What You Need is a Little Truth for Once

Denver Student Responds To Archbishop: “I Am Catholic, And I Am Gay… I Do Not Need To Be ‘Healed'”

by

Johnny Hultzapple

posted on

January 30, 2019

OK, a couple of things hit me right off the bat here. First, it’s a mighty pompous title. We’re all fallen creatures, so we ALL need healing. And second? If this kid’s intent is on living the “gay lifestyle” he will almost certainly need some sort of physical as well as emotional and spiritual healing in the future. The stats are not with you, my young friend. You have fallen for the sales pitch and have completely forgotten to see if the “gay lifestyle” might possibly have any negatives.

 It is with a very enraged and dismal heart that I write this post today.

This past Saturday, the Archdiocese of Denver sponsored an anti-LGBTQ event at the John Paul II Center led by an anti-LGBTQ activist and proponent of conversion therapy named Andrew Comiskey.

Since this young man failed to actually elaborate on what the event was, I did some digging and think it’s this: https://desertstream.org/events/denvergendermatters/

There was a highly false and insulting banner hung on the fence of the John Paul II Center. It is important to note that a representative from the Archdiocese said that the Archdiocese themselves did not hang the banner although they sponsored this event. The banner is a quote from the leader of the event, Andrew Comiskey, and reads, “There is no such thing as a ‘gay’ person…. That is a popular myth.” “Satan delights in homosexual perversion.”

Last time I checked, God created them male and female. “Gay” is an inclination. We are not our inclinations. We are God’s children made in his image and likeness. And, yes, “Satan delights in homosexual perversion,” emphasis on perversion. Is this even up for debate? I mean, Satan certainly isn’t cheering for any of us to live chaste lives, straight or otherwise. I’m not entirely sure why this young man, a Catholic, has a problem with the teachings of the Church. And, yes, everything in that quote is in line with Church teaching. “Gay” isn’t even in the Catholic lexicon. As happens in most social constructs, it’s a made-up term.

As a young, gay male, I was infuriated when I read this sign and an article [in the Colorado Times Recorder]. Not only is the sign overtly offensive, it is so, so, so very wrong.

What’s Shapiro always say? Facts don’t care about your feelings. Please remember, this was a Catholic group, putting on a Catholic conference, for Catholics. It’s completely optional. Young Johnny Hultzapple was in no way required to attend. If it just doesn’t agree with your feelings, accept it and move on, Johnny. Some, on the other hand, actually wanted to attend the conference and did so. If the message wasn’t wanted, don’t you think the ministry would go bye-bye? Ironically, somebody just referred me to Andrew Comiskey yesterday.

I AM a gay person. I AM a homosexual; and there is absolutely nothing perverted about me. In Genesis 1:26, God says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Based on Christian belief, humans are made in the likeness of God. I believe this includes STRAIGHT, GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, or QUEER individuals. LGBTQ people are made in the image and likeness of God.

Let’s just cut to the chase, Johnny. Do you believe there’s anything perverted about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer sexual practices? And, just to add a little clarity to your nice list, how about straight sex out-of-wedlock, porn, masturbation, etc.? Again, we are not our inclinations. God didn’t make us drug addicts, alcoholics, porn addicts, rapists, etc., etc., etc. You are confusing inclinations with the part where our body and soul mirror each other as we mirror God.

For 11 years of my life, I attended Catholic school right down the road from the JP II center. In fact, I used to run around the JP II center for cross country practice. My fond memories of catholic school are unfortunately tainted with dark and hurtful moments of bigotry–bigotry that will stay with me the rest of my life.

And here comes the newest member of the martyr brigade.

This bigotry is often promoted in the Catholic religion, although it is not promoted by all. The ironic part of this bigotry is that Catholicism is a religion centered on love: God’s love for his son, Jesus’ love for his people, and people’s love for Jesus shown by loving others.

And love sometimes means saying “No!” and that’s not to people just with your disordered inclinations but also to people who share my disordered inclinations. You want so desperately to see yourself as a martyr that you can’t see that the Church actually treats us all the same when it comes to our disordered inclinations.

Events like [the conference with Comiskey], which spread hatred and lies about the LGBTQ community, are not events that I believe are truly rooted in Catholic teaching. In John 15:12, Jesus exclaims, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

Dude! Did you even go to the conference, so how would you know there was hatred spread? Andrew lived the life you’re in now, so you might want to realize that not everyone is you. I know that’s super hard in this narcissistic world, and at 17 you tend to be myopic anyway, but the reality is that the “gay lifestyle” hasn’t made everyone happy. In fact, just the opposite. That’s what happens when we accept our brokenness as our being instead of letting God’s mercy into our lives.

I am only 17-years old, but I can see that events like Andrew Comiskey’s do not spread the type of love that Jesus loves his people with. Jesus’ love was never judgmental, it was never exclusive, and it definitely was never hateful. The God I know loves everyone, and everyone means anyone who lives and breathes, regardless of sexuality, gender, or any other identity.

Again, did you go to the conference? Did you see what Andrew had to say? Have you even bothered to watch a video of Andrew’s. If you are familiar with him, I’m pretty sure it would be hard to say he isn’t loving.  He may say things that don’t please you but “hateful and bigoted?” Put the facts down in your article. Quote him a bit. Link to his videos and show him spewing hate. Oh, wait, you can’t? Maybe it’s because he tries very hard to show what love actually is rather than the pile of manure you’ve been sold. You’re probably still at the stage in life where you think love is a “feeling”, which is a load of hooey. Love is a choice you make to will the best for another. Period. And, yes, this sometimes means we have to suffer greatly for those we love by making the hard choices in their regard. I seem to remember something about a Cross and a guy who suffered greatly because He loved us, but yeah, love is about feeling happy, right? Blech. How in the world do people miss this? It’s all, “Me, me, me, me” and we can’t figure out why the world is a mess. What if we lived in a world where everyone willed the best (AKA everlasting life with God) for everyone instead of their own self-gratification? Well, sadly, Original Sin will never allow that, but you can imagine a world without loneliness even if everyone’s physical self-gratifications weren’t met. Self-gratification is what it is. It doesn’t will the good of another. It’s always looking inward, not willing the best for others. Self-gratification and love are just about as polar opposite as you can get. Sadly, Johnny hasn’t been told that. He has been told “You, you and only you” which will make his life incredibly lonely.

At the event, Andrew Comiskey stated, “The enemy is intent on sowing seeds of deception in really bright and really colorful and really fragile people, and that what the whole LGBT juggernaut is.”

Wait! Did you actually go? Where’s the lie in that statement? Do you believe in satan? And seriously, yes, the fragile people are the ones who give in to their inclinations. They aren’t, as much as they’d like to think, the Christ who was inclined not to suffer but who still died on the Cross for us. THAT is love. Dying to oneself and one’s inclinations.

Now, I’m sure you’re now going to start whining about how this is just all aimed against people suffering from same-sex attraction. Please. Yeah, the rest of the world don’t have to die to themselves and their inclinations. Just you. Really?!?! I’m sure my husband would rather sleep in and then sit on a mountain top, but he gets up every morning, day after day, year after year, and goes to a job to materially support his wife and brood. To top it off, he also gets up on one of his precious days off from that grind to worship God. Other days, he gives up sleeping in to help his kids, Church, the unborn, etc., etc., etc. THAT is love. He wills the best for others despite his inclination against it. That’s carrying the Cross he’s been given.

“But, but, but…the Church approves him having sex!” young Johnny thinks to himself. And you can too, Johnny, in the same and equal context as my husband and me: with a person of the opposite sex that he has joined with in Holy Matrimony. “But, but, but…I love men!” To which I’d again have to remind you that sex is not love. Love is a choice you make to will the best for another. When that is your focus, you can choose to ignore your inclinations and make that choice. This is what Andrew Comiskey is trying to say. Is it an easy choice? Of course not. Neither is the choice my husband has made to come home to the same family day in and day out when we sometimes forget how awesome it is that he does that. He’s got his Cross, I’ve got mine, and you’ve got yours. Accepting it will truly bring you happiness and integrity.

While I whole-heartedly agree that the LGBTQ community and I are really bright and really colorful, I know that we are not fragile. We are a STRONG community. I am a strong person. The LGBTQ community fights to overcome bigotry every. single. day. With each day that passes, we are becoming a hell of a lot stronger. We will overcome, just as we have in the past.

I’m going to guess you’re all for living the lifestyle. I notice that while secular LGTB-whatevers are just fine to admit it, Catholic self-professed LGBT-whatevers never quite mention that little aspect. Let me be a little more honest than they will be. We’re talking sodomy and masturbation. Now that we got that out of the way, yes, Johnny, you are fragile. The thought of living the chaste and celibate lifestyle is just too hard. Never mind that millions do it every day. It’s just too hard for you. You are called to the exact same life of chastity and abstinence that we are all called to, yet somehow that’s bigoted. We are all called to resist our disordered inclinations no matter what they are, but you? It’s just too hard. We should cut you some slack. This isn’t exactly the definition of strong, Johnny. It’s the definition of weak and fragile.

Individuals who attended the event told the crowd that Comiskey’s events and organization lead them to ‘convert’ from homosexuality to heterosexuality. As the article describes, “conversion therapy programs like Comiskey’s have been widely discredited, and are opposed by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association…. and many other medical organizations.” In fact, conversion therapy programs were just outlawed in the city of Denver. In addition, with a passing of a bill in the state legislature, conversion therapy will hopefully be outlawed in all of Colorado this year.

So, people wish not to live the “gay lifestyle”, but you insist they must? Please. I’m sorry the AMA and APA don’t like “conversion therapy.” If they want to title Andrew’s program as such, they can go ahead, but that doesn’t change the fact that Catholics can Catholic. You might want to give Article 6 in the Catholic Catechism a little read, Johnny, and tell me where Andrew differs from it. I think you might have been cheated out of, well, the Faith:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

(For those who don’t like following links)
“* I. “MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM . . .”

2331 “God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion.”115

“God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them”;116 He blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply”;117 “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.”118

2332 Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.

2333 Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.

2334 “In creating men ‘male and female,’ God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity.”119 “Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God.”120

2335 Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator’s generosity and fecundity: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”121 All human generations proceed from this union.122

2336 Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its origins. In the Sermon on the Mount, he interprets God’s plan strictly: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”123 What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.124

The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth commandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality.

  1. THE VOCATION TO CHASTITY

2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.

The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.

