Bp. Tobin speaks powerfully about unnatural marriage

His Excellency Most Reverend Thomas Tobin, Bishop of Providence, has something to say in the Rhode Island Catholic.

The usual methods of social re-engineering include what I call "creeping incrementalism".  You start slowly, not trying to attain everything you aim for in one fell swoop, but rather strive merely to bump the paradigm a degree or two in the direction you want it to go.  Eventually, what seemed once to be inconceivable comes to be remotely possible, then plausible, then probably a good idea, and then obligatory.

There is an phrase in Latin… in finem citius… things go faster toward the end.

My emphases and comments.
 

WITHOUT A DOUBT
“Rhode Island, Most Catholic State, Welcomes Gay Marriage”

Posted Apr 23, 2009

BY BISHOP THOMAS J. TOBIN

That’s a headline we haven’t seen yet, dear readers, but probably will in the next couple of years. And, make no mistake about it – that’s exactly what the headline will say as the story makes its way around the state and across the nation.

The march toward gay marriage across our nation is relentless, [without doubt] and liberal New England is leading the way. The supporters of gay marriage in Rhode Island are well-organized and well-funded. They’re fiercely determined to impose their politically correct agenda on all the citizens of the state – human history, culture and moral principles not-withstanding. Anyone who opposes them is quickly labeled a bigot.

And what’s the typical response of Catholics in Rhode Island? “As long as it doesn’t affect me, I really don’t care what other people do,” you say. “We shouldn’t judge other people,” you demur. “The Church is losing its influence. I don’t think there’s anything we can do,” you rationalize.  [This is the problem with those who embrace polling data rather than Catholic teaching.]

Well, my friends, gay marriage will affect you and you should be concerned. And there’s a lot we can do. But first, let’s review the principal reasons why we’re opposed to gay marriage.

[1] First is our firm belief – based on the natural law, the Bible and consistent religious tradition – that homosexual activity is unnatural and gravely immoral. It’s offensive to Almighty God. [In CCC 1867 the Church reaffirms that there are sins which "cry to God for vengeance".] It can never be condoned, under any circumstances. Gay marriage, or civil unions, would mean that our state is in the business of ratifying, approving such immoral activity. And as I’ve written previously: “The state shouldn’t be placed in that position, and as a citizen of the state I don’t want that imposed on me and my conscience. Neither should you.”

[2] Second is the fact that gay marriage seeks to radically redefine the most fundamental institution of the human race, the building block of every society and culture. From the beginning, marriage has been defined as the stable union of man and woman, designed by God to continue the human race through the procreation of children. Homosexual relationships are not marriage – never have been, never will be.

Here let me explain the “champagne principle.” Not every wine is champagne. Champagne has certain very specific, universally recognized characteristics. If someone were to take a bottle of Chianti, label and sell it as champagne, they’d be arrested for fraud. In the same way, those who seek to redefine marriage – with its specific characteristics – and to usurp the title “marriage” for their morally bankrupt relationships, are committing an act of fraud. It’s insulting to those who have entered the authentic, sacred and time-honored institution of marriage over the years.  [In Dante’s vision, these sinful acts must be punished also because they tear apart the bonds of society.]

The gay culture continues to seep [incrementally] into our popular culture, cleverly claiming credibility. Did you see that President Obama issued special invitations to gay families to participate in this year’s Easter Egg Hunt at the White House? [?!?!] Just another not-too-subtle attempt to ignore the objective immorality of the situation and present gay couples as normal and happy as every other couple.

The [3] third way in which gay marriage will affect you is its impact on religious freedom, including that of the Catholic Church.

A recent headline in the Washington Post demonstrates the problem: “Faith groups losing gay rights fights.” It goes on to give some examples of how the gay agenda is imposing itself on religious beliefs: a Christian photographer in New Mexico was fined because she refused to photograph a gay couple’s commitment ceremony; Christian doctors in California were obliged to artificially inseminate a lesbian patient; A Christian student group was punished because it denied membership to anyone involved in sex outside of marriage.

We’re familiar with other examples of the gay agenda infringing on religious freedom. In Massachusetts, the Catholic Church was required to place children for adoption with gay couples; and in some countries, clergy preaching the Christian doctrine about homosexual practices have been accused of hate crimes[It is today inconceivable that, in the USA, priests and bishops will be hunted down.]

Proponents of gay marriage say that the Church won’t be forced to witness such marriages. Don’t believe it. And other related problems will inevitably arise. Will the Church be required to admit gay couples as sponsors for baptisms; to rent its facilities for gay wedding receptions; to hire employees despite their immoral gay lifestyles; to grant family benefits to gay couples? For simply maintaining its teachings in these and many other possible scenarios, the Church will be accused of bigotry and unlawful discrimination. The threat to our religious freedom is real, and imminent.

The fact that Rhode Island has successfully avoided the gay marriage phenomenon is a credit to our Governor, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. They – along with a number of other legislative leaders – have been consistent and courageous in deflecting the onslaught of gay activists and in upholding the traditional definition of marriage. We hope and pray they’ll continue to do so.

“The Church is losing its influence,” you say, “and there’s nothing we can do.” “Bull feathers,” I reply. I don’t know if we have 600,000 Catholics in the state or 500,000 or 400,000. But if even ten percent of our Catholic population got actively involved in this issue – even five percent – we could have an enormous impact and help Rhode Island maintain its moral sanity.

Lots of things you can do about this issue. First, you can be aware of the legislation as it’s introduced in the General Assembly. You can contact your state senator and representative and insist that they oppose gay marriage and defend marriage and family values. You can exert your influence with letters to the editor and calls to talk shows. [They will try to lock down the tools of social communications.  Use them well now.] You can join and support organizations like NOM-RI that’s leading the charge on this issue. And you can pray fervently that God will help us in this critical struggle on behalf of morality and common sense.  [Prayer, with fasting and almsgiving.]

The Church teaches us that it’s the responsibility of the laity to get involved in public life, to transform the secular order into the Kingdom of God. Therefore, if someday a headline reads, “Rhode Island, Most Catholic State, Welcomes Gay Marriage,” people across the nation will ask, “How did that happen?” And it’ll be our fault, fellow Catholics – not necessarily because we approved of gay marriage – but simply because our abysmal apathy allowed it to happen.

