Archbp. Nienstedt to pro-homosexual group: “The truths of our faith are not open to debate”

From Stella Borealis come this entry about the annual Pentecost challenge made by a homosexual activist group to the local Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  The group concerned is called Rainbow Sash.

Adherents of Rainbow Sash publicly protest the Church’s teaching on homosexuality by making a public display of themselves during the time of Holy Communion during a Mass for Pentecost at the Cathedral of the Archdiocese.  In other words, they seek to receive Communion while protesting the Church’s teachings.

My emphases and comments.

Archbishop Nienstedt Responds to Rainbow Sash Alliance

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis has responded to a letter by Brian McNeill, organizer of Rainbow Sash Alliance USA, in which McNeill notified the archbishop that – as in previous years – lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Catholics and their allies would be present wearing rainbow sashes at this year’s Pentecost Sunday noon Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul  ["as in previous years"… which means that they are both contumacious and persistent in their contumacy.]

Notes McNeill on the Rainbow Sash Alliance USA website:

"We cannot repeat too often that we attend Mass on Pentecost to celebrate who we are, not to protest. We participate in Mass in the same way we do all the other days of the year. But on Pentecost we come out of the closet as lgbt Catholics, family and friends to remind our fellow Catholics that we too are part of God’s loving family."

McNeill’s letter to the archbishop also stressed that the rainbow sash represents and invites dialogue between LGBT Catholics and the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

Following is Archbishop Nienstedt’s response.

Dear Brian,

I write to acknowledge your letter of May 10, 2009, alerting me to the fact that you and some fellow protesters [His Excellency is not falling for this.] will be wearing rainbow sashes at the noon Mass on Pentecost in the Cathedral of St. Paul. I ask you to refrain from such a public act of dissent, especially as it so clearly shows disrespect and irreverence for the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. [Archbp. Neinstedt has called it as he sees it.]

Anyone wearing a “rainbow sash” will not be permitted to receive Holy Communion, since their dissent is a sign that they have publicly broken communion with the Church’s teaching. I also ask that those not wearing the sashes refrain from sharing the Holy Eucharist with those who do. [In other words, don’t go up and receive a Host and then give it to a protester.  Hmmm… I wonder if that would fall under can. 1367, which covers not only throwing away the Sacred Species (abicere) but any contemptous treatment of the Eucahrist.  Now that they have been so instructed, were they to do such a thing would be pretty close to what the canon describes.] Such an action is unbecoming the dignity of the sacrament.

With regard to the dialogue you request, it would first be essential that you state clearly that you hold with the conviction all that the Church teaches on matters of human sexuality. If you do not believe, then there cannot be dialogue, but only debate. The truths of our faith are not open to debate.

Again, I hope you will see how disruptive your planned protest will be for those who will gather on Pentecost to pray. I ask you to refrain from being the cause of such disruption.

Sincerely your in Christ,

The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

 

High kudos to Archbishop Nienstedt in this matter.

I think there might be a model here also for pro-abortion politicians or other highly visible Catholic figures who persist in support of abortion and who approach to receive Holy Communion.

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162 Responses to Archbp. Nienstedt to pro-homosexual group: “The truths of our faith are not open to debate”

  1. Mark says:

    This is phrased a little clumsily:
    “If you do not believe, then there cannot be dialogue, but only debate. The truths of our faith are not open to debate.”

    First he says that if you dont agree then there cannot be dialogue “only debate”…which is a good distinction I think we should start making when it comes to inter-religious stuff too. But the construction (cannot be…only…) implies there can be debate (ie, our side trying to win them over).

    But then he says, immediately following, that it isnt open for debate. I know what he means, that we wont change our minds, but coming right after a statement that sounds like there COULD be debate on the issue (ie, as opposed to “dialogue”), it is a bit awkward.

  2. DavidJ says:

    Perhaps I’m being overly optimistic and ignorant of what Rainbow Sash stands for, but are the positions of this group overtly contrary to Church teaching? I’m at work and not going to look them up from here, but if they’re just saying “Hey, I’m gay” or whatnot, that’s not really grounds for denial. I’m assuming the organization is publicly supportive of a total lifestyle acceptance?

  3. jarhead462 says:

    Now would be a good time to restrict communion in the hand for this Diocese.

    Semper Fi!

  4. a catechist says:

    I’ll be offering bonus prayers for this archbishop today and on Pentecost.

  5. Banjo Pickin' Girl says:

    David, the group is “publicly calling the Roman Catholic Church to a conversion of heart around the issues of human sexuality.” This is from their web site. So I guess they do not espouse celibacy for sexual minorities and want the Church to change so they can do whatever they want to. Sad, but to be expected nowdays I guess.

  6. When bishops, backed by canon law, deny Communion to pro-abortion politicians, the liberals accuse them of using the Eucharist as a political football. But when the gay rights activists wear rainbow sashes to Mass and defy the authorities to deny them Communion, they are NOT using the Eucharist as a political football. Interesting.

  7. Julie says:

    I am from this diocese and LOVE our Archbishop. He doesn’t play games with these jokers.

    Rainbow Sash protests every year, and denies that it’s a protest. They make the Mass about THEM in every way they can.

    They support the active homosexual lifestyle and want to force everyone else to do so as well.

    They have been known to go forward for Holy Communion, have GRABBED Our Lord from the hands of Extraordinary Ministers, and one year a Sacristan, in tears, followed one and BEGGED him to consume it (as opposed to desecrate the sacrament further by keeping it, breaking it, handing it out, etc) which is also their practice.

    I think it was last year that they simply stood up holding their hands out as if to receive, while everyone else was kneeling in prayer after Communion. And yet…they say it’s not a protest.

    They do this EVERY YEAR. Although I was pleased last year that the local news channels barely even gave them a blurb. Even THEY are getting tired of this nonsense the sashayers are bringing every year with the same whine.

  8. A wonderful instance of episcopal backbone–a true shepherd.

  9. fortradition says:

    Yes, this archdiocese is blessed with a great and courageous Archbishop. Could the sashers be barred from entering the church if the ushers see their sashes? I remember the days long ago, when those wearing shorts to Mass were forbidden by the ushers from entering the Church..a lesser offense. Jesus and His sacrifice are the focus of the Mass so when will they give up on trying to change the Church’s teaching. It’s not going to happen….ever.

  10. chironomo says:

    Mark;

    Perhaps he meant something closer to

    “Dialogue requires shared beliefs…if you do not believe, then there cannot be dialogue but only debate. However, debate is not even possible because the truths of our faith are not open to debate. ”

    I don’t want to put words into the Archbishop’s mouth, but it seems to me that is what he was getting across in a much more concise way than I have.

    This is much like a discussion I was having on another site with a commentor who insisted that it was important to “dialogue” with the Church’s hierarchy on issues with which you disagree. The commentor suggested that it was incumbent upon us to go to our Pastor and essentially lodge a complaint…in this instance it was concerning the new translation of the Missal. I replied that such “dialogue” was useful only if it was for the purpose of a change of heart on our part such that we would come to accept the Church’s position, even on such an issue.

    I think the Archbishop may be saying the same thing…dialogue would be useful if the goal were a change in your position. However, if the point is intended to be a change in the Church’s position, there can be no dialogue, only debate…and debate is not possible.

  11. mpm says:

    I also salute Archbishop Nienstedt on the charity and clarity of his response.

    One of the commenters noted “They make the Mass about THEM in every way they can”. It seems to me to be a sign of the “disorder” of the “gay lifestyle”, in the sense in which the Church speaks about it, that they make everything be about THEM.

  12. TNCath says:

    Archbishop Neinstedt: “The truths of our faith are not open to debate.”

    This says it all. What a refreshing change from the events almost two weeks at Notre Dame. Ecce sacerdos magnus, qui in diebus suis placuit Deo!

  13. Mark says:

    “However, if the point is intended to be a change in the Church’s position, there can be no dialogue, only debate…and debate is not possible.”

    But then there CANT be debate. So “there can be no dialogue NOR debate” would seem to be the proper construction, and the most concise.

    “Only debate is possible, and debate is not possible” seems an awkward and contradictory construction, that’s all I’m saying, first stating only it is possible, and then not even it is possible.

    He was using two different shades of meaning of “debate” clearly. In one, he meant the style of discussion that is not dialogue (which presupposes shared beliefs) but rather a competition of sorts to win one side over. The second time, “no debate” means that this is an issue we wont budge on IN a debate, that no amount of debating is going to win us over (though that doesnt mean we wont engage them in debate to win THEM over). I doubt he really meant no debate, as we do debate with heretics and non-believers all the time as part of our evangelization.

  14. tertullian says:

    Thank you Archbp. Neinstedt.

    Is this a coincidence with the business about the book by Weakland?

  15. Crusader says:

    The Church (including us laypeople) MUST start to speak out about the evils of the homosexual lifestyle, and how it will ultimately cause loss of eternal life. The pro-homosexual messages we are so immersed in these days are a grand deception from Satan, whose goal is to lead as many souls to Hell as he can. We can no longer sit on the sidelines and be content with “tolerance”. We must try to convert these people to the straight lifestyle (it can be done), and we must let them know the spiritual danger of what they do.

  16. Kimberly says:

    A true prince of the Catholic Church. Thank you.

  17. Virgil says:

    Nienstedt seems a bit unfamiliar with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There are a mere 3 paragraphs that address Gay and Lesbian Catholics. (not sure about the “B”s and the “T”s, though) The paragraphs state, in summary, 5 separate Truths.

    1. Gay couples exist, and the Church is not in a position to explain why. (Key here: We cannot pretend that gay people are simply screwed up strait folks in need of salvation.)

    2. Gay couples need to be aware of a certain limit to their physical expressions of intimacy, lest they cross a line of disorder. (Key here: There is a clear moral responsibility that gay couples have in their conduct.)

    3. Gay people suffer greatly. (Key here: The Church should respond to relieve suffering, not exacerbate it.)

    4. Even the impression of unjust discrimination against gay people must be avoided. (Key here: There is a difference between just and unjust distinctions, although it is not specified.)

    5. Gay couples, like all Christians in a state of life, are called to holiness, and partners assist each other in that call. (Key here: The Church must welcome gay people and couples, and we teach clearly what their call to holiness entails.)

    It seems to me that NOTHING the Rainbow Sash folks are doing is opposed to any of these points. Maybe their “call for dialogue” is an implicit challenge to #2, but if I were the Archbishop, I would want to know that more clearly.

    As for #1, #3, and #4… It seems that dialogue is clearly in order.

    As for #5, I hope that the Archbishop follows up the letter with a clear program of pastoral initiatives aimed at assisting the holiness of the thousands of gay and lesbian couples under his pastoral care.

  18. Mitchell NY says:

    If they are going to take action against one group then so be it, but it should not be that action against pro abortion politicians is just spoken about or threatened and debated..It just comes off as fearful of refusing politicians and taking action against who they feel can make the least amount of waves…That I don’t agree with..Is Pelosi still receiving??

  19. Julie says:

    Virgil ~ Your comment is unfair. The Archbishop is responding in his letter to a very specific situation. You’re trying to say that because he didn’t say X and Y he must be unfamiliar with X and Y. That is an argument from silence.

    It would be the same thing as if you had accused all of the commenters here of not believing in the Immaculate Conception since no one here has brought it up.

    The fact is that the good Archbishop has often had cause to address the homosexual activists in this Archdiocese several times since he has arrived, and in fact, he has pointed them to Courage and Encourage. He has spoken clearly on Church teaching, using the Catechism, Canon Law, scripture, tradition, etc. etc. I’m sure you would be

  20. balthasar says:

    “The truths of our faith are not open to debate.” I suggest the Bishop does a refresher course in Church history. But I’m glad I live in the UK rather than the USA – as most of your bishops are crazy.
    p.s. There is a mass every month in central London for the gay community.

  21. gedsmk says:

    Kudos to Virgil. Good response. What has the church’s present attitude to homosexuality have to do with the “truths of the faith”?

  22. Mike Morrow says:

    balthasar graced us with his wisdom: “But I’m glad I live in the UK rather than the USA – as most of your bishops are crazy.”

    We agree…I too am glad that you live in the UK.

  23. ED says:

    I agree with the dissenters on Contraception ,homosexuality, divorce and remarriage and other public acts of irreverence towards JESUS it may be time to restrict COMMUNION to once a year again.

  24. John 6:54 says:

    Why not invite the local police to attend that Noon Mass, and tell them to bring their handcuffs. Isn’t against the law to disrupt a religous service?

  25. michigancatholic says:

    Virgil,
    1) Gay couples exist as do tornadoes, hurricanes and death. We are aware of that. It’s not an excuse.
    2) The phrase “gay couples” in itself is ALREADY across the mortal sin line. People who have a Same Sex Attraction problem shouldn’t be pairing up in couples.
    3) I don’t doubt that gay people suffer. It’d be a terrible affliction to have. Nevertheless, it can be overcome like many other psychological and behavioral disorders. Alcoholics and people who gamble excessively suffer too. They’re expected to find a way to control their excesses, and the same should be expected of people with same sex attraction disorder.
    4) People with this problem deserve the respect due to any human being, but they do not deserve and should not expect to be allowed to disrupt the Mass with a public exhibition of that disorder.
    5) People with same sex attraction disorder are, indeed, like all human beings, called to holiness. But the minute they get into a “gay couple,” they’ve already flushed any chance at it. The physical act of homosexual sex, you understand, is always a mortal sin, and an extremely grave matter.

