This new year is bringing me a new home at Foedus. Please follow this link to my recent blog post https://omm.foeduscatholic.com/?p=5043 and sign up to receive my blog at my new home.
This new year is bringing me a new home at Foedus. Please follow this link to my recent blog post https://omm.foeduscatholic.com/?p=5043 and sign up to receive my blog at my new home.
Since high school theology teacher Rich Raho decided to call out Bishop Strickland, I decided to give him a little attention. (Before I start – parents, if you have kids in his school, find another school, your money is wasted.) I don’t mean to besmirch Raho’s educational accomplishments, but a BA in Psych and a Master of Divinity don’t make him equal in knowledge of the Faith to the likes of Bishop Strickland. So, when I see Raho trying to take Bishop Strickland to task, I have no choice but to point out that he is not in the same league.
Raho has fallen prey to pride in the same way as the America Magazine or National catholic Reporter folks. They’re trying desperately to quiet those who champion an end to abortion, and in doing so try to paint those who do as somehow opposed to Pope Francis.
Let’s first take a look at Raho’s latest folly:
Let me help Rich out and explain the whole “preeminent” language voted on by the USCCB, because he really doesn’t seem to have a clue. Sadly, Cardinal Cupich and Bishop McElroy have aided and abetted his confusion, too.
“Preeminent” has nothing to do with valuing one life more than another. This is what the dissenting liberals (who really couldn’t care less about stopping abortion) try to tell you. “Preeminent” has every thing to do with who is in the most danger of death at the time. Barring a miraculous event, ever single baby who goes through whatever abortion procedure is chosen will die if that procedure takes place and they cannot fight for their lives. This is not the same for any other tragedy, although I suspect out and out euthanasia is on the horizon. Does this mean that any life is worth less than any other? Nope. It means that the danger of death is assured for this evil like no other. Homelessness, hunger, poverty, etc., etc., etc., are all tragedies, but death is not assured. Should we fight to help all? Absolutely! But, seriously, it is ridiculous to downplay the fact that thousands of children are being killed every day in this country simply because there are other tragedies going on.
Rich would have some serious issues proving the “preeminent” wording of the USCCB is in any way deficient or falling short of anything. Always wonder if he actually knows what the definition is.
surpassing all others; very distinguished in some way:
Being proximate to death makes abortion THE preeminent issue of our world. Rich hasn’t answered my little question to him on Twitter, though. Why? He knows he can’t, because I’m pretty darn sure he might have a heart and would save the child in danger of death first. That admission blows his lame argument out of the water. I’m pretty sure Pope Francis would do the same in that instance. That’s the reality of abortion.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! Oh, and “Happy Holidays” to the dissenters. I’m back from “vacation” (doing that family thing) and ready to take on dissent! Woot! Rah-rah-rah! I may be just a little inspired by bowl games but here goes!
Fr. Jim Sickho apparently isn’t really new, but he is new to me after running across my laptop in the last few weeks. I debated his lame, ignorant, political tweet (below), but then, after looking at his Twitter page, I started wondering if maybe I was debating a parody account. I have since done some research and, nope, he’s real. Sigh. I think we’re suddenly hearing about him only because he’s just jumped the shark. Some people will do anything for ratings.
This was my first exposure to the latest “Fr. Jim.” (Poor St. James. His namesakes are not being kind to him.)
So many errors in one little tweet. I guess one out of three ain’t bad. Just a quick clean up of his ideological take. The Holy Family was Jewish. Yay! He got one. However, they weren’t immigrants, nor were they unmarried. Fortunately, many of the 608 comments pointed out that glaring stupidity .
While I was enjoying my break, I saw his next attempt to woo the liberals. I can’t show it all to you because the original tweet has been deleted, but Fr. Longenecker paraphrased it nicely here. (By the way, since Fr. Longenecker has dared to challenge Fr. Sichko, he’s been banned.) It said something very close to this if not dead on:
Let us all remember during this time of the Holy Family that all families are holy. Some are heterosexual and some are homosexual. Some are single mothers and some are poor, divorced or widowed.
And Fr. Sichko had a follow up tweet:
Oh, yeah, the Holy Family’s situation is the same as “man-made” family tragedies like divorce and abandonment. Um, really??? Of course, there was a wee bit of a backlash for these posts.