The integrity of the person

2338 The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech.125

2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy.126 “Man’s dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end.”127


What? The Church has our happiness in mind??? Mind blown yet, Johnny? Have you EVER even heard this before???

“2340 Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascesis adapted to the situations that confront him, obedience to God’s commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer. “Indeed it is through chastity that we are gathered together and led back to the unity from which we were fragmented into multiplicity.”128

2341 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason.

2342 Self-mastery is a long and exacting work. One can never consider it acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of life.129 The effort required can be more intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and adolescence.”

Amen! We all need to struggle together in this.

“2343 Chastity has laws of growth which progress through stages marked by imperfection and too often by sin. “Man . . . day by day builds himself up through his many free decisions; and so he knows, loves, and accomplishes moral good by stages of growth.”130

2344 Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is “an interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society.”131 Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life.”

 

The #MeToo and “LGTBSJ” movements have totally missed this.

2345 Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort.132 The Holy Spirit enables one whom the water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.133

The integrality of the gift of self

2346 Charity is the form of all the virtues. Under its influence, chastity appears as a school of the gift of the person. Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of self. Chastity leads him who practices it to become a witness to his neighbor of God’s fidelity and loving kindness.

See? Denying one’s inclinations isn’t mean, it’s kind, or so says YOUR Church, Johnny.

2347 The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends,134 who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality.

Immortality. Epic! Johnny doesn’t even realize he’s tossing away immortality with God for 80ish years here on earth. He’s almost ¼ of the way toward eternal life or death, and again, as stats show, probably even further if he continues on with the “gay lifestyle.” He doesn’t get that the Catholic Church, nor Andrew Comiskey, nor I for that matter, want this for him.

Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one’s neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion.

The various forms of chastity

2348 All the baptized are called to chastity. The Christian has “put on Christ,”135 the model for all chastity. All Christ’s faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life. At the moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead his affective life in chastity.

2349 “People should cultivate [chastity] in the way that is suited to their state of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celibacy which enables them to give themselves to God alone with an undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others live in the way prescribed for all by the moral law, whether they are married or single.”136 Married people are called to live conjugal chastity; others practice chastity in continence:

There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second that of widows, and the third that of virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others. . . . This is what makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.137

2350 Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence. They should see in this time of testing a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of receiving one another from God. They should reserve for marriage the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will help each other grow in chastity.

Offenses against chastity

2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.”138 “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.”139

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.

2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

2355 Prostitution does injury to the dignity of the person who engages in it, reducing the person to an instrument of sexual pleasure. The one who pays sins gravely against himself: he violates the chastity to which his Baptism pledged him and defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.140 Prostitution is a social scourge. It usually involves women, but also men, children, and adolescents (The latter two cases involve the added sin of scandal.). While it is always gravely sinful to engage in prostitution, the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by destitution, blackmail, or social pressure.

2356 Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Note that the offenses against chastity are committed by almost all of us. While the “homosexuality” section is set off, it’s just different and something that needed to be addressed as an emerging problem at the time of the last edition. People constantly suggest that people suffering with same-sex attraction are singled out. Psh. Read the entire section.

Unfortunately, the Archdiocese of Denver is continuing to promote these events.

What? A Catholic diocese being Catholic again? The shock and horror of it all. Sigh.

I am Catholic, and I am gay. I am not ‘deceived’; Satan does not ‘delight in my sexuality’; I do not need to be ‘converted’ to heterosexuality; I do not need to be ‘healed’. I am far from perfect, but this is not because of my sexual orientation.

God made me gay, and I know that God wants me to use my voice to spread love and acceptance to not only the LGBTQ community, but to ALL people, regardless of identity. I will work my hardest to ensure that this hatred is not continued in my community. I will work hard to ensure that other kids in Catholic school will not have to suffer the bigotry I had to.

Sorry, Johnny. Saying it doesn’t make it so. Your body and your soul were carefully created by God in harmony. They are one. They are not in conflict. What’s at conflict are your inclinations and proclivities, and it’s not bigoted to say so any more than it is to say that some have the inclination and proclivity to cheat on their spouse, abuse alcohol, engage in porn, etc., etc., etc. You want to be treated differently than the rest of us and yet we are somehow bigoted. We’re the ones willing to accept that we do indeed need to allow God’s mercy to fix us in whatever our disordered tendency. You refuse to even accept that you have a disordered tendency.

My big, Catholic family loves and accepts me for who I am; they know that God made me gay and loves me just the same. I am lucky and grateful to have this system of support around me, but others are not so lucky.

Well, since we were all raised in same confused and lied-to era of the Catholic Church, I really can see why the big Catholic family would encourage the lifestyle. If they were taught to accept the “gay lifestyle”, then they were never truly taught how to love, either. We’ve all been cheated for far too long. That said, we need to seek out the truth and the bishops need to show it to us, which is exactly what Archbishop Aquila is doing there with Andrew Comiskey’s conferences. Bravo to him for being a true father who truly loves us and wills the best for us. He certainly has picked his Cross.

So, if you have continued reading thus far, I ask you to please share my post (gay or straight, religious or not) to share the articles with your community, to let people know that this is happening. Have a discussion at your dinner table, have a discussion in your class, have a discussion with your friends.

Well, I have kids and I work with youth, so you betcha we’ll have discussions. Sadly, yours is a cautionary tale and not the story of a martyr that you wish. It’s all too easy for us all to fall into the same trap you have. I’m sorry the Church has failed you in so many ways. I’m sorry the Fr. Martins of the world don’t care about your mental, physical, and especially your spiritual health, but I do, as do many others.

And, most of all, I ask you to please give love to all of your LGBTQ friends and family members, especially ones that are in communities full of hatred.

In the end, it is love that will unite us all, despite our differences.

Johnny Hultzapple is a student at South High School in Denver.

Isn’t it always the same. “Accept my lifestyle no matter how harmful it may be for me, or you hate me.” It’s beautifully framed to tug at the heartstrings, but when my children are headed the wrong way, I don’t give them the thumbs up. I don’t tell people to follow their disordered tendency. I will the best for them as I hope they do for me, and I make that choice every day, no matter how a big of a Cross it might be.

If you’re not quite understanding why people just don’t rubber-stamp the gay lifestyle, here’s a few things you should read. You might at least try to understand the mind of those you consider the “enemy.” This is not an exhaustive list but are some of my favorites. Despite what you may think, we don’t live in a bubble. Most of us have friends, family and coworkers who suffer from SSA and we love them.

http://couragegulfcoast.wixsite.com/blog#!

https://couragerc.org/

http://andrewcomiskey.com/about-andrew/

https://www.amazon.com/Made-Love-Same-Sex-Attraction-Catholic/dp/1621642194

https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/the-catholic-church-thinks-we-deserve-better/

 

 

A Failure to Communicate? Definitely!

This ought to be fun!  Just can’t wait to see what the Soros lackey is going to tell us about the youth of today and same-sex attraction.  Anyone know if he actually knows any youth?  Just curious. BTW, he’s been a bit of a player for quite a while now. Here’s a little background.

A Failure to Communicate

The Synod’s Mistake on LGBT Catholics

By John Gehring

November 2, 2018

And this title might be the only place where any agreement between me and John Gehring might lie.  Of course, his definition of “mistake” and mine would differ greatly.

The recently concluded Synod on Young People reflected Pope Francis’s call for a listening church that accompanies people and discerns together. Unlike synods in previous papacies, where a final script was essentially drafted in advance and most bishops dutifully signed off, a more authentic process unfolded during the month-long gathering that ended last Sunday.

Wait!  What?  Seems like that’s more or less exactly what happened, albeit minus the “LGBT” acronym, because they knew there was no way in hell they were going to get that in.

A mode of engagement that prioritizes a humble posture of encounter is essential if the Catholic Church hopes to stem the tide of young people leaving an institution they often view as irrelevant, hypocritical, and aloof. In fact, those who are raised Catholic are more likely than those raised in any other religion to cite negative religious treatment of gay and lesbian people as the primary reason they leave, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.”

Huh??? The Public Religion Research Institute?  Oh my.  Hysterical.  I mean, John, why didn’t you just put out your own poll asking people who agree with you what they think?  People, do the research.  https://catholicvote.org/public-religion-research-institute-misleads-on-catholic-attitudes/

Can I tell you why people leave the Church?  It’s simple:  It’s HARD to be Catholic!!!  It’s hard to pick up a cross.  Our catechesis has been largely abysmal for many years now, and we’re not getting the message across in most of our churches of the benefits of carrying that cross.  Duh! Everlasting life, and the spiritual world in general, have been reduced to a fable. It’s no wonder people are being sucked into the secular world. They’re offering more.  We’re just given homilies on how to be nice.  Well, not at my parish, but that’s why I go there.  They’re actually offering me something I need and want.  Oh, and we do pretty well.

“We’ve gone from talking about young people and from talking to young people to talking with them,” said Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

I am absolutely not against talking with young people.  I do it as often as I possibly can.  Whether or not they agree with me, they know that I have their best interest in mind AND I will tell them as much of the truth as I can. 

A hopeful church that listens from below and engages in dialogue is better positioned than a fearful, fortress church to fulfill the Second Vatican Council’s proclamation to read the “signs of the times.” For young gay Catholics and their allies, the synod offered a space where bishops could learn from the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties, of the LGBT faithful. Signs pointed to a potentially important step forward. In a document prepared before the synod, the Vatican used the term “LGBT” for the first time. “Some LGBT youth,” it read, want to “benefit from greater closeness and experience greater care from the church.” Not exactly a revolutionary statement, and rather painfully obvious. But the use of “LGBT” was striking and significant. The church has a major language problem when it comes to respecting the dignity of gay, lesbian, and transgender people. Catholic teaching documents typically use “homosexual” or refer to “homosexual tendencies.” Using the LGBT descriptor—often preferred by many gay, lesbian, and transgender people—is a sign of respect.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa, son!  Heck of a parsing of Gaudium et Spes.  Nice try, though.

4. To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other. We must therefore recognize and understand the world in which we live, its explanations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics. Some of the main features of the modern world can be sketched as follows.

Thanks for channeling Fr. Martin, but no thanks. We need to scrutinize the signs of the times, not just roll over for them.  Gaudium et Spes shows us that these are all perennial questions.  This isn’t some knew ideology.  In fact, it’s all been repeated time and again, and as usual, Truth and her answers do not change.

Archbishop Chaput very eloquently pointed out:

What the Church “holds to be true about human sexuality is not a stumbling block.”

