Where Has All the Affective Maturity Gone?

Wow! I have been watching the Jesuit spin machine.  It’s been set on high the last few days. They have been in such a frenzy, they’re tying themselves in knots! The pope has been saying the exact same thing for years now and the liberals know it so I’m not sure it’s worth their effort. Yes, we have homosexual clergy and religious (and yes, he uses that title Fr. Martin so despises), but that doesn’t mean we should stop saying this is imprudent and knowingly let them get to their final vows and promises.

In new book on clergy and religious life, Pope Francis addresses homosexuality

<snip>

“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case. We have to be exacting. In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church,” the pope says in the book “The Strength of a Vocation,” set to be released Dec. 3 in ten languages.

What?  “Very serious issue”?   What happened to Fr. Martin and homosexuality’s “special gifts”??? No wonder why he’s working so hard to say that isn’t really what the Holy Father is saying.  I’ve sat here all weekend watching him tweet things like “disingenuous”, “not what he said”, etc. Poor guy, grasping at straws only to find they’ve been banned.

In an excerpt from the book, released Friday by Religión Digital, the pope said he is concerned about the issue of evaluating and forming people with homosexual tendencies in the clergy and consecrated life.

“This is something I am concerned about, because perhaps at one time it did not receive much attention,” he said.

He is right to be concerned. I’m not so sure it hasn’t been given much attention in the last few decades, but it is VERY concerning. Sadly, at least in American seminaries, huge efforts have instead been made to accommodate, recruit and enable homosexuality in the priesthood. In fact, I think it’s fair to say, in many areas heterosexual men have been drummed out of seminary under the “too rigid” canard. They’re the ones who had to sit down and keep their mouths shut if they had any hope of getting to their vocation. So, yes, I’d say homosexuality during formation got a lot of attention – just the wrong kind.

Francis said that with candidates for the priesthood or religious life “we have to take great care during formation in the human and affective maturity. We have to seriously discern, and listen to the voice of experience that the Church also has. When care is not taken in discerning all of this, problems increase. As I said before, it can happen that at the time perhaps they didn’t exhibit [that tendency], but later on it comes out.”

This has really got to rain on the LGBTSJ parade. He just said we have to listen to the experience of the Church which has consistently said that homosexuals should not be admitted to the clergy and religious life. He’s also suggesting serious vetting to make sure there is no homosexual tendency. Wow! Kind of sounds like what a huge chunk of people have been saying for YEARS!!! And here I thought we were super mean for saying that???

Still, let me tell you what the spin is on this is going to be: “Well, of course we have to educate people on integrating their sexuality and their vocation. It’s not that the pope doesn’t think gays should be in the priesthood, it’s just that they need to be educated.” 

“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case,” the pope reiterated.

Francis recalled that one time “I had a somewhat scandalized bishop here who told me that he had found out that in his diocese, a very large diocese, there were several homosexual priests and that he had to deal with all that, intervening, above all, in the formation process, to form a different group of clergy.”

Umm, please note that the Holy Father didn’t say that this bishop was a big meanie nor that he was wrong to intervene in the formation process that allowed ordination of several homosexual priests. (Apparently Pope Francis didn’t get the memo from Fr. Martin that we are supposed to call them “gay”, not “homosexual”, because that’s their preference. He’s apparently as disrespectful as the rest of us.) Pope Francis is saying that this is what needs to be done.

“It’s a reality we can’t deny. There is no lack of cases in the consecrated life either. A religious told me that, on a canonical visit to one of the provinces in his congregation, he was surprised. He saw that there were good young students and even some already professed religious who were gay,” he related.

The pope said that the religious “wondered if it were an issue and asked me if there was something wrong with that.” Francis said he was told by one religious superior that the issue was not “that serious, it’s just an expression of an affection.”

Let’s take time to ponder this. Nowhere did the Holy Father nor the religious superior indicate that these religious who were homosexual were committing homosexual acts.  Meanwhile, Fr. Martin has been working overtime to equate “affection” with “homosexual acts” while at the same time telling everyone else, “the pope didn’t say that.” Well, hello, Fr. Martin! The Holy Father didn’t say the religious superior was wondering if it was OK for his guys to have homosexual sex! Geez.

“That’s a mistake,” Francis warned. “It’s not just an expression of an affection. In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the Church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life. The ministry or the consecrated life is not his place.”

BOOM! No, it’s not another earthquake in Alaska. Several Jesuit heads just exploded all at once. Just for fun, I looked up “affection.” Nowhere is the definition sex of any kind nor is it a verb. Oops.

“af·fec·tion /əˈfekSH(ə)n/ noun

  1. a gentle feeling of fondness or liking”

 

We “have to urge homosexual priests, and men and women religious to live celibacy with integrity, and above all, that they be impeccably responsible, trying to never scandalize either their communities or the faithful holy people of God by living a double life. It’s better for them to leave the ministry or the consecrated life rather than to live a double life.”

Fr. Martin and buddies seem quite fond of trying to use this particular quote to say, “See!  It’s OK if gays are allowed to enter the priesthood or religious life as long as they keep their vows and promises!” This is not what Pope Francis is saying in the least. The Holy Father is acknowledging the sad reality that the poor screening (or, in my opinion, reverse screening) has allowed people to make vows and promises that weren’t suited to do so. Those who have been allowed to do so must live chaste, celibate lives and not cause scandal. Duh!  It doesn’t mean that we should keep the status quo of putting them in situations of temptation.   

The pope was asked in the book if there are limits to what can be tolerated in formation.

“Of course. When there are candidates with neurosis, marked imbalances, difficult to channel not even with therapeutic help, they shouldn’t be accepted to either the priesthood or the religious life, They should be helped to take another direction (but they should not be abandoned. They should be guided, but they should not be admitted. Let us always bear in mind that they are persons who are going to live in the service of the Church, of the Christian community, of the people of God. Let’s not forget that perspective. We have to care for them so they are psychologically and affectively healthy,” the pope replied.

Umm, he just paraphrased “Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood”, a document Fr. Martin and ilk would rather you didn’t know about, so please give it a read. 

10. It is possible that the candidate – notwithstanding his own commitment and the support of the psychologist, or psychotherapy – could continue to show himself unable to face realistically his areas of grave immaturity – even given the gradual nature of all human growth. Such areas of immaturity would include strong affective dependencies; notable lack of freedom in relations; excessive rigidity of character; lack of loyalty; uncertain sexual identity; deep-seated homosexual tendencies; etc. If this should be the case, the path of formation will have to be interrupted.

The same is also true if it becomes evident that the candidate has difficulty living chastity in celibacy: that is, if celibacy, for him, is lived as a burden so heavy that it compromises his affective and relational equilibrium.”

Just like Pope Francis, nowhere does this document say that one simply has to keep to chastity and celibacy to enter the priesthood. Evidence that one cannot is just one more reason to bar them from formation. Uncertain sexual identity and deep-seated homosexual tendencies are enough.

Another little document (and by little I mean big) that Fr. Martin and friends don’t want you to know about is “Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders”:

This document states that:

In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question[9], cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”[10].

Can you see why the LGBTSJ crowd and those that support calling them that might not want you to see this document??? Seminarians are not even supposed to “support the so-called ‘gay culture’” to be admitted to seminary, and we’ve got way too many priests already ordained who participate in “pride parades!” 

Why aren’t they supposed to be allowed? Oh, yes, there is one very good reason.

Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women

Both of these important documents on admission to the priesthood talk of “affective maturity.” We need to get this back into the discussion because it is very important, yet the homosexual lobby (can people really deny there’s one of these anymore?) doesn’t understand it in the least. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the term used in America Magazine lately, if ever. Pope John Paul II tells us what it is and why it’s a decisive factor for the priesthood in “Pastores Dabo Vobis” (emphasis mine).

In this context affective maturity, which is the result of an education in true and responsible love, is a significant and decisive factor in the formation of candidates for the priesthood.

  1. Affective maturity presupposes an awareness that love has a central role in human life. In fact, as I have written in the encyclical Redemptor Hominis, “Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself; his life is meaningless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.(126)

We are speaking of a love that involves the entire person, in all his or her aspects – physical, psychic and spiritual – and which is expressed in the “nuptial meaning” of the human body, thanks to which a person gives oneself to another and takes the other to oneself. A properly understood sexual education leads to understanding and realizing this “truth” about human love. We need to be aware that there is a widespread social and cultural atmosphere which “largely reduces human sexuality to the level of something commonplace, since it interprets and lives it in a reductive and impoverished way by linking it solely with the body and with selfish pleasure.“(127) Sometimes the very family situations in which priestly vocations arise will display not a few weaknesses and at times even serious failings.