God Bless this bishop.  Please stop and say a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to defend him in the trial he will be subjected to because he published this.

Furthermore, once the stage of "same sex marriage" is passed, there is no reason no to approve your marriage with your dog or legalize child abuse.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in The future and our choices. Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Bp. Tobin speaks powerfully about unnatural marriage

  1. Edward Martin says:

    Take it one step further. If the one woman, one man definition of marriage goes by the wayside where does it end? What about one man, three women of vice versa? What about two men, four women? What about my daughter and I getting married? You get the idea. Seemed far fetched? A case about to come to the courts here in Canada involves a polygamist whose defense is that since the defintion is no longer one man, one woman why should he be discriminated against?

    The scary thing is if he is aquitted and the the polygamy law is unconstitutional on religious freedom grounds, then anything goes. Perhaps even scarier is if he loses and his religious freedom falls outside guarantees in the constitution, then all the scenarios about the Church being forced to perform marriages and baptisms etc against her beliefs become very real.

    We are your “crystal ball”, use it.

  2. irishgirl says:

    Huzzah to Bishop Tobin!

    Now that’s how a Bishop should ‘bish’!

    Good title for this, Fr. Z-‘Unnatural Marriage’ !

  3. Clement says:

    Bravo Your Excellency!

    May St Michael defend you always for standing up for the truth of the definition of marriage and the condemnation of the absolute abomination of sodomite unions.

    I am behind Your Grace 100% with prayer fasting and almsgiving.

  4. Maynardus says:

    WOW! For a bishop who previously had the image of being a bit on the quiet side, Bishop Tobin has really found his voice over the past few months! He’s really improved the diocesan paper and used it as a bishop should: as an extension of his pulpit. This is not a man who speaks – or writes – without thinking about the impact and consequences of his words, so he is surely aware of the firestorm that will be unleashed upon him. Although I live in the Archdiocese of Boston I’ve atended Mass in Providence for the past 9+ years so I’m proud to claim him as “my” bishop, at least in spirit. May God bless him and protect him!

    Y’know, I’ve often thought that the first question a pope ought to ask American and Western European bishops on their ad limina visits should be: “Has the secular media denounced you lately? For what reason?” These days a bishop probably isn’t doing his job if he’s not drawing the ire of the media elites…

  5. Central Valley says:

    Never, never would a letter this forceful and faithful to Catholic teaching and tradtion ever come out of the diocese of Fresno under the current reign of Bp. John T. Steinbock. Can Bp. Tobin come to Fresno? Please.

  6. Fr. Charles says:

    I met Bishop Tobin when he headed the apostolic visitation team that came to visit us at the former Weston Jesuit School of Theology. Good for him on his willingness to be the teacher and shepherd a bishop is called to be.

    It’s sad to have to say it, but based on my experience, I despair of us Catholics holding our own against the gay agenda until we find the willingness to address the problem of its committed and tenacious sympathizers (and even promoters!)from within our clergy and religious life.

  7. Maggie says:

    Wow, how beautiful! May St. Michael and all the angels rise up to defend him and all other who dare to speak the Truth so fervently in public.

    Our Lady, pray for us!

  8. Karl says:

    Rather than simply bemoaning \”Gay Marriage\” why don\’t bishops help those of
    us whose marriages are actively undermined by the support of clergy for our
    adulterous spouses and their \”partners\”? Why should their advice have any
    import regarding \”Unnatural Marriage\” when our \”Natural Marriages\” are cast
    to the wayside willingly by the Catholic Church.

    Even those of us who have defended our valid marriages, against a Church
    hell-bent on finding for nullity, watch the Catholic clergy fawn over our
    unrepentant adulterous spouses and their partners in crime as they destroy
    the faith of our children, who see their abandoned parents persecuted and the
    criminals who persecute them embraced by priests and bishops, who say and do
    nothing to attempt to heal the valid marriages but quickly and efficiently
    process annulment petitions!

    The Church long ago decided our marriages were not worth \”saving\”. It is
    reaping what it has sewn in its bitter harvest over divorce as its gateway
    to nullity and the choice of our \”insightful bishops\” to remove the
    automatic Excommunication which was the law in the U.S. until 1977.

    I am tired of hearing the Catholic Church, through its Bishops and other
    spokesmen, cry out against \”Gay Marriage\” as they encourage heterosexual
    divorce, pastorally, through their marriage tribunals and the mechanisms
    they have in place to \”push this ministry\”.

    This maliciously abandoned spouse, who has demonstrated clerical perjury, and
    worse, to the Catholic Church and seen it ignored all the way into the
    Vatican, is not impressed.

  9. Jonathan says:

    Learn from the UK its happened. Little noise from any bishop and from some of them complicity they quietly supported gay marriage and actively support gay adoption. Pray for courageous bishops that protect the flock. In England the flock is left to flounder! Remember it was a so called Catholic, Tony Blair, that built into legislation a gay culture that stamps on the rights of freedom of faithful christians.

  10. momoften says:

    Expressed with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I totally agree with him. What will come next after we approve of Gay Marriages–not only pedophiles will win approval, but all sorts of nasty stuff. We need to have more Bishops speak out and reaffirm to American Catholics just what Bishop Tobin has done. God Bless him!

  11. Tom R. says:

    Like many, I submit that Gay Marriage (abortion, etc) is not the problem, but the result. Contraception is the problem that needs to be addressed by priests and bishops. Bp. Tobin is an excellent bishop (I remember him from Youngstown, Ohio), but I think he would do well to follow this excellent piece up with additional articles on why contraception is intrinsically evil. Once you split the unitive and procreative aspects of the marital act, all bets are off.

  12. Gordon says:

    I am interested in hearing the Catholic response to calls to permit “Civil Unions” which allow anyone to have some sort of state recognition and benefits granted to people who share the same home. Such a union would not necessarily have to be for same sex couples, but could be extended to a variety of living situations. I know that the idea of Civil Unions is a common fall-back to arguments against Gay Marriage, but I’ve not heard anyone really articulate a response against this.

  13. I can brag. This is my Bishop!

    We will “fight the good fight” to the end!

  14. RI Catholic says:

    My thoughts on this issue (which is going to grow expedentially), very soon:

    I truly believe the Church should take an approach of encouraging the gov’t to get out of the “marriage” business altogether. Marriage (and its definition) should be re-assumed as solely a religious agreement and (at least for Catholics & Orthodox) sacrament.

