our objections.'

Providing medical coverage to legally married couples isn't 'endorsing' them. It's following the law.

Just like providing medical coverage to a couple that previously had a divorce that the church doesn't recognize..... it's against Church teachings, but they do it anyway because it's the law.

And how again is denying ANYONE medical coverage in keeping with Christian values?

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 8:33 AM

"Lol. Well, the Church sure gets beat up for her teachings like Jesus did. Lol. Shows what you know about Him."

So, please, point out to me where in Scripture Christ advocated denying health care coverage to ANYONE.

While you are at it, point out anywhere that he said anything at all about gay marriage, or about gay people at all, beyond saying we should love everyone?

The only possible reference would be when Jesus healed the Roman centurion's 'companion'. The Greek term is pais, which was essentially common slang terminology for gay male lover.

And it's key to note that Jesus extended health care (in fact, divine health care) to this person despite the fact that they were most likely a gay couple.

You're talking to the gay son of Pentecostal preachers. I guarantee you I can quote Scripture all day long.

Which makes it a bit harder for you to use Christ as a smokescreen for your hate and prejudice.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 8:42 AM

"Hi, we are only going to contract with agencies, from now on, that do some things that you folks find deeply repugnant. So either, switch up your whole worldview concerning sexuality, or else, we are not going to contract with you to feed poor folks, etc."

Again, nonsense.

Since when is withholding medical coverage to anyone in line with what Christ taught? Giving medical coverage to people even if you think they are the Worst Sinners Ever would be completely in line with Christ's teachings.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 8:44 AM

"He and his cohort are trying to make a point. That's all. And they don't give one lick about the homeless. The homeless, after all, don't usually vote. And they have no money, certainly not as much as the city's affluent homosexual population."

Brother Christian, I have to point out that lying and bearing false witness are in fact sins.

Do you have real evidence to show that Catania and others don't care about the homeless?

If so, please present it.

And suggesting that all homosexuals are affluent is also untrue. Rest assured, I know more gays in DC than you do. Not all are wealthy. In fact, quite a few are destitute and barely getting. Particularly some elderly gays that contracted HIV decades ago. And many black gays who have had their families and churches turn their backs on them.

And, yes, some of them are actually homeless.

An honorable person and a decent Christian would retract such a lie about Catania at once.

I'll be waiting for your proof of how Catania doesn't care about the homeless. Or I'll be waiting for your retraction.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 8:48 AM

OMFG the Catholic church may have to obey THE LAW. In the midst of these hyperventilating polls and articles, can we please make it clear that we're talking about the church receiving and administering public funds??? Why should they receive a special right to discriminate that other groups competing for those same funds don't get? If the Catholic church wants to stamp its feet like a petulant child and threaten not to take MY TAX DOLLARS anymore, I say we call them on it and find somebody who's willing to obey the law.

Posted by: MrDarwin | November 16, 2009 9:02 AM

furtdw: When did you stop beating your wife?

Posted by: rx7ward | November 16, 2009 9:06 AM

"In fact, Jesus treated the Roman centurion's 'companion' with nary a thought to the fact that they were most likely gay lovers.
If only the Catholic Church could be a bit more like Jesus.
POSTED BY: HILLMAN1"

The Church doesn't discriminate against individual homosexuals. Each and every person is are fully equally, wonderfully and unique. The contention is the endorsement and recognition of gay marriage.

And I somewhat doubt that Jesus would be turning water into wine for those Roman soldiers' gay wedding. But that's just my understanding of Jesus' teachings.

Posted by: cprferry | November 16, 2009 9:30 AM

How about a poll that asks:

Should the Church bully the city into discriminating with tax dollars?

Keep your Body of Christ out of government.

Posted by: coloradodog | November 16, 2009 10:02 AM

Really, CPR? Can you point to even one verse where Jesus condemns gay marriage? Even one?

And, again, paying benefits required by law is not 'condoning' anything. It is following the law.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 10:30 AM

The Constitution (First Amendment) provides for free exercise of religion, but the same amendment (Establishment Clause) precludes the government from favoring one religion or religion in general over no religion. Religious individuals, including those belonging to the Catholic Church, have every right to practice their religion -- i.e., discriminate against whomever they wish -- within their private non-secular world. They do not have to ordain gay people, perform same sex marriages, or even let gay people into their church services. These free exercise as well as free speech rights allow them to say whatever they want as well against same sex marriage or gay people in general (i.e., it's immoral, gays are evil, whatever).

