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.

 

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Fr. Martin – Pouring Gas on the Bridge and Lighting it on Fire!

Oh my ever-loving goodness!  More honesty than usual!  Hat tip to Joseph Sciambra for posting this one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfbYRJN-jWE

Fr. James Martin has become emboldened by his new-found (and maybe just in the plan of the Holy Spirit’s plan) appointment hat we’re not backing down despite his best efforts to tell us we really suffer from same-sex attraction and that we’re insecure in our sexuality.  Um, 20-something years and a bunch of kids later, Fr. Martin, I can assure you that isn’t true. Oh wait, honey, sorry to tell you….  The idea that people who disagree with you must be paranoid that they are SSA is ridiculous.  Nice try though. Classic move.  Reality is, we just think you kind of stink. (I’m hoping I get time off of purgatory for not using the crass version of what I really think!)

First, he can’t really decide whether or not he’s a theologian. Every other day he’s saying he is or he’s saying he know something about it.  Sorry, Father Martin, who it is and who it is not accepted by is irrelevant.  Might read a little on the Reformation.

At the 3:53 minute he’s actually admitting something he’s not before. He’s admitting that he thinks “gay marriage” will become a reality.  Praise the Lord!  Can we now silence him?  Pope Francis!  Did you catch that one?  This is your mouthpiece and heresy is kind of a no-no.

And somewhere around 5:31 he says we shouldn’t take the bible literally.  I could agree with that in some areas where the Church gives its interpretation but, hello!  How any time have we heard this guy and his buds spew “Judge not lest ye be judged????”  Only about a million.

And, of course around 5:41 he states the majority of us are homophobic.  There’s a shocker.  Let me clue people in as I have so many times before.  I do not fear people suffering from same-sex attraction.  I fear the “gay lifestyle”, “gay activities” and what it’s doing to society, to the Church and too many friends!  Listen, unless we all get on board with struggling with our personal temptations, we are all doomed as a society.  Deal.  I’m not going to candy coat it.  Of course, God wins in the end but it can be hell on earth until that happens.

Around 6 minutes in, he basically says he can say “Love the sinner, hate the sin!” but if we say it, there’s no love.  Let me clue you in, Fr. Martin. We are angry and justly so because you’ve led people to believe the Church is going to change i’s stance on marriage because some don’t receive it.  Is there love? You betcha!  If we didn’t love the person suffering from SSA we wouldn’t care less about them or you.  This is why we counter your crud at most turns.  It has little do with us and everything to do with those we care about.

Around 6:16 he says most of those opposed to his book think we know no “gays” or we only know “former gays.”  Really, Fr. Martin? Get a stinking grip.  While a minority, you don’t have to join the “Fr. Martin Fan Club” to know someone suffering with same-sex attraction.  Yeah, we’re not “snide” as people are referred to.  Although, quite frankly, I’m probably a huge eye-roller when it comes to people mentioning because it makes me so angry that you cause so much division and that you lead so many souls astray.  I can only reassure my friends, relatives, co-workers, etc. that I have no ill will towards you and that I wish you join me in the struggle against Satan that I’m waging where my temptations lie.  Fr. Martin?  He wants your accolades and couldn’t give a darn what whether or not you’re in a SSA relationship and get hit by a bus tomorrow.

At 7:10 Fr. Martin, once again, promotes the fear idea.  This, as usual, is his way of saying we are great big meanies and we’re only it if for ourselves.  How about you build a bridge my way Fr. Martin.  Maybe you should spend a whole lot more time with people who worry about their immortal soul and those of others before you bother to write a book.  How about that idea?  I’d surmise that we’ve spent a whole lot more time with those suffering from SSA than you have spent with those whose primary focus is the everlasting life with God!

And new?  Please! There were people struggling with SSA when I was in high school (and quite frankly, probably earlier).  While I’m not as old of you, it has been a part of my life for many, many a year.  Get over yourself.

Around 7:35 he talks of those who bring in the hopes and desire of their “LGBT” family members.  Let’s just stop for a second and thin about why that’s happening.  Oh yeah, it’s you, Fr. Martin.  While you should be encouraging people to struggle, you’re encouraging them to dream that their wishes will someday become true.  How totally and utterly sad.  How about you teach them to take up their cross like the rest of us, no matter what it is, and join us in seeking everlasting life?  I guess you’d have to buy into Truth before that happens.