In such a context, an education for sexuality becomes more difficult but also more urgent. It should be truly and fully personal and therefore should present chastity in a manner that shows appreciation and love for it as a “virtue that develops a person’s authentic maturity and makes him or her capable of respecting and fostering the ‘nuptial meaning’ of the body.”(128)

Education for responsible love and the affective maturity of the person are totally necessary for those who, like the priest, are called to celibacy, that is, to offer with the grace of the Spirit and the free response of one’s own will the whole of one’s love and care to Jesus Christ and to his Church. In view of the commitment to celibacy, affective maturity should bring to human relationships of serene friendship and deep brotherliness a strong, lively and personal love for Jesus Christ. As the synod fathers have written, “A love for Christ, which overflows into a dedication to everyone, is of the greatest importance in developing affective maturity. Thus the candidate, who is called to celibacy, will find in affective maturity a firm support to live chastity in faithfulness and joy.”(129)

Since the charism of celibacy, even when it is genuine and has proved itself, leaves one’s affections and instinctive impulses intact, candidates to the priesthood need an affective maturity which is prudent, able to renounce anything that is a threat to it, vigilant over both body and spirit, and capable of esteem and respect in interpersonal relationships between men and women. A precious help can be given by a suitable education to true friendship, following the image of the bonds of fraternal affection which Christ himself lived on earth (cf. Jn. 11:5). 

Human maturity, and in particular affective maturity, requires a clear and strong training in freedom, which expresses itself in convinced and heartfelt obedience to the “truth of one’s own being, to the “meaning” of one’s own existence, that is to the “sincere gift of self” as the way and fundamental content of the authentic realization of self.(130) Thus understood, freedom requires the person to be truly master of oneself, determined to fight and overcome the different forms of selfishness and individualism which threaten the life of each one, ready to open out to others, generous in dedication and service to one’s neighbor. This is important for the response that will have to be given to the vocation, and in particular to the priestly vocation, and for faithfulness to it and to the commitments connected with it, even in times of difficulty. On this educational journey toward a mature, responsible freedom, the community life of the seminary can provide help.(131)

So, I’m just going to say it. I don’t see affective maturity in priests who are more focused on “coming out,” encouraging others to “come out”, etc. Instead, I see them acting in a manner that “largely reduces human sexuality to the level of something commonplace, since it interprets and lives it in a reductive and impoverished way by linking it solely with the body and with selfish pleasure.” JPII NAILED IT! Our priests need affective maturity so they can correctly relate to men and women. This is why I’ve said before that I don’t want my priests to consider themselves “gay priests” or “heterosexual priests.”  I just want them to consider themselves faithful priests. The pro-LGBTQXYZ clergy and religious are striving for the wrong title. They wouldn’t know affective maturity if it bit them in the behind.

  

 

 

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Where’s Fr. Martin SJ?

Out @ St. Paul is one of James Martin, SJ’s favorite clubs. He re-tweets his pride for them quite often. He portrays them as just a benign, loving support group for those who are so oppressed by the Church simply for trying to be faithful Catholics that She needs to change for them. The reality is they completely support engaging in sodomy, entering into “gay marriages,” and engaging in the slander and detraction of Bishop Morlino, all while continuing to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Let’s look at just two of their tweets from this last week and you can tell me how loving and moral they are.

First we have this…

outatstpaul

Harvey Milk was NO saint and no martyr for the Faith. To portray him as such is such a dishonor to saints, especially saints like Charles Lwanga. Milk was a homosexual man who sexually preyed on teen runaways who were homeless and resorted to prostitution.  He even encouraged boys to run away to join him in San Francisco. We’re not even talking about teens who were above the statutory age, which is really irrelevant but people are going to make the claim it is. He admits some of these relationships and/or parents intercepted his letters. Even his own biographer friend, Randy Shilts, wrote, “Harvey always had a penchant for young waifs with substance abuse problems.”  Sadly, at least one of his victims committed suicide years later. So, please, Fr. Martin and his buddies who talk about how we’re so mean or how horrible the abuse of minors is might want to zip it instead of trying to claim loving, moral superiority.  Of course, there wasn’t a peep from Fr. Martin to build his bridge and point out the Church’s position on this.

And then there’s this…

bishopmorlino

Bishop Morlino was NOT an opponent of LGBT people.  He was an opponent of the LGBT lifestyle. He LOVED people suffering from same-sex attraction so much that he spoke the hard truth to them. On the occasion of his death, to say that he was an enemy of anyone, that he hated anyone, that he committed calumny or persecution is disgusting. And still no peep from Fr. Martin on this one, either.

Out @ St. Paul is not some warm, cozy support group for those intent on living the chaste life. They’re not some group of persecuted who just want to be accepted so they can practice the Faith in peace. It is a militant group seeking to thwart as many of the Church’s teachings as they see fit. 

I call on Fr. James Martin, SJ, to condemn these scurrilous posts and tweets. I know he won’t, but it just shows, once again, show how fake his bridge overtures are. The bridge only leads one way – away from the Church that wants the best for all of us.+

 

Frustrated? Feeling Low? Deal!

Not to get all “mommy” on you but sometimes I feel like I’m dealing with the endless amount of dirty laundry and every time I feel like I might see the end of the pile, the washer or dryer breaks. Except it’s not really laundry right now. It’s the crud in the Church. It just never ends and we can’t seem to catch a break, right?  This is where I was this weekend with the death of Bishop Morlino right on the heels of the disastrous USCCB meeting.

Thankfully, I got the one two punch I needed to keep my chin up and move on. First of all, I hit confession. I admitted feeling a weeeeeeeee bit of frustration after hearing about Bishop Morlino’s death. I mean, really??? We have how many bishops and God chose to take him. Of course, my priest told me what I really already knew. He’s an even greater advocate for us now. My priest also reminded me not to be part of the problem. I also get that. It’s not like the Holy Father doesn’t score a small point when he mentions gossip even though my guess is he says it because he’d just like a little silence. “My side” has a problem with that sometimes, too.

Then it seems I got right out of the confessional and got a homily on speaking the truth. Yep! There’s definitely a balance there that those in the blogosphere have to get right. I’m sure I fall short on some days, but I’m still trying. And there’s also a message about not giving up on the truth and St. Paul and all that good stuff. Around this time of year, it’s mighty tempting just to take a super long vacation. I mean, I’m not getting paid to do this so crawling back into my Catholic cave is appealing. That said, I have a sneaking suspicion this is the devil trying to sideline me. This is not the time for any of us to let up.

Now let’s go back to my warning from the confessional and things about which I think we all need to be careful. I’m sure this isn’t going to be popular to hear for many and this blog post might not even see the light of day, but here goes.

Let me contend with the whole theory that the Pope isn’t the pope. I’m not going to say the assumption is wrong, although I suspect it is. It’s like people don’t remember we’ve had less than stellar popes that were still actually popes, just bad ones. But let me tell you why I think questioning whether Pope Francis is really the pope or calling him “Bergoglio” is a colossal waste of time and damages “the cause.” IT’S NOT OUR CALL!  Seriously, until Pope Benedict XVI rises up and says “Just kidding!” which is not going to happen, the only other person who can make that judgment is the next holy father. Now, he may in fact do so, but we’re wasting time on this one.  So much more energy could go elsewhere. Please note, saying the Holy Father is ambiguous or has a poor management style, etc., etc., etc., is not something out of our scope. I’m not even close to saying we have to sit on our hands and shut up.

