South Carolina: Dum Spiro Spero!

For those of you not into Latin or Googling, South Carolina has a state motto that really defines me. Translated, it means “While I breathe, I hope!” They actually have two, but this is my favorite by far.

What am I hoping, South Carolina? I’m hoping that you will dump Trump and go with someone who is not trying to take you for a ride. I mean, really? Trump is ahead by double digits in South Carolina? What in the heck is wrong with you? You’re in the South, for heaven’s sake. Your polls (and no, I never believe them to be all that true) show an overwhelming belief that the guy from the North who should be offending all of your sensibilities is wildly ahead!

Please, South Carolinians, look at the events of the week and ask yourself, “Do we really want Donald Trump picking the next SEVERAL Supreme Court justices?” Hang everything else. This is really, really what it comes down to. If this happens, the South will lose the 10 Commandments, crosses will likely come down, and your court clerks will likely have to marry a lady and her cat. The Trumpster doesn’t give a flying fig about anything socially or morally conservative. He’s talking out of both sides of his mouth on a daily basis and has admitted that he’s a chameleon. How about this quote: “I’m very capable of changing to anything I want to change to.”? And he will as soon as he’s elected. Is this what the south wants?

Who am I rooting for? One would think, being Catholic, that I would be in Rubio’s corner. Truth be told, I was intrigued by him and I think him a solid second place in people who might actually do something to save the country. But, again, this is coming down to SCOTUS picks. Ask yourself, if you looked long and hard at Rubio and Cruz in the eye, who do you really trust to pick authentic, moral conservatives for the Supreme Court? I think we’ve already seen Rubio do a little waffling. I don’t want a waffler. I don’t want a second guesser. I want someone who’s likely got a list of twenty Supreme Court nominees he could rattle off in less than thirty seconds who are known and already vetted to be morally conservative Constitutionalists like our great and amazing Antonin Scalia – may Perpetual Light shine upon him. Cruz is the man I see when I think of this, and, apparently, I’m not alone: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/this-is-the-presidential-candidate-republican-say-they-trust-to-appoint-sup

So, yes, I’m officially (if anyone cares) joining the Cruz Crew. I don’t want to hear that he can’t win. We’ve fallen for this way too many times. How about we put our Faith in God, pray like crazy for God’s mercy, fast, and spend some time praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament (for those who are Catholic) for the win instead of sounding like Eeyore? Wishy-washy has gotten us into the mess we’re in, and we can’t, for our children’s sake, keep nominating a wimp or a morally lax nominee. It is pointless. Again, have some Faith and remember that, with God, all things are possible. Stop paying lip service to this notion.

Also, while you are on your knees, start thinking about the fact that Ted Cruz won running against ethanol mandates in an ethanol state. Hello! This is huge! The supposed conservative governor was against him (thanks to his brother in the ethanol industry), and they were running merciless ads against Ted Cruz, yet he won! Please don’t tell me he can’t win.

Next, think about the fact that, despite all odds, Ted Cruz came in third in NH. Third! He beat out liberal Christie and the projected possible second place guy, Marco Rubio. Rubio finished fifth, and that’s BEHIND JEB! The media wants Donald Trump and they want Marco Rubio, because Ted Cruz scares the heck out of the liberals. They know he can out-debate any of them against Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. I couldn’t care less if the polls say “Only Marco can beat them!” He can’t even beat Jeb Bush! BUSH! Wake up people. This is the reason that Trump won’t do a Lincoln/Douglas debate with Cruz. It would be suicide.

I get the Trump appeal. Really, I do. We’re sick of watching wimps. That said, don’t trade the wimp for the snake. Let’s pick someone better. If Trump wasn’t in the race, we all know that Ted Cruz would be labeled THE anti-establishment, don’t-back-down guy. He’s not the type to roll over. Don’t let The Donald’s narcissistic bombast fool you. I’m sure some of you are thinking (as the media has told you) that nobody in Congress likes Ted, and therefor he won’t get anything done. First of all, SCOTUS, SCOTUS, SCOTUS. That is THE most important thing the next president will do. Next, baloney! Many people, even those that disagree, like Cruz and have publicly said so. In fact, he’s so likeable that even The Donald has said he likes him and thinks he would make a good VP. This is all media spin. I’ve met a lot of people who know Ted Cruz personally (those not living in the “mom cave”), and they have great hope in Ted Cruz. He’s picking up endorsements daily. I also think, as more and more candidates bail out of the race, Cruz’s campaign will get stronger and stronger.