Like I pointed out, interestingly enough, the tweet we’re all about to be accused of leaping to judgment about has been removed. Why? Because Fr. Sichko knows it was wrong. They were his words and he can’t defend them. But, yeah, let’s ban Fr. Longenecker instead of actually dealing with his arguments. So merciful.
Here’s today’s litany of “You’re a bunch of mean judging, judgy people!” ranting tweets. All I can say, if you decide you’re going to play the game, you better be ready for the defense or you might want to stay on the bench. But, noooooo! He’s gonna go with the “Hey, I’m a quarterback! I’m special! Not my fault I can’t complete a pass to save my life! It’s the mean, old, judgmental receivers!” (Told you the bowl games are on! Go Bears! They won by the way.)
First, I’m pretty sure that you being a “Papal Missionary of Mercy” doesn’t make you infallible. (Actually, I’m quite positive, since your tweets show the opposite.) Next you either volunteered or were appointed by your bishop, and the Vatican probably gave you a nice little certificate to show for it, but ALL priests are missionaries of mercy. All your title does, essentially, is put you at the bishop’s beck and call for any special Year of Mercy activities. The rest is plain old priestly duties, so please don’t make it sound like it’s some higher education appointment.
Next, let’s be clear. We’re not judging those in tough situations. We’re judging YOUR actions, or, in your case, repeated uneducated comments that are very misleading and wrong. We are ALL called to holiness. To say that everyone is holy simply by virtue of being in a family is ridiculous and doesn’t call people to avail themselves of God’s mercy. (Maybe somebody should revoke that Missionary of Mercy certificate). That is what priests are supposed to do. You are supposed to call us to repent and avail ourselves of God’s mercy. What you originally typed was not that, so, yeah, we can judge that it was a stupid statement. What’s worse, giving people a pass like that victimizes CHILDREN who are OWED parents who help lead them to salvation. Does that happen for all children? Woefully, no. We all fall short, but that doesn’t mean we simply champion parents who don’t. We don’t need priests who tell us we’re grand (and this goes for all of us) when we are scandalizing our children.
Here’s more of the same liberal canard we’re regularly subjected to. So, for the newbies, we CAN judge ACTIONS, we CANNOT judge SOULS. Fr. Sichko, the Pope, and every other person on this earth judge actions on a daily basis. In fact, calling people judgmental is making a judgment. Or how about saying someone has a log in their eye? Sounds a little judgy, Father. Duh! At least you’re exemplifying the meaning of the passage well. So, I’m all for removing the logs in from our eyes. But please, let’s help others do the same because that’s what we’re supposed to do as the Body of Christ.
Finally, I’m not sure that Fr. Sichko understands what the “essence of his vocation” is. It’s to lead souls to heaven. It’s to be Christlike and tell people to “Go and sin no more!”, just as he did with the adulteress. That’s kind of hard to do when we can’t even talk about objective sin. Moral relativism isn’t going to save a soul. Telling people their holy when they’re not won’t help either. Truth will. That is where true mercy is found.
Sr. Simone Campbell is, well, an idiot. Yet somehow the oldies from the 60’s and 70’s keep her propped up (kinda like Nancy Pelosi). Sometimes I think these people made a deal with the devil for the fame they have, because it’s the only reason I can see why anyone pays attention to them. In a movie all about her, she was asked “Why did you become a nun?” Her response? “Because my parents wouldn’t let me go to Woodstock.” Darn! We were one music festival away from not having to be bothered with her babbling. Soooooo close!
Her latest tweet:
I am so tired of hearing how the liberal elite have fought for “the little guys” and the vulnerable. I’ve stood outside Nancy Pelosi’s house in San Francisco. You know, the area where the homeless people are not allowed to sleep (and/or defecate). Honestly, it’s a beautiful place and I don’t begrudge her living there, but, uh, she has zero idea about what vulnerable means. When was the last time she stepped over the unwashed masses and gave them a second of her time? I mean, seriously, she has plenty of opportunities to go down to the local soup kitchen and help out, but she is so darn elite that she doesn’t even take the time for that photo-op. Seriously, I googled. The closest thing I could find was this: https://youtu.be/xFSWZ91I2mo Could Nan look any more uncomfortable?! So, Sr. Campbell, are you really going to shill for her? Of course you are.