Now, is there some way through canon law he could cease to be pope or be declared as such? People have been mulling this over for centuries and, who knows, there might just be a loophole there somewhere, but good luck with that.  And, really, can you imagine if someone tried to make this move?  I can’t even imagine the split in the Church then. Canon Law even says that the Pope can be judged if he deviates from the Faith and he can retire, but it never mentions who would be the judge when it says no one can judge the pope. It’s all so easy to wish this away with the “He can’t possibly be the REAL pope!” wish.  Get over it. All we have is this, which is why I’m sticking with my “We’re stuck waiting to see how that shakes out until the next pope comes along.”  

http://catholicplanet.org/councils/20-Pastor-Aeternus.htm
And since, by the Divine right of Apostolic primacy, the Roman Pontiff is placed over the Universal Church, We further teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, [12] and that in all causes, the decision of which belongs to the Church, recourse may be had to his tribunal, [13] and that none may re-open the judgment of the Apostolic See, for none has greater authority, nor can anyone lawfully review its judgment. [14] Therefore, they stray from the right course who assert that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman Pontiffs to an Ecumenical Council, as if to an authority higher than that of the Roman Pontiff.

If anyone, then, shall say that the Roman Pontiff has the office merely of inspection or direction, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the Universal Church, not only in things which belong to faith and morals, but also in those which relate to the discipline and government of the Church spread throughout the world; or assert that he possesses merely the principal part, and not all the fullness of this supreme power; or that this power which he enjoys is not ordinary and immediate, both over each and all the Churches and over each and all the Pastors and the faithful; let him be anathema.”

So, again, why are we wasting time on this?  We’ll know at some point in the nearish future.  Just call him by his title and move on to more concrete and valid points. It’s a distraction from some really valuable points.

We also really need to stop throwing out accusations where we have no proof.  For example, I completely think that Fr. Martin is probably suffering from same-sex attraction, but I really have zero proof.  Same goes for a few other priests, bishops and cardinals.  We do, however, have enough to be upset about with all the damaging FACTS of heresy, malfeasance, weird tweets.  Now, if you’re an investigative reporter, follow the leads, but until you get to the proof, focus on where you have proof.  I don’t have to sit around and wonder if Fr. Martin is SSA.  I do have irrefutable proof, though, that he’s not discouraging people and is even encouraging people to live active homosexual lifestyles and sooooo many other things (go ahead and search my blog). I mean, he’s stated tangible heresy and immorality.  I don’t need to know his attractions.  I need to show that he runs counter to the Church and why.  And, I can easily show that HIS way doesn’t work via his lifelong friend in a “gay marriage” who he’s never managed to get out of the active homosexual lifestyle.  So much for the bridge.  It’s ending exactly where we said it would.

There’s a few other areas where we need to reform and to focus like a laser on the truth that we can show with facts. We need to make sure we are acting in our purview and we need not usurp the authority we do not have.  Even if we are right in our suspicions, we will hang ourselves.  Investigate at will.  I encourage it, because uncovering facts are never a bad thing, even if the facts may show evil.  Just don’t get antsy to spill the goods.

I’ve seen many of you downtrodden over the state of the Church.  Personally, I think I’m living in an awesome time because, as history shows us, the hard times are how saints are made!  I think, for the first time in my life (I’m not that old so we’re not talking about the entire history of the Church by any means), people are paying attention. They aren’t asleep anymore.  It’s total and complete proof that God can take a bad situation and still bring about good.  I see it on the blogs, on Twitter, in the fasting and prayer, with statements some bishops and cardinals have made, etc.  People are making a stand for the Faith and are doing SOMETHING!  Seriously!  When have you seen many bishops asking us to fast, abstain and make reparations (much to Fr. James Martin, SJ’s chagrin)??? (And, yes, he did express anger that people would be asked to make reparation. It’s not a hunch!) So, don’t be disheartened!  Be thrilled to live in a time where the Church in our country has a pulse!

Let’s all follow Bishop Molino’s most excellent example and persevere to the end!  I’m a mom.  If I can stare laundry in the face day in and day out for decades, we can all do this together!  With God all things are possible!  Carry on!

 

Martin’s Twitter Manifesto

Fr. Martin is now using Twitter to post his latest book.  Honestly, by using 15 tweets to get his latest message of dissent across, he’s kind of violating the spirit of Tweeting, don’t you think?  If you can’t get your point across in 280 characters, move onto another platform.

Fr. Martin has apparently decided the crisis is so huge that he can move into full Saul Alinsky mode. 

Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. ~Saul Alinsky

Of course Rahm Emmanuel made this tactic a little clearer when he said:

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before. 

The radicals’ modus operandi has always been to exploit the victims of a crisis and, in fact, even cause a crisis to advance their agenda.  Good old Fr. Martin is just another in a long list of dissenters who embraces this idea, as shown in his string of tweets found here: https://twitter.com/JamesMartinSJ/status/1036280808724733952

For those who abhor Twitter and social media, here are all his tweets nicely copied and pasted for you with my comments in between. 

Dear friends: Like you, I am sick about what is happening in our church. Like you, I’ve prayed about how best to move ahead. Our church will survive. The “gates of hell” will not prevail against it, as Jesus Christ himself promised us.

We stood against you this long, Fr. Martin.  We’re quite sure of Christ’s promise.  I’m pretty sure your world is about to turn upside-down, though.

But Christ, through the Holy Spirit, urges us to act: to rebuild the church and help his holy and faithful people.  Without certain steps, people will flow out of the church, never to return, like water from the side of the Crucified One on Good Friday.

What the what?!  Fr. Martin is comparing water flowing from the side of Christ to people leaving the Church???  I know he’s fond of saying “I’m not a theologian!” but how awful is that comparison?  The water from the side of Christ was a fulfillment of prophecy and had so much good symbolism for our Church. Martin’s comparison turns that on its head.  Here’s something for you to read if you don’t believe me: https://catholicexchange.com/the-meaning-of-his-piercing

As happened when Christ spoke the Truth, some left and some will still leave.  This is never a reason to downplay or distort the truth. 

Some of you may not agree with each step,

I’d take that bet in a heartbeat! 

but I believe that each one is essential for us to rebuild the church. This list is by no means complete or exhaustive.  With a focus on the US church, and in order of immediacy, they are as follows:

I’m glad you admit it is incomplete, because it lacks any sort of spiritual dimension to fight the battle ahead.  While cardinals and bishops across the country – and indeed the world – are suggesting prayer, penance, sacrifice, spiritual reparation, prayer to St. Michael after all Masses, etc., what it the world are you suggesting?  Oh, yes, removing anything that causes us the slightest bit of inconvenience or hardship.

First, while journalists have discredited large sections of the Vigano “testimony,” and while many charges have been shown to be baseless, one answer that journalists will not be able to uncover is Pope Francis’s knowledge and actions regarding the McCarrick case.

If wishes were ponies, Fr. Martin!  You won’t even address the charges.  With a wave of your hand, you try using Jedi mind tricks.  “These are not the charges you are looking for!”  Let me clue you in.  You are not Sir Alec Guinness by any stretch of the imagination.  Your delivery causes a HUGE chunk of the Church to chuckle.  It’s such a desperate, desperate attempt.

The faithful are exceedingly confused about this one question; a short and simple answer from the Pope, or from the Vatican, on that specific issue will help us move us ahead.

Isn’t it curious that you think you get to dictate the questions we find credible and worthy of answering?  The Pope answering yes or no to a single question is never going to move us ahead.  By the way, the only response we’ve gotten in the entire disastrous crisis is, “No comment, you hateful people!”.  I’m hoping and praying that will change, but I seriously doubt it.

Second, dioceses and religious orders should open their abuse files to the public, rather than waiting until they are forced to. Otherwise, the church will face years of civic authorities uncovering our crimes and sins. Confession is not about just what you’re forced to reveal

So, let me get this right.  The dioceses and religious orders should open their files, but the Vatican should not have to, as you and your buddy, Austen, think? 

ceoquote

Your idea is just to have the Holy Father give us a yes or no and go with it?  When there are documents that could answer the charges? (Although I’m betting a whole lot of shredding has been going on in various places in the Church hierarchy, it’s only a guess.  That’s OK, Vigano probably still has a copy of all of it.)

Third, lay leaders should investigate the McCarrick case. More importantly, lay leaders should be placed in charge of all review boards in both dioceses and religious orders, if they are not already in charge. The system has shown that it cannot police itself.

Why?  It’s a simple question.  It would seem you’ve said on more than one occasion the unscrupulous live in my world, too. Weren’t the guys at the Vatican bank members of the laity? That didn’t work out too well, did it?  What is the benefit of simply having the laity investigate when we can be just as wicked?  I’d be a little worried if we were talking about putting Jesuits in charge, but I’m quite comfortable with Church investigating the Church.  Oh, and I’m definitely not comfortable with anyone who reads the National catholic Reporter going anywhere near the Church files. That’s for sure.  They’re gullible or agenda driven.  How about I just pick who gets to investigate?  I’m reasonably sure I could do a good job.