    State and federal gov’ts, then, could allow for civil partnerships that do not have to take into account religious convictions, love or sexuality. Any number of people could enter into such partnerships and legally protect the transfer of their property, etc.

    In the American legal arena, we really should take “love” out of the debate. Two people (or more?) who want the legal protections formerly afforded to “married” persons, could enter into this binding partnership – whether they do so because they are married religiously or because it is a wise business decision having nothing to do with matrimony. We should take “marriage” out of the control of the civic authorities and return it to its ancient status as a religious institution.

    My 2 cents from a legally trained (and very socially conservative) Catholic.

  15. Thomas Burk says:

    Tom R.,

    See Tom Roeser’s column on forming consciences – he wrote yesterday about contraception in that article. Scroll down to Apr. 28…

    http://www.tomroeser.com/

    Tom B.

  16. mike conlon says:

    Pardon my crude word to follow (I am from Da Bronx, so I’m entitled). Here is a bishop with cojones. He should be encouraged and I suggest an email of support will help in the the vicious attacks he will have to endure from the intrinsically disordered.
    Write him at: Webmaster@dioceseofprovidence.org

  17. Flambeaux says:

    Tom R. said, “Like many, I submit that Gay Marriage (abortion, etc) is not the problem, but the result. Contraception is the problem that needs to be addressed by priests and bishops.”

    I agree. We lost this fight against gay marriage long ago. We can fight on for a lost cause, but we should recognize that is what we’re doing.

  18. Gordon says:

    I agree, Catholics need to fight the actual disease – Artificial Contraception. It leads us to be able to articulate the founding and fundamental principals that guide families and the real image of love the a marriage (and ultimately children-god willing) presents.

  19. Charlotte says:

    Karl: Intresting take (that I’ve heard before), but I think it’s a wee bit off topic. Still, I think I’m going to move your comment over to my blog and talk about it more. If I have time.

    RI Catholic: Your argument makes sense – that’s the way it is in Europre. But everytime I think about marriage being a religious-only instituion, I just get this feeling in my heart that it’s wrong. Especially because the homosexuals will STILL call ther partnership marriage, even if it’s only a civil/government thing. I believe we need to fight harder before we resort to that kind of solution.

    My fear in all of this is that too many Catholics see things from a populist, Protestant viewpoint. Gads of Protestant mega-churches are ignoroing Biblical principles and preaching tolerance for gay rights and gay marriage. (Hello? Rick Warren? The KING of the mega-church has renounced his support for Propositio 8.) The Protestant voice is LOUDER than the Catholic voice on this issue (at least, in my opinion) due to mass media coverage that wants to cater to gay-affirming religous tolerance. So instead of getting the Catholic take on this subject (which the news media knows will officially be anti), the media chases down the local mega-church pastor who will say and do anything to look peaceful and accepting. Catholics see this and get worn down by it. We needs priests to start talking about this at Sunday mass and undo the damage that’s been done.

  20. Rancher says:

    Father
    I have to disagree with your comment that “it is today inconceivable that priests and bishops will be hunted down…” Maybe you are correct by using the word “today”. But given the agenda and the tactics used historically by those currently in power they will stop at nothing (including hunting down bishops and priests) to eliminate opposition. It is becoming clear that if there is any entity which potentialy can stand in the way of the secularism, socialism and immorality of this leftist administration and its supporters it is the Roman Catholic Church. I say potentially because the “fallen away” will need to re-join if we are to have the strength in numbers needed. Many have noted that and it clearly explains some of the “divide and destroy” tactics the Obama administration is using. By legitimizing out of communion catholics and out of communion catholic institutions (colleges, hospitals etc) they hope to neutralize average catholics and make them believe it is “OK” to support his policies.

    So, while hunting down the enemy (that’s many of us) may not occur today it almost certainly will tomorrow if he is not stopped.

  21. Michael J says:

    RI Catholic,

    What you propose – that “State and federal gov’ts, then, could allow for civil partnerships that do not have to take into account religious convictions, love or sexuality. Any number of people could enter into such partnerships and legally protect the transfer of their property, etc.” is possible today without any changes in the law.

    You and I, for example could form a partnership encompassing all of our assets.

    That is not what the advocates of gay “marriage” want though. In my opinion, they want the State to silence the voice of their own conscience.

  22. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Here in the archdiocese of Boston, some pastors have a very different attitude:

    http://concordpastor.blogspot.com/2008/04/courage-and-caritas.html

    The singing choir boys add a creepy element.

  23. RI Catholic says:

    I, perhaps, should add a clarification to my above post: I do not LIKE that the state of marriage is at this point in our society. But, I do not think that I (and others) are any sort of prophets to see the very real writing on the wall.

    The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution will guarantee the nationwide recognition of gay marriages in the very near future, whether we like it or not. I think that by embracing the idea of removing marriage from the arena of civil law and moving it back to the domain of religion, while replacing civil marriage with contractual unions of another name, the Church can avoid being pigeon-holed in wider society (and in future generations) with labels of homophobia and the like.

    The Church should take control of the debate on this issue before the proponents of “gay marriage” succeed in painting us as bigots. WE know that our arguments are rooted in reason and natural law, but the US Constitution and its libertarian interpretation (which is the ascendancy, culturally) is going to make our position of wanting the state to protect and favor a religious institution (marriage) untennable. It is up to us to teach our children the true definition and importance of marriage and the nuclear family. Sadly, (but realistically) we can no longer expect our civil society to do the same.

  24. Helen Donnelly says:

    May God bless Bishop Tobin and may St. Michael the Archangel be at his side always. Amen

  25. Greg Smisek says:

    Gordon wrote: “I am interested in hearing the Catholic response to calls to permit “Civil Unions” which allow anyone to have some sort of state recognition and benefits granted to people who share the same home…. I’ve not heard anyone really articulate a response against this.”

    One fairly articulate response:

    Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons (July 31, 2003)

    The document concludes thus (n. 11):

    The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

    It’s even clearer about the Catholic politician’s moral duty regarding such legislation.

  26. Matt says:

    While I don’t condone polygamy (It’s not necessary in this day and age) the Church has allowed it in the recent past, but under limited circumstances. There were rigid requirements with it as well such as being able to financially care for everyone.