I’m not quite sure when Nancy last lived her faith, if ever. The Catholic Church denounces Planned Parenthood, abortion, birth-control, homosexual acts, transgender activism, etc., and Nancy soundly embraces all. So, please, let’s just stop this whole “Nancy is a devout Catholic” shtick. She may be Catholic by baptism, which is an indelible mark, but after that, she’s really, really, really bad at it. Her amazing embrace of the faith only comes when she gets a priest to put a nice big ash cross on her forehead on Ash Wednesday. The rest of the year she pretty much does the opposite of what Matthew 6 tells us and more:
1 Be sure you do not perform your acts of piety before men, for them to watch; if you do that, you have no title to a reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 Thus, when thou givest alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in synagogues and in streets, to win the esteem of men. Believe me, they have their reward already. 3 But when thou givest alms, thou shalt not so much as let thy left hand know what thy right hand is doing, 4 so secret is thy almsgiving to be; and then thy Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward thee. 5 And when you pray, you are not to be like hypocrites, who love to stand praying in synagogues or at street-corners, to be a mark for men’s eyes; believe me, they have their reward already. 6 But when thou art praying, go into thy inner room and shut the door upon thyself, and so pray to thy Father in secret; and then thy Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward thee.
7 Moreover, when you are at prayer, do not use many phrases, like the heathens, who think to make themselves heard by their eloquence. 8 You are not to be like them; your heavenly Father knows well what your needs are before you ask him. 9 This, then, is to be your prayer, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; 10 thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven; 11 give us this day our daily bread; 12 and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; 13 and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. 14 Your heavenly Father will forgive you your transgressions, if you forgive your fellow men theirs; 15 if you do not forgive them, your heavenly Father will not forgive your transgressions either. Pater noster, qui es in cælis,
16 Again, when you fast, do not shew it by gloomy looks, as the hypocrites do. They make their faces unsightly, so that men can see they are fasting; believe me, they have their reward already. 17 But do thou, at thy times of fasting, anoint thy head and wash thy face, 18 so that thy fast may not be known to men, but to thy Father who dwells in secret; and then thy Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward thee.
19 Do not lay up treasure for yourselves on earth, where there is moth and rust to consume it, where there are thieves to break in and steal it; 20 lay up treasure for yourselves in heaven, where there is no moth or rust to consume it, no thieves to break in and steal. 21 Where your treasure-house is, there your heart is too. 22 The eye is the light of the whole body, so that if thy eye is clear, the whole of thy body will be lit up; 23 whereas if thy eye is diseased, the whole of thy body will be in darkness. And if the light which thou hast in thee is itself darkness, what of thy darkness? How deep will that be! 24 A man cannot be the slave of two masters at once; either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will devote himself to the one and despise the other. You must serve God or money; you cannot serve both.
25 I say to you, then, do not fret over your life, how to support it with food and drink; over your body, how to keep it clothed. Is not life itself a greater gift than food, the body than clothing? 26 See how the birds of the air never sow, or reap, or gather grain into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them; have you not an excellence beyond theirs? 27 Can any one of you, for all his anxiety, add a cubit’s growth to his height? 28 And why should you be anxious over clothing? See how the wild lilies grow; they do not toil or spin; 29 and yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 If God, then, so clothes the grasses of the field, which to-day live and will feed the oven to-morrow, will he not be much more ready to clothe you, men of little faith? 31 Do not fret, then, asking, What are we to eat? or What are we to drink? or How shall we find clothing? 32 It is for the heathen to busy themselves over such things; you have a Father in heaven who knows that you need them all. 33 Make it your first care to find the kingdom of God, and his approval, and all these things shall be yours without the asking. 34 Do not fret, then, over to-morrow; leave to-morrow to fret over its own needs; for to-day, to-day’s troubles are enough.
It’s like Nan took it as a playbook instead of a list of what not to do. She talks about how caring she and her buddies are, wags her fingers, proudly displays ashes on her forehead (and probably holds a press conference that day just so she can show you what a great Catholic she is), etc., yet she can’t seem to help people in the city she grew up in. But, hey, she’ll show you how to take care of all the vulnerable (which is rather ironic when she’s trying to kill the most vulnerable among us).