“It is the only real path to joy and wholeness,” he continued. “There is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are; as if these designations described discrete communities of differing but equal integrity within the real ecclesial community, the body of Jesus Christ.”

This is Truth.  This is dignity. This is respect. Describing people by their sexual appetite is lowering them to a creature who’s being is controlled by a sexual appetite. We are not. We have free will. 

But the final report from the synod did not use the term “LGBT.” Several bishops, including Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, criticized its potential appearance. For the church, he said, “there is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are.”

Can I get an AMEN?  Seriously.  If our sexual appetites define us, we are in big trouble.  In fact, this is kind of what’s been happening with this abuse scandal.  People give in to the notion that that’s how they are made and there’s nothing we can do about it, so we should be free to act on it. It seems to be just peachy for those who want to act on their homosexual appetite, but should it be with children or someone who doesn’t desire it, it’s evil.  Nope.  Both evil.

Some bishops and other church leaders foster a toxic culture that scapegoats and demonizes LGBT laity and clergy

Head in the sand time again.  How about we state this little fact:  80% of these abuse cases (and with the latest round, probably more) have been perpetrated by homosexual priests.  So, I think it’s safe to say that they seem to be the ones who readily give into their weaknesses. Can we at least agree on that? 

This observation reflects, perhaps unwittingly, a certain theological arrogance.

Or maybe your lack of acceptance of the facts reflects a bit of narcissism instead?

Saying there are “no LGBT Catholics,” when many Catholics who love and contribute to the church embrace that description, is disrespectful at best, and at worst denies a person dignity. Chaput warns of “sexual appetites” defining who we are—a reasonable caution—but it seems that the archbishop is the one who is reducing being gay, lesbian, or transgender to sexual mechanics, as if our friends, neighbors, and family members are little more than a bundle of physical urges rather than complex and multidimensional human beings. I understand the instinct not to balkanize the church into islands of identity. We are “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church,” in the words of the Nicene Creed. Our shared faith unifies.

Hey, man, the Church is made of sinners, but dignity isn’t brought about by what we want to be called. Dignity is given to us by God in our creation.  Are you saying someone who proudly states “I am a porn star” is somehow brought dignity by that label? How about those who want to be labeled a satanic high priest?  I mean, you can’t deny that there are plenty of people like that, yet somehow we’re just supposed to say, “Oh, that’s what you want to be classified as? Awesome!” Please.  This is just your pet proclivity, so you are going to demand we all say, “Oh, OK, whatever you want,” as if that somehow imparts dignity to a person.

But the church does recognize and often names those who reflect our diversity. Some dioceses have offices, retreats, or specific events for Latino Catholics, African-American Catholics, young-adult Catholics, and senior Catholics. None of this is reductionist. There is a proud tradition of celebrating Irish-American and Italian-American Catholics’ contributions to the church, distinct cultures that are nonetheless part of the beautiful mosaic of Catholicism. In the same way a Latina Catholic doesn’t exclusively define herself by being a Latina, identifying as an LGBT Catholic doesn’t circumscribe one’s identity, but acknowledges its significance as part of the whole.

And as Archbishop Chaput points out, we’re don’t call ourselves heterosexual Catholics.  For goodness sake.  Get a wee bit of grasp on reality and stop comparing apples to Toyotas. This is a ridiculous comparison.  If someone wants to say they are a cat, are you just fine with that?  I mean, I’m sure they feel that this is their special diversity.  You can’t have it both ways, John.

For Archbishop Chaput, the church should not use LGBT because it is wrong to, in his words, “categorize people.” This is a laudatory concept, until you reflect on the irony of that statement coming from a leader in a church that uses language often viewed as clinical and demeaning by the very people it seeks to describe. Homosexual “inclinations” and “intrinsically disordered,” words used in official church teaching, also categorize people, and in ways that exclude and wound.

Nice try again.  He actually said:

“It follows that ‘LGBTQ’ and similar language should not be used in Church documents, because using it suggests that these are real, autonomous groups, and the Church simply doesn’t categorize people that way.”

Your beef seems to be with Archbishop Chaput, but he’s showing YOU what the Church has never done. Heaven forbid a member of the Church would reflect what the Church actually does and does not say. I mean, hello, “inclinations” and “intrinsically disordered” is found in Church teaching, so you getting mad at Archbishop Chaput is just targeting those who hold to those teachings, including many people suffering from same-sex attraction.  Seriously, you act as if everyone with same-sex attraction has hurt feelings about this.  Sorry.  It ain’t so. 

San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy has suggested the church needs to rethink such language. In an interview with America magazine, he said the description “intrinsically disordered” is “very destructive language that I think we should not use pastorally.” He added that “in Catholic moral theology, it is a philosophical term that is automatically misunderstood in our society as a psychological judgment.” The church can’t be a “field hospital” for the wounded, to use a central metaphor from Pope Francis, if its own language wounds.

And yet, many people suffering with same-sex attraction don’t feel the martyrdom you are trying to imply on their behalf.  What about them?  Oh, a wee bit of an inconvenient truth that more and more people who consider themselves same-sex attracted aren’t going to be riding in your parade?  They, like the saints, embrace Church teaching and are willing to take up their crosses. And you know what?  We’re going to be right there with them struggling with our own crosses. 

The synod’s final report included some positive things: reiterating the church’s condemnation of any violence directed at sexual minorities; acknowledging that ministry to gay and lesbian people is already being done in the church; and emphasizing accompaniment. Perhaps presaging a future and much-needed discussion on the broader dimensions of how the church addresses human sexuality, the report noted that “there are questions related to the body, to affectivity and to sexuality that require a deeper anthropological, theological, and pastoral exploration.” This is significant, and it rattles conservative bishops. “The Catholic hierarchy is acknowledging that the church needs to update its understanding of the science of sex and gender, and that also means updating the church’s theology on sexuality and its ministry to gay people,” David Gibson wrote in an analysis for Religion News Service.

The fact that you think that the Church’s teaching on sexuality needs to be updated and is somehow outdated is rattling to any faithful Catholic.  There’s so much beauty and richness that you cannot seem to grasp. Can you say “Theology of the Body?”  I know it can’t be grasped in a day but give it just a little read before you bother to comment.

Archbishop Chaput characterized that line in the final report as “subtle and concerning.” The church “already has a clear, rich, and articulate Christian anthropology,” he told the National Catholic Register. “It’s unhelpful to create doubt or ambiguity around issues of human identity, purpose, and sexuality, unless one is setting the stage to change what the church believes and teaches about all three, starting with sexuality.”

BOOM!  Just because John Gehring and buddies missed it doesn’t mean that it is there.

Whatever discussions may yet take place in the church, an editorial in The Tablet underscored a painful truth. “Few progressive Catholics would have dared to dream that Synod might open a conversation about ‘intrinsic disorder,’ or that it might acknowledge that even the acronym LGBT excludes queer, intersex, and asexual Catholics,” the editors wrote. “What is, perhaps, most heartbreaking is that LGBT Catholics pinned their hopes on so little: being discussed in a language that wasn’t overtly offensive, with words that will—for many gay people—trigger memories of bullying and harassment.”

Dear progressive Catholics, you want to have a conversation about “intrinsic disorder” or anything else, I’d be happy.  Just drop me a line.  I’m not being sarcastic here.  For some reason John Gehring thinks we are unwilling to talk to you, or at least that’s what he’d like you to believe.  I am totally willing to talk and to struggle with you as you carry your cross, and I hope you help me to carry mine.  Our struggles are all different, but we all need the Body of Christ to make it through this life and gain everlasting life. 

Several U.S. bishops, including Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, have articulated a strong message of solidarity with LGBT Catholics. Putting this accompaniment into practice will require calling out organizations such as Church Militant, a group that bullies, threatens, and demeans LGBT Catholics and their allies. A few weeks ago a pastoral associate at a San Diego parish submitted his resignation after he “endured physical and emotional violence from groups like Church Militant and LifeSiteNews for the past year and a half,” according to an email he sent to friends and associates obtained by the National Catholic Reporter. The harassment included slashed tires, death threats, attacks outside Mass, and “hundreds of letters, phone calls, and emails.”

I’ve already addressed Aaron Bianco here, so I’m not going to go there again, but if you missed it, here’s my response to this flap: 

Of course the Catholic Church doesn’t condone this abuse; in fact, the Catechism explicitly denounces it. Nevertheless, some bishops and other church leaders foster a toxic culture that scapegoats and demonizes LGBT laity and clergy. Former Vatican ambassador Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who has called for Pope Francis’s resignation, warns of “homosexual networks” with the “power of octopus tentacles” that are “strangling” the church. “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,” Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, wrote in a letter to Catholics in his diocese. Such language only tills the soil for potentially violent acts.

Seriously, can’t we talk about sin without having it be a threat somehow? Sorry, again, my kids have to live in this world, John.  You don’t get to play the martyr card.

As James Baldwin wrote: “It is a terrible, an inexorable law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one’s own.” When the church continues to deny LGBT people their full humanity, isn’t that the risk it takes?”

Oh, yes.  James Baldwin who knows all the beauty and intricacies of the Catholic Church.  Geez.  You had the chance somewhere to quote St. John Paul II, but you went with James Baldwin as your “saint” of choice?!?

And, just for the record, the Church wants nothing less than dignity and salvation for all Her children.  The Church NEVER discriminates amongst God’s children.  The same rules apply to all of us.  It ain’t easy.  There’s a lot about the narrow gate but the Body of Christ is meant to struggle together.

Synodality vs. Banality (The Latter Won)

The “Youth” Synod is FINALLY over and so I shall now comment.

First of all, “synodality?!?” Yeah, that’s on the minds of all the youth. I hear about it every day when I talk to them. Not. Seriously?  We used to call it “collegiality,” but now they’re going for a new way cooler title. It’s ridiculous. We had a month to hear topics of concern to the youth, and I think it’s safe to say “synodality” wasn’t their top issue. In fact, I’ve been discussing it with youth and, yeah, they couldn’t care less.