    On February 14, 1650, the parliament at Nürnberg decreed that, because so many men were killed during the Thirty Years’ War, the churches for the following ten years could not admit any man under the age of 60 into a monastery. Priests and ministers not bound by any monastery were allowed to marry. Lastly, the decree stated that every man was allowed to marry up to ten women. The men were admonished to behave honorably, provide for their wives properly, and prevent animosity among them.”

    In addition St. Agustine also did not rule out Polygamy as had been practiced by the early Church fathers. He did however note that the practice was not necessary in “modern” Rome and therefore it was not allowed. He did not outright condem the practice as God allowed it in the past and there may be a situation in the future where it would be required again. Examples would be population devastation due to war, disease, natural disaster, etc.

    Do NOT put polygamy on the same rung as Homosexual marriage. Look in the bible. Most of the Old Testament leaders were polygamists and this was blessed by God. Homosexual activity of any kind has ALWAYS been immoral and illegal under God’s law.

  27. Tom says:

    http://concordpastor.blogspot.com/2008/04/courage-and-caritas.html

    The above link gives a rather splendid contrary view to the Bishop’s heartfelt words.

    Tom

  28. Jim says:

    This is the most forceful episcopal statement on this subject that I have ever seen. Yes, we all need to fast and pray AND be vocal in support of our religious liberties.

    Catholic academia has collapsed under the onslaught. The public schools tell our kids that homosexuality is acceptable and good.
    It is time for ordinary Catholics to rise up. We will be branded as bigots, but so what.

    “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely for my name. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Matt. 5:11.)

  29. rcesq says:

    RI Catholic:

    I, too, am a socially conservative and legally trained Catholic. Here’s your answer.

    Civil unions are not a solution because the underlying gay activist agenda is not restricted to the sentimental arguments you hear for “gay marriage.” It’s not just about being able to stay at your sick partner’s hospital bedside or inherit her property. It’s about imposing on all of us — regardless of our fundamental beliefs — the requirement of treating those in “civil unions” or “domestic partners” as if they are spouses.

    That means what bishop Tobin wrote. Here in California, Catholic adoption agencies have gone out of business because they are legally required to treat same-sex couples the same as heterosexual ones. Catholic Charities has had to expand its health insurance policies to cover domestic partners — and to avoid giving scandal resorted to extending health insurance to “those considered in family relationships” so that dependent coverage includes siblings, cousins, grandparents and, of course, same-sex couples. Given the cost of insurance these days, you can see the financial burden that imposes on the organization.

    Legislation exists forbidding schools from teaching “hate” and “unlawful discrimination.” So discussing the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Catholic terms would be illegal or explaining that homosexual activity is a sin. At the moment this prohibition does not include “an educational institution that is controlled by a religious organization if the application would not be consistent with the religious tenets of that organization.” But this exception was added only after much lobbying and, like conscience clauses under consideration in Washington D.C., can be removed at any time. Even now it is subject to challenge in the courts, because if the religious organization is inconsistent in its own application of its tenets, the door is opened.

    The examples the bishop gave of doctors’ having to perform artificial insemination regardless of their religious beliefs, of pharmacists having to fill prescriptions for abortifacients, of small apartment owners having to rent out to same sex couples, of private clubs having to admit same sex couples, are all real. Every year laws are introduced that chip away chunks of the so-called separation of church and state, with the goal of eradicating the church.

    So don’t think that “civil unions” are the answer and we Catholics will be able to live in our little protected cocoons while the world around us embraces “families” that are unnatural. That’s a delusion. The fight is already mainly lost in California, where religious freedom is starting to hang by a thread.

    When it comes to protecting the sanctity of marriage, the post by Karl is not the first time I have heard this cry of abandonment by the Church. For what it’s worth, Karl, Pope Benedict has asked that the brakes be put on the marriage annulment process and that the effort be shifted once again to trying to keep couples together. Whether his request is heeded by the bishops is another question.

  30. Matt says:

    One more point that I think we need to stress when discussing this with non-catholic friends is dropping the pedophilia, polygamy end game of allowing gay marriage. We know that is the end game, but others will see it as a canard or fear mongering. We need to focus on the essential element being the traditional family must be the cohesive glue that binds society together.

    The state has a vested interest in the marraige process. That namely is to prevent intermarraige among close relatives. It is also to assure that vital resources are in place to support children (after all they will replace the current generation) Homosexual activity can NOT naturally beget children. Therefore the activity from a truely secular point of view does not need a marraige license or any type of marraige recognition.

    A legal contract can be setup between any number of individuals that grant access to money, care over another person, etc. Think power of attorney, etc. What the state should NOT be doing is providing incentives to couples who will NOT benefit the survival of the species.

    Homosexual couples, if they insist on living this way, can legally do so. The state should NOT be in the business of recognizing, supporting or conding such activity. This is what homosexuals want. They want to FORCE their views onto others.

    Polygamy is illegal in all 50 states. Yet nothing stops a man from having another woman live in his home who he treats as a wife just like his “legal” wife. What this second woman can NOT do is get state recognition as the husband’s wife and all of the benefits that go along with it.

    Once homosexual “marraige” is setup in the state, nothing stops the recognition of any of these other types of unions. This is not about equality, it is about survival of the species.

  31. paul says:

    To quote the old “catechism of st. pius x”, Why do these sins cry to heaven for vengeance?….”These sins are said to cry to God for vengeance because the Holy Ghost says so, and because their iniquity is so great and so manifest that it provokes God to punish them with the severest chastisements.”

  32. Indelible Inkstain says:

    God bless the bishop for this call for watchfulness (and action) and I will definitely keep him in mind in my prayers to St. Michael. As well as prayers of thanks for the increase we are seeing of bishops taking public stands for their flock. The world wanes but we must stand firm.

  33. Marcus says:

    RI Catholic wrote:

    I truly believe the Church should take an approach of encouraging the gov’t to get out of the “marriage” business altogether.”

    This battle was lost over 100 years ago.