And, as far as Sr. “I’m a leader in the faith community” Simone goes, who made her Queen “in the faith community”? It wasn’t me or my family. She’s in the same boat as Nan. Actually, she might a little better only in the fact that she openly admits to disobedience. She’s never met a Church teaching she didn’t want to dissent from, so let’s be real, she’s hardly a person to tell us who is living the Faith. In fact, she’s not even qualified to tell us who the vulnerable are, since she’s also failed repeatedly to protect the unborn, our most vulnerable. In fact, she’s actually advocated for legal abortion, so please, just ignore her. She’s not an expert on anything moral. We’ve got plenty of other superstars in the area of protecting and serving the vulnerable in the Catholic Church, and she ain’t it. If you’d like to know a wee bit more about Sr. Simone, please see my blog post dedicated to her. https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/old-bitties-on-the-bus/
Update: I want to update with this series of tweets from Elizabeth Scalia. I’ve seen many apologies on Twitter over the years and I have to say it’s one of the best ever. I applaud and thank her for it. This is simply the text of the tweets. I hope everyone will be charitable with it.
Yep, just another “When did you stop beating your wife?” kind of day for the liberals. If you’re going to make accusations or insinuations, BACK IT UP! Otherwise, can we just let the faithfully departed rest in peace??? If it’s never been confirmed by any sources why in the world do you want to bring it up as if it might be some sort of fact?!
The first thing I heard today was “some bishops” asking for a delay in the beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Give me a break. The accusations were out there for years. They’ve been investigated, but nothing could be found. Even a blogger who I usually avoid said “Not credible.” Don’t put on that shoe if it’s not you.
And, even though the Diocese of Peoria said they didn’t know why there was an indefinite postponement, they still felt the need to declare that they had no evidence that Archbishop Sheen was anything but a man of conviction and that there were no credible accusations against him. What in THE heck, Peoria spokesperson? Why even suggest it, then??? I feel like someone should find a new job over that bungling.
Next, Elizabeth Scalia decided that it was a shame, because Archbishop Sheen was “flouncy” and could have been the perfect SSA saint. Seriously? Time for Elizabeth to retire. Not really sure why some are sooo desperate to divide Catholics into categories, nor why some need to speculate about the sexual inclinations of someone who has never given evidence of being more than faithful AND theatrical, but whatever. You’re either faithful, or you are not. We’re all in the same sinful boat. You either recognize you need God’s mercy for whatever, or you think that God thinks everything you do is peachy.
It’s a good time for Fulton Sheen quote because when is it not?
A Catholic may sin and sin as badly as anyone else, but no genuine Catholic ever denies he is a sinner. A Catholic wants his sins forgiven – not excused or sublimated. -Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Back to the bishops…Where’s the transparency that you always wax on about? If you asked for a postponement, man up (if at all possible) and tell us why. If you are not willing to come forward, can you do us all a favor and stop calling the Vatican when something remotely moral and Catholic is about to happen (like the time you stopped the plan to hold bishops accountable)? My guess, but it’s an educated guess, is that Cardinals Cupich, Farrell, Tobin, and Bishop McElroy are behind this debacle, just like their stonewalling about actually doing something to stop abuse. While Elizabeth is hoping Archbishop Sheen was same-sex attracted, these guys are annoyed at the idea that a faithful, moral archbishop might someday be canonized. Rather ironic. Believe me, Elizabeth, if the good archbishop was same-sex attracted, don’t you think that they’d all be totally pushing for the immediate canonization? Use a little common sense.
Gotta admit, I thought this was coming days ago. James Martin, SJ must have been busy celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. Not surprisingly, albeit delayed, he took to Facebook and Twitter to whine about this one in his usual theologically incorrect way.
Judge Smolenski, 62, was baptized at St. Stephen. She and her nine siblings attended the church’s school from first through eighth grade. Her parents were married in the church in the 1940s. In other words, the judge has been a parishioner for 62 years.
Fr. Martin, apparently, thinks Judge Smolenski has some claim to ownership due to her years there. I would think that acting like royalty in the Church might be a little repugnant to him, but I guess not if said “royalty” agrees with him.
As with all these sad cases, the question is: Why are only married LGBT people being singled out? Is Communion denied to all parishioners who are not following church teachings? That is, married couples using birth control or IVF? Or young people engaging in premarital sex?
For those who missed the story on the latest “martyr” Fr. Martin is referring to, here’s a recap. Thanks to Rod Dreher for the in-depth.