However, the church, as a 501(c)(3) organization obtains particular benefits (i.e., tax subsidies) because we want to avoid government entanglement with religion as much as possible. The flip side of this is that we expect churches to stay out of politics; hence, a 501(c)(3) org. "may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates." The church should not be waging a war against marriage equality legislation; that's not part of its free exercise rights, and it's a violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of IRS code. Moreover, religious individuals and organizations are not exempt from neutral and generally applicable laws such as nondiscrimination laws. If they were, our society would literally be a nightmare. Imagine a world where the KKK can opt out of murder laws because their religious beliefs teach them that non-white/christian/heterosexual individuals are evil.

Similarly, the church has no right to receive DC public money to provide services to the needy; the moment it accepts public money, all strings attached to that money must be obeyed. If the church doesn't like it, don't accept the money. DC will find another organization.

Posted by: dcresident11 | November 16, 2009 10:48 AM

The very basic concept of religious freedom requires that the Church not be forced to abandon it's beliefs by the government. Has nothing to do with what money the Church receives from the government. The government was well aware of the Church's stance of gay marriage before it awarded contracts to it. You can't change the rules in the middle of the game. But that's exactly what DC government wants to do. I suspect the fed will step in and slap DC government around a bit. If you want to enjoy all the benefits of the services the Church offers, you're going to have to deal with their rules.

This is a serious clash of styles of government. We may live in a democracy, but the Catholic Church has never been, nor will it ever be a Democracy. A quick read of the Bible will confirm that. "I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and same judgment." 1 Cor 10. And Catholics believe in apostolic succession and the teaching authority of the Church as described by Paul in 1 Cor 11. "I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you." And in Ephesians 2:19-22, "So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temply in the Lord; in whome you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."

There's bound to be a clash between Church and state. The key has always been compromise. The Church provides very good and useful services to the City, but the City also understands the Church is not and should not be and extension of the government. Rather they should be partners. This arrangement involves some give and take. I personally feel both sides are being a bit immature in their threats and complaining and media grand standing. But I can also see that there's merit in both sides' arguments. This would be a classic case for compromise. But it will take some major downsizing of egos for that to happen. There is no compelling reason to force the Church to offer same sex benefits to its employees, just as there's no way anyone is going to force the Church to provide health insurance which pays for abortions. It's just not going to happen.

Posted by: kwbinMD | November 16, 2009 10:55 AM

Anyone has a right to refuse to do what he/she believes is wrong...including the Church.
The DC council has a choice:
1) It can either excuse the Church from a particular situation or
2)it can exclude the Church from all services they provide and not pay them tax dollars.

Posted by: JBopinion | November 16, 2009 11:04 AM

"The government was well aware of the Church's stance of gay marriage before it awarded contracts to it."

Actually, it's the city's human rights statutes that would require the Church to provide benefits to partners of same sex couples.

And that language has been there for some time. The Church was most certainly aware of it.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 11:07 AM

"You can't change the rules in the middle of the game. But that's exactly what DC government wants to do."

Actually, they can. The church has no right to public tax dollars, just like the government has no power to command the church to continue to provide the community services it does under the contracts. The contracts simply won't be renewed.

Posted by: dcresident11 | November 16, 2009 11:11 AM

"Actually, they can. The church has no right to public tax dollars, just like the government has no power to command the church to continue to provide the community services it does under the contracts. The contracts simply won't be renewed."

Again they can't simply change the rules in the middle of the game. Like you said, DC can choose not to renew those contracts and find a more suitable provider or do it themselves. I wish them luck with that. I don't think the Church is asserting any right to public money. The Church stated that they cannot and will not support gay marriage while acknowledging that fact could put the programs it operates for the District in jeopardy.