    From ARCANUM, (ON CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE) Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on 1880

    “17. Now, since the family and human society at large spring from marriage, these men will on no account allow matrimony to be the subject of the jurisdiction of the Church. Nay, they endeavor to deprive it of all holiness, and so bring it within the contracted sphere of those rights which, having been instituted by man, are ruled and administered by the civil jurisprudence of the community. Wherefore it necessarily follows that they attribute all power over marriage to civil rulers, and allow none whatever to the Church; and, when the Church exercises any such power, they think that she acts either by favor of the civil authority or to its injury. Now is the time, they say, for the heads of the State to vindicate their rights unflinchingly, and to do their best to settle all that relates to marriage according as to them seems good.

    18. Hence are owing civil marriages, commonly so called; hence laws are framed which impose impediments to marriage; hence arise judicial sentences affecting the marriage contract, as to whether or not it have been rightly made. Lastly, all power of prescribing and passing judgment in this class of cases is, as we see, of set purpose denied to the Catholic Church, so that no regard is paid either to her divine power or to her prudent laws. Yet, under these, for so many centuries, have the nations lived on whom the light of civilization shone bright with the wisdom of Christ Jesus. ”

    see also

    DUM MULTA
    Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Marriage Legislation
    December 24, 1902

    QUAM RELIGIOSA
    ON CIVIL MARRIAGE LAW
    ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
    AUGUST 16, 1898

    This is Catholic Social Justice: the defense of the family, the foundational “social” unit of society.

  34. Gordon says:

    Greg – Thanks for the link. I’ve not had a chance to read it yet, but want to throw out the thought that the Civil Union would be designed for anyone– gay or straight. It could be used between college roommates to get health insurance benefits, etc… at least, that’s the argument. To me, it still is something that weakens marriage– but want to get a further/deeper understanding on the issue.

  35. Marcus says:

    My point being that the Church has never recognized civil marriage, and never will.
    The state arrogates to itself what it can never do; confer a sacrament.

  36. Leo XIII put out some awfully good stuff. He ought to be required reading in every Catholic school!

  37. Baron Korf says:

    If France, Spain, England, Mexico et al can go from being beautifully Catholic to murderously anti-Catholic I see no reason why a country that has, at best, benignly neglected its Catholic population can’t do the same.

  38. Parochus says:

    To Matt: the Catholic Church has never condoned polygamy.

    1) Paul III stated that before a polygamist could be baptized, he had to dismiss all his wives except the first, or, if he couldn’t remember which one was first, to chose one woman and dismiss the rest (DS 1497). This remains the pastoral practice today. The practice of polygamy and polygyny by the Merovingians and other Germanic peoples was strongly resisted the Church in the early Middle Ages.

    2) Already in 1916, Leonhard Theobald had pointed out that the Franconian Regional Assembly did not hold session between 1645 and 1664, and that there is no record of such a law in the extant archives of Nürnberg, Ansbach, or Bamberg. In 1920, Alfred Altmann had dismissed the tradition as “a literary fantasy.”

    3) Polygamy was never practiced by “the early Church fathers.” Every theologian, including St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, has given various reasons why God permitted the early Hebrew patriarchs to have more than one wife, but they were universal in affirming that since the coming of Christ, it is never permissible.

  39. Paul Haley says:

    Bull feathers? I didn’t know a bull had feathers…ROTFL. Kudos, Your Excellency, I know precisely what you meant and why you chose that idiom instead of the one more commonly used. May Almighty God keep you in His care.

  40. Jordanes says:

    Parochus said: Polygamy was never practiced by “the early Church fathers.” Every theologian, including St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, has given various reasons why God permitted the early Hebrew patriarchs to have more than one wife, but they were universal in affirming that since the coming of Christ, it is never permissible.

    Yep. Matt has misrepresented patristic teaching on this matter. He’s also completely off base when he says God blessed polygamous unions in the Old Testament. It’s clear that such union were only permitted, never blessed. The sad stories of Jacob, David, and Solomon and their multiple wives, and the way those improper relationships played out in the lives of their children, are cautionary tales for anyone who thinks God blesses polygamy.

    As for the suggestion that the State should stop supporting and endorsing marriage and leave it to religion, that is irreconcilable with Catholic social doctrine — the State is obliged to abide by the natural law and do nothing that harms marriage, but should have laws on marriage that agree with the teachings on marriage revealed to and through the Church.

  41. mfg says:

    Bishop Tobin: Ecce Sacerdos Magnus!

  42. Joanne says:

    The priest who offered the Mass I attended at the cathedral in Providence last week had kind words for Bishop Tobin during the Mass, noting that Bp Tobin had spoken out forcefully on the same sex marriage issue. That IS wonderful, and I hope the bishop continues to do so.

    I guess what I find disheartening though is that often when I’m in downtown Providence, I’m struck by what seems to me like the ubiquitous presence of the sex industry there. Providence has to have the highest concentration of strip clubs of any city in New England. Through a personal experience I had a few years ago, I came to realize that many, perhaps most, of the women who enter stripping and prostitution have horrible abuse histories and many are single mothers. It is great that the bishops have been vocally opposed to same sex marriage, but to be honest, it would be a prayer answered for me if a bishop (or any Catholic priest), in the Providence area particularly, would make a statement about some of the other things that do violence to women, children, marriage, and family life that are present in his Catholic city and state *right now,* not someday, as imminent as the threat is. My heartfelt thanks to any who have.

    I live in Massachusetts and was active in the unsuccessful effort to prevent same sex marriage here, and I would do so again, but it also seems to me that homosexuals don’t have the power to “destroy” or defile heterosexual marriage; only heterosexuals can do that.

  43. Matthew says:

    It’s time to ask the intercession of two saints named John who died as martyrs for Christ and for His Sacrament of Marriage: St. John the Baptist and St. John Fisher. Orate pro nobis!

  44. Bookworm says:

    Logically, if same-sex marriage is legalized there is no reason why Mormons and Muslims should not then be allowed to legally practice polygamy, especially since they will be able to claim that their religious freedom is being violated otherwise.

  45. michigancatholic says:

    There are strings of consequences for every path that could be chosen for these issues:

    Path I. If we condone such things (gay “marriage,” gay adoption, polygamy, abortion, fetal stem cell manipulation, killing off the sick legally, etc etc), eventually we will be required to participate in such things, and then we will become the users of these things and we will be split from the truth and from each other.

    Path II. If we don’t condone such things, and we fight, many will leave. Those that leave will hate us and some of them will become enemies, but not all; those that stay will have to pull the church in around themselves, and be ghetto-ized but those inside will know where everyone inside stands. And the ghetto won’t be because we gave up anything; it will only be out of necessity and temporary.

