The Martin Chronicles

Should I make this the new name for the blog?  I really never intended on him being a main focus but now that he’s made it to the Vatican, I’m feeling like it’s all Martin all the time.  It’s like he thought the job description was to communicate himself.  I long for the “Who in the heck is Fr. James Martin, SJ?” days to return.

Here is my dose of irony for the day!

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/homosexual-clergy-should-come-out-to-show-how-gay-people-can-live-chastely

Homosexual clergy should ‘come out’ to show how ‘gay people can live chastely’: Vatican consultant

July 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican’s hand-picked pro-homosexual communications consultant Fr. James Martin said parish priests who secretly identify as homosexual should publicly “come out” to show their congregations “what a gay person is like and, incidentally, how gay people can live chastely.”

So, the first thought that popped into my head was “You first, Fr. Martin!  You first!”  Relatively sure I’m not alone in that guess.

Next, I’m wondering why a priest has to “come out” in order to tell people how they can live chastely.  I don’t remember anyone saying “I’m straight!  You too can be chaste!”  In fact, I’m missing the many teachings of Fr. Martin on chastity.  Did he write a book on that one?  All I could find in a cursory search was a whole chapter in a book he wrote, “Building a Bridge”.  Here are quotes and main takeaways, courtesy of Catholic Match (kind of disappointed in them on this one, though): https://www.catholicmatch.com/institute/2011/09/father-james-martin-6-ways-to-love-chastely/

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Fr. Martin gave his reasoning about why he doesn’t mention chastity in his book:

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/father-james-martin-explains-his-vision-regarding-lgbt-catholics

Register: In your book, you stress what the Catechism says about treating “LGBT” Catholics with “respect, compassion and sensitivity,” but not the teaching about living chastely. How long does one employ “respect, compassion and sensitivity” before calling “LGBT” Catholics to chastity?

Martin: The reason I didn’t talk about chastity in my book is because Church teaching is clear on that matter, and it’s well-known in the “LGBT” community. I don’t think there’s any “LGBT” Catholic alive who doesn’t understand that teaching. By the same token, there seem to be few “LGBT” Catholics who have accepted that teaching. Theologically speaking, you could say the teaching has not been “received” by the “LGBT” community, to whom it was directed. So rather than focusing on a topic where the two groups — the institutional church and the “LGBT” community — are miles and miles apart, I preferred to try to build a bridge over areas that could be places of common ground. And as for “respect, compassion and sensitivity,” one can always employ those virtues even when one is in disagreement with the other person. If you’re a bishop who is speaking to an “LGBT” person who disagrees with Church teaching, you can still treat him or her with respect, and the “LGBT” person can do the same with the bishop. As for calling them specifically to chastity, it’s important to remember we are all called to chastity, so that is part of everyone’s call as a Christian and as a Catholic. So that virtue is not something that applies only to the “LGBT” person.

So why then do priests have to “come out” to teach anyone how to live chastely? After all, “Church teaching is clear on that matter”, and there isn’t “any “LGBT” Catholic alive who doesn’t understand that teaching”. Heck, it is so well understood that it’s not included in your oh-so-important book.  Puh-lease!  Make up your mind, Fr. Martin.

That said, I’m not entirely sure that he fully understands the Catholic teaching on chastity that apparently everyone else has got down.  If he did, I’d think he’d use words like “self-mastery”, “sin”, etc. Maybe this will help. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03637d.htm

Before we go onto the rest of Martin’s musings, let me tell you a little story.

A long time ago, in a diocese far, far away…Actually, not so far away, but way back when we had a liberally, permissive bishop, he allowed his cronies to have a support day for “gay priests.”  The obvious guys were there, but a couple priests who showed were puzzling.  One of these priests was (and still is) a very faithful, humble priest.  He got up and asked a very poignant question.  He said, “Why do you want to label yourself a ‘gay priest’ instead of a faithful priest?”  BAM!  I think it was his loving way of saying, “What are you dooooiiinnngggg???”  Personally, I don’t need or want to know who my priest is attracted to, unless it is Jesus, Our Lady, and the Saints.  I want him to guide me in leading a life that will lead me to an everlasting life with God.  I mean, is Fr. Martin saying that only priests that “come out” can help same-sex attracted folks live a chaste life?  Sorry, I know same-sex attracted people who were helped to live chaste lives by priests who they will never know to whom they are attracted.  It’s not about the priest.  It’s about the penitent and the wonderful sacraments and teachings the Church has to offer to help them be chaste.  It’s about priests knowing how to encourage people to live virtuous lives no matter what their sin.  For this particular issue, priests can foster Courage and Encourage groups, and quite frankly, they can just foster a family atmosphere where there are people helping people with their daily struggles against sin.

Sadly, I think Fr. Martin just wants to foster an environment that allows him to do whatever the heck he wants to do without guilt, and he’d like to drag a whole bunch of people down with him.  His goal is to foster the “We’re all just sinners, so let’s not worry about that anymore.  You’re nice, I’m nice, and we’re happy in our sins!” environment.  And guess what kind of things happen when people act that way…

Martin’s July 6 interview with CNN ironically comes about a week after news broke of the arrest of a Vatican gay-priest, Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, who frequently hosted cocaine-fueled homosexual orgies in a building right next to St. Peter’s Basilica.

BTW, the same clergy who are all too willing to report (or rather, shout out gleefully) when someone like Cardinal Pell is prosecuted are somehow super quiet about this little event.  I mean, it’s like they’re just ignoring the story all together.  Go to America Magazine, Salt and Light Media, or the National catholic Fishwrap.  I just did.  Search Coccopalmerio or Capozzi.  Cricket!  Cricket!  I mean, the silence deafening!

In the interview, the Jesuit priest and editor-at-large of America magazine spoke about his new pro-homosexual book Building a Bridge. He said the Church is beginning to shift its “approach” to homosexuals, thanks to Pope Francis.

There are two reasons for this shift. One is Pope Francis. His saying ‘Who am I to judge?’ about gay people; his public meeting with Yayo Grassi, his former student who is gay, during his papal visit to the United States; his comments in Amoris Laetitia [which have been used to allow practicing homosexuals to receive Communion]. And the bishops who Pope Francis is appointing in the United States are much more LGBT friendly,” he said.

What in the @#$%&!?  Seriously???  He’s still trying to float this crud to the uninformed and pass it off as truth??  Please, people!  Look it up yourself.  There is no different approach in the Holy Father’s comments.  It’s kind of what MY peeps have been saying all along.  If you are repentant, the Lord forgives!  Geez!  Here are the EXACT words from that part of the interview.  I’m not trying to hide it like Fr. Martin is.  I’ll even include the link.  Does Fr. Martin do this when talking about “gay people” and “Who am I to judge?”

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2013/july/documents/papa-francesco_20130728_gmg-conferenza-stampa.html

Ilze Scamparini:

I would like permission to ask a delicate question: another image that has been going around the world is that of Monsignor Ricca and the news about his private life. I would like to know, Your Holiness, what you intend to do about this? How are you confronting this issue and how does Your Holiness intend to confront the whole question of the gay lobby?

Pope Francis:

About Monsignor Ricca: I did what canon law calls for, that is a preliminary investigation. And from this investigation, there was nothing of what had been alleged. We did not find anything of that. This is the response. But I wish to add something else: I see that many times in the Church, over and above this case, but including this case, people search for “sins from youth”, for example, and then publish them. They are not crimes, right? Crimes are something different: the abuse of minors is a crime. No, sins. But if a person, whether it be a lay person, a priest or a religious sister, commits a sin and then converts, the Lord forgives, and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is very important for our lives. When we confess our sins and we truly say, “I have sinned in this”, the Lord forgets, and so we have no right not to forget, because otherwise we would run the risk of the Lord not forgetting our sins. That is a danger. This is important: a theology of sin. Many times I think of Saint Peter. He committed one of the worst sins, that is he denied Christ, and even with this sin they made him Pope. We have to think a great deal about that. But, returning to your question more concretely. In this case, I conducted the preliminary investigation and we didn’t find anything. This is the first question. Then, you spoke about the gay lobby. So much is written about the gay lobby. I still haven’t found anyone with an identity card in the Vatican with “gay” on it. They say there are some there. I believe that when you are dealing with such a person, you must distinguish between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of someone forming a lobby, because not all lobbies are good. This one is not good. If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a beautiful way, saying … wait a moment, how does it say it … it says: “no one should marginalize these people for this, they must be integrated into society”. The problem is not having this tendency, no, we must be brothers and sisters to one another, and there is this one and there is that one. The problem is in making a lobby of this tendency: a lobby of misers, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of masons, so many lobbies. For me, this is the greater problem. Thank you so much for asking this question. Many thanks.

Back to the LifeSiteNews article…

“The second thing is the increased number of LGBT Catholics who are coming out and making LGBT issues much more important for the church as a whole,” he added.

The interviewer asked Fr. Martin about his claim in his new book that there are “thousands” of homosexual clergy who have not “come out,” wanting to know why they keep their sexuality secret.

“Several reasons,” replied Martin. “One, their bishops or religious superiors ask them not to come out. Two, they fear reprisals from parishioners. Three, they fear it would be divisive. Four, they are private people. Five, they are not fully aware of their sexuality. And lastly, people have mistakenly conflated homosexuality and pedophilia, and so priests don’t want to come out because they fear they’ll be labeled a pedophile.”

