Choosing Rainbows Over Catholicism

We’re always very quick to send letters of dismay but I ask you to take the time to send a note of encouragement to Fr. Gordon Mann and Deacon Ed Wilkerson.  They made a decision with the love and care of their parishioners in mind and I’m reasonably sure they will continue to be rebuked for it.  It must be hard to be new to a parish, find something in error, and try to fix it.  You can find their email addresses here: http://stsmaryandjohnparish.org/about-the-parish/meet-our-staff/

http://www.courierpress.com/news/local/after-12-years-at-st-marys-downtown-rainbow-catholics-in-christ-in-search-of-new-home-2b71f080-98bf–372644461.html

After 12 years at St. Mary’s Downtown, Rainbow Catholics in Christ in search of new home

 By Megan Erbacher of the Courier and Press 

“It’s not “us against the church,” according to John Radez.”

Um, really?  What is it?  My guess is that you think it’s the Church against you.  Not one Church document says that.

But faced with what some members described as an “impossible choice,” the Rainbow Catholics in Christ (RCC) are searching for a new meeting place after calling St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Downtown Evansville home for the past 12 years.

Why is it that this is an impossible choice?  Is it because your group’s intent is not to encourage its members to live according to Church teachings?

RCC acting secretary Bill Muller wrote an email in February to RCC members notifying them they could no longer utilize the church.

“We are so sorry to inform you that after extensive discussion Father (Gordon) Mann and Deacon (Ed) Wilkerson determined that the Rainbow Catholics in Christ Ministry is no longer welcome to exist at Sts. Mary and John Parish. Father Mann said we are not operating in compliance with the Roman Catholic Church rules.”

That’s not quite how it went down, is it?  Fr. Mann pointed out that the RCC wasn’t following Church teachings and he encouraged them to adopt the model of Courage/Encourage and what happened?  They decided that following a group which ministers to them with authentic Catholicism was an “impossible choice.”

RCC members describe the group as an LGBTQ support group also open to friends and family members. They meet once a month for fellowship and informative presentations, and traditionally start and end the meetings in prayer.

This year’s agenda lists presentation topics including LGBTQ advocacy; fairness in employment and housing; and human sexuality and spirituality.

Well, they pray.  They must be adhering to Church teachings, right?  Every time I hear things like this I think: “Matt 7:21 Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

This doesn’t mean that this group is following authentic Church teaching in any manner.  Protestants do the same thing, right?

According to Radez, a member of the group, the RCC leadership team was told by the Rev. Gordon Mann, pastor of Sts. Mary and John Parish, that they would not be allowed to meet at the church unless the format of the group changed. A suggestion was made to change to the Courage/Encourage format.

Established in 1980 in New York City, Courage’s website describes it as Catholics who “experience same-sex attractions and who are committed to helping one another to live chaste lives marked by prayer, fellowship and mutual support.” Courage has five goals and 12 steps modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous and aims to help members “grow in self-understanding and holiness.”

Encourage was founded in 1992 for parents, family members and friends of the LGBTQ community.

So let me get this straight.  A group in conflict with the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church on morality and sexuality, and who doesn’t encourage it’s members to adhere to that teaching would not be allowed to meet in a Catholic Church facility.  Hmmm…sound darn genius to me!  You know what’s sad? It’s sad that this is news at all.

Mann declined to comment on the situation.

“You know, I’m not going to comment, at all,” he said.

Good for him!  He’s not going to bring further scandal to the fact that this was even allowed in the first place.

Catholic Diocese of Evansville spokesman Tim Lilley responded with a statement:

“The Church’s respect for the dignity of every person as created in the image of God has remained consistent throughout time. Outreach to people across society — including the LGBT community here in the Tri-State and across the world — continues to be founded in that respect for the sacredness of every person. All are welcome.”

The statement also referenced a December 2013 Indiana bishops pastoral statement on the church’s position on marriage being “the union of one man and one woman — a natural institution established by God.”

The statement concluded by noting the church will “continue to reach out to all, and to respect the dignity of all.”

Exactly.

Listed under new business in Feb. 22 pastoral meeting minutes, parish pastoral council member David Nelson addressed RCC’s departure which, according to those minutes, happened during a team meeting in mid-February.

“The team presented their program calendar for 2016, and after review and discussion, it was determined that speakers/topics proposed were contrary to the mission of the supportive role of the group, and instead the group had become political in nature,” the minutes stated. “Its politics could not be supported by a nonprofit entity, nor did they coincide with the teachings of the Catholic church.”

Not sure where the politics comes in but we can totally understand why Fr. Mann wouldn’t think that they didn’t coincide with Church teachings.  I’ll address this after dealing with this story.

Mann suggested RCC members research Courage/Encourage to learn more, but members disagreed and “the meeting abruptly ended.” Meeting minutes later noted that Mann, after discussing it with the diocese, declared that Courage/Encourage is “not the right program for Sts. Mary and John at this time.”

Sounds like the diocese probably wasn’t enjoying any light falling on this subject since this church had indeed been allowing the group to meet for 12 years.  Big mistake and now they have to deal with repercussions of that bad move.  Experience usually shows that it’s easier to revoke permission and let tempers cool before starting a whole new program that is going to be hassled off the bat.

However, Mann said the parish must ensure Catholics of any orientation feel welcome.

“The Catholic church supports people with same-sex attraction and does not consider them second-class citizens,” the meeting minutes read.

Never heard that before– except for on a regular basis.  By the way, I’m curious as to who released the minutes of the meeting.