Fourth, bishops found guilty of abuse, or of covering up the crimes, must be removed from their posts as soon as possible. Perhaps just as important, when bishops resign, the Vatican must be clear about the actual reasons for their resignations.

Really?  YOU want to go there?  I’d have to think we’d be pulling out a lot more of your friends than mine, but hey, I’m willing to give it a try.  That said, why limit it to bishops?  How about priests? How about cardinals?

Fifth, demonization within the church must end. It is a stumbling block to healing and a desolation to all. Social media has played a malign role. The stereotyping of whole groups (gays, celibates, bishops, conservatives, liberals) must end. Personal vilification must stop.

You’re a uniter, not a divider, huh, Fr. Martin?  This is a classic liberal tactic.  Wreak havoc and then put yourself in there as the healer, Messiah, etc., etc., etc.  You are very, very guilty of demonization.  The “holier than though” ploy doesn’t work here, Father. You revel in ad hominems with zero back-up so save it. 

Sixth, public acts of penance from the hierarchy must take place. Letters and statements are, as we have seen, insufficient. The laity should decide what form these ritual acts should take. Symbols, as well as practical action, matter as well here.

What in THE heck are you talking about here?  Does this mean you think sack cloths and ashes will make everything OK.  I might remind you that private acts of The many bishops who have weighed in on Vigano’s claims have talked of penance and reparations on behalf of the abusers and those that covered it up, and they’re not even the guilty ones.   We want a spiritual and moral cleansing in our Church.  We’re fine with a thorough investigation here and at the Vatican.  The only people trying to thwart any of these is in your club.

Seventh, both married men and women must be included in all levels of decision-making in the church—including heading Vatican congregations, helping to select bishops, reforming the Curia, etc.

We’re now in our second decade of you trying to put the laity in charge of the Church, yet you never seem to explain why a Church that has survived 2,000 years without that has to do this.  Methinks you’re just hoping to get your cast of same-sex attracted, feminists, and dissenters into these positions.  I’m just guessing your whole attitude would change if, say, Janet Smith was put in charge. Janet! Janet!

Married men and women must also be included in all levels of leadership—including leadership in the church’s liturgical life, something of immense symbolic importance. Married priests and women deacons are a start.

Boom!  And the laundry list is complete. Please note the use of “are a start.”  Pray-tell, where would we go from there, Fr. Martin?  Could it be priestesses?  Could it be active homosexual priests?  Lesbian priestesses?  I can’t even imagine all the nightmares running around in your hopes and dreams.

Eighth, a thoroughgoing review of seminary and religious formation, especially regarding education in human sexuality, must happen—again.  There are still seminaries and religious orders where candidates are incapable of, or prevented from, discussing their own sexuality.

OK, again, I’m going to suggest Janet Smith also be put in charge of that.  Whaaaattt?!  Not what you had in mind? What could the problem be?   I’m going to quote myself for a change:

I don’t want to hear about “gay priests.”  I don’t want to hear about “straight priests.”  I don’t want to hear about any priests who spend time focusing on their “sexual identity.”  I want priests who focus on serving God and who focus on leading his people to Heaven.  Anyone doing less than that shouldn’t be a priest.  So, if your focus is on you and your sexual inclinations, please leave.

Your “identity” was already given to you by God.  It reflects your body.  Your inclinations, that’s a whole other ballgame.

Ninth, clericalism must die. The system that privileges the word and status of bishops and priests over those of lay people (and parents); that insists on an exaggerated deference for clergy and bishops, and that has functioned as a closed world, must be dismantled.

Uh, there’s no system of “privileges.”  If by privilege you mean giving up and dying to oneself in order to serve God’s people, I will never give up considering my priests privileged.  I respect them as priests of God, which is simply a better status.  Now if you mean privileged as in your cronies who attend gala after gala and are regaled upon, I’d agree. Let’s see?  Who does that again?  Does the Met Gala ring a bell to the priest all excited about being called “sexy?”

Our priests should live as humble servants of Christ, honored and loved by their flocks as a family honors and loves their father.  I realize being a humble servant isn’t in your wheelhouse, but it is to faithful priests.  This, as I’ve said before, isn’t wholesale clericalism.  It’s the clericalism of priests trying to normalize the same-sex attraction, like you, Father Martin.

Finally, despair about this situation must be resisted. Despair does not come from God. The Holy Spirit is with us, and will help us through even the most difficult of times. We must never forget Jesus’s words to his disciples: “Fear not!”

Oh, I don’t despair.  In fact, I have more hope than I had yesterday about the direction of the Church. When you’ve hit rock bottom, you can only go up.  A full and complete investigation of the Truth is what will bring beauty and glory back to the Church.  That’s what we want, and we want it now.  Any suggestion from you that we should investigate all claims of whatever will be smacked down and thrown back at you as the obfuscator you are.

On that note, I’d like to let my readers know that I got into Catholic activism in 2002 because of this ongoing abuse scandal. Before that, I spent my time happily focusing on my kids.  Sadly, the liberals in my diocese who worship Fr. James Martin, SJ, decided to co-opt the victims’ pain to promote a liberal agenda which had nothing to do with priests abusing children, and they continued to cover-up for their buddies who had done things like getting arrested in a public restroom for indecent activity and propositioning an undercover officer.  If you think their focus is the victims, think again.

I will tell you this, don’t think you’re helpless because you don’t have a doctorate in theology.  A bunch of nothing special laity affected great change in our diocese and Church, and you can too.  Despite the calls for more involvement from the laity, the Fr. Martins of the world are scared by the laity being on fire more than anything else. If you think you can’t do undercover work, write, be a thorn for the diocesan dissenter, affect change, etc., I’m here to tell you if I can do it, anyone can. No special talent needed, just a lot of prayers to the Holy Spirit and hope.  Those who have been through the worst of the worst brought all this crud to light and so can you.

Stephen Herried had a very poignant tweet.

 

Stephen Herreid

While I don’t have a problem with sophisticates and I learn tons from them, it’s going to take far more of us than that.  Activists are simply people who are active.   This needs to be all of us.

#Resign #NoMoreSilence #Investigate

Martin’s Cozy with Proximate Occasions of Sin

Let me say this, I am a mom of a multitude of kids and have spent their lives trying to ensure their safety and well-being.  I have THE biggest stake with what’s been going on in the Church for decades.  Fr. James Martin totally and utterly ignores my kids as well as yours in his quest to legitimize his pet proclivities.  It’s sickening and he needs to stop. I hope the mothers of the world will let him have it!

The witch hunt for gay priests

James Martin, S.J.

August 30, 2018

I object to the title in so many ways.  First of all, I don’t want to hear about “gay priests.”  I don’t want to hear about “straight priests.”  I don’t want to hear about any priests who spend time focusing on their “sexual identity.”  I want priests who focus on serving God and who focus on leading his people to Heaven.  Anyone doing less than that shouldn’t be a priest.  So, if your focus is on you and your sexual inclinations, please leave.

I’ve probably told this story before, but  under our old regime with one of Cardinal Mahony’s buddies, we once had a priest luncheon in our diocese to “support gay priests.”  A few faithful priests, befuddled, went just to see what it was all about.  One of them courageously stood up and asked, “Why in the world would you want to be known as a ‘gay priest?’  I just want to be known as a Catholic priest.”  Amen, Father!  Amen!  I have no idea if this priest would be attracted to men or attracted to women, because his focus was on God as it should be. 

This is the biggest problem with any priest who wants to be considered a “gay priest.”  The focus is on them.  The focus is on normalizing “gay.” The focus is on undermining Church teaching to normalize “gay.”  This is why they are so hostile to the catechism’s use of “disordered.”  Rather than helping people to deal with this particular disorder like they would any other – drug use, alcoholism, etc. – they want to simply call it something else.