8:35,  Fr. Martin tells us that if we knew “gay couples” we wouldn’t be able to deny that people reached out to people in the margins to which we give a hearty “Duh!” to Fr. Martin.  That said, Christ did what he refuses to do.  Christ told them to “Go and sin not more!”  You don’t even mention sin, Fr. Martin, unless it’s the false sin of judging actions.  And, let me be blunt, we don’t see Jesus in sodomy and masturbation. Another “Duh!”

At 9:35, commentator tells us we’re against “all things homosexual.”  Again, please.  We are not against homosexuals.  In fact, apparently, they’re the reason I blog as of late. We are against the ACTIVITIES of any person engaging in activities that are harmful to their souls.  So, think about this people suffering from SSA.  Either Fr. Martin doesn’t believe in the teaching of the Church or he does and he’s willing to throw you under the bus in hopes that they are changed by consensus (which cannot happen).

At 10:03 interviewer tells us that theological teaching “does have to come into contact with the state of things on the ground.  And, in the U.S., the shape of things on the ground, is such that a lot of Catholics do support gay marriage.”  Fr. Martin then goes out to say that in sub-Saharan Africa you’d be run out of town.  Then he goes onto allude that theologians (which he always says he is not) would agree with him and that “Church leaders” would not despite that the people of God are being led by the Holy Spirit. The Church leaders resist that and then he goes back to the “reception of teaching” which he never actually gives Church teaching on.  (Did we really expect him to?) Hmmmm…Why would that be?  Oh, maybe it’s because the Deposit of Faith doesn’t lie with us!

Near 11:35 he brings up Humanae Vitae.  How nice of him to admit it’s still in effect.  Gee thanks.  I’m not sure what “Made their piece” with it means as far as the majority of the laity.  You can’t really have piece when you are thwarting God’s laws but, whatever.  He then goes on to talk of the divide between the “theological world and the Episcopacy.”  Uh, translation:  The divide between Fr. Martin and cronies and the Church.

At 12:31 Fr. Martin asks why it is so terrible to go to a “gay wedding” but it is not terrible to go to a Jewish wedding.  Well, Fr. Martin, if you’d have a clue, you’d know that A) a “gay wedding” is never considered valid in the eyes of the Church and that a b) Jewish wedding would be considered valid in the eyes of the Church as long as one of the parties was not Catholic and that the Jewish religion considered it valid.  If someone was an apostate (converted to Judaism) they are not longer bound by the Catholic law.  I would think that a priest in the Catholic Church would kind of know that, and I’m rather sure he does.  These are two TOTALLY different scenarios.  Of course, Fr. Martin then goes on to tug at the heartstrings and talk about “people that you love.” Fr. Martin, if I loved a person I wouldn’t want their temporal happiness in lieu of their everlasting happiness.  Wanting the latter is TRUE LOVE!

And, as he’s done before, he tugs at the heartstrings at 13:25 in regards to people losing their jobs after posting pictures of their weddings  Hello!!!!! How about people losing their immortal souls????  A little more important than people losing their livelihoods, wouldn’t you say?

Then he asks at 13:35 how it’s worse to go to a civil wedding than a Jewish wedding?  Uh, one condones sodomy/masturbation and the other does not?  How’s that for starters?  Then he puts for the premise that “it’s worse to be a Christian and gay than to reject Jesus.”  Uh, you aren’t really practicing the Christian faith if you are an active homosexual.  At least being an apostate is a little more honest.  Neither or good but when you are an apostate, you are not bound to the Canon Law.

At 14:45 Fr. Martin thinks it’s a beautiful story that the interviewer’s parents are walking him down the isle at her non-Catholic, “gay wedding.”  How ridiculously sad is this?  They keep talking about them “coming around.”  Coming around to what? Had a conversion to what?  A union full of sodomy and masturbation?  How beautiful.  And then the biggie.  Fr. Martin states “This is what Jesus does.” Isn’t it interesting how the Fr. Martins of this world never use “Go and sin no more” woman but the women at the well.  Reality is that the scenario is rather the same but they just can’t see it that way. Christ holds us accountable for our sins.  The Fr. Martins of this world would like you to miss that.

15:29 Fr. Martin talks about how beautiful it is that this guy’s parents can celebrate his love with his same-sex partner.  Really?  Maybe I should clue Fr. Martin in.  You do understand that it means she will be engaging in masturbation and/or sodomy, right?  I mean, I’m pretty sure he does but I just have to ask so he can obfuscate a bit more. It’s fun watching him twist pretzels.

