The Martin Machine in Motion

The Martin Machine is working overtime to protect their guy!  I’m starting to wonder what’s really going on.  I mean, is Fr. Martin’s ego so fragile it can’t take a few cancellations, or is there something bigger happening here? All of it seems a little over the top for even him.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/03/opinion/sunday/scariest-catholic-james-martin.html

The Rev. James Martin is a Roman Catholic rock star. His books, including one on Jesus Christ and another on the saints, have sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The director Martin Scorsese has twice hired him to consult on movies with religious themes. Television producers love him: Back when Stephen Colbert had his Comedy Central show, Father Martin popped up frequently as its “official chaplain.”

Let me just say, this means oh-so-much to those of us who take the Faith seriously.  Scorsese is the paragon of Catholicism to those of us just trying to get to Heaven?!  Come on.  Might I point out that Stephen King has also sold a boatload of books?  And?  Plus, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, apples to apples, Pope Benedict might outrank Martin in the bookselling business.

So the reaction when he agreed to speak this month to a group of parishes in central New Jersey was unalloyed elation, right?

Wrong. Within days of the announcement, parish officials were in a state better described as dread.

Oh my gosh!  “Hollywood” Martin has been asked to speak?!?!?  We should all get down on our knees and thank the Lord above!  Mr. Bruni, a lot of us care a lot more about salvation than we’ll ever care about who does what in Hollywood.  I mean, I’m obviously not a fan of Fr. Martin, but even I could come up with a better defense.

Check out the websites and Twitter accounts of far-right Catholic groups and you’ll see why. To them Father Martin is “sick,” “wicked,” “a filthy liar,” “the smoke of Satan” and a “heretic” on a fast track to “eternal damnation.” They obsessively stalk him and passionately exhort churchgoers to protest his public appearances or prevent them from happening altogether.

Has Mr. Bruni looked at Fr. Martin’s, say, Facebook page comments?  Are we really going to go with glass houses here?  I can’t speak for everyone, but I go days without thinking of Fr. Martin. In fact, I wouldn’t even be thinking about him now if he hadn’t lined up a barrage of articles slamming his critics.  Interestingly enough, he/they never bother to take on the accusations.  They just slander the characters of, well, everyone opposing them. If he were to speak in my local area, I’d probably work to get that cancelled too based on two things.  First, he fails to encourage celibacy in our fellow Catholics suffering from same-sex attraction. Rather than a complete re-write on supportive evidence for this and many other mistakes, see Father Martin Pouring Gas on the Bridge and Lighting it on Fire.  Second, he actually has said some heretical things.  Before I comment on the latter, let’s take a gander at the next paragraph from the Times.

And they succeed. After the New Jersey parish in which his remarks were supposed to be delivered was inundated with angry phone calls, the event was moved off church grounds. Father Martin will give his spectacularly uncontroversial talk — “Jesus Christ: Fully Human, Fully Divine” — at a secular conference center in a nearby town.

Yeah, Fr. Martin is probably one of the last people who should do a talk entitled “Jesus Christ: Fully Human, Fully Divine” because he has, more than once, gotten that subject wrong. 

Instead of babbling my own incoherent thoughts, I offer this piece by Fr. Thomas Petri, OP, on Martin’s errors.  It’s a great read.  

Why all this drama? What’s Father Martin’s unconscionable sin? In his most recent book, “Building a Bridge,” which was published in June, he calls on Catholics to show L.G.B.T. people more respect and compassion than many of them have demonstrated in the past.

That’s all. That’s it. He doesn’t say that the church should bless gay marriage or gay adoption. He doesn’t explicitly reject church teaching, which prescribes chastity for gay men and lesbians, though he questions the language — “intrinsically disordered” — with which it describes homosexuality.

Of course, Mr. Bruni, by his own admission, there are just some things he can’t say as a priest. I do like the way you use the term “explicitly.”  Fr. Martin really doesn’t explicitly do much, but prefers the wink-and-nod tactic.  Besides, he doesn’t have to say it. He just uses his surrogates to do the talking and collects the kudos and awards from them. 

BTW, you kinda sorta have to admit he’s “advocating without advocating” for a whole lot of what you say he not advocating for in this piece: https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/what-should-gay-catholic-do

I’d argue that I have more respect and compassion for “L.G.B.T. people.” You see, I want them to learn to take up their cross, follow Christ, and struggle with the rest of us towards everlasting life in our one, big Catholic family.  Fr. Martin wants to keep the false narrative of how we hate them going.  One should really, really stop and ask themselves why?  Maybe that helps the book sales, but it doesn’t help reality and it doesn’t bring souls to Heaven. 

Fr. Martin says he doesn’t touch on chastity and celibacy because it’s been covered.  But where, Fr. Martin?  Isn’t it covered by the people who supposedly hate the “L.G.B.T” community or are doing it all wrong?  If you’re pushing the narrative that these people hate the “L.G.B.T.” community, shouldn’t you be teaching it, since you are apparently the only one whocan treat anyone with kindness?  Hmmm???

If anyone knows me, you know I have friends who suffer from same-sex attraction.  There’s ZERO hate on my part for anyone, including Fr. Martin.  I’m just not one to put up with silliness, underhandedness, manipulation, and drawing people AWAY from the path of salvation found in the teachings of the Church. We just do the best we can to help each other get to Heaven.  We talk about our struggles. We talk about how to conquer the sin in our lives, etc., etc., etc.

But that hasn’t stopped his detractors from casting him as a terrifying enemy of the faith — Regan in “The Exorcist” and Damien in “The Omen” rolled together and grown up into a balding and bespectacled Jesuit — and silencing him whenever they can. A talk about Jesus that he was supposed to give in London last fall was canceled. So was a similar talk at the Theological College of the Catholic University of America.

I find it odd that someone from the NY Times has done soooo little research into why people have problems with Fr. Martin.  OK, I’m lying.  I find it completely and utterly normal.  Mr. Bruni is “gay” and as long as Fr. Martin keeps up with the “they hate gays” chant, why would he bother?  I’m sure that Mr. Bruni also feels like he knows a lot about the Church because he was the “Rome reporter” for a while. I would hope that people would use due diligence, but when you’ve got an agenda to advance, truth is irrelevant.

And the vitriol to which he has been subjected is breathtaking, a reminder not just of how much homophobia is still out there but also of how presumptuous, overwrought, cruel and destructive discourse in this digital age can be.

“Inexcusably ugly” was how the Roman Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, described the attacks on Father Martin in an essay for the Catholic journal First Things in September. Archbishop Chaput is no progressive, but still he was moved to write that “the bitterness directed at the person of Father Martin is not just unwarranted and unjust; it’s a destructive counter-witness to the Gospel.” He cited a recent article in a French publication with the headline “Catholic Cyber-Militias and the New Censorship,” observing, “We live at a time when civility is universally longed for and just as universally (and too often gleefully) violated.”

Thanks, Your Excellency, for plugging my #CatholicCyberMilitia shop (couldn’t resist), but more importantly, how about the “faithful-phobia” going on?!?!  Just to be clear, I agree with Archbishop Chaput that fraternal correction should be done in charity and ad hominems are wrong. That said, Archbishop Chaput also says this:

Clear judgment, tempered by mercy but faithful to Scripture and constant Church teaching, is an obligation of Catholic discipleship—especially on moral issues, and especially in Catholic scholarship. The perceived ambiguities in some of Fr. Martin’s views on sexuality have created much of the apprehension and criticism surrounding his book. There’s nothing vindictive in respectfully but firmly challenging those inadequacies. Doing less would violate both justice and charity.

We lose ground when attack the person rather than his tactics, arguments, etc.  That said, I have NO problem calling him out on his inadequacies.

After Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego published a similar defense of Father Martin in the Jesuit magazine America, one of Father Martin’s devoted inquisitors tweeted: “If you think the anti-sodomite bigotry in the church is bad, you should see hell.”

Well, whoever that inquisitor is has a point, doesn’t he/she?  LOL!  Seriously!  I only wish people were as uncomfortable with actual sodomy as they are with the use of the word.  By the way, Mr. Bruni, I’m going to touch on mean statements in my next post.  It deserves a bit of individual attention.  If you want a preview, check out the comments on Fr. Martin’s Facebook page. 

I spoke with Bishop McElroy recently, and he said that while there are calm-voiced critics of Father Martin with earnest concerns about what they see as the church’s drift from traditional sexual morality, there are also out-and-out bigots whose methods are “incompatible with what we hope to be as a church.”

Hmmm…I actually agree with this statement.  That said, it goes both ways, Bishop McElroy. It goes both ways.  To illustrate, please read some of the “faithful-phobic” comments on Fr. Martin’s repost of the BuzzFeed article. 

“We have to face the fact that there is a group of people across all religious views that are particularly antagonistic to L.G.B.T. people,” he told me. “That comes from deep within the human soul, and it’s really corrosive and repugnant.”

Again, I can agree to that, but I think you’re trying to say that it’s the Catholic Church and many of her followers.  It’s not.

I have known Father Martin for many years and have long been struck by the painstakingly careful balance that he maintains. Is he telling his fellow Catholics to judge L.G.B.T. people less harshly, whether they’re chaste or not? Absolutely. When he and I talked a few days ago, he repeated a recommendation in “Building a Bridge” that Catholic institutions stop firing gay people, which has happened repeatedly.

Here’s where Bruni’s lack of Catholic understanding shows.  We don’t judge anyone, we judge their actions.  You are, however, correct in one way.  For some reason Fr. Martin thinks the “L.G.B.T. people” should get a pass for their actions (please note the lack of chastity he cited).  Why would I want anyone to do anything that is damaging to their body and soul???  Why would anyone want to give that a pass?

“Straight couples do not have their sexual lives put under a microscope like that, nor are they targeted,” he told me. “A couple living together before they’re married aren’t fired from a Catholic school.” But that arrangement runs as afoul of church teaching as a sexually active gay or lesbian couple’s does.

Well, I’ve known of people fired from Catholic schools for a myriad of their actions coming to light – same-sex attracted, straight, single, etc.  Personally, I think that’s how it should be. Why are we still having a debate about private sins becoming public and people being removed for them?  Why is this a problem?

From listening to Father Martin, it’s certainly possible to conclude that, or at least wonder if, he has qualms with church teaching about homosexuality.

BAH-HAH-HAH-HAH! I almost spit my cabernet on my keyboard! This was the most unbiased and most intelligent thing in the whole article!!  Kudos for this one, Mr. Bruni.  But then…

But he’s so restrained and respectful that the president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States officially approved “Building a Bridge,” which has also been endorsed by an array of prominent cardinals and bishops.

“Jesuit Conference” means about as much to authentic Catholicism as “Hollywood director.”

And he trails behind many members of his faith in his publicly stated views. According to a poll by the Pew Research Center last June, 67 percent of Americans who identify as Catholic support the legalization of same-sex marriage, in contrast to 62 percent of Americans across the board.

I’m not sure why Bruni’s so fixated on publicly state views.  It’s irrelevant.  Martin extols groups corrected and/or censured by the Church.  He is purposely ambiguous.  He’s agreed on video to a comment that there are some things he can’t say due to his position in the Church, etc., etc., etc.

But the far right isn’t quietly ceding the fight. That’s clear not only in the response to Father Martin but also in a federal education bill, drafted by Republicans, that would protect colleges that ban openly gay relationships or bar gays from certain religious organizations on campus.

Well, duh.  You don’t give up the fight for the salvation of souls because of numbers, good, bad or indifferent.  And, are you saying we should compel religious organizations to accept homosexual acts?  Sure, you are.

And in the church as in the government, the scorched-earth tactics of ultraconservatives often gives them a sway disproportionate to their actual numbers. “These online hate groups are now more powerful than local churches,” Father Martin said, referring specifically to Church Militant and to the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, which started a petition demanding that the New Jersey parishes cancel his appearance. It gathered 12,000 signatures.