RCC members said they have endured scrutiny since the Rev. Steven Lintzenich retired in early 2014 after serving as St. Mary’s pastor for about 30 years.

30 years?!  There’s a reason this usually isn’t done.  Poor Fr. Mann.  Sounds like he’s dealing with decades of improper catechesis.

For example, group members looking at the church website noticed the “T” standing for transgender had been removed from the group’s mission statement that had been posted on St. Mary’s Catholic Church’s website. The group never authorized such a move.

It’s a parish group.  Whatever happens is at the discretion of the pastor.  This silly notion that Church groups are served by the pastor needs to end.  It’s the polar opposite.

After the dismissal in early February, about 25 RCC members met at Evansville Central Library to discuss next steps. A majority agreed the group needs to continue.

The group had a regular meeting Thursday evening at St. Lucas United Church of Christ with Rev. Phil Hoy as guest speaker.

Rev. Lynn Martin, pastor of St. Lucas UCC, said it was a natural instinct to offer free space for the group’s meetings. Martin, who has been at the Protestant church for 11 years, said many groups outside of the church use their space.

“We feel the space needs to serve others,” he said, “especially to welcome groups that are oppressed or under represented.”

So, a group in conflict with Church teachings goes to a Protestant Church?  Hmmm…

Martin has known Wally Paynter, Tri-State Alliance president and current acting RCC leader, for many years and helped with Tri-State Alliance initiatives. In the past, Martin has been a guest speaker at RCC meetings.

Yeah, Google Tri-State Alliance.  It’s a who’s who of dissident Catholic groups and here’s something you are not going to believe!  Rainbow Catholics in Christ is listed there.

Late fall 2014, Martin said St. Lucas UCC declared they were open and affirming, meaning everyone of any sexual orientation is welcome and accepted. He said the church lives by Luke 6:35: “Give without expecting a return.”

Martin said the church wants to be a “safe haven” for the LGBTQ community.

“It’s our way of fulfilling the mission of Jesus, if he were here,” he said.

Moral relativism as usual.  A Church is supposed to lead people to the will of God.  Not the will of themselves.

Paynter, who has been involved with RCC since the beginning, said he is leading the group through the transition because the leadership team has shifted as a “direct result” of what’s happened at St. Mary’s. Paynter has presented at RCC meetings on topics such as working with LGBT youth, HIV issues and acceptance in the Tri-State and community. While the group doesn’t always agree on everything, Paynter said it’s a “good, eclectic group of people and probably more friends and family of LGBT individuals.”

If the format of the group changed, Paynter said he feels it would shift from support to “spiritual and psychological harm.”

There it is ladies and gentlemen.  The Church, according to Paynter, causes spiritual and psychological harm.  All this time I thought that was sin.

“I feel like people just really feel hurt, torn down,” he said. “Something that was so vital to who they were as Catholics and as individuals and to have that group treated in this way — I think people need time to heal.”

Who hurt you and tore you down?  The guy reiterating Church teaching and urging you to follow it?  Get a stinking clue.  The Church doesn’t revolve around you and your sins any more than the Church revolves around me and my sins.  Sin is sin.  You’re afraid to say that.

A new home could go a long way in doing just that, said Kelley Coures. As a Jew, Coures said he didn’t want to comment on someone else’s religion, but the City of Evansville’s Department of Metropolitan Development executive director said he always had “warm feelings” toward St. Mary’s.

Oh, well let’s just ditch reality and truth for the warm feelings.   That should serve everyone better.

Coures presented at RCC over the years on topics including LGBT history locally and in the U.S., and LGBT individuals in film. He hopes the group continues its work.

Yeah, that ought to bring people to salvation.  This makes me so angry.  Souls are in jeopardy but let’s teach everyone about their “culture.”  People, we are not defined by our sin.  I don’t want to be labeled anything other than faithful.  If we’re going that way we’re going to start having to label everyone by their sin.  Let’s have Glutinous Catholics, Slothful Catholics, Prideful Catholics– after all, these are our natures.  Face it.  We are all Catholics with sinful natures in need of God’s mercy.  We can fight against that sin or we can just throw our hands up in the air and talk about how we are so oppressed.  The only thing oppressing us is sin.

“My mother always said, ‘If somebody doesn’t want you, you move on and find somebody who wants you,’ ” he said. “The group has an option to go and find a place that wants them and will celebrate them. They have an opportunity to grow into something else, but I’d hate for them to lose their Catholic identity.”

And it’s really all about you and you wanting acceptance of your actions which are contrary to the faith.  Everyone and their pastors have said that you are to be treated with dignity as a child of God.  We totally accept your struggle but we do not accept your sin any more than I’d accept a sinful act from a child I love dearly.  It’s spiritual death for you and I don’t want that for you.  Neither does Fr. Mann.

With many mixed emotions, RCC members are considering a new, permanent meeting place. And contemplating a name change.

Radez isn’t mad. He’s disappointed and hurt.

Being raised Catholic, Radez was drawn to St. Mary’s about six years ago because of the parish’s well-known progressive and ecumenical reputation.

Well, you know what?  I’m glad your fellow co-parishioners got to feel so progressive and ecumenical while they rubberstamped the homosexual lifestyle. Hope they feel really good about themselves because that’s all that matters.  Sigh.

“My issue is not so much confrontational with the church or anything,” Radez said. “Mine is more disappointment. The church is missing an opportunity to minister to people who need it. By pushing people away from the table, marginalizing people, the church is missing a golden opportunity to minister. … Which is completely contradictory to what Christ would have done. He invited all of the sinners to the table.”