    Look, if a person doesn’t want to be a practicing Catholic, no one is going to hunt them down and make them. It’s just that simple. IF they want to go do whatever, so be it. But they cannot and should not feel that they can drag their disorder publicly into Mass and carry on with other people there. That’s completely out of line, and completely opposed to any kind of “call to holiness,” as you put it.

  26. michigancatholic says:

    And Virgil, his outreach program to you is this letter he has written. That is the best thing he could have done for you. You need to hear the truth.

  27. Gus says:

    Hi Virgil,
    I agree with you on many points. I would go even further than you and argue for the Church to provide recognition and support to same-sex couples who are committed to a permanent and monogamous relationship.
    However, I disagree with your critique of the Archbishop’s decision to restrict reception of Holy Communion to those who are not protesting.
    Some here who are familiar with this particular group have pointed out that in the past members of the group have engaged in disruptive and even sacriligeous acts with the Host.
    The Holy Mass is not a place for any Catholic to be engaging in any public demonstration against any Church doctrine.
    I agree that the doctrine needs to develop but I disagree that disruptive demonstrations at the Holy Mass are to be tolerated as a way to advance that agenda of development.
    Pax et Bonum

  28. Kudos to Virgil. Good response. What has the church’s present attitude to homosexuality have to do with the “truths of the faith”?

    The Church’s “present” attitude toward homosexuality has never changed. It relates to that truth of the faith that the pure in heart shall see God.

  29. michigancatholic says:

    Gus,
    Doctrine is not “going to develop” on gay sex any more than it’s “going to develop” on robbing banks or shooting the neighbors. So if you’re waiting for it to “develop,” don’t hold your breath.

  30. Rouxfus says:

    Virgil presents his interpretation of the Catechism as if that is what it says, and wants you to believe that it doesn’t say what it says clearly. Just to be clear and deal in truth, here is the actual text of the three paragraphs in question, emphasis mine:

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

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

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

    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a6.htm#2357

    Based on what the Catechism says, and what Virgil presents, it seem to this reader that he is not dealing in the fullness of truth, which we are also called to practice as Catholics, along with our love, forgiveness, which we must extend to them, as we accept the same from God in his great Mercy. But we must deal in truth, not lies if we are to proceed in good faith.

  31. Theodore says:

    Between the extremes of ED “it may be time to restrict COMMUNION to once a year again.” (What???????) and Virgil and Gus, “I would go even further than you and argue for the Church to provide recognition and support to same-sex couples who are committed to a permanent and monogamous relationship.” (Again, What??????????) there lies sane middle ground, where the Churches teachings on homosexuals do not change and the value of frequent communion is understood.

  32. Gus says:

    Hi michigancatholic,

    Don’t worry, I’m not holding my breath. I am praying for it though.

    Pax et Bonum

    P.S. Calling homosexual activity sinful is certainly within the teachings and competence of the Church, however, calling homosexuality a psychological disorder is neither within Magisterial teaching or competence.
    All the bodies of physicians (including psychiatrists) and psychologists (as well as other mental health clinicians and researchers) have published enumerable empirical studies that have demonstrated that homosexuality is not a mental or emotional disorder.

  33. Thom says:

    It is striking what is purged, and what is left up sometimes, JohnMa.

  34. Matt Q says:

    Polite and substantive letter from the good bishop but unfortunately the filth will prevail. They will wear their nonsense, come up for Communion–whether Catholic or not–and the bishop will just stand there like a kicked dog and watch. So much for actual refusal of Communion. This will happen again next year and the year after and the year after that.

  35. ED2 says:

    Gus, how could homosexuality not be a mental disorder? Its in the mind (as is any attraction/desire)so its mental and it goes against the natural order so its a disorder.

  36. @markomalley says:

    Bravo for Archbishop Nienstedt. While sympathy for homosexuals who are honestly trying to live a chaste life is absolutely needed, these “in your face” dissenting groups must not be allowed to make a mockery of the Church. Frankly, if they feel that it is so important to boldly speak out, holding their sexuality as being more important than the Word of God, then there are other “Christian” groups who would be more than happy to embrace them. (Of course, their repentance and reconciliation is the first and best option…)

  37. Diane says:

    Yet another fine bishop from Michigan!

  38. Matt Q says:

    Father Erik wrote:

    “A wonderful instance of episcopal backbone—a true shepherd.”

    )(

    Yes, Father, it is but he will have even more of a backbone when he tells certain people to step out of line when approaching the altar for Communion.

    =====

    Mitchell NY asked:

    “Is Pelosi still receiving??”

    )(

    Yes, she is and gleefully states it.

    =====

    gedsmk wrote:

    “What has the church’s present attitude to homosexuality have to do with the “truths of the faith?”

    )(

    NEWS FLASH!! The two are not mutually exclusive. They are one and the same. Scripturally, Magisterially and by way of Sacred Tradition, the Church teaches such behavior is gravely disordered as stated in The Catechism. Period.

    =====

    Gus wrote:

    “Calling homosexual activity sinful is certainly within the teachings and competence of the Church, however, calling homosexuality a psychological disorder is neither within Magisterial teaching or competence.

    All the bodies of physicians (including psychiatrists) and psychologists (as well as other mental health clinicians and researchers) have published enumerable empirical studies that have demonstrated that homosexuality is not a mental or emotional disorder.”

    )(

    Yeah, the same thing they say about abortion not having any impact on the woman.

    Gus, it is completely within the Church’s competence to declare such behavior a psychological disorder. Anything which impacts the spiritual growth and development of a person is within the Church’s Magisterial authority to define. Behavior of any sort affects people spiritually. Gay people don’t get a pass on their behavior while everyone else has to struggle along the narrow path to Heaven.

    This brings up an interesting point. Anyone who argues the Church should change Her stance against homosexual BEHAVIOR, is completely self-interested. The person wallows in the throes of Self and demands others go against the Truths of God. This is PRIDE. The humble person on the other hand, takes up his Cross and follows the Lord, strives to do what is right and just to follow the Lord because the person loves the Lord for the Lord Himself and thus evangelizes along the way. A gay person is called to chastity and right conduct to the same degree a straight person is. This fact cannot be denied.

  39. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    people like that should be forcibly removed from the church, which is after all private property.

    Homosexuality is a behevior. All behevior is learnt. No behevior is hardwired into the brain. Behevior can be changed. People cannot ‘be’ homosexual, they can only ‘do’.

  40. P.S. Calling homosexual activity sinful is certainly within the teachings and competence of the Church, however, calling homosexuality a psychological disorder is neither within Magisterial teaching or competence.
    All the bodies of physicians (including psychiatrists) and psychologists (as well as other mental health clinicians and researchers) have published enumerable empirical studies that have demonstrated that homosexuality is not a mental or emotional disorder.

    Actually, the DSM listed homosexuality as a disorder until about 35 years ago. The only thing about homosexuality that had changed by that point was the rise of gay political activism, and the veneer of legitimacy that “researchers” like Alfred Kinsey (himself a pervert and pornographer of the first magnitude) lent to all sorts of behavior that had previously been overwhelmingly regarded as deviant.

  41. michigancatholic says:

    I’m not praying for that one, Gus, cause it’s not ever going to happen because it can’t.

    I appreciate your wishes for peace and all good though. Peace and all good to you, too. Are you a Franciscan?

  42. Andreas says:

    When I read some of these comments I realize how very contemporary and necessary St. Jerome’s treatise “Adversus Jovinianum” is. It should be a “must” reading at every school.

  43. Agnes says:

    Thank you, Archbishop Neinstedt, for your strong leadership!

    It might be a good time to plug this apostolate:

    http://www.couragerc.net/

    Courage is a support group for those suffering from same sex attractions and help in overcoming. Their website offers some clear guidance.

  44. Gus says:

    Hi michigancatholic,
    Thanks. Not a Franciscan but very strong devotion to St. Anthony of Padua; my patron saint.
    Pax et Bonum

  45. michigancatholic says:

    Excellent, Gus. I love St. Anthony of Padua too. On that, we do agree. =)

  46. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    Anita,

    Your quite right! Political action on the part of perverts has changed the perception of an intrinsicly evil act. The history of that activism is scary. It was originaly one and the same with paedophillia. Kinsey himself was a paedophile. homosexuality is, pshycologicaly and ethicaly the same as paedophillia- which is going through the same process as homosexuality did in becoming legal. we need to make a stand!

  47. Gus says:

    Hi ED2, Matt Q, and Anita Moore OPL,

    Defining faith and morals are within the Church\’s Magisterial competence but pronouncing on science is not.
    Medical and psychological sciences have consistently demonstrated that homosexuality is not a mental or emotional disorder.
    The Church\’s Magisterium can most certainly make pronouncements on whether homosexuality is sinful or not based on Scripture and Tradition but it cannot make pronouncements as to whether it is a psychological disorder; that is a scientific question.
    The pertinent mental health organizations have conducted and published empirical research findings that demonstrate that homosexuality is neither the result of, or the cause of, mental illness.
    These research findings resulted in the declassification of homosexuality as a disorder in 1973 and the subsequent ratification of said declassification in every subsequent revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Memntal Disorders (the \”Bible\” of psychiatric diagnoses).
    Pax et Bonum

    P.S. Lest we forget, homosexuality was only classified as a disorder in 1952 based on post-Freudian psychoanalytic theories. As psychiatry came to rely less on speculative psychoanalysis and more on empirical research homosexuality (and other psychoanalytic \”disorders\”) were declassified as no scientific evidence was discovered for the original classification.

  48. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    Balthazar,

    What are you on about? All our bishops in the U.K are crazy! “there is a mass each month in london for the gay community” just proves that. Have you never met archbishop patrick kelly? did you not read the gobble-de-gook he wrote for the catholic herald during lent? I wish we had bishops like some of those in america!

  49. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    Gus,

    Homosexuality is a behevior, all behevior is learnt. Humans are not born to be sodomites, they learn that they enjoy sodomy. you have to look at why these people are saying sodomy is not a disorder: its because of their political and religious views. Science also says that humans do not have a soul, does that mean that God was wrong about that too?

  50. LCB says:

    Danny Mary Joseph,

    Arguing over the root cause of homosexuality (Nature vs. Nurture) is usually a red herring.

    The source of homosexual desires is unimportant. The orientation does not define the person, what defines them is that they are a Child of the Most High. What is important is the activity itself is sinful, but the individual is always welcome in the Church, which is the refuge for all sinners no matter their sin.

    Sexual orientation does not equal identity. All Christians should draw their identity from being Sons and Daughters of God.

  51. Latekate says:

    Ahh, science! Science has decreed, stand aside, Catholic Church! Sorry, but I’m old enough to have seen “science” be proven wrong numerous times after making authoritative pronouncements as to the certitude of this or that. Every week or so “new studies” reveal that such and such which was thought to be true really isn’t!!! The global warming scam is just the latest load of “scientific” bilge propagandized in order to further erode liberty and property rights. I now know when there is a “scientific” pronouncement broadcast on the media I’ll pretty much believe the opposite.
    Anita is right. The mainstreaming of homosexuality began in earnest with the Kinsey report. Also the oh, so scientific load of horse manure “Coming of Age in Samoa” by Margaret Mead helped mainstream a lot of deviant behavior and promiscuity. Close scrutiny has shown these “studies” were hardly “studies” at all as much as apologetics for the “scientists” own behaviors. We do not have independent scientific community. It is heavily subsidized by government. Academia is overwhelmingly Marxist and uses “science” to further their agenda. We are seeing the fruit of the mainstreaming of homosexuality and female headed households in the femininization of men in the U.S. The pervasive messaging to embrace homosexuality, even experiment with it is everywhere. There is a reason for this. A feminized,nonconfrontational, political, submissive population is a lot easier to rule. A population who can be told what sex they will be as children will be even more fun for the mind molders. The husband-wife bond and parent child bond, the family, is being destroyed. We are seeing the Abolition of Man, humanity reduced to immature animals, animals bred and trained to be whatever the twisted behaviorists molding “society” want us to be.
    It doesn’t really matter whether “science” has classified homosexuality as a disorder, God has and His Church has. When I return to worshipping science and the state, THEN I’ll care whether “science” has classified it as a disorder. If you want to argue from authority you’ll need a better one than “science”.
    You want to read something scientific? Read Temple Grandins books on animal behavior. The domestication of wolves has led to a tame dog….but the domestic, tame dog is simply an perpetually immature wolf. It is not an accident that animal behaviorists designed government school.

  52. Nan says:

    Gus,

    The church is competent to classify homosexual behavior as a disorder against faith and morals. Pursuing an active homosexual lifestyle is to reject the teaching of the faith, as well as to behave immorally as sexual activity outside of marriage is immoral

  53. Gus says:

    Hey michigancatholic,

    Awesome. If you ever get the chance, check out
    the Italian film about St. Anthony. You can get it from the EWTN catalogue or the Ignatius Press one.
    Pax et Bonum

  54. Gus says:

    Hi Danny Mary Joseph and Nan,

    All human behavior is not learned; take for example sucking, crawling, etc.
    There are many behaviors that are innate and not the result of observation and imitation.
    In any event, my point is that the Church is competent to pronounce on faith and morals but not on scientific issues; for that matter, science is competent to pronounce on emprical matters but not on philodophical or theological ones.
    It is all about respecting each institutions role in the society and not usurping for one areas that are in fact outside of its expertise.
    Thus, of course the Church can make pronouncements on faith and moral matters, She can most certainly declare that homosexuality is sinful and immoral or not but the Magisterium cannot make pronouncements on scientific matters so to claim that homosexuality is a medical(psychiatric) or psychological disorder would be outside of its competence.
    BTW, the Church does NOT say that homosexuality is a mental disorder; She says that it is morally disordered.
    I raised the objection to those on this thread that were classifying homosexuality as a psychological disorder and pointed out that their position is neither based on Church teaching (since such a classification is outside of the Church’s competence) nor on empirical evidence (since medicine and psychology have long declassified as such).