As usual, Fr. Martin is blurring the line between public obstinate sinners and private sinners. I’m pretty sure he’s heard it before, but he’s still going to insist on confusing the laity on the issue. So let me ask him again. Fr. Martin, when you look the average couple in the pew, do you know: 1) if they are even married; 2) what their sexual practices are; 3) if they are divorced and “remarried”; 4) engaging in premarital sex; 5) if they conceived their children via IVF, etc., etc. etc.? Nope. Can look at a same-sex couple and know that relationship is objectively disordered? Yup. Can you look at a judge who PUBLICLY advocates for same-sex marriage, abortion, etc., and deny him/her Communion? Yup. These are all public actions. As I’ve said before, most of us don’t broadcast our sins as something of which to be proud. Those who do move into the PUBLIC sinner arena, which has the added bonus of spreading scandal.
And why are parishes focusing only on issues of sexual morality? Are there no other issues in the moral life? Are those who refuse to pay a living wage to employees denied Communion? How about those who do not give to the poor? Those who do not care for the environment?
Don’t you have any new material, Fr. Martin? You’re getting a tad bit repetitive, so I have to get a tad bit repetitive. First of all, are you in the pews at Fr. Nolan’s parish? How do you know that he doesn’t cover these? Besides, whether he does or not, they do not all carry the same weight. You’re promoting the creepy Cardinal Bernadin seamless garment theory again. I’m reasonably sure that, as with most good priests, Fr. Nolan doesn’t just talk to the laity about what goes on in the bedroom. Honestly, to hear Fr. Martin, you’d think that Fr. Nolan’s parish hears a homily on sodomy every Sunday. Please. Any priest that’s going to give a homily about traditional marriage or sodomy is probably going to cover the variations of the big seven: lust, greed, gluttony, envy, anger, pride, and sloth.
Also, if you want to get a small peek at life in a parish, you should check out their bulletin. Fr. Martin might want to note their help for the poor and refugees. Here’s the current one: http://bulletins.discovermass.com/download.php?bulletin=wn7iTp8iuQ1f1G%2FecBp6eztOMtvxFRE2uqV%2FECO6vnQaDFMz761n57q0YNksU2ZldwDN9quh2g2MjLx6R6yJzmzJwfGKuhnEw5B7aAztLgc%3D
And, here are the recent archives: https://discovermass.com/church/st-stephen-east-grand-rapids-mi/#bulletins Oh my gosh! How does this parish do it? They actually address social AND moral issues! All this time Fr. Martin would have you believe it had to be one or the other! I think the real question should be is why Fr. Martin never addresses sodomy and masturbation?
Moreover, why is it only a “public” act that bars someone from receiving Communion? If pastors chose to, they could easily ask married couples if they are using birth control, or ask young people if they are engaging in premarital sex. Of course, they choose not to.
Well, it seems like he can’t totally ignore the public sin thing. But, uh, what?! Fr. Martin actually suggests a witch-hunt here. That’s not the role of the priest, at least outside the seal of confession and requested spiritual direction. Priests often ask follow up questions to help the penitent make a thorough confession. For instance, if one making the confession says “I watched porn”, the priest might ask, “Were there any other sinful acts involved while viewing this?” Still, all under the seal of the confessional.
All priests are bound to follow Canon Law, and Canon 915 states:
Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.
Nowhere in Canon Law does it state that a priest has to go around asking people to spill all their sins. And as far as those who confess sins…
Can. 983 §1. The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.
- 2. The interpreter, if there is one, and all others who in any way have knowledge of sins from confession are also obliged to observe secrecy.
Can. 984 §1. A confessor is prohibited completely from using knowledge acquired from confession to the detriment of the penitent even when any danger of revelation is excluded.
- 2. A person who has been placed in authority cannot use in any manner for external governance the knowledge about sins which he has received in confession at any time.
Also, the Catechism states:
1467 Given the delicacy and greatness of this ministry and the respect due to persons, the Church declares that every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him. He can make no use of knowledge that confession gives him about penitents’ lives. This secret, which admits of no exceptions, is called the “sacramental seal,” because what the penitent has made known to the priest remains “sealed” by the sacrament.