As far as Cruz being a liar about Rubio’s record…uhh, I see the same things in Rubio’s record. It’s public record so feel free to call me a liar too. I think him pro-life, but I don’t think him as dedicated to the cause nearly as much as Ted Cruz. He missed some crucial votes, although it seems some pro-lifers around the country are quibbling on the crucial-ness of the votes he missed. Sorry, every other candidate who considers life precious made those votes. They were there to lean on as many people as possible. And as I recall, they were only short seven votes. Marco would have made it six, and who knows how many we may have lost not being united on it. Marco was MIA! Too busy campaigning. Next, Rubio just said Cruz didn’t speak Spanish (kind of using the liberal tactic that Ted’s just not Hispanic enough)! Umm, pot meet kettle. I think Cruz just owned Rubio on that little inaccuracy. So, Marco, when crying “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” you might want to keep your house in order.

And let’s talk about the resume. My gosh! Please spend a moment and really do some background checking on this. Ted Cruz’s resume blows everyone else away: http://www.youngcons.com/ted-cruzs-resume-is-very-impressive-should-make-him-standout-amongst-other-candidates/ Cruz can sway people to his understanding. Notice that I didn’t say “his way.” He doesn’t want to get his way. He wants to show people what America can be. Now, with the House and Senate in our corner (or supposedly in our corner), he should be able to get a lot done. If not, I have little doubt he will make his case to the people in the same way Ronald Reagan blew past Tip O’Neill and went straight to the people, who in turn pressured their congressmen and senators to vote with him. Is Cruz Reagan? Personally, I think him better than Reagan in many ways.

Lastly, how about ground game? Cruz is running circles around all of them. He learned from Obama and the silly, old Republican guard’s last loss and went high tech. I’m not sure why Republicans can’t figure out that data analytics are important. I actually saw a story the other day saying “Cruz uses data mining to find out about your personal behavior!” as if the info isn’t available to EVERYONE, and as if smart candidates everywhere aren’t already using it. Take off the tinfoil hats and embrace micro-targeting, people. All of your retailers do. It keeps them (and candidates) from wasting time and, more importantly, money. I think that shows how Cruz can embrace innovation and should make him super cool to the hipsters who develop these dang programs. Cruz has been able to spend far less of his supporters’ money with better results than the rest of the candidates. Might that translate in how he’d spend the nation’s money? I think “yes!”

So, South Carolina, what do you say? Can you have a little faith and buck the media narrative for your state? If South Carolina won’t do it, hopefully the rest of the South will put them to shame. While I breathe, I hope!

AB Cupich Lectures Us Instead of SCOTUS

I didn’t see Archbishop Cupich’s statement on the SCOTUS ruling until after I posted last night.  Wow!  And here I was complaining about McElroy’s ambiguous statement!  I think I’d take that over the Cupich’s statement!  It seems this Archbishop thinks a lot of his ability to send a message without really saying anything at all, and he also seems to think he’s getting the “red hat” no matter what the heck he says or doesn’t say.  Where is the Catholicism in his statement (below)?  I’m really going to hope and pray the “red hat” doesn’t head to Chicago anytime soon.  We need a Cardinal Cordileone, not a Cardinal Cupich!  We need someone who’s going to bleed Church doctrine, not one who wants to confound and confuse everyone.

So here’s Archbishop Cupich’s statement:

STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP BLASE J. CUPICH

ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO

June 28, 2015

This week the Supreme Court of the United States issued two rulings with particular meaning for the Catholic Church.

In the first, the Court preserved subsidies for the 6.4 million low-income Americans who depend on them to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We have issues with provisions of that legislation and will continue to advocate to preserve our religious freedom. However, we understand that for millions of individuals and families, most of them the working poor, this decision preserves access to health care and the promise it offers of a healthier, longer life.

In the second decision, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that two persons of the same sex have a constitutional right to marry each other. In doing so, the Court has re-defined civil marriage. The proposed reason for the ruling is the protection of equal rights for all citizens, including those who identify themselves as gay. The rapid social changes signaled by the Court ruling call us to mature and serene reflections as we move forward together. In that process, the Catholic Church will stand ready to offer a wisdom rooted in faith and a wide range of human experience.