Fr. Martin!  You’re a one-man online hate group.  Haters gonna hate!  LOL!  See how whiny and ridiculous it all is?  Let’s just state a few things accurately for a change.  First, people disagree with many of the things you say.  Deal! It’s not because they hate you or those suffering from SSA or any other disorders.  It’s simply because you are wrong and mislead good people.  People have problems with your moral and theological positions.  As far as Church Militant and TFP go, they very clearly stated all of the problems they had with you appearing in a Catholic church.  You have failed to rebut one point but, instead, called them bullies.  I know this might be a shock, but “Bullies!” is not actually a rebuttal to accusations.  Man up!  Oh, and by the way, “We hate gays!” was not in the petition.  In case you were wondering, Mr. Bruni, here’s the things they actually cited:

  • Fr. Martin said Catholics should “reverence” homosexual unions

  • Fr. Martin supports the acceptance of transgenderism for children

  • Fr. Martin favors homosexual kissing during Mass (sacrilege against God)

  • Fr. Martin calls dissident, pro-homosexual nun a “saint”

  • Fr. Martin welcomed an award from New Ways Ministry, a group condemned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Fr. Martin is not interested in actually rebutting the accusations.  Are you?

Lyle Garcia, 72, one of the parishioners involved in the decision to invite Father Martin, admitted to me that he was “very concerned” that in changing the location of the event, they’d rewarded and emboldened the haters. But at least, he said, the talk would proceed.

As will Father Martin. An expanded edition of “Building a Bridge” will be published in March, and it includes material about L.G.B.T. Catholics who told him, as he promoted the book, that it had given them desperately needed comfort.

“I’m at total peace,” he told me. “I really am. An ocean of hate online is really wiped out by just a few tears from an L.G.B.T. person.” Only one thing to say to that: Amen.

Wait, what?!  Nice, flowery line of poetry, Fr. Martin, but the firestorm of hit pieces from your minions against “the haters” tells a different tale.  But, heck, playing the martyr card might garner you a few more sales.  That said, might I offer you a few more tips?  You should let your minions do the work.  The quotes from you in every hit piece and all the tweets make it kind of obvious who is behind it all. I know it’s hard, but sssshhhhh! If you really want to score points, take to task those on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, and comboxes who are slandering your “haters.”  That would go a long way to bolstering what big meanies “the haters” are, because screen captures might come back to bite you.  Finally, give up on poetry. 

Can’t wait to see what today brings!

 

 

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Theologian Deathmatch: Round 2

And the fun never stops…

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2017/11/02/open-letter-father-weinandy-his-predecessor-amoris-laetitia-and-pope-francis

Dear Father Weinandy,

You may remember me as your predecessor as executive director of the Secretariat for Christian Doctrine at the U.S.C.C.B. You replaced me in January 2005.

Do I detect a note of snark? 

I am writing this open letter to you in response to your open letter to Pope Francis in which you address what you describe as a “chronic confusion” that seems to mark his pontificate.

According to Sandro Magister’s introduction to your letter, you had asked Jesus for a sign as to whether you should write your letter, you received that sign and thus “no longer had any doubt that Jesus wanted me to write….” I cannot enter into the subjective conditions that inspired you to write, but I need to note that “Amoris Laetitia,” toward which you express great concern, was the fruit of two synods and broad consultation throughout the church, is widely recognized as an act of ordinary Magisterium, and thus enjoys presumption as having been guided by the Spirit of the Lord.

Stop right here.  I have to wonder if you also prayed for a sign before writing this, or if you simply wrote out of anger, Monsignor?  By the way, Father, if you’ll note, the dubia and Fr. Weinandy’s letter are simply seeking clarity.  Do you really have a problem with this?  Can you deny that there are divergent interpretations of the infamous chapter 8 footnotes? Still, you are framing this as something it’s not.  Fr. Weinandy isn’t rejecting ordinary Magisterium anymore than the four cardinals were when they put forth the dubia.  I also think that you might be tugging at the heartstrings of the people in the pews by saying that Fr. Weinandy is rejecting something by seeming to suggest “ordinary Magisterium” a little more, well, ordinary than it actually is.  Not quite that simple.

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2016/04/12/the-slow-decline-of-the-ordinary-magisterium/

But, that said, most of “what’s in” Amoris, or at least most of the controversial passages of Amoris, are not ‘magisterial’ because most of those of Amoris, and most of ‘those passages’, seem to address (if sometimes ambiguously) pastoral practices (not propositional points), or they indicate how the pope perceives (accurately or otherwise) pastors coming across to people in irregular unions (and so at most are empirical surmises), or they urge a given demeanor with persons as Christ would relate to them, and so on. In other words, while Amoris is quite capable of contributing to the ordinary papal magisterium based on its authorship, audience, and circumstances, and while it does contribute to that magisterium in some respects, most of Amoris is, in fact, not ‘magisterial’ in content. Just as most utterances that popes and bishops use to contribute to the ordinary magisterium are mixed in with many non-magisterial comments having no teaching value, so Amoris mixes several, rather minor, uncontroversial ‘magisterial’ comments on Scripture and marriage with a few controversial, but not magisterial (because they are not propositional, and are instead exhortatory) comments on pastoral approaches. And, no, I do not think that this is to read Amoris the way I would prefer to read it; I think it is to read Amoris the way the Church reads her teaching documents.

So, it sounds a little like you’re trying to get people to think that every last letter of Amoris Laetitia is an exercise of ordinary Magisterium.  Is that correct?

Your first concern is centered on Chapter 8 of “Amoris Laetitia.” You maintain that the Holy Father’s “guidance at times seems intentionally ambiguous.” I believe that the vast majority of bishops and theologians do not agree.

I might actually agree with you when it comes to the word “intentionally”, as I stated in my last post.  There’s little to no way of knowing what the intention was.  Regardless, it was ambiguous.  How do we know this?  Duh.  There are two very distinct interpretations of it.  If it was clear, this would not be the case.  And, while I can’t say “intentionally”,  I also don’t really believe you can say “vast majority of bishops and theologians.”  If wishes were ponies… 

The pope does indeed open the door to the possibility that some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can be admitted to the sacraments after careful discernment. Rocco Buttiglione, one of the foremost interpreters of the teaching of St. John Paul II, sees no contradiction, but rather continuity between “Familiaris Consortio”and “Amoris Laetitia.” And most recently Cardinal Gerhard Müller stated that there are conditions which open the way for those in second marriages to receive sacraments.

First, does anyone remember the Holy Father saying, “Being integrated into the Church does not mean ‘taking Communion.’”? Anyone?

Next, Cardinal Muller can’t seem to make up his mind on much of anything in the past year.  (Anyone else think that?) He might be having the same problem as many of us.  He’s just another reason clarification is needed, because he’s also said this

There have been different claims that Amoris Laetitia has rescinded this (previous) discipline, because it allows, at least in certain cases, the reception of the Eucharist by remarried divorcees without requiring that they change their way of life in accord with Familiaris Consortio 84 (namely, by giving up their new bond or by living as brothers and sisters).

The following has to be said in this regard: If Amoris Laetitia had intended to rescind such a deeply rooted and such a weighty discipline, it would have expressed itself in a clear manner and it would have given the reasons for it. However, such a statement with such a meaning is not to be found in it [Amoris Laetitia]. Nowhere does the pope put into question the arguments of his predecessors. They [the arguments] are not based upon the subjective guilt of these our brothers and sisters, but, rather, upon the visible, objective way of life which is in opposition to the words of Christ.

Let’s actually look at Familiaris Consortio https://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2famil.htm, because I’m betting Msgr. Strynkowski’s banking on you not.

4. Daily experience unfortunately shows that people who have obtained a divorce usually intend to enter into a new union, obviously not with a Catholic religious ceremony. Since this is an evil that like the others is affecting more and more Catholics as well, the problem must be faced with resolution and without delay. The synod fathers studied it expressly. The church, which was set up to lead to salvation all people and especially the baptized, cannot abandon to their own devices those who have been previously bound by sacramental marriage and who have attempted a second marriage. The church will therefore make untiring efforts to put at their disposal her means of salvation.

Pastors must know that for the sake of truth they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is, in fact, a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned and those who, through their own grave fault, have destroyed a canonically valid marriage.

Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing and who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid.

Together with the synod, I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the church, for as baptized persons they can and indeed must share in her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the word of God, to attend the sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. Let the church pray for them, encourage them and show herself a merciful mother and thus sustain them in faith and hope.

However, the church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon sacred scripture, of not admitting to eucharistic communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the church which is signified and effected by the eucharist. Besides this there is another special pastoral reason: If these people were admitted to the eucharist the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Reconciliation in the sacrament of penance, which would open the way to the eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the convenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage.

This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons such as, for example, the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.”[180]

Similarly, the respect due to the sacrament of matrimony, to the couples themselves and their families, and also to the community of the faithful forbids any pastor for whatever reason or pretext, even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry. Such ceremonies would give the impression of the celebration of a new, sacramentally valid marriage and would thus lead people into error concerning the indissolubility of a validly contracted marriage.

By acting in this way the church professes her own fidelity to Christ and to his truth. At the same time she shows motherly concern for these children of hers, especially those who, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned by their legitimate partner.

With firm confidence she believes that those who have rejected the Lord’s command and are still living in this state will be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation, provided that they have persevered in prayer, penance and charity.”

So, do two footnotes in Amoris Laetitia negate what’s very clearly stated in Familiaris Consortio AND what some bishops around the world are holding their flock to?  This is why the dubia is so important.  We have two opposing sides (or none at all) when it comes to admitting divorced and civilly remarried couples to Communion.  Again:

Reconciliation in the sacrament of penance, which would open the way to the eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the convenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage.

This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons such as, for example, the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.”[180]


Like Fr. James Martin, SJ, says, I am not a theologian.  All I can do is give you my view from the pew and say that clarification is needed big time, since we should never be forced to judge moral decisions based on footnotes. That would certainly be lacking in charity. I think all of the “theologians” sometimes miss the fact that the vast majority of members of the Church are people like me.  They need to come down from their ivory towers and understand that if we’re saying that we need clarification, we need it. I’m thankful to those members of the clergy who are willing to represent us in these affairs, because, clearly, they are sticking their necks out.

Back to the “open rant”:

Your second concern is that the pope’s manner “seems to demean the importance of Church doctrine.” I would note, first of all, that the Holy Father’s homilies, based on the Gospel, call us to a discipleship that is rigorous and uncompromising. Second, I interpret his criticism of those who make doctrine an ideology as a challenge for us to never isolate doctrine from its source in the mercy of God revealed in Jesus Christ.”

So, it’s your interpretation that, because Fr. Weinandy feels that it’s important not to demean Church doctrine, he isolates doctrine from mercy?  Your proof for that is?????

Your third concern is the Holy Father’s “choice of some bishops, men who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them.” Unless you are willing to name these bishops and the views counter to Christian belief that supposedly they tolerate, this remains a gratuitous assertion and damages the unity of the church.

Oh!  Me! Me! Me! I’ll name them.  Elevating Cardinal Cupich, Cardinal Farrell, Cardinal Joseph Tobin (not, not, not Bishop Thomas Tobin), and appointing Bishop McElroy were all nightmares. Then there’s the Fr. James Martin, SJ, appointment. And that’s just in the U.S. 

And now you want me to name the views counter to the Church?  OK.  When Bishop Paprocki told priests that gays and lesbians in same-sex marriages should not receive Communion or be given Catholic, Cardinal Cupich said that wasn’t his policy. Martin just admitted he can’t say what he really thinks because he’s a priest.  Bishop Joseph Tobin – how about we just look at what New Ways thinks of him:

But Cardinal Tobin’s welcome to Mass on May 21 has been the most significant of such recent gestures, because of the symbolism of a cardinal welcoming a group of gay Catholics, some of whom were married to same-sex spouses, to participate in the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the center of a cathedral, no questions asked. 