    Path III. If we don’t condone such things, and we don’t fight but rather form a ghetto (as RI Catholic suggests when he suggests marriage is 2 things–one for us and one for everyone outside), we may be able to get off the hook for now, but it won’t last. There are many, many issues and we will be chased. And the turmoil of being chased will make it nearly impossible to tell who is who within the church and who can be trusted, which may very well become essential finally.

    Add to that the fact that condoning gay marriage (and similar issues) can be gravely immoral and usually is.

    Looking at the morality involved PLUS the nature and outcome of each of the paths, I think the 2nd is the most moral choice and the wisest, by far.

    One other thing makes me think the 2nd choice is the best as well. A Catholic marriage isn’t *just* a religious arrangement or ritual. It’s meant to encompass a married person’s entire being–right down to how spouses make a living, build a family and conduct a daily life. You can’t separate marriage from the business of living in a civil society like the proposal of RI Catholic as much–as terribly much–as I’d like to do. We must be free to live as Catholics, no matter where we are or what surrounds us.

    I don’t think that non-Catholics ever need to be forced to comply to Catholic anything. I would get applauded, I’m sure, by many of my non-Catholic friends for saying that. But the problem is that some non-Catholic people are simply not going to stop at that. It’s not enough that they don’t have to follow our “rules.” Rather, they want our approval for the nasty things they do, in attempts to make those things acceptable, and they won’t stop until they have it, even if they have to ruin us to get it. It’s more important to them than blood and bone and that ought to tell them something, and probably would if they weren’t drunk with power and lust and all the other things that feed these sorts of sinful perversions.

    I’m not just being pejorative when I say “sinful perversions.” These things are so wrong exactly because not only do they defy scripture and Catholic teaching which is true…BUT they defy the very construction and makeup of the principle actors of the actions themselves. These things would be moral in no possible universe where man could be a natural being.

  46. michigancatholic says:

    And make no mistake, the only other option–that the whole thing just goes away one happy day for no reason and we don’t have to deal with it–isn’t going to happen. We’re going to have to get through this somehow.

    PS, Bookworm. Muslims and Mormons have problems with some of this too. They’re being catered to now because we’re the big problem supposedly, but as soon as the gay rights, medical miracles people see that they’re not on board, they’re going to be ghetto-izing too. Along with a smattering of Protestants and a few other groups. Watch.

    The “there is no morality” folks can’t stand to have anything they can’t control in their way. They have a vision of the world that doesn’t include any of the above.

    It’s all run-up to the final act of history:

    675 … The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

    Here’s hoping that the present rendition of the pattern is only a short dress rehearsal, and not yet the real thing, eh?

  47. Supertradmom says:

    We were in Calgary when a Protestant pastor in Edmonton was arrested for preaching against sodomy in his church. The word “sodomy” is considered a hate word in Canada and a priest may be arrested for using it in word or in print. Brazil passed a similar law-http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=13242 This is also a problem in Great Britain-http://www.zenit.org/article-17852?l=english

    And, did we forget the Basilian priest in Canada, who was prosecuted for “hate crimes” because he wrote against homosexual marriages? http://catholicexchange.com/2008/06/04/112780/

    It will happen here unless Catholics stop this now.

  48. Supertradmom says:

    And, how did we miss this today?

    By Thomas Ferraro

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday approved an expansion of federal “hate crime” laws — an effort that former Republican President George W. Bush had opposed.

    On a vote of 249-175, the House passed and sent to the Senate a bill backed by the new Democratic White House to broaden such laws by classifying as “hate crimes” those attacks based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity or mental or physical disability.

    The current law, enacted four decades ago, limits federal jurisdiction over hate crimes to assaults based on race, color, religion or national origin.

    The bill would lift a requirement that a victim had to be attacked while engaged in a federally protected activity, like attending school, for it to be a federal hate crime.

    House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer urged passage of the Federal Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.

    “Hate crimes motivated by race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and identity or disability not only injure individual victims, but also terrorize entire segments of our population and tear at our nation’s social fabric,” Hoyer said.

    Bush had helped stop such a bill in the last Congress, arguing existing state and federal laws were adequate. But President Barack Obama asked Congress to send it to him to sign into law.

    “I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance,” Obama said in a statement before the vote.

    Conviction of a hate crime carries stepped up punishment, above and beyond that meted out for the attack. The bill would allow the federal government to help state and local authorities investigate hate crimes.

    Representative Lamar Smith, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, helped lead the charge against the bill, arguing it was misdirected and discriminatory.

    “All violent crimes must be vigorously prosecuted,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, this bill undermines one of the most basic principles of our criminal justice system — ‘equal justice for all.'”

    “Justice will now depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected status of the victim,” Smith said. “It will allow different penalties to be imposed for the same crime.”

    Earlier this year, Congress passed two other major bills derailed during the Bush administration.

    One, vetoed by Bush, would have expanded a federal health insurance program for children. The other, blocked by Bush’s fellow Republicans in the Senate, would have reversed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to make it easier to sue for discrimination in the workplace.

    With Democrats having won the White House and expanded their control of Congress in the 2008 election, both measures were among the party’s top 2009 legislative priorities. And they became among the first bills Obama signed into law.

  49. Joe from Pittsburgh says:

    Bishop Tobin is a native Pittsburgher, so I\’ll claim some credit by association if nothing else.

    I don\’t envy the Bishops in the Northeast or on the West Coast. The homosexualist bunch has been well financed and well organized. Despite being few in number, they have powerful allies in law and popular culture.

  50. Joe says:

    “And what’s the typical response of Catholics in Rhode Island? “As long as it doesn’t affect me, I really don’t care what other people do,” you say. “We shouldn’t judge other people,” you demur. “The Church is losing its influence. I don’t think there’s anything we can do,” you rationalize. ”

    I can guarantee His Excellency Most Reverend Thomas Tobin, Bishop of Providence, that the above is not the “typical response” of Catholics in Rhode Island (and elsewhere) who assist at the Traditional Latin Mass.

    When bishops and priests discuss the collapse of the Latin Church, they are really discussing the collapse of the “Novus Ordo “wing” of the Latin Church.

    The “TLM wing” of the Latin Church is in excellent shape spiritually.