Again, seriously?  Usually child molesters are called child molesters.  Can we focus a little on #4 for a second?  Yeah, many priests don’t talk about their sexual inclinations, sins, attractions, etc., because it’s simply, well, tacky and their vocation shouldn’t revolve around their sexual preference.  Gag!

Fr. Martin then agreed that it would make a “difference” in the Church if more homosexual clergy “came out.”

“It would help to show Catholics in the pews what a gay person is like and, incidentally, how gay people can live chastely. The great irony is that these men and women are living out exactly what the church asks of LGBT people — chastity and celibacy — and they are not allowed to talk about it. They are doing great work under a strange cloud that should not exist,” he said.

So these “gay people” are already living chaste and celibate lives, yet we need priests to “come out” to teach them how to be chaste and celibate?  Huh?  Which part of the Church has a problem with “gay people” who are faithful practicing Catholics who embrace the teachings of the Church, receive the sacraments, feed the homeless, etc., etc., etc.?  And, not allowed to talk about what?  Their lack of sex lives?  Look, we ALL struggle with sin.  If you feel the need to tell me you struggle with SSA, go ahead!  I’m here for you and maybe I can tell you how I work through my troubles with sin.  If you want to tell me that you engage in the active homosexual lifestyle and you’re still going to stroll up to Communion, we’re probably going to have a discussion about it.

But an additional reason why homosexual priests choose not to “come out” is given by famed Canadian Catholic laicized-priest Gregory Baum.

A peritus or expert at the Second Vatican Council, Baum wrote in his memoirs that he “did not profess my own homosexuality in public because such an act of honesty would have reduced my influence as a critical theologian.” While Baum kept his life of homosexual debauchery private, he managed to exert his influence over Canada’s bishops so that they dissented from the Church’s 1968 teaching in Humanae Vitae against contraception.

The interviewer did not ask Fr. Martin if he was himself homosexual.

Martin’s claim that priests don’t want to “come out” because of fear they will be labeled an abuser is not unfounded.

Research indicates that the abuse scandal within the Catholic Church primarily consisted of the homosexual abuse of males. A 2011 study commissioned by the U.S. Bishops and conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice found that nearly 80 percent of victims who were abused by priests were post-pubescent and adolescent males. Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a top psychiatrist and expert in handling sexually abusive priests, said at the time that the study revealed that homosexuality was the primary driving force behind the bulk of abuse cases.

The Catholic Church only allows men into the priesthood who have “self-control and a well-integrated sexuality.” Last year, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy reaffirmed Catholic teaching that “those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture'” are not to be admitted to seminaries or be ordained Catholic priests.

So let me get this straight (no pun intended). The Church, run by a guy who says “Who am I to judge?”, is judging the suitability of a man to be a Catholic priest?  YOU BETCHA! That is judging the reality of a situation, not their immortal soul!

There are other examples beyond Capozzi and Baum that suggest that homosexual clergy are more like Judas than John when it comes to serving Christ and the Church he founded.

Honestly, I can’t say whether that’s true or not, because there might be SSA priests we don’t know about who are simply living out their vocations as faithfully as they can.  That said, the John Jay report does show a clear pattern of homosexual abuse, not pedophilia.  81% were male and something like 65-75% were postpubescent males.

For example, in 2015 a Polish priest and monsignor who worked at the Vatican for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith demanded that the Church change her sexual teachings after going public with his homosexuality and sexual relationship with another man.

Using similar language and talking points employed by Fr. Martin, Monsignor Krzystof Charamsa said, among other things, that the Church should end its “language of homophobia … and rejection of LGBT people,” that it should “speak out against … any discrimination against people based on sexual orientation,” and that it should “revise the Catechism,” specifically the language used to speak of homosexual acts as “objectively disordered.”

So, is Msgr. Charasma living that chaste life? Not quite.  Sigh.  Pray for him.

While news of the cocaine-fueled homosexual orgies right next to St. Peter’s is shocking, it is not altogether unexpected.

In 2012, Polish priest Fr. Dariusz Oko released a paper in which he highlighted his discovery of what he called a “huge homosexual underground in the Church.”

“I began my work as a struggle against a deadly, external threat to Christianity, but then gradually discovered,” he said, that “the enemy is not only outside the Church, but within it, as well.”

Oko said homosexual cliques of clergy, even at the highest levels, are formed by fear of exposure, lust for power, and money.

Clique is the perfect terminology.  They are cliques of predators.

“They know well, however, that they may be exposed and embarrassed, so they shield one another by offering mutual support. They build informal relationships reminding [one] of a ‘clique’ or even ‘mafia,’ [and] aim at holding particularly those positions which offer power and money,” he wrote.

“When they achieve a decision-making position, they try to promote and advance mostly those whose nature is similar to theirs, or at least who are known to be too weak to oppose them. This way, leading positions in the Church may be held by people suffering from deep internal wounds,” he added.

Exactly! They are promoting and advancing the lie that the Church will change her teachings.

Oko said that once homosexual clergy achieve a “dominating position” in the Church’s hierarchy, the become a “backroom elite” with “tremendous power in deciding about important nominations and the whole life of the Church.”

I think he’s completely and utterly correct, and we’re seeing it now.

Among the rumors put forward at the time of Pope Benedict’s decision to resign in 2013 was the revelation of the existence of an entrenched “gay network” that orchestrated “sexual encounters” and shady financial machinations within the Vatican. The Pope reportedly decided to resign the day he received a 300-page dossier compiled by three cardinals detailing the workings and sexual activities of a network of homosexual curial officials.

Well, I don’t deal with conspiracy theories.  From what I understand from people who have personal relationships with him, this is not the case, although I’d hardly blame him if it were.  I think, however, he took the papacy a little more seriously than that.  For whatever reason, we are in the situation we are in.  Sadly, the Martin/Cupich/McElroy/Kasper (and on and on and on) contingent has won some battles.  Time for us to get a little more creative, if you ask me.

Catholic Homophobia: Patheos or Pathetic?

Patheos!  What in the name of all that is good have you been smoking?  This might be the most laughable article I’ve read on the subject, and I’ve seen many.  I mean, don’t you people read the articles before you approve them?  Some of your people are great but then there’s some horrible and awful ones.  Let me tear this one to shreds in 5 minutes or less.  Seriously!  It’s so bad, that’s all it will take.  It’s like I’m Tom Servo reading an article worthy of the MST3K treatment.  (Oh yes, I did just reveal how cool I am! If you don’t know MST3K, Google.  I can’t help you.)

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/catholicauthenticity/2017/06/straight-talk-catholic-homophobia/

Father Longenecker’s most recent post talks about the release of two different Catholic books on homosexuality (Fr. James Martin and Dan Mattson both put out titles this month). Longenecker basically lays out a very familiar approach to dealing with the problems raised by LGBTQ people with regard to the Church’s teaching on sexuality:

a) The Church’s teaching is simple and clear.

b) The Church’s teaching applies equally to everyone and is difficult for almost everybody.

c) There are plenty of straight people who can’t get married and they are expected to be celibate also.

Wait, before you talk about what it’s missing, where in the heck did it go wrong? Let’s not gloss over this one. It doesn’t really matter what’s missing or what’s not missing. What’s wrong about it?  It seems like you’ve got the Martin talking points about “unjust discrimination” down pat, as shown here:

This straightforward approach misses one really important aspect of the problem: straight people and their sexual sins are not treated the same way as gay people and their sexual sins. It doesn’t matter how often Catholics state and restate the fact that the Catechism is pretty much equal-opportunity in its condemnation of most people’s sexual behavior, because the actual Church on the ground is not equal-opportunity in terms of tolerating the fact that almost nobody really accepts the teaching in practice.

So, what you’re saying is that Canon 915 should be applied to ALL public obstinate sinners? I agree. Oh, that’s not what you’re saying?  Of course not. What you are suggesting is exactly what Fr. Martin has been suggesting: We all sin, so why don’t we just drop the whole sin thing?

Is it just me or does everyone run around their parishes telling everyone every intimate detail of what they do in the bedroom?  “I put on this piece of latex. I use this spermicide.  I’ve chemically altered my fertility for years!”  Give me a break.  I’ve attended Mass with a whole lot of people, and I really don’t ask and they really don’t tell.  Who in the H-E-double hockey sticks wants to know what everyone does when they are participating in the marital embrace?  No, thank you.

Also, let’s stop and think about something as we end this “Pride Week.”  We have “Pride Week.”  Do we have “Marital Infidelity Week?”  How about “Artificial Birth Control Week?”  “Pornography Week,” maybe?  If we do, please don’t tell me.  I’m happy in the sanity bubble.  So, is it really the Catholic Church that is treating those embracing the “gay lifestyle” differently, or is the reality that those “embracing the gay lifestyle” are really demanding to be treated differently than any other sinner?

I recently wrote specifically about the problem of homophobic firings within Catholic and Christian institutions. I also wrote about the fact that the Catholic media-sphere tends to get way more up-in-arms about portrayals of homosexuality than about unmarried heterosexual behaviour. I could add the fact that except in a very small minority of hyper-Catholic communities you can be twice married, sterilized and/or living with your opposite-sex partner and nobody will bat an eye. Nobody will say anything. Nobody will make uncomfortable comments in your presence. Nobody will question whether you should be involved in ministry to the youth. And you probably won’t hear anything about it from the pulpit.

OK, because you didn’t link, it’s going to take me longer than 10 minutes to put this one to bed.  Nevermind.  I’m just going to assume some teachers were found out to be in a same-sex marriage and got themselves fired because they a) didn’t repent, and then b) fell into public obstinate sin providing scandal to the faithful.  Or was it maybe the math teacher that came out as transgendered?  Wait, I don’t think she got fired, so probably not.  Regardless, MANIFEST sinner.  You need to learn the difference between “manifest sinners” and those who don’t shove their sins in other peoples’ faces.

