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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35 thoughts on “Choosing Rainbows Over Catholicism

  1. It was time for them to find out that Catholics worship God, not inclusion. After all, worshiping inclusion would be a form of idolatry, and don’t they know that Heaven is exclusive, more exclusive than the Catholic Church as a matter of fact. Our Lord talked about a lot exclusive stuff, like separating the Sheep from the Goats. He didn’t say “Our Inclusion who art in Heaven…..” These folks worship at the altar of PC ideology, they are not worshiping the God that Catholics worship.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Missed you, OMM!

    I honestly say this with love:

    It truly is mind-boggling how some people believe what they want to believe vs. believing in one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church and her teachings. Let’s all pray for these confused souls, and we hope they find their way back to Christ and his Church.

    +JMJ+

    Have a great day and God bless!

    Ted Condo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Upon your edifying suggestion, I emailed Fr. Mann and Deacon Wilkerson:

    Please God, continue to bless Fr. Mann with the courage to proclaim You in this culture of darkness. I am emailing you because of what I read at One Mad Mom’s blog regarding the rainbow group thing.
    Thank you and God bless!
    Nancy Brockhoff
    Wake Forest NC

    A little good news – thanks OMM!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for this informative post. I, too, emailed Father Mann to offer my support to him for doing the right thing. He has no small task ahead of him. He has been given charge of a parish which has been indulging misguided thinking and sinful behavior for over a decade.

    To quote Blessed Pope Paul VI, I’m sure you can still smell “the smoke of Satan” in this parish.

    Like the members of the so-called Rainbow group, I suffer from same-sex attraction. Unlike them, I accept the teachings of the Church and strive every day to obey them. I belong to Courage, which is a wonderful organization. My pastor, deacon, pastoral associate and RCIA sponsor all know about my SSA and have always made me feel welcome, included and safe. They understand that celibacy is not easy and can lead to loneliness, which they try to help be avoid. They seem to think that the fate of my eternal soul matters more than anything else. I tend to agree with them.

    In my opinion, people like this pose as great a threat to the Church as any government agency or media outlet. They are working to destroy the Church from within, replacing the Church’s teachings with their own flawed hokum.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. May God BLESS YOU most abundantly Thomas in Michigan! You have a heavy cross to carry, but I do believe the Lord gives those crosses to those He loves very much and KNOWS they can carry them. Prayers for you and all those that carry this cross faithfully!

      BTW…..I know Fr. Mann, he is a wonderful faithful Priest. Will write a note of encouragement to him.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Dear TLM,

        I know Fr. Mann, too. :^) (I am in his diocese)

        He is a fine, holy priest and Man(n) of God! (in the past he gave me and many friends lots of support bringing in solid Catholic speakers to our diocese and to his parish)

        As Thomas above so adroitly put it, “They (priest, deacon, PA, RCIA sponsor) seem to think that the fate of my eternal soul matters more than anything else. I tend to agree with them.”

        *This* is what it all is about, is it not? For *all* of us. (even those who are in a sacramental marriage!)

        Blessings upon you, Thomas.

        I have been calling faithful friends and encouraging them to send a note via snail-mail to father. It has gotten nasty for him from the… rainbow people and their allies. (you know, those who claim that “All are Welcome!”? – except you aren’t if you disagree with their ideology)

        Thank you *so much* OMM for posting about this.

        Blessings upon all who read this blog (and this thread) during the Easter Triduum – especially to our gracious hostess and her family. :^)

        Catechist Kev

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for your kind words, TLM. We all have crosses to bear. Like all good priests, Father Mann recognizes the importance of helping people bear their crosses–not validating their sins.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The comment that “God gives those crosses to those he loves very much and KNOWS they can carry them” is a cop out to explain anything that is not explainable. Does God love Thomas more than you, TLM? Why weren’t you saddled with this burden of SSA? Did God think you were too weak? Basically, what you are saying is that God doesn’t love anyone who is gay who can’t remain celibate. That mean he made a mistake by giving them this “burden”. Did he not love them? I truly can’t believe the intolerance you all spout in the name of the Catholic (universal) church. Why do you think we have all the problems we have in this world. It’s all in the name of religion and not being able to recognize other’s beliefs. Shame on you.

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        1. The difference here, TT, is that you see a cross as something bad. We see it as a way to gain everlasting life which is so much better and, well, permanent than this life. We all have a cross to bear but they are all different crosses. We are not appreciative of Thomas because he’s got a bigger or better cross than anyone else. We are thankful because of his example of embracing a cross which so many reject. Google “cross” and “bible verses.” It’s especially timely considering the week.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. and how do you explain that someone receives a “bigger” cross than others? Is it because God loves them more or loves them less? How does your Catholic God decide for each of the billions of people on this earth who will get an “easy” cross and who will get a “hard” cross. If your God is all knowing there must be an explanation and please don’t give me the crap that we just can’t understand his mysterious ways. That’s an easy out.