    Pax et Bonum

    P.S. Science most certainly does not say that the soul doesn’t exist. Neither medicine, psychology, nor any other scientific discipline can make pronouncements on metaphysical questions since that would be outside of empirically verifiable experimentation and thus outside of science’s competence.

  55. Nan says:

    Gus,

    In the absence of quotes from canon law or the catechism, I assume that content posted here is the opinion of the commenter; just as people believe in UFO’s, people are free to believe that homosexuality is a psychological or behavioral disorder.

    If it’s about respect, why do so many non-Catholics oppose church teachings and demand that the Church change, rather than respecting a 2000 year old institution?

  56. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    Gus,

    how can two men doing extremely intimite acts on eachother, in the belief that they are expressing love, not be pshycological disorder?
    It goes against nature and is therefore a disorder.
    science has no divine authority.

  57. wsxyz says:

    BTW, the Church does NOT say that homosexuality is a mental disorder; She says that it is morally disordered.

    And note it is the inclination towards homosexual behavior that is disordered, not just the behavior. The behavior itself is both disordered and mortally sinful.

    Respect, compassion and sensitivity for people with deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not a matter of calling their objectively disordered inclination “normal” and encouraging them to wallow therein. Instead, we are required to help such persons to overcome and root out their deep-seated tendencies, so that they may approach Christian perfection, in which there can be nothing disordered.

  58. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    if sodomy isnt a mental disorder does that mean paedophillia isnt either? after all, its just a different preference right? what about bestiality? what about blood-lust?
    Pshycology has always called people who commit sodomy ill. Modern doctors are modernists, liberalists and relativists, just like most people, therefore they are wrong. they set out to prove their wrong beliefs, which is wrong.

  59. LCB says:

    Danny,

    Undertaking activity that goes against God’s intended purpose does not mean the individuals involved have a psychological disorder. Take, for example, 2 individuals engaging in an extra-marital affair.

    There is a word that DOES sum it up, however: Concupiscence.

    When psychological disorders are discussed, they are generally discussed in regards to how well the person is ‘adjusted.’ In short, is their life functioning in a relatively normal fashion. Thus you can have an alcoholic that needs rehab, and a person that drinks a case of beer every night but is functioning relatively well.

    The same is true with individuals that engage in homosexuality activity. Overall, many of these individuals are well adjusted and lead normal, functional, productive lives.

    Where am I going with this?

    I’d like to gently suggest that perhaps you might find a different approach provides better results, both in communicating your position and in understanding what is taking place. Here is the approach:

    Why bother judging a person’s psychological state? Leave that to the psychologists. The Church is in the soul-saving business, not the psychological adjustment business.

    Lots of people have lots of disordered desires, homosexual desires are merely one among many. All are welcome in the Church. What matters is conversion of heart and refraining from activity that is against God’s plan. Just as psychology recognizes the difference between desire and activity, so too does the Church.

    The truth is, most individuals with homosexual tendencies are good people. Like the rest of us, they’re trying to do the best they can with what they have, trying to find happiness in some fashion, and lead good productive happy lives. Like the rest of us, they are usually going about it the wrong way. The only true way to happiness is through Christ Jesus.

    In my experience, the above approach is most effective, and most honest. Individuals with homosexual tendencies have been a part of the Church since the very start (such activity surely took place in Corinth). There are surely saints who struggled with homosexual tendencies. The first step is not stigmatizing these individuals by calling them “homosexuals.” When sexual desire defines identity, there is a problem. When anything other than our relationship with Christ is our primary identity, there is a problem.

    Help a person to become a Christian first and foremost, and the issue of all their disordered desires will be worked out between them and their confessor, and in fear and trembling they too can and will find their salvation.

    That’s the difference between the fake-o concept of being “welcoming to all” and the real authentic way of being welcoming to all. You are more than your sin, more than your desires, more than the sum of all your life’s decisions. You are a child of God, and we want to help you get to Heaven.

  60. Phil Steinacker says:

    Gus, you’re blowing smoke. Actually, you’re touting the company line that the so-called professional position on homosexuality is justified. That claim is bogus, and the entire mental health racket is in on it. Let’s start at the top, though.

    The notion that psychology can be considered in any way a true science or that research conducted on its behalf is based on science is has long been a persistent invention of its practitioners and the professors responsible for doling out degrees and certifications in the “discipline.” While they have slowly improved their capabilities to help some people, this is a field that for decades has been rife with mistaken and distorted notions about what makes us “tick” and what can be done to “fix” us when we are dysfunctional. To gain credence for a field that had struggled for acceptance and legitimacy over those same decades the attempt to label itself a “science” was initially and appropriately met with derision by real scientists, given the over-riding subjective nature of the subject, its subjects, and its batting average in getting things right.

    For years we’ve been subjected to experts who’ve been honored and extolled by our media (they bought into this crap early on) as “scientists” who had unlocked the mysteries of the mind. Yeah, right! Those experts are responsible for untold thousands of criminals escaping jail time, getting reduced sentences, or being released earlier than scheduled because “experts” claimed they were “cured.” In cases of murderers and rapists this lead to more victims of such crimes, and this applies in spades to the bishops who believed – for decades – the same nonsense that homosexual predator priests were curable (hence, quietly transferred to give them a fresh start after “treatment”). Actually, I don’t blame the bishops for believing this idiocy – the “scientists” had spoken, and the rest of society (judges, lawyers, news media) had bought the same lame horse that couldn’t really run.

    Finally, as others have suggested, the Church is most competent to make the judgment that homosexuality is disordered. Notice how the Church doesn’t mention psychology; it doesn’t need to. It has understood human behavior for longer and far better than a pseudo-science that has to fabricate data to justify a radical, culture-changing decision lacking an ethical foundation.

    Homosexuality is spiritually disordered, and the Church has been expert in that area long before a bunch of college professors without a department to chair tried to create a mental health “science” out of whole cloth.

    There has been a visibly active coterie of gay activists posing as Catholics making claims of this sort, and worse, at various Catholic blogs in the last few years. Some launch vicious attacks on Church doctrine, but it can never change – and WILL NOT. I don’t know what your game is but you are outside Church teaching.

    As Archbishop Chaput has posited, “If you’re Catholic and you disagree with your Church, what do you do? You change your mind.”

    Good luck in resolving your dilemma – if you see you have one.

  61. LCB says:

    Phil,

    It’s hard to take you seriously when you start sounding like a Scientologist on the matter of psychology.

    Tell it to the millions and millions of individuals who lead better, fuller lives because of therapy and counseling. Who have been helped through grief, who have overcome suicidal inclinations, who have recovered from sexual assault and abuse.

    As for the other points you attempt to make, it is difficult to address them in a serious fashion when the start of your post is so dramatically offbase.

  62. Virgil says:

    The Cathechism, as quoted in English translation above by Rouxfus, makes it clear that the Church considers gay and lesbian people to be part of the Body of Christ, the Church. They are not a disease to be cured, just prone to sin one way that straight people are not.

    Many posters here, and many vocal folks in the Church today, have a tendency to conflate the sin and the person prone to sin, at least when it comes to gay people.

    A good analogy would be military service. Our men and women in uniform have been off fighting a war that the Church has deemed clearly immoral. Does this mean that every service person in Iraq should be denied communion? Especially if they present themselves in uniform? Does their approach of the communion rail “cause disruption?”

    Certainly not! Yet, we must admit that all these men and women, by virtue of their lifestyle and vocation in military service are playing with moral fire. The Church does not ask them to resign their commissions. She only asks that they try to remain holy in their conduct while fighting in an unjust and evil war.

    Likewise, the Church is not asking gay and lesbian people to stop being gay or lesbian. She only asks that they remain holy in their conduct, as single people or in pairs. Rainbow Sash wearers simply don a “uniform” to identify themselves by this vocation.

    The little action may be stupid, an unnecessary prod to stir up awareness, but it shouldn’t be any more disruptive than a group of vets appearing in military uniform on Pentecost.

  63. LCB says:

    Virgil,

    If this particular protest in this particular location didn’t have a long history of being involved with a particular form of activism, I would mostly agree with you.

    The Rainbow Sash protest in this location has a history of disruptive behavior and activity, of openly defying the Bishop, and demanding the Church change her teaching.

    But on the point of what the Church is asking individuals, you are spot on. We are not asking these individuals to cease being who they are. We are asking them to live holy lives.

    All of us will be, in some fashion, disordered until we reach Heaven. Some of us in different ways than others. For some (especially those with homosexual inclinations) the cross can be very heavy. But their reward will be all the greater.

    And if we help them carry it in an authentically Christian way, we will share in their reward.

  64. Jim says:

    LCB,

    “As for the other point you attempt to make, it is difficult to address them in a serious fashion when the start of your post is so dramatically offbase.” = copout.

    Phil’s point stands. Psychology is not a true science. Science deals with “necessary” things; things that cannot be other than they are. The human psyche is far from being understood in that manner and indeed we are no way close to knowing definitively where the impulse for homosexuality lies in the human person, nature or nuture, etc. That people are helped who receive therapy is completely beside the issue. Or would you be willing to argue that since many homosexuals have been “cured” through psychological therapy that in fact proves homosexuality to be mental? I don’t think you’d be willing to do that, I don’t know that I would either. The fact remains however we can only take what “professionals” say with a grain of salt.

    Regardless, as others have said, it really doesn’t matter where the locus is, morally it is contrary to the Natural Law and the teaching of Holy Mother Church.

  65. Jim says:

    Virgil,

    Please don’t confuse the moral standing of military service with being homosexual. Completely unbased. Homosexuality is instrinsically evil. The moral culpability of a war falls on those who issue orders, not necessarily on those who carry them out. Don’t be sloppy with your similations. Apples and oranges.

  66. Jim says:

    “instrinsically evil” should read “instrinsically disordered.” Sorry, just came over from the abortion thread.

  67. Matt Q says:

    Gus, with all of our going back and forth and your splitting hairs, what epiphany are you trying to bring us to? Really, are you trying to establish some premise for homosexual behavior to be brought to a level of respectability ( –the gay agenda ), something benign we just end up taking for granted, as though it’s something folks just get all worked up about for nothing? What are you trying to tell us?

  68. wsxyz says:

    Virgil, you are wrong. The excerpt from the Catechism above makes it clear that the inclination to homosexual desires and behaviors is objectively disordered. The Church does not want its members (or any persons) to have objectively disordered inclinations.

    Therefore, the Church wishes that persons with homosexual tendencies overcome these tendencies so as to no longer have objectively disordered inclinations. In short, the Church is asking gay ans lesbian people to stop being gay and lesbian. It is not possible, while remaining gay or lesbian, to “approach Christian perfection” as desired by the Church.

  69. Gus says:

    Hi Matt Q,

    Did you check out my last post? The point I’m trying to make I explicitly stated. I suggest you go back and read it since it is all there but to sum it up, here it is:
    there is a difference between morally disordered and mental disorder; a difference between sin and sickness. The Church is competent to make pronouncements on faith and morals not on medical, mental, or emotional illnesses. Likewise, science is not competent to make pronouncements on metaphysical matters. Give the respect to each that each claims for its position. And BTW, the Church does not say that homosexuality is a psychological disorder. The people here posting such opinions in the guise of standing up for Church doctrine are wrong in those opinions both from what the Church doesn’t say and from what science does say.

    Pax et Bonum

  70. Gus says:

    Hi LCB,
    We may disagree on the final conclusions but I really appreciate your approach. You have an open mind and an open heart along with strong convictions based on trust in the Church’s Magisterium that is most reflective of what is best in Catholicism. Keep the Faith and pass it on.
    Pax et Bonum

  71. Virgil says:

    I think that WSXYZ hits on what is blocking this discussion in the Church. People on both sides believe that: “In short, the Church is asking gay and lesbian people to stop being gay and lesbian.”

    That’s not what the Catechism says. The 3 gay paragraphs in the CCC open directly with the acknowledgement that gay people exist and are not going away, and continue by encouraging them in the Christian call to holiness.

    After continuing these postings, I am coming to see Nienstedt’s point more clearly. All he is saying to McNeill is, “LET’S BEGIN A DIALOGUE ABOUT CHURCH TEACHING, NOT A DEBATE OVER CHURCH TEACHING.” And there is plenty about which to dialogue, starting with the Catechism. I reference my original 5 themes from the 3 paragraphs.

    1. What we know: Gay people exist. What we don’t know: What is their role in the Church? WSXYZ might want them to go away. MCNEILL might want to be “accepted” unconditionally. But in between there is planty of room? Couples? Singles? Their children? Their parents and friends?

    2. What we know: Homosexual acts are disordered, ergo should not be done. What we don’t know: What makes a “homosexual act?” A kiss when partner comes home from the office? Going to Mass together? Sleeping next to each other? Not sleeping next to each other? Buying a house together? Raising children together? Straight couples have Humanae Vitae and the Theology of the Body to help navigate these questions. Gay couples have to read between the lines.

    3. What we know: Gay people suffer. What we don’t know: How do the corporal and spiritual works of mercy apply? The CCC mentions four words – accept, respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Which works can we do to help relieve suffering?