Pretty much sounds like he didn’t give ANY instruction on the reception of the Eucharist.

Bishop McElroy has adopted the same stance as Cupich in regard to the Paprocki order.  Ross Douthat does a good job here of dissecting his recent “synod” in San Diego.   Besides this, McElroy also has a super deformed idea of “internal dialogue” and “primacy of conscience” 

Bishop Farrell?  Well he and Archbishop Chaput directly contradicted each other on Communion for those in irregular circumstances.  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/popes-new-point-man-on-family-rips-abp.-chaputs-amoris-guidelines-on-commun

Your fourth concern is the pope’s encouragement of a “‘synodality’ that allows and promotes various doctrinal and moral options within the Church.” Here, again in an open letter to the pope, it would have been more responsible to specify what these various options have been. To do anything less is to foster suspicion of bishops and theologians by some circles in the church.

Let’s look at what synodality is: https://www.catholic.com/qa/what-is-synodality

Synodality is related to collegiality. Collegiality refers to the individual authority of each bishop as a successor of the apostles. Each bishop is essentially autonomous and equal (with the exception of the Bishop of Rome). On matters of local governance, one bishop cannot tell another bishop how to run his diocese.

Synodality refers to groupings of bishops. An example would be the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. According to canon law, national episcopal conferences can set certain laws and practices for their regions above and beyond what an individual bishop can do. However, because these groupings of bishops have no authority outside of each individual bishop’s authority, the group needs to have its authority specifically declared by Church law. Otherwise it carries no weight other than encouragement.

Both methods of Church governance have practical pros and cons.

That said, we can’t have doctrine subject to synodality.

I also have to laugh at your proposal that a lack of specifics can cause suspicions.  Sounds a little like “Pot meet kettle.”  It seems like you keep asking for specifics but then don’t even come close to doing so yourself.  I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

Your fifth concern is that bishops feel that the pope is not open to criticism and indeed resents it. What is your source for this? Indeed, there has been much criticism of the pope, but he has remained silent. I am not aware of anything that he has said in public to indicate that he resents criticism.

Really?!  The “change of jobs” for Muller, Burke, Father Samir Khalil Samir, etc., by the Holy Father himself, not to mention a myriad of replacements by the liberal fan club is kind of telling.  And then there are all of those labeled as Pharisaical, rigid, etc. for their worries.  My gosh!  There is a whole website full of them papal insults.  Fine, it’s his prerogative.  I’d probably expect some resentment.  Quite frankly, I enjoy some of them because they’re sometimes funny and creative, kind of like Shakespeare’s.  That said, you can’t say they’re not happening. 

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, urged that dissent from ordinary Magisterium should be disclosed privately to church authority—see “Donum Veritatis” (No. 30). In a world and even an ecclesial environment of sound bites and facile partisanship, that becomes even wiser advice.

Fraternally yours in Christ,

Msgr. John Strynkowski

As you say, specifics would be nice.  Maybe you could tell us who is dissenting from what?  You asked Fr. Weinandy for specifics, now I’m asking you for some.  Fair’s fair!  Is style now considered “ordinary Magisterium?”  Fr. Weinandy’s letter talked of ambiguity and flame throwing.  It didn’t talk of doctrine other than to say “There’s so much ambiguity nobody can discern what we’re talking about when it comes to the indissolubility of marriage and the liberals are running away with it.” 

This isn’t the first time Catholics have had a problem with “papal style.”  Anyone remember St. Catherine of Siena?  She chastised not one but two popes about everything from where they lived to controlling their tempers.  Are we going to say she was a dissenter???

For those who haven’t bothered to read the dubia yet, please at least read this excerpt:

Most Holy Father,

Following the publication of your apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, theologians and scholars have proposed interpretations that are not only divergent, but also conflicting, above all in regard to Chapter VIII. Moreover, the media have emphasized this dispute, thereby provoking uncertainty, confusion and disorientation among many of the faithful.

Because of this, we the undersigned, but also many bishops and priests, have received numerous requests from the faithful of various social strata on the correct interpretation to give to Chapter VIII of the exhortation.

Now, compelled in conscience by our pastoral responsibility and desiring to implement ever more that `synodality to which Your Holiness urges us, with profound respect, we permit ourselves to ask you, Holy Father, as supreme teacher of the faith, called by the Risen One to confirm his brothers in the faith, to resolve the uncertainties and bring clarity, benevolently giving a response to the dubia that we attach the present letter.

May Your Holiness wish to bless us, as we promise constantly to remember you in prayer.

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller

Cardinal Raymond L. Burke

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra

Cardinal Joachim Meisner

Despite the spin, clarification, not rejection is the name of the game for the dubia authors and Fr. Weinandy. They are not dissenting. If they were, why would they appeal to the Holy Father for clarification at all?

 

 

Here’s Hoping the Darkness is Dispelled!

Whoa!  Whoa!  Whoa!  What in the heck is happening?!  I’m sure that most of you saw the news but if you didn’t, here it is.

Fr. Weinandy’s note of explanation:

At the end of this past May I was in Rome to attend a meeting of the International Theological Commission, of which I am a member.  I stayed at Domus Sanctae Marthae.  Since I arrived early, I spent most of the Sunday afternoon prior to the meeting on Monday in Saint Peter’s praying in the Eucharistic Chapel.  I was praying about the present state of the Church and the anxieties I had about the present Pontificate.  I was beseeching Jesus and Mary, St. Peter and all of the saintly popes who are buried there to do something to rectify the confusion and turmoil within the Church today, a chaos and an uncertainty that I felt Pope Francis had himself caused.  I was also pondering whether or not I should write and publish something expressing my concerns and anxiety.  On the following Wednesday afternoon, at the conclusion of my meeting, I went again to St. Peter’s and prayed in the same manner.  That night I could not get to sleep, which is very unusual for me.  It was due to all that was on my mind pertaining to the Church and Pope Francis.  At 1:15 AM I got up and went outside for short time.  When I went back to my room, I said to the Lord: “If you want me to write something, you have to give me a clear sign.  This is what the sign must be.  Tomorrow morning I am going to Saint Mary Major’s to pray and then I am going to Saint John Lateran.  After that I am coming back to Saint Peter’s to have lunch with a seminary friend of mine.  During that interval, I must meet someone that I know but have not seen in a very long time and would never expect to see in Rome at this time.  That person cannot be from the United States, Canada or Great Britain.  Moreover, that person has to say to me in the course of our conversation, “Keep up the good writing!”

So, does ANYONE have a problem with his worry and actions thus stated?  I’m not sure a day has gone by in the last few months that someone in my Catholic world hasn’t asked, “What is going on?!?!?!?!”

So many times we just have to act on a wing and a prayer, and much more often than not we simply have to pray to the Holy Spirit and hope we get it right.  Quite frankly, I’m going to have to remember to put in some seriously detailed requests for validation after reading this.  Probably won’t get a sign like this, but you never know. Maybe I should have a little more faith that I will! Now, “Who is the sign really from?” will likely be the next question asked by those who don’t like Fr. Weinandy’s letter.  Whatever.  Again, all we can do is throw up a prayer and hope we got it right and I think that is what Fr. Weinandy did.

The next morning I did all of the above and by the time I met my seminarian friend for lunch what I had asked the Lord the following night was no longer in the forefront of my mind.  However, towards the end of the meal an archbishop appeared between two parked cars right in front of our table (we were sitting outside).  I had not seen him for over twenty years, long before he became an archbishop.  We recognized one another immediately.  What made his appearance even more unusual was that because of his recent personal circumstances I would never have expected to see him in Rome or anywhere else, other than in his own archdiocese.  (He was from none of the above mentioned countries.)  We spoke about his coming to Rome and caught up on what we were doing.  I then introduced him to my seminarian friend.  He said to my friend that we had met a long time ago and that he had, at that time, just finished reading my book on the immutability of God and the Incarnation.  He told my friend that it was an excellent book, that it helped him sort out the issue, and that my friend should read the book.  Then he turned to me and said: “Keep up the good writing.”

Asked for a sign, and taking him at face value, he got it!

In the light of Jesus fulfilling my demanding “sign,” I want to make two comments.  First, I decided to write Pope Francis a letter, which I intended then to publish unless he adequately addressed the issues I raised.  Almost two months after having received my letter, I did receive an acknowledgement from Vatican Secretariat of State informing me that the letter had been received.  This was simply an acknowledgement and not a response to my concerns.  Second, I find it significant that not only did the Lord fulfill my demand for a sign, but also did so in, what I believe, a very significant manner.  He accomplished it through an archbishop.  By utilizing an archbishop, I believe, that Jesus’ fulfillment of my request took on an apostolic mandate.

I have no way of validating whether he got the sign right or wrong, and neither can you or anyone else, for that matter.  It’s really between him and God.  I’m glad he gave the reason he made the decision, but really, those who are willing to accept the method he employed will. Those who hate it won’t accept it and will likely label his interpretation demonic, which is kind of ironic since I’m not too sure some of those folks actually believe in Satan.

On to the actual letter:

Fr.Weinandy’s letter to Pope Francis:

Your Holiness,

I write this letter with love for the Church and sincere respect for your office.  You are the Vicar of Christ on earth, the shepherd of his flock, the successor to St. Peter and so the rock upon which Christ will build his Church.  All Catholics, clergy and laity alike, are to look to you with filial loyalty and obedience grounded in truth.  The Church turns to you in a spirit of faith, with the hope that you will guide her in love.

So, to the people trying to paint this as a Lefebvre situation, don’t.  Nobody is saying anything or anyone isn’t valid.  Like Burke, Brandmueller, Caffara, and Meisner, they all recognize and respect Pope Francis as Pope Francis and only he can fix it.  They all appealed to the Pope to use his authority to bring clarity.  They aren’t trying to start a parallel Church and usurp authority they don’t have.

Yet, Your Holiness, a chronic confusion seems to mark your pontificate.  The light of faith, hope, and love is not absent, but too often it is obscured by the ambiguity of your words and actions.  This fosters within the faithful a growing unease.  It compromises their capacity for love, joy and peace.  Allow me to offer a few brief examples.

Let’s pause. It is his pontificate and there is great confusion.  There is no denying it, and while it’s not always his ambiguity that causes that (we also can’t say that the liberals paraphrase him crazily on a regular basis and most of the time out of context), he’s not offering correction and clarification to most who are doing that.  This has ZERO to do with me being a “hater” and everything to do with being a simple fact.

First there is the disputed Chapter 8 of “Amoris Laetitia.”  I need not share my own concerns about its content.  Others, not only theologians, but also cardinals and bishops, have already done that.  The main source of concern is the manner of your teaching.  In “Amoris Laetitia,” your guidance at times seems intentionally ambiguous, thus inviting both a traditional interpretation of Catholic teaching on marriage and divorce as well as one that might imply a change in that teaching.

Just as I can’t tell you whether or not Father Weinandy’s sign is genuine, I can’t tell you whether the Holy Father is intentionally ambiguous.  I really don’t need to know his intentional, or unintentional and there most definitely have been traditional interpretations as well as those that imply a change in Church teaching.

Now, there can be no denial that there are disputes and there is confusion, although I’ve heard some try.  They say that everything is crystal clear and the problem is with those who think there is confusion.  What???  When you’ve got two bishops with dueling interpretations on a crucial issue, there’s confusion.  When you have a boatload of them duking it out on the barque, it’s mass confusion.  That’s where we are.  Can we deal with reality, people? THERE IS CONFUSION.

There are many different opinions on why there is confusion.  Great.  I have mine, you have yours, etc.  The finger pointing is endless.  Personally, I don’t care.  I simply want clarity, and I REALLY don’t think that it’s wrong to ask for it.  I mean, how many of us pray for ambiguity and confusion?  I’ve appealed to the Vatican for situations in my locale and I got help.  This is a Church-wide issue today.  Appeals for clarity are necessary.