Beside the lack of interest with the youth, it’s a complete and utter farce. Let’s look at what “synodality” is, shall we? It apparently means a few different things to more than a few different people. To the liberals, it pretty much means, “How can we stack things in our favor and get around those mean, old orthodox types like the Africans?” It was supposed to mean each bishops’ conference is autonomous, but from the get go we can see that this is quite a bit a lie. First off, our bishop’s conference selected people, but they were not Cardinals Tobin or Cupich, so guess who the Holy Father added? It seems similar in other countries. Cardinal Tobin, fortunately, bowed out due to his precarious situation with the cover up stuff in his diocese. That said, NOBODY WANTED CARDINAL CUPICH except those who think just like him. I mean, at this point, with Germany being insane, why didn’t Pope Francis just appoint all of them? I can’t find the exact number but according to this article it looks like there was at least 39 papal nominees and probably a few more with multiple bishops and cardinals appointed from the same country like Cupich and Tobin were. If I’ve got this right, 166 was the magic number to pass a final document paragraph with the 249 members voting. 39 appointees meant a lot. I haven’t seen all the final votes but based on reporting at least one of the paragraphs probably would have failed. Yes, I am assuming the papal nominees voted for passage.  Call me crazy. The votes reflecting sanity were always going to be cancelled out. So much for “synodality.”

By the way, “synodality” and “collegiality” don’t hold water outside of the synod, either. There’s now the new case of Bishop Holley. It sounds like all parties say there’s NO accusations of abuse, but the autonomy of a bishop just disappeared because Bishop Holley moved all his priests around. There’s a big “he said/he said” going on there, but if we’re going with “synodality” and “collegiality” should Pope Francis have remove him simply because of his managerial process? Where’s the autonomy there? So, “synodality” and “collegiality” seem applicable only when and how certain people want to apply it.

Back to the synod. The final document. Hello! How many of the Pope’s appointed guys were included in drafting?! Again, our conferences chose our guys, but the Vatican cancelled them out. Yeah, it’s the Pope’s right to do so, but that doesn’t make it correct and definitely doesn’t express that synodality notion.

The final document spent a huge chunk on something youth couldn’t care less about. It’s a little disingenuous to apologize to the youth for ignoring them and then turn around and spend the bulk of the document on your concerns instead of theirs. What really is the point?

And the issues the youth were interested in? More of the same, but more ambiguous and really a more, how should I say, flexible interpretation, plus a subtle weakening of the Truth, to boot. For example, Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry is already putting his spin on the “truth.”

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which advocates for LGBT Catholics, applauded the call for “a deeper anthropological, theological and pastoral elaboration of sexuality and affectivity.” He interpreted this as the bishops’ admission “that the church still has a lot to learn about sexuality.” https://religionnews.com/2018/10/29/catholic-bishops-end-synod-with-controversy-and-compromise/

What the what?!?!?! The Church has more understanding about sexuality in Her pinky than DeBernardo will ever have. By the way, you have to love the title of the article I cited: “Catholic bishops end synod with controversy and compromise.” And by love, I mean loathe. We don’t need more controversy and the compromise seems to be with Truth more than anything else.

For heaven’s sake, I have a million times more confidence in the youth of today that they can handle the truth. We’re telling them things like, “God loves every person and so does the Church.” Do we REALLY think this needed to be explained to them? The whole dang thing was one giant pandering party.

And, please, somebody explain this one to me:

The bishops acknowledged that the church’s teaching on the inherent differences between men and women can lead to “forms of domination, exclusion and discrimination from which society and the church alike must free themselves.” (Please note I’m having to rely on news sources, since the English translation is not available.  I can’t get anything in its exact context at this point.)

What? So God’s lovely design differences between men and women is now the problem??? Oh. My. Gosh. This is outrageous. Maybe the Church should teach people why these differences are so wonderful instead of blaming the perennial teachings for “domination, exclusion and discrimination?” Theology of the Body, people. Does that ring a bell? You’re still trying to invent a square wheel when we already have a round one that works beautifully!!! Seriously, whoever voted to pass this paragraph just set us back MANY years and instead seized on the opportunity to pit women and men against each other because, why? Oh, some feminists think the word “complementarity” is somehow demeaning. This is not what I tell my children.

Oh, and dear women, can you please tell me what role you specifically want??? I mean, seriously, at least the women’s ordination people spell it out. The rest of you are a little disingenuous. Does anyone remember St. Catherine, St. Teresa of Avila, etc.? It’s absolutely ridiculous to think you’ve got to have a title or name plate on the door in Rome to influence the Church. Face it. There’s a bit of narcissism and a whole lot of feminism going on here. It’s not about you being helpless to influence the Church, it’s about you wanting power. Seriously, it’s embarrassing. You want to be a St. Catherine or St. Teresa (some of my personal heroes)? GO BE ONE!! Just don’t do it in a manner that says, “Look at me! I’m in charge!  I’m telling men what to do!” It’s embarrassing.

Now, Religious News Service doesn’t cover it, but the final document includes something quite at odds with the Catechism. If you haven’t read Edward Pentin’s critique, I would.   This one is important.

A further concern is that the paragraph also speaks of a Church commitment “against all discrimination and violence on a sexual basis,” words at variance with no. 2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which opposes “unjust discrimination” in this regard, not “all discrimination.” Some are now wondering if, for example, it might now no longer be possible to dismiss someone from a Catholic institution if they perpetrate acts opposed to Church teaching in this area. Informed sources close to the process have told the Register that “many proposed and requested” an amendment to ensure it would say “unjust discrimination” but this was ignored.

This should have never been passed. To the “yes” voters, I’m totally disappointed. My goal is to always discriminate against anything that supports or encourages a person to engage in homosexual acts. I do this because I LOVE people suffering with SSA, not because I hate them. There is a HUGE difference between saying ALL discrimination and UNJUST discrimination. We should be discriminating regarding all manner of sin, should we not??? Geez. No-brainer.

And, listening and accompaniment were the buzz phrases of the whole synod. It seems like just repeating it might not be enough, dear Church hierarchy. I mean, seriously, listening? How many times are we going to talk about that? Isn’t that a gimme? And accompaniment? Might be worth defining that before you spew it ad nauseum. Seems to mean a wide variety of things, and I can tell you, from the pews, it’s damaging. Archbishop Anthony Fisher, OP, hit the nail on the head when he said that much of the document was “turgid and repetitive.” We’ve heard it all before. There was far more banality than synodality.

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.

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.

Fordham Cries Fowl!

Oh, my ever loving goodness!  Catholic college students everywhere should be embarrassed!  For those of you who don’t know, Fordham is a “Catholic” university. (Quote marks totally appropriate!)  That said, all is right with the world, because, unlike Duquene, this is a Jesuit university, so this makes total sense given the lack of Catholic logic in Jesuit schools.


http://www.fordhamobserver.com/student-groups-shut-down-chick-fil-a-proposal/

Student Groups Shut Down Chick-Fil-A Proposal

Apr 21, 2017

Chick-Fil-A

(Katarina Marschhausen/The Observer).

By STEPHAN KOZUB

News Co-Editor

For now, members of the Fordham community will not “Eat Mor Chikin.” Following push back from clubs and independent students over LGBTQ issues and menu offerings, the university has opted to decline an Aramark proposal to install a Chick-Fil-A in the Ram Cafe.

The proposal, initially discussed in early March, included renovating the grill area, or Urban Kitchen, to house a Chick-Fil-A. The hot entree station, or Cloverleaf, would have remained in place.

The student groups that were consulted in responding to the proposal were the United Student Government (USG), the Commuter Students Association (CSA), the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the Rainbow Alliance.

I reiterate again: Fordham is supposedly a Catholic school!  Why is a Catholic school consulting with the “Rainbow Alliance?”  Give me a stinking break!  Here’s a novel idea.  Why don’t you consult with the Catechism?  Never mind, I’m sure you lost (or burned) the one copy that might be somewhere on the campus.

The Rainbow Alliance was consulted in the decision-making process because of a controversy regarding Chick-Fil-A’s stance on LGBTQ issues that has been stirred up to varying degrees since 2012. That year, the family that owns the fast food chain made public statements against marriage equality, a stance backed up by several million dollars in donations they have made over the years to organizations working actively against same-sex marriage. When the chain opened their first location in New York in 2015, they faced protests on the issue.

Hmmm…the city of New York.  What happened to that Chick-fil-a in NYC?  Oh yeah, it’s thriving and more have opened.  Uh, Fordham, that might give you a clue as to your stupidity.  They are chicken sandwiches.  Chicken sandwiches can’t change your “sexual identity.”  If they could, I would totally invest with your best interest in mind.  Sadly, all Chick-fil-a does, dear “Rainbow Alliance,” is feed college kids on a budget.

Representatives from Chik-Fil-A offered to collaboratively run unspecified programming with the Rainbow Alliance in conjunction with the rollout of a venue on campus. Due to continued concerns regarding this issue, however, the Rainbow Alliance unanimously voted against the proposal. Several students independently reached out to USG to voice their concerns, according to then-USG president Leighton Magoon, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’17.

“If they want to bring in Chick-Fil-A, they can bring in Chick-Fil-A,” Renata Francesco, FCLC ’19 and Rainbow Alliance Co-President, said. “But we’re not going to partner with an institution, a corporation that has so strongly supported other institutions that work to destabilize and demolish movements for queer equity.”

I think they’re just liberal wannabees instead of Catholics.  Hey, Fordham – I live in just about the most liberal state of the union, and guess what?  Many of our state schools (not even Catholic schools) have Chick-fil-a’s on campus, and quite frankly, they’re laughing at you.

And, guess what?  I’m sure most of you don’t know the history of Chick-fil-a, but I looked it up for you.  In 1998, Chick-fil-a had 134 stores and 114 of them were on college campuses.  http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/1998/11/16/story2.html  Did somebody at Fordham suddenly notice that these campuses all become conservative bastions and/or places where homosexuals have been persecuted for years?  Please.  Get just a little grip on reality.  When did serving chicken sandwiches become a form of persecution?

When resistance to the proposal started to gain steam, the USG executive board began to reconsider if USG was okay with having a Chick-Fil-A on campus, said Magoon. Over spring break, they were informed that the university had declined the proposal and that Aramark would no longer pursue the installation of a Chick-Fil-A.

Define “gaining steam?”  Apparently the university missed an op-ed by one of its own: https://fordhamram.com/2017/02/15/chick-fil-a-is-here-to-stay/  I’d bet money that for every one liberal whiner, there are ten hungry students who want their chicken.

Francesco said that she was surprised about this decision, because of “Fordham’s recent handling of major queer issues on campus, most notably the hesitation and denial to create trans-inclusive spaces.” The Observer reported on issues facing trans students on campus in a recent issue.

“Part of me is hopeful that they’ll start taking this attitude of listening to queer students and queer voices, because there are so many on this campus and just in life,” she said. “I really do hope this is a step, as opposed to just a final ‘Oh we’ll do this, we’ll give them that,’ as a way to placate us. But we were very happy with the decision.”