Seriously, most of us don’t run around telling each other things we’re doing that are considered mortal sins.  My plan of action is usually to run to the nearest confessional line.  I’ve got this crazy fear of not getting to Heaven.  Silly me.

In the many years that I’ve worked as a Catholic writer, I’ve met a number of married people who work for the Church or teach in Catholic schools who haven’t felt the slightest need to conceal their use of contraception. In some cases these are folks who I’ve met exactly once…yet I know that they don’t follow the teaching of Humanae Vitae. That’s how not worried they are that if anyone ever finds out they will lose their jobs. Why? Because everybody knows that if the Church suddenly fired everyone who uses contraception we would face a Catholic schoolteacher crisis, a finance officer crisis, a music-director crisis, a children’s liturgist crisis, and a parish secretary crisis to go along with the oft-lamented vocations crisis.

Umm, can we go over the “why” they don’t worry about getting fired again?  They don’t give it a second thought about concealing their contraception because A) they’re tacky and B) because they don’t have a fear of getting fired by the liberal powers that be.  Duh.  If their boss was an educated and/or faithful Catholic, they might possibly think twice about 1) sinning and 2) getting their butts fired!  Take a look around, Melinda.  Is the list of institutions who care about souls of sinners and protecting the laity from scandal small or large in our country?  There’s no wholesale fear that they are going to get fired because their sin is of the same-sex attraction kind.  There’s no fear because the bulk of these institutions aren’t going to fire any manifest sinners – SSA, heterosexual, or otherwise.  The only places this is going to happen is where the bishop is a true shepherd of souls.  I mean, seriously, the Cupiches and McElroys of the world are basically fine with telling people to have at it and going on a lovely vacation with their friends.

Thankfully, there are still places that dismiss teachers who cause public scandal for their students.  While you’re going to insist that this only happens on the same-sex highway, you’d be wrong.  Here’s just a few for you:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/26/teacher-says-catholic-school-fired-her-over-ivf.html
https://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/06142013unmarried-pregnant-teacher-fired-by-catholic-school-wins-lawsuit/
http://www.christianpost.com/news/catholic-teacher-fired-over-artificial-insemination-66020/
This one’s from Germany but the Church is universal, so: https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5b5_1419820767

And there are MANY other similar stories out there.  What makes these people different from all of the people who didn’t get fired?!  They had shepherds who cared for their flock enough to get serious with the issue. There was no repentance, and so THEIR SIN BECAME MANIFEST!

LGBTQ employees of Catholic institutions, on the other hand, do know that they have to stay in the closet or risk losing their jobs, because LGBTQ people do routinely get laid off because of their sexual choices – or in some cases, just because of their sexual orientation.

Can we at least qualify that with “authentically Catholic institutions?”   Or do you really believe this to be true for all “Catholic” institutions?  Personally, I think it should be true, but sadly it’s rare.  Case in point…
https://cardinalnewmansociety.org/transgender-teachers-catholic-schools/  Please.  You know for every transgender, homosexual, or openly birth-controlling teacher who gets fired, there are a whole bunch that do not.  Tell me you honestly think Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy, Bishop Joseph Tobin, etc., are going to pull that trigger. Sorry.  Ain’t going to happen.  I live in California. Do you know how many SSA teachers I’ve had/seen over the years?  Nobody was quaking in fear, because they worked for people who were just fine with it in the first place.

Now, it’s true that the Church’s teaching is consistent.

How nice of you to notice!

So far as I can make out that’s pretty much how it’s always been done, at least going back as far as the formal institution of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Folks who have sufficient sexual self-control to actually put the teaching into practice are about as common as folks who perfectly exercise justice towards the poor, folks who never covet their neighbour’s goods, and folks who literally pray without ceasing. We all know we’re commanded to do these things, and mostly we all know that we stand more in need of mercy than of plaudits.

Joel Robinson:  Anyone think she missed something in Catholicism for Dummies?
Tom Servo: It wasn’t the dummy part!

Patheos peeps have a really, really big problem with writing about things they know nothing about (and she should know about Catholicism, because she claims Catholic).  First of all, God is the “insanely demanding” one.  Would you like to tell Christ, who was crucified on the cross after being scourged, that celibacy/chastity is insanely demanding?  They must have missed that whole CROSS thing.  I mean, Melinda mentions a cross, but it’s right up there with talking about “gay pride.”  They have no clue as to what that truly means.  It’s just a nice little Catholic colloquialism.  That whole “take up your cross” thing just means skipping meat on Fridays during Lent, right? Get. A. Clue.

Which is why pretty much everyone deals with the demands of Catholic sexual morality by either ignoring it, or being unaware of it, or using the “frequent recourse to the Confessional” method of fidelity to the teaching.

Really?  Everyone?  Yep, not one of us struggles with the sins of the flesh.  I am soooooo sad for you and anyone who buys this load of hooey. No, seriously, I’m so sorry that somehow you missed the beauty of our struggle with the Cross and the reward for doing so.  It’s simply all about sex with you.  Her claim is that she “speaks directly to every Christian who has experienced same-sex attraction.”  That might be so, but she doesn’t necessarily speak for them.   You do not speak for Thomas here (The Catholic Church Thinks We Deserve Better), and you don’t speak for the rest of us who do not fear people who suffer from SSA but who fear for them.  Our goal is to struggle on with them to Heaven. 

And, can I just say, from the heterosexual point of view of struggle, ours is every bit as real.  Have you ever known a heterosexual couple who has lost a child?  You think that celibacy is “the more onerous cross?” Wow!  I’m not sure the person who buries their child will ever agree with you.  Be they right or be they wrong, comparing crosses is a losing battle. It’s how you carry the cross that matters.  And, more importantly, it’s how we help others to carry the cross that matters.

So far as I can make out that’s pretty much how it’s always been done, at least going back as far as the formal institution of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Folks who have sufficient sexual self-control to actually put the teaching into practice are about as common as folks who perfectly exercise justice towards the poor, folks who never covet their neighbour’s goods, and folks who literally pray without ceasing. We all know we’re commanded to do these things, and mostly we all know that we stand more in need of mercy than of plaudits.

There’s a little part about “firmly resolving to sin not more and to avoid the near occasion of sin” that she missed somewhere in her catechesis.  I’m sure it’s not her fault.  She was probably taught by the likes of Fr. Martin.

But when it comes to homosexuality, suddenly that’s no longer okay. If you’re gay you can expect to subjected to an inquisition by random internet trolls with handles like SuperApologeticsMan or CatholicusMaximus or SledgehammerOfGod. You may be called upon at any time to publicly endorse the most harshly worded phrases from random Vatican documents concerning your sexuality. You might be literally asked to sign a document confirming your acceptance of the Church’s teaching before you can rent space in the parish hall.

What a great idea!  That might have prevented the little debacle in the Los Angeles Archdiocese where a pro-abort organization rented their property. I’m all for signing a statement of faith.  I’m all for diocesan speakers bureaus which vet the Catholicity of the speaker.  I’m all for teachers’ handbooks.  I think you can see how well that went over. People don’t want to be called out on the carpet, which really isn’t the intent at all.  It’s to protect souls, dummy!

Can I also point out her “harshly worded phrases” comment? Hello! It’s just the Catechism of the Catholic Church you’re talking about.  You say “harshly worded” but a lot of us say “reality.” 

If you’re gay, the usual ways that Catholics deal with sexual desire are no longer sufficient: you must be constantly on guard against every vestige of homosexuality, and your sole purpose in life must be the crucifixion of same-sex Eros. Anything less and you’re a heretic who is probably being paid by George Soros to advance the gay agenda.

What are you talking about?!  You’re supposed to be constantly on guard for near occasions of sin.  Sorry it’s inconvenient to you but that IS how it works for ALL of us.  My temptations may be different from yours. And?  The temptations can be different between any two people you meet on the street.  You’re so incredibly focused on your sin that you cannot see the forest through the trees.

I’m not saying that this is how Longenecker sees things (he mentions that most people struggle, and points out that Confession is an option.) Rather, I’m saying that the simple fact that LGBTQ people do consistently meet with this kind of toxic double-standard in Catholic culture has to be taken into account. It’s not enough to say that this is a “one-size fits all” teaching when the truth is that the teaching being given out to straight folks is made out of super-stretchy material and nobody says anything when it really doesn’t fit, while the one being given out to gay people is a hairshirt adorned with spikes and chains.

Honey, I’m sure if you talk to the nearest person who is extolling their cozy sin of abortion, birth control, in vitro fertilization, infidelity, pornography, sodomy, etc., you will find the same martyr complex.   Nobody wants to feel uncomfortable.  They want everyone to bow down to their sin like it’s something special. It ain’t.  It is what it is: sin.  Some are more egregious TO GOD than others, but they all lead to sickness and death of the soul (and sometimes body) if we don’t struggle against them.  Get over yourself and move on with us in the struggle.

Rather than adopt the liberal “let’s call the whole sin with guilt thing off” attitude, how about we get a dose of reality before we get hit by the proverbial bus?  Stop whining about the martyrdom of this group or that group and get thyself right with God and jump into the confessional with the firm resolution to sin no more.

The Catholic Church Thinks We Deserve Better!

