Los Angeles Re-Education Congress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to the program description.

Arthur Fitzmaurice, PhD

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

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

And then there’s Fr. Massingale.  Sigh. 

Fr. Bryan N. Massingale, STD

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

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

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

Back to the Crux article:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most Reverend José H. Gomez

Office of the Archbishop of Los Angeles

3424 Wilshire Boulevard, 5th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241

Telephone:

(213) 637-7534 

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