    4. What we know: Unjust discrimination is wrong. What we don’t know: What is “just discrimination?” The Church has made it clear two forms of “just discrimination” in other documents. The Sacrament of Matrinomy isn’t possible for gay couples. Admission to seminary is not advised for gay men. But what about all the other forms of discrimination? Is it just or unjust to allow/prohibit… Property rights? Employment? Adoption of children? Hospital visitation and medical decision making? Bullying of gay kids? Immigration rights for families? Sacramentals, blessings, or vows of fidelity to a partner?

    5. What we know: Gay people, like all Christians, are called to chasitity. What we don’t know: What does that vocation look like? The Latin in the Catechism speaks of “amicitiae gratuitae auxilio” (poorly rendered as “disinterested friendship” in the English), and interior freedom and prayer and sacraments in the context of this call to holiness. Very fertile ground for development!

    My message to McNeill – Take the Archbishop up on his offer of dialogue. Bring your Catechism, and an open mind.

    My message to Neinstedt – Allow tomorrow’s liturgy to pass without incident. Approach the sash wearers after Mass, and follow them to brunch. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s this. Gay men are famous for knowing all the best places for Sunday Brunch after Mass!

  72. Michael says:

    As this and similar scandals will unfortunately continue, and get worse, the Church should consider returning to the ancient practice of requesting of those who are not in full communion to leave the church after the Liturgy of the Word, and re-introduction of door-keepers. Alternatively, a reform of the Mass is necessary: the communion of the faithful during the Mass should be suspended; and an extension of it in the form of distribution in a private premises on invitation, introduced.

    Let us not live in illusions, but face the facts: the Church is coming closer to the situation when disciplina arcani and the catacombs will again be necessary.

    I don’t think that an opportunity to receive Communion a few times per anum would be a disaster: it has been already so trivialized that nobody benefits from frequent reception.

  73. Mary Kay says:

    Hallelujah for a real shepherd!

    Of course this is a protest. Communion time is about receiving the Lord – certainly not about “making statements.”

  74. Kayla says:

    So, what’s going to happen when the rainbow sashers present for Communion?

  75. Latekate says:

    LCB, I agree with much of your post, but what does this mean?
    “The first step is not stigmatizing these individuals by calling them “homosexuals.”
    What would you call them and what is wrong with the term homosexual? You find the term “gay” more acceptable, less “stigmatizing”? “Rainbow” people is even cuter. How about “Angels of Love”?? We wouldn’t want pedophiles or wife beaters to be stigmatized either, though. We would have to come up with nonstigmatizing names for them as well.

    Virgil, how can homosexuals “in pairs” be holy?? You are demanding acceptance of same sex unions, practicing homosexuality. Also, you think Catholics aren’t “aware” of homosexuality? These protesters are simply attempting to “normalize” an abnormal, dysfunctional lifestyle by continuous publicity and pushing at one of the few remaining institutions unwilling to accept them as “cute”, trendy, avant garde, “curious”, just loving”, etc. It all comes down to choices. We make righteous choices or wrong ones. These homosexuals are demanding that their wrong choices be made right ones, they are attempting to change the morals of other people who want nothing to do with their behavior and believe it is immoral. This is working in the general population via media saturation and the elevated status of homosexuals in artistic circles where they feel quite free to discriminate against straight folks, the beauty contestant sandbagged by “Perez Hilton” is an example.

    Back when I was a “secular” humanist state worshipper I used to be very sympathetic toward the poor beleaguered “gays”. I saw nothing really wrong with their behavior although I felt vaguely uneasy and creeped out by it. I used to watch “Ellen” regularly and watched her “coming out” show and a few after that. Then she had a show on which the story line was about a man who hunted and owned guns. Ellen, the poor put upon recently closeted homosexual spent the entire show ridiculing and marginalizing hunters and gun owners. I realized then what a fool I had been, that these people are not “tolerant”, they are not willing to “live and let live”. They are more than willing to discriminate, marginalize, ridicule and even physically harass, attack and intimidate those who do not embrace their behaviors. Now they want access to young schoolkids to indoctrinate them into the “gay lifestyle”, they demand not that we “tolerate” them, although “tolerance” is how the dialectic always begins, incrementally, now we must embrace their deviancies, even participate, let them train our children. This is war against the Church, war against God, war against humanity itself. Do an Internet search and read some of the ravings of the militant homosexuals bragging about how they’ll someday sodomize our children and they’ll like it. It is disgusting and the result of “accepting” the unacceptable.

  76. Broadsword says:

    Curious that the ‘Rainbow Sashay’s’ simultaneously deny the authority of the Church’s teaching while demanding that same authority validate them.

  77. AJD says:

    That was a wonderful letter by Archbishop Neinstedt.

    I do think that a few commenters need to be cautious to avoid maligning Catholics with same-sex attraction who live chastely.

    Some commenters have made generalizations about people with a homosexual orientation without differentiating between people with SSA who live in direct opposition to Church teaching and those with SSA who carry their crosses gracefully. That is very sad and makes the cross of faithful Catholics with SSA much heavier.

  78. Virgil says:

    It’s weird that there seem to be two separate discussions, not only on this thread, but also in the Church at large.

    One discussion is about how to get rid of “the homosexuals” either by booting them out of the Communion of Saints, by sending them off to hermitages, or by arranging marriages with sympathetic opposite-sex partners who don’t mind too badly. This is the discussion that the Rainbow Sashers think is where the church is at, and it’s the basis of their call for “dialogue.”

    Another discussion, the REAL one according to the Catechism, is about how to accept and respect gay and lesbian Catholics, as couples or singles, as chaste. This is the discussion that Nienstedt wants.

    I come back to the Sunday Brunch. Imagine the Archbishop sitting down with a table of gay men and lesbians.
    – One couple is wondering about how their kids are doing in the local Catholic school.
    – Another couple is worried because the loss of a job means the loss of health insurance and the employed partner’s job doesn’t give benefits to domestic partners.
    – And there is the guy who is considering breaking up with his non-Catholic boyfriend, or following through with their planned wedding in Iowa next month.

    The Archbishop should have advice, answers, or at least a sympathetic ear for each of these.

    The Church’s answers to these people are not:
    – Pull the kids out of Catholic school.
    – Get sick and die.
    – Dump the heretic.

    The answers are probably closer to:
    – Continue to steward your kids. We’re here to help.
    – We will fight to get you medical care.
    – Your boyfriend is counting on you to help him grow, but we’re certain that “marriage” isn’t part of that picture.

    But we never hear the Church’s answers to the pressing needs and concerns of gay and lesbian Catholics. The mainstream media simply portray the Church as a bully. The bishops sometimes issue vague political statements.

    Neinstedt, maybe, is trying to be a pastor. Or he would be if he takes McNeill up on that offer of a big fat omlette and a few Bloody Marys!

  79. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    God did not design humans to be sodomites, he designed us to be heterosexual. If God created man with the desire to commit sodomy built in, then why is it such an evil act in his eyes? Why would God be so nasty as to say “I made you a sodomite from your conception, but I shall never be happy with you acting out those desires which I gave you”? Is God just toying with us? Did God design humans to be sodomites just so he could laugh at humans? No! Of course not! It follows then, that sodomy is a learnt behevior and is not natural.

  80. AJD says:

    Danny, that is horrendous logic.

    Two words: Original Sin

  81. AJD says:

    Perhaps I should explain myself more.

    Because of Original Sin, we are born fallen. We are all born with sinful tendencies and disordered inclinations. One man may struggle with acting out in violence when he is angry. Another man may have to work hard at resisting pride. A third may find himself faced with homosexual desires. These sinful tendencies may be in born or may be developed; it doesn’t really matter. In either case, the sinful nature is due to Original Sin and the person is called to holiness.

  82. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    yes, the tendency to enjoy sodomy can be there from the beggining but no-one is born a sodomite. it is a choice. culpability is reduced because such addictions are often overpowering, but thats not an excuse to accept it. Sodomites do not need accepting, they need support and curing just like drug addicts.

  83. LCB says:

    Latekate,

    What would I call ‘them’?

    Humans. Men and women. Children of God. Hopefully, Christians. Hopefully, Saints-in-training.

    We participate in marginalizing these individuals when we contribute to the stigma of making their sexual inclinations the primary source of their identity.

    Their primary identity should not be their sexual inclinations, because all humans are more than the total sum of experiences and desires.

  84. LCB says:

    Danny,

    Can an alcoholic be cured? Or do alcoholics, even sober ones, recognize that they are usually alcoholics for life?

    A bit more compassion would take you a long way in better communicating your views.

  85. Matt Q says:

    Homosexual behavior is wrong, period. How, why, blah blah blah doesn’t mean a thing. Nothing can justify it. Endless whining about the Church’s competency won’t change a thing nor Her position. Heterosexual behavior also, not rightly oriented to the married state, is off limits too. That needs clearing up as straights get a little condescending about themselves also.

    Perhaps one can argue reasons for peepers and flashers. :/ Hey, at least their acts are chaste. Statistically speaking, the majority of such perps are heterosexuals. No one is going to argue that crap is justifiable just because they’re straights.

  86. wsxyz says:

    Virgil, you continue to persist in the error that the Church condemns only homosexual acts as disordered. That is wrong. The Church condemns homosexual inclinations as disordered. Homosexual acts are not just merely disordered, they are mortally sinful.

    It is quite simple. As the excerpt from the Catechism states, the Church calls those Catholics unfortunately afflicted with homosexual attraction disorder, along with all other Catholics, to pursue Christian perfection. Perfection admits no disorder. It is not possible to be perfect and disordered at the same time. It is not possible to be in a state of Christian perfection and also to have homosexual inclinations, which are objectively disordered.

  87. wsxyz says:

    Their primary identity should not be their sexual inclinations, because all humans are more than the total sum of experiences and desires.

    This is an important point. A person who persists in self-identifying as “gay” is just as wrong as one who persists in self-identifying as “lecher” or “pedophile”.

    Inclinations exist, but they are not our identity. To the extent that they are disordered, they must be combated and overcome.

  88. irishgirl says:

    Huzzah to the Archbishop!

    And if the sashers get disruptive, then throw ‘em out of the church!

    If I were an usher, I’d grab ‘em by the scruff of the neck, toss ‘em out the door, and tell ‘em, ‘And STAY OUT till you learn how to behave!’

    Too bad it doesn’t sound ‘charitable’-I’m sick and tired of the homosexuals shoving their deviancy down our throats!

  89. irishgirl says:

    Should have said, ‘too bad IF it doesn’t sound charitable’…my bad!

    I guess I get so riled up when it comes to the idiocies of the homosexual lobby….

    GRRRR….off my rant….sigh….

  90. Michael J says:

    It occurs to me that all humans have desires and that due to our fallen nature, the act of fulfilling of those desires is often sinful. Of all of the desires that potentially lead an individual to sin though, it seams that homosexuality is the only one that cannot be met without sinning. How then is it that the desire itself is not considered disordered? Virgil makes some good points about how the scientific community does and should define “normal”, but all ignore the self-destructive nature of homosexuality. If it were anything else, the desire to engage in self-destructive behavior – whether actualized or not – would be considered “disordered” by these same scientists.

    This is why, in my opinion, the Church is competent to judge the inclination as disordered. Only She knows its effect on the soul.

  91. Latekate says:

    LCB: “Latekate,
    What would I call ‘them’?
    Humans. Men and women. Children of God. Hopefully, Christians. Hopefully, Saints-in-training.”

    Don’t you think it would be a bit confusing to call homosexuals simply “humans”, “men and women”, etc.? There would be no indication of what the brouhaha was all about. Sorry you don’t like the name but it is better than “sodomite”, and a few other choice ones I can think of and have heard homosexuals use to refer to themselves. It is THEIR behaviors that marginalize them, not the word that indicates their disorder. I have the utmost respect for homosexuals who control their behaviors and live according to Gods Law. They truly ARE saints in training. That is NOT what these Rainbow people are doing. Homosexual is a very accurate and value free descriptive term.

    LCB “We participate in marginalizing these individuals when we contribute to the stigma of making their sexual inclinations the primary source of their identity.”

    I am not making it the primary source of their identity, THEY are. I’d just as soon not know what goes on in anyones bedroom.

    LCB: “Their primary identity should not be their sexual inclinations, because all humans are more than the total sum of experiences and desires.”

    Of course, but it has become a convenient vehicle on which to claim victim status and preferred treatment. I see no reason to try to sugar coat and cutsify the name of what they are and do, especially when they demand we accept it as righteous.

  92. gerg says:

    Matthew 7:1-5 (NRSV)
    ‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.’

    i believe these words of Jesus do not mean we are to completely freeze judgement and simply remain passive on every issue. however, it does hint at the level of compassion required. we can try to help our neighbour by taking his/her speck out – just that we need to be free of the logs in our own eyes first. a resonant passage would be John 8:1-11 (The Woman caught in Adultery) – who should cast the first stone?

    the discussion thus far vaccilates between judging the act and judging the person, occasionally veering “deeper” (as far as the commenters believe they actually do understand what they’re talking about!) and subdividing either category. why don’t we simply admit that we don’t know enough? we are probably mostly laity, right? share what you truly know: your personal experiences and life encounters. i’ve not really had very personal interactions with homosexuals, but if i do meet them, i’m prety sure i’ll be treating them with respect and dignity.

    i like LCB’s suggestions… unfortunately, if the Archb N. is anything like my Archb, he probably wouldn’t have much time to listen to every problem. it would be very nice if he were to consider – at least – a one or two hour personal conference with them. if he personally can’t spare the time (perhaps other commitments simply rank higher in priority), he could assign this touchy issue (which won’t likely go away) to another priest or religious. if he personally just can’t face homosexuals in person, that’s fair too, but that is definitely not grounds for avoiding the pastoral task at hand. i must submit that i am merely guessing at possible thoughts – none of these should be construed as judgement of Archb N.’s intentions.

    likewise, i detect a hint that those who disagree with Gus and LCB seem wont to judge their intent or even their sexual preferences – which for the purposes of this discussion (especially granted their own statements) does not seem necessary at all. you need not be gay to love a gay person. you can simply imitate Christ. if the very thought of trying to befriend a homosexual seems impossible to accept, then perhaps that too should be classified as a “disorder”? but i am in no position to even gauge a person’s intent over as flimsy a communication device as a message board – so please pardon me if i have made unnecessary suppositions.

    i think what we can do is definitely pray for the Sashays. regardless of whether we start out as sympathisers or brotherly correctors, consistent prayer should help us understand, spiritually, why God’s plan for us includes giving us such unique encounters with persons of such configuration. let us lift up the commenters here, their contemplations, and all of God’s homosexual children into Christ’s capable hands.

    pax et bonum.