15:45 Martin then has the utter audacity at ask “how could God not rejoice in that kind of reconciliation and bridge building?”  You know, the kind where you jump off a spiritual cliff and reject the teachings of Christ’s Church?  Yeah, that reconciliation.  Honestly, I kind of want to vomit about the lack of Truth going on in this conversation.  I swear, when they were handing out millstones, Fr. Martin shoved people out of the way to claim his.  Here’s hoping he truly figures out those aren’t diamonds.

At 16:20 Fr. Martin suggests that those who can’t come to this guy’s wedding have more of a clue than you, Fr. Martin.  Then, of course, he goes onto compare it to those that refuse to come to a wedding based on race.  Just when you think he can’t get any more stupid. Sigh.

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.

Evangelicals More Catholic Than Fr. James Martin, SJ

Oh my gosh!  The protestants have made James Martin, SJ come unglued!  To our “separated brethren,” a good deal of Catholics thank you!  There’s a thing here or there I might have changed but I’m not going to quibble on those since that has nothing to do with Fr. James Martin, SJ’s twitter rant, which of course, was kind of giant red-herring because it had little or nothing to do with the “Nashville Statement.”

So, let’s look at the statement:

https://cbmw.org/nashville-statement

Preamble

Evangelical Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in a period of historic transition. As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, it has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being. By and large the spirit of our age no longer discerns or delights in the beauty of God’s design for human life. Many deny that God created human beings for his glory, and that his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female. It is common to think that human identity as male and female is not part of God’s beautiful plan, but is, rather, an expression of an individual’s autonomous preferences. The pathway to full and lasting joy through God’s good design for his creatures is thus replaced by the path of shortsighted alternatives that, sooner or later, ruin human life and dishonor God.

This secular spirit of our age presents a great challenge to the Christian church. Will the church of the Lord Jesus Christ lose her biblical conviction, clarity, and courage, and blend into the spirit of the age? Or will she hold fast to the word of life, draw courage from Jesus, and unashamedly proclaim his way as the way of life? Will she maintain her clear, counter-cultural witness to a world that seems bent on ruin?

We are persuaded that faithfulness in our generation means declaring once again the true story of the world and of our place in it—particularly as male and female. Christian Scripture teaches that there is but one God who alone is Creator and Lord of all. To him alone, every person owes gladhearted thanksgiving, heart-felt praise, and total allegiance. This is the path not only of glorifying God, but of knowing ourselves. To forget our Creator is to forget who we are, for he made us for himself. And we cannot know ourselves truly without truly knowing him who made us. We did not make ourselves. We are not our own. Our true identity, as male and female persons, is given by God. It is not only foolish, but hopeless, to try to make ourselves what God did not create us to be.

We believe that God’s design for his creation and his way of salvation serve to bring him the greatest glory and bring us the greatest good. God’s good plan provides us with the greatest freedom. Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it in overflowing measure. He is for us and not against us. Therefore, in the hope of serving Christ’s church and witnessing publicly to the good purposes of God for human sexuality revealed in Christian Scripture, we offer the following affirmations and denials.

Article 1

WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.

WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.

Article 2

WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.

WE DENY that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.

Article 3

WE AFFIRM that God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female.

WE DENY that the divinely ordained differences between male and female render them unequal in dignity or worth.

Article 4

WE AFFIRM that divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing.

WE DENY that such differences are a result of the Fall or are a tragedy to be overcome.

Article 5

WE AFFIRM that the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female.

WE DENY that physical anomalies or psychological conditions nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female.

Article 6

WE AFFIRM that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb.” With all others they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known.

WE DENY that ambiguities related to a person’s biological sex render one incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ.

Article 7

WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture.

WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.

Article 8

WE AFFIRM that people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life.

WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.

Article 9

WE AFFIRM that sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and toward sexual immorality— a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality.

WE DENY that an enduring pattern of desire for sexual immorality justifies sexually immoral behavior.

Article 10

WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.

WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.

Article 11

WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female.

WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his imagebearers as male and female.

Article 12

WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.

WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ is insufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give power for holiness to every believer who feels drawn into sexual sin.

Article 13

WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ enables sinners to forsake transgender selfconceptions and by divine forbearance to accept the God-ordained link between one’s biological sex and one’s self-conception as male or female.

WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ sanctions self-conceptions that are at odds with God’s revealed will.

Article 14

WE AFFIRM that Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners and that through Christ’s death and resurrection forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and supreme treasure.

WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach.

Before I move on, Fr. Martin.  What above do YOU disagree with?  Let’s be specific and stop all your usual ambiguity, shall we?  Come on.  Pick it apart!  We know you can’t which is why you take to twitter with the ridiculous responses.

And now let’s look at the twitter rant of Fr. James Martin, SJ (Clearly he’s feeling the 140 character limit. I’m not even going to try to screen capture this one since it’s SEVERAL tweets long.) My comments inserted in bold:

http://northcountydailynews.com/seven-simple-ways-to-respond-to-the-nashville-statement-on-sexuality/

Re #Nashville Statement: I affirm: That God loves all LGBT people. I deny: That Jesus wants us to insult, judge or further marginalize them. Nice red-herring, Fr. Martin.  Can you point to the part of the statement that was anything but loving?

I affirm: That all of us are in need of conversion. I deny: That LGBT people should be in any way singled out as the chief or only sinners. Well, you single them out at the group that needs special privileges and acceptances. If you don’t want them singled out, stop doing it.

I affirm: That when Jesus encountered people on the margins he led with welcome not condemnation. I deny: That Jesus wants any more judging.  I’ll link in a minute to a nice mic drop on your muddling of Jesus’ teachings but, for now, who is condemning?

I affirm: That LGBT people are, by virtue of baptism, full members of the church. I deny: That God wants them to feel that they don’t belong Poppycock.  It has nothing to do with people not feeling welcome and everything to do with you wanting their sin accepted as moral.  Can we stop with the charade?

I affirm: That LGBT people have been made to feel like dirt by many churches. Well that’s what you keep telling them.  How about you point out where that’s happened in the Nashville Statement?   I deny: That Jesus wants us to add to their immense suffering.  Christ wants them to take up their cross and follow him.  You want everyone get a pass in this life with no thought to the immense and EVERLASTING suffering of sinners who don’t repent.  Thank God the Church calls ALL to repentance.   That’s a little fact you’d like to overlook in your little “I’m OK, you’re OK!” scenario.    

I affirm: That LGBT people are some of the holiest people I know. OK, let’s make some distinctions.  I actually know a few who have embraced the heavy cross and who are amazing and I know some who have embraced sodomy and are not.  I’ll happily make the distinction.  Will you?  I deny: That Jesus wants us to judge others, when he clearly forbade it.  Stop the stupidity, Fr. Martin. You and I both know that there is quite a bit of difference between judging someone’s immortal soul and judging sinful actions.  Where did Christ ever condemn the latter?  Like I said, mic drop coming.  You know the answer very well.  You just prefer to confound and confuse.  I will say again with no regret that you are a predator of souls.  Your “come into my parlor said the spider to the fly” methods are disgusting.

I affirm that the Father loves LGBT people, the Son calls them and the Holy Spirit guides them. I deny nothing about God’s love for them.  At this point I have to ask if you actually read the Nashville statement.  I posted it above.  Give it a looksie.

Really – did you expect him to actually address the statement?  Of course not, he simply takes the tactics he always takes.  Let’s just tell people what was said and hope they believe it.  Facts?  Irrelevant!

Now for the very eloquent tongue lashing.  It’s incredibly sad that the Presbyterian grasps more of Catholicism than you do, Fr. Martin:

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frobert.a.gagnon.56%2Fposts%2F10159417456825045

It is not surprising that Francis’s communication adviser, James Martin, has decided to attack the Nashville Statement, and even less surprising that the WashPost has published his tweets about it. Beware of doing the bidding of the WashPost. Martin’s tweets confirm the by-now widely held perception, reinforced repeatedly by Martin himself, that his raison d’etre involves undermining the Catholic Church’s upholding of Jesus’ teaching on a male-female foundation for sexual ethics, upon which Jesus’ teaching about the binary character of marriage is based. Martin is more brazen than ever.

Contrary to Martin’s repeated claims, the Nashville Statement (NS) does not deny God’s love for persons who gratify sinful same-sex desires or sinful denials of one’s birth sex. Rather, consistent with the witness of Jesus and Scripture generally, it manifests love by calling such persons away from intrinsically self-dishonoring and God-abhorring desires to an authentic self in keeping with their creation in God’s image.