First of all, the Supreme Court didn’t “rule,” the Supreme Court legislated.  It rewrote existing law AND it rewrote the Constitution (no amendment process needed according to them!).  Sorry, Archbishop Cupich, the equal rights of all were already protected, and marriage, quite frankly, never fell under the equal rights clause.  There have always been constraints on marriage, which is why we needed a license for it.  There was never an open season to marry whomever you loved.

How, Archbishop, are we supposed to move forward together?  “Gay marriage” is and always has been an affront to the Truth and the dignity of the person.  The Supreme Court further tore the fabric of society.  It’s not time for “mature and serene reflection.”  It’s time for the Catholic Church to do something.  Do you want us just to accept it simply “because it’s the law of the land?”  Are we also just supposed to accept transsexual restrooms?  Participate in gay weddings?  Sorry, Archbishop, I have children, so I will fight this line of thinking tooth and nail for them.  Peace in our country is out the window now just as your fellow bishops in Colorado and others have told us.

It is important to note that the Catholic Church has an abiding concern for the dignity of gay persons. In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” (n. 2358). This respect must be real, not rhetorical, and ever reflective of the Church’s commitment to accompanying all people. For this reason, the Church must extend support to all families, no matter their circumstances, recognizing that we are all relatives, journeying through life under the careful watch of a loving God.

Umm, we DO care about the “gay persons.”  The Church has and the Church always will care about and for them.  We care about their immortal souls and their temporal well-being.  What you fail to clarify here is that we cannot support homosexual unions in any way, shape, or form, for the good of their soul.  We must encourage them to lead a heroic life of chastity and virtue.

Let’s look at your “oh well, we all just need to get along” statement juxtaposed to Bishop Strickland’s very pastoral statement (and the statement all bishops and cardinals should be making now):

While taking a strong stand for marriage is the duty of all who call themselves Christian, every type of unjust discrimination against those with homosexual tendencies should be avoided. We must treat these individuals with loving kindness and respect based on their dignity as human persons. Christ rejects no one, but he calls all of us to be converted from our sinful inclinations and follow the truth He has revealed to us. Nevertheless, our continued commitment to the pastoral care of homosexual persons cannot and will not lead in any way to the condoning of homosexual behavior or our acceptance of the legal recognition of same-sex unions. (https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2015/06/bishop-stricklands-statement-on-u-s-supreme-court-decision/)

See the difference, Archbishop Cupich?

It is also important to stress that the Supreme Court’s redefinition of civil marriage has no bearing on the Catholic Sacrament of Matrimony, in which the marriage of man and woman is a sign of the union of Christ and the Church. In upholding our traditional concept of marriage, we are called to support those who have entered into this sacred and loving bond with God and each other.

Nice of you to note six paragraphs in that there was a redefinition of civil marriage and it doesn’t equal the Sacrament of Matrimony.  There is no “traditional CONCEPT of marriage,” there is a traditional TRUTH of marriage!  How about we use the actual definition used by the Church?

 1601 “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”84 (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a7.htm)

There’s a lot of other good stuff there which you left out, Archbishop Cupich.  You might want to give it a read.  At least your flock might want to read it, because I’m not too sure they’ll ever hear it from you.

This will be especially important for the members of our own Church as we walk together, respectful not only of the political demands of equality, but above all else, guided by the higher claims of divine revelation. Our aim in all of this will be to hold fast to an authentic understanding of marriage which has been written in the human heart, consolidated in history, and confirmed by the Word of God.

What the heck does that even mean?  Umm, no.  I don’t have to respect the false political demands of equality.  In fact, I shouldn’t.  There’s only one kind of marriage, and there is NOTHING equal about it.  Suffice it to say that Church teaching was rather lacking in this statement.  There’s no surprise that there was not one mention of the children who are going to be harmed by this.

This isn’t the first time Archbishop Cupich has failed on this issue, though.  The state of Washington voted in favor of gay marriage when he was in charge of the Diocese of Spokane. (Thank God for Bishop Daly!) His statement now was just as bad as then (http://www.dioceseofspokane.org/bjc_2012/letter-74.htm) :

A Letter to Parishioners: Referendum 74

by Bishop Blase J. Cupich

August, 2012

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

On Nov. 6, Washington voters will decide the fate of the law passed by our state legislature and signed by the governor, which redefined marriage to include same sex unions. If a majority of voters “approve” Referendum 74, the same-sex marriage law will go into effect on Dec. 6, 2012. If a majority votes “reject,” the law will fall, but, “registered domestic partners” will not be deprived of any of the rights granted to them in laws passed in 2008 and 2009, namely all the rights of traditional marriage. “Registered domestic partnerships” just will not be called “marriages.”