Really?!?!  Surprised about the decision?  http://www.campusreform.org/%5C?ID=6659  It’s Jesuit.  It’s Fordham.  I’d expect no less, even though it’s ridiculous.  I’ve learned to expect this from the likes of them.  Traditional marriage?  Not really in their wheelhouse.

Students also had concerns with Chick-Fil-A’s menu options, according to Dining Services Contract Liaison Deming Yaun.

“Certainly, there were some menu concerns as it related to special diets that Chick-Fil-A did not have a lot to offer for,” Yaun said. “They didn’t have a lot to address special diets.”

Additionally, the proposal process revealed that any instillation of a national chain in the Ram Cafe would also necessitate a total revamp of the hot entree Cloverleaf station.

“What came out was that Cloverleaf cannot stand on it own against a national brand really of any kind,” Yaun said. “So we were off replacing one format, but it’s really got to be a comprehensive change involving the whole line.”

Regarding the concerns that students had, Yaun stated that “if we were to try again, we would make sure that everyone that was in the decision process heard the presentations” that the representatives from Chick-Fil-A gave during the proposal process. As of now, there are no alternative plans being discussed to install a national chain in the Ram Cafe in light of the decision on the proposal.

Lamest. Argument. Ever.  Again, hundreds of college campuses house a Chick-fil-a, but it couldn’t possibly work here because it doesn’t address special diets.

While the leaders of the Rainbow Alliance see the rejection of Chick-Fil-A as a step in the right direction, they say that it is only a “tiny step.”

“This is something that I don’t want to congratulate Fordham for, like ‘Oh my god, I’m so glad that you can see this. You’re such a good person,’” said Rainbow Alliance co-president Roberta Munoz. “I don’t want to pat them on the back. You can’t say ‘Oh you’re such a great ally’ when there’s still so many issues with our queer students. Like great, love it, but keep going.”

You didn’t get a segregated space (one of those things that used to be frowned upon when people were sane), and there are “so many issues”?  Yeah, I’m pretty sure you won’t be happy until you’ve erased all traces of Catholicism if they’re not gone already.

Another Epic Fail by Bishop Lynch

I have always thought Bishop Lynch of St. Petersburg to be an awful bishop and he just proves that theory time and again.  He just re-affirmed my thoughts again this week. http://bishopsblog.dosp.org/?p=6644

I was with a group of friends when we heard about this massacre.  I should clarify that I was with a group of Catholic friends.  You know what we didn’t do?  Believe or not, we didn’t celebrate that there were 49 less homosexuals in the world and that 53 others were injured!  Shocker!  I know.  So what did we do?  We stopped, took in the horrible news, and prayed for the souls of the departed, the recovery of the injured, the families of all and our country.  You know why?  BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT CATHOLICS REALLY DO!  Why?  BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IN THE INTRINSIC VALUE OF EVERY HUMAN LIFE.  While we knew this was a “gay” nightclub, we didn’t give a thought to this when we prayed.  We didn’t pray for the “LGBT” community like Fr. James Martin, SJ and Archbishop (#noredhat) Cupich think we need to do.  We prayed for the people and their families, not the labels.  Labels are what divide us.  We see beyond the labels.

So, along comes Bishop Lynch with this stupid comment where he chose words which were divisive and didn’t help the country to come together in a tragedy.  He chose to take the opportunity to take people to task (people who had ZERO to do with murder) instead of comforting all of us in such a time of great sorrow.  He chose to lay blame at the feet of Christianity.

ORLANDO, ORLANDO WE LOVE YOU

Today I write with a heavy heart arising from the tragedy which occurred in the early morning hours yesterday at a Gay, Lesbian, Transgender night club in Orlando, our neighbor to the east. Yesterday, the best I could muster was to send these words by text message to my brother, Bishop John Noonan, bishop of Orlando: “John, I am so sorry. With love to and for all.” Today with a new dawn, I once again have some thoughts which I wish to share.

Our founding parents had no knowledge of assault rifles which are intended to be weapons of mass destruction. In crafting the second amendment to the Constitution which I affirm, they thought only of the most awkward of pistols and heavy shotguns. I suspect they are turning in their graves if they can but glimpse at what their words now protect. It is long past time to ban the sale of all assault weapons whose use should be available only to the armed forces. If one is truly pro-life, then embrace this issue also and work for the elimination of sales to those who would turn them on innocents.

And Cain had no idea of an assault weapon when he killed Abel with a rock.  Get it through your thick skull.  Guns are not to blame here.  Evil is to blame here.  Do you focus on that at all?  No.  Let’s see what you do next.

Second, sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence. Those women and men who were mowed down early yesterday morning were all made in the image and likeness of God.

Well, you got one small section right.  We truly are all made in the image and likeness of God, but where you go wrong is the fact that it’s not religion that is bad and it’s never the Catholic Faith that is bad.  It’s evil that drives men to do evil things.  IT’S THE DEVIL, plain and simple.  The Catholic Faith doesn’t breed contempt for people with homosexual orientation and, personally, I think the Holy Father should give you a time out for suggesting so.  The Catholic Church is the answer to the World’s problems, not the cause of them.  If you don’t believe that then what are the heck are you in the Church at all?  My guess?  Undermining it from within.

We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that.

Really, Bishop Lynch?  YOU are being totally hypocritical here.  Do you remember Terri Schiavo at all?  Honestly, how do you sleep at night?  You made it ever so much easier for someone to be starved and dehydrated to death.  You didn’t fight for Terri who was made in the image and likeness of God.  You whined about civility in a “Can’t we all just get along?” moment.  You made no effort to protect her life.  You just wanted the “family” to agree on ending it.  So, please, spare your quotations of Church teaching when you refused to protect even the most vulnerable. Your lack of cogent teaching is one of the reasons this country is in this mess.

 Without yet knowing who perpetrated the PULSE mass murders, when I saw the Imam come forward at a press conference yesterday morning, I knew that somewhere in the story there would be a search to find religious roots. While deranged people do senseless things, all of us observe, judge and act from some kind of religious background. Singling out people for victimization because of their religion, their sexual orientation, their nationality must be offensive to God’s ears. It has to stop also.

Uh, Bishop Lynch, MURDER is offensive to God PERIOD!  This is what you fail time and time again.  You preach against religion and you preach against guns.  How about you do the right thing and put the blame squarely where it lies with people who listen to Satan?  How about you fight Satan?  How about you preach against MURDER and leave out the qualifiers?  How about you stand for life in your own diocese?  Hey, how about you stand for God in general?  I mean, you are the man who banned perpetually adoring God in the Eucharistic (For those of you who didn’t know that, google.  It happened and yet he can’t see why these horrors keep occurring!)    

Third, responding by barring people of Muslim only faith from entering the country solely because of their stated faith until they can be checked out is un-American, even in these most challenging of times and situations. There are as many good, peace loving and God fearing Muslims to be found as Catholics or Methodists or Mormons or Seventh Day Adventists. The devil and devilish intent escape no religious iteration.

First of all, you were likely jumping to conclusions.  This murderer was already here.  Has nothing to do with Muslims entering.  Next, lots of indications the murderer was, himself, homosexual.  Lastly, do you really think your lack of distinction and reverence for the Catholic Faith is going to make matters better here?  Nope.  The Catholic Church is the institution Christ left us to aid in the salvation of the world.  If you were smart and really wanted to end evil you would encourage to the hilt the Catholic Faith.

 Will we ever learn? I hope so but until the above three points are taken seriously by society, sadly, tragically, we can expect more Orlandos. May the souls of those faithful departed who met their God early Sunday morning rest in peace, and those recovering from deep wounds heal, help and hope.

+RNL”

Apparently you will never learn.  You can’t even get the definition of faithful right.  What we need to do is pray for God’s mercy on their souls and to bring all souls to Him.  Again, Bishops like you are the reason we have such a disregard for life and for God.  You’re on your way out the door to retirement.  I hope that you spend this final portion of your life making up for the lives you haven’t defended as a shepherd of the Church and that you give much thought to Our Lord – maybe even in Perpetual Adoration.

May God protect and heal our country and may our fellow countrymen see that Christianity is the solution and not the problem.  Thanks to those cardinals and bishops who sought to unite us in this aftermath rather than to divide.  May your voices be heard above all others.

 

 

Mom’s Response to a Loyola Marymount Student

The following is a comment sent by a Loyola Marymount student with my responses interspersed.  Original comment can be found here in the comment section: 

https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/loyola-marymount-and-the-thought-police/

Oh buddy…

So here I am, a student at lmu…and I read this…

I don’t know where you come from, but this is utter nonsense…let’s break it down shalt we?

First off and formost…and let’s just get it out of the way as it needs to be addressed.

The people of the lgbt community are still just people, and ask and demand for equality and respect like an one else.

For someone to say I don’t believe in your gender, does not make it so. I dont believe in war, yet here we are doing it perpetually in the name of oh so many fruitless ideals…

Is this really what they teach at Jesuit schools these days?  You’ve completely proven my point about them.   Catholicism is kind of overlooked there.

So, in response, we owe each and every individual on this planet respect as a child of God.  This doesn’t we mean we agree with every single ridiculous notion they proffer.  If you were to ask any devout Catholic if people who want to label themselves with the alphabet are beautifully and wonderfully made, we would answer yes.  Sadly, we realize that better than they.  Whether or not we believe in something does not change its reality. 

For someone to say “Hey, there are only two genders!” is science as God made it.  It’s not some fundamentalist notion.  It’s hard, empirical science.  It’s in DNA. There are x and y chromosomes and they unite to make something wondrously unique and beautiful.  It doesn’t change.  It’s not fluid depending on your notion. It’s a reality that cannot be changed at its core, no matter how people try.  Why people constantly try and rail against God’s creation is beyond me and it’s REALLY beyond me how this notion can be so prevalent at a Catholic school.

I digress…

This person ( who has had polarizing issues in the past) has not evolved with rest of the world. Is it hate crime to say you essentially don’t exist…

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this bleeding heart cry.  Nobody is saying somebody didn’t exist.  It’s just silly to keep repeating this ad naseaum.  It’s a red-herring.  It makes a heart wrenching tale which is completely inaccurate.  Just because you disagree with someone (and this time it’s on the wonderful world of science that God created) doesn’t mean you don’t exist.  It means someone is scientifically right and someone is scientifically wrong.  And for Catholics, it means someone is morally right and someone is morally wrong.

Perhaps not, but we aren’t the deciders of that.  The person who it is said to gets to make that judgement. 