Contrary to Martin’s claims, Jesus’ statement about not judging was never intended by Jesus to be a denial of all judgment, particularly since 40-50% of all of Jesus’ sayings are accompanied by some motif of warning about a coming judgment. Martin himself makes a judgment of those who signed off on the NS, though he appears to be unaware of the inconsistency. Presumably even Martin holds the line on some moral standards, which means that he himself doesn’t construe Jesus “don’t judge” statement absolutely.

Indeed, in the context of Jesus’ ministry “don’t judge” has to do with not majoring in minors, with not being introspective about one’s own sins, and not reaching out in love to reclaim the lost by leading them gently out of sin. According to both Luke 17:3-4 and Matthew 18 Jesus urged rebuke of those engaged in egregious sin, with communal discipline of those who fail to repent. The warning about cutting off offending members that could get one thrown into hell appears in Matthew 5 in the midst of warnings about the importance of sexual purity.

Jesus clearly based his view of marital monogamy and longevity on God’s creation of two and only two complementary sexes, “male and female,” as established in Gen 1:27; reiterated in Gen 2:24 as the foundation for marital joining of two halves into a single sexual whole. This is a “judgement” made by our own Lord: an inviolate standard that the Church must hold at all costs.

Like many who seek to promote homosexual unions and gender identity confusion, Martin wants to make the “don’t judge” statement a canon within the canon, falsely treating it as an absolute injunction while applying it selectively.

Jesus did challenge those he encountered who were engaged in egregious sin. When Jesus encountered the woman caught in adultery he did tell her to “no longer be sinning” with the inference that otherwise something worse would happen to her, not merely a capital sentence in this life but loss of eternal life.

Yes, we are all in need of conversion but Martin doesn’t want to convert people out of a homosexual or transgender life. He wants the Church to affirm the sin or to cease to take a stand against it.

The issue all along is the attempt in the broader culture and in sectors of the church from people like Martin to promote acceptance of behavior abhorrent to God and self-dishonoring to the people who practice it. It is people like Martin who are singling out homosexual and transgender behavior for exemption from the commands of God. He is not truly welcoming the sinner but rather affirming the sin. He wants the lost son to remain lost in the deepest sense, for one is “found” only when one returns in repentance.

Moreover, Scripture does treat homosexual practice as a particularly grave sexual offense precisely because of its intrinsically unnatural character and violation of God’s starting point for marriage as a union between “male and female” or “man” being “joined” to a “woman.” It is not the “chief” of sins but it is a grave sexual offense nonetheless.

Infant baptism does not innoculate an individual against the judgment of God for failing to lead a transformed life. There is no sin transfer to Christ without self-transfer; no living without dying to self and denying oneself. Paul’s warning of the Corinthian community’s tolerance of an adult-consensual union between a man and his stepmother is a case in point. Is it not those inside the church that you are to judge, Paul asked rhetorically. The answer to that question is not “no” (as Martin seems to think) but “yes.”

The Nashville Statement does not claim that persons who engage in homosexual practice are complete moral werewolves. We all compartmentalize our lives. But the areas we are good in do not validate the areas we are bad in.

Bottom line: Martin is using his office to undermine what for Jesus was a foundational standard for sexual ethics. He has to go.

BOOM!  Sir, we assuredly have our differences but our abhorrence of Fr. Martin’s dastardly deeds is not one of them.  I’ve said the same thing on many occasion but I thank you for the extremely eloquent echo of those sentiments.  

Anyone else think many of the signers will embrace the teachings of the Church in their fullness long before Fr. Martin?  Yeah, me too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Eclipse of the Doctrine

As many, many, MANY people did this past week, my family and I headed toward totality in Oregon.  It was a grand geekfest that homeschoolers revel in without a doubt.

Now, when we hit the road for vacation each year, it’s a veritable crap shoot what kind of Mass we’re going to get.  We step out of our comfort zone and just hope for the best.  It’s a 50/50 shot at best.  This year was no different.  We’re used to the usual happy-clappy sort of thing but it does get a wee bit annoying when it’s just out-and-out heresy.  I mean, who wants to go to Mass and feel like you’d like to give the priest a good tongue lashing.  So what did we get?  We got the Fr. James Martin, SJ wannabe.  (Insert exasperated sigh.)  I guess the priest just wanted to take the opportunity he had with his congregation doubled in size by eclipse watchers to go for broke.