  93. memoriadei says:

    Thank you, Father Z, for bringing this to our attention. Without haste, I am off to send an email of thank you to this good archbishop.

  94. memoriadei says:

    I sure wish more people, Catholic Christians and other Christians could understand the difference between “judging” and “condemnation.” In quoting Jesus it is essential to understanding what he was talking about. We can judge the actions of another and we do it every day based on good or bad behavior. We do not, condemn them, however. We love them but hate the sin they commit.

  95. LCB says:

    Latekate,

    I do not think it is a bit confusing to call persons with SSA “humans” or “men and women.”

    Some folks will talk about a ‘homosexual agenda’ or a ‘homosexual lobby’, and it’s difficult to deny that such a thing exists. But I’m not really interested in it. What I’m interested in, Latekate, is saving souls. The reality is, most persons with SSA are strikingly similar to everyone else. They’re trying to be happy, to lead a good life, to do the best with what they have, and fit in in a community.

    The only reason such an agenda can flourish is because we have an anthropology in America that defines people by something other than Christ.

    And as Christians, when we feed into the continued social stigmatization of those with SSA by referring to them as “gays” or “homosexuals”, we impede the work of saving their souls. First and foremost they are humans. Created by God. He loves them, even when they sin.

    It may be easy to blame those with SSA for having SSA, and for trying to form communities with those who are similar to them, but that’s a pretty natural human activity. It’s our job to convert those individuals, and convert those communities.

    Also, Latekate, you wrote, “it is THEIR behaviors that marginalize them, not the word that indicates their disorder. I have the utmost respect for homosexuals who control their behaviors and live according to Gods Law.”

    But if they are controlling their behavior, and homosexual refers to people engaged in that behavior, how are they properly called homosexuals? See all the problems we get into when buzzwords and labelwords are used?

  96. LCB says:

    Memoriadei (great name, BTW),

    I suspect that Greg is trying to highlight that we must also have compassion behind our legitimate judgments, which is often lacking when this particular matter is discussed.

  97. Michael J says:

    LCB,

    You seem to be advocating that we as Catholics should help those with homosexual inclinations (“SSA”s as you call them) to overcome these inclinations. This is good and admirable, but you seem to ignore the possibility that we can best help by eliminating the attraction altogether. This cannot be done unless SSAs are recognized as a true disorder and spiritual disease.

    For example, you can help ease the burden of a hadicapped person by installing wheelchair ramps. Wouldn’t it be better though, to do everything in your power to find a “cure”?

    I fully recognize that this is unlikely to be successful, but I find it difficult to abandon a worthy goal simply because it is unlikely to be reached.

  98. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    I “struggle” with evil desires. I do not want the church to accept these desires as healthy or normal because I know they are wrong. I choose to fight these desires. I will always have these desires but I refuse to give assent to them. If I occasionaly fail and give in it is my own fault, and I am the guilty one. These desires do not define me because I refuse them. Now, why should sodomy be a special case and my tendencies not?

  99. LCB says:

    DMJ,

    Who, in this thread, has asked the Church to accept as healthy or normal SSA? I may have missed it.

  100. Michael J says:

    LCB,

    Among others, you did. You were arguing against classification of same sex attraction as a disorder when you wrote “Undertaking activity that goes against God’s intended purpose does not mean the individuals involved have a psychological disorder”, were you not?

    If so, and SSA is not a disorder, then by definition it must be “normal”. If it is normal, then it must be healthy.

  101. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    you will note that God finds sodomy abominable, and gave commands not to do it after the fall. again, if it is a perfectly natural thing to do, then why would God prohibit it? surley it is a sin? doesnt sin require assent? No matter how much you enjoy sodomy you are not forced to assent to it. If you know you enjoy sodomy you should also be avoiding near occasians of sin.

  102. ED2 says:

    I just wanted to add to some of the previous comments about what label to give to people with homosexual inclinations. In our class on learning to treat patients with special needs, we learned to use “people first” language, meaning we identify them as a person before we would identify their disease or disability. We would say or a person with schizophrenia, not a schizophrenic, or a patient with a disability, not a disabled patient, or a child with Down syndrome, not a downs child. It sounds trivial, but we had some speakers come to our class with various disabilities and they said it makes a difference to them when they are identified first as people.

    Likewise, I think it sounds a little harsh to call someone a homosexual, as if their entire identity were wrapped up in their disordered inclination. It also fails to differentiate between those who are living an active homosexual lifestyle and those who are living chaste lives. I think it is better to refer to them as people with homosexual tendencies or, depending on who you are talking about, people who engage in homosexual behavior.

  103. LCB says:

    Michael J,

    I’m sorry if I failed to be as clear as I ought to have been. Of course SSA is a disordered desire (which is why I spoke of concupiscence). I was merely asserting that it is not necessarily a psychological disorder.

    That is why I compared it to alcoholism. For some individuals, their alcoholism (which is a disordered desire) crosses the threshold into being a psychological disorder. Yet I’m sure all of us know (or know of) those persons who consume staggering quantities of alcohol daily, and yet their normal function isn’t really impacted. They still have a disordered desire for alcohol, but they don’t necessarily have a psychological disorder.

    I hope this clarification helps,

    Michael J (again, heh),

    In an earlier post you wrote: but you seem to ignore the possibility that we can best help by eliminating the attraction altogether. This cannot be done unless SSAs are recognized as a true disorder and spiritual disease.

    For example, you can help ease the burden of a hadicapped person by installing wheelchair ramps. Wouldn’t it be better though, to do everything in your power to find a “cure”?

    I fully recognize that this is unlikely to be successful, but I find it difficult to abandon a worthy goal simply because it is unlikely to be reached.

    Your point is certainly valid. It is very important, and you are right. There is a cure for all sinful activity and disordered desires. It is Christ Jesus.

    Just as we place ramps and such in and around the Church to allow the disabled person to enter more easily, so we should do for the person with SSA. Does that mean the Church changes Her teaching? Absolutely not.

    But it does mean that we Christians must be all the more compassionate, and attempt to be understanding. I’ve been at Churches that don’t have accessibility ramps, and good young men do the right thing: they carry the elderly in their wheelchairs up the steps, and when Mass is over they carry them down.

    I’m not a scientist, nor a psychologist, nor a spiritual director. I’m simply concerned with helping my Brothers and Sisters in Christ who are infront of me. When we change our focus from trying to control people’s behavior, to trying to help them know Christ, we will experience significant gains.

    If we really care about the salvation of these individuals, we would do the same thing for them spiritually that is done for the elderly in wheelchairs at Churches without ramps.

  104. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    LCB,

    I cannot understand where you, and others, are coming from. what do you suggest we do to help sodomites? Why should their sin be given special treatment?

  105. Mike M says:

    Mass is not the place to “celebrate who you are.” Would it be appropriate for such a group to have celebrated themselves on Calvary? I’d say not. And it’s similarly not appropriate to make such a selfish display at the Sacrifice of the Mass.

  106. Matt Q says:

    ED2 wrote:

    “Likewise, I think it sounds a little harsh to call someone a homosexual, as if their entire identity were wrapped up in their disordered inclination. It also fails to differentiate between those who are living an active homosexual lifestyle and those who are living chaste lives. I think it is better to refer to them as people with homosexual tendencies or, depending on who you are talking about, people who engage in homosexual behavior.”

    )(

    You may have an academic point there but does that change anything? In the same context, would this apply to the Saints ( or today’s practicing Faithful ) whom down through the ages struggled against their own inclinations, especially the desires of the flesh, were then not really heterosexuals but just had the inclination thereof? Doesn’t make any sense.

    A person “inclined” to any behavior and struggles to rise above it as opposed to practicing means only they are on the better side of the same coin. Same thing for a heterosexual. Only with effort–including prayer–and Grace does anyone overcome anything.

    The nobility of living a chaste life opposed to an active lifestyle says what? It says a person has chosen to live more in accord with God and His Church rather than self-love ( and all immoral behavior regardless is a form of self-love ). This is commendable but you want yet another label to use on people to carry on yet a further distinction? Let’s not.

    =====

    Virgil wrote:

    “We never hear the Church’s answers to the pressing needs and concerns of gay and lesbian Catholics. The mainstream media simply portray the Church as a bully. The bishops sometimes issue vague political statements.”

    )(

    Virgil, what are the needs of gay and lesbian Catholics? Please let us know what these needs are so that we may certainly pray for them and speak out for them, a true pastoral need which helps them embrace the Lord and attain Heaven. What resource from the Patrimony of the Church since Christ walked this earth is not available to them? Is it like us, the authentic and Tradition-minded Catholics who are denied the Tridentine Mass because of has-ran bishops? Does a gay/lesbian Catholic struggle to live the tenets of our Faith from one day to the next and rightly avail themselves of the Sacraments as we all do, OR are their “needs” pared down to the singular validation of their lifestyle and behavior as a parallel mode of living to coexist happily in the Roman Catholic Church?

    Virgil, you also wrote:

    “‘I think that WSXYZ hits on what is blocking this discussion in the Church. People on both sides believe that: “In short, the Church is asking gay and lesbian people to stop being gay and lesbian.”’

    Whatever the Church is “asking” homosexuals, it’s clear She is admonishing them to stop carrying on. This is no different than the Church wanting everyone to stop with their bad behavior. An abortionist to STOP aborting. Your arguing to legitimize or minimize such behavior says either you have a misplaced sense of compassion for an artificial class of people or you outright reject the authority of the Church in Her Christ-given mission.

    Rather than embrace the Church and attempt to evangelize others, I have not seen any homosexual do this. I’ve attended a lot of conferences and a lot meetings, and not once has there been or even spoken of, a homosexual who has chosen to put his/her struggles forward as a penance to further deepen their love-relationship with Jesus Christ as any of the Saints have done. I have not seen or heard of a homosexual evangelizing and bringing anyone to the Lord. Granted, whatever individual one, who knows and great if he has, but in the generality of it, no, it doesn’t happen. They are too busy vocalizing their hatred and objections against the Church demanding recognition of self than focus on evangelizing. This is pride. Any group, any person who does this is on the fat road to Hell. We must struggle to get ourselves and others into Heaven by loving the Lord and sharing the Truths of the Faith through the Sacraments to accomplish this, not wasting time and energy on an immoral cause.

    The individual homosexual person is no different than anyone else. He is a child of God and is loved by God and a unique gift of life. The person is just as obligated as anyone else to live the spirit of poverty, chastity and obedience according their state of life. One more aesthetical practice which helps one gradually attain Christian Perfection.

  107. LCB says:

    DMJ,

    I’m looking forward to dialoging with you about this.

    What do I suggest we do to help?

    1) Treat them like ordinary normal individuals. Because that’s just what persons with SSA (same sex attraction) are. The normal fallen condition is to be a sinner and to suffer from disordered desires.

    Individuals with SSA are exactly like you and I, they simply have a different set of temptations. Just as I may be tempted towards pride, you may be tempted towards greed, and they may be tempted towards SSA.

    2) Refuse to define individuals solely by their sin. I’ve written extensively about the term “homosexual” and why we shouldn’t use. Individuals are more than their sins or their sexual desires.

    3) Acknowledge that SSA, though disordered, is not itself sinful. It does not make people bad, or broken, or invaluable. It is one temptation among many. And just like any temptation, acting on it is the problem. People with SSA are valuable to society, and are a valuable part of the Church. They have been with the Church since the earliest days (certainly since Corinth), and no doubt many are Saints.

    4) Make clear that the Church is the refuge of all sinners, and everyone is welcome. “We want to be your new home. For eternity.”

    5) Pray for their conversion

    6) Acknowledge to ourselves that we will never convert anyone, and that our rational arguments will often fall on deaf ears. Conversions only come from Christ, and people are only willing to listen and consider the Church’s authentic teaching when their heart has been opened by the Holy Spirit.

    My conclusion: Introduce people to Jesus, the Messiah. Do this by being kind, gentle, and loving. Our modern society has no conception of hell, punishment, or sinfulness, so those words literally have no meaning to most people. Once individuals experience the tremendous love of Christ, the love in his Church, and start the process of learning to love Truth, they will be transformed.

    There is nothing more powerful then surrendering your will to God so that he can shine his light through you.

    You’ll do more to convert a person with SSA by sitting down with them over a coffee or a beer and telling them about who Jesus is, and what he has done for you, and just leaving it at that, then you ever will by calling them a sodomite.

    I hope this clarifies where I’m coming from, DMJ. I look forward to your response and am glad to answer any questions you might have.

  108. LCB says:

    Matt,

    You make important and good points.

    I do however feel very strongly that it is important to move away from the use of the word homosexual. A person’s actions and orientation do not define them.