And let’s see what Aquinas had to say about public vs. private sinners…
A distinction must be made among sinners: some are secret; others are notorious, either from evidence of the fact, as public usurers, or public robbers, or from being denounced as evil men by some ecclesiastical or civil tribunal. Therefore Holy Communion ought not to be given to open sinners when they ask for it. Hence Cyprian writes to someone (Ep. lxi): “You were so kind as to consider that I ought to be consulted regarding actors, end that magician who continues to practice his disgraceful arts among you; as to whether I thought that Holy Communion ought to be given to such with the other Christians. I think that it is beseeming neither the Divine majesty, nor Christian discipline, for the Church’s modesty and honor to be defiled by such shameful and infamous contagion.”
But if they be not open sinners, but occult, the Holy Communion should not be denied them if they ask for it. For since every Christian, from the fact that he is baptized, is admitted to the Lord’s table, he may not be robbed of his right, except from some open cause. Hence on 1 Corinthians 5:11, “If he who is called a brother among you,” etc., Augustine’s gloss remarks: “We cannot inhibit any person from Communion, except he has openly confessed, or has been named and convicted by some ecclesiastical or lay tribunal.” Nevertheless a priest who has knowledge of the crime can privately warn the secret sinner, or warn all openly in public, from approaching the Lord’s table, until they have repented of their sins and have been reconciled to the Church; because after repentance and reconciliation, Communion must not be refused even to public sinners, especially in the hour of death. Hence in the (3rd) Council of Carthage (Can. xxxv) we read: “Reconciliation is not to be denied to stage-players or actors, or others of the sort, or to apostates, after their conversion to God.”
But what does he know? Sigh. Fr. Martin, this has been done to death. You’re just not that stupid. The public, obstinate sinner receiving Communion scandalizes the sacrament. Here’s just one more for you.
Lots of people know Judge Smolenski civilly married her long time “partner”. She called the press about this, for goodness sake! That is against Church teaching, yet she’s made it clear she’s going to do whatever the heck she wants. Totally scandalous and privileged, I might add. However, she gave $7,000 to the parish and thinks she should just get special treatment? Where’s all the shock and horror about trying to buy salvation now?!
The answer is often: “Of course. Because it would be unethical to investigate and pry.” Yet in many of LGBT cases, the news of the person’s marriage comes from scouring Facebook pages, from someone else reporting them, or from a priest grilling friends and family members. Investigation and prying seem to be acceptable when it comes to the lives of LGBT Catholics.
Really? I love how “many cases” is thrown out there and we’re just supposed to say, “Oh, OK. Happens all the time to poor LGBTQSJ people.” Again, please. I just checked. Judge Smolenski’s Facebook page is private. Can’t scour it unless you’re friends with her and she’s making it public to you. And, please, refer back to Dreher’s piece. She took her sin public and politicized it. Judge Smolenski being totally caught off guard doesn’t fly unless she’s really, really stupid.
In his important new podcast “Plague,” released today, on #WorldAIDSDay, Michael O’Loughlin reminds us of how the Catholic Church ministered to LGBT people, but also how it targeted them for public opprobrium during the height of the crisis. Have we learned nothing?
Nobody is witch-hunting here. If you’re going to flaunt, you’re the one causing the publicity and scandal. As everyone has pointed out, there’s a difference between those who are repentant and those who embrace their sin like a pet.
The Catholic Church is called to proclaim church teaching. But church teaching is, at heart, Jesus’s message of love, mercy and forgiveness. The church also has rules. But these rules must be applied across the board, not selectively, and not simply to one group of people.
Otherwise it is no longer “church teaching.” It is merely discrimination.
I’m totally for equal penalties for public, obstinate sinners. Are you, Fr. Martin? I kind of doubt it, since you employ reverse “discrimination” all the time. You seem to think the contrite and the prideful should get the same treatment. Soooo many verses fly in the face of that. If someone marches in the Pride Parade, that doesn’t seem to count as sin in your mind. Something about them not accepting the Church teaching so it’s not really binding, or other drivel like that. To even suggest someone is sinning is just being mean, unless, of course, you don’t believe “climate change”. Then, boy howdy, you are probably going to hell. Somehow that’s when hell and sin are something one needs to worry about. Good luck with that.
Still just trying to do the mom thing but some things pop up that are worth addressing and this is one of them.