Admittedly, the conflicting positions of this issue are deeply held and passionately argued. Proponents of the redefinition of marriage are often motivated by compassion for those who have shown courage in refusing to live in the fear of being rejected for their sexual orientation. It is a compassion that is very personal, for those who have suffered and continue to suffer are close and beloved friends and family members. It is also a compassion forged in reaction to tragic national stories of violence against homosexuals, of verbal attacks that demean their human dignity, and of suicides by teens who have struggled with their sexual identity or have been bullied because of it. As a result, supporters of the referendum often speak passionately of the need to rebalance the scales of justice. This tends to frame the issue as a matter of equality in the minds of many people, a value that is deeply etched in our nation’s psyche.

Likewise, many opponents of the law redefining marriage have close friends and family members who are gay or lesbian. They too recognize the importance of creating a supporting environment in society for everyone to live a full, happy and secure life. Yet, they also have sincere concerns about what a redefinition of marriage will mean for the good of society and the family, both of which face new strains in our modern world. They are asking the public to take a serious and dispassionate look at what a radical break with centuries of marriage law and practice will mean.

My genuine hope is that we all can value the coming vote on Referendum 74 as an opportunity to have a substantial public debate regarding this critical issue, carried on with respect, honesty and conviction. When addressing issues of depth and passion – indeed, most importantly at such times – we should be committed to the proposition that our public dialogue must be marked by civility and clarity, and that it should generate light rather than heat. As a means of contributing to that effort, I ask your careful consideration of the attached reflections which outline some of the reasons for the Catholic Church’s position recommending that citizens vote “reject” on Referendum 74, and thus overturn the law that redefines marriage. I offer these thoughts with respect, but also out of a sense of duty to contribute to the debate for the good of our state.

But, I also want to be very clear that in stating our position the Catholic Church has no tolerance for the misuse of this moment to incite hostility towards homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity. As the 2006 statement, Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination, of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops unequivocally states:

All people are created in the image and likeness of God and thus possess an innate human dignity that must be acknowledged and respected. In keeping with this conviction, the Church teaches that persons with a homosexual inclination “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358). We recognize that these persons have been, and often continue to be, objects of scorn, hatred, and even violence in some sectors of our society. Sometimes this hatred is manifested clearly; other times, it is masked and gives rise to more disguised forms of hatred. “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, Oct. 1, 1986, no. 10.)

In the peace of Christ,

Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich Bishop of Spokane

Did that make you as nauseated as I am?  The only Church teaching he managed to muster again and again and again was how we cannot treat homosexual people in an un-Christian manner.  Duh!  Did you have large numbers of your flock doing this, Archbishop?  I missed all those news stories on how wholesale violence against homosexuals is occurring in progressive Washington State.  Why is it you think you’ve done such a poor job with your flock that they’d be anything less than charitable towards their homosexual brethren?  Why is it that you equate being against homosexual acts and the homosexual lifestyle with hate?  I might remind you that the Church calls homosexual acts sinful.  Is that hate?

Look, I’m not sure if you think we’re all living in some sort of ivory tower, but we don’t.  We have homosexual family members, co-workers, customers and fellow parishioners.  Our kids go to school with children of homosexuals.  We coach our teams with homosexual families, etc., etc., etc.  We probably know far more, as Catholics, about how to live and interact with homosexuals than you ever will.  It’s a day-to-day thing for us.  It’s not a platitude or photo-op for us.   It is life and it didn’t just start on Friday, June 26, 2015.  We don’t need the lecture.  We need authentic Catholicism where we’re taught about sin, how to deal with it, and how to overcome it in our lives.

Hey, here’s a novel idea!  How about a quoting the full Church teaching on homosexuality to help those suffering with homosexual inclinations?  That was absent from both of your missives.  Maybe you could prevent things like souls being lost to their sins?  Wow, what a concept!

It was at least nice that Archbishop Cupich attached Church teachings on the issue to the Referendum 74 letter.  That’s more than he did on the recent SCOTUS ruling.  That said, it might have been really nice if he actually taught the Church teachings rather than including them as an aside to “contribute to the debate” though.