I was just talking to a priest friend the other day about this.  I’m quite sure there are some priests, who if they sat around and focused on it, could conclude they were same-sex attracted.  But they don’t.  They focus on Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Holy Eucharist.  That’s their whole-hearted attraction.  They’re focus is quite vertical.  I have ZERO problem with them, because their world is about getting to Heaven and about getting others to Heaven. They are in love and attracted to God.  Who could have a problem with that?  These priests are usually infectious and help us overcome all of our disordered tendencies no matter what they are: SSA, infidelity, drug/alcohol use, etc., etc., etc.  They’re not same-sex attracted because their attraction is, again, completely vertical.  This is what I want in a priest. 

So, any priest who has slapped one of the “identity” titles on themselves has already failed their ordained mission.

The next thing I’d like to point out is purely practical.  We don’t house our priests with our sisters.  My gosh.  For this same reason, people who identify as same-sex attracted should not be in the priesthood for their own good as well as ours.  Talk about putting yourself in a near occasion of sin!  The sin with that lies not in acting on the attraction but in putting yourself in an occasion to act on it.  Again, why would I want a priest who is willing to put his hand on the hot stove??? Duh.  If they are doing it, how can they possibly tell their flock not to?  Do they tell the alcoholic to go hang out in a bar?  Do they tell the guy prone to watching porn to go play pool in a strip club?  I’m sure some these days too because they’re hardly ones to talk!  How is it that Fr. Martin is going to keep promoting the idea that this should be done???  It’s got to be one of the most uncharitable things I’ve seen.

It is not surprising that Catholics are furious about the latest sex abuse crisis, which began, most recently, with accusations of abuse and harassment against the former cardinal-archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick; deepened with the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing 70 years of abuse in the Commonwealth; and intensified with the former Vatican nuncio to the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s 11-page “testimony” accusing many high-ranking clerics, including Pope Francis, with covering up the crimes.

Catholics have a right to be angry at abusive clergy, at bishops who covered up their crimes and at the sclerotic clerical system that allowed the crimes and cover-ups to go unpunished for decades.


Oh, gag, Father Martin.  Thank you SO MUCH for giving us your permission to be angry at abusive clergymen. It also seems like you realized the “shoot the messenger” tactic was a bust.  How about you now give us permission to be angry at the circumstances that got them there?  

But the intensity of hate and level of anger directed at gay priests are unprecedented in my memory.

What I mean by “gay priests” is ordained priests with a homosexual orientation who are living their promises of celibacy (and in religious orders, their vows of chastity). That it is necessary even to define the term “gay priest” points out the widespread misinformation about what has become perhaps the most incendiary topic in the current discussion. A few commentators have even declared that the term “gay” implies that a priest must be sexually active. As I use the term, a “gay priest” simply means an ordained priest who has a homosexual orientation.

This is about occasions of sin, Father.  I’m sure you’re aware that there are proximate and remote occasions of sin, even though, as you like to put it, you are not a theologian.  This is Catholic 101.

Theologians distinguish between the proximate and the remote occasion. They are not altogether at one as to the precise value to be attributed to the terms. De Lugo defines proximate occasion (De poenit. disp. 14, n. 149) as one in which men of like calibre for the most part fall into mortal sin, or one in which experience points to the same result from the special weakness of a particular person. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11196a.htm

Certainly a same-sex attracted man willfully putting himself in a living situation with other men is a proximate occasion of sin. And, in many of our seminaries today, they’re also very willfully putting themselves in living situations with other people with same-sex attractions.  Sounds like a grand plan for a chaste life! I’d think you’d be appalled at male and female religious being housed together.  Why are you so obstinate that anyone who has an attraction to men shouldn’t be housed with them? Can you say double-standard? This is one big duh! Do you use any form of the Act of Contrition, Father?  Geez.

The long-simmering rage against gay priests and the supposed “homosexual subculture” or “Lavender Mafia” has been fanned into a fire that threatens to engulf not only faithful gay priests but also, more broadly, L.G.B.T. people.

OK, let’s talk about a homosexual subculture. Does McCarrick ring a bell?!?!  You want to call it clericalism and some want to call it a homosexual problem.  I think I have the balanced name for it.  This shall henceforth be known as “Clericalism of priests trying to normalize the same-sex attraction.” These guys cannot admit their sacred cow is not so sacred and so they try to keep it under wraps.  They’re willing to protect their agendas more than the victims.  As you admit later with the “hundreds of gay priests you know” comment, that subculture is there.  I know priests who have been run out of their seminaries because they weren’t willing to condone the sexual depravity going on around them.  I mean, before it was reformed recently, everyone knew that you couldn’t go to our local seminary if you were a faithful Catholic.  You’d never make through without being thrown or driven out. Almost all those who bought into all the teachings of the Church, especially in the area of homosexuality, had to attend seminary out-of-state. Thankfully our seminary has been fast-tracked for rehabilitation.

While the contempt directed at gay clergy is coming from just a handful of cardinals, bishops and priests, as well as a subset of Catholic commentators, it is as intense as it is dangerous. “It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord,” wrote Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis. A Swiss bishop, Marian Eleganti, declared that the “networks” of gay priests in the church must be investigated before the “great purification” can begin. A bishop in Kazakhstan, Athanasius Schneider, listing remedies for clergy abuse, began with this: “cleanse uncompromisingly the Roman Curia and the episcopate from homosexual cliques and networks.” Cardinal Raymond Burke, the influential former archbishop of St. Louis, said, “There is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root.”

This isn’t contempt.  It’s a reality.  It’s compassionate to the priests who consider themselves”gay” as well as to those who might be victims from abusing priests and many of those are people who simply couldn’t handle the proximate occasion of sin!  Homosexual abusers are 80% of the problem. Stop burying your head in the sand.

Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute, takes this to its inevitable conclusion, telling the Associated Press that what is needed is “a complete and thoroughgoing removal of all homosexual clergymen in the church.”

I dare anyone to read the first 300-pages of the Pennsylvania grand jury report and tell me that it’s the best start we could make, but surely more needs to be done, because there are some heterosexual abusers, too.  That said, this first step would eliminate 80% of the problem as quickly as possible.

In the last few days I have seen more homophobic comments on my social media accounts than ever before. The rise in vitriol is not surprising, especially after such comments from church leaders and Catholic commentators or after headlines like these: “Pope Blames Sex Abuse on Clericalism, Leaves Out Homosexuality”; “Sex Abuse Crisis in Church is about Homosexuality Not Pedophilia”; “Homosexual Predators, not Pedophile Priests, Are Church’s Deadly Cancer. 

What’s vitriolic about any of these?  Pedophilia is an outlier in the grand scheme of numbers.  Homosexuality isn’t.  I’m wondering if you would say that a someone suffering from pedophilia should be allowed to continue on or enter into the priesthood as long as they remain celibate?  After all, a pedophile is one who’s attracted to children (pre-pubescent).  It doesn’t necessarily mean acting on it. I dare you to say that’s just peachy.  If you can’t, then you are a hypocrite.  Either way, you lose.

Archbishop Viganò’s “testimony” was also rife with this same kind of language: “These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church.” (Full disclosure: both Archbishop Viganò in his “testimony” and Cardinal Burke in a recent interview have mentioned me by name.) 

And there it is. It’s all about you. They mentioned you by name because, well, you are kind of a jerk.  You put aside all reality for your pet proclivities.  You lead souls astray and you encourage people to “be themselves” (i.e., to act on their proclivities).  You try to normalize the disordered.  Etc., etc., etc. You’re nothing new.  You are just another in a long list (and the most notable today) and look where it’s gotten us?

It is important to say that the majority (but not all) of the clerical abuse crimes were cases of priests preying on male adolescents and boys. Also, the majority (but not all) of the sexual harassment cases were men harassing other men or young men. Prescinding from the complex psychological questions of how much a person’s sexuality has to do with abuse, how much differentials in power do and how much proximity does, we should state clearly: Many priests abusers had a homosexual orientation. That is undeniable.

Funny you should mention proximity.  Sorry, Father, but putting oneself in a proximate occasion of sin goes against everything the Church teaches.  You remember Christ’s words in Matthew 18:8?

And if thy hand, or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. 9And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Strange.  I don’t remember Christ saying “But if you’re homosexual, you get a pass on this. Go right ahead and move in with that near occasion of sin!”

But the next step is where the conversation can take a dangerous turn. That many abusers were gay priests does not mean that all or even most gay priests are abusers. It is a dangerous and unjust stereotype. Simply because a certain percentage of a group acts in a certain way does not mean the entire group or even most of the group acts in the same way.