    Key to all of this is the virtue of chastity, and in a society almost devoid of virtue, that is a difficult concept to express.

  109. Petrus_barjona says:

    LCB,

    I cannot thank you enough for your response. As one who has encountered the Lord Jesus and has deeply fallen in love with him, all within the embrace of our holy Mother Church, I cannot at the same time express sentiments of deep hurt and disappointment towards some of my brothers and sisters in their response to people struggling with SSA, myself being among them. SSA for me has been a source of much pain, confusion and tension yet it was precisely in that context that I encountered the tender and merciful Heart of Jesus. My struggle made me face profoundly overwhelming questions, questions of identity, community, relationships, joy, hope, truth and love. My experience was bared to faith’s scrutiny: What ultimately do I want? Who defines me and why? Yet I knew that for me, if my life is truly to be rooted in Christ, it must question faith’s reasons for the parameters that it sets and why it cannot simply rubber-stamp the current trend. The lifestyle proposed by our society falls has fallen short of its promises. Yet, when I re-turned to the Church, it was difficult to find people simply be willing to patiently walk with me, someone who would lend a ear, someone who looks at me with love as a brother in Christ with his own set of struggles, rather than immediately demonizing me as a sodomite who frivolously gives in to sin. I was raised in the embrace of the Church and yet when I needed her the most, I felt abandoned by her. The grace of Christ has not been found wanting as compassionate brothers and sisters did cross my path, offering truth in love with the patience and tenderness of Christ. Most of all, I came to experience his love through his All-Holy Mother. In them, I can say that I have felt anew the embrace of Holy Mother Church, have come to be rooted in what she believes, how she lives and celebrates. TO DMJ and everyone else who shares his sentiment and tone, I encourage you to beg from the Lord grace for humility and charity to share his truth effectively in ministering to your brothers and sisters with ssa, those whose faith is weak. Did not the Bl. Apostle Paul teach us that even if you can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, if you know anything and everything about ssa, yet if you do not have charity, you are nothing, your words count for nothing, your ‘truth’ if you can call it that, loses its substance?

    Where sin increased, grace overflows all the more. The love and truth that is Christ is the answer and healing for those struggling with ssa. Yet your own self-righteousness become stumbling blocks to his presence and work of salvation to those in most need of his mercy.

    Thank you LCB.

  110. Virgil says:

    Ciao, Matt Q.

    You ask me to give examples of needs of gay and lesbian Catholics. Here goes! When I write, “We never hear the Church’s answers to the pressing needs and concerns of gay and lesbian Catholics,” I mean it quite literally, and if you read my earlier post, I give three examples, in the context of a hypothetical Sunday Brunch meeting between the Rainbow Folks and the Archbishop.

    Your comments also note that gay and lesbian people generally “are too busy vocalizing their hatred and objections against the Church demanding recognition of self than focus on evangelizing.” Maybe true, and my point is that the vague political statements of bishops exacerbate the conflict.

    In fact, there are thousands, maybe millions, of gay couples in Christendom who are living lives of holiness and chastity. In my own parishes in the US and Italy (TLM parishes both) there are dozens of active folks who fit this bill.

    Allow me to refresh my examples, to answer both your questions more pointedly. What would be a bishop’s advice, the Church’s teaching, the Truth, in each of these cases?

    1. The couple who has their kids in a Catholic school. Lots of interesting pastoral issues here. Should the kids be pulled out of Catholic school? (There was a case like this somewhere recently, I recall.) How does their teacher, their pastor, address the fact that the kids have two mommies in a way that shows charity and respect and fidelity to Church teaching?

    2. The person who has lost health insurance, and his partner’s company doesn’t offer benefits for non-married families. Here, we embark on political issues and the Church’s charitable mission. How does the Church respond when employers extend equal benefits to non-married families? Or when government does the same? Good thing? Bad thing?

    3. The guy with a non-Catholic boyfriend who is planning a wedding in Iowa. Special concerns when dating a non-Catholic? Weddings are certainly off-limits (in fact make no sense sacramentally) as a way for same-sex partners to seal their commitment to holiness and chastity. But in what ways could this couple celebrate their commitment? The Church gives nothing explicit, but two Sacramentals come close to the mark: Consecration of Virgins Living in the World and the vows that religious take to their communities. What kind of blessing would the Archbishop be willing to host, for a couple who (in his words) “hold with the conviction all that the Church teaches on matters of human sexuality?”

    Lastly, if Father Z has read this far into the thread: a WDTCRS (What Does The Catechism Really Say) question.

    The Latin in the Catechism speaks of chaste gay couples with the phrase “amicitiae gratuitae auxilio” literally “friend in help and grace.” It is my conviction that it is very poorly rendered as “disinterested friendship” in the English. In fact, I think that “disinterested friendship” is how the Victorians refered to Plato’s description of gay couples.

    How would you translate the phrase? Friend in help and grace?

    What would you do, pastorally, if a chaste gay couple came to you for a blessing?

  111. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    virgil, you are so wrong

    1.a gay couple cannot physicaly have kids, I wouldve thought that obvious. a person with ssa should not have a partner either, they should be avoiding near occasions of sin. and the church teaches that children need two parents, a mother and a father.

    2. the church is not a social worker.

    3. a catholic gay couple? sick. sodomites need to avoid the near occasions of sin, just like the rest of us. waking up nexto your boyfriend everyday?

  112. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    no matter how much we enjoy our particular vice, no matter how tempting, nobody is forced to sin. all it takes is a choice to embrace the grace of God. It is us humans who must comprimise, God has already done plenty of that. Sodomy is no different to any sin that the flesh wants us to commit, we must refuse it with the will, and avoid even near occasions of sin. All sin is a choice, and so is virtue.

  113. LCB says:

    DMJ,

    I think what Virgil is trying to point out is this:

    There are some real and serious situations that exist, that need to be really and seriously addressed. I don’t disagree with you that there shouldn’t be certain types of adoptions, etc, but,

    1) What do you propose be done when the Pastor finds out that a child who has been in the grade school for 2-3 years has been adopted by a same sex couple (as is legal in some states). Surely kicking the child out isn’t the right approach? It is a difficult and complicated situation. Make the wrong move and you likely push 2 people who are somewhat in the orbit of Holy Mother Church away (probably for the rest of their lives), and you’ll likely horribly jade the child for his/her entire life. We can talk about what should have occurred in the past, but we need to deal with the matter that is present.

    Also consider, what should the Church do in situations where the child belongs to a couple (male and female) who are divorced and unlawfully remarried?

    2) The Church may not be a social worker, but the Church is both America’s and Earth’s largest charitable organization. And no one can seriously deny that aiding those in need in central to the mission of the Church. This is a very important question: how should the Church respond when a government or a company extends partner benefits to partners (which usually also applies to live in partners of the same sex, too)? Simply saying the Church is not a social worker is a dodge of the issue.

    3) You’d be surprised the number of practicing homosexual Catholics who know what the Church believes, fully believe what the Church believes, and simply choose to go on as practicing homosexuals anyways. The person in question (and I’ve met people who share this view) might say something along the lines of:

    “Jeez, I know what I do is wrong, but I try my best to follow Christ, I’m just awful at it. But going to Iowa and getting married? No, that’s not right, that’s not what marriage is. But I’m in a real bind now. This relationship I’m in has been my support for 10 years. We own property together. All our friends are couples like us. Can the Church help me?”

    What is a pastor supposed to do in this situation? Ask a person to leave a relationship that has been their emotional support for a decade, leave all their friends, possibly risk their job, jeopardize the property they own, maybe lose their health insurance, maybe lose their car?

    Okay. Then the Church needs to be prepared to replace that level of emotional support, provide a whole new set of friends, a new job, a means to obtain reasonable property, new health insurance, and a car is pretty essential to living in today’s society so probably one of those too.

    DMJ, are you willing to be the emotional support to a man who is crying because he is heartbroken because he just left absolutely everything in his life to try and be a better Christian, are you willing to give him a job, and let him stay at your house, and let him use your car, and give him health insurance (or pay for his health insurance)?

    If you’re not willing to do those things, then don’t ask people to do something you won’t help them do.

    4) It may be useful to consider that there are many parallels between the complicated situations some individuals with SSA are in, and the complicated situations that individuals who have divorced and unlawfully remarried are in. Especially when you get into matters of friends, property, lifestyle, job, and children.

  114. AJD says:

    LCB,

    I want to join Petrus_barjona in thanking you for your wonderful and kind contributions here. Some of these comments have been very hurtful and hard to read. I made huge sacrifices and left everything I knew and thought I loved in order to follow Christ. The things I lost still weigh on my heart at times. It is not easy to be a Catholic with SSA when so many brothers in Christ would just as soon hang us out to dry and proclaim that it’s impossible for us to live chastely, that we hate the Church, that we’re a sick sodomites (even after leaving that behind).

    You are a model of charity, LCB. God bless you.

  115. wsxyz says:

    What is a pastor supposed to do in this situation? Ask a person to leave a relationship that has been their emotional support for a decade, leave all their friends, possibly risk their job, jeopardize the property they own, maybe lose their health insurance, maybe lose their car?

    Absolutely. The Church demands that individuals leave sinful relationships, whether it is an adulterous relationship or a homosexual relationship. Otherwise, these individuals are living in mortal sin and cannot be saved.

    Okay. Then the Church needs to be prepared to replace that level of emotional support, provide a whole new set of friends, a new job, a means to obtain reasonable property, new health insurance, and a car is pretty essential to living in today’s society so probably one of those too.

    Wrong. The Church does not predicate the truth on the ability to “make up” for what has been lost. The relationship must be permanently ended for the sin to be forgiven. Yes it would be preferable if persons could be found willing to help out someone in this situation to decides to choose Christ over Satan, but no one can make the provision of worldly assistance to be a precondition for Christ. The sinner must abandon his sin even if it means the loss of every physical comfort. Is it hard? Yes. Could I do it? I hope so, but I don’t know. But there is no doubt that this is what Christ and the Church demand.

  116. wsxyz says:

    It is not easy to be a Catholic with SSA when so many brothers in Christ would just as soon hang us out to dry and proclaim that it’s impossible for us to live chastely, that we hate the Church, that we’re a sick sodomites (even after leaving that behind).

    I haven’t read any comment here that included anything of the sort. Similarly, “Virgil” asserted that I want to “get rid” of homosexuals and “boot them out of the Communion of Saints”, neither of which could be further from the truth.

    But at the same time, you cannot tell Christ or the Church “I am proud of my disordered tendencies. I do not wish to change them. I intend to indulge them right up to the brink of mortal sin. Deal with it.” That is a rejection of God that leads straight to Hell.

  117. LCB says:

    Wsxyz,

    I can’t help but think you’ve never worked with anyone who is struggling with serious moral matters and trying to do the right thing. For most folks that’s a gradual process, it takes a lot of time and anguish to fully undertake what the Church teaches. Serious attachment to sin often takes a long time, sometimes a lifetime, to overcome. There are people who have spent years in the back rows of a Church, struggling with their faith and wrestling with their sin, before they are finally able to go to the confessional and have the chains fall off.

    You may take the “shout fire and brimstone at the sinners” approach and blame them for not immediately recognizing your own personal piety and doing exactly as you say.

    I’ll take the approach that actually helps save souls. And for the record, calling individual persons and groups of individuals “sodomites” is usually quite derogatory. Though it may notify everyone around that the person using the word is the holiest person in the room, it will do little to win converts.

    If you are unwilling to compassionately walk with these individuals as they undertake the struggle of their life, help them every step of the way, patiently listen to them, help them build a new life in Christ, help them learn that the popular culture has lied to them their entire lives in a gentle way, and make Christ present to them through yourself… if you’re unwilling to do those then I have a simple suggestion for you:

    Stop. Pray. And don’t “help” anymore until you realize that you’re not “helping” at all.

  118. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    you fail to answer my question: why should sodomy be considered a special case? After all, it is a choice to engage in such acts and anyone who chooses to commit sin is wrong. Nobody is forced to commite sodomy, no matter how much they enjoy it. It (any sin) is a choice. If you choose to engage in evil acts then you are guilty.

  119. mpk says:

    LCB
    Could you clarify just what it is that you’re advocating by the compassionate approach? When you say you gradually move away from such sins, do you mean that while you’re dealing with the desire for the same sex that it is ok to exercize these desires, yet continue to receive the Eucharist? Do you advocate as some do on this post that those with homosexual proclivities remain in these relationships with their partners while they work these things out?

    For those of you like Virgil who are promoting that gay couples live together and have all the benefits this union brings them emotionally and sexually, do you not think this is a sin?

    I am not far enough removed personally to read all the above comments, many are far too discouraging in that there is so little regard for Church teaching. I know it’s difficult to move away from this sinful life. that is true for all sin. Remember to go to Our Lady for help.

  120. wsxyz says:

    Here is a quote from the Baltimore Catechism No. 4:

    Suppose a woman’s husband went to the war, and she heard after a great many years that he had been killed in battle, and she, believing her first husband to be dead, married another man. But the report of the first husband’s death turns out to be false, and after a time he returns. Then the Church tells the woman — and she knows it herself — that the second marriage was invalid, that is, no marriage, because it was performed while the first husband was still living. She must leave the second man and go back to her husband.

    Would this not be a difficult situation? Suppose the woman had children with the second man. No matter, she must leave him and return the her husband. To do otherwise would be to live in adulterous relationship. It is no different for homosexuals. The sinful relationship must be abandoned.

  121. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    but wsxyz,

    that would be tough and we dont want tough. Life is meant to be easy, especialy if you plan on heaven. Dont you know that God loves sin, and those who prefer sin to himself? Why dont you stop being so un-charitable? judge not, and all that.