As you wisely note, pastors should accompany and encourage persons in irregular marriages; but ambiguity persists about what that “accompaniment” actually means.

Yes. Yes, it does.  We’ve heard the diverging interpretations of “accompaniment”. We just want to know which one is correct, and we want EVERYONE to know which is correct.  There can’t be two correct interpretations. Some of us have families and need to have teaching to be clear for our children, grandchildren, etc.!  If wanting our kids to have correct teaching is “rigid”, color me rigid!

To teach with such a seemingly intentional lack of clarity inevitably risks sinning against the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth.  The Holy Spirit is given to the Church, and particularly to yourself, to dispel error, not to foster it.  Moreover, only where there is truth can there be authentic love, for truth is the light that sets women and men free from the blindness of sin, a darkness that kills the life of the soul.  Yet you seem to censor and even mock those who interpret Chapter 8 of “Amoris Laetitia” in accord with Church tradition as Pharisaic stone-throwers who embody a merciless rigorism.

Pope John Paul II had people coming after him all the time.  He didn’t go after them with ad hominem attacks.  There was no name calling of anyone.  Neither was there with Pope Benedict XVI.  If there was a problem, they took “legal” action and at least tried to speak in filial language.  They didn’t use the media to call out their “enemies.”

This kind of calumny is alien to the nature of the Petrine ministry.  Some of your advisors regrettably seem to engage in similar actions.  Such behavior gives the impression that your views cannot survive theological scrutiny, and so must be sustained by “ad hominem” arguments.

I’m always wondering what the heck the “advisors” are telling the Holy Father that he would throw out such monikers.  I know the Holy Fathers have all lived in somewhat of a bubble as soon as they assume the papacy.  However, I’d like to think with the dawn of the internet they wouldn’t be so insulated, but we really see Pope Francis scanning the blogs?  Nah.  Now, one could say he picked the kind of advisors he wanted.  Who knows?  I’m not really sure how the heck you can keep the stupidity of some of the appointees a secret.

Second, too often your manner seems to demean the importance of Church doctrine.  Again and again you portray doctrine as dead and bookish, and far from the pastoral concerns of everyday life.  Your critics have been accused, in your own words, of making doctrine an ideology.  But it is precisely Christian doctrine – including the fine distinctions made with regard to central beliefs like the Trinitarian nature of God; the nature and purpose of the Church; the Incarnation; the Redemption; and the sacraments – that frees people from worldly ideologies and assures that they are actually preaching and teaching the authentic, life-giving Gospel.  Those who devalue the doctrines of the Church separate themselves from Jesus, the author of truth.  What they then possess, and can only possess, is an ideology – one that conforms to the world of sin and death.

Well, doctrine is truth and the truth will set you free.  I think I’ve heard that somewhere.

Third, faithful Catholics can only be disconcerted by your choice of some bishops, men who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them.  What scandalizes believers, and even some fellow bishops, is not only your having appointed such men to be shepherds of the Church, but that you also seem silent in the face of their teaching and pastoral practice.  This weakens the zeal of the many women and men who have championed authentic Catholic teaching over long periods of time, often at the risk of their own reputations and well-being.  As a result, many of the faithful, who embody the “sensus fidelium,” are losing confidence in their supreme shepherd.

THIS!  But, again, what’s more is that some of us have families to protect and some of these bishops are trying to lead our kids astray.  Do you know how many emails I get from families who are trying to get their kids to live the chaste life and carry their crosses only to have bishops like Bishop McElroy negate that message???  I’m in the mom zone.  I hear from people like trying to raise their kids in this world.  It is painful.  All we want is for our kids to get to heaven and we’re exhausted from fighting Satan on a daily basis in the secular world, and now we have to fight some of our own bishops for the souls of our children?! My main job is to get my family to heaven so if anyone wants to throw a rude nickname my way, go ahead.  I’ve got far more to worry about than that.  I’ll gladly accept Catholic Cyber Militia.  Think that bothers me?  Heck, I’ve already had it slapped on a t-shirt!  I DON’T CARE! That said, fear of being branded will likely silence the less activist minded people who have been dealing with bad bishops for years.  That saddens me because they have children too and they’re being beaten to silence by the ad hominem attacks.

Fourth, the Church is one body, the Mystical Body of Christ, and you are commissioned by the Lord himself to promote and strengthen her unity.  But your actions and words too often seem intent on doing the opposite.  Encouraging a form of “synodality” that allows and promotes various doctrinal and moral options within the Church can only lead to more theological and pastoral confusion.  Such synodality is unwise and, in practice, works against collegial unity among bishops.

Moral relativism does this, too, which is what priests like Martin, Cupich, and McElroy love and promote.

Holy Father, this brings me to my final concern.  You have often spoken about the need for transparency within the Church.  You have frequently encouraged, particularly during the two past synods, all persons, especially bishops, to speak their mind and not be fearful of what the pope may think.  But have you noticed that the majority of bishops throughout the world are remarkably silent?  Why is this?  Bishops are quick learners, and what many have learned from your pontificate is not that you are open to criticism, but that you resent it.  Many bishops are silent because they desire to be loyal to you, and so they do not express – at least publicly; privately is another matter – the concerns that your pontificate raises.  Many fear that if they speak their mind, they will be marginalized or worse.

They’re definitely losing jobs left and right.  Thanks to those who continue to speak up on behalf of our families.  We’re tired of our children being used like chips in a high stakes poker game of who will fold first.

I have often asked myself: “Why has Jesus let all of this happen?”  The only answer that comes to mind is that Jesus wants to manifest just how weak is the faith of many within the Church, even among too many of her bishops.  Ironically, your pontificate has given those who hold harmful theological and pastoral views the license and confidence to come into the light and expose their previously hidden darkness.  In recognizing this darkness, the Church will humbly need to renew herself, and so continue to grow in holiness.

The premise that God decided to give us a period of very clear light and dark is probably a really good guess.  We’d have to be naïve to think that these forces weren’t around during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  They were but they were much subtler. I’m glad they’re out there for all to see, I just wish they didn’t occupy a position of authority, which makes it much easier for them to lead people astray by offering them exactly what they want to hear instead of exactly what they need.  I’m hoping this is paving the way for a very strong pope who will take on filial correction as an art form.

Holy Father, I pray for you constantly and will continue to do so.  May the Holy Spirit lead you to the light of truth and the life of love so that you can dispel the darkness that now hides the beauty of Jesus’ Church.

Sincerely in Christ,

Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap.

July 31, 2017

Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Apparently, Fr. Weinandy is no longer at his job at the USCCB and it’s being framed as political and a pre-VII vs. post-VII thing.

November 1, 2017

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement on the nature of dialogue within the Church today.

Full statement follows:

“The departure today of Fr. Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap., as a consultant to the Committee on Doctrine and the publication of his letter to Pope Francis gives us an opportunity to reflect on the nature of dialogue within the Church.  Throughout the history of the Church, ministers, theologians and the laity all have debated and have held personal opinions on a variety of theological and pastoral issues. In more recent times, these debates have made their way into the popular press. That is to be expected and is often good.  However, these reports are often expressed in terms of opposition, as political – conservative vs. liberal, left vs. right, pre-Vatican II vs Vatican II.  These distinctions are not always very helpful.”

Uh, where does Fr. Weinandy mention any of those things???  Until yesterday, I had never heard his name (maybe I should have) so I Googled.  I didn’t see one put down by Fr. Weinandy of Vatican II.  In fact, I saw him quoting docs from it.  And, really, who in the world would work for the USCCB who took the pre-Vatican II stance?  I’m reasonably sure he would have been gone long ago.

Christian charity needs to be exercised by all involved. In saying this, we all must acknowledge that legitimate differences exist, and that it is the work of the Church, the entire body of Christ, to work towards an ever-growing understanding of God’s truth.

I agree, but it doesn’t seem like you’ve exercised by this missive.

As Bishops, we recognize the need for honest and humble discussions around theological and pastoral issues. We must always keep in mind St. Ignatius of Loyola’s “presupposition” to his Spiritual Exercises: “…that it should be presumed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it.” This presupposition should be afforded all the more to the teaching of Our Holy Father.

This, of course, is just a partial quote. Let’s look at the whole thing.

It should be presupposed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it. Further, if one cannot interpret it favorably, one should ask how the other means it.  If that meaning is wrong, one should correct the other person with love; and, if this is not enough, one should search out every appropriate means, through which by understanding the statement in a good way, it may be saved.

Dubia, letters, dubia, letters.  Anyone? Bueller? This has been attempted on many occasions by many people.  They’re trying to solve the problems with Amoris Laetitia by seeking clarification, but they have gotten repeatedly kicked in the face for it!

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is a collegial body of bishops working towards that goal. As Pastors and Teachers of the Faith, therefore, let me assert that we always stand in strong unity with and loyalty to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who “is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful” (LG, no. 23).”

Where is the lack of loyalty coming from?  Is it coming from all the letter and dubia authors???  Puh-lease!  Doesn’t he understand that bishops’ conferences all around the world are coming up with different interpretations of Amoris Laetitia???  How well does that work for unity?  For heaven’s sake, how about we read Lumen Gentium in its totality?  This is why so many of our clergy are appealing to the pope.  I’m sure for every query sent to the Holy Father there are thousands we haven’t seen.

This statement from Cardinal DiNardo is really, really weird in general and I’m kind of shocked it was made by him.  By all means, good cardinal, let’s discuss dialogue in the Church today but maybe we could not slander a seemingly good priest while we’re doing it because what he wrote and his characterization of it are completely different things.

Update:  Within hours of this going up I had more than one person who has knowledge of Fr. Weinandy say they were totally shocked that he wrote this and that he’s not really considered a staunch conservative when it comes to the Faith.  Like I wrote above, I couldn’t find anything showing a disposition portrayed by Cardinal DiNardo.

 

The Vilification of the Dastardly Distorters

I really have no time this week but I can tell when a blog post is just going to write itself, and this one will!

First off, I really thought Fr. James Martin, SJ was doing a stellar job managing his own martyr complex.  I mean, seriously, he really had no need for help on this front.  He’s got that locked up.  Now, maybe Bishop McElroy is sad everyone’s pretty much ignoring him, except those who can’t.  (Sorry, San Diego faithful!)  This was a probably a frantic attention grab.  “Look at me!  I’m over here and I’m a cool Catholic too!”

That said, it’s been a really bad few weeks for Fr. Martin.  Maybe the troops are just trying to re-inflate his ego after Cardinal Sarah, revoked invitations here and here, a smack-down of the “canonical approval” of his book idea– and who could forget his own misstep at Fordham where the entire panel, including him, admitted he wasn’t being candid because being a priest and Jesuit precluded him from being so.  (How stupid I felt after all of these years thinking that’s what a priest/Jesuit was supposed to do!)

Here’s Bishop McElroy’s public shaming of the meanies: 

Father James Martin is a distinguished Jesuit author who has spent his life building bridges within the Catholic Church and between the church and the wider world.

When did “notorious” and “distinguished” become synonymous?  And, wait!  “Building bridges WITHIN the Catholic Church?!?!”  I can only remotely see that being said if “building” includes a complete demolition of the Church first.

He has been particularly effective in bringing the Gospel message to the millennial generation.

Oh, he’s bringing a message to the millennial generation, alright, but it’s not quite from the Gospels unless we’re going with some sort of Gnostic Gospel.

 When we survey the vast gulf that exists between young adults and the church in the United States, it is clear that there could be no more compelling missionary outreach for the future of Catholicism than the terrain that Father Martin has passionately and eloquently pursued over the past two decades. There are few evangelizers who have engaged that terrain with more heart and skill and devotion.