Before someone asks, no, I can’t read the Archbishop’s mind, but I can tell you that he is not communicating the Church teachings on lovingly ministering to his flock with the homosexual inclination.  His lack of clarity on Church teaching is deafening.  I don’t know if he just doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable or if he actually thinks the Church is wrong on homosexual acts.  My guess has to be the latter because I’ve yet to see him talk about sin or those in jeopardy of losing their immortal soul.  I’m hardly alone in that guess.  I mean, he can’t even quote Church teaching on it!  Bishop Strickland has shown more compassion, wisdom, and love to the homosexuals in his flock than Archbishop Cupich has EVER shown.  But Archbishop Cupich has made it clear the “positions of this issue are deeply held and passionately argued.”  The phrase “Thanks, Captain Obvious” comes to mind. Too bad we’re just not sure where the heck he stands on homosexual acts after all the ink spilled.  It would seem they are just fine with him as long as we don’t call it marriage!

I was really hoping Archbishop Cupich was going to rise to his new station.  Sadly, it doesn’t appear this is going to be the case.  All he’s done is to continue to dilute Catholic teachings (or at best, just act like they’re a guide to further the discussion) for our brethren with homosexual inclinations and those living in adultery (in case you didn’t know, he wants to give Communion to the divorced and remarried). There doesn’t seem to be anything resembling an effort to get them to lead a life of heroic virtue.  There only seems to be an attempt to make them feel comfy.  I hope the “red hat” is going to go to someone who supports the Holy Father’s desire to truly minister to those with homosexual inclinations and who will truly defend marriage and the family.  This is about far more than “deeply held positions”, Archbishop Cupich.  This is about Truth and people’s immortal souls.

The Tragic Error

I know “THE RULING” came out on Friday, but if you didn’t hear a homily this weekend that at least mentioned the SCOTUS marriage debacle or Religious Freedom, that might be why we’re in the mess we’re in today.  A disaster of this epic proportion at least deserves a nod, don’t you think?  Let’s hope by next weekend, we’ve all heard about it from our individual pastors.

Thanks to Catholic World Report, I was able to spend the day reading the comments from many of the U.S. Bishops (http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/3985/bishops_across_the_country_weigh_in_on_scotus_ruling.aspx). I’m sure they’ll be posting more as they come in, but I have to say, I was underwhelmed by most of them.  I realize these are just preliminary statements, but you’d think that something of this magnitude would deserve more than just a short paragraph or two.  Some of them didn’t even bother mentioning the children who are affected.  As a mom, it has been just devastating to me to think about how this is going to affect my children, grandchildren, and children in general.  Thank you to those bishops and cardinals who took the time to mention that all children deserve a mom and a dad as the norm (you can keep your anomalies to yourselves; nobody is trying to offend you by not listing them all).  Considering how long it’s taking us to turn around Roe vs. Wade in the mind of the public, it is likely going to affect my great-grandchildren and beyond.  Kennedy was Reagan’s worst mistake

I really can’t decide whose statements are the worst.  Many were just lacking.  I have to admit I’m a tad bit annoyed at the bishops who reminded us that we must be civil and respectful of all human beings even if they disagree with us.  I missed who was advocating something other than being Christian.  It seemed more of a media play.  One comment I wasn’t particularly thrilled about was this ambiguous one from Bishop McElroy:

The Catholic community of San Diego and Imperial counties will continue to honor and embody the uniqueness of marriage between one man and one woman as a gift from God–in our teaching, our sacramental life and our witness to the world.  We will do so in a manner which profoundly respects at every moment the loving and familial relationships which enrich the lives of so many gay men and women who are our sons and daughters, our sisters and brothers, and ultimately our fellow pilgrims on this earthly journey of life.

Why wouldn’t we respect loving, familial relationships of people with homosexual inclinations?  There’s certainly nothing wrong with those.  Is he separating the words “loving” and “familial” for a reason?  What kind of familial relationships are we talking, NON-loving familial ones?  Ask me why I’m asking. Why, thanks!  Back in the Archbishop Quinn days, Bishop McElroy (then Msgr. McElroy) appeared to be part of the club that rejected the Vatican’s prohibition of homosexual adoption and the broad extension of civil rights to homosexuals.  He didn’t feel it was binding on them but rather an advisory (https://web.archive.org/web/20080906233415/http://www.ignatius.com/Magazines/CWR/charities.htm). Of course, that’s how most things from the Vatican were received in the SF Archdiocese during the Archbishop Quinn days.  They were simply opinions to be ignored, so forgive me for being skeptical about Bishop McElroy’s current statement.  If Bishop McElroy is hinting that we must be respectful of homosexual acts or their desire to adopt children, nope we don’t.  Given the history, it’s really hard to tell.  Now’s not the time for unclear statements.