No, what the Church has done is to offer to minister to the people correctly and in a manner that gets you to heaven.  Yes, Christ dined with sinners.  ANYONE catch the part about “go and sin no more?”  ANYONE?  How about that part about millstones or how hard it is to get to heaven?  Nah.  Let’s just think happy thoughts.

So, I bet you’re probably wondering why the Fr. Mann felt they weren’t in line with Church teachings. As usual, I gave a little tug on the info blanket and it’s unraveling.  I now know more about this group than I care to and Fr. Mann was quite correct in trying to get them to embrace the Courage/Encourage model.  Rainbow Catholics in Christ embrace the “rainbow” mentality far more than the Catholic end.  As you will see, they are affiliated with members of New Ways Ministry.  We all know by now that New Ways does not have the blessings of the Church.  In case you don’t, http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/new_ways_ministry_not_approved_by_catholic_church_cardinal_george_states/ 

Chicago, Ill., Feb 14, 2010 / 04:45 pm (CNA).- The New Ways Ministry for homosexual Catholics does not present an authentic view of Catholic teaching, Cardinal George has said. Rather, it confuses the faithful about the Church’s efforts to defend traditional marriage and to minister to homosexual persons.

Why do I say they are affiliated with New Ways?  In short, past events like this one https://www.questia.com/newspaper/1P2-36264653/rainbow-catholics-in-christ-plans-weekend-retreat which brought in New Way’s darling Sr. Marian Durkin.  https://newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com/tag/sister-marian-durkin/

New Ways Ministry is not trying to teach the LGBTQXYZ crowd the authenticity and beauty of the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality and how to help people with same-sex attraction to embrace that.  They seek to undermine it.  They go with moral relativism. You know, a heresy.  Somehow I don’t think

Did you notice this part of their retreat announcement?

The meetings maintain a strict element of confidentiality but are open to everyone in the LGBT community, “not just members of St. Mary’s,” said Pam Thoren, who was among the founding members of the organization.  Do you find this description in other parish support groups?

According to their mission statement, “Rainbow Catholics seek to ease the pain of alienation and rejection and to promote reconciliation between the church and any individual oppressed because of sexual orientation.. to educate ourselves and our church community to the existence of unexamined prejudice as well as the consequences of injustice.. (to build) bridges of cooperation and understanding within and outside the church community.” 

The Church is not alienating them.  They may be alienating themselves from the Church by their moral actions but the Church welcomes all.  The Church most certainly is not oppressing anyone.  She is trying to save their souls.  This is what that little group Courage/Encourage is all about but, as you will see, they’re not interested in that.  

How about this description of the group?  http://www.examiner.com/article/evansville-catholics-support-gays

Every third Thursday of the month, a group of Evansville Catholics, called Rainbow Catholics in Christ (RCC), meets to support its gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. The group welcomes all members and supporters of the gay community who wish to stand together in Christ. RCC intends to educate the church community, as well as those outside the community, about the harm of discrimination and to embrace diversity. Participants of RCC are provided a safe place to openly discuss issues within the gay community and where the Bible actually stands regarding homosexuality. All individuals are asked to maintain confidentiality.

Most Catholic Churches teach that homosexual acts are violations of divine and natural law. Because of these teachings, many people are turned away from the Catholic Church feeling unwelcome and disconnected from the faith. RCC provides a place of worship for those seeking faith in a welcoming Catholic Church. The group provides guidance and assistance with a modern Catholic perspective for individuals, parents, families and friends struggling with issues regarding sexual orientation.

Um, I’m pretty sure the Bible actually stand exactly where the Church says it stands.  Believe me, people, the more you look the worse it gets.  What the heck is a “modern Catholic perspective”?  I kinda thought the perspective of the Church is what is found in her teachings on the subject.  Silly me.

Lastly, during my research, I ran across this letter to the editor.  It once again proves that this group has done nothing to bring its parishioners to Church teachings.

http://www.courierpress.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/rejection-of-rainbow-group-leaves-parishioner-without-a-church-2e3ee8f5-8e8b-0f1b-e053-0100007f2295-372349841.html

Rejection of Rainbow group leaves parishioner without a church

Kirstin Ethridge

Evansville

For years, St. Mary Catholic Church in Downtown Evansville has been known as a safe space for all people, including LGBT+ Catholics. This is no longer the case. The Rainbow Catholics in Christ group, which ministered to LGBT+ Catholics, was recently rejected by the church’s new pastor, Father Gordon Mann.

Father Mann claims that RCC’s teachings are not in compliance with the Catholic Church’s teachings. However, RCC ministered openly for twelve years with the knowledge and consent of multiple pastors. Furthermore, how can a group which teaches that God loves all people be against God’s teachings? As 1 John 4: 7-8 says, ” … everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”

So the group must be OK because it was there for 12 years?  Yeah, because organizations that were really, really wrong have never been in existence for that long.  Also, honey, pleases see the “Lord, Lord” verse referenced above.

I was baptized and raised in the St. Mary community. Until this year, I had always found it to be a welcoming safe space. As soon as I was old enough, I participated in many ministries, from greeting people at the church doors to teaching First Communion classes, because I wished to contribute to this wonderful mission of God’s love. Due to the church’s change of heart, I have had to resign from my multiple ministry positions. As I said in my resignation letter, “I cannot in good conscience continue to teach at a parish which excludes. Even if I do not explicitly teach exclusion, by remaining a First Communion teacher, I would be complicit in such exclusion.