Posted by: kwbinMD | November 16, 2009 11:26 AM

Well, then it's unclear what you mean by "they can't simply change the rules in the middle of the game." Nothing will happen until the contracts are up for renewal and the church chooses whether or not to comply with the DC Human Rights Charter. People are aware of the potential repercussions, but this isn't some sort of illegal powergrab by the DC Council - it's well within their governing powers.

Posted by: dcresident11 | November 16, 2009 11:33 AM

Generally, the Feds who are led by their liberal anti-religious sacramental views, simply forget the 2nd Amendment now. All churches should have the right to denounce anything they deem bad for their followers what the Bible calls sin. This does not mean that church should use force, guns or riots to make their views known, but the Feds have no Constitutional right to tell a church that pastors have no right to condemn any sin, adultery, stealing, homosexual actions as not worthy of a Holy God. The Bible has no bounds on what is PC or not. And this is simple PC baloney. A fave group to be protected at all costs. And btw, most churches do not want federal bucks, I never did as a pastor, because they know that strings would occur which would deny the duty to warn how God would warn that certain things are simply bad for one if they practice it. The PC effort to now even give terrorists our rights is just one more lie from the Pit of Hell. Yeah, I know, good liberals do not believe in God or Hell. How is that hope and change working out for you as you face your Maker someday?

Posted by: phillyfanatic | November 16, 2009 12:53 PM

"Yeah, I know, good liberals do not believe in God or Hell. How is that hope and change working out for you as you face your Maker someday?"

Really? You are going to drag Christ down to the level of petty politics, suggesting that people with a different political bent than you don't believe in God?

That's how little your Christianity means to you?

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 12:59 PM

"Again they can't simply change the rules in the middle of the game. Like you said, DC can choose not to renew those contracts and find a more suitable provider or do it themselves. I wish them luck with that. I don't think the Church is asserting any right to public money."

Actually, yes they can. Laws change all the time.

Do you think that when Congress passed the 1967 Civil Rights Act they said it didn't apply to any existing government contracts?

And the Church is most certainly asserting a right to public resources. Particularly when they maintain properties in DC and demand that the property be tax-exempt. Yet they sure are willing to use public infrastructure, like roads, sewers, police and fire, etc.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 1:02 PM

"Do you think that when Congress passed the 1967 Civil Rights Act they said it didn't apply to any existing government contracts?"

Huge difference when you're talking about applying the law to a Church or religion. Religion enjoys special Constitutional protections against laws passed. How much of an effect did the law have on Mormons and others who have/had specific rules against such things as interracial dating? Absolutely none. My point is, there is no way on this earth DC is going to pass a law that specifically tells the Catholic Church or any church for that matter, what they can and cannot do. It just won't happen. I'm extremely confident that a compromise will be reached because again, I believe both sides are being a bit immature in their approaches to solving the issue at hand AND because it's the right thing to do.

Umm, you show me a single case where the Church is asserting any right whatsoever to public resources. There is none. They entered in an agreement with the City to maintain properties and perform services according to contracts. Both sides may have grown comfortable with these arrangements since they stretch back many decades, but that's about it.

And your really reaching with your assertion that they use public infrastructure and as such should be taxed. How many people that use DC roads actually live in DC? I'll give you 3 guess and the first 2 don't count. Ever wonder why a commuter tax won't ever fly in DC? So don't try to single out the Catholic Church as an abuser of public infrastructure. To borrow a phrase, that dog won't hunt.

Posted by: kwbinMD | November 16, 2009 1:22 PM

"And your really reaching with your assertion that they use public infrastructure and as such should be taxed. How many people that use DC roads actually live in DC? I'll give you 3 guess and the first 2 don't count. Ever wonder why a commuter tax won't ever fly in DC"

Commuters by definition don't own property in DC. Churches do.

Property in DC, by definition, consumes public resources.

Hence they should be taxed.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 2:50 PM

"Umm, you show me a single case where the Church is asserting any right whatsoever to public resources."

Again, their tax free status.

But another example? Their insistence that they can park illegally on Sundays, often blocking in residents for hours, making it hard for fire and rescue trucks to navigate the city, etc.

Yes, they have actually claimed this is their 'right' as churchgoers, even though most don't live in the city, and their property is tax exempt.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 2:52 PM

"How much of an effect did the law have on Mormons and others who have/had specific rules against such things as interracial dating? Absolutely none."