Clearly you have not read much of this blog.  Yes, there is actually a tangible reality.  It does exist and we can decide whether or not something is in keeping with this.  We can also judge (oh it’s such a mean ol’ word).  Can we judge someone’s immortal soul?  Nope. There are things, like culpability, that are beyond our purview but can we morally and in good conscience judge peoples’ actions?  Absolutely.  If anyone tells you otherwise, run far, far away because this is anything but Catholic.  We should be using our judgment all day long.

There was even a conversation about this incident, and there was still hate issues about it.

If I tell my child that the stove is hot and they shouldn’t touch it, is that hate?  Try to move beyond the touchy-feely crud spewed in the world today and realize that truth is the loving way to go.

To trash the school for liberal indoctrination is a fallacy. Our conerstone is the promotion of social justice through the world.

You have to know justice before you can actually promote it.  Justice isn’t running round telling people fanciful tales to make them feel better.  The catechism is a beautiful thing.  Let’s look at it, shall we?
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

1928 Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.

According to their nature and vocation.  What does that mean in the eyes of the Church?  Well, let’s look at nature.  That’s really what’s being twisted at good old LMU.

I. “BODY AND SOUL BUT TRULY ONE”

362 The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual. The biblical account expresses this reality in symbolic language when it affirms that “then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”229 Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.

363 In Sacred Scripture the term “soul” often refers to human life or the entire human person.230 But “soul” also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him,231 that by which he is most especially in God’s image: “soul” signifies the spiritual principle in man.

364 The human body shares in the dignity of “the image of God”: it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit:232

Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day. 233

365 The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the “form” of the body:234 i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.

366 The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God – it is not “produced” by the parents – and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection.235

367 Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit: St. Paul for instance prays that God may sanctify his people “wholly”, with “spirit and soul and body” kept sound and blameless at the Lord’s coming.236 The Church teaches that this distinction does not introduce a duality into the soul.237 “Spirit” signifies that from creation man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratuitously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God.238

368 The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one’s being, where the person decides for or against God.239

Sadly, sadly, sadly, people are trying to separate and change their natures. I have to tell you, my young LMU student, that the very next line is probably going to confuse you. If you really just stop and give it a read, you will hopefully see the beauty in what’s been lost at LMU for far too long:

 * III. “MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM

Equality and difference willed by God

369 Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. “Being man” or “being woman” is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.240 Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity “in the image of God”. In their “being-man” and “being-woman”, they reflect the Creator’s wisdom and goodness.

You see, the dignity comes from God, it is not something we invented.  God knew what he was doing.  Do you doubt that?

Respect should be given to all people lgbt or not, religous or not, bible thumper fundementalist, or atheists like myself.

Oh, so you do doubt that!  LOL!  Ok, this makes things a bit more sense now.  I’ve already dealt with the difference between respect due for the dignity of the human person vs. the respect due for the silly notions of people.  I can see that you do not understand Catholicism, which is really sad considering the fact that you attend a Catholic school.  I don’t expect everyone attending a Catholic school to be Catholic and I welcome those that are not.  That said, I do expect a Catholic school to teach Catholicism or drop their pretenses.  That’s why Catholic schools exist and, believe it or not, my young atheist, there are Catholic teachings on that.  I would think that, just logically, you and your supposed logic-based non-religion could see that small sensibility.

When you create a dialog that undermines the identity of a person, you treat them like a second class citizen…it’s simply wrong,and the lmu community will rise up against hate rehtoric and hyperbole. Because it’s the right thing to do.

Please read this about 10 times.  The only person undermining the identity of a person was the complainant.  The staff member was the one acknowledging and teaching about the true nature of the complainant.  It’s kind of silly to think that when a faculty member takes the time out to engage the students in conversation about the reality of science and the Catholic teachings surrounding it,they are somehow perceived as the one who is treating someone like a second-class citizen.  You know how people treat other people like second-class citizens?  They ignore them.  This faculty member chose not to ignore them, but to explain Catholicism to them like these young students were actually thinking beings with a thought in their head.  Clearly she was wrong but she made the attempt to treat them with REAL respect and dignity.

It’s not silencing or brainwashing or Satan’s liberal logic or whatever you want to call it…

Yeah, it kind of is.

It’s about respect. And that person was disrespectful to my lgbt brothers and sisters…and yes he can say it, but that doesn’t mean his opinion will be well received.

Why was “that person” disrespectful?  Because she presented and opinion contrary to someone else’s?  Please.  This is what a snowflake society we’ve become.  And, just to ask, by the way, have you actually read the account of the faculty member in question?  Really didn’t sound like she went in guns a-blazing.  She did run down the corridors yelling “Abomination!”   Geez!  Even I wouldn’t think that helpful.  She had a conversation.  How about the respect for freedom of religion and free speech?  

I stand with equality.

Funny because you don’t seem to think that the faculty member in question has an equal say.  Don’t you think Catholic morality should actually be seen as a little more than equal at a Catholic school?  It wasn’t a Jewish, atheist, or pan-whatever school.  It was a Catholic school. 

I stand for minorities,

Um, it sounds like this poor woman is a minority.  The BIRT (Bias Incident Response Team aka Thought Police) probably took care of the rest of those pesky Catholics who actually follow the teachings of the Church.  Really?  Have you read 1984?  You might want to pick up a copy.

I stand for lgbt, and against rehtoric and hyperbole that make people feel like less than they are.

LOL!  As long as they agree with you!  Don’t you think for a moment, using your Spock-like, atheist logic, that this woman was made to feel like less than she was?  I mean, gosh, BIRT was called in.  She’s being investigated by the police for having a different opinion and her job is threatened. She must be evil! Talk about hyperbole!  This whole incident was hyperbolic.

Can you say the same?

The real question is, would I want to say the same?  Do I stand for LGBTQWERG…?  Of course not.  I stand for reality and the nature God created, like faithful Catholics do. Men and women are fearfully and wonderfully made and are called to (back to the Catechism) embrace their nature and vocation.  It’s called Truth.  Only there  will we find true love, dignity and respect.  Outside of that is a cruel hoax which many people will find out about way too late.

Choosing Rainbows Over Catholicism

We’re always very quick to send letters of dismay but I ask you to take the time to send a note of encouragement to Fr. Gordon Mann and Deacon Ed Wilkerson.  They made a decision with the love and care of their parishioners in mind and I’m reasonably sure they will continue to be rebuked for it.  It must be hard to be new to a parish, find something in error, and try to fix it.  You can find their email addresses here: http://stsmaryandjohnparish.org/about-the-parish/meet-our-staff/

http://www.courierpress.com/news/local/after-12-years-at-st-marys-downtown-rainbow-catholics-in-christ-in-search-of-new-home-2b71f080-98bf–372644461.html

After 12 years at St. Mary’s Downtown, Rainbow Catholics in Christ in search of new home

 By Megan Erbacher of the Courier and Press 

“It’s not “us against the church,” according to John Radez.”

Um, really?  What is it?  My guess is that you think it’s the Church against you.  Not one Church document says that.

But faced with what some members described as an “impossible choice,” the Rainbow Catholics in Christ (RCC) are searching for a new meeting place after calling St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Downtown Evansville home for the past 12 years.

Why is it that this is an impossible choice?  Is it because your group’s intent is not to encourage its members to live according to Church teachings?

RCC acting secretary Bill Muller wrote an email in February to RCC members notifying them they could no longer utilize the church.

“We are so sorry to inform you that after extensive discussion Father (Gordon) Mann and Deacon (Ed) Wilkerson determined that the Rainbow Catholics in Christ Ministry is no longer welcome to exist at Sts. Mary and John Parish. Father Mann said we are not operating in compliance with the Roman Catholic Church rules.”

That’s not quite how it went down, is it?  Fr. Mann pointed out that the RCC wasn’t following Church teachings and he encouraged them to adopt the model of Courage/Encourage and what happened?  They decided that following a group which ministers to them with authentic Catholicism was an “impossible choice.”

RCC members describe the group as an LGBTQ support group also open to friends and family members. They meet once a month for fellowship and informative presentations, and traditionally start and end the meetings in prayer.

This year’s agenda lists presentation topics including LGBTQ advocacy; fairness in employment and housing; and human sexuality and spirituality.

Well, they pray.  They must be adhering to Church teachings, right?  Every time I hear things like this I think: “Matt 7:21 Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

This doesn’t mean that this group is following authentic Church teaching in any manner.  Protestants do the same thing, right?

According to Radez, a member of the group, the RCC leadership team was told by the Rev. Gordon Mann, pastor of Sts. Mary and John Parish, that they would not be allowed to meet at the church unless the format of the group changed. A suggestion was made to change to the Courage/Encourage format.

Established in 1980 in New York City, Courage’s website describes it as Catholics who “experience same-sex attractions and who are committed to helping one another to live chaste lives marked by prayer, fellowship and mutual support.” Courage has five goals and 12 steps modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous and aims to help members “grow in self-understanding and holiness.”

Encourage was founded in 1992 for parents, family members and friends of the LGBTQ community.

So let me get this straight.  A group in conflict with the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church on morality and sexuality, and who doesn’t encourage it’s members to adhere to that teaching would not be allowed to meet in a Catholic Church facility.  Hmmm…sound darn genius to me!  You know what’s sad? It’s sad that this is news at all.

Mann declined to comment on the situation.

“You know, I’m not going to comment, at all,” he said.

Good for him!  He’s not going to bring further scandal to the fact that this was even allowed in the first place.

Catholic Diocese of Evansville spokesman Tim Lilley responded with a statement:

“The Church’s respect for the dignity of every person as created in the image of God has remained consistent throughout time. Outreach to people across society — including the LGBT community here in the Tri-State and across the world — continues to be founded in that respect for the sacredness of every person. All are welcome.”

The statement also referenced a December 2013 Indiana bishops pastoral statement on the church’s position on marriage being “the union of one man and one woman — a natural institution established by God.”

The statement concluded by noting the church will “continue to reach out to all, and to respect the dignity of all.”

Exactly.

Listed under new business in Feb. 22 pastoral meeting minutes, parish pastoral council member David Nelson addressed RCC’s departure which, according to those minutes, happened during a team meeting in mid-February.

“The team presented their program calendar for 2016, and after review and discussion, it was determined that speakers/topics proposed were contrary to the mission of the supportive role of the group, and instead the group had become political in nature,” the minutes stated. “Its politics could not be supported by a nonprofit entity, nor did they coincide with the teachings of the Catholic church.”