When I started writing in the blogosphere, it was simply a way for me to say what many others were thinking – a way to vent and give my family a little break from my ranting.  I never really thought anyone would read it, but I’m very thankful it’s turned out the way it did.  I’ve “met” some amazing people around the world and I’d like to talk about one guy in particular.  He’s a FAR better writer than I will ever be, and his incredible patience and charity in the face of adversity amazes me.  He’s one of the main reasons I give Fr. James Martin, SJ, any attention.  Honestly, Fr. Martin doesn’t affect my family much, if at all, but his actions do affect my friends and many I meet.  He has injured so many people, body and soul, that the mom in me just can’t stand for it.  He and his cronies are predators of souls and I will continue to repeat that as long as it is so.  I hope my little voice over here annoys him like a thousand flea bites.

So, on to my amazing friend, “Thomas from Michigan.”  I have asked his permission to reblog a comment he made.  Why?  Because he nails it.  He’s got “street cred” and should carry far more weight than I can in the arena of same-sex attraction (SSA).  Go ahead, liberals, try and tell him he doesn’t have a clue.  By the way clergy, if you’d like some advice from him on ministering to people suffering from SSA, I’ll gladly put you in touch.  (FYI, I made that last comment without consultation.  Thomas is probably cringing as I throw him under the bus!  Sorry, Thomas, I’ve just got this idea that people like you are going to save the Church.)

Let me set the stage for you…

I have a long time dissenting reader.  I have to say, though, I really do love her.  I suspect that annoys the heck out of her, but I realize she’s a product of her lack of Catholic education.  I’m a little tweaked that she was robbed.  Anyways, here’s one of her comments on my last post, Open Rebellion Coming to a Church Near You:

OMM, I genuinely want to know why you and the others here are afraid of gays and their lifestyle being accepted by some in the church. How does it affect you? Do you think your children will catch it? Do you speak out as loudly against murderers, adulterers (Trump), thieves, etc. Maybe you do, I just don’t see it in your blog.

(She completely points out she’s missed quite a few of my posts but, whatever.)

Here’s the super-important part of “Thomas from Michigan’s” reply (emphasis mine – please go to link for full exchange, although there wasn’t a reply to Thomas from our liberal friend, because there was NOTHING she could say about it.):

The Holy Mother Church loves all of her children–even me. For nearly a decade, I was out and proud. (Nearly a decade has passed since that chapter of my life closed.) I was quite hostile to any religion that didn’t approve of my behavior. I was the president of a social group for gay men over the age of forty. I can’t even remember all of the sexual partners I had–and I was considered a bit of a prude. I especially enjoyed hooking up with men who were in what they themselves described as “committed relationships.” I regularly made fun of those who attended Dignity’s Mass. I also got three different STDs (sexually-transmitted diseases), kind of like getting three prizes in one box of Cracker Jacks.

This is the lifestyle you appear to think the Church should accept: sodomy, fellatio, promiscuity, sexually-transmitted diseases, and significantly shortened lifespans. The Catholic Church thinks we deserve better.

Biggest mic drop EVER!  THE CATHOLIC CHURCH THINKS WE DESERVE BETTER!  It’s so simple, people.  Fr. Martin can spin it all he wants, but this should be the central message from our Church to combat his stupidity.  How about something like:

We don’t want your  death – spiritual and/or physical. The Catholic Church wants better for you!

Of course, the same message applies to all of us.  The Church wants to help us conquer sin because She wants better for us!  Duh!

Thomas continues:

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” includes homosexual behavior in its discussion of the Sixth Commandment–the one that says adultery is wrong. The fact that many in our culture–and Church–seem to think other forms of adultery are acceptable doesn’t mean they are. All baptized persons are commanded to be chaste. The fact that some priests want to give some people an exemption doesn’t change that.

That segues nicely into this! For those of you who don’t follow my Facebook page, I shared this video from Jason Jones, which perfectly explains to my liberal friend where we faithful Catholics are coming from (can you believe I’ve finally figured out how to embed these?!).  While I’m not sure Fr. Martin is a “New Donatist”, this sums up the feeling the faithful Catholics have about Fr. Martin.:

+


We are all in this together and we’re supposed to help each other struggle on!

Onto Fr. Martin’s lapse of sanity this week.  He’s LIVID with Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield.  If Martin is livid with you, I’m sure you deserve a hearty “Kudos!”, Bishop Paprocki!  I’m reasonably sure it was not your intent, but you know you must have done something right.  Fr. Martin is TERRIFIED that other bishops will follow suit and really drive home the deadliness of sin. He can’t have that!

martinpropracki 

As you can see, Fr. Martin is going to use the whole kitchen sink approach in the hopes you will get lost and the pile-on will make Bishop Paprocki look really mean ol’ guy.  Sorry, Fr. Martin.  Bishop Paprocki follows Canon Law, unlike some people I know.

Let’s look at it, shall we?

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P4C.HTM
CHAPTER II.
THOSE TO WHOM ECCLESIASTICAL FUNERALS MUST BE GRANTED OR DENIED

Can.  1183 §1. When it concerns funerals, catechumens must be counted among the Christian faithful.

  • 2. The local ordinary can permit children whom the parents intended to baptize but who died before baptism to be given ecclesiastical funerals.
  • 3. In the prudent judgment of the local ordinary, ecclesiastical funerals can be granted to baptized persons who are enrolled in a non-Catholic Church or ecclesial community unless their intention is evidently to the contrary and provided that their own minister is not available.

Can.  1184 §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals:

1/ notorious apostates, heretics, and schismatics;

2/ those who chose the cremation of their bodies for reasons contrary to Christian faith;

3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.

  • 2. If any doubt occurs, the local ordinary is to be consulted, and his judgment must be followed.

So, as we see, Fr. Martin’s nice little list is ridiculous.  Does he have a clue what the distinction of “manifest” means?  You bet he does! He’s just trying to use a bit of smoke and mirrors to make you miss that one.  If you’ll notice, Bishop Paprocki said that signs of repentance negated exclusion.  Nice try, Fr. Martin.  So, yeah, the person who announces to the world “I use birth control even though the Church says it’s a mortal sin! Look at me!” probably shouldn’t be getting the funeral in the Catholic Church.  Why?  Because they are manifest sinners who are causing public scandal.  Duh.  Mary and Joe Anonymous are birth controlling Mass attendees but don’t go around shoving their sin in everyone’s face?  Do you really think they are going to be denied?

Fr. Martin knows all of this.  He’s not uneducated in the matter.  He’s just hoping to confuse all of those who might not be.  Like I’ve said before, he’s a predator.

So, Father Martin, tell me exactly how Bishop Paprocki’s guidelines go against Canon Law.  Oh, that’s right.  They don’t.  And, by the way, BISHOP PAPROCKI IS A CANON LAWYER and you are not, Father.  I just Googled, and Ed Peters, of course, has already destroyed you and your ilk here.  Please, good people, share this one: https://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/bp-paprockis-norms-on-same-sex-marriage/

Let’s look at your other insinuation, Fr. Martin.  “Unjust discrimination” my foot. I missed the part in Catholic teaching where every social ill must be addressed by the local bishop on the same day.  The reasons these directions have to be issued these days is because of people, especially priests like you, who are making clear teachings murky.  I think what you fail to understand is that threat of exclusion from the Sacraments is a remedy for the sick soul. Actually, I’m pretty sure you do understand. The problem is, Fr. Martin, you are encouraging the illness.  It is supposed to urge them to repent before it’s too late, but with people like you running around telling them they are being persecuted instead of loved, they’re dying without repentance.

I’m just going to hit on one last thing that hit last night before this “went to press.”  The Gaffigans.  Not really sure what the heck they were thinking with this:

gaffigan

I’m so proud of my gay kids. Happy #pride2017 #pridenyc

How could a family who seems to have a grasp of the Church’s teachings on Natural and Moral Law in the area of being open to children be so wrong on this one is beyond me.  And how about just a little science?  Are Jim and Jeannie really cheering on the dramatically increased diseases found in the “gay lifestyle” they are cheering? Are they fine with encouraging behavior that brings early death to so many?  Let’s just take a look at a few of these beauties:

Anal Cancer
Chlamydia trachomatis
Cryptosporidium
Giardia lamblia
Herpes simplex virus
Human immunodeficiency virus
Human papilloma virus
Isospora belli
Microsporidia
Gonorrhea
Viral hepatitis types B & C
Syphilis
hemorrhoids
anal fissures
anorectal trauma
retained foreign bodies
“Gay Bowel” syndrome
Hepatitis A
Giardia lamblia
Entamoeba histolytica
Epstein-Barr virus
Neisseria meningitides
Shigellosis
Salmonellosis
Pediculosis
scabies
Campylobacter
typhoid
HHV-8
incompetence of the anal sphincter
Kaposi’s sarcoma
Bacterial vaginosis
Mental illness
(and many others)

But love is love, right? Hello!  Typhoid and Giardia are now falling under sexually transmitted diseases.  What the what, Jim and Jeannie????  Care enough to talk reality?

If anyone is going to try and make yourselves feel better  by bringing up the fact that there is a presence of some of these diseases/problems in the heterosexual community, save it.  DO THE RESEARCH!  Having one or any combo of these is the NORM in the “gay lifestyle.” Some are most certainly found in promiscuous heterosexuals, too, which is one reason why the Church is against that, too.

How about we stop calling it “pride” and start calling it “dangerous”?  That’s the reality.  We haven’t even gotten to the spiritual aspect of the “gay lifestyle.”  I was just called a hater last night by our resident liberal friend.  Really?  Look at the above list!  Do you want this for your friends??? I look at people like my friend Thomas and I get very mad at the Fr. Martins of the world who encourage the disease, moral decay, and spiritual death under the guise of “love.”  Peddle your rusty, rotted bridge somewhere else, Fr. Martin.