I think I must have missed Fr. James Martin, SJ becoming a millennial rockstar who’s packing the churches full of millennials.  Please.  Can we be just a little honest here?  Fr. Martin, SJ reaches those who believe in an active homosexual lifestyle and those who sympathize with active homosexual lifestyles.  Now, apparently, Bishop McElroy thinks that all or most millennials are concerned with the Catholic Church and her attitude toward homosexuality.  Yeah, not so much.  Most are just worried about their lifestyle choices being accepted by whoever.  To say that millennials at large are screaming like Beatles fans over Fr. Martin, SJ is to be suffering from SJW (social justice warrior, for those not up with the current shorthand) delusions of grandeur. How about you walk up to the nearest millennial and ask them if they even know who Fr. James Martin, SJ is? 

Last year Father Martin undertook a particularly perilous project in this work of evangelization: building bridges between the church and the L.G.B.T. community in the United States. He entered it knowing that the theological issues pertaining to homosexuality constituted perhaps the most volatile element of ecclesial life in U.S. culture.

And here’s where I think Bishop McElroy is totally out of touch.  He actually thinks that this is the be all and end of all of Catholic life.  “If only we could span this active homosexual/Church doctrine divide with a bridge, our churches would be full again!”   Sorry.  You want to see THE “most volatile element of ecclesial life in the U.S. culture?”  Try birth control. Try IVF.  Try cohabitating.  Try sex outside of marriage.   Take your pick.  Bishop McElroy, Fr. Martin, and their little club don’t realize that the rest of the Church is focused on other things.

It was this very volatility that spurred Father Martin to write his new book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the L.G.B.T. Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity. Using a methodology that is fully consonant with Catholic teaching, employing Scripture, the rich pastoral heritage of the church and an unadulterated realism that makes clear both the difficulty and the imperative for establishing deeper dialogue, Father Martin opens a door for proclaiming that Jesus Christ and his church seek to embrace fully and immediately men and women in the L.G.B.T. community.

Wow!  I thought that the Church’s teaching was constant with Catholic teaching but, hey, whatever.  Why is it that Fr. Martin, SJ feels the need to open a door for any of us?  Who are all of these people saying anything different than “Jesus Christ and his church seek to embrace fully and immediately men and women in the L.G.B.T. community?”  Please don’t fall for the “If I say it enough it’ll be true!” tactic of Martin, Cupich, McElroy, and club.  They know quite well we’re begging those suffering from SSA to embrace the Church because we love them  In short, while we tell them the Church loves them, we also tell them what the Church teaches and how the Church has helped us to struggle with our own sins.  Fr. Martin and fan club don’t want that to get out, so they’ll try to convince as many others as they can to join in the martyr complex.

Building a Bridge is a serious book, and any such work invites substantive criticism and dialogue.

If I had been drinking, my keyboard would be toast.  How did he type that one with a straight face?  I believe Cardinal Sarah just gave you plenty of substantive criticism and dialogue, along with MANY others.  It apparently fell on rather deaf ears so let me just remind you, Bishop McElroy: http://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/09/01/cardinal-sarah-critiques-fr-james-martin-on-homosexuality/

This is particularly true with a complex subject like the relationship of the L.G.B.T. community and the church. Many analyses of Father Martin’s arguments have pointed to important problems that do not have easy answers and to the reality that dialogue must always proceed both in respect and in truth.

Wouldn’t this be quite similar with any group struggling with sin?  Hey, here’s an idea: how about some generic homilies on overcoming temptation and sin?  Oh wait.  I think you’d actually have to use the words temptation, sin, struggle, etc. and those words are so judge-y.  Silly me.

But alongside this legitimate and substantive criticism of Father Martin’s book, there has arisen both in Catholic journals and on social media a campaign to vilify Father Martin, to distort his work, to label him heterodox, to assassinate his personal character and to annihilate both the ideas and the dialogue that he has initiated.

How can you distort something that’s already distorted?  That was on Fr. Martin.  While there are some people out there with evil intent, there are many out there with VERY just anger!  We have friends who suffer.  We have friends whose kids suffer, etc.  We don’t live in the SJW ivory tower.  We live in the real world.  We get to live with the very real effects of a world that gives up its struggle against sin.  So, please, drop the proxy martyr complex.  And, by the way, Fr. Martin assassinated his character a long time ago.

This campaign of distortion must be challenged and exposed for what it is—not primarily for Father Martin’s sake but because this cancer of vilification is seeping into the institutional life of the church. 

I can hear the violins now.  Let’s break out a little honest, shall we?  The cancer in the Church is not those of us angry with sin, it’s those who placate sin.  That kind of means you, Bishop McElroy.  You speak of distortion but you don’t even bother to offer evidence.  So who is really the one distorting what’s going on here?  Is it you or, say, Cardinal Sarah? Let me guess.  Your position as a priest and bishop limits you to ambiguous accusations, right?

Already, several major institutions have canceled Father Martin as a speaker. Faced with intense external pressures, these institutions have bought peace, but in doing so they have acceded to and reinforced a tactic and objectives that are deeply injurious to Catholic culture in the United States and to the church’s pastoral care for members of the L.G.B.T. communities.

Bravo “major institutions!”  Your stance for clear, concise Catholic teaching in the case of Fr. Martin is laudable!  Your aid to those of us who struggle with sin, and in this case particularly those struggling with same-sex attraction, is appreciated.  Go Catholics!

The concerted attack on Father Martin’s work has been driven by three impulses: homophobia, a distortion of fundamental Catholic moral theology and a veiled attack on Pope Francis and his campaign against judgmentalism in the church.

Oh, ho!  Not good enough to be a proxy martyr for Fr. Martin, now it’s Pope Francis?  And judgmentalism?  Uh, hello!  Judge away, as far as sin goes, people!   Here’s a nice little section of the catechism on judgement.  Not shockingly, it’s in the conscience section and, also not shockingly, Bishop McElroy and pals seem to hope to keep you hopelessly in the dark to its existence with their nice little vilification (a word Bishop McElroy is fond of) of judging.

1795 “Conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary.  There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (GS 16).

1796 Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act.

1797 For the man who has committed evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope.

1798 A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful.  It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator.  Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.

1799 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.

1801 Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments.  Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt.

1802 The Word of God is a light for our path.  We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice.  This is how moral conscience is formed.

 

The attacks on Building a Bridge tap into long-standing bigotry within the church and U.S. culture against members of the L.G.B.T. community.

Or it’s a load of hooey.  I vote that.

The persons launching these attacks portray the reconciliation of the church and the L.G.B.T. community not as a worthy goal but as a grave cultural, religious and familial threat. Gay sexual activity is seen not as one sin among others but as uniquely debased to the point that L.G.B.T. persons are to be effectively excluded from the family of the church. Pejorative language and labels are deployed regularly and strategically. The complex issues of sexual orientation and its discernment in the life of the individual are dismissed and ridiculed.

 Prove your case, Bishop McElroy, and stop with all of the ambiguous accusations.  I realize it’s just easier to say “There’s a boogeyman under your bed!” but wouldn’t it be nice to treat people like they have half a brain?

Now, Bishop, I know you’re hoping that people are just going to take your word for it but I am going to actually put the link to the teaching: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

Yeah, I know many have seen this before but I see a whole lot of other “offenses” against chastity listed there.  I see some for married folk, single folk, and same-sex attracted folk.  What I always find a bit ironic is that, while you seem to think same-sex attracted people deserves special treatment when it comes to their sins, you also claim offense that the Church has a special section right before the special section for married folks.    Also, did anyone see the part of Church teaching which dismisses or ridicules the complex situation of sexual orientation?  Yeah, me neither.

The coordinated attack on Building a Bridge must be a wake-up call for the Catholic community to look inward and purge itself of bigotry against the L.G.B.T. community. If we do not, we will build a gulf between the church and L.G.B.T. men and women and their families. Even more important, we will build an increasing gulf between the church and our God.

Well, that IS funny.  I so wish we could have a coordinated attack against anyone leading those suffering from SSA into sin but, sadly, we have a lot of fronts we’re fighting. Wait!  Did I just not get the call?  Come on guys!  I know I’m small time but could you just clue me in everyone once in a while????

  The second corrosive impulse of the campaign against Building a Bridge flows from a distortion of Catholic moral theology.

Oh my.  He is a bit paranoid, no?  Honestly, Bishop, there is no campaign. There’s just a whole lot of us who think the book stinks and will further lead people to ditch the struggle in hope that Truth conforms to their will.  No big conspiracy, although I’m totally going to be bummed if I found out there is one and nobody let me in on the secret handshake!

I think this is the third time or so I’m going to call you on your accusation, Bishop.  I mean, I, as well as many others, have happily quoted Fr. Martin, SJ as our evidence time and again.  Might you do the same in regards to the grand conspirators?

The goal of the Catholic moral life is to pattern our lives after that of Jesus Christ. We must model our interior and exterior selves on the virtues of faith, love, hope, mercy, compassion, integrity, sacrifice, prayerfulness, humility, prudence and more. One of these virtues is chastity. Chastity is a very important virtue of the Christian moral life. The disciple is obligated to confine genital sexual activity to marriage.

But chastity is not the central virtue in the Christian moral life. Our central call is to love the Lord our God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Many times, our discussions in the life of the church suggest that chastity has a singularly powerful role in determining our moral character or our relationship with God. It does not.

What the what???  Nice try, Bishop McElroy.  Are you purposely trying to confuse people?  Why are you mixing commandments and virtues?  Chastity falls under the CARDINAL virtue of temperance.  Again – READ. THE. CATECHISM.  Do not take anything at face value.  I will happily link to avoid “distortion:” http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

By the way, if you gander at this link, you will find chastity a vocation to all.  Meh. Small potatoes.  (Sarcasm alert!)

Now, what is a Cardinal Virtue, you might ask (or at least Bishop McElroy should)?  “The four principal virtues upon which the rest of the moral virtues turn or are hinged. http://www.newadvent.com/cathen/03343a.htm

No biggie.  Oh, by the way again, it’s mighty hard to achieve the commandments of Christ you so confusingly stated without these virtues.  But yeah, chastity isn’t central at all.  It’s just a little itty-bitty footnote under the Cardinal Virtue of temperance.

This distortion of our faith cripples many of our discussions of sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular.

Oh, I totally agree on this.  Too bad you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

The overwhelming prism through which we should look at our moral lives is that we are all called to live out the virtues of Christ; we all succeed magnificently at some and fail at others. Those who emphasize the incompatibility of gay men or lesbian women living meaningfully within the church are ignoring the multidimensional nature of the Christian life of virtue or the sinfulness of us all or both.

OOOhhhh!  This is actually kind of a good analogy you stumbled upon, Bishop McElroy.  The geeky, science-loving girl is going to point out that when you look through a prism, it refracts or distorts!  Maybe that’s your problem.  Get a good pair of glasses and stop looking through prisms!  You’re the one who supposedly hates distortions.

Social Justice is from Womb to Tomb!

I’m sure Thomas Reese, SJ, Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy, Fr. James Martin, SJ, and club are typing up a correction for Ms. Ratcliffe as we speak!  Wait!  What?!  No?  Surely they want to correct the error of her ways, right?  I mean, it rather messes up their seamless garment issue to have somebody actually expressing what most of the seamless garment crowd thinks anyway, right?  They’re supposed to be quiet about this, a concept clearly was lost on Ms. Ratcliffe:

http://bit.ly/2nBY6FJ

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A representative from the George Soros-funded dissident group Catholics for Choice (CFC) said she supports Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, because “our Catholic social justice tradition compels us to stand with the poor and the most vulnerable in our society.”

So let’s just kill all their children.  No need to offer them real help.  Let’s just eliminate the poor and vulnerable children and call it social justice!  Nobody will notice that it’s largely genocide.

“Planned Parenthood does this every single day,” CFC’s Sara Ratcliffe told a Planned Parenthood rally on Capitol Hill Wednesday. “The Washington-led attacks against Planned Parenthood only serve to hurt the poorest and most rural in our communities.”