Really?  You’re going to go with “The other guy did it too!”  Doesn’t fly with my kids and it doesn’t fly with you. TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT! If you were a victim of a homosexual predator, would you take comfort in knowing that some abusers weren’t homosexual???  You are completely deaf, Father Martin.  Yeah, let’s ignore 80% of the victims because 20% were victimized by a mix of heterosexual predators and pedophiles? 

Then why does it seem like so many gay priests are abusive?

Uh, because they’ve repeatedly put themselves in a proximate occasion of sin, perhaps?!

One reason is that there are no public examples of the healthy, celibate gay priests to counteract these stereotypes. Why not? Because gay priests are not willing to be as public about their identity as straight priests are. For example, in a community suffering from a spate of L.G.B.T. violence, there can be no references in a Sunday homily to knowing what it is like to be bullied for being gay. The presider cannot say, “As a boy, I was bullied, too, for being gay.”

As I’ve said before, Fr. Martin, you first. After that – no, no, no, and no!

My friends suffering from same-sex attraction and striving to live celibate lifestyles all say about the same thing.  They say their relationships with strong, heterosexual, chaste, God-oriented men are what help them to live a chaste lifestyle.

“Why do gay priests feel that they cannot be public? For several reasons. First, the fear of coming out in this increasingly poisonous environment. (Ask yourself if you would come out when even bishops are calling for a “cleansing” of men like you.) Second, bishops and religious order superiors fear that their men (again, celibate and chaste priests) could be targeted by the media or homophobic websites. Third, an underlying shame about their sexuality. Fourth, an innate desire for privacy about a personal aspect of one’s life. Fifth, the fear that in the absence of other “out” priests one might become the “poster boy” for the group.”

Or, here’s another few reasons.  They have a conscience that won’t let them do it. Or, maybe, just maybe, some of them are not obsessed with defining their sexuality and only want to be known as Catholic priests? I mean, this is ridiculous.  Nobody is complaining about the priests with vertical thinking here.  They are complaining about priests who obsess about their sexual identity.  The good ones sit around thinking about God and his Church, and that’s how they live every day.  They care about being fathers to all of us, homosexual or heterosexual (and anything else you want to throw in there).  They believe in living a life of self-mastery in their devotion to God, not out of some martyrdom complex. They admit they have struggles in life but they don’t have to wear their sins like a badge and they simply invite people to struggle along with them.

Such reasons mean that the example of the many hardworking, healthy and celibate gay priests (and chaste members of religious orders) is almost entirely absent from both the church’s consciousness and the public eye. There are exceptions, like the Rev. Gregory Greiten of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Rev. Fred Daley of the Diocese of Syracuse, priests who have come out publicly as gay. But Fathers Greiten and Daley are two of only a handful of clergy like this. And until bishops and religious superiors support gay priests in their desires to be more public about who they are, and gay priests are willing to pay the price of honesty, the situation is unlikely to change.

You have failed to you why “I’m out and proud” is necessary to accomplish this.   Shouldn’t they simply be known as hardworking and healthy priests?  Or, how about devout priests instead of agenda driven?  Why is it that any priest who keeps his vows and helps everyone toward Heaven isn’t good enough for you, Father Martin? 

Consequently, the stereotype of the “gay priest abuser” now predominates. To use another example, imagine if the only stories aired about members of an ethnic, social or religious group were of those who had committed crimes. Further, imagine that no positive stories about their law-abiding members were made public. Eventually, the negative stereotype would dominate: “All members of this group are criminals.” (Sadly, this is not a hard scenario to imagine: Many ethnic groups face the same kinds of stereotypes.)

Because, Father Martin, “priestly abusers who are ‘gay’” cause  over 80% of the problem!!!   You’re repeatedly asking us to close our eyes to this fact.  I’m sorry it happened to anyone at all, but unlike you, I’m not gleeful to hear that abusers are one class or another.  I mean, I’m sure you breathe a sigh of relief every time a heterosexual deviant is found. Me on the other hand?  I’m just disgusted all the way around.  Why?  Because I have children who are around many in the priesthood all of the time.  Yes, I think it totally right to first remove the group that’s in a proximate occasion of sin and then try to figure out who the other 20% are.  I’m reasonably sure that many of the 80% of victims wished the Church had followed her rule, too.  How could they not? 

This fear leads to a cycle of secrecy: Fewer celibate gay priests in the public eye means more stereotyping. More stereotyping leads to more fear. More fear leads to more secrecy.

I fail to understand why a priest following and embracing the teachings of the Church fosters secrecy.  It would seem to foster authentic Catholicism.  I’m a married female and the celibate priest is always going to be an example to me.  In your line of thinking, though, if I’m attracted to men and they’re attracted to men, they’re somehow a better example of how to follow the Church teaching for me?  Please.  I don’t need to know the sexual attraction of a priest for them to be an example to me.  In fact, there’s nobody in the priesthood like me and I’m all the better for it.  Who really is the one stereotyping here?

Other malign stereotypes are also being peddled, for example, the idea that homosexuality inevitably leads to abuse. This is contradicted by almost every study, including the John Jay Report, an exhaustive study of sex abuse in the Catholic Church between 1950 and 2010. Most abuse happens in families. And no one, as far as I know, suggests that heterosexuality promotes abuse.

Red-herring.  We’re not talking about the rest of the world.  We’re talking about our priesthood. That said, not following the teachings and disciplines of the Church is where the entire world gets into trouble. That should start with the priesthood.  If we don’t expect it in our priesthood, not really sure how we’d expect more from society.

Beyond these reasons is a perhaps more important explanation: the intense homophobia that still exists in some quarters of the church. And this must be named for what it is: hate. A few days ago, a gay priest texted me this astute observation: “We are so used to gay people being mistreated in the church that we can internalize the homophobic bigotry that we are now seeing, and that Viganò expressed in his testimony, and fail to call it out. It’s deeply hateful. And if he were making similar attacks against another ethnic or religious group, there would be a far different reaction—probably even from within the church. But because gay priests have been so conditioned to play the scapegoat we are too ashamed to speak out.

Or maybe it’s totally hateful of you to put your pet proclivities ahead of the mountain of victims and future victims!!!  And, by the way, I totally and utterly resent you telling me I hate anyone.  Just like you, I have many friends, relatives, and countrymen who suffer from same-sex attraction.  No, it’s not just your little circle of friends.  You’re insinuating that if we speak the truth about the abuse scandal, about active homosexual lifestyles, etc., that we are somehow hateful.  You can call me hateful all you like, but I even love you.  Don’t agree with you, like you, or respect you, get angry with you, but I love you.  Your constant insinuation that we have to agree with every action or thought or to accept either from a person to love them is totally and utterly ridiculous.  There are alcoholics, cohabiters, active homosexuals, etc., etc., etc., in my little world of family and friends, just like almost everyone else, and to say that I hate any of them is you playing politics. Stop.

Is there a “gay subculture” in the church? I have never worked in the Vatican, so I cannot comment on that workplace. But in my 30 years as a Jesuit, I have seen that gay priests in U.S. dioceses, as well as in religious orders, work well with their straight counterparts—as well as with straight lay people: pastoral associates, parish council members, parishioners, as well as principals, administrators and teachers. In religious life, they live peaceably with their straight brothers.

Goodie for you. Yeah, you’re apparently the only person on the planet who can do that, because you are the only one who truly loves their fellow-man. (Insert super sarcastic roley eyes here.)  Pompous much? I think you’ve been in the ivory tower a little too long.  I guarantee my world is far more real than yours.

 

More to the point, I know hundreds of gay priests, and I can say with honesty that all of them strive to keep their promises of celibacy and vows of chastity, none of them conspire with other gay priests, and yet many of them are demoralized by this increasingly hate-fueled witch hunt.

Do they conspire to thwart any of the teachings and disciplines of the Church?  Hmmmmmm? Gotcha there. I’m sure that many enter not thinking about whether they are gay or straight, but did any of them enter knowing the Church’s rule on homosexuality and the priesthood and knowing their inclination???  What you’re saying is they didn’t like the rule but they did it anyway?  That alone is a poor example.  It’s definitely “the Church needs to get with my proclivities” instead of the other way around.  Like it or not, that has been the rule and you are openly defying it.