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          2. Well, you are asking me to tell you the mind of God which is pretty much all mysterious except where He has told us through His Church. LOL! The reality is that God knows our inner most being and knows what we need for salvation. He throws us lifeline after lifeline and we are free to accept or reject them. We have free will.

            So, we’re talking about suffering here. I think that this quote from St. Francis de Sales is very helpful to understanding.

            The everlasting God has in his wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that he now presents to you as a gift from his inmost heart. This cross he now sends you he has considered with his all-knowing eyes, understood with his divine mind, tested with his wise justice, warmed with loving arms, and weighed with his own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with his holy name, anointed it with his consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.

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          3. And to get a little more basic and more visual…

            Two children have life threatening illnesses. One can take medicine and the other requires surgery to keep them from dying. The amount of suffering from treatment doesn’t correspond with how much the physician cares for us. God is the ultimate physician and knows what treatment is needed to keep us from spiritual death.

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          4. Hello TT. You ask this:”and how do you explain that someone receives a “bigger” cross than others?” I simply put it to you that life isn’t fair. There is plenty of suffering in it. How do you determine whose cross is bigger than that of others? Is it the cruelty of God or simply natural outcomes, like if there is an extra chromosome in the embryo, that child is born with Down’s Syndrome and has a specific life type ahead which can be likened to the Cross of Christ by those of us who struggle to make sense out of suffering. I suppose it may help you to understand our perspective better. How do you suppose this is a reflection of who God is or even if there is a god you can respect? In that regard, you become the judge of God by your misinformed misunderstanding and remain blinded by your refusal to attempt to think outside the box your thoughts run in. Correct me if I’m misreading you, but I’m sensing that you think if God loves you, He’d make your life pleasant in all regards, a life without suffering or pain or injustice. Life would be Eden and since you’re cast out of Eden, then there is no god, or at least no Christian God who asks you and others to accept the suffering in life as part of life and get over it. The “getting over it,” with Catholic sensibility is to look at the Crucified Son of God accepting death on a Cross as a model for us to follow, accepting suffering as a pathway to peace, instead of a distraction from a life filled with pleasure and running from pain. If God didn’t spare His only begotten Son, why do you think you should be treated any better? What elevates you to exemption from life’s pains and sorrows? The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. We accept that. That’s life. Hope this helps you understand where we are coming from with the Cross stuff. God bless. Ginnyfree.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. What’s your cross? What is Ted’s, Nancy’s, everyone who has posted on your site. I’d like to know what your cross is that you feel you can judge others.

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          6. You’re changing the goal line again, TT. You asked a question, I answered it for you and you ignore completely and move onto the next item. This is a scattergun approach and it really doesn’t lend it self to discourse.

            Moving onto your next tangent…we cannot judge anyone’s soul but we can judge their actions (we’ve NEVER said that to you before) and you do this all the time which has been pointed out time and again. There is objective sin and you know there is. This is why you can say that the act of, say, rape is wrong and the perpetrator is wrong for doing it. You, however, have given yourself authority to decide what is sinful and what is not. We rely on God and his Church for that.

            Remember, nobody is forced to practice Catholicism. That said, the Church cannot be forced to change it’s faith to accommodate peoples’ sins.

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          7. BTW, since you asked, I have a lot of crosses. Some are constant and some are transitory and I do battle with myself everyday to bear them as best I can and not give into the temptation to ditch them. Some days I’m great and some days I utterly fail but I don’t say “Yay! I sinned. Congratulate me!” No, my cross isn’t Thomas’ cross and mine are not his. It’s interesting. I have celibate friends (single, religious orders, priests, etc.) and they look at my life and think “yeah, I couldn’t do that” and I look at theirs and think the same thing. Truth be told, I could not live their life because I am not called to do so. I have a different vocation. It’s amazing how much easier (still hard but manageable) it is to do things when you’re embracing your calling instead of trying to bend the rules of it. That’s when things go awry. Sin begets sin which is why confession is good for the soul!