Yes, they do. Planned Parenthood eliminates (nice way of saying kills) minorities and the poor class. Every. Single. Day. By the thousands.

Planned Parenthood commits over 300,000 abortions annually, an act the authoritative teaching of the Church labels “intrinsically evil.”

It promotes and provides contraception and sterilization, both condemned by the Church. Planned Parenthood is also a leading source of sex education, encouraging children of “any age” to masturbate and teens to experiment with sadomasochism as well as other dangerous and bizarre sexual practices.

Details.  Details.  Surely there’s not a problem with Ms. Ratcliffe and “Catholics” for Choice dissenting from the teachings of the Church. I mean, if there was, I’m sure that the National catholic Reporter and America Magazine club would get on that and show the clear Church teaching on the subject. 

Come on, people! Catholicism isn’t a nationality.  It’s a belief.  If you don’t believe it, too bad, so sad, but let’s be just a little intellectually honest and admit that you don’t believe much, if anything, of what the Church actually teaches.  I realize that Satan’s big game is to divide from within but your slip is kind of showing, Sara. 

“Catholics in good conscience support access to reproductive health to the people who need it and Planned Parenthood provides it,” said Ratcliffe. “Catholics support the right for women to decide on their own healthcare based on their own conscience without interference. And Planned Parenthood helps us do that.”

Oh my ever loving goodness!  This gets so tedious, perpetually pointing out what would take a few seconds for any Catholic to find on Google.  First, would you like to quote a little Church teaching on that, Sara?  Didn’t think so.  I’m reasonably sure that you’d gladly quote Article 6, Section I, and say “Seeeeeee???” and just hope nobody reads on to Section II.  If you’re falling for it, please read just a tiny bit further (like the next citation)!
 

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a6.htm

1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.

So, no, Ms. Ratcliffe.  A GOOD conscience is a well-formed conscience formed around the Church’s teachings, not your will. It’s really a simple concept actually written out for you.  Stay with me here. Your opinions are not authoritative teachings.  A shocker!  I know!

Also, just so I’ve done my due diligence in clearing up your fallacies, Ms. Ratcliffe, you REALLY might want to read Section IV:

IV. ERRONEOUS JUDGMENT (AKA the part aimed squarely at Ms. Ratcliffe)

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.”59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.

1793 If – on the contrary – the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

1794 A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time “from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.“60 (So based on this, what is your conscience good and pure, Sara?)

The more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by objective standards of moral conduct.61

As Ratcliffe addressed the Planned Parenthood supporters, Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins shouted that one cannot be truly Catholic and pro-abortion. Hawkins’ voice can be heard in the distance in the video below. 

OK, Kristan’s a convert so I’m sure she might not be up on everything, but she’s in the same boat with a lot of other Catholics.  Just because you are a bad Catholic doesn’t mean you are not Catholic.  I’m a real stickler for this.  Ms. Ratcliffe could even renounce the Faith and she’d still be Catholic.  Baptism is an indelible mark.  Ms. Ratcliffe is most certainly a dissenting and poorly practicing Catholic, and if the clergy really loved her, they would’ve let her have it like most good parents would when their children stray toward danger.  Sadly, many ignore because it’s inconvenient, makes a news story they don’t want to be in, or simply doesn’t fit their seamless garment narrative.  Bad on them.  Obviously, this woman’s soul doesn’t mean as much to them as it should.  And then there’s the thousands of souls she leads astray everyday almost (just ignore this, you guys trying to wake her up) unchecked.  In fact, that’s why she’s able to do it.  Not on me!

“Equality, fairness, treating others with compassion, the right to social justice for everyone: these are Catholic values,” continued Ratcliffe. “These are what Catholics for Choice stands for, these are what Planned Parenthood stands for, and as Catholics, we stand with Planned Parenthood not in spite of our Catholic tradition but because of it.”

Equality, fairness, treating others with compassion for everyone except the truly most vulnerable – the completely defenseless human beings at both ends of life. If they’re inconvenient, they must go!  Sorry, sister. Social justice begins in the womb and ends in the tomb.  And please, you wouldn’t know “Catholic tradition” if it bit you in the behind.  You can’t really be this clueless, can you?  I suppose with the help of the American seamless (or is it more like seamy-ful?) hierarchy, you could be.  Sigh.

Ratcliffe used euphemisms like “each woman’s choice” and “access to reproductive health” rather than name abortion directly. Her speech didn’t mention God, any specific Catholic teachings, the Bible, or prayer.

I’m sure she wasn’t quoting the Catechism either.  As usual, she’s just hoping to steal as many souls as possible before people catch on.  The sad thing is that the people in desperate situations, the ones who need REAL help, the ones she tries desperately to convince that Planned Parenthood has their best interest at heart, are the victims of her spin job.  Thanks to all of you great people praying in front of Planned Parenthood as often as you can, offering true help to these potential victims!

 

Don’t be Chicken Little, be the Little Red Hen

I have to admit, I’ve been ignoring Catholic news lately.  It’s just too exhausting with half of the faithful cannibalizing each other and the other half running around like Chicken Little.  The frenzy has been a bit too much, and guess what?  In my little world, it doesn’t mean a darn thing.

I’ve now lived under three different popes that I can remember.  (I’m too young to remember JPI and his predecessors.)  Every single one of them made some sort of cataclysmic mistake that supposedly ruined the Church forever.  Sorry, I just don’t get my knickers in a bunch that easily, and I’m certainly not going to be the one that makes the liberal dissenters smile.  I’m sure the Cupiches and McElroys of the world are smiling like the cat that ate the canary right now, and that’s what really, truly bugs me to death.

Seriously, don’t you think they’re laughing at the confusion over Amoris Laetitia? I’m sure they think it’s hysterical watching the Catholic pundits right now.  You’ve got those bending over backwards to say, “Everything’s fine!  Nothing to see here!” You’ve got others calling them papolators.  You’ve got some, I’d say rightly and respectfully, asking for clarifications, and others calling them schismatics with no evidence whatsoever. Still you have others saying you can’t even be concerned in the slightest.  I’m sure all carry some truth and some error at this point, but the worst part about it is watching the Kaspers and his club reveling in it.  Can we just stop?

I think we can all agree (I’m talking faithful Catholics here) that there is some confusion going on here.  If you don’t, just leave this site now.  No use in discussing it further.  Most of us would like some clarification from the Holy Father.  That said, let’s just look at the scenarios in front of us.  Let’s say Pope Francis decides never to make a formal clarification and just keeps issuing comments which contradict the liberals.  Yes, I suppose it makes their life blissful because they can then feign ignorance until the cows come home.  That said, what if the pope did issue a clarification?  It would then be status quo as usual for the faithful.  With a wink and nod, the liberals will still continue to muddle the truth and lead people astray.  When it comes right down to it, the Burkes and Chaputs of the world are going to teach the truth as they have always done, and the Cupiches and McElroys of the world will continue their mission to make everyone comfy and cozy in their sins.  Either way, the faithful under the wink-and-nod-dissenters are going to suffer as they always have – terribly.  The local bishop really affects our day to day Catholic life which is why who you get and don’t get is terribly important.  Think about it.  Your kids may not know what the flap is about Amoris Laetitia but they might be sort of led astray when the local bishop dons a Barney costume at the end of Mass (and, yes, real story).

It’s also very interesting to note that, if you look at the Chaputs and Burkes of the world, there are plenty of people who are going ballistic on their behalf, but if you look at them, they look like they’re getting plenty of sleep.  They aren’t fomenting on the reign of terror of Pope Francis.  If they aren’t, why are we?  Again, this just gives aid and comfort to the enemy.

Now, is Pope Francis my favorite pope in the history of the Church? No.  Do I wish he did things differently?  Yep.  Do I lie awake at night thinking he will be the end of the Church?  Now that would be ridiculous.  Do I pray for him?  Yep.  People often ask me why I don’t write about this or that thing that Pope Francis did.  My answer:  What would it matter? First, a lot of it is “fake Catholic news” or soundbites. Second, I’m far more concerned with what the bishops in my country and my diocese do.  Like I said, no matter what happens with the dubia, the crazy are going to keep doing crazy.  I mean, seriously, look around!  Bishops were pushing birth control and “gay marriage” with some pretty clear teaching on the subject.  That’s where I’m willing to expend my energy.  If we can’t influence the people around us and communicate the Faith in a way that’s clear despite what happens in the Church and in the world, we’ve dropped the ball.  Same goes for our local bishops.  Do we really think that cannibalizing each other and running around screaming ‘’The Church is falling!” is going to get it done?  Please.  Fix it yourself in your own little world and stop making the liberal dissenters smile.

Need an example?  For years, Lincoln, Nebraska, was one of the few super faithful dioceses in the country.  Bishop Flavin and Bishop Bruskewitz kept their heads down and taught the Faith, while many other dioceses in the U.S. were “experimenting.” They didn’t worry about what was going on in my little, influential, dissenting diocese here in California (or in Flavin’s case, Weakland’s diocese).  They stomped on dissenters in their own little area, no matter their bent.  They made Church teaching abundantly clear and all, but the dissenters, loved and followed them.  It was downright weird talking to people in that diocese.  They knew the Faith.  That diocese has produced at least four other bishops. I’m betting their dioceses are all lucky (and we most definitely lucked out getting one around my parts)!  Both those bishops could have ranted and raved about their popes not doing x, y, and z and letting them ruin the Church, but they didn’t.  They just did their job.  That’s what we need.  We need bishops who are going to do their job no matter who is attacking them.  In Flavin’s case, it was Archbishop Rembert Weakland.  In Bruskewitz’s case, well, really, who wasn’t attacking him?  He got it from all sides.

So, if you really want to know where we should expend our energy, it’s with our bishops. You should be dogging those that lead people astray.  Don’t make it easy on them to get away with it.  And the good bishops?  You should be encouraging them to lead like they don’t care about getting fired, removed, given some fancy title somewhere remote, etc.  It drives me crazy to see a faithful bishop back off because, well, the optics are that they’re scared about their jobs.  I get it, you can’t lead the faithful if removed from the job– or can you?  I seem to remember many a leader leading from a prison cell.  And I’m sure many of those backing off where they should be going ahead are also trying to keep the low-hanging fruit from hitting the ground but I’m not sure why pausing on the truth would achieve this goal. Truth is love and conveying it and practicing it should be the priority.  I’m unaware of the teaching that says back off the truth if becomes a PR nightmare.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Internal Forum

Alrighty!  Thanksgiving is over and my Christmas shopping is all done. Now I can focus on doing some more penance during Advent.  Readers have been asking me to address Bishop McElroy of San Diego, and there’s no penance like trying to read McElroy’s inane statements.  Since the Diocese of San Diego (or at least those focused on eternity) is now waiting for someone to save them, I figured it would be a good topic for this time of year.

The latest faux pas by Bishop McElroy can be read in its entirety here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/san-diego-bishop-praises-pro-gay-parish-for-being-welcoming

SAN DIEGO, California, December 6, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The director of the young adult ministry at a parish San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy recently praised for its “welcoming” attitude toward “LGBT worshippers” is an openly gay man who works for an organization that supports same-sex “marriage” and women’s ordination.

Let me just start by saying, any Catholic interviewing Bishop McElroy should ask him two questions: 1) Do you believe that the Church will one day ordain women? 2) Do you believe that the Church should accept “gay marriage?”  Pin him down and don’t let him wriggle out of it.  You could also throw in, “Do you think “gay sex” is equal to the marital embrace?”  if he tries to divert with the usual “Who am I to judge?” tell him you’re not asking him to judge but to give an opinion.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported that McElroy cited St. John the Evangelist in Hillcrest as an example of a parish where “LGBT worshippers ‘feel particularly welcome.'”