Not all of the priest’s comments were heretical. Some were just ridiculous but let’s just look at them shall we.

  • It was the gospel on the Canaanite woman.  This priest’s big take away was that Christ had to learn to deal with people who thought differently than them instead of marginalizing them.  (As if Christ didn’t know his messianic mission and who that extended to.)
  • Next, the priest said that the Church is going through this today with, for example, women. He said that the Church didn’t know what to do with us.  Accept us, reject us or “SEND US TO THE BACK OF THE BUS.”  No joke, he said it.  What was totally ironic is that the church was named after Mary.  Uhhhhhhhhh….
  • Then, of course, the prayers of the faithful basically went on to allude to ALL of the other marginalized that the Church has forgotten. Gag!  That was his homage to all of those in sin who want to keep sinning.
  • And then there was something about him being shocked to find out, as a newly ordained priest, that he was expected to be obedient to his bishop.  The horrors!

I quickly leaned over to my husband and pointed to the side door.  “That’s our exit after Mass, honey!”  Again, I’m on vacation.  We loaded into the car and quizzed all the kids who sat through the Mass with a confused look on their face because, well, even they know lunacy when they hear it.  I’m sure my older children were probably just praying we didn’t have to hang out too long after while mom gave father what for.  We had fun to get to, after all.  Yeah, the kids were able to zero in on the heresy right away.

We had friends with us and I mentioned to one of them that I was relatively sure that this priest must own the whole Fr. James Martin, SJ library.  I was not off in any way on assumption because the very next day Fr. James Martin, SJ broke Catholic Twitter with this one:

Frmaring100

What?!?!  Is there a part of the Dark Web from which they all get their talking points?!  Were they all in the same class?   Brothers from another mother, perhaps?  Really, the cultish ways are kind of scary.

And…

frmartin200

Gotta find this rather hysterical that Father “Look how mean and judge-y people are to me!”  and who claims not to be a theologian would throw out the heresy accusation.  Oops.  I mean, that’s right up there with him calling people “haters” awhile back.  Let’s stop to pause and think about the fact Fr. Martin almost weekly gives a “mean tweets” reading and he goes and calls those who follow the Catechism heretics.  I don’t think the hypocrisy gets any better than this.

It seems that some rather faithful priests/people decided to call him on his heretical views (and came to the same conclusion as the kids camping with us). What a riot!  https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/priests-scold-celebrity-jesuit-fr.-james-martin-for-ignorance-arrogance (Hysterical list of responses not to miss!) and here’s another rebuttal by ChurchPOP.  https://churchpop.com/2017/08/21/no-jesus-did-not-learn-to-overcome-prejudice-from-the-canaanite-woman/

Ironically, Fr. Martin likes to say WE do not see Christ as truly human and truly divine but he’s the one who denies the divinity thing.  Let me let you in on a not so secretive idea.  God doesn’t contradict himself,  Fr. Martin.  While, yes, God placed Himself on the human timeline in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, this didn’t lead Him to ever be contrary to His divine nature.  In other words, Christ understood His messianic mission while He needed to learn how to walk as a toddler as pointed out by the Catechism and many a good priest.  Fr. Martin, SJ.?  Well, he’s, oh, so fond of the fully human side (a la’ the Last Temptation of Christ type of human) but he is the one who seems to buy into Nestorianism on the fully divine issue.  I’m sure he’s fully aware and understands the doctrine on the matter.  I think he just prefers to lead people astray.

Now, why does Fr. Martin and his ilk persist putting forth this silly notion?  Well, this was shown quite clearly in the “homily” I had to endure.  It’s to put forth their social agenda.  If they get people to think Christ didn’t know how to deal with the marginalized but learned that he was wrong, shouldn’t we have to achieve that to be Christ-like?  (Can you even believe they are trying to float this? It’s simply a narcissistic play to the rest of the congregation.) Problem. This isn’t what Christ did.  Does he believe people are that gullible?  Well, I guess they are or he wouldn’t have a following.

Nice try Fr. Martin and cult.  Nice try.

 

 

The Martin Chronicles

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

Here is my dose of irony for the day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ilze Scamparini:

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

Pope Francis:

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

Back to the LifeSiteNews article…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catholic Homophobia: Patheos or Pathetic?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How nice of you to notice!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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