EGR priest denies Communion to gay judge
by: Barton Deiters
EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Judge Sara Smolenski, chief judge of the Kent County District Court, has been denied Communion at the church where she has been a parishioner for more than six decades because she is married to a woman.
It is a move that for many was the final straw in a pattern of behavior that has them calling for the removal of a priest — a priest who came to St. Stephen Catholic Church about three years ago.
Many or buddies of Judge Smoleski? Sounds like here family has ruled the parish for a little too long. I’m sure there’s likely a little “reign of terror” going on at this parish of the “established” families. Not like we haven’t seen this before.
In 1966, under the leadership of Rev. Msgr. Edward N. Alt, St. Stephen Catholic School became the first integrated Catholic school in Metro Grand Rapids and had a student body that was nearly 40 percent non-Catholic.
And I’m sure this had some thinking they could just make it the school they wanted verses a Catholic school. Wrong.
This tradition of inclusion and acceptance would be the essence of the school and the church for 50 years.
Oh for goodness sake. The inclusion and acceptance my foot. Anyone can attend a Catholic school but it doesn’t mean it should become Catholic light to appease them. It’s a CATHOLIC school. You don’t like, move on.
But now, some here say that is changing.
“I’ve been a member of St. Stephen’s Catholic Parish for 62 years, basically,” Smolenski said.
Smolenski who has been on the bench for nearly 30 years, comes from a family of prominent community members, including her father who was also a district court judge, and her brother, a state appeals court judge.
“I was baptized there, my parents were married there, every one of my nine siblings went to school (from) first through eighth grade. We buried my parents out of that school,” Smolenski said. “This is a church that is a part of who I am. This is a church who helped form my faith.”
Uh, clearly not. You’re “married” to a women. That church, apparently, did nada for your faith until Fr. Nolan but maybe, under his leadership, it will. Just because you’ve spent your life there doesn’t mean you own in, honey. God does. It is merciful that you get to attend and receive the sacraments when you, like everyone else, is in the state to do so. How about you try with confession?
News 8 featured Smolenski in March of 2016, when she became the first Kent County elected official to marry someone of the same sex.
But it was just last Saturday that Smolenski got a call from the parish priest, Father Scott Nolan.
“The way he said it was ‘because you’re married to Linda in the state of Michigan, you cannot accept communion,’ that’s how he said it,” Smolenski explained.
Booyah, Fr. Nolan! Well done. You called her and informed her (probably not to her recollection) that her soul was in danger and it was scandalous for her, a PUBLIC, OBSTINATE sinner to receive Our Lord. Sorry, Sara, none of gets to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin. Deal. It’s the same for you and for me and anyone else. As for you, you’re now in the realm of PUBLIC, OBSTINATE SINNER so now you must publicly repent of said sin. The rest of us? Most of us try to keep our sins to ourselves and God. You’ve, apparently, been flaunting yours as if it’s not a sin.
“I try to be a good and faithful servant to our Lord Jesus Christ. My faith is a huge part of who I am, but it is the church that made that faith, the very church where he is taking a stance and saying ho-ho, not you.”
Sorry, again, Sara. If you truly wanted to try and be a good and faithful servant, you might not want to have very publicly entered into an invalid marriage. Like the rest of us, you may not simply marry who you want. Like the rest of us, you may not receive Communion in a state of mortal sin. I’m sorry if you think you deserve exemption but you don’t.
It was a devastating revelation for the lifelong Catholic who months earlier gave $7,000 to the parish building fund.
If this was a “revelation” to you, then someone failed you but it wasn’t Fr. Nolan. You can’t buy your way out of mortal sin. Seriously, the line about giving $7,000 cracked me up. Is she somehow an elitist who can buy her way out of hell? Good luck with that line of thinking.
“Oh my gosh, I’m not going to get Jesus at the church I have devoted my life to,” Smolenski said, fighting back tears. “I thought of my mom and dad who devoted their whole life to raising us Catholic, spending all that money at the Catholic education.”
Again, you can’t buy salvation. Maybe try devoting your life to Christ and not the institution of a parish church you think you can buy.
Smolenski was not the first person to be denied, according to a dozen people News 8 talked to Tuesday, including one same-sex couple who was denied the Eucharist during their child’s communion service.
Oh, yeah. You all so need to send this parish a big fat check to offset the horrified people who thought they could buy their happiness there.