Short letter and already we’ve said “safe space” twice. So annoying.   Can I please remind you that Christ died on a cross?  People are dying all over the world for the faith and you think people feel threatened because people don’t accept homosexual acts?   Safe spaces aren’t the priority of the Catholic Church.  How many saints are there and how many of them were martyred?  Bringing souls to Christ through authentic teachings of Christ as put forth by the Church is the Church’s mission. By the way, I am soooooooooo thankful that you quit your position teaching children.  Maybe a few of them will be saved from the “safe space” mentality.

I am currently in search of a church which will be more reflective of God’s all-encompassing love. In the meantime, I encourage anyone who is grieving about this change, as I am, to reach out to groups such as the Tri-State Alliance; the TSA has information on the future of RCC and other LGBT+ ministries. All people are created in God’s image. All people deserve an inclusive worship space.

No, honey, all people deserve to be guided in the authentic, reality based teachings of the Church.  The teachings of the Church are aimed toward all and truly include everyone.  Nobody gets special “snowflake” status because they want to keep sinning.  Again, that’s called moral relativism.  Look it up.  Understand it and get a grip on reality before it’s too late.

 

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Los Angeles Re-Education Congress

Thanks for the queries about my “aliveness”.  Nice to be missed. Still kicking.  Just had some family stuff to deal with and it’s family first.  Also, I got the luxury of skipping A LOT of messy news on the Catholic and political front.  Back to the grindstone.  I’m going to tackle one of the bigger let downs during my “vacation.”

This story was particularly painful to read:  http://www.cruxnow.com/life/2016/03/07/transgender-catholics-hope-to-build-bridges-in-the-church/   I had so much hope with the appointment of Archbishop Gomez and I knew it would take a long time to turn around the mammoth Los Angeles Archdiocese but this one has really pushed me to the limits of my patience.  It’s simply taking too long in some areas and too many souls are being lost and sucked into the vacuum of Los Angeles Catholic liberalism in the meantime.  There are some things that parents can wait to address with their wayward children and some things that need to be addressed right away.  I’m begging the Archbishop to fix this particular event.  I’ve heard of some great talks at this event and then we get a sucker punch to the stomach.  Please read the article or you will be lost because, well, it’s rather unfathomable.  In short, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, at their yearly “Congress” (kind of fitting since they’ve been legislating their own laws for years) had a talk entitled: “Transgender in the Church: One Bread, One Body.”  Now take some time to read about the train wreck. But wait!  After you read the article above, take a look at the description of this congress listed on the Congress website:

http://www.recongress.org/2016/period5.htm

5-12  Transgender in the Church: One Bread, One Body   

Gender identity and expression – even the word “transgender” – have found their way into secular and ecclesial discourse. Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice will speak from a decade of experience ministering with transgender and other marginalized Catholics as he moderates a panel with Fr. Bryan Massingale and two transgender Catholics. Fr. Massingale will consider theological and pastoral perspectives, and the transgender Catholics will offer narratives of their spiritual journeys. All will suggest ways we can respond to those who are transgender or discerning their gender identity. Insights from Church history, theology and bioethics will help explore the beauty of gender diversity within our faith communities.

Hold up right there!  The “beauty of gender diversity?!?!?!”  Oh, how I’d love to think they’re talking about the different between the sexes as they ought but please remember this is a talk on “transgenderism.”  So, first I’m going to say, there is no such thing as being “transgender.” You have a sex that God gave you (can we please leave intersex people out of this right now?  It’s a whole other lengthy discussion and really is a “look over there” conversation which gets us off this topic.)  It’s in your God-given nature and cannot be separated or changed as some would have you believe.  I will give you a Pope Benedict teaching on that a little later.  Next, beauty?  Taking what God created and trying to make it something else is disfiguring God’s creation.  Sorry.  The Crux article says one of the speakers  

she told the crowd she didn’t believe “God made a mistake” with her, as some have said of transgender people.  

Uh, yes he does (I’m not getting sucked into to the fantasy that this boy is a girl)!  That’s exactly why he is dressing in opposition of his nature.  He believes God made a mistake and he’s going to change it. Now, if I sound like I’m mad, I am.  I’m not mad at him.  I’m totally and thoroughly mad that this talk didn’t have anything to do with authentic teaching.  If this is going to take place next year, the Archbishop should have to take some responsibility and be there to correct error.  I’m going to assume a) he knew this talk was happening and b) that he’s heard what the presentation entailed in the aftermath.  He should have been there and, if he was, he should have gotten up and really given a follow up talk on what “acceptance” really means in light of Catholic teaching.  From all accounts, that didn’t happen or was mighty darn ambiguous.

Back to the program description.

Arthur Fitzmaurice, PhD

Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice is Resource Director of the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, based in Atlanta. He formerly served as Chair for the Los Angeles Archdiocese Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons and has received the Archdiocese’s Lumen Christi and Cardinal’s Young Adult in Ministry Award. Dr. Fitzmaurice has contributed to America Media and appears in the Ignatian News Network’s YouTube series on pastoral care of LGBT Catholics.

Hugely problematic guy.  He is VERY careful not to use the phrase “practicing homosexual” or “homosexual lifestyle” and opts to use the word “accepting” almost as a verbal tick.  Does he EVER explain what this means in light of Church teaching?  Nope.  He has put himself at odds with the catechism as you can see here and about a hundred other places: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/speaker-at-l.a.-archdiocese-conference-says-catholic-teaching-on-homosexual  He and his board have had an issue with taking an oath to uphold Catholic teachings given to them by my favorite guy, the then Bishop Cordileone of Oakland.  One has to ask why a board who supposedly adhered to all Church teachings would have a problem.  Here’s the long sordid story of that.  http://ncronline.org/news/spirituality/gay-ministry-group-refuses-sign-oath

And then there’s Fr. Massingale.  Sigh. 