  51. Sara says:

    On the subject of benefits–my employer has a “domestic partnership” arrangement…you fill out this form basically saying that you and this other individual reside together and that the other individual is dependent upon you for financial support. You have to show that you have been together for a year. The “other individual” can now receive health insurance and other benefits at the same rate as “traditional” family members. The good thing about this is that you can take in your elderly mother or disabled sibling and they can obtain benefits that otherwise they may not be able to receive. The bad thing is that is also includes homosexual relationships and folks “living together.” Since this is a company they cannot be bound by any particular religious teaching, nor should they–we have all kinds of employees, churched and unchurched, highly religious (pick your flavor) to the atheist. However–as it stands right now..I cannot claim my cat as a “domestic partnership.” But give it time..it would be nice to get medical insurance for them. Vet bills can be quite expensive…

    As a single person I have several different types of “powers of attorney” set up to attend to my medical, financial, visitation rights, etc. I do not know how enforcable they are..I suppose if someone pitched a real fit and hired a powerful enough attorney they might be overturned. However I also discussed these documents with my immediate family and they agreed with my decisions.

    In addition I have a lovely niece that will be entering into a “blessing” this spring with another woman….that has caused a HUGE family fight. I’m trying to approach this as a “love the sinner, hate the sin” viewpoint, but I will not attend her ceremony or recognize their relationship in any way. My mom thinks I’m rude and inconsiderate that I would ruin their SPECIAL day… I spend lots of time in prayer that this situation will be resolved by God’s love..

  52. Latekate says:

    I don’t think homosexuality per se has so many powerful allies as the Catholic Church has powerful enemies. Anything anti-Biblical, Anti-Christ is promoted in an effort to destroy the Church and the Truth of God in the minds of men.
    The forces who promote homosexual preferences, abortion, social engineering, etc. are the same ones. They promote anything to degrade and reduce humanity to androgynous, feminized biological units, fungible and programmable, valuable only to the degree that they will do and think what they are told.

    The vast majority are against this stuff but the illusion of acceptance is spread in the media. People, having been conditioned to herd behavior in government school believes that “everyone” else now accepts these behaviors, so they will too.

  53. another RI joanne says:

    Thank you for posting this, Fr. Z!! It’s encouraging to read positive responses to Bishop Tobin’s courageous and truthful words. The backlash in Providence is bound to be LOUDER than the applause. (Those in agreement here are not as vocal as those who disagree.)
    I’ll be sure to invite many Rhode Islanders to your blog to bask in the warmth a bit.
    Many thanks to all who are praying, too!! Your prayers are important to us, especially those for the protection of our brave apostle–God didn’t send him because we deserve him, but because we need him. Please pray that we listen to our bishop. God is merciful.

    Maynardus:
    “on the quiet side?” Well, I’ve never heard Bishop Tobin yell, but he’s been firm when necessary since he came to us. He speaks out regularly on life, marriage, and care for our disadvantaged brothers and sisters.
    All of his Without a Doubt columns are archived at http://thericatholic.com/. (And some of his interviews by the Providence Journal, etc, are probably still around for the googlers.) Some of his writing is gentle, some comical, some powerful. It always contains the truth of the Gospel.

  54. tecumseh says:

    “Events, dear boy events”… was the famous quote by British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan.
    Your Mister Obama, very handsome, great voice, lovely wife and kids, none the less, events will get him as surely as they get every one else. And when they do, the “progressives” will have their wings clipped. All he has had to do so far is pick up the imploded banks, lets see what trip them up in the next couple of years.

  55. Noel says:

    Thin end of the wedge.

    I know of no bishop in England/Wales who supports so called ‘gay marriage’. The proponents of legislation got round it by defining them as ‘civil partnerships’ in the civil process, but it is the participants and media who dumb us down constantly by referring to such ceremonies as marriages/weddings and to spouses as ‘partners’ rather than husband/wife.

    The very real test comes if/when activists attempt to legislate to force churches not to ‘discriminate’ and to offer wedding ceremonies to allcomers with no knowledge/sensitivity of sacramental rites.

  56. “Once homosexual “marraige” is setup in the state, nothing stops the recognition of any of these other types of unions. This is not about equality, it is about survival of the species.”

    You would think that reasoning with people about survival of the species as a defense of traditional definitions of marriage and family would work but even this argument is difficult to make to people who are firmly entrenched in our secular culture.

    In this day and age, marriage is not about having children and raising a family for the good of human souls and society it is about having someone else to help fulfill your life in some way. Of course, once the relationship or family fails to fulfill the individual in some way, divorce is soon to follow and society encourages this as seen by our laws on no-fault divorce.

    In addition, as others have stated, the contraceptive mentality has also changed the way society views marriage as has the ability for couples to have children outside of conjugal relations via IVF (and in a few years most probably via reproductive cloning).

    I recently taught a course at my college on how different biotechnology techniques have changed the ways in which we view what it means to be human. I started a discussion asking the students if the fact that homosexual relationships cannot pro-create without some type of biotechnology intervening, such as IVF, would be enough to change the way in which the gov’t or society should treat these relationships particularly when it comes to granting these relationships the same status as traditional marriage. (One student was highly offended that I would even ask such a question.)

    The response from the students was quite vocal. The majority saw no reason to treat the “hetero relationships” any different from the “homo relationships” partly because of the existence of IVF which can be used by “infertile hetero relationships” which they equated with “homo relationships.” While I saw this as an interesting confirmation that artificial contraception is what has lead us to the state we are in now………I had the students read Humanae Vitae and comment on it. Some found the views contained in Humanae Vitae to be “dangerous and highly offensive”.

    Others, particularly the women in the class, agreed to some degree with the Pope’s views that women are treated as objects but were not necessarily convinced that this was due to the widespread use of contraception. Interestingly, many of these same women were offended that the Pope would emphasize their role in having children so much. In other words, they felt that the Pope was saying in this document that women were only good for having babies and not much else. Many were also quite offended that a celibate male would write such a document since obviously his marital state does not give him the right to have an opinion on sex, marriage, and family life. When I challenged the students, the female ones who objected to Humanae Vitae most vocally, in particular, to re-write Humanae Vitae in such a way that it would agree with the Pope’s ideas but not be so “offensively masculine” in its approach to the topic, not a single female student would take up the challenge including those who were somewhat sympathetic to the Pope’s position.