If you are a person suffering from same-sex attractions, Catholic or not, please look further into the reality of the Church’s love for you.  Fr. Martin – I can’t say this any more clearly – is trying to aid in stealing your soul.  The Bishop Paprockis of the world are the ones who truly love and care for you.  As Jason Jones points out, we should all be struggling together.  Don’t fall for the pandering of Father Martin and company.  They have an agenda and their main aim is NOT your physical or mental well-being or for you to live an eternal life with Our Lord.  THE CHURCH THINKS YOU DESERVE BETTER!

Pray for Fr. Martin.  The Church wants better for him too.  Hopefully he’ll see that and struggle along with the rest of us.

Old Biddies on the Bus

In case you didn’t know, there’s a documentary coming out about “The Nuns on the Bus.”  The promo alone is soooooooooooo nauseating.  Good old Sr. Simone is sporting the make-up and earrings just like “regular folks.”  They didn’t go at all with her habit.  Oh wait, she doesn’t have one.

The bus riders really have no other mission than to repeatedly drive forward and backward over the teachings of the Church.  If they truly had a mission to help the “marginalized,” they would actually do something more than speaking engagements.  But hey, they’ve got a bus which, apparently, they think is way cool.

Once again, Sr. Simone and friends seem to have a lack of understanding of the difference between a nun and a sister, as do their little lap-dogs.  I’m quite offended on behalf of the nuns of the world that she’s calling herself a nun.  She is not a nun.  Nuns live a cloistered life of prayer, contemplation, and devotion to the Sacraments 24/7.  They have removed themselves from society to pray for us and to pray for the Church.  DEFINITELY not Sr. Simone.  I’m reasonably sure that Sr. Simone couldn’t survive the cloistered life without accolades from her liberal followers.  She craves the spotlight.  Sisters, on the other hand, also live in community but they have ministries outside of their communities.  Sr. Simone’s ministry seems to be the Democratic party and folks like Cecile Richards, who has shared the stage with her at many liberal events.  She ain’t no Mother Teresa, that’s for sure.  Now there was the true champion of the poor, the marginalized, and the Church.  She not only cared for their physical well-being, she cared for their souls.  I’m reasonably sure she never gave a moment’s thought to her earrings or scarf matching her outfit, and I’m sure that she would have given Cecile the same tongue lashing she gave the Clintons.

So here is the trailer. As with any good movie, there’s more than one. (That’s sarcasm, people!) You might need a little something to soothe the stomach afterward.  It’s a whole lot of “I am disobedient!  Here me roar!”  

 

This is my favorite line of this particular trailer (emphasis mine):

We could have decided that since we were censured by the Vatican ‘Oh no!  I guess we should behave ourselves!’ (Last time I checked that was called obedience.)  

(Cackle comes next)

That never dawned on me! (Zero shocker there!)

So smug about disobedience.  They’re just like Our Lady, except they’re not.  I can’t help but think they might have a bit of contempt and jealousy for her.  At the very least, I can see them greatly disappointed that the Queen of Heaven showed such obedience.

You can see more of it in this additional trailer from more of the ladies in the club:

 

 

Best line from this one?

 

Why did you become a nun?

Because my parents wouldn’t let me go to Woodstock.

(more cackling)

Bahahaha!  So, funny Sr. Simone.  There’s a bit of truth for you.  Kind of wishing her parents would have let her go.  Sigh.

For those of you who don’t follow the Sr. Simone fan club (AKA The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, AKA the remnants of the orders that are dying off at lightning speed), they were given a big smack down a few years back. That’s what Sr. Simone and friends refer to glibly in the trailers.  

https://zenit.org/articles/cardinal-mueller-s-address-to-presidency-of-the-leadership-conference-of-women-religious/
I am happy to welcome once again the Presidency of the LCWR to Rome and to the Congregation. It is a happy occasion that your visit coincides with the Canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, two great figures important for the Church in our times. I am grateful as well for the presence and participation of the Delegate for the implementation of the LCWR Doctrinal Assessment, Archbishop Peter Sartain.

I’m not totally sure how the Cardinal said this with a straight face.

As in past meetings, I would like to begin by making some introductory observations which I believe will be a helpful way of framing our discussion.

I imagine the old bitties rolling their eyes just about now.

First, I would like to acknowledge with gratitude the progress that has been made in the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment. Archbishop Sartain has kept the Congregation appraised on the work regarding the revision of the LCWR Statutes and civil by-laws. We are glad to see that work continue and remain particularly interested that these foundational documents reflect more explicitly the mission of a Conference of Major Superiors as something centered on Jesus Christ and grounded in the Church’s teaching about Consecrated Life. For that collaboration, I thank you.

Two further introductory comments I would like to frame around what could be called objections to the Doctrinal Assessment raised by your predecessors during past meetings here at the Congregation and in public statements by LCWR officers. We are aware that, from the beginning, LCWR Officers judged the Doctrinal Assessment to be “flawed and the findings based on unsubstantiated accusations” and that the so-called “sanctions” were “disproportionate to the concerns raised and compromised the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission.” This principal objection, I note, was repeated most recently in the preface of the collection of LCWR Presidential Addresses you have just published. It is my intention in discussing these things frankly and openly with you to offer an explanation of why it is that we believe the conclusions of the Doctrinal Assessment are accurate and the path of reform it lays before the LCWR remains necessary so that religious life might continue to flourish in the United States.

And clearly they didn’t listen too well because their orders are dying out.  The flourishing orders?  Those would be the habit wearing, faithful, obedient orders.  They radiate goodness and love. Why would you ever want to join the old cackling gals instead of them?

Let me begin with the notion of “disproportionate sanctions.” One of the more contentious aspects of the Mandate—though one that has not yet been put into force—is the provision that speakers and presenters at major programs will be subject to approval by the Delegate. This provision has been portrayed as heavy-handed interference in the day-to-day activities of the Conference. For its part, the Holy See would not understand this as a “sanction,” but rather as a point of dialogue and discernment. It allows the Holy See’s Delegate to be involved in the discussion first of all in order to avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church. Further, this is meant as an assistance to you, the Presidency, so as to anticipate better the issues that will further complicate the relationship of the LCWR with the Holy See.

Let’s see, who was front and center at the DNC Convention?  The Old Biddies on the Bus.  It doesn’t get more embarrassing for faithful Catholic women than that.  Then there was this year’s “Women’s March.” Gag!

An example may help at this point. It saddens me to learn that you have decided to give the Outstanding Leadership Award during this year’s Assembly to a theologian criticized by the Bishops of the United States because of the gravity of the doctrinal errors in that theologian’s writings. This is a decision that will be seen as a rather open provocation against the Holy See and the Doctrinal Assessment. Not only that, but it further alienates the LCWR from the Bishops as well.

Honestly, Your Eminence, they don’t give a damn.  You have to understand that their favorite slogan is “Well behaved women seldom make history.”  For them, it’s all about the tributes and accolades they get.  If it weren’t, they’d spend a little more time being hands-on with the poor and a lot less time with the social elites.  But when they did spend time with the social elites, they’d call them on their hypocrisy, not compliment them.  It’s hard to call out Nancy Pelosi when you share a room in the ivory tower (or is it an ivory bus complete with adoring film crew?).

I realize I am speaking rather bluntly about this, but I do so out of an awareness that there is no other interpretive lens, within and outside the Church, through which the decision to confer this honor will be viewed. It is my understanding that Archbishop Sartain was informed of the selection of the honoree only after the decision had been made. Had he been involved in the conversation as the Mandate envisions, I am confident that he would have added an important element to the discernment which then may have gone in a different direction. The decision taken by the LCWR during the ongoing implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment is indeed regrettable and demonstrates clearly the necessity of the Mandate’s provision that speakers and presenters at major programs will be subject to approval by the Delegate. I must therefore inform you that this provision is to be considered fully in force. I do understand that the selection of honorees results from a process, but this case suggests that the process is itself in need of reexamination. I also understand that plans for this year’s Assembly are already at a very advanced stage and I do not see the need to interrupt them. However, following the August Assembly, it will be the expectation of the Holy See that Archbishop Sartain have an active role in the discussion about invited speakers and honorees.

If he is still doing it, Archbishop Sartain has one of THE worst jobs.  I can’t even imagine having to deal with the likes of Campbell, Gramick, etc.  Trying to get these women to conform to Church teaching?  Please.  Wisdom teeth removal would sound preferable to me. 

Let me address a second objection, namely that the findings of the Doctrinal Assessment are unsubstantiated. The phrase in the Doctrinal Assessment most often cited as overreaching or unsubstantiated is when it talks about religious moving beyond the Church or even beyond Jesus. Yes, this is hard language and I can imagine it sounded harsh in the ears of thousands of faithful religious. I regret that, because the last thing in the world the Congregation would want to do is call into question the eloquent, even prophetic witness of so many faithful religious women. And yet, the issues raised in the Assessment are so central and so foundational, there is no other way of discussing them except as constituting a movement away from the ecclesial center of faith in Christ Jesus the Lord.

OK, I’m not really sure how in Haiti the sisters could claim unsubstantiated findings.  I think Sr. Simone’s club might want to give it a rest.  When you tell the Vatican to take a flying leap and appear on film saying, “Well, we could have behaved but it didn’t even occur to us!” you’ve kind of proven the point.  That alone “goes beyond the Church” not to mention all of the countless other errors they spew.