Fr. Bryan N. Massingale, STD

Fr. Bryan Massingale, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wis., has served as a seminary and university professor for 20 years and currently is Associate Professor of Theology at Marquette University. A noted authority on Catholic moral theology and social ethics, Fr. Massingale has addressed most national Catholic conferences and numerous colleges and universities. He is a previous RECongress Keynoter and past President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and Convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium.

Again, won’t quite answer whether or not he follows Church teaching on morals (which is binding Fr. Massinagle).  We can kind of figure it out from his action against traditional marriage.  http://cnsnews.com/news/article/catholic-group-pushing-gay-agenda-promoted-capitol-hill-priest-who-won-t-say-if-he

Why in heaven’s name are these people allowed to work in, for, and near the Los Angeles Archdiocese?  If you didn’t know, Archbishop Gomez, they are undermining Church teaching and no reasonable person can doubt that.  They’ve kind of spelled it out for you.  When the suicide rate among active “transgender” people is 41%, don’t you think giving them authentic Catholicism might be helpful?  Yes we should love them.  Nobody is saying we shouldn’t (except maybe Westboro Baptist types but we’re talking Catholics) but we should lead them to Truth because that is the only way ANY of us can be truly happy.  Their lives are a product of moral relativism and now this silly scientific relativism.

Back to the Crux article:

But event organizers this year took a cue from popular culture and included a new session, one that attracted a standing room only crowd of 750 people, nearly all of whom jumped to their feet for a sustained round of applause after talks from two young, committed Catholics.

One has to ask themselves, what part of Catholicism are these two, young people, committed to?  Let’s look at their sites.  https://browneyedamazon.com/2013/08/25/a-transgender-catholic-story/https://catholictrans.wordpress.com/about/about-the-author/  This is what happens when Catholic teaching gets formed around the will versus the other way around.  It’s completely out of touch with Truth and this never leads to a positive outcome.  Peruse their sites, please.  I don’t think you have to familiarize yourself with those suffering with gender identity issues but rather with just how some in the Church have let them down. They actually think there’s really no teaching on the matter because the document “Gender Theory is Like Nuclear War” hasn’t been written yet.  They think the body that God designed and had planned through all time “betrayed” them.  And some of our priests?  They’re fine with letting them think that.

Just to be clear, these two youngsters aren’t committed to following the Church’s teachings on sexuality.  They want their lifestyles to be accepted.  They’re under the misunderstanding that us accepting them as a child of God equals us accepting their misguided beliefs and lifestyles.  So, here’s a clue, Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  We know people believe this crud.  We don’t need you or them sharing what it’s like to be “transgender.”  We need you to reiterate the Church’s position on sexuality!!!  What an idea!  We don’t need you to put on yet another program giving tacit approval to something that’s immoral and downright harmful to these young people.  We need you to teach us to bring them home to God’s gift of sexuality!  What?  You don’t think you are giving tacit approval???  Get a stinking clue by reading the Crux article.  The two young people?  They think you did. 

Then we have The Rev. Christopher Bazyouros.  He, apparently, thinks we don’t live in California and have only known transgenderism from Bruce Jenner (notice that he, apparently, refers to “Caitlin Jenner” – again, tacit approval). 

There aren’t many places for Catholics to discuss these things that are thoughtful, intentional, and that gathers people who have had this experience,” he said. “Many Catholics want information about this topic, they want things to help them understand this situation.

Just what was the intention, Fr. Bazyouros?  Understand what situation?  Did your attendees learn how to help these two young people?  Please, tell us, how?  By accepting them rejecting their God-given sexuality?

One last striking thing from this article that really just shows a denial of reality.  “Anna Patti”, Crux says, thinks:

Pope Francis has spoken out repeatedly against so-called gender ideology, but Patti said she doesn’t interpret those comments as hostile to trans people. In fact, she thinks the pope’s remarks about gender not being just a social construct actually support the transgender community by pointing out that gender identity is innate.

He (Anna Patti) is right, the Pope is not hostile to “trans people.”  He is hostile to the idea that gender or sex is not innate.  It is. It’s your dang DNA.  This is the Church’s teaching on the matter and the reality of the situation.  Gender or sex is not an idea, it is a scientific fact created by God.   It’s not a social construct.  It’s a God construct.  The only social construct we’re dealing with here is the advancement of the idea that our gender/sex can transition and that it’s what we think it is rather than innate to us.

So, now, for that little Pope Benedict teaching I said I’d give you… http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2012/december/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20121221_auguri-curia.html

(Emphasis mine as to what these two young people do not understand and the what the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has failed to teach them)

While up to now we regarded a false understanding of the nature of human freedom as one cause of the crisis of the family, it is now becoming clear that the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question. He quotes the famous saying of Simone de Beauvoir: “one is not born a woman, one becomes so” (on ne naît pas femme, on le devient). (And this really is the rally cry of those seeking to make transgenderism acceptable and it’s found on, not surprisingly, on “Anna Patti’s” web page) These words lay the foundation for what is put forward today under the term “gender” as a new philosophy of sexuality. According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature, that man has to accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society. The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female – hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. (Pope Benedict nails “Anna Patti’s idea) Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him. Bernheim shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of rights, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain. When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being. The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man.