    One of the most discouraging things about teaching this course are the Catholic students who approach me in private and tell me that in all their years of education (and many of these Catholic students attended Catholic schools throughout their elementary and high school careers), they have never ever had the opportunity to discuss these issues and some have told me that it is this class that has taught them for the first time what it is that their Church teaches on these issues and why.

    Jeff S.

  57. Kevin says:

    Karl, I’m sorry to hear of your pain and suffering. My prayers for you and your family are forth coming. I’m sure that it is the pain speaking that has you upset and not the thought of the good Bishop doing his duty that has you enraged.

  58. Matt Q says:

    Father Z wrote:


    Furthermore, once the stage of “same sex marriage” is passed, there is no reason no to approve your marriage with your dog or legalize child abuse.”

    )(

    This is something we’ve discussed with family and friends, that once the man/woman definition of marriage is changed, then there is no limit really to what it can become thereafter. Down the line it can be argued polygamy is discriminatory. Why should it be confined to just one husband or wife? Sounds absurd? Gay marriage itself was considered absurd up to this point. So, he were are.

  59. pomofo says:

    I commend Bishop Tobin but also agree with RI Catholic that we need to get the government out of marriage and reassert the primacy of the Church over marriage. In Virginia, a Catholic priest must present his bona fides to the courts before he is “allowed” by the state to celebrate a marriage, otherwise he faces up to a year in prison. Even if he is approved by the state, the state may withdraw that permission at any time. Where is the outrage from the bishops over such blatant restrictions on freedom of religion? I foresee a time where, in states in which gay marriage is approved, the legislatures or courts will punish Catholics by withdrawing permission for Catholic priests to celebrate marriages. That’s what happens when you cede the principle of the argument and acknowledge state supremacy over marriage. Unless Catholics stand up and deny the status quo Protestant concept of marriage as contract and stand up for marriage as sacrament and the primacy of the Church in matters of marriage, the battle will be lost before it’s even begun.

  60. Karl says:

    Dear Kevin,

    It is not that I disagreed with the truth that the good bishop taught which
    promted my reply. It is the “half-practice” of the Catholic Church, which
    obliterates truth, that prompted my response. I know many who suffer for this
    inequity. I also know the, deliberate, deafness of the hierarchy to our pleas.

    Thank you.

  61. Mike says:

    Things are very different here in New Mexico. It appears the Church may be in the process of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory on civil unions.

    Civil unions were soundly defeated in the last legislative session after application of considerable lobbying muscle by the Church. Now, quite incredibly, it seems the Church may be involved in negotiations with gay groups that would allow the issue to be revived and passed in the upcoming special session. I’m having a hard time believing this is true but fear that it may well be. As the article notes but Richard McBrien thinks it’s great news.

    http://newmexicoindependent.com/25677/struggle-over-domestic-partnerships-highlight-debate-within-catholic-church

  62. Sister Jane Culligan, SC says:

    Congratulations again Bishop Tobin. Many of us stand beside you in
    the Truths you proclaim. The zeal you show forth for souls is like
    that of the first disciples of Jesus. We need more and more people to fight against the evils in our world today. God is depending on those who live the Gospel Truths to dispel the darkness with the Light of Christ. Let us walk together in this light with joy !

    We will stand behind you, Bishop Tobin and continue to encourage you to lead us until everyone knows,believes and accepts the Truth according to Jesus. May the strength of the Holy Spirit fill your heart and mind with wisdom and peace.

    Comment by Sister Jane RI April 30, 2009

  63. Sister Jane Culligan, SC says:

    Congratulations Bishop Tobin. We are so proud to have a bishop like you in RI. May all who profess to believe in the truths of our Catholic faith be as courageous as you in standing up for them. Please know you are in our prayers. We pray that the Holy Spirit continue to guide and strengthen you to reveal the wisdom of God
    given to you for us. May God’s Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.

  64. J.Hye says:

    Let the civil government award civil unions to heterosexual or homosexual couples. If churches want to define marriage in their own special way, then that is fine. How many of you would really shun your relatives if they were divorced and attempted to get re-married? Yet some of you treat homosexuals as if the were OT or NT leppers. Some of the comments here cry to God for vengance more than homosexual sin.

  65. Noel says:

    A question: Is not the Virginia process related purely to the civil aspect of the marriage? Surely, the legislature cannot dictate who has the faculty to be the Church’s minister inthe celebration of the sacrament?

  66. With all due respect to the Bishops, the question is: Why are they so definite now??? In my humble opinion, it is the fact that they now HAVE A POPE who will support them when they speak up!

  67. Ali Dani says:

    I am ashamed. Although I may not follow political issues or attend mass as often as i should, I know that these words are wrong. When did everything become so confusing? And why are we, humans, trying to change the course of the world? Is that not the duty of God? He put us here for a wonderful purpose. He gave us minds with which to think. Words with which to speak and spread knowledge. He gave us emotions so we could love and lose then learn to laugh again. He has given us the ability to think for ourselves for that is what He desires. And yet here you are, telling others how to think. Even worse, you are telling them what to believe. Is that not blasphemous? I am and always have been a proud catholic. But on this day, you shame me. Love your brother, do not deceive him. I do not care how cutting your words are in reply to what I have said. But I believe in simpler times. All you need is love, faith, and patience. For all else, we have our Lord and Father.

  68. James says:

    This is quite the striking letter! Unfortunately, the only thing it will do is show the world how archaic your mentality is. Most striking is your stance that you won’t even hire a gay or lesbian person simply because of their lifestyle. I do recall churches and other religious organizations citing all your reasons for the purpose of preventing interracial marriage. Guess what, people can now marry a person of whatever race they wish, and the world did not end. Gays and lesbians have been legally married in Massachusetts for a couple of years now, and the world did not end. Once gay marriage becomes legal in Rhode Island, I promise you from the bottom of my heart that you will be okay. Your faith will remain intact. Married heterosexual couples will still enjoy marriage just as they do today. The only people that will be affected, are the gay and lesbian people of Rhode Island that will finally be able to enjoy equal rights.

  69. Michael J says:

    James,

    why do you presume that “archaic” equates to false? Also, gays and lesbians today have the same rights as everyone else. Why do you call special rights above and beyond what everyone else enjoys “equal rights”