As far as the good statements, here’s an amazing one from Bishop Strickland of Tyler, TX.  Your Excellency, thank you for giving one of the biggest tongue lashings on this one.  I’m going to quote it in its entirety, because I don’t want anyone to miss one line of it (https://www.dioceseoftyler.org/news/2015/06/bishop-stricklands-statement-on-u-s-supreme-court-decision/):

Bishop of Tyler

TO THE PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED RELIGIOUS AND CATHOLIC FAITHFUL OF THE DIOCESE OF TYLER, OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF OTHER FAITH TRADITIONS, AND ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL IN THE THIRTY-THREE COUNTIES OF NORTHEAST TEXAS THAT MAKE UP THE DIOCESE OF TYLER:

On the morning of June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a 5-4 decision establishing the legal right of two individuals of the same sex to legally marry in all 50 states. By doing so, the Court has acted in contradiction to their duty to promote the common good, especially what is good for families. I join with the Bishops of the United States in calling this decision a “tragic error.”

Let me unambiguously state at the outset that this extremely unfortunate decision by our government is unjust and immoral, and it is our duty to clearly and emphatically oppose it.  In spite of the decision by the Supreme Court, there are absolutely no grounds for considering unions between two persons of the same sex to be in any way similar to God’s plan for marriage and the family. Regardless of this decision, what God has revealed and what the Church therefore holds to be true about marriage has not changed and is unchangeable.

Marriage is not just a relationship between human beings that is based on emotions and feelings. Rather, our Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Traditions tell us that God established true marriage with its own special nature and purpose, namely the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.

While taking a strong stand for marriage is the duty of all who call themselves Christian, every type of unjust discrimination against those with homosexual tendencies should be avoided. We must treat these individuals with loving kindness and respect based on their dignity as human persons. Christ rejects no one, but he calls all of us to be converted from our sinful inclinations and follow the truth He has revealed to us. Nevertheless, our continued commitment to the pastoral care of homosexual persons cannot and will not lead in any way to the condoning of homosexual behavior or our acceptance of the legal recognition of same-sex unions.

While some of us may have family members who have same-sex attraction, and there are even some who are members of our local churches, this decision to require the legal recognition of so-called marriage between homosexual persons should in no way lead us to believe that the living out of this orientation or the solemnizing of relationships between two persons of the same sex is a morally acceptable option.

We know that unjust laws and other measures contrary to the moral order are not binding in conscience, thus we must now exercise our right to conscientious objection against this interpretation of our law which is contrary to the common good and the true understanding of marriage.

Given this and recognizing my responsibility and moral authority as the shepherd of this Church of Tyler, I will shortly issue a decree in this Diocese establishing, as particular law, that no member of the clergy or any person acting as employee of the Church may in any way participate in the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages, and that no Catholic facilities or properties, including churches, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health or charitable institutions, or any places dedicated or consecrated, or use for Catholic worship, may be used for the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages.

Finally, I call on the Catholic faithful of the Diocese to turn in prayer to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, asking their intercession for our nation that all of us may come to a greater understanding of the beauty, truth and goodness that is found in marriage as revealed to us by our Savior.

I instruct that this letter is to be publically read by the priest-celebrant following the proclamation of the Gospel at all Masses of obligation in the parishes, missions and chapels of Diocese of Tyler on the weekend of July 3-4, 2015.

Given at the Diocesan Chancery On the 26th day of June Friday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen

Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland Bishop of Tyler

Now, I don’t really know the Diocese of Tyler or Bishop Strickland (I just simply have more going on then to know them all – sorry, it’s a mom thing – I barely can keep my kids straight some days), but I’d have to say the faithful there have been blessed by this statement.  It is clear in every respect, and when he said, “let me be unambiguous,” he meant he was going to be the opposite of Bishop McElroy!  This is how it’s done!

Bishop Strickland is right!  We should not just sit here and resign ourselves to it. We should work, no matter how long it takes, to overturn this sucker.  Yep, it’s likely to take as long as overturning Roe vs. Wade, but we must chip away at it constantly and save as many of our children as we can.

Bishop Strickland is the one bishop I saw who used the “dignity” statement and yet clarified to the hilt that we couldn’t condone sin and we ALL should turn away from our sinful inclinations.  Bravo!