“Where does this extreme hatred of gay priests come from? It comes from fear. Fear of the “other.” Fear of the person who is different. Sometimes fear of one’s own complicated sexuality. In frightening times, it can also feel empowering to blame and scapegoat the “other.” As the philosopher René Girard consistently points out, scapegoating unites us around a common enemy and encourages us to believe, falsely, that we have solved the problem.”

“Oh, the humanity!!!” Seriously, dude.  Stop the rhetoric.  I don’t fear homosexuals.  I fear sin.  I fear putting oneself repeatedly in a close proximity to temptation. I fear satan winning souls.  I don’t fear you.  I don’t fear my homosexual friends, priests, and neighbors.  I fear FOR them in the same way I fear for anyone who puts their inclinations and attractions ahead of the Church.

This hatred currently being whipped up by a few influential church leaders and commentators will, if unchecked, lead us to a place of great darkness, characterized by an increased hatred for innocent individuals, the condemnation of an entire group of people and a distraction from the real issues underlying this crisis of sexual abuse.

The only person whipping up hatred is you.  The rest of us are whipping up the truth about the situation because we don’t fear the truth.  It’s only a problem for you.

There are many things that need to be addressed when it comes to clergy sex abuse: the improper screening of candidates; the prevalence of clerical culture that privileges the word of priests over lay people (and parents); the poor seminary and religious formation, especially in areas of sexuality; the need for regulations that punish bishops who have covered up abuse and many other factors.

What is not needed is the demonization of gay priests. What is not needed is more hate.

There’s more of your usual “bridge building.” What we need is a little more of the faithful being obedient and a little less of you trying to undermine the teachings and disciplines of the Church at most turns.

 

New Approach or Sales Pitch?

Oooh! I love this one!  https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2018/03/19/god-save-them/  Sometimes youth can be exasperating – which of us wasn’t in our youth? – but I also find them completely fascinating. If you don’t spend much time with them, you should. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend your own on most days, but find somebody else’s who might not as easily roll their eyes at you. Face it, the person who tells you to do the dishes, put away the laundry, or mow the lawn rarely gets a fair shake when it comes to discussing, say, morality in our day and age. If you do, you can gain some interesting insights and have some great conversations.
 

God Save Them

Robert Royal

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

It’s a verifiable fact that not all politicians are hypocrites. When they begin to worry, publicly, about what’s happening “to the children,” some are genuinely concerned. Public talk about young people, however, is often a form of ventriloquism – by which the opinions (or alleged opinions) of “youth” are used as a voice to advance things that people in authority already want to do.

I’m pretty sure Americans get this in the wake of the Florida shooting. We’ve pretty much been beaten by the main stream media into that conclusion. You want to know how to solve the social ills in America? Ask a teenager, they’ve got all the answers. Well, of course, unless it’s a teen who’s taken the time to actually think about issues. Those kids? Just ignore.

The Vatican is organizing a Synod on Youth (scheduled for this October) and I’m convinced that the percentage of the people involved who are sincere is quite high, relative to the typical crop of democratic politicos. Which is why it’s counterproductive when they start using the cant of politicians about “listening,” not just doing something “for” but being “with” youth.

OK, Robert Royal has a little more hope than I do for who is running the Synod on Youth.  I’m a little more skeptical. Oh, you are too???  I cannot imagine why.

“When I was young, I would have found this sort of thing – adults acting like they needed to learn something from me – pathetic, indeed highly suspect. Maybe young people have changed deep down, but somehow I doubt it.

Amen to that! I’d definitely say that I believe youth like to be heard. They like to give their opinions. They like to have a cause, but if you think that they believe for an instance that they can’t see through pandering, get a clue. Sadly, many of the people in the synods, as of late, are professional panderers. Or, maybe, serial panderers is more descriptive.

Listening to young people can be a good thing – depending on who’s doing the listening, and why. Fr. James Martin “listens” to young people with various sexual disorders, particularly at events like “IgnatianQ” conferences, which are sexual and gender diversity events organized now at Jesuit universities. They’re intended to make young people think that LGBTQetc. is just fine – even fine with Jesus Himself. And that people who think otherwise are bigoted, hate-filled, un-Christian.

BAM! That’s calling a spade a spade. The minions (my pet name for the those undermining Church teachings) are masters at advancing their agenda, and like every good advancer of agendas, right or wrong, true or untrue, they put forward a victim. In the minions case, they like to put forth martyrs. The kids are just the latest group to whom those faithful to Church teaching are mean. I mean, really, faithful Catholics are ignoring and uncaring about the thoughts of youth. There’s never been a single program for them in the Church. And, certainly, there’s never, ever been a pope as caring about the youth as Pope Francis.  Except there has. Seriously, does ANYONE remember Pope John Paul II??? You know, the founder of World Youth Day??? He was AWESOME with youth and gave them a mission like nobody else. Most of the amazing, faithful youth speakers of today were inspired by him.

If he were alive today, that ex-military man St. Ignatius would doubtless take vigorous – and very different – action than his latter-day descendants about these things, which are of as great moment as the Reformation he battled, perhaps greater.

He would probably do something very much like what Karol Wojtyla, now St. John Paul, famously did with his canoeing and hiking trips – meetings with young people, which included Mass, confessions, spiritual counseling. He “accompanied” by telling the truth of Catholicism. Not browbeating but, after clearly laying out the arguments, he would tell them “you must decide” the path you will follow. That actually worked. The accompaniment moved many young people – not to accept the unacceptable, but to saving truth and action.

EXACTLY!  “Be not afraid!” started off JPII’s papacy.  It didn’t start with the doom and gloom that we see from all the liberal lobbyists running around today. Back in JPII’s day, there wouldn’t be a team whining, “Everything should be totally easy for you!  We’ve been so mean to you!” There were people saying salvation is tough and here’s what we have for you to achieve it. Join us! Like Royal says, true accompaniment.

The world desperately needs 10,000 such “accompaniers” – today, yesterday, every year, for decades to come. Manly men not afraid to talk about submitting to God’s will; compassionate but tough-minded women who won’t shrink from countering our sad culture, even sometimes within the Church.

That’s what we try to do for our children and for all youth with whom we are in contact.  We simply want them to see the truth through all of the lies, pandering and sales pitches from the Fr. Martins of the world. (Yeah, he’s a category now.)

There’s a planning session about the Youth Synod this week – and I’m here, for the next few days, in Rome. So far, I don’t have the impression that we’ll see much of that Wojtyla-type listening and acting. (As in the past, I may post some reports here if developments warrant.) What we already have is a lot of weak sociology, as we also saw before the two Synods on marriage. No one should be surprised if this event turns into something quite different than planned.

Color me shocked. Prepare for an undermining of truth.  Personally, I expect it to go off EXACTLY as planned. Or, should I say, contrived?

There have been surveys of course, and there’s to be participation of young people via Facebook. As is true for almost any public question these days, it’s not very hard to make survey numbers say almost anything you want. Religious surveys are particularly tricky because who you choose to ask – serious Catholics, nominal Catholics, the spiritually indifferent – makes a big difference in results, even before the interpretative spin starts. 

What? No Instagram or Twitter? No #hearme or Snapchat filter has been made? Psh! I’m pretty sure the ”interpretive spin” has already started. I’m pretty sure that the whole “Synod on Youth” is just a manipulative move.

The most salient fact here is that young people in developed countries have been effectively catechized – by the secular state, the media, popular culture, and public schools – to be skeptical about truth claims, but to believe firmly in two things: that science has refuted religion, and the sexual revolution.

There’s been a little pushback on the sexual revolution. Some Millennials have suffered from divorce or weakened families and seem to have taken flight to more stable views of marriage and parenting. But we shouldn’t be overly optimistic about this still early trend; Eros unbound continues to tear up the social fabric of developed nations.

Millennials say, however, that the most common reason they abandon religion is that they believe “science” (and the quite useful technologies it spins off) has proven faith is an illusion. This belief is, itself, of course, an illusion, conjured up out of quite weak reasoning: you don’t have to be a believer to know that faith and science – properly understood – are two different things, neither reducible or refutable by the other.

When I run down a list of Catholic scientists who were major contributors to scientific discovery, you almost have to pick up jaws off the floor. Whaaatttt??? No! No! The Church is totally against science because, well, Galileo! The liberal spin is high with millennials. It’s not insurmountable but you actually have to believe in truth, unlike the minions whose truth it completely squishy.