For the last several years, the Congregation has been following with increasing concern a focalizing of attention within the LCWR around the concept of Conscious Evolution. Since Barbara Marx Hubbard addressed the Assembly on this topic two years ago, every issue of your newsletter has discussed Conscious Evolution in some way. Issues of Occasional Papers have been devoted to it. We have even seen some religious Institutes modify their directional statements to incorporate concepts and undeveloped terms from Conscious Evolution.

Again, I apologize if this seems blunt, but what I must say is too important to dress up in flowery language. The fundamental theses of Conscious Evolution are opposed to Christian Revelation and, when taken unreflectively, lead almost necessarily to fundamental errors regarding the omnipotence of God, the Incarnation of Christ, the reality of Original Sin, the necessity of salvation and the definitive nature of the salvific action of Christ in the Paschal Mystery.

Respond to that, ladies.

My concern is whether such an intense focus on new ideas such as Conscious Evolution has robbed religious of the ability truly to sentire cum Ecclesia. To phrase it as a question, do the many religious listening to addresses on this topic or reading expositions of it even hear the divergences from the Christian faith present?

This concern is even deeper than the Doctrinal Assessment’s criticism of the LCWR for not providing a counter-point during presentations and Assemblies when speakers diverge from Church teaching. The Assessment is concerned with positive errors of doctrine seen in the light of the LCWR’s responsibility to support a vision of religious life in harmony with that of the Church and to promote a solid doctrinal basis for religious life. I am worried that the uncritical acceptance of things such as Conscious Evolution seemingly without any awareness that it offers a vision of God, the cosmos, and the human person divergent from or opposed to Revelation evidences that a de facto movement beyond the Church and sound Christian faith has already occurred.

Yup.

I do not think I overstate the point when I say that the futuristic ideas advanced by the proponents of Conscious Evolution are not actually new. The Gnostic tradition is filled with similar affirmations and we have seen again and again in the history of the Church the tragic results of partaking of this bitter fruit. Conscious Evolution does not offer anything which will nourish religious life as a privileged and prophetic witness rooted in Christ revealing divine love to a wounded world. It does not present the treasure beyond price for which new generations of young women will leave all to follow Christ. The Gospel does! Selfless service to the poor and marginalized in the name of Jesus Christ does!

This nails Simone and posse to a “t”!

It is in this context that we can understand Pope Francis’ remarks to the Plenary Assembly of the International Union of Superiors General in May of 2013. What the Holy Father proposes is a vision of religious life and particularly of the role of conferences of major superiors which in many ways is a positive articulation of issues which come across as concerns in the Doctrinal Assessment. I urge you to reread the Holy Father’s remarks and to make them a point of discussion with members of your Board as well.

Oh, I am totally sure there was a discussion.  Lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth and a few choice words for the “patriarchy.”

I have raised several points in these remarks, so I will stop here. I owe an incalculable debt to the women religious who have long been a part of my life. They were the ones who instilled in me a love for the Lord and for the Church and encouraged me to follow the vocation to which the Lord was calling me. The things I have said today are therefore born of great love. The Holy See and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith deeply desire religious life to thrive and that the LCWR will be an effective instrument supporting its growth. In the end, the point is this: the Holy See believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church. The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration.

It’s just a guess but I’m pretty sure we’re not going to get much ecclesial vision or collaboration.

As a much younger woman than the Old Biddies on the Bus, I wish the Vatican would just declare the LCWR a heretical organization and move on.  Anyone wanting to stay in an organization whose members hang with Nancy Pelosi and Cecile Richards and cheer on those donning silly pink hats is an embarrassment to Catholic womanhood anyway.  Lick your finger and stick it up in the air, Sr. Simone.  You do not have the prevailing wind.  All of the beautiful orders full of faithfulness and obedience (all of those “old-fashioned” traits you abhor, AKA Mary-like qualities) are kicking your behinds in the vocations race and will continue to do so.  You have failed to learn from 2,000 years of history.  Truth will prevail.

 

 

Open Rebellion Coming to a Church Near You!

Congratulations, United States Catholics!  You’ve now got a parish openly rebelling against the teachings of the Catholic Church. Didn’t know that?  Sorry to break it to you.  Most “LGBT” parishes dance ever so carefully around the issue of active homosexual acts.  They dangle their feet over the line but never actually speak of the fact that they are encouraging people to accept homosexual activity.  Unfortunately, this parish is now openly doing it.  I, for one, am happy to just see them say what they mean for once and ditch the wink and the nod.  In this parish, it’s A-O-K to be a drag queen, or a physically active homosexual (sodomy and masturbation – I’d like to be super clear on that for some goof who is going to try and argue that simply being homosexual is not a sin), or a champion of “gay marriage”, in  a “gay marriage”, and for homosexual “married” partners to adopt children.  I’d guess it’s probably just peachy to use IVF, sperm donors, egg donors, and surrogacy to have children, too.  You know, because their desire comes before EVERYTHING else, especially Church teaching.  Joseph Sciambra has put together a nice, not-so-little dossier here:  http://josephsciambra.com/gay-man-announces-his-same-sex-wedding-in-radical-lgbt-affirmative-parish-bulletin/

And then there’s this:

St. Matthew Catholic Church: LEAD Ministry from Eric Kruszewski on Vimeo.

This is one of the most deplorable things I’ve ever seen, and it’s been a year since it came out. Pretty much shows how the pastor is accepting of moral behavior. I found it here: http://www.out.com/news-opinion/2016/1/11/watch-inside-lgbt-friendly-catholic-church Really, if OUT.com is extolling the virtues of a Catholic parish, it’s time to do something.  I’m sure Archbishop Lori agonizes over this parish, but the time for contemplation is over.  Fr. Muth is actively leading souls away from Truth.  Don’t we care about the parishioners?  Yes, it would be a news story to shut down the heresy. Yes, some are going to leave the Catholic Church behind if you teach Truth.  We know this, for Christ himself saw followers walk away, but ignoring this is aiding and abetting leading souls right into the hands of Satan.  Please take the time to watch the video.  People have very openly said they are in homosexual relationships.  This isn’t simply about “a parish being welcoming.” This is about a parish making people “feel at home” with their active homosexual lifestyles.

So what’s the Church to do???  We cannot “welcome” sinful acts that lead people into spiritual and physical danger.  We can’t tell the person suffering from same-sex attraction that we accept their lifestyle any more than we can accept a drug addict’s lifestyle.  Earning the “tolerant and nice” badge is anything but loving.  In fact, it’s pretty much selfish on the behalf of those that do it.  The only loving and kind thing we can ever do is to tell people the Truth, help them carry their crosses, and ease their sufferings as much as we possibly can in light of the Truth.

Fr. Muth says he just want to “provide a place where people can simply find their moment to seek God in their life.”  That’s just a bold face lie.  God is Truth and Fr. Muth is doing anything but putting Truth before the people in his congregation.  He’s doing nothing but validating their lifestyle choices.  I’m sickened at his attitude that HE, not the Church, provides a safe haven to people suffering from SSA.  Sorry, Father.  I must have missed the part where your accepting ways led the people in this video to a chaste lifestyle.

This is the type of thing that the parishioners get out of St. Matthew’s and Fr. Muth: “I love God, and I love myself, and it’s unfair to think I have to choose between the two,” said Victoria Moore, a lesbian…” https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/offically-sanctioned-baltimore-parish-group-welcomes-lgbt-catholics  FACEPALM!  I’m sure NcR was glee writing this one.  Somehow these (and so many other things) were completely missed at St. Matthew’s.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matt. 16:24

And calling the multitude together with his disciples, he said to them: If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Mark 8:34

And he said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23

And they that are Christ’s, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences. Gal 5:24

For you are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ shall appear, who is your life, then you also shall appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is the service of idols.  For which things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of unbelief, In which you also walked some time, when you lived in them.  Col 3:3-7

And you, too, must think of yourselves as dead to sin, and alive with a life that looks towards God, through Christ Jesus our Lord.

You must not, then, allow sin to tyrannize over your perishable bodies, to make you subject to its appetites. You must not make your bodily powers over to sin, to be the instruments of harm; make yourselves over to God, as men who have been dead and come to life again; make your bodily powers over to God, to be the instruments of right-doing. Sin will not be able to play the master over you any longer; you serve grace now, not the law. Romans 6:11-14

Well, brethren, you too have undergone death, as far as the law is concerned, in the person of Christ crucified, so that you now belong to another, to him who rose from the dead. We yield increase to God, whereas, when we were merely our natural selves, the sinful passions to which the law bound us worked on our natural powers, so as to yield increase only to death.  Now we are quit of the claim which death had on us, so that we can do service in a new manner, according to the spirit, not according to the letter as of old. Romans 7:4-6

And now, brethren, I appeal to you by God’s mercies to offer up your bodies as a living sacrifice, consecrated to God and worthy of his acceptance; this is the worship due from you as rational creatures.[1] 2 And you must not fall in with the manners of this world; there must be an inward change, a remaking of your minds, so that you can satisfy yourselves what is God’s will, the good thing, the desirable thing, the perfect thing. Romans 12: 1-2

So,yes Victoria, you are supposed to choose between your desires and God when they are at odds and I’m so sorry that Fr. Muth hasn’t shown you true accompaniment.  You wanted bread and he gave you a big, old stone.