Anyone think they mentioned this at the LA Congress?  Yeah, me neither.

Please contact Archbishop Gomez and beg him to watch this “Congress” like a hawk.  When the Pope came to Philadelphia, a massive undertaking, Archbishop Chaput was all over it.  Those who attempted to confuse the laity were thwarted at every turn and Archbishop Chaput did his absolute best to protect the integrity of Catholic teaching and not let the laity be led astray.  We need Archbishop Gomez to do the same.  This tragedy has replayed itself year after year at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in one way or another.  

Most Reverend José H. Gomez

Office of the Archbishop of Los Angeles

3424 Wilshire Boulevard, 5th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241

Telephone:

(213) 637-7534 

Please pray for Archbishop Gomez.  He’s got a lot of messes to fix but the Archdiocese of Los Angeles really needs to stop exporting this crud to the other dioceses around the country.   This particular talk at the congress and some others are not helping people to truly know God through the Church.
 

 

Georgetown Has an Identity but it Ain’t Catholic!

Hey, Georgetown, I’m disappointed in you! Really? You couldn’t come up with anyone more offensive to Catholic Doctrine than Cecile Richards? I guess Hitler’s dead, so he’s out. Xi Jinping, president of China, maybe? Come on, stretch your mind! I’m sure you can do it! At least you did manage to come up with someone more obnoxious than Larry Flynt. Cecile will be hard to top, but I’m quite confident that you can and will do it, unless someone finally gives you the time out you deserve.

http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/4738/BREAKING-Planned-Parenthood-President-Cecile-Richards-to-Speak-at-Georgetown.aspx

I’m sure the usual Jesuit gymnastics will kick in soon. You know, “Freedom of speech!”, “We listen to all point of view”, “How can we reach out to them if we don’t know them…”, “it’s not us, it’s a student organization”, etc. In other words, the usual load of Jesuit hooey.

None of this is going to change the fact that Cecile Richards is responsible for the death of almost 3 million babies via surgical and chemical abortion, and who knows how many more through contraception. Sorry that you care so little about the women at your university that you’re even letting her name be uttered there, much less giving her the royal treatment. I hope you have to pick up the pieces of the shattered lives you are contributing to so you learn.

What is Cardinal Wuerl going to do about this? The Cardinal Newman Society has already submitted a Canon Law case to him a while back: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/catholiceducationdaily/detailspage/tabid/102/articleid/2277/canon-law-case-against-georgetown-submitted-to-cardinal-wuerl.aspx  Is Cardinal Wuerl going to stand by his most amazing piece of writing from last year that I discussed here: https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/tang-or-fresh-squeezed/? Or is he going to wimp out and do nothing?

Before he acts(or doesn’t), I’d like to remind Cardinal Wuerl of his words (http://www.adw.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Being-Catholic-Today-Pastoral-Letter.pdf):

The Church is not a business, a club, or a special-interest group. The Church is not the result of like-minded people coming together and deciding to form an organization, nor are her moral teachings decided by popular vote or societal trends.

And this:

When we come to the institutions of the Church – its parishes, schools, universities, charitable organizations, health care facilities and more – these too must reflect a genuine Catholic identity with visible communion with the Church, both universal and local, and fidelity to Catholic teaching. As Pope Francis has implored, each of these institutions and those involved in their operation must be oriented toward the mission of the Church (Evangelii gaudium, 27). The purpose of these entities – and the task of those who work for them – is to lead people to Jesus.

Is Cecile Richards helping Georgetown accomplish the mission of the Church, or is she doing just the opposite? Forget about Richards, what about Georgetown itself? I’m reasonably sure it’s a resounding “No!” It’s high time we cut them loose. They are an embarrassment. They’ll probably refuse an order to stop calling themselves Catholic, but at least the Church will have stated that they have lost that Catholic identity. Doesn’t sound like a big deal until you consider donors who want to donate to a Catholic label. That’s where it really hurts, and it’s all about the bottom dollar in places like Georgetown that don’t place a priority on being Catholic.

So, Catholics and pro-lifers everywhere should contact Cardinal Wuerl and let him know that, regardless of his honorary degree from GU, you think inviting Cecile Richards to Georgetown is an affront to the Faith and he should do something about it. The Archdiocese of Washington doesn’t seem to want to make contact too easy, so I’ll help you out:

Cardinal Wuerl on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cardinal_wuerl

Archdiocese of Washington on Twitter (maybe they’ll flag it for him): https://twitter.com/WashArchdiocese Mailing address: 5001 Eastern Ave, Hyattsville, MD 20782

Generic email: digitalmedia@adw.org

Phone number: 301.853.4500

Facebook (probably have to use the comments section, since they don’t allow you to post to the page): https://www.facebook.com/adw.org/

Personally, I recommend tweeting – a lot. Anyone got a clever hashtag? Please share. I also recommend joining the protests that will occur. I’m sure faithful Catholics and other pro-lifers are not going to sit on the sidelines while this happens. The Cardinal might want to note that this will not be quietly swept under the rug.

This is where the rubber meets the road, dear Cardinal. Either you think Catholic identity is important, or you do not. Either you care about the eternal souls of those under your care, or you do not. Either you are going to do your job, or you are going to turn a blind eye. Who said this again?