Not sure where the politics comes in but we can totally understand why Fr. Mann wouldn’t think that they didn’t coincide with Church teachings.  I’ll address this after dealing with this story.

Mann suggested RCC members research Courage/Encourage to learn more, but members disagreed and “the meeting abruptly ended.” Meeting minutes later noted that Mann, after discussing it with the diocese, declared that Courage/Encourage is “not the right program for Sts. Mary and John at this time.”

Sounds like the diocese probably wasn’t enjoying any light falling on this subject since this church had indeed been allowing the group to meet for 12 years.  Big mistake and now they have to deal with repercussions of that bad move.  Experience usually shows that it’s easier to revoke permission and let tempers cool before starting a whole new program that is going to be hassled off the bat.

However, Mann said the parish must ensure Catholics of any orientation feel welcome.

“The Catholic church supports people with same-sex attraction and does not consider them second-class citizens,” the meeting minutes read.

Never heard that before– except for on a regular basis.  By the way, I’m curious as to who released the minutes of the meeting.

RCC members said they have endured scrutiny since the Rev. Steven Lintzenich retired in early 2014 after serving as St. Mary’s pastor for about 30 years.

30 years?!  There’s a reason this usually isn’t done.  Poor Fr. Mann.  Sounds like he’s dealing with decades of improper catechesis.

For example, group members looking at the church website noticed the “T” standing for transgender had been removed from the group’s mission statement that had been posted on St. Mary’s Catholic Church’s website. The group never authorized such a move.

It’s a parish group.  Whatever happens is at the discretion of the pastor.  This silly notion that Church groups are served by the pastor needs to end.  It’s the polar opposite.

After the dismissal in early February, about 25 RCC members met at Evansville Central Library to discuss next steps. A majority agreed the group needs to continue.

The group had a regular meeting Thursday evening at St. Lucas United Church of Christ with Rev. Phil Hoy as guest speaker.

Rev. Lynn Martin, pastor of St. Lucas UCC, said it was a natural instinct to offer free space for the group’s meetings. Martin, who has been at the Protestant church for 11 years, said many groups outside of the church use their space.

“We feel the space needs to serve others,” he said, “especially to welcome groups that are oppressed or under represented.”

So, a group in conflict with Church teachings goes to a Protestant Church?  Hmmm…

Martin has known Wally Paynter, Tri-State Alliance president and current acting RCC leader, for many years and helped with Tri-State Alliance initiatives. In the past, Martin has been a guest speaker at RCC meetings.

Yeah, Google Tri-State Alliance.  It’s a who’s who of dissident Catholic groups and here’s something you are not going to believe!  Rainbow Catholics in Christ is listed there.

Late fall 2014, Martin said St. Lucas UCC declared they were open and affirming, meaning everyone of any sexual orientation is welcome and accepted. He said the church lives by Luke 6:35: “Give without expecting a return.”

Martin said the church wants to be a “safe haven” for the LGBTQ community.

“It’s our way of fulfilling the mission of Jesus, if he were here,” he said.

Moral relativism as usual.  A Church is supposed to lead people to the will of God.  Not the will of themselves.

Paynter, who has been involved with RCC since the beginning, said he is leading the group through the transition because the leadership team has shifted as a “direct result” of what’s happened at St. Mary’s. Paynter has presented at RCC meetings on topics such as working with LGBT youth, HIV issues and acceptance in the Tri-State and community. While the group doesn’t always agree on everything, Paynter said it’s a “good, eclectic group of people and probably more friends and family of LGBT individuals.”

If the format of the group changed, Paynter said he feels it would shift from support to “spiritual and psychological harm.”

There it is ladies and gentlemen.  The Church, according to Paynter, causes spiritual and psychological harm.  All this time I thought that was sin.

“I feel like people just really feel hurt, torn down,” he said. “Something that was so vital to who they were as Catholics and as individuals and to have that group treated in this way — I think people need time to heal.”

Who hurt you and tore you down?  The guy reiterating Church teaching and urging you to follow it?  Get a stinking clue.  The Church doesn’t revolve around you and your sins any more than the Church revolves around me and my sins.  Sin is sin.  You’re afraid to say that.

A new home could go a long way in doing just that, said Kelley Coures. As a Jew, Coures said he didn’t want to comment on someone else’s religion, but the City of Evansville’s Department of Metropolitan Development executive director said he always had “warm feelings” toward St. Mary’s.

Oh, well let’s just ditch reality and truth for the warm feelings.   That should serve everyone better.

Coures presented at RCC over the years on topics including LGBT history locally and in the U.S., and LGBT individuals in film. He hopes the group continues its work.

Yeah, that ought to bring people to salvation.  This makes me so angry.  Souls are in jeopardy but let’s teach everyone about their “culture.”  People, we are not defined by our sin.  I don’t want to be labeled anything other than faithful.  If we’re going that way we’re going to start having to label everyone by their sin.  Let’s have Glutinous Catholics, Slothful Catholics, Prideful Catholics– after all, these are our natures.  Face it.  We are all Catholics with sinful natures in need of God’s mercy.  We can fight against that sin or we can just throw our hands up in the air and talk about how we are so oppressed.  The only thing oppressing us is sin.

“My mother always said, ‘If somebody doesn’t want you, you move on and find somebody who wants you,’ ” he said. “The group has an option to go and find a place that wants them and will celebrate them. They have an opportunity to grow into something else, but I’d hate for them to lose their Catholic identity.”

And it’s really all about you and you wanting acceptance of your actions which are contrary to the faith.  Everyone and their pastors have said that you are to be treated with dignity as a child of God.  We totally accept your struggle but we do not accept your sin any more than I’d accept a sinful act from a child I love dearly.  It’s spiritual death for you and I don’t want that for you.  Neither does Fr. Mann.

With many mixed emotions, RCC members are considering a new, permanent meeting place. And contemplating a name change.

Radez isn’t mad. He’s disappointed and hurt.

Being raised Catholic, Radez was drawn to St. Mary’s about six years ago because of the parish’s well-known progressive and ecumenical reputation.

Well, you know what?  I’m glad your fellow co-parishioners got to feel so progressive and ecumenical while they rubberstamped the homosexual lifestyle. Hope they feel really good about themselves because that’s all that matters.  Sigh.

“My issue is not so much confrontational with the church or anything,” Radez said. “Mine is more disappointment. The church is missing an opportunity to minister to people who need it. By pushing people away from the table, marginalizing people, the church is missing a golden opportunity to minister. … Which is completely contradictory to what Christ would have done. He invited all of the sinners to the table.”

No, what the Church has done is to offer to minister to the people correctly and in a manner that gets you to heaven.  Yes, Christ dined with sinners.  ANYONE catch the part about “go and sin no more?”  ANYONE?  How about that part about millstones or how hard it is to get to heaven?  Nah.  Let’s just think happy thoughts.

So, I bet you’re probably wondering why the Fr. Mann felt they weren’t in line with Church teachings. As usual, I gave a little tug on the info blanket and it’s unraveling.  I now know more about this group than I care to and Fr. Mann was quite correct in trying to get them to embrace the Courage/Encourage model.  Rainbow Catholics in Christ embrace the “rainbow” mentality far more than the Catholic end.  As you will see, they are affiliated with members of New Ways Ministry.  We all know by now that New Ways does not have the blessings of the Church.  In case you don’t, http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/new_ways_ministry_not_approved_by_catholic_church_cardinal_george_states/ 

Chicago, Ill., Feb 14, 2010 / 04:45 pm (CNA).- The New Ways Ministry for homosexual Catholics does not present an authentic view of Catholic teaching, Cardinal George has said. Rather, it confuses the faithful about the Church’s efforts to defend traditional marriage and to minister to homosexual persons.

Why do I say they are affiliated with New Ways?  In short, past events like this one https://www.questia.com/newspaper/1P2-36264653/rainbow-catholics-in-christ-plans-weekend-retreat which brought in New Way’s darling Sr. Marian Durkin.  https://newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com/tag/sister-marian-durkin/

New Ways Ministry is not trying to teach the LGBTQXYZ crowd the authenticity and beauty of the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexuality and how to help people with same-sex attraction to embrace that.  They seek to undermine it.  They go with moral relativism. You know, a heresy.  Somehow I don’t think

Did you notice this part of their retreat announcement?

The meetings maintain a strict element of confidentiality but are open to everyone in the LGBT community, “not just members of St. Mary’s,” said Pam Thoren, who was among the founding members of the organization.  Do you find this description in other parish support groups?

According to their mission statement, “Rainbow Catholics seek to ease the pain of alienation and rejection and to promote reconciliation between the church and any individual oppressed because of sexual orientation.. to educate ourselves and our church community to the existence of unexamined prejudice as well as the consequences of injustice.. (to build) bridges of cooperation and understanding within and outside the church community.” 

The Church is not alienating them.  They may be alienating themselves from the Church by their moral actions but the Church welcomes all.  The Church most certainly is not oppressing anyone.  She is trying to save their souls.  This is what that little group Courage/Encourage is all about but, as you will see, they’re not interested in that.  

How about this description of the group?  http://www.examiner.com/article/evansville-catholics-support-gays

Every third Thursday of the month, a group of Evansville Catholics, called Rainbow Catholics in Christ (RCC), meets to support its gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. The group welcomes all members and supporters of the gay community who wish to stand together in Christ. RCC intends to educate the church community, as well as those outside the community, about the harm of discrimination and to embrace diversity. Participants of RCC are provided a safe place to openly discuss issues within the gay community and where the Bible actually stands regarding homosexuality. All individuals are asked to maintain confidentiality.

Most Catholic Churches teach that homosexual acts are violations of divine and natural law. Because of these teachings, many people are turned away from the Catholic Church feeling unwelcome and disconnected from the faith. RCC provides a place of worship for those seeking faith in a welcoming Catholic Church. The group provides guidance and assistance with a modern Catholic perspective for individuals, parents, families and friends struggling with issues regarding sexual orientation.

Um, I’m pretty sure the Bible actually stand exactly where the Church says it stands.  Believe me, people, the more you look the worse it gets.  What the heck is a “modern Catholic perspective”?  I kinda thought the perspective of the Church is what is found in her teachings on the subject.  Silly me.