  122. wsxyz says:

    There are people who have spent years in the back rows of a Church, struggling with their faith and wrestling with their sin, before they are finally able to go to the confessional and have the chains fall off.

    I respect that, but I don’t think that is what we have been talking about in this thread. Instead we have the Virgils of the blogosphere who tell us that the Church is in favor of “chaste” homosexual relationships and that “gay is great” as long as you stop just short of mortal sin.

    That is what I am arguing against.

  123. AJD says:

    Me: “…proclaim that it’s impossible for us to live chastely, that we hate the Church, that we’re a sick sodomites”
    wsxyz: “I haven’t read any comment here that included anything of the sort.”

    A small selection:
    “Rather than embrace the Church and attempt to evangelize others, I have not seen any homosexual do this. I’ve attended a lot of conferences and a lot meetings, and not once has there been or even spoken of, a homosexual who has chosen to put his/her struggles forward as a penance to further deepen their love-relationship with Jesus Christ as any of the Saints have done. I have not seen or heard of a homosexual evangelizing and bringing anyone to the Lord. Granted, whatever individual one, who knows and great if he has, but in the generality of it, no, it doesn’t happen. They are too busy vocalizing their hatred and objections against the Church demanding recognition of self than focus on evangelizing. This is pride. Any group, any person who does this is on the fat road to Hell.”
    —-Statement that homosexuals don’t live chastely and hate the Church; about people with SSA following the Church, he says “no, it doesn’t happen.”

    “sick. sodomites need to avoid the near occasions of sin, just like the rest of us.”
    —-Statement that people with SSA are sick sodomites. Since this post is talking about people avoiding the near occasion of sin, it’s obviously talking about all people with SSA, not necessarily people actually committing acts of sodomy.

  124. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    but wsxyz,

    dont you know you are being uncharitable? dont you know that “people with ssa” are the only ones who struggle with sin? Dont you know that living with a man you are lusting after isnt a near occasion of sin? Dont you think that accepting Christ isnt enough?

  125. wsxyz says:

    The three situations:

    1. The [gay] couple who has their kids in a Catholic school.

    It is not the children’s fault that they were subjected to the evil of being adopted by homosexuals. Of course they can stay in the school. Of course they will be instructed about the evil of homosexuality and the fact that their custodians are living in mortal sin.

    2. The person who has lost health insurance, and his partner’s company doesn’t offer benefits for non-married families.

    I don’t see why this has anything to do with the Church. If I were buying the insurance, I probably wouldn’t choose to cover “domestic partners” of any kind, male or female, gay or straight. I don’t think the Church should be in a big rush to help the uninsured gay “partner” – the Church is not in the business of encouraging sin. Given the current state of the health system in the USA, there are many more deserving people cut off from quality health care. Help them instead.

    3. The guy with a non-Catholic boyfriend who is planning a wedding in Iowa. … Weddings are certainly off-limits (in fact make no sense sacramentally) as a way for same-sex partners to seal their commitment to holiness and chastity. But in what ways could this couple celebrate their commitment?

    There is no way. This “commitment” is sinful and wrong. The pastor must tell these people that he wants to help them overcome their sin and attain eternal life, but that there can be no forgiveness without repentance and their sinful relationship must be abandoned for the good of their souls. These unfortunate sinners, like all of us, can choose sin in this life and then the eternal torments of Hell, or they can choose holiness in this life and then the eternal joys of Heaven.

  126. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    AJD,

    you will note that the “sick” comment refers to gay “catholic” couples, as evidenced by the full-stop or period.. But yes, I think ALL immorality is sick- even when I commit it. Living with a man you are attracted to is a very near occasion of sin, and is evidence of false repentance.

  127. AJD says:

    “Living with a man you are attracted to is a very near occasion of sin”

    Obviously. I certainly never suggested such a thing. I live a chaste life according to Church teaching.

    Though according to some commenters (like that first person I quoted), people like me don’t exist.

  128. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    AJD,

    Even allowing yourself to entertain indecent thoughts is wrong, just like my desire to beat people up (thats the evil desire I refered to before). I realize that having that desire is wrong and sick. Yet God gives me all the help I need, through his church, to overcome this disorder. YET AGAIN I ASK YOU: WHY IS SODOMY ANY DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER SIN?

  129. wsxyz says:

    AJD –

    To be fair, in the first instance, the poster says “whatever individual one, who knows and great if he has, but in the generality of it, no, it doesn’t happen”. So he doesn’t say it never happens, but generally it doesn’t happen, although there may be exceptions. Whether that is true or not, I couldn’t say. But I don’t doubt that it is the dissenters who are vocal.

    In the second instance, the poster is says that concept of a “Catholic gay couple” is sick. And I agree fully with the poster. He then goes on to say “sodomites need to avoid the near occasions of sin”, which is certainly true. I don’t think the poster is intending to call all persons with, as you call it, SSA “sodomites”, rather I think he is speaking of those persons who choose to live the “gay lifestyle”.

    But ok, I’ll agree that this word is not helpful, accurate though it may be.

  130. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    chastity involves the heart and mind, not just actions. If an evil desire enters your mind reject it for the sake of Christ. If you do that you will not sin. YES ITS TOUGH, tell me about it! but its good and leads to salvation. As I say, I have evil desires so I can understand. I suggest reading IMATATIO CHRISTI, which is a great guide on renouncing the self and conforming to Christ.

  131. AJD says:

    DMJ,

    How dare you presume that I fall to the sin of lust.

  132. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    sodomy or sodomite in my culture means one who gives assent to the inclinations or practice of homosexuality. To me all immorality or desire to commit immorality is sick, even when I give assent to immorality. Yes its tough, but nobody here doesnt want you to overcome sin, we just cannot accept the desire to commit immorality as o.k.

  133. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    AJD,

    Sorry, sorry, sorry! I have aspergers and cant tell when I am being harsh. Could you point out to me where I insulted you so I can refrain from it in future? As you may know, Aspergers means coldness or harsh, so there is no Ill intent behind any of my posts. I can only understant cold logic. sorry.xxx.

  134. AJD says:

    DMJ,

    Let’s agree to agree.

    1. We agree that homosexual sex is sinful and wrong.
    2. We agree that homosexual coupling is an occasion of sin and thus wrong.
    3. We agree that lust for homosexual activity is sinful and wrong.

    I believe we have a misunderstanding when it comes to the term “same-sex attraction.” When I say that I have same-sex attraction, I am not stating that I do or approve of #1, #2, or #3. Someone may recognize whether they are attracted to men or women without falling to lust or desiring sinful sexual activity.

    Many people with same-sex attraction, myself included, follow Church teaching to the letter. We remain chaste, just like every Catholic should. This means abstaining from sex outside of marriage, masturbation, pornography, lust, and occasions of these sins.

    The insult comes when someone assumes that because I have a disordered inclination–as we all have disordered inclinations toward sin–that I am guilty of that sin or approve of it.

    I follow Church teaching. When I sin in any aspect of my life, I go to Confession. I am a good Catholic, just like thousands of other Catholics with same-sex attraction who left that lifestyle behind in order to follow Christ. Not all Catholics with SSA are Rainbow Sash people; many of us are faithful to Christ and His Church.

  135. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    AJD,

    SORRY! Thanks for putting up with me. I too have disorderd desires. It is realy tough isnt it? I still do not see WHY anyone who struggles against sodomy should be given preferential treatment. All sin is a choice. If you are inclined to enjoy sodomy, then that is just as sick as my desire of sadism and violence. giving in is a choice.

  136. LCB says:

    DMJ,

    You kept talking about preferential treatment.

    No one here is calling for preferential treatment.

  137. LCB says:

    MPK writes,

    [quote]LCB
    Could you clarify just what it is that you’re advocating by the compassionate approach? When you say you gradually move away from such sins, do you mean that while you’re dealing with the desire for the same sex that it is ok to exercize these desires, yet continue to receive the Eucharist? Do you advocate as some do on this post that those with homosexual proclivities remain in these relationships with their partners while they work these things out?

    For those of you like Virgil who are promoting that gay couples live together and have all the benefits this union brings them emotionally and sexually, do you not think this is a sin?

    I am not far enough removed personally to read all the above comments, many are far too discouraging in that there is so little regard for Church teaching. I know it’s difficult to move away from this sinful life. that is true for all sin. Remember to go to Our Lady for help.[/quote]

    MPK,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I hope my comments can help you understand what precisely I am saying. Sometimes I am vague and need good questions like yours to refine my words.

    *You ask*, “When you say you gradually move away from such sins, do you mean that while you’re dealing with the desire for the same sex that it is ok to exercize these desires, yet continue to receive the Eucharist?”

    *I reply*: Let me be clear, the activity is sinful, and individuals who are in such sin should not receive the Eucharist. Nor would I ever encourage people to continue in sinful activity. What I am trying to show is a method of ministry that recognizes reality– sinners (of all stripes) tend to persist in their sins even after they start the process of entering into the fullness of the Church. I have personally known people who have been in unlawful illegitimate marriages after divorce, and it took them years of going to mass (but not receiving) and meeting with their Pastor before they finally did the right thing. Along the way they had a number of ‘failed launches’ where they tried to do the right thing, but couldn’t ‘stay the course.’

    *You ask*, “For those of you like Virgil who are promoting that gay couples live together and have all the benefits this union brings them emotionally and sexually, do you not think this is a sin?”

    *I reply*: I am not like Virgil. I do not promote same sex couples living together. I am neutral in regards to the legal benefits of the union (because I am interested in souls not law). There is no doubt that the sexual activity is sinful, and we need to proclaim the joy of chastity. The emotional situation requires acknowledge on behalf of those ministering to these individuals. Right or wrong, these individuals have deep emotional connections to their partner and their community. Deep emotional connections are hard to break. Humans, especialy those with SSA, have a legitimate and natural fear of being alone in life. They already experience a sense of isolation from larger society.

    I’m not promoting individuals continuing in their relationships. I am promoting that we recognize the spiritual and emotional needs of these individuals, because we can not address them until we recognize them.

    With rare exceptions, conversion takes time. Usually a lot of time. That is why recognizing the reality of these situations is so important, so we can help these individuals in what is often a long and difficult conversion process.

    *You write*, “I am not far enough removed personally to read all the above comments, many are far too discouraging in that there is so little regard for Church teaching.”

    *I reply*: I’m not sure who here is disregarding Church teaching. Rather, I am calling for extreme compassion in helping individuals that are in difficult situations and recognizing that conversion is a long and difficult process that takes place in time.

    *My Conclusion*: I hope this helps explain what I am advocating. Please feel free to ask more questions or provide your welcome critique. I look forward to them.

  138. LCB says:

    As a quick note, several posters have written in a fashion that suggests I am a person that deals with SSA. I’m unsure if that is simply a slip of language (the way we often use “you” to mean things other than “you”) or that I have indicated in some fashion that I do.

    To be clear, that is not the cross I carry.

  139. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    just replace the word homosexual/gay/ssa in the above posts with any other vice: masturbation, paedophillia, murder, abortion, ect. Now tell me that compassion isnt missplaced? we regular sinners-the ones who just get on with life- arent therapists or couselors, we have nothing to offer those who enjoy sinning, we cant heal them. If they dont want to sin then they are just like the rest of us and I am sure their doctor, or close friends or family can help them with emotional problems.

  140. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    If you renounce sin and vice then you have joined the rest of us. I dont know what a ‘ministry’ is, but it sounds wierd. If you have ssa then I am sure a friend or family member who is on intimite terms with you can help you, or even a doctor. The church isnt a social worker, she doesnt tell us how to not sin. thats up to individuals.

  141. Gus says:

    Hi DMJ,

    I think that perhaps you have made a very good point.
    If we replace homosexuality in this discussion with something like pedophilia, murder, or abortion some of the arguments about compassion wouldn’t be so strong.
    Maybe, that’s because at some level we realize that a homosexual relationship that is a permant, monogamous, life giving, and loving relationship between two adults is radically different from the fear, anger, domination, and violence found in such activities as pedophilia, murder, and abortion.
    Maybe then, we need not just strong compassion but development of doctrine.

    Pax et Bonum

  142. Gus says:

    P.S. The Church does tell us how not to sin. And She has to lest She were to fall into what Jesus criticized the Pharisees for: laying burdens on others’ shoulders while not lifting a finger to lighten them.
    That is why the Church has the sacraments and the sacramentals as well as all sorts of services, including social ones.
    Since the Church is here for the salvation of the human person, Her resources to assist the human person has to be spiritual, social, etc. since the human person is not only spirit but also mind and body.

    Pax et Bonum

  143. Gus says:

    Does anyone know what finallly happened yesterday at the cathedral in St. Paul, MN?
    Pax et Bonum

  144. George Kadlec says:

    Some quotes from the Saints of the Catholic Church:

    Saint Catherine of Siena, a religious mystic of the 14th century, relays words of Our Lord Jesus Christ about the vice against nature, which contaminated part of the clergy in her time. Referring to sacred ministers, He says: “They not only fail from resisting this frailty [of fallen human nature] . . . but do even worse as they commit the cursed sin against nature. Like the blind and stupid, having dimmed the light of their understanding, they do not recognize the disease and misery in which they find themselves. For this not only causes Me nausea, but displeases even the demons themselves, whom these miserable creatures have chosen as their lords. For Me, this sin against nature is so abominable that, for it alone, five cities were submersed, by virtue of the judgment of My Divine Justice, which could no longer bear them. . . . It is disagreeable to the demons, not because evil displeases them and they find pleasure in good, but because their nature is angelic and thus is repulsed upon seeing such an enormous sin being committed. It is true that it is the demon who hits the sinner with the poisoned arrow of lust, but when a man carries out such a sinful act, the demon leaves.”