What does “welcome” mean, Bishop McElroy?  What Catholic doesn’t want people to feel welcome?  If, however, welcome means that we don’t encourage all to live a chaste life with the end goal of everlasting life with Christ, how loving is that?

Let’s remember that we are the Church Oscar Wilde turned to at the end of his life.  We are a Church full of sinners.  Welcoming the sinner is kind of what we do.  We don’t,  however, embrace sin.  It’s not loving to do so.  I’m afraid this has been lost on some.  We are the epitome of welcoming and integration of people into the Faith.

“That’s a very good thing,” he said. McElroy was commenting on the Diocese of San Diego’s recent synod on the family, after which he encouraged priests to give Holy Communion to the divorced and “remarried” and embrace “LGBT families.”

Please, Bishop McElroy!  Can we cut the ambiguity now and actually define what in the heck you are talking about?  This touchy-feely word play is done.  I don’t know a priest out there who doesn’t welcome sinners to his parish.  What I do know are priests who welcome SIN to their parishes.  Let’s just cut to it.  Is this what you are suggesting, Bishop McElroy???  Do your flock a favor and answer the dang questions! 

While you’re at it, please, let’s look at the permanency of Catholic marriage.  I could be wrong, but last time I checked, the parish priest was not the arbiter of a valid/invalid marriage.  Honestly, heaven help us if priests with no canonical training, who are not on the marriage tribunal, and likely were poorly formed, start deciding who is or is not married.

Canon Law states http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0017/_P3U.HTM :

Can. 1060 Marriage enjoys the favour of law. Consequently, in doubt the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.

Yet now bishops like McElroy are suggesting we simply have a pow-wow with a priest and decide for ourselves?  Think about it, people.  Why in the heck would we ever need a marriage tribunal???  Think that can’t possibly be what Bishop McElroy is saying?  Well, these three bulletins have articles about the “synod” that all follow the same talking points:

http://www.sdcathedral.org/uploads/mce/edd6bb4181065a5b9fb559ad9fddeef16a975d07/970271%20November%2013%202016.pdf

http://www.stmoside.org/pastorcolumn/Pastor2016-1113.pdf

http://sanrafaelparish.org/home/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/November_13_Bulletin.pdf
Colin Donovan, STL, (that’s a Canon Law guy) spells out their errors nicely here https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/annulment.htm:

Internal Forum. Sometimes it is suggested to individuals or couples that they can resolve marital issues concerning a first marriage in the “internal forum.” This means essentially in the confessional or in the privacy of their conscience. Someone who is divorced and remarried will be told that they do not have to seek a Decree of Nullity to validate the present marriage, rather being convinced in their own conscience that their first marriage was invalid they can return to the sacraments. This is not, however, the case. Marriage is not a private affair but a social institution, one safeguarded by the Church according to the will of Christ. The Holy See has ruled out the internal forum solution as a valid way of resolving marital validity questions. Such issues must be submitted to the Church’s canonical processes (a marriage tribunal).

In short, “internal forum” and “integration” don’t mean what YOU decide, Bishop McElroy.  For those of you wondering what it is and how it applies to the “divorced and remarried” scenario, this was a good synopsis.  https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/Article/TabId/535/ArtMID/13567/ArticleID/19679/Understanding-Francis-and-the-internal-forum.aspx

St. John the Evangelist advertises on its Twitter page: “In worship and in sacrament, our Catholic parish is called to extend God’s kingdom to young and old, gay and straight, single, married or divorced.” Its rainbow Twitter profile photo reads, “All Are Welcome.”

On November 18, the parish Facebook page advertised a “Modern Mass…where all people find a place at the table!” Its advertisement for the Mass featured a cross imposed on the rainbow flag, a universal symbol of homosexual activism.

What the heck is a “Modern Mass?!”  Last time I checked we had an Ordinary Form and an Extraordinary Form of the Mass.  Sorry, my homosexual Catholic brethren looking to push an agenda rather than fight against temptation, the Mass ain’t your personal football.  I don’t say this in hate, but you are the proverbial princess in the family.  For some reason you think the Sacraments must dance around you and pay you homage.  Get a clue and get a little humility!  There is, indeed, an eternity heading your way, so you really might want to attend Mass to worship God rather than to have everyone else worship your lifestyle choices.

St. John the Evangelist bulletins list Aaron Bianco as the young adult ministry leader.

Bianco’s LinkedIn page lists him as a “Pastoral Associate” with Call to Action, a dissenting anti-Catholic group that opposes the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, marriage, and the nature of the priesthood. In 2006, members of Call to Action were excommunicated over their dissenting advocacy.

Call to Action’s website features a “prayer for all loving marriages” that reads, in part:

We thank You for all the different types of marriages in our world:

Pause!  There is only one type of marriage: a valid one.  All others are just deformed representations of God’s plan for married love.

young couples beginning a life together,

as well as couples celebrating decades of love,

re-married couples and those who found each other later in life,

couples whose marriages are recognized by our state and our Church,

and same-sex couples who are denied that recognition

but who continue to bravely model love and commitment in the face of discrimination…”

Help us support marriage and family in all of its diversity

and guide us as we speak out against oppression in our Church.

Lead us toward the day when all loving unions will be seen as sacred

and all couples will have the support and recognition of their faith communities.

The call to the priesthood should be celebrated regardless of gender,” Call to Action’s website says on its “Women and Girls Equality” page. “We work in many different ways to restore the full participation of women in the liturgy, pastoral life and leadership of their communities…We support the ordination of women with local actions, national media advocacy and with our partners in the movement. Many of our members attend liturgies led by womenpriests.

According to Call to Action, Bianco began as a Program Outreach Associate in 2015. In one blog post for the organization, he describes attending a Dignity USA conference on behalf of Call to Action. Dignity USA is a pro-gay group that rejects the Catholic Church’s teaching on human sexuality.”

What a load of hooey!  I’m going to just assume Bianco agrees with Call to Action.  That alone disqualifies him from any position of authority in a Catholic Church.  Ministry leaders are supposed to conform their will to the will of the Church, not the other way around. 

It appears that McElroy is well aware of Bianco’s gay advocacy. In 2015, the Wall Street Journal wrote that after he became bishop, McElroy told Bianco that he could continue running cathedral parish education programs even though he is openly gay:

Shortly after his installation as the sixth bishop of San Diego this spring, Robert McElroy was approached by a church employee in the city’s downtown cathedral.

Aaron Bianco, a 41-year-old openly gay man who had helped run Catholic education programs for seven years, said that before the bishop’s appointment, a parishioner who knew of Mr. Bianco’s sexual orientation had complained to the diocese, a traditionally conservative one that once denied the owner of a gay nightclub a Catholic funeral.

Fearful of losing his job, Mr. Bianco removed his name from the weekly parish newsletter and brought someone in to help him teach.

But the new bishop assured Mr. Bianco that he wouldn’t lose his job because he is gay. Bishop McElroy “let me know that [being gay] should not hinder me from participating fully in the life of the church,” said Mr. Bianco, who has since taken another position outside the church.

So I’m just going to directly ask Bishop McElroy, do you think that people who are actively engaging in the homosexual lifestyle (sodomy and masturbation), or advocating for the active homosexual lifestyle, should present themselves for Communion?  I mean, again, stop with the ambiguity.  Call a spade a spade and say what you mean and stop the ridiculous game.

The Wall Street Journal article also noted that in 2010, McElroy became an auxiliary bishop in San Francisco, where he celebrated Mass at “a largely gay parish in the city’s Castro district.”

The Diocese of San Diego did not immediately respond to LifeSiteNews’s inquiries on whether the “welcoming” nature of St. John’s is in line with Catholic teaching on homosexual feelings and actions (not people) being intrinsically disordered, or whether the diocese finds it appropriate for St. John’s to advertise the rainbow flag on its social media pages.

The simple fact is that Bishop McElroy must continue on the ambiguous track, because he knows answering the question would be showing his cards, and he would lose the game he’s playing.  He knows it and so do we.

He Can’t Handle Intrinsic Evils

Seriously, Bishop McElroy can’t handle intrinsic evils or much of the Church’s teachings.  I think those pesky little details just get in his way.

http://cal-catholic.com/?p=25557

San Diego bishop: forget about intrinsic evils when voting

Bishop Robert McElroy says using “intrinsic evils” not the best standard for deciding how to vote because there are so many of them.

So glad I wasn’t drinking when I read this one.  Can’t you just see him feeling kind of the same way about the teachings of the Church?  Canon Law? Ten Commandments?  “There are just so many of them, it makes my brain hurt, so let’s just ignore them all.” (That it should have been read in the whiniest voice you could muster.)

<snip>

The church teaches that certain acts are incapable of being ordered to God since in their very structure they contradict the good of the person made in God’s likeness. Such actions are termed “intrinsically evil” and are morally illicit no matter what the intention or circumstances surrounding them. Those who focus primarily on intrinsic evil make two distinct but related claims: 1) that the action of voting for candidates who seek to advance an intrinsic evil in society automatically involves the voter morally in that intrinsic evil in an illicit way; and 2) Catholic teaching demands that political opposition to intrinsically evil acts, like abortion, euthanasia and embryonic experimentation, must be given automatic priority over all other issues for the purposes of voting.

The recent statement of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” shows why this argument is simplistic and thus misleading.

Not so much, Your Excellency.  I think it’s you and your buddies like Archbishop Cupich who think we’re a little too simplistic to figure this out, so you’re going to “help” us. My guess is you two have done the high-five on social media for this one.

The bishops’ statement clearly asserts the absoluteness of the prohibitions against concrete intrinsically evil acts, emphasizing that no circumstances or intentions can justify performing or illicitly cooperating with such acts. At the same time, “Faithful Citizenship” recognizes that voting for a candidate whose policies may advance a particular intrinsic evil is not in itself an intrinsically evil act.

Duh.  They’re not contradicting themselves, you are.  Is there a reason you won’t quote when commenting on “Faithful Citizenship?”  How’s this? 

34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.

  1. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.

  2. When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.

  3. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue.

See?  You need to look at 36 to clarify 34.  You can’t ever vote for someone who’s pro-abortion if there is a better option or if you are voting for them specifically because of their pro-abortion stance, but you can vote for someone who is pro-abortion if they are the ones who will do the least damage in this area. 

In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.

Oh, he leaves out one key word: “well.”  They must be guided by their well-formed conscience.

Voting for candidates is a complex moral action in which the voter must confront an entire array of competing candidates’ positions in a single act of voting. It is crucial that in voting for a candidate who supports the advancement of an intrinsic evil, Catholic voters not have the intention of supporting that specific evil, since such an intention would involve them directly in the evil itself. But voters will often find themselves in situations where one candidate supports an intrinsically evil position, yet the alternative realistic candidates all support even graver evils in the totality of their positions.

Note the heavy focus on the “voters must not have the intention of supporting that specific evil.”  He actually did OK there.  And then he goes onto blow it:

This is particularly true in the United States today. The list of intrinsic evils specified by Catholic teaching includes not only abortion, physician-assisted suicide and embryonic experimentation but also actions that exploit workers, create or perpetuate inhuman living conditions or advance racism. It is extremely difficult, and often completely impossible, to find candidates whose policies will not advance several of these evils in American life.