Furthermore, a particular responsibility is incumbent upon the bishop with regard to Catholic institutions and their Catholic identity (Veritatis splendor, 116). His is the responsibility to see that our Catholic institutions are places where the faith permeates the culture. Our schools, for example, at all levels, should provide the environment where revealed truth, reason and charity are engaged in an ongoing effort to shed greater light on the human condition. In whatever area of endeavor, the Catholic identity of the effort should be found, for example, in a mission statement. And the message it voices should exhibit a vision of life that is rooted in Christ, articulated in his Gospel and manifested in his Church.

Oh, yeah, it was you, Cardinal Wuerl. Please exercise your responsibility! If not now, when? Could there really be a worse situation you are waiting for? If you don’t act now, I’m sure that Georgetown will accommodate. Finding people to slap the faces of the faithful seems to be their hobby.

 

 

A Comedian, Social Media & #NeverTrump

Super Tuesday has come and gone and I am ecstatic in the results. As regular readers know, I am a Cruz supporter, and Cruz supporters all know the frustration of hearing time and again that he can’t win. Repeatedly. Every. Five. Minutes. It doesn’t matter how well he does, all we hear was how Rubio is our only hope of defeating Trump, and Cruz could not win nor could he beat Hillary. Really? Based on? Yeah, nothing. It’s kind of laughable to think that Rubio was supposed to be our saving grace when he’s not even going to win his home state. That’s kind of telling. 

Anyways, things changed radically right before Super Tuesday. So radically we have Cruz and Trump being less than one hundred delegates apart and Lindsey Graham suggesting that Republicans might just have to support Ted Cruz.  What the what?! So what happened?! A few things occurred which seemed to big impact.

First, Rubio started employing Trump gutter tactics. His numbers were already not adding up, but then he chose to take the low ground to boot. Fence sitters who were hoping he was the “moral guy who could win” vs. Cruz, who was supposedly the “moral guy who couldn’t win.” They started looking a bit more at the numbers, and people I had been having discussions with began to see the reality that Rubio really couldn’t beat Trump and Cruz could.

Next, another little gem fell into our laps. Now, I’m sure I’d disagree with John Oliver on quite a few things, and I so hate the crass factor he employs, but he is entertaining, smart, and the Americans who need to be entertained to keep their minds working really paid attention. If you haven’t seen it (because you, say, gave up social media for Lent), you should watch and share, but please see the crass warning and don’t watch with little ears around.

That was twenty minutes of a full-throated take down.  (Thanks to Thomas from Michigan for flagging that one and giving me a nice description which I will keep stealing.) It was entertaining enough to keep the country engaged. After about ten different articles (including mine) on why Trump was hardly worthy of anyone’s vote, much less than any Christian’s vote, I saw this video posted EVERYWHERE, because, well, it was better! It connected! Again, I hardly think John Oliver shares my political views or religious values, but he engages in the comedy of “Captain Obvious” and makes fun of things that should make us all say, “Duh!” It’s kind of like making fun of Kanye West. It sooooo obvious.

One other thing that appeared shortly before the John Oliver take-down was #NeverTrump. Personally, I liked #DumpTrump, but I’m a convert now mainly because it’s forced the establishment to look at reality. Hillary is going to be president if they don’t do something smart instead of their preference. This hashtag trended on Twitter along with #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain (if you didn’t have time to watch the Oliver video, you won’t get that one) from Friday night through Super Tuesday. There was a small attempt at #AlwaysTrump, but that died after a day. Could it be that users of that hashtag realized that it made Trump sound like a monarch (Napoleon, maybe) or a cult leader? Of course, I might be thinking that because thousands of memes were tweeted and posted on Facebook with the “signs of a cult.”

MILLIONS of tweets went out in the span of four days, the hashtag “revolt,” as it started being called, was picked up by the media (because that’s what happens when you can get things trending on Twitter or Facebook), and it became a huge chink in Trump’s armor. Those hashtags, as well as thousands upon thousands of links to the Oliver video, were attached to a whole lot of news stories that had previously been swept under the rug and ignored by, well, almost everyone. No longer was he the “Teflon Don.” People actually saw that he had some serious flaws other than just being loud and obnoxious. He wasn’t just a bully who was going to change things in Washington, he was a really immoral megalomaniac.

Let’s talk about the #NeverTrump hashtag itself. When everyone started using it, I’m reasonably sure that many of us thought it was more like #NeverTrumpInThePrimaryWhenWeHaveBetterCandidatesButWe’llHoldOurNoseAndVoteForHimIfHeIsTheNominee. That said, it’s spurned a bunch of articles on why people really and truly are going #NeverTrump.

When #NeverTrump is discussed, you see two things. One side says, “Well, you don’t mean NEVER Trump, because if he’s our nominee and you don’t vote for him, you’d be voting for Hillary, which would be infinitely worse!” Or, “I am never voting for Trump, because he isn’t the lesser of two evils. He’s the same evil.” I have to say that I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought at first, because, simply, Cruz should be the nominee, and I’m going to fight like heck to make sure that’s so. That said, after reading a bunch of articles on both sides of that coin, I’ve found myself in the #NeverTrump camp if for some awful reason it comes down to Dumb and Dumber.