            Liked by 1 person

  5. The theme song in Hell: “I Did It My Way.” They’d do well to sing a few bars at their next prayer meeting wherever that may be. Thank you MadMom for the informative and well put together article. Have a happy and blessed Easter. Ginnyfree.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This time your essay “hit the ball out of the park” – informative, entertaining and solid on orthodoxy. I saw a portion of a television program of Courage/Encourage on EWTN, and was impressed. The rainbow group probably balked at authentic Catholic teaching because they wanted to have nothing to do with it. For years they were just an echo chamber for their form of moral relativism in their sin. I’ve seen the same reaction of a new pastor in my parish in regards to Holy Matrimony. If they want a church wedding, no living together and divorced, they must have an annulment, and it will be done in the rectory chapel. Many couples didn’t like that either, so the number of Sacramental Marriages has declined. Well, if they want to go to a Protestant Church like this group, they are most welcome. Hats off to Father Mann and Deacon Wilkerson! Deacon Vince

    Liked by 2 people

  7. One Mad Mom your analysis of this latest Rainbow hijackers/alphabet soup mafia sounds a lot like mine! I rejoice that that “First Communion Teacher” quit, she was likely leading little ones astray and Jesus Himself warned what would happen to those who do that! Wonder if she knows THAT Bible verse! BTW the one she throws out only applies if one conflated lust and love. Lust is selfish; love is selfless; love NEVER engages in sin, nor asks the beloved to engage in sin.

    On another note, please pray and continue to support Fr Mann….the parish is hosting Jack Jezreel, founder of the Alinskyite “JustFaith” program that is bringing liberation theology into parishes via Delphi style meetings

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mama Jama, why is this speaker being allowed at a Catholic parish? He is associated with organizations that oppose church teachings and provide funds to organizations that promote abortion and contraception!

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    1. I think this may be a pastor picking and choosing his battles. Just Faith is a very slippery, ambiguious organization full of fluff. Quite ambiguous. They even have a foothold here but they are watched carefully. On paper, they say nothing contradictory. They’d probably sign an oath of fidelity no problem with a whole lot of mental reservations.

      I do find it interesting that a lot of these groups that were all a little club are separating from each other as the bishops call them out.

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  9. As you simply & charitably responded to TT’s question about the crosses each of us bear, it gave me pause to think.

    Like you said, we all wonder how others carry on with what difficulties/crosses they carry and think we could not do so.
    And if one is saying “my life is just fine – I have no crosses right now” good for you – for now. You will.

    TT, comparing crosses is just stupid. It is HOW we carry those crosses that matters. God, in the Word made flesh, shows us…
    I guess I could say my cross is the lifelong process of coming to KNOW how God loves us beyond any description and then not being able to explain it so that people instantly can be at peace…because we are in an ocean of peace if we float on the trusting belief that God loves us. (goofy similes or metaphors- whatever) and that may not even be a cross, but rather a sin of pride…
    ANYWAY, I am grateful for OMM who has the courage and gift from God to write so clearly and answer well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Teaching Tolerance,

    I say this with love:

    Not judging anyone. Loving and praying for The RCC group, as well as all people who have rejected Christ, His teachings, and the Church He founded.

    I used to reject Catholic Church teaching, also, because it got in the way of my drinking, drugging, and promiscuity with women. In other words, it got in the way of my lifestyle choices. Then I started making different choices. When I finally realized that Catholic teaching is not a way to restrict me with a whole bunch of rules, but in fact a set of simple truths that liberate me, my life became a whole lot easier.

    Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), where God forgives me for my sins because I ask for forgiveness, and the Eucharist (Communion), which is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ that heals me, my heart has been healed and my mind is at peace.

    The bottom line? We must conform our wills to God’s will, and His teachings through the Catholic Church. Not the other way around.

    +JMJ+

    God bless.

    Ted Condo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Catholic teaching is not a way to restrict me with a whole bunch of rules, but in fact a set of simple truths that liberate me.”
      “Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), where God forgives me for my sins because I ask for forgiveness, and the Eucharist (Communion), which is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ that heals me, my heart has been healed and my mind is at peace.”
      The bottom line? We must conform our wills to God’s will, and His teachings through the Catholic Church. Not the other way around.”

      Ted, that’s so beautiful and so perfectly said! God bless you and keep on testifying to the Truth!

      Like

  11. “When I finally realized that Catholic teaching is not a way to restrict me with a whole bunch of rules, but in fact a set of simple truths that liberate me, my life became a whole lot easier. ”

    Well said, Ted. :^)

    Or as G.K. Chesterton said, “Catholic doctrine has walls, but they are the walls of a playground.”

    Happy Easter to you!
    Catechist Kev

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A parish priest asks an internal group to conform to a Church-approved format, in this case Courage. The group refuses, proving they are not Catholics after all, or they would of course accept the priest’s recommendation for their own benefit.

    Wouldn’t this be like a parish Scripture group or Bible study using the NIV, and refusing to change when the priest asks them to use a Catholic Bible instead of a protestant one?

    Few would argue the priest was unreasonable in either case. But if these people believe the priest is unreasonable in his spiritual direction for their group or his insistence on Church standards, they are free to leave. No one, in either situtation, can claim to be kicked out.

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    1. I agree with you about most of this but once a Catholic always a Catholic. The mark is indelible. There are many different types of us. Faithful, poorly formed, poorly eduated, dissendent, bad, etc. We need to decide which type we’re going to be and suffer the consequences or rewards.