No. No. No. No. No.  There are some intrinsic evils that have priority.  Anything that deprives life surpasses all others.  If you don’t have life, you have nothing.  Bishop McElroy must have missed this:

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/abortion/living-the-gospel-of-life.cfm

  1. The losers in this ethical sea change will be those who are elderly, poor, disabled and politically marginalized. None of these pass the utility test; and yet, they at least have a presence.  They at least have the possibility of organizing to be heard.  Those who are unborn, infirm and terminally ill have no such advantage.  They have no “utility,” and worse, they have no voice.  As we tinker with the beginning, the end and even the intimate cell structure of life, we tinker with our own identity as a free nation dedicated to the dignity of the human person.  When American political life becomes an experiment on people rather than for and by them, it will no longer be worth conducting.  We are arguably moving closer to that day.  Today, when the inviolable rights of the human person are proclaimed and the value of life publicly affirmed, the most basic human right, “the right to life, is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death” (Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life [Evangelium Vitae], 18).
  1. The nature and urgency of this threat should not be misunderstood. Respect for the dignity of the human person demands a commitment to human rights across a broad spectrum:  “Both as Americans and as followers of Christ, American Catholics must be committed to the defense of life in all its stages and in every condition.”4  The culture of death extends beyond our shores: famine and starvation, denial of health care and development around the world, the deadly violence of armed conflict and the scandalous arms trade that spawns such conflict.  Our nation is witness to domestic violence, the spread of drugs, sexual activity which poses a threat to lives, and a reckless tampering with the world’s ecological balance.  Respect for human life calls us to defend life from these and other threats.  It calls us as well to enhance the conditions for human living by helping to provide food, shelter and meaningful employment, beginning with those who are most in need.  We live the Gospel of Life when we live in solidarity with the poor of the world, standing up for their lives and dignity.  Yet abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others.  They are committed against those who are weakest and most defenseless, those who are genuinely “the poorest of the poor.”  They are endorsed increasingly without the veil of euphemism, as supporters of abortion and euthanasia freely concede these are killing even as they promote them.  Sadly, they are practiced in those communities which ordinarily provide a safe haven for the weak — the family and the healing professions.  Such direct attacks on human life, once crimes, are today legitimized by governments sworn to protect the weak and marginalized.

    Just in case you didn’t know, the definition of preeminent is “surpassing all others.”  And I, Bishop McElroy, believe you missed this in the document you speak of but never link to:  http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/upload/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship.pdf

 

  1. Two temptations in public life can distort the Church’s defense of human life and dignity:

  2. The first is a moral equivalence that makes no ethical distinctions between different kinds of issues involving human life and dignity. The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.3

  3. The second is the misuse of these necessary moral distinctions as a way of dismissing or ignoring other serious threats to human life and dignity. The current and projected extent of environmental degradation has become a moral crisis especially because it poses a risk to humanity in the future and threatens the lives of poor and vulnerable human persons here and now. Racism and other unjust discrimination, the use of the death penalty, resorting to unjust war, the use of torture,4 war crimes, the failure to respond to those who are suffering from hunger or a lack of health care, pornography, redefining civil marriage, compromising religious liberty, or an unjust immigration policy are all serious moral issues that challenge our consciences and require us to act. These are not optional concerns which can be dismissed. Catholics are urged to seriously consider Church teaching on these issues. Although choices about how best to respond to these and other compelling threats to human life and dignity are matters for principled debate and decision, this does not make them optional concerns or permit Catholics to dismiss or ignore Church teaching on these important issues. Clearly not every Catholic can be actively involved on each of these concerns, but we need to support one another as our community of faith defends human life and dignity wherever it is threatened. We are not factions, but one family of faith fulfilling the mission of Jesus Christ.

While we follow both, you seem to fall right into the temptation mention when you directly contradicting number 28 .  You’re playing the “it’s just one issue among many” card to the hilt in your little statement.

Even more important, a fatal shortcoming of the category of intrinsic evil as a foundation for prioritizing the major elements of the political common good lies in the fact that while the criterion of intrinsic evil identifies specific human acts that can never be justified, it is not a measure of the relative gravity of evil in human or political acts. Some intrinsically evil acts are less gravely evil than other intrinsically evil actions.

Riiiggghhhhtttt!  Did you read what you just wrote?  In fact, the Church has shown us (just like the USCCB did above) the ones that get priority.  You, however, seem to want to downplay these for a reason.  Why is that? 

Intrinsically evil action can also be less gravely evil than other actions that do not fall under the category of intrinsic evil. For example, telling any lie is intrinsically evil, while launching a major war is not.  But it would be morally obtuse to propose that telling a minor lie to constituents should count more in the calculus of voting than a candidate’s policy to go to war.

And, Bishop McElroy?  Nobody is comparing the two.  This is what we like to call a red-herring.  It is just you trying to use an action that isn’t happening to downplaying the severity of the preeminent intrinsic evils that the Church has laid out. 

It is the gravity of evil or good present in electoral choices that is primarily determinative of their objective moral character and their contribution to or detraction from the common good. Moreover, because voting is a complex moral action involving mitigating circumstances, a vote for a candidate who supports intrinsic evils often does not involve illicit cooperation in those acts. For these reasons the category of intrinsic evil cannot provide a comprehensive moral roadmap for prioritizing the elements of the common good for voting.

We don’t need more of a road map than already given to us.  The person we should vote for should pass the test of rejecting the preeminent intrinsic evils of our time which, again, as our very own USCCB has stated, are the no brainer offenses against life.  That is PREEMINENT.  I’m not sure how many ways the Church has to say it before Bishop McElroy stop trying to confuse the voters that when two candidates are pro-choice, you can’t ever vote for the worse one, but you may be able to vote for the one who will do the least damage in this area.  If two candidates are apples to apples in this area, then you should go on to look at all of the other issues that go along with the dignity of life. 

Why Buy the Cow???

I just couldn’t pass up commenting on this but it hardly needs an ocean of ink.  

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-leaked-e-mails-show-george-soros-paid-to-influence-bishops-during

Can I just say that this is the worst money Soros ever spent?!  I mean, seriously, Archbishop Cupich and Bishop McElroy would have done exactly what Soros wanted for free and have on multiple occasions.  Doesn’t Soros have researchers???  Personally, I’m surprised they didn’t ask Soros for help.

 

I’m Sorry, So Sorry!

The Pope would like us to apologize? Why, yes, I am very happy to take the opportunity to do so.

I apologize for Fr. James Martin, SJ, and ilk who have spent a lifetime trying to advance the liberal agenda, which is the antithesis of Truth.  I apologize, especially to the homosexual community, that Fr. Martin has actively sought to drive a wedge between you and the Catholic Church.  I’m sorry that he’s tried so vehemently to get you to believe that Catholic Church has anything but your salvation in mind.  I’m sorry that he’s actively tried to undermine your salvation by twisting the truth.

I apologize for archbishops like Blase Cupich.  He has done much of the same to homosexuals.  I also apologize to the babies who weren’t saved because he shunned pro-life efforts whenever he got the opportunity.  Oh, I also apologize to those whom Archbishop Cupich has tried to actively shame for protecting themselves with a mean old gun.  I’m really sorry to any of those who have actually used a gun in self-defense, too.  I’m pretty sure that Archbishop Cupich considers you an unfortunate, overwhelming statistic.

I apologize for the Bishop McElroys of the Church for, really, anytime they open their mouths.  I mean, really, at least Martin, Cupich, and Reese try to be sly.  Bishop McElroy must have missed “Subtle Dissent 101” in seminary.  Sadly, we have to read pieces like this ten times to determine if they are satire or not: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2016/apr/23/sdqt-bishop-mcelroy-addresses-usd-drag-show/

Believe it or not, that was satire, so no angry posts on this parody.  There’s plenty of reality about which to rant.

I apologize for all of those bishops who didn’t bother to teach you the Faith, who didn’t give you a vision of what life would be if you embraced your crosses and rejected temptation, and who left you to your own devices to build your own “truth” which is contra to THE TRUTH and a twisting of reality.  These bishops strove for fame and likeability over your salvation.

To women, I’m totally sorry that bishops like Cupich and McElroy have marginalized your souls in their grand seamless garment plan.  They couldn’t possibly put birth control and abortion ahead of war or the death penalty. Nooooooo!  They have to be given completely equal treatment or not spoken of at all, or in reality, swept to the side in lieu of these issues so the spotlight could be totally on them and their overall “I heart peace!” agendas.  They never stopped once to think that if violence in the womb isn’t condemned, the rest of their agenda was a pipe dream. 

So, while these members of the clergy were laying down in front of weapons of war, society was waging a war on us women, and we lost.  We killed our children, gave ourselves cancer, strokes and mental problems.  We became hoodwinked into believing we weren’t becoming totally objectified by all of society, all while some bishops pretty much told us not to look because, well, we were killing death row inmates and waging wars.  I haven’t even mentioned porn, which stems from the devaluation of all life.  So, to you and my daughters, I totally apologize for these wimpy clergy who give little thought to women.

To the poor, I’m sorry that you became yet another casualty of the liberal agenda while we were being told by our liberal shepherds that most of what the Church tells us is totally subjective and that the lives of the innocent unborn are not paramount.  While closing our eyes to the Truth, nobody saw you naked, homeless and alone.  Many of us have no conscience because we’ve been told it’s wrong to judge.  Since there are no rights and wrongs anymore, you are pretty much just another thing we’ve become blind to.  Really, you just don’t make us comfortable.  You’re another cross we’re going to reject and truth to which we’re going to turn a blind eye.  For this, I am sorry.

To our homosexual brethren, again, I apologize for clergy who led you astray because of their own failures of chastity, humility and fortitude.  Misery loves company, and they apparently wanted more company in their egocentric boat.  You are the ones paying the price.  Rather than teach you to embrace your particular cross and to live chastely with an eye on the ultimate prize of everlasting life, they decided to become living examples of Luke 11:11:

And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

I guess that would be you, dear liberal bishops.

If it makes you feel at all better (and I’m sure it won’t), they’ve done the same thing to the rest of us for our particular crosses.  “Use your internal forum!” they tell us. At least you’re not alone.  I feel for you deeply.  So many of us are trying to be your companions, your support, and your encouragement to live as Christ calls us to live, but we’re thwarted every turn by some of the clergy.  They’re being used by Satan to whisper in your ear (if whispering was using bullhorn), “They’re judging you!  They hate you!  They’re saying you’re not worthy!” which is totally and utterly the opposite of what’s going on with those of us not in the Westboro Baptist club.  They’re spending all of their time pitting us against each other.  They’re using us as pawns in their own narcissistic plans. 

You know, tragedies like the massacre in Orlando have a way of bringing people together, despite Satan’s best efforts.  The complete liberal, Bill Maher, while still possessing a flawed view, caught onto this a long time ago, and it seems that homosexuals are finally starting to embrace it, too.  They have made the realization that no matter what they’ve been told, Christianity is not their problem.  It’s the ugliness and hatefulness of Islam (and no, not all Muslims embrace that ugly side.)  Christians may disagree with the homosexual lifestyle and support traditional marriage, but it’s rather hard to deny that we believe ALL life is sacred.  While I am not a Trump supporter in any manner, and I don’t support the spirit of revenge, I think this video shows a turning point in the understanding of radical Islam:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2IoTQlDh9U  I’m hoping that this realization drowns out the Cupiches, McElroys and Lynches of our Church who seek to draw division among us in our time of crisis, and Archbishop Wenski is starting the flood when he really let Bishop Lynch have it here:  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/miami-archbishop-rebukes-bishop-lynchs-claim-catholics-share-blame-for-orla  While McElroy and club whine about not using the term “LGBT”, I’m seeing tweets like this:

National security trumps gay marriage. Sorry. But you can’t get married if you’re DEAD. 

Despite the attempts of Bishops Cupich, McElroy, and Lynch, I’m hoping this crack in the door, the mere realization that Christians don’t want to kill homosexuals, might lead to more experiences like this man who came to the realization that he was loved:

 

Please listen to this man’s video!  It’s a beautiful and hopeful story.  Odds are all people suffering from same-sex attraction will not land exactly where he has, but he’s totally correct.  We’re all different.  Mercy and salvation is what we all should seek. These are the only things that well ever truly make us happy.

Lastly, I’m sorry to the faithful clergy.  Whenever you take two steps forward in bringing souls to Truth, you are immediately tackled by the liberal clergy and sometimes you actually lose yardage.  We’re praying you pump that spiritual iron and plow right through the liberal agenda.

Enough of an apology for you?!