Like I said here, https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/fr-martins-bridge-too-far/, this issue is the Catholic Church’s Iraq or Syria, and our hierarchy is acting more like Obama than Christ and His saints.  (If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t put it on.)  The several lines in the sand has repeatedly been crossed by dissenters, and now an entire parish, yet it doesn’t even matter if Archbishop Lori is doing something behind the scenes to rectify the problems. To be fair, he has made them cancel things in the past.  That said, this parish is the proverbial “Mother of All Bombs” in the obedience area and unless something is done to publicly correct the pastor and the flock, you can bet more parishes will follow.

I’m a mom.  I can tell you when children don’t get a firm smack down on serious issues, many more will arise and it can spread through the family.  Our hierarchy might think that quietly dealing with things is the way to go but this isn’t somebody stealing a cookie.  This is akin to the family finding your kid with a needle sticking out of their arm.  It’s not just harmful to them but to the entire family unit with such a display.  And you know what?  You might just lose that child, but if you make sure that you ALWAYS let them know your actions are done out of concern for their physical and immortal well-being, they will remember that.  As parents, we cannot make our children not sin. It’s impossible.  I’ve tried.   We can only teach them.  If we do and they sin, they will be held responsible.  If we don’t teach them and they sin, woe to us!

P

Cardinal Maradiaga’s Big Obsession

I kind of knew this was coming, but it took me a couple days to get around to reading it. Now that I have, I have to say it was far more entertaining than I thought it would be.

https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2017/05/19/cardinal-watch-maradiaga-bashes-burke-benedict-lauds-sarah/

Two prominent and sometimes controversial cardinals, both seen as conservatives, recently have drawn stinging criticism in one case and a stirring defense in another, and both have come from extremely high-ranking sources.

American Cardinal Raymond Burke was recently dismissed as a “disappointed man” upset over the loss of his power by fellow Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, coordinator of Pope Francis’s “C9” council of cardinal advisers.”

OK, this made me chuckle.  If Cardinal Burke is such a sad, disappointed, pretty much retired guy –  basically a has-been in the Catholic world (all Maradiaga’s insinuation, not mine) – why is Maradiaga talking about him every five seconds?  I mean, look at the people I write about.  Do I do so because they are inconsequential?  Some are but some are very influential, and that is a big problem.  I’ve got to give Cardinal Maradiaga points for attempting to verbally pat Cardinal Burke on the head, but I think he picked the wrong guy.  Cardinal Burke is the mouthpiece for millions of Catholics around the world, especially the ones who actually attend Mass regularly.  Maradiaga, Cupich, Marx, etc.?  They’re the ones who represent the Catholics who follow the Church’s teachings only when it’s comfortable to do so.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, head of the Vatican’s liturgy department, was praised by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI as someone with whom the liturgy is in “good hands.”

Do you think Maradiaga’s going to try getting away with patting Cardinal Sarah on the head, too?

<snip because we all know about the dubia by now>

In the new interview, Maradiaga comes out swinging.

“That cardinal who sustains this,” Maradiaga said, referring to the criticism of Amoris, “is a disappointed man, in that he wanted power and lost it. He thought he was the maximum authority in the United States.”

Seriously?!  Cardinal Burke is from Wisconsin.  I realize that readers outside of the country might not have a clue about Wisconsin, but it’s not really known for power-hungry, maniacal people.  It’s WISCONSIN, for goodness sake! I know a lot of people who know him personally, and he sounds like he’s exactly what you’d expect from Wisconsin.  He’s a kind and compassionate man who will take time to talk to anyone and everyone he can.  People always seemed to be amazed that he remembers them from brief encounters, and they’ll all swear he’s a deeply caring man who cares about the Church, the faithful, and people in general.  He’s truly a fatherly type of guy.

“He’s not the magisterium,” Maradiaga said, referring to the authority to issue official teaching. “The Holy Father is the magisterium, and he’s the one who teaches the whole Church. This other [person] speaks only his own thoughts, which don’t merit further comment.

“They are the words,” Maradiaga said, “of a poor man.”

Maradiaga also criticized conservative schools of thought in Catholicism, of which Burke is often seen as a symbol.

“These currents of the Catholic right are persons who seek power and not the truth, and the truth is one,” he said. “If they claim to find some ‘heresy’ in the words of Francis, they’re making a big mistake, because they’re thinking only like men and not as the Lord wants.”

Irk.  Let’s just stop right here, Cardinal Maradiaga.  I’m reasonably sure you know quite well, despite your innuendos, that Cardinal Burke has never declared Pope Francis a heretic.  Let’s just look at this to put an end to the silliness:

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/5292/Cardinal_Burke_No_I_am_not_saying_that_Pope_Francis_is_in_heresy.aspx

CWR: Some critics say you are implicitly accusing the Pope of heresy.

Cardinal Burke: No, that’s not what we have implied at all. We have simply asked him, as the Supreme Pastor of the Church, to clarify these five points that are confused; these five, very serious and fundamental points. We’re not accusing him of heresy, but just asking him to answer these questions for us as the Supreme Pastor of the Church.

<snip rest of lengthy q&a>

CWR: Just to clarify again, are you saying that Pope Francis is in heresy or is close to it?

Cardinal Burke: No, I am not saying that Pope Francis is in heresy. I have never said that. Neither have I stated that he is close to being in heresy.

What the what?  But Cardinal Maradiaga said… 

Now, let’s just juxtapose these two gentlemen, shall we?

First, you’ve got Cardinal Maradiaga, who seems rather fond of making fun of people who are in the “Catholic right.”  He makes his fellow Catholics and fellow Cardinals to be rather pathetic.  He’s a huge fan of talking about all these people who are always so mean (even though he probably can’t back it up with fact).  I’m glad he knows so much about what the Lord wants for those of us in the Catholic right.  I mean, thank you, Cardinal Maradiaga, because I really thought it was to follow and defend the faith of the Catholic Church.  Silly us.

Last time I checked (as shown just a smidge above), Cardinal Burke said he finds no heresy in the Pope and the Pope says he doesn’t see Cardinal Burke as an enemy, yet Cardinal Maradiaga stands right in the middle intent on stirring the pot of uninformed Catholics spreading rumors and falsehoods. 

Then you’ve got Cardinal Burke, who could likely spew volumes on the likes of Cardinal Maradiaga but does not (clearly a better person than I).  He has not made one personal attack on him, the Holy Father, or any of his other critics.  In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Cardinal Burke utter Cardinal Maradiaga’s name.  He goes straight to the issues every time, and nobody anywhere can point to something that would lead us to believe that he is not well within his right and duty to present a dubia to the Holy Father.

“What sense does it have to publish writings against the pope, which don’t damage him but ordinary people? What does a right-wing closed on certain points accomplish? Nothing!”

Writings against the Pope?  When did “Holy Father, we ask you to clarify a teaching” become a hit piece???  Oh, the horrors.  And really, again, if these people are just has-beens why are they on your lips every other sentence?  I mean, shouldn’t you just let them wander off into oblivion?  The answer is, they’re not.  They are very important to the faithful and I think what they do is to stymie the liberal spin on Catholic teaching.  

One would have to wonder what Cardinal Maradiaga thinks of St. Paul.  If he’s having this much trouble with four bishops asking questions for the pope to clarify then he really must have a problem with Saint “I Withstood Him to the Face!” Paul.

But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. (Galatians 2:11 for people who are unfamiliar.)

 

“Ordinary people are with the pope, this is completely clear,” Maradiaga said. “I see that everywhere.”

Uh, define “with the pope.” Define ordinary people.  I am quite ordinary and I consider myself “with the pope,” but I still would like the clarifications made to save the likes of people like me who might be led astray by people like you who twist ambiguities into pretzels and feed them to the hungry.  This doesn’t have anything to do with trying to take down a papacy.  It has everything to do with my kids understanding clearly what is being taught.

“Those who are proud, arrogant, who believe they have a superior intellect … poor people! Pride is also a form of poverty,” he said.

I find it sooooo ironic that he’s saying this about Cardinal Burke and the “Catholic right.”  Sometimes looking into a mirror might be helpful. 

“The greatest problem, however, is the disorientation that’s created among people when they read affirmations of bishops and cardinals against the Holy Father,” he said.

Oh my gosh!  Maradiaga is “Cardinal Disorientor of the Faithful,” not Cardinal Burke!  I mean, that’s his standard method of operation!  Why do you think he’s got trouble with someone askng for clarification on Amoris Laetitia?

Maradiaga called his fellow cardinals to loyalty.

“I think that one of the qualities we cardinals [should have] is loyalty,” he said. “Even if we don’t all think the same way, we still have to be loyal to Peter.”

The accusations are rampant!

Whoever doesn’t offer that loyalty, he said, “is just seeking attention.”

Again, where’s the disloyalty? And, really, just who is seeking attention?

While such public clashes between cardinals are rare, they’re not unprecedented.

During the Benedict years, for instance, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna publicly suggested that Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who served as Secretary of State under St. John Paul II, had blocked an investigation of sex abuse charges against Schönborn’s predecessor, Cardinal Hans Hermann Gröer.

In that instance, Benedict called in both cardinals for a fence-mending session, among other things reminding them that “when accusations are made against a cardinal, competency falls exclusively to the pope.”

So, let me get this straight.  When Cardinals are chastising other cardinals (please make a note, Cardinal Maradiaga!), the pope is the only competent judge???  And what did the pope already say again?  Oh yeah, that he did not consider Cardinal Burke an enemy, so maybe, just maybe, it is you, Cardinal Maradiaga, who usurps a little too much authority. 