“The public shunning — everything about it was offensive,” Smolenski said of the denial months before her own.
What public shunning? You’re the one who is making this public. So this was a shock to you, Sara? Sounds like now. You’re going for the 15 minutes of martyrdom and you’re perfectly happy to drag a good priest and fellow parishioners with you. Nobody should be clueless. The Catechism and Canon Law of the church they’ve claimed to dedicate their lives to is online. Read people. Everyone knows the same kinds of stories around the country. Feigning shock and awe is getting a little bit ridiculous, don’t you think?
It is part of a pattern, according to Micki Benz, a 40-year member of the parish who is a part of a group of members who have decided to speak out.
A pattern?! You mean the Catholic faith? Lots of dissenters have spoken out over the centuries. Guess what? The Church still stands.
They point to the words of Pope Francis who wrote in his Apostolic Exhortation.
Evangelii Gaudium, translates as “joy of the Gospel,” that the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak and the church is not a toll house but a place for everyone.
Right. And denying Communion to those who are not free from mortal sin is a remedy for their souls. It’s not a prize they get to claim just because they want it.
“(Nolan) has eliminated teachers who are gay. He has made it clear that gay people are not welcome,” Benz said.
It’s a Catholic school, Micki. The pastor is responsible for making sure the students are not scandalized, led astray or error is taught in word or deed?
For a period of time, Nolan forbade non-Catholics from participating in church services, including choir and reading before the congregation, members say.
Wait, now we’re going to complain about “non-Catholics” being in public Mass positions???? It’s not a social club, people.
Parishioners met with Nolan and were hopeful that he was changing his ways, until last Saturday when the beloved judge was denied Communion.
Nolan talked to News 8 briefly Tuesday, promising he would speak on the issue but then did not call back or return messages.
Sounds like the hysterical pitchfork mob to me.
There are those who believe Nolan is in the right, but they would not go on camera. Others with kids attending school would not go on camera due to fear of reprisal, but all say they love the church and want healing.
This is the same story we see all over the country. Those that simply want adore God according to the Creed they profess every Sunday and who want to get their kids a Catholic education don’t want to be hassled by the pitchfork crowd. I hope more will publicly stand up for Fr. Nolan. We are called to defend our faithful priests. The sacrifice they have made is worth our discomfort. And, sadly, my guess is some of the kids will be bullied to. It’s the cross we are called to bear.
“I love the St. Stephen’s I knew. I don’t love the St. Stephen’s of now,” Smolenski said.
You love the personal playground you’ve had where the parish rubber stamped your sin. I’m actually quite sad you have been let down so badly.
Some members say it would be better overall for the church to change pastors.
“We don’t see Father Scott changing; therefore we’ve come to the conclusion that it’d be better for him and us if there were a change in our pastors,” Benz said.
“Some.” I think some more would be every so grateful to have those who browbeat everyone into falling in line gone but that’s just me.
Some parishioners have drafted a letter to Bishop David Walkowiak, bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, explaining their position and asking for a meeting — a request he has not responded to in the past.
Oooh! The dreaded letter where they whine that they’re not allowed to run roughshod over the parish anymore and, oh, by the way, they are very prestigious people who will pull their money out. Again, people, this is why you must back this pastor to the hilt.
“We really, really want a meeting with him. Everybody is prepared to be very respectful. We just want him to know what this is doing to one of his parishes,” Benz said.
Oh sure, everyone is so respectful they’re going to call in the press to publicly shame their priest (and probably their bishop.)
News 8 reached out to the Diocese of Grand Rapids who would not address the issue of whether Nolan’s actions are supported by the bishop.
A spokesperson did issue this terse statement presumably about what happened with Judge Smolenski: “This is a spiritual matter between her and her pastor.”
Well, at least, someone gets it. It’s definitely not a matter for the press.
Smolenski says it is time to bring this into the light.
“I want to help somebody out there who’s never even been born to make their life a little bit easier — by standing up and speaking the truth,” she said.
How about their everlasting life, Sara? Are you going to make that easier on them too? Pathetic!
So people, I know it’s Thanksgiving week but please support Fr. Nolan and write Bishop David Walkowiak.
Fr. Scott Nolan
723 Rosewood Ave. SE
East Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Bishop David Walkowiak
360 Division Ave. S.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone 616 243 049