But to understand this distinction takes some careful thinking – and where now is that taught?

Thankfully it’s happening in more and more places as the groovy club who were ordained mid-last century die off. 

Love and mercy – the field hospital in the pope’s striking image – are two fine Christian realities, and they do an end run around reflex resistance to religion. But if they don’t then go on to the main event, aren’t bolstered by some hard thinking, they won’t long remain Christian – or even realities, as we’re seeing in the increased social brittleness and angry polarization around us.

Yup! It doesn’t help that parents, who are the front line in countering this, have bought into the idea that we shouldn’t say anything or, worse yet, they weren’t taught anything themselves. Nobody ever said it would be easy and heaven knows it isn’t pleasant, but we can’t give up or give into this thought. We have to educate ourselves, too, since we were one of the first generations who experienced the happy-clappy education which was anything but education about our beautiful Church. As I’ve said before, there’s a reason I homeschool. In most areas, if you are leaving it up to the local parish or Catholic school to educate your children, you are making a big mistake. My poor parents had to do a lot of undoing what the parish and schools did to their kids.  

Under the circumstances, there’s a strong temptation to believe that reducing the demands of love and mercy, by downplaying their Christian foundations, will draw people in. Thomas Jefferson, no stupid man, wrote to a friend in the 1780s, “I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its conscience to neither kings or priests, the genuine doctrine of only one God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian.” The latest Pew Survey says Unitarians are 0.3 percent of the U.S. population – maybe 600,000 in the whole world.

There is little to be expected from the liberal path, as not only Unitarians but the liberal Protestants know. The Synod has taken on a massive task under highly unfavorable circumstances. Sure, being “with” young people may keep the usual barriers down – at first. But the harder part is what comes next – the way, truth, life.

We’ve been in “I’m OK, you’re OK” mode for decades now. This isn’t some new and unique tactic, and belief is at an all-time low because of it. But, by all means, let’s ignore the hard truth and go with nice and pleasant.

It will be a miracle if the Synod can make progress against so much resistance, not least in the Church Herself. But as every Christian should always remember: miracles do still happen. Pray. Hard.

A miracle is totally needed and something we should all pray for lest it turn out like the last synod. My guess is some are rushing to grab their millstones.  

How About a Little Clarity Cardinal Cupich?

Phil Lawler is mad and I agree. Cardinal Cupich, Fr. Martin, Fr. Rosica, and the rest of the minions love to throw out arguments that are completely and utterly fictional. Notice I have ZERO problem naming names. OK, I write under a pseudonym, but that’s because I want to be able to keep doing work in my Catholic locality much to the chagrin of the local minions. The minions, however, do it because if they named names they would actually have to have an honest debate, and they don’t really want to do that, so they throw the mythological meanies out there. I challenge them to put up or shut up. Be specific. Cardinal Cupich, of all people, claims to want clarity. So, Cardinal Cupich, be clear.

Here is Phil Lawler’s tongue lashing which everyone should be modeling.

https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?ID=1562

 By Phil Lawler (bio – articles – email) | Mar 09, 2018

 In his latest column for the Chicago archdiocesan newspaper, Cardinal Blase Cupich—who styles himself as a champion of civil dialogue within the Church—lashes out at people who disagree with Pope Francis:

“For this reason, it is not surprising that we occasionally hear voices, unfortunately often expressed in print and broadcast media claiming to be Catholic, who criticize Pope Francis for introducing topics such as discernment, dialogue, mercy, gradualness to help us understand better our Christian lives.”

Is that the way the cardinal proposes to “accompany” people who are “at the margins” of the Church? By questioning whether they are really Catholic—and going on to speculate about whether their thoughts are motivated by fear or by a failure to believe in the Resurrection?

But beyond that, I have two more questions:

1. Yes, there have been people (myself included) who protest when terms like “discernment” are used to camouflage an unwillingness to call a sin a sin, and a scandal a scandal. But those are complaints about the way these words are used—one might say misused. But who are these people who criticize the Pope for introducing those terms into the discussion? Name one.

 

This is where it gets very interesting. For one thing, he points out that there is quite a difference between promoting discernment, dialogue, mercy, gradualness, etc., and Cardinal Cupich’s use and definitions of such terms. Cardinal Cupich and the minions are using very liberal definitions and interpretations and calling them the same as the Church. It’s a wee bit like they used Josef Pieper’s “Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power” as a playbook rather than a warning.  It’s creepy.

2. And by the way, which of those terms did Pope Francis introduce? Cardinal Cupich himself mentions that Pope Benedict XVI spoke of “gradualness”—although the cardinal gives a highly tendentious rendering of the retired Pontiff’s thoughts on the subject. The words “discernment” and “dialogue” appear in the 50-year old dictionary on my desk. And I seem to recall reading something about “mercy” in the Bible.

Right. Nobody’s against those things. They are against the contradictory definitions put out by the minions.

Here’s part of the description of “Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power.”

…language has been abused so that, instead of being a means of communicating the truth and entering more deeply into it, and of the acquisition of wisdom, it is being used to control people and manipulate them to achieve practical ends. Reality becomes intelligible through words. Man speaks so that through naming things, what is real may become intelligible. This mediating character of language, however, is being increasingly corrupted. Tyranny, propaganda, mass-media) destroy and distort words. They offer us apparent realities whose fictive character threatens to become opaque.

If this doesn’t sound like Cardinal Cupich and the minions, I don’t know what does! For all the “clarity” Cardinal Cupich espouses, it’s more like mud. In their “say it often and it will be true” world, they are causing mass confusion with the laity who just want to see their priest as someone they can trust. The distortions of Church teaching among the minions is incredible. “Church teachings and those following them are simply mean, vindictive people.” Please.

Back to Phil Lawler:

Do I sound angry? Yes, I am angry—at the tactics of those who, while speaking in lofty terms about open dialogue and respectful debate, do their utmost to impugn the motivations and question the good faith of those who disagree with them.

Exactly!  When the minions constantly preach “tolerance” and then have none for anyone who disagrees with them, the ad hominems are launched. Their tactic is to say “THEY believe in the teachings of the Church.  THEY want you to struggle. THEY are mean.  Listen to OUR nice, soothing sirens’ songs and we’ll lead you.”  Blech! 

While I was trying to provide you with an Amazon link for Pieper’s book, I came across a good book review. Here’s a snippet. Thank you James E. Egolf, whoever you are! Never thought I’d be using an Amazon review. 

Pieper begins this book with a serious treatment of Plato’s (427-347 BC) serious dispute with the Ancient Athenian sophists who taught men to use clever words and communication to deceive men with total disregard for truth. Plato argued that the sophists were very dangerous men because of their intellectual prowess and supposed sophistication. The unlearned could be easily misled and become dangerous because of the respect given to the sophists which they did not deserve. Readers may ask what is the relevance of the dispute between Plato and the sophists to modern Western “Civilization.” One answer may be studied in the Bolshevik (Communist) Revolution in Russia in 1917. Those who engineered this revolution were members of a declasse intelligensia who knew the use and abuse of language.

Pieper then makes a solid point that any communication (language) between an honest man and a liar is useless since the liar has nothing to offer leading to knowledge. Pieper states in effect that the honest man may just as well be talking to thin air, or hot air. The liar is trying to manipulate and gain power over the honest man which is destructive to the honest man if he unaware.

Pieper has an interesting explanation of the destructiveness of flattery. The flatterer is trying to intellectually disarm those whom he flatters to gain advantage. A knowledgeable man who is honest is immune to such flattery. However, flattery can be used to undermine the victim to the advantage dishonest person. A good example is in the Book of Genesis whereby the snake successfully flatters Eve to her destruction as well that of Adam.

Again, who comes to mind here?!?!  I almost always get that creepy visual of satan talking to Eve whenever I read or watch Cardinal Cupich, Fr. Martin, Bishop McElroy, and the rest of the minions. They are preying on people. It’s not always that the people are unaware of the Church’s teachings or that Cupich, Martin, et. al., are contradicting them, but since the minions are so good about preying on peoples’ fears of being lonely, struggling, being judged, being ostracized, etc., some will listen. Classic predator style. This is why we should care and also be very, very upset along with Phil. #CatholicCyberMilitia