So, why would I ever allow Hillary to win?!?!?!?! Well, first of all, I live in California. My vote hasn’t counted in a long time, so it makes it hugely easier to do so. But why would I encourage anyone else in a state with a fighting chance? WE HAVE NO EVIDENCE THAT TRUMP WILL DO ANYTHING GOOD. In fact, we have decades to the contrary, and what he said in 2015/16 is not going to erase that. Now, I’m going to hear from a bunch of you saying, “We KNOW Hillary is going to do bad things, but we know Trump will do some good!” and the first example I will be given is that Trump said he’s going to appoint a Scalia-like replacement to the Supreme Court. My response to these and any other examples is going to be, “Really? We know he will follow through because why? Because he always does what he says? Because he’s such a moral guy? Because he says he’s pro-life?“ I am no longer going to roll the dice and hope this is true. I WILL NO LONGER PLAY THE GAME, PERIOD, if Trump is the nominee. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know, and that should have been proven by the Obama presidency. If I honestly felt he was the lesser of the two evils, I’d vote for him in a heartbeat. I just think most of America has been taken when it comes to that.

Let’s just look at the “non-negotiables.” Do I really believe that someone who was pro-abortion and thought that partial birth abortion should be anything other than banned until about five seconds ago, someone who just made fun of a person with a handicap (Trump claims he didn’t know him, but the reporter says they are on a first name basis), is really going to use life as a litmus test for a Supreme Court nominee? Heck, he barely cares about living human beings. Good luck with that. Also, please note, nobody is asking him the important questions. How about abortion in cases of rape and incest? In cases of birth defects? He always talks of his friends’ child who was almost aborted, but he’s terrific. What if he’s not so “perfect?” Hmmmmm???? He’s getting a pass, and everyone thinks he’s against this, simply because he said he’s pro-life.

How about “gay marriage?” He doesn’t have one thing on his platform page that even discusses it. You know he doesn’t give a darn about that. He’s NEVER going to appoint justices to overturn that. For the life of me, I cannot believe why Christians are acting on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with this one. You know this is why Tony Perkins is going Cruz and not Trump, don’t you?

Euthanasia? NEVER UTTERED THE WORDS. Not a priority.

Stem cells? Last I heard, he was undecided!

Please, please give me some kind of proof that he’s the “lesser of the two evils.” I just have no data to show me this is true. I mean, if you look at the non-negotiables, Bill Clinton might have been considered the lesser of the evils between Hillary and Trump and he was kind of a disaster. 

So, if Trump ends up as the nominee, I encourage you to stop playing the game. Republicans, Conservatives (or whatever you label yourself), we are going to continue to get Trumps. They will be unstoppable. I’ll let you in on a little secret.  This isn’t the long game of monopoly. It’s roulette.

Hunting Fuzzing Bunnies in Greener Pastures

Well here’s some good news for you this Super Tuesday. I wish it had something to do with Super Tuesday but, alas, it does not. So, in order to pep you up until the returns shake out, Simon Newman has resigned from Mount St. Mary’s! Apparently he has decided to leave and hunt fuzzy bunnies elsewhere. So, at least we got rid of a Trump wannabe today even if we don’t get rid of the real thing.

The school didn’t say much in its statement here: http://msmary.edu/about-the-Mount/news-and-events/news-archive/2016/2-29-2016_Newman-statement.html The board of trustees took far too long to pull the trigger on this one. I think the death knell was probably this article from American Spectator: http://spectator.org/articles/65584/raising-hares-mount-st-mary%E2%80%99s-university

We had heard a whole lot about how the “majority of students polled” supported Newman. American Spectator kindly mentioned this little tidbit I really haven’t seen anywhere else.

It was under-reported that 40% of the student population declined to vote on the small residential campus. That Monday morning when the outcome was made public Newman appeared on the steps of the administration building with his wife to serve the students doughnuts and thank them for their support.

The numbers really never added up for me. It’s probably the homeschool mom in me but if there are approximately 2140 students and supposedly 60% them were surveyed, that comes out to supposedly 1284 students supposedly surveyed and yet we’ve heard only 951 were surveyed. Even if you take out the small minority of grad students, the 60 percent doesn’t equal up to 951. That would be less than half. Now we’re hearing 40% just simply refused to vote at all. Gee. Wonder what their vote would have been? And do you know why the students likely didn’t vote at all? And why he might just have gotten so much support? As pointed out here https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/02/14/another-survey-at-mount-st-marys-and-this-one-shows-strong-support-for-the-president/ YOU HAD TO GIVE YOUR STUDENT ID TO VOTE!!!! What students in their right minds (sorry to the 25% who did – maybe you’re just principled) would ever vote against a guy who talks of getting rid of students who answered a survey wrong??? The whole poll was always extremely suspicious to me.

Somewhere along the way, someone finally realized that the media soundbites weren’t adding up and there was no way to show overwhelming support from any faction for Simon Newman. Maybe it took the last two weeks of February and their “listening campaigns” to hear what the rest of us heard a long time ago. Regardless, did it really take all of that for the board of trustees to ask for his resignation? The words “bunnies”, “drown”, and “glock” being uttered in a discussion of college students should have been far more than enough. And the near 97% of the faculty wanting him to go should have been the other big clue! Were they waiting for God to come down and tell them personally that Simon Newman probably wasn’t the best fit there (or really anywhere in the vicinity of the realm of education)? BIGGEST. NO BRAINER. EVER.

As I’ve said before, if I had to guess, somewhere, some outrageous contract between Newman and Mount St. Mary’s was probably signed leaving them on the hook for some serious cash upon resignation. If so, I hope the people involved with brokering that deal wander away from Mount St. Mary’s too. Hopefully they will learn from this huge mistake lest it be repeated. If they want a golden parachute, they’re probably going to use it and they certainly don’t have the students’ interests as their foremost concern. Repeat after me, Donald Trump is not the best person to run your school. Look what he did to his own!