Maradiaga also appeared to suggest that Burke may have been disappointed in the outcome of the conclave of March 2013 that elected Francis.

“The papal candidates others wanted remained in place, while the one the Lord wanted is the one who was elected,” he said, “so the dissent is logical and understandable, [because] we can’t all think the same way.

“However,” Maradiaga said, “it’s Peter who leads the Church, and therefore, if we have faith, we must respect the choices and the style of the pope who came from the end of the earth.”

Some days don’t you feel you’re seeing the high school rumor monger?  How sad is this coming from a cardinal? 

This is not the first time Maradiaga has attacked a fellow cardinal seen as being a conservative.

In 2014, he called on the head of the Vatican’s doctrine office, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, to “be a bit more flexible” during an interview with Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger, a German newspaper.

Maradiaga said Müller “see things in black-and-white terms,” adding that “the world isn’t like that, my brother.” Maradiaga also accused the German cardinal of only listening to his group of advisors, not hearing “other voices.”

Well, in your world it might not be like that, but in the real world, the Truth is found in the teachings of the Church, not in your world of moral relativism.

Sarah, meanwhile, who was appointed by Francis as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments in November 2014, has drawn fire in more progressive quarters for his fairly traditional views on the Church’s worship.

In April, for instance, Sarah gave a talk on the 10th anniversary of Benedict’s document Summorum Pontificum, authorizing regular celebration of the older Latin Mass, in which Sarah spoke of a “serious, profound crisis” in the Church caused in part by liturgical changes after the Second Vatican Council in the mid-1960s.

“Even today, a significant number of Church leaders underestimate the serious crisis that the Church is going through,” Sarah said, including “relativism in doctrinal, moral and disciplinary teaching, grave abuses, the desacralization and trivialization of the Sacred Liturgy, [and] a merely social and horizontal view of the Church’s mission.”

One liberal commentator derided Sarah for nostalgia for a bypassed “golden age.”

One person’s “nostalgia” is another’s reality of the Tradition of the Church.

“Yet in a new afterword to a book by Sarah, Benedict XVI says the liturgy is in “good hands” with the Guinean cardinal, and praises Sarah for his prayer life.

Sarah, Benedict writes, speaks “out of the depths of silence with the Lord, out of his interior union with him, and thus really has something to say to each one of us.

“We should be grateful to Pope Francis for appointing such a spiritual teacher as head of the congregation that is responsible for the celebration of the liturgy in the Church,” Benedict writes.

The afterword’s last line is, “With Cardinal Sarah, a master of silence and of interior prayer, the liturgy is in good hands.”

The book is The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise, published by Ignatius Press.

Benedict’s vote of confidence is all the more striking given that when he resigned the papacy in February 2013, Benedict vowed to remain “hidden from the world,” and has rarely broken his silence since. The fact that he chose to do so now, many observers believe, reflects both his passion for the liturgy and also his support for Sarah.

Despite this, I’m reasonably sure Cardinal Maradiaga will get around to publicly lambasting Cardinal Sarah at some point.  Don’t think he’s likely gotten over Cardinal Sarah’s take on Caritas International: 

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/as-caritas-identity-is-refined-new-slogan-called-unrealistic/

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/issues/march-11th-2016/the-unstoppable-rise-of-cardinal-sarah/

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=9349

Fr. Martin’s Bridge Too Far

This was a great article on why Fr. Martin is a doofus, but sadly, it doesn’t really address the overarching issue.  https://liturgyguy.com/2017/05/07/why-bishops-should-condemn-fr-martins-dangerous-bridge/  It’s spot on regarding why Fr. Martin is so wrong and should be condemned, but it’s as if people don’t realize that he’s so popular because he’s filling a void not met by our pastors.  You have to ask yourself why a laughable, hypocritical guy like him is being given any attention at all.  There are reasons why people embrace the suspension of reality.

First of all, the faithful Catholics suffering from same-sex attraction are not having their needs met by the Church.  Quite frankly, I don’t think the hierarchy (at least the part of it that  truly cares for souls) was prepared for the numbers affected, and they’ve got a priest shortage as it is. I mean, there’s an even bigger priest shortage for those who give a flying fig about Catholicism in general, but still, something needs to be done in this area.

The other problem I see is that many of the good priests, deacons, etc., simply don’t know how to handle them.  It’s almost like being the first-time parent of a teenager.  There’s a lot of feeling your way along.  Some parents indulge their teens, some try to be their buddies, and some simply ignore the problem hoping it will go away.  A good parent is going to try their hardest to see what it’s like for them, support them when they do right, correct them when they are wrong, and involve them in the Church.  That’s the only way any of us are going to survive our lot in life.  We need that Catholic community.

I’ve had more than one faithful, abstinent person suffering from same-sex attraction contact me, and the story is always the same.  They are so grateful for the Courage ministry, but it’s not given enough attention.  More often than not, the faithful bishops love the idea of Courage but don’t back it up with a chaplain who really has time to minister to those seeking counseling. (Highlighting suggested by one who knows the situation well.)  Quite frankly, this is why Martin sucks so many in.  This is the Church’s Iraq – a giant hole in leadership leads to stupid people taking advantage of the situation. 

People are hurting and looking for help to live heroic lives of virtue, but they are simply getting, “Here you go!  Good luck!” from many of the faithful bishops. And then you’ve got the folks on the flipside who are going to “accompany them” to “embrace their gift from God!”  If you’re suffering from SSA, which one is going to look more appealing to you?  This is where Martin scores.

Look at another problem people have, like depression.  Would a support group of depressed people be able to help each other without some spiritual guidance?  We need to figure out a way to build thriving communities of Courage and Encourage.  Sadly, this is a common issue. Well, at least it is here in California, where SSA is a trend before a reality.  In fact, it’s so prevalent and urgent that maybe it would behoove us to move past these small little groups and make it a parish mission to encourage all parishioners to help each other to morality, chastity, and everlasting life, no matter their affliction, station, vocation, etc.  If there aren’t enough priests to go around, this might be a better alternative than nothing.

Time and again, I’ve heard from my friends suffering from same-sex attraction that their biggest helps in life are their “straight” fellow parishioners who befriend them and welcome them into their families.  Yet treating someone like family doesn’t mean you agree with or understand every aspect of their life.  It means that you are simply there for them.  Thanks to those filling this growing void!

In a perfect world, every Courage/Encourage group would have a chaplain just for them. It would be a thriving community where they counseled each other how to live their lives to get them to an everlasting life with God.  In reality, there just aren’t enough priests to go around.  An even sadder reality is that the priests who are often ready and available to these groups are the Fr. Martins of the world.  Personally, I think they find them easy prey to pick off for their dissent brigade.  It’s the predator’s way to go after the vulnerable and they do.  We’re simply not doing enough to protect them from those who want to use them for their own devious ends of destroying the Truth found in the Church.

As I and my fellow pew sitters go, we spend a lot of time discussing why people are the way they are, how to prevent it, etc.  We can look at, say, Milo and discuss human nature or nurture till we’re blue in the face.  I have my beliefs on that issue, too, but when I’m talking to someone struggling from same-sex attraction who is trying to remain chaste when the world is telling them to do what feels good, nature or nurture ain’t going to solve the immediate problem at hand.  It’s also not going to help those friends who struggle with loneliness and depression, another big problem in the homosexual community.

I don’t have much pull in solving the priest shortage crisis by anything other than prayer and sacrifice and encouraging men to look at that vocation for their lives.  I can see this shortage hurts a lot of parishioners, but again, it’s especially hard for parishioners in crisis.  In my particular area, the bishops are overwhelmed with the amount of people who need help.  I mean, we were essentially deprived of the Faith for many years.  We have many struggling souls struggling with many different things.  We all, however, should have the same goal. 

Maybe we need to keep it simple?  Stop the hemorrhaging of people via bad catechesis and example, remind people that the devil wants to keep them from everlasting life, and start with some broader game plans to keep that from happening.  As descendants of Adam and Eve, we’re all struggling with something.  None of us is perfect. We’re all sinners, and we share some common struggles.  We all struggle with chastity.  We all struggle with temptation.  If we can’t focus on each individual affliction, maybe we should have programs in our parishes focusing first on the cardinal virtues instead of having the dioceses spending so much time on the idea in society at large.  You know, right the boat first before you start plucking people out of the water.  If we can’t aid people in our own parishes, how are we ever going to the rest of the world on board with prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance? 

Can you imagine a Church – dare I say world – where people have learned to overcome their temptations in life?  This might be one area where Fr. Martin is accidentally right.  People suffering from SSA could enrich the Church.  Of course, it won’t be by their afflictions and sins but by overcoming them!  Personally, my friends who suffer with SSA and still live the faithful Catholic life are an inspiration for me every bit as much as, say, St. Therese and St. Bernadette, who suffered so much physical pain here and kept their eyes on everlasting life with God.

James Martin, SJ, is building bridges to nowhere.  Like I said earlier, he knows how to find the vulnerable and prey upon their weaknesses like a pro. This is why people who have embraced Church teaching and have come out of the SSA lifestyle are so adamant that the Church needs to do something. They know firsthand how souls are lost in this area, and they can be a BIG help in fixing the problem.  The Church needs to reach these people before the Martins of the world get them onto the bridge with the big gaping hole in the middle of it and encourage them to drive right to their spiritual (and often physical) deaths.  He’s not going to be stopped by platitudes.  He’s going to be stopped by action.

I’d like to thank “Thomas from Michigan” for his input on my thoughts and for making suggestions.