I am really glad Bishop Strickland is in Texas, for his sake, because I’m just guessing he’ll be a little better received there than if he were in San Francisco.  If the “100 Prominent Something or Others” here in the San Francisco area thought their teacher handbook had inflammatory language in the beginning, they’d be out of their minds with this one.  (Let’s hear it one more time!)

Given this and recognizing my responsibility and moral authority as the shepherd of this Church of Tyler, I will shortly issue a decree in this Diocese establishing, as particular law, that no member of the clergy or any person acting as employee of the Church may in any way participate in the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages, and that no Catholic facilities or properties, including churches, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health or charitable institutions, or any places dedicated or consecrated, or use for Catholic worship, may be used for the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages.

I pray this man continues defending the Faith in this amazing and concise way! God bless Bishop Strickland!

I also want to give a few other tips of the hat.  Once again, Cardinal Wuerl seemed to have put a lot of thought and effort into his statement, which I appreciate, because this is so crucial.  Here are a couple highlights (http://cardinalsblog.adw.org/2015/06/the-implications-of-the-supreme-courts-ruling-on-same-sex-marriage/):

Our faith is not based on human preferences but the revealed Word of God.

<snip>

The ancient Maxim “love the sinner but hate the sin” is central to our behavior because it refers to all human beings. The Lord asks us to “be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect,” but he does so in reference to how we are to love one another (Matthew 5:48). In the Sacraments, he also gives us the grace to do so. The Church has and always will meet people where they are to bring them closer to Christ.

Bishop Wenski made a short but strong statement that shows us what we’re in for in this country, and it’s not pretty. He shows the history of bad laws and their consequences (http://www.miamiarch.org/CatholicDiocese.php?op=Article_Statement+by+Archbishop+Wenski+on+Supreme+Court%92s+decision+on+same-sex+marriage):

Roe v. Wade has resulted in more than 50 million abortions.  Yet, abortion still troubles the conscience of America and an increasing majority of Americans reject “abortion on demand”.

This decision redefining marriage will also bring bad consequences. Losing the understanding of marriage in our culture as a conjugal union of a man and a woman in a permanent and exclusive commitment conducive to welcoming and raising the children born from such a union weakens the family as the basic cell of society; and it imperils the human flourishing of future generations. Allowing “an act of the will” to be substituted for “legal judgment” is a recipe for tyranny.

The Michigan bishops’ joint statement (http://www.micatholic.org/advocacy/news-room/news-releases/2015/bishops-respond-to-decision-to-redefine-marriage/) heavily focused on the rights of the child (we miss you out here Archbishop Vigneron!):

Every child has a mother and a father and even though each child deserves to be loved and raised by them together, we are conscious of and loving toward those circumstances in which this arrangement of a married mother and father in the home is not reality. Married couples unable to conceive children or family structures that differ – single parents, widowed parents, adopted children and those being raised by grandparents or other family members – merit compassion and support for their life situations, which at times can be difficult and challenging. The Church and her ministries must remain conscious of and respectful toward these differing dynamics, especially when support, counsel and love is sought.

The Colorado Bishops’ Conference also defended the rights of children and predicted doom and gloom. Sadly, I’m sure they are correct (https://t.e2ma.net/message/mm60g/ew4jvd):

The coming months will likely be filled with more questions than answers, given the thousands of laws nationwide related to marriage that will be adversely impacted by the court’s action. We are concerned that hateful rhetoric and discrimination against those, whose religious and moral beliefs support the true definition of marriage that has existed for millennia, will intensify. We will continue to pray that people with differing views on marriage will be able to express their beliefs and convictions without fear of intimidation or hostility, and more importantly that religious freedom and liberty will be supported and defended.

The days, weeks, months and years ahead will require courage, strength and prayer. All people of good will must remain united in defense of marriage between one man and one woman, while bearing witness to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.

I’m sure Archbishop Coakley will get dinged for using rhetoric, but he chose the correct adjectives – tragic and devastating.

(http://www.archokc.org/top-news/5514-archbishop-coakley-statement-on-supreme-court-ruling-for-same-sex-marriage).

Read them and weep my friends. These are indeed the times that try men’s souls. Maybe some trials are very good for the souls. I suppose something has to wake up the slumbering and a little persecution will do that. I just pray for our future generations. If our cardinals, bishops and priests stand up and lead, we’ll be fine. If not, it’s going to be a long, long road of tragedy and devastation.