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  13. For those who are still reading this thread:

    I was just informed that Fr. Mann was admitted to the hospital this evening with pneumonia and the flu.

    Lord have mercy on your loyal servant, Fr. Mann.

    Catechist Kev

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  14. I want to be very clear that you are misinformed, have taken this out of its context, and have appropriated both sides incorrectly. For your information, Father Mann came in 2016 after our last priest (who was pastor after Father Lintzenich) retired. Father Mann did offer Courage/Encourage as a “suitable” alternative without conferring with the local bishop. The bishop and Father Mann both decided that this organization and its model are not suitable to the parish. Thus, there is currently no outreach being done by the parish in this area.

    While I am not personally active with the RCC group, I know several people who are. My wife and I (and our children) enjoyed the fact that our parish lived out its mission to welcome all to prayer. You are mischaracterizing the group, its aims, its intent, its spirituality, and its focus. While it is fine for you to rant, please don’t seize upon one of the most painful and divisive episodes in our parish and use it as a spiritual cudgel. Shame on you; I pray that you will never experience your church being torn apart and watching long-time active members leave because the leadership is pushing out people left and right (gay or straight).

    Remember that Jesus ate with the sinners often. We are all sinners and all deserve a place in God’s Church. Jesus even talked clearly about those in need of help. Our Holy Father is quoted as saying, “I prefer that homosexuals come to confession, that they stay close to the Lord, and that we pray all together.” He also said, “I am glad that we are talking about ‘homosexual people’ because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity.” That is what the RCC group was for; upholding the dignity of EVERYONE and making a space where EVERYONE could come to pray and have fellowship together.

    I’m sorry for whatever experience has made you see the world in such a narrow way, and I pray that God will open your eyes. While you may inhabit a world of black and white and disparage people for moral relativism, many of us live in the muddy gray and are called to listen to the wisdom of our Catholic Church for guidance and shepherding.

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    1. Let me just interject for clarity.

      And I haven’t actually seen a rebuttal of my points.

      Yeah, that’s in the article.

      Courage is a group approved by the Catholic Church as in keeping with the teachings of the Church. RCC is most definitely not. Last time I checked, your parish was a Catholic Church so it would behoove them not to have an organization promoting things that are contrary to the Catholic Faith. Since I’ve already pointed out the faults of RCC, why don’t you show where they are consistent with actual Church teachings. I mean, actually quote them.

      Sorry, Courage’s teachings are suitable to the Catholic Church. The problem lies in the fact that the parish has been so steeped in lies on this issue that it will take much education and love before a group consistent with Church teachings will be welcomed.

      And that’s whose fault?

      While I am not personally active with the RCC group, I know several people who are. >
      Feel free to welcome those who know what they espouse to join the conversation.

      It’s a nice platitude. Nobody has a problem welcoming all to prayer. Why do you need a special group with special letters for that one.

      Nope. Can we just look at their name? Rainbow Catholics in Christ. Aren’t we all supposed to be Catholics in Christ? We all play by the exact same rules, don’t we? Does RCC emphasize chastity? Do they embrace the Church teachings on homosexuality, chastity, morality, etc.? Let’s give an honest answer here.

      And you don’t think any sympathy should be given to the good Father and Deacon who are trying to protect their parishioners souls? Please.
      “Shame on you; I pray that you will never experience your church being torn apart and watching long-time active members leave because the leadership is pushing out people left and right (gay or straight). >
      How are people being pushed out? Because they’re asked to embrace Church teachings?

      It’s like you don’t really read what I say. Christ did dine with sinners. As a sinner, I’m quite thankful for that. That said, he said “Go and sin no more!” and those sinners were models of how we should all be – repentant.

      NOBODY has a problem with praying together nor do they have a problem with anyone going to confession.

      I’m glad you research what the Holy Father says on the subject but you’re cherry picking. Read them in their entirety.

      That’s hardly the sole purpose of this group. All Catholic groups should be striving to live according to the Catholic Church’s teachings as they are and not as they’d like them to be or by what they hope they will be someday. Please show me where Fr. Mann and the deacon have ill will towards other Catholics.

      Sigh! The treatment of your pastors makes me see things this way. They are nothing but good men who seek to bring all souls to heaven. While I’m quite flawed, it’s not about me.

      Our Lord didn’t leave us with “muddy gray.” He left us with the clarity of the Catholic Church which people are trying desperately to muddy because they find the way hard. Nobody ever said this life would be easy but the promise of following the teachings of Christ in this temporal life brings us to a beautiful everlasting life. If an organization is pushing that sexual gratification here no matter the person than they are leading souls away from eternal life. There is no “dignity” in sin and moral relativism leads them right to it.

      Like

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