Lastly, during my research, I ran across this letter to the editor.  It once again proves that this group has done nothing to bring its parishioners to Church teachings.

http://www.courierpress.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/rejection-of-rainbow-group-leaves-parishioner-without-a-church-2e3ee8f5-8e8b-0f1b-e053-0100007f2295-372349841.html

Rejection of Rainbow group leaves parishioner without a church

Kirstin Ethridge

Evansville

For years, St. Mary Catholic Church in Downtown Evansville has been known as a safe space for all people, including LGBT+ Catholics. This is no longer the case. The Rainbow Catholics in Christ group, which ministered to LGBT+ Catholics, was recently rejected by the church’s new pastor, Father Gordon Mann.

Father Mann claims that RCC’s teachings are not in compliance with the Catholic Church’s teachings. However, RCC ministered openly for twelve years with the knowledge and consent of multiple pastors. Furthermore, how can a group which teaches that God loves all people be against God’s teachings? As 1 John 4: 7-8 says, ” … everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”

So the group must be OK because it was there for 12 years?  Yeah, because organizations that were really, really wrong have never been in existence for that long.  Also, honey, pleases see the “Lord, Lord” verse referenced above.

I was baptized and raised in the St. Mary community. Until this year, I had always found it to be a welcoming safe space. As soon as I was old enough, I participated in many ministries, from greeting people at the church doors to teaching First Communion classes, because I wished to contribute to this wonderful mission of God’s love. Due to the church’s change of heart, I have had to resign from my multiple ministry positions. As I said in my resignation letter, “I cannot in good conscience continue to teach at a parish which excludes. Even if I do not explicitly teach exclusion, by remaining a First Communion teacher, I would be complicit in such exclusion.

Short letter and already we’ve said “safe space” twice. So annoying.   Can I please remind you that Christ died on a cross?  People are dying all over the world for the faith and you think people feel threatened because people don’t accept homosexual acts?   Safe spaces aren’t the priority of the Catholic Church.  How many saints are there and how many of them were martyred?  Bringing souls to Christ through authentic teachings of Christ as put forth by the Church is the Church’s mission. By the way, I am soooooooooo thankful that you quit your position teaching children.  Maybe a few of them will be saved from the “safe space” mentality.

I am currently in search of a church which will be more reflective of God’s all-encompassing love. In the meantime, I encourage anyone who is grieving about this change, as I am, to reach out to groups such as the Tri-State Alliance; the TSA has information on the future of RCC and other LGBT+ ministries. All people are created in God’s image. All people deserve an inclusive worship space.

No, honey, all people deserve to be guided in the authentic, reality based teachings of the Church.  The teachings of the Church are aimed toward all and truly include everyone.  Nobody gets special “snowflake” status because they want to keep sinning.  Again, that’s called moral relativism.  Look it up.  Understand it and get a grip on reality before it’s too late.

 

Biology Deniers are Great Big Meanies!

It’s just getting more pathetic for those attacking Archbishop Cordileone because they’ve already used their whole arsenal and now they’re left with just out-and-out lies and conjecture to promote their cause. I suppose some have always done this to some extent, but now it’s getting ridiculous. It’s not like I can blame them, though. They really don’t have the smoking gun they just knew they were going to find. All they can find is the Archbishop again and again echoing the Pope and the Church, so all that can come of that is spin. Case in point (http://www.donotlink.com/advocate.com/commentary/2015/07/14/op-ed-san-franciscos-hateful-bishop-dead-wrong-about-trans-people):

Op-ed: S.F.’s Hateful Bishop Is Dead Wrong About Trans People

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone denies the existence of transgender people. Maybe he should actually meet a trans person before making up his mind.

Let’s see, in the very first line, Tony Garascia writes a lie. When has Archbishop Cordileone ever said there were no transgender people? He’s only stated a biological, scientific fact.  Are we really denying that? They are now, I guess. In the second line, he says Archbishop Cordileone should “actually meet a trans person before making up his mind.” To this I’m going to ask: Mr. Garascia, how do you know the Archbishop hasn’t met a “trans person,” and did you bother to give Archbishop Cordileone the same courtesy when you called him hateful? Have you met with him? Yeah, I’m guessing not.  Chalk it up to hypocrisy.

Misguided and harmful — the easiest way to describe the anti-transgender comments made last month by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who has a history of targeting LGBT people.

Cordileone’s comment — that “the clear biological fact is that a human being is born either male or female” — suggests a lack of sensitivity to transgender people and no familiarity with gender dysphoria, which mental health professionals treat not as a disorder but as a profound experience of discomfort that an individual experiences with his or her assigned gender.

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest, instead, that “trans people” are misguided and harmed, and the fact that you are opposed to a scientific fact shows how misguided and harmful you are. And, yes, up until about 5 minutes ago it has been treated as a disorder. In fact, it was called “Gender Identity Disorder” by and large until very, very recently when that got a little too politically incorrect although many still use it. The reason you are misguided and harmful? You want to help people deny reality. That’s really what it’s come to in our world. “Let’s deny reality, refuse to deal with it, and maybe it will go away.” (It won’t, by the way.) Meanwhile you’ve got Christians on the other side saying, “Hey! You are special. God thought you out in a very special way. God didn’t make a mistake! He made you just as you should be and He loves you and can help you through anything!” Yeah, that sounds really hateful. Color me hateful. That’s exactly what the Church and the Archbishop have taught. Do the Archbishop, the Pope and the Church take issue with the twisting of science and morality? YOU BETCHA!

His comments trivialize the true distress that some people feel when their inner experience of gender does not match their biology. Cordileone seems to want to frame this issue in terms of “culture wars,” based on the idea that so-called liberals have an “anything goes” attitude toward defining gender.

Uh, liberals have an “anything goes” attitude towards just about everything. There is no truth. There is no morality. And there’s definitely no history. It is “anything goes” which has kind of led to the downfall of civilization after civilization. (They’d know that if they hadn’t eliminated history.)

What Cordileone needs to understand is that people do not wake up one day and decide to change their gender, and that being transgender is deeply rooted in who they are from an early age. There is simply a disconnect between the inner experience of the individual concerning how they identify as female or male, and their biology.

Wow! This seems rather simplistic for anyone. Did you get your degrees from a box of Cracker Jacks? Close. Looks like Indiana U and Catholic U (back in the day when those in charge didn’t care so much about Catholic identity). Some of your “colleagues” would disagree with your assessment about the early age. Some present early and some do not. Nor is there any consensus about the cause of the disorder. (BTW, Psychology Today still calls it a disorder. How politically incorrect of them!)

In fact, every major mental health organization insists that gender dysphoria is real and should be taken seriously by parents and health care providers. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the anguish that some transgender people experience with the contrast between how they look on the outside and the gender they identify with can be so intense that they can take extreme measures to reconcile the difference.

Um, yeah! Who DOESN’T take it seriously? Most everyone I know takes it as seriously as a heart attack!  This doesn’t mean that it should be given the thumbs up. One, definitely, need not think that liberals handle it correctly or do right by those afflicted with it. It is a cross.

One wonders if Cordileone has in fact ever met with transgender people, listened to their stories, their pain, and their attempts to live authentically and integrate who they really are into how they function in the society. If he took the time to meet with trans people and consult mainstream researchers and clinicians, he would find that transgender people look to their faith and their churches for acceptance, often feel alienated from their places of worship, face great psychological distress, and are at a greater risk than others for suicide due to rejection.

You’ve already proffered that the Archbishop has not met a person with Gender Identity Disorder.  Got it. You’ve got no proof of that but you’re free to go on with that suggestion. The Catholic Church (I would think you’d know this going to Catholic U, but it really wasn’t the bomb when you were there) cannot accept a transgender lifestyle. It distorts Natural Law which is all good. The Catholic Church does, however, completely embrace those afflicted with that cross. Maybe it’s you who needs to get to know the Church a bit. News flash – the Catholic Church is full of many Catholic psychiatrists and psychologists who also do not agree with you.  I bet some might even have a degree from Catholic U!

In my counseling practice, I have worked with parents of transgender children as they work to accept and embrace their child’s journey. These parents have come to understand that human sexuality, orientation, and gender identification exist on a continuum and that their responsibility toward their children is to listen to their experience and to encourage them to fully accept who they are.

Just out of curiosity, do you advise them in light of Church teaching? My guess is no if you have a problem with Archbishop Cordileone. By the way, you might want to also note you have a problem with Pope Francis.  Writing an article about him next?

The archbishop’s attitude and flippant way of disparaging transgender people and even the LGBT movement unfortunately give Catholics who are struggling with acceptance of an LGBT son or daughter more freedom to minimize and disregard their own child’s feelings. Caitlyn Ryan, the founder of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, points out that LGBT children who experience significant rejection by their families are eight times as likely to attempt suicide as LGBT children who feel accepted, and are six times more likely to report high levels of depression.

Oh, please, please tell me where the Archbishop told families to reject their children? This is a huge red herring which needs to be shot and put out of its misery. How many times have we been asked, “What would you do if your child were ‘gay,’ transgender, etc.?” to which we all reply “Duh! We’d love them, of course!” Love doesn’t mean rubber stamping everything that your child thinks or wants to do, right? Again, the suicide problem doesn’t come from Church teaching. It comes from liberals who teach us that we live in a throw-away society (also contrary to Church teaching).

What message does the archbishop’s trivialization of transgender people convey to the Catholic faithful? What message does his attitude toward LGBT people send to parents who might be struggling with an adolescent who just came out to them as LGBT? Does the archbishop really want to encourage parents of LGBT children to respond to their coming out in the same dismissive way that he presented during his comments?

First of all, the Archbishop hasn’t done what you have said. Maybe you shouldn’t rely on the National catholic Reporter for your “facts” or lack thereof? His attitude toward “LGBT” people is the same as the Church and Pope Francis – loving. Does someone from Catholic U really need a refresher course in the teachings of the Church? Also, in case nobody else noticed, Dr. Garascia gave one quote on which he premises his entire caricature of Archbishop Cordileone.  What was it?  A scientific fact.  Oooh!  How trivial – not! What Garascia has done is inserted a whole lot of conjecture and innuendo as fact. Quite frankly, it’s sad that The Advocate would think of posting such a sloppy op-ed.

One would hope that the archbishop would truly consult doctors, psychologists, and mental health counselors who have worked with transgender people to better understand this issue. Better yet, the archbishop would do well to actually listen to the experiences of transgender people who fight to be heard and be visible to the hierarchy. If he would only listen, he would understand that this is not about “gender politics” but about treating others with dignity and respect.

Again, does Garascia actually know that the Archbishop, the Holy Father and the Catholic Church haven’t done this already? Really, the pompousness is staggering albeit all too common. Maybe Garascia is just upset they didn’t consult him?  That sounds about right!