Um, yes, it had quite an effect. It said that Mormons or others could not prohibit their members that were interracial from getting married in a civil marriage ceremony.

Of course, they were still theoretically free to bar them from membership in their church, which is absolutely their right.

But what they could not do was get government contracts and then refuse to hire or give benefits because a couple was interracial.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 2:54 PM

"Religion enjoys special Constitutional protections against laws passed."

That is not unlimited.

For example, in this instance the DC Council is specifically saying churches cannot be forced to perform or support gay marriages in their church facilities.

But they must abide by civil rights laws if they get government contracts. Whether they like those laws or not. They cannot let the spouse of a gay employee literally die simply because they hate gays.

It's a compromise. Religious beliefs should be accommodated when possible, but there are obviously limits.

And allowing a church to withhold medical care and let someone die because they hate you is one of those limits.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 16, 2009 2:57 PM

"Religion enjoys special Constitutional protections against laws passed. How much of an effect did the law have on Mormons and others who have/had specific rules against such things as interracial dating? Absolutely none."

This is a big oversimplification. You're correct that government cannot compel the church to change its beliefs or teachings about homosexuality, interracial marriage, etc. However, government certainly can enact neutral and generally applicable laws that may incidentally burden religions (e.g., nondiscrimination laws as they relate to the SECULAR activities of churches); the government need not accommodate the illegal acts of a church in pursuit of its religious beliefs. In Employment Division v. Smith, the US Supreme Court upheld a state law prohibiting use of peyote, even though Native American groups routinely used it as part of their religious traditions. The Court made clear: "[I]f prohibiting the exercise of religion is not the object of the [law] but merely the incidental effect of a generally applicable and otherwise valid provision, the First Amendment has not been offended." For example, the government can surely prevent a church from sacrificing an animal or human to its god. Similarly, the government can require all businesses, individuals, and organizations, to comply with nondiscrimination laws when they provide public services, even if it offends their religious beliefs to provide benefits to gays, blacks, fornicators, jews, etc.

Posted by: dcresident11 | November 16, 2009 3:00 PM

Stop giving the Catholics all of the credit. Why not say the DC Council vs. Christianity or DC Council vs. the Holy Bible.

Posted by: choseright01 | November 16, 2009 4:29 PM

"Really, CPR? Can you point to even one verse where Jesus condemns gay marriage? Even one?
And, again, paying benefits required by law is not 'condoning' anything. It is following the law.
Posted by: Hillman1"

Acts 15:19-20 instructs Gentiles what from the old law is to be retained, including to avoid the unlawful marriages of Leviticus 18

Posted by: cprferry | November 16, 2009 6:42 PM

"Acts 15:19-20 instructs Gentiles what from the old law is to be retained, including to avoid the unlawful marriages of Leviticus 18"

Nonsense. Acts does not quote Jesus. Period.

And there is absolutely no mention of gay marriage in that passage.

Fail on at least two counts.

Posted by: Hillman1 | November 17, 2009 8:16 AM

What happened here? At 1631 GMT, 2269 votes, 408 of which were Yes. At 1632 GMT, a minute later, there were all of a sudden 6575 more votes, 6225 of which were Yes. Something fishy is going on.

Posted by: hamburglar | November 17, 2009 10:47 AM

HAMBURGLAR- I noticed that earlier as well. It seems the poll isn't updated in real time, only at certain intervals.

Posted by: sheapearce | November 17, 2009 10:00 PM

This is the trojan horse that will gradually end freedom of religion in this country. If these activities continue there will eventually be no separation of church and state and the government will dictate religious behavior and beliefs.

Posted by: ramares83 | November 18, 2009 6:29 AM

>

Absolutely incorrect.
The Church considers all civil marriages (between men and women)as well as all religious marriages by members of other faiths to be valid.

Both the poll question and the article are blatanly biased. I am sure the Church will go on helping the poor and homelees with its own funds if taxpayer monies are withdrawn.
The city provoked the crisis by imposing THEIr dogmas on the Church.

Posted by: tcschdy | November 19, 2009 12:26 PM

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