    Saint Augustine is categorical in the combat against sodomy and similar vices. The great Bishop of Hippo writes: “Sins against nature, therefore, like the sin of Sodom, are abominable and deserve punishment whenever and wherever they are committed. If all nations committed them, all alike would be held guilty of the same charge in God’s law, for our Maker did not prescribe that we should use each other in this way. In fact, the relationship that we ought to have with God is itself violated when our nature, of which He is Author, is desecrated by perverted lust.”

    Saint Albert the Great gives four reasons why he considers homosexual acts as the most detestable ones: They are born from an ardent frenzy; they are disgustingly foul; those who become addicted to them are seldom freed from that vice; they are as contagious as disease, passing quickly from one person to another.

  145. Virgil says:

    Interesting, enlightening, and often annoying commentary here! (Thanks, LCB for being consistently rational in the face of some “knuckle heads” as Fr Z would call them.)

    Some of the more virulent “Kick out the gays” commentors ask, “Why should Sodomy be different from any other sin?”

    Exactly! The sin of Sodomy covers a broad range, including birth control. It is also ontologically pretty close to other pastoral controversies in the Church, including how to treat those who are divorced and re-married. Why is it that gay and lesbian Catholic couples are met with words so much harsher than second marriage Catholics, or Catholic couples who are using birth control?

    You insist that Sodomy be treated on par with other sins? The bishops respond to birth control with a deafening silence: no legal briefs, no withholding of communion. Lay Catholics pick up the ball with Natural Family Planning and other ways to keep these Catholics in the fold. The response to the folks in the pews in second marriages? Ecce the convenient anulment, available from your local marriage tribunal for a time commitment, a bit of counseling, and a small fee.

    To treat all Sodomies equally, I would expect to see the following from the Church leadership:

    1. No political statements or briefs encouraging depriving gay couples of legal security for their households and children. Unless, of course, you are equally active in trying to criminalize birth control and no-fault divorce.

    2. Clear pastoral programs, with traction: like Natural Family Planning, like the Theology of the Body, like Humanae Vitae, that explicitly encourage gay couples to live chastely.

    3. Read the Catechism! Or rather, remind people and politically active bishops that the CCC offers great encouragement to chaste gay couples.

  146. Supertradmom says:

    I do not know is a review of some of the sins as defined by the Catholic Church would be helpful, but here is a list which is part of our teaching:

    Six Sins against the Holy Spirit

    All involving a stubborn resistance to inspiration and a contempt for the gifts, therefore \”unforgivable\” because of the lack of desire for repentance. (see Matthew 12:31-32 and 1 John 5:16-17).

    * Despair of one\’s salvation (of God\’s mercy)
    * Presumption of saving oneself without merit
    * Resisting the known truth
    * Envy of the graces received by others
    * Obstinacy in one\’s sins
    * Final impenitence

    the Four Sins that Cry to Heaven for Vengeance

    * The voluntary murder (Genesis 4:10)
    * The sin of impurity against nature – sodomy (Genesis 18:20)
    * Taking advantage of the poor (Exodus 2:23)
    * Defrauding the workingman of his wages (James 5:4)
    taken from the site, \”Catholic Teaching\” and other sources. Note that a sin is not merely an action, but a desire in the mind. God bless the Archbishop!

  147. LCB says:

    DMJ,

    You’re right, you don’t know what a ministry is.

    Sin coupled with disordered desire is not a walk in the park.

    Maybe you could go down to your local homeless shelter and yell at all the drug addicts for a while? Silly drug addicts, if you would just enlighten them that all they need to do is stop being drug addicts, then they wouldn’t be drug addicts anymore.

    Fortunately you’ve made clear that actually helping sinners isn’t the Chruch’s job. So you don’t need to even bother doing that. That’s someone else’s job. And to think that the Church and the Saints were so misguided, for 2 millennium, to actually try and help sinners!

    Further, I can no longer dialog with you if you can not recognize the difference, in your posts, between SSA (same sex attraction, the disordered desire itself) and homosexual acts (acting on the disordered desire for SSA). You continue using the 2 interchangeably. They are not interchangeable. They are 2 fundamentally different things.

  148. LCB says:

    Gus,

    I disagree quite strongly. Homosexual relationships are by their nature disordered, and by their nature are never under any circumstances lifegiving. By development in doctrine you seem to mean change in doctrine.

    As for treating all sins as equal, all sins are equal in that they are sins, but the method of dealing with them (from the individual’s or the Church’s perspective) are very different.

    How we minister to a woman who has had an abortion is radically different from how we minister to a grown man who killed someone in cold blood.

    Virgil,

    You make some excellent points. The parallel between other pastoral challenges and controversies is really quite relevant. I have considered bringing up exactly what you mentioned, both pointing out the connections between homosexual and contraception, and the great silence from many Bishops in regard to many of the issues of our idea.

    However, if same sex couples are encouraged to live chastely, then we must recognize the logical conclusion is that they not live as couples at all. It makes no sense.

    As for pastoral programs, have you ever heard of the Courage program? They are really first rate, and the Lord has greatly blessed their ministry.

  149. Michael J says:

    Virgil,

    To avoid making any gross assumptions about you, ones that in truth I have no way of knowing, I ask you to put yourself in the shoes of a hypothetical man.

    This man is a good Catholic who struggles with same sex attraction. Despite this, he is able to live a chaste life while continuing to maintain an emotionally, but not physically intimate relationship with another man.

    Now, if you are this man (and truly, I do not need to know if you are or not) what is it that you want from the Church? Do you want “recognition” of some sort for the “union” of sorts that you are in? Do you want Church doctrine to develop so that you can be physically intimate? Do you want counseling and prayers so that your burden can be eliminated and cured?

    I would think that the later would be the ultimate goal. This reminds me of the controversy that emerges every once in a while in the “deaf community”. I truly do not understand why, but I have read on several occasions where one individual has been shunned and labeled a traitor for having cochlear implants. Why others in the community would not rejoice when a burden has been lifted from one of their own remains a mystery to me.

  150. Gus says:

    Hi LCB,

    Yeah, we’ll have to agree to disagree.
    From my perspective, though, SSC can be life giving. Not in a procreative sense but in other no less significant ways. Kind of like OSC who cannot procreate for issues of age or health.
    From my perspective, doctrinal development can be pursued on the level that while heterosexual marriage is a more perfect state that homosexual unions, for those not blessed with OSA or with the gift of celibacy, could be acceptable. I admit that this doctrinal development could be seen as a change but then again not necessarily. I mean, doctrine has developed in things such as sex in marriage being for procreative purposes to it being for both procreative and unitive ones. Doctrine has also developed in our understanding of slavery, religious freedom, capital punishment, etc. Each time there has been a development in order to recognize the fundamental dignity of the human person and the subsequent right of human beings to self determination as long as that exercise does not result in the direct harm of another person. I believe the Church would do well to develop Her doctrine on homosexuality along these lines.

    Pax et Bonum

  151. Gus says:

    LCB,

    I guess we also disagree on the issue of how to treat sinners. From my perspective I think we should treat a woman who had an abortion and a man who killed in “cold” blood another person in fundamentally the same way, i.e., with compassion. Behaviors, even the most detestable types such as the intentional killing of an innocent person through an abortion or through some other form of murder are abominable, but while I condemn these behaviors I also know that they are always done in some type of context. I believe that even when people do very, very bad things that almost always it is not because they are “cold blooded” or evil (psychological research indicates that only 4% of the general population is psychopathic, i.e., your cold blooded, not capable of empathy, lacking a conscience type of individual) but not well. Thus my belief that it is best to treat all with compassion. I will grant you, though, that depending on the specific case that compassion may be more or less strong.

    Pax et Bonum

  152. LCB says:

    Gus,

    Concerning your first post, development in doctrine does not mean change in doctrine. None of the doctrines you cited have undergone any change. What you are asking for is a fundamental change in doctrine. That is an impossibility. That can not, and never will, happen. You seem to be implying that what the Church currently believes is in error.

    Just so we have clarity regarding further dialog, do you believe what the Church believes in this matter? I don’t want to presume inappropriately.

    Concerning your second post, if you haven’t drawn from my posts in this thread that I advance compassion for the sinner, then I’m not sure what else I can do to persuade you :-D The phrase “cold blooded” simply means pre-meditated (dating back to English Common Law, where murder was essentially “hot blooded”, a crime of passion, or “cold blooded”, pre-meditated).

  153. Gus says:

    Hi LCB,
    No, I don’t agree with the Church’s current teaching on homosexuality; I thought that was clear.
    Now, the actual difference between doctrinal “development” and “change” is not so clear.
    I tend to subscribe to Fr. Neuhaus’ treatment of this issue and assume that when Church teaching on a matter is different than it has been, I will go along with the Church and call it development instead of change. This is not to be construed as being disngeneous but rather docile to the Church.
    But I have to state that the actual demarcation between development and change is not really very clear to me. If it is to you, then maybe you can elaborate and perhaps apply that distinction to the Church’s previous teaching on religious freedom and Her current doctrine as a way to illustrate your point.
    IMO, it would be perfectly OK for the Church to have doctrinal development (or change) in matters that have not been definitively defined.
    I guess for me a real doctrinal rupture would be constituted by the Church denying that God exists or that God is a Trinity or that Jesus Christ is both God and man or that the Catholic Church is the Church of Christ or denying that the taking of an innocent human life is not murder. These, to me, would be real ruptures and would put into question the Church’s infallible Magisterium since they would be saying one thing at one time and its very opposite another time.
    IMO, to say that the Church’s doctrine on homosexuality needs to develop in the sense that I outlined previously is not a rupture at all. The homosexuality that is condemn in Scripture and Tradition is very different from what I’m talking about. That type of homosexuality had to do with temple prostitution, pederasty, and sexual promiscuity and not at all with committed, monogamous relationships between two adults.

    Pax et Bonum

  154. Gus says:

    LCB,
    Concerning the issue of compassion I think the differences between our two perspectives are probably too insignificant to focus on at this time.
    I’ve stated before that I admire your compassionate perspective towards homosexuals and can see that you would probably be so inclined to be with anyone that you consider a sinner.
    IMO, that is a good thing.

    Pax et Bonum

  155. Virgil says:

    Gus, LCB, Michael… I’m happy that you’ve kept this thread going. I am learning a lot from reading your thoughts.

    Gus, consider that maybe the Church’s doctrine doesn’t need “development” so much as better PR.

    I hate to keep refering to documents, but the Catechism of the Catholic Church (or the 3 paragraphs of it adressed to homosexuality) is a welcome read for any gay couple.

    The two words “objectively disordered” get all the press. And several of the nastier posters here would use that as an excuse to apply to gay and lesbian Catholics the 3-way solution for the Jews during the Spanish Inquisition: 33% will die, 33% will be exiled, 33% will convert, and 1% will finance our conversion of the Americas to Christ.

    The same press (both Catholic and secular) tend to ignore the rest of the CCC’s words, as well as a lot of history. The CCC is clear – Gay couples are to each other “amicitiae gratuitae auxilio” literally “friend in help and grace.”

    The partners are not “crying to heaven for vengance.”

    The partners are not “a near occasion of sin.”

    They are “friends in help and grace.” (This is the Catholic Church talking, not some gay rights activist.)

    Now, that said, when two people (gay couples or married strait couples) commit to sharing a life together, to grow in grace, to help each other daily, hourly, one naturally expects that there would be a certain level of physical intimacy in keeping the bond strong.

    The rules are strict for married couples. (See Humanae Vitae. See the Theology of the Body.)

    The rules are strict for gay couples. (Apply Humanae Vitae. Apply the Theology of the Body.)

    Why are gay couples treated like freaks by some in the Church, whereas strait ones (even the childless, even the re-married) are easily accepted with a wink and a nudge?

    I thank God for the blessings of my two parishes, both conservative TLM, who have successfully welcomed dozens of gay couples without question, with simple trust that if we call ourselves Catholic, we are serious about what the Church expects of us. Gay people, like strait people and single people and religious and celibates, are called to holiness. And all should be able to find a home in the Church.

    If the Rainbow Sash folks actually sat down with the Archbishop, I hope they would see that there home is here with us. All are sinners, but all rely on the salvific work of Christ to make us whole.

  156. Virgil says:

    A p.s.

    My friends in the Twin Cities tell me that the Pentecost Mass passed yesterday without incident. (Thanks be to God. Alleluia.)

    A few folks held an alternative liturgy out on the sidewalk, while most respectfully left their sashes at home and confidently presented themselves for Communion.

    As it should be. The Sash had come to be seen as a rejection of Catholic teaching, and the Sash crowd (as noted in Mr McNeill’s initial statement) did not want to protest Church teaching.

    Brick by brick!

  157. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    gay catholic couples? what a strange statement. We should all avoid the near occasions of sin. Two gay men who think they are in love should stay apart, just like a good man who struggles against paedophillia- or as you might say, somebody who suffers with TGA: trans-generation attraction- with all honesty should avoid being a teacher or befriending kids.

  158. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    LCB,

    for your information I live next door to that homless centre and the neighbors in my block are all drug addicts and I am friends with them. I know they are addicts but thats their problem, I do give them help and advice while condeming their choice. I find numbers for clinics that can help them, I listen to their woe and occasionaly tell them how wrong their choice is. I dont give them tin-foil for their pipe or change for cider or let them use my phone to order drugs. they are friends.

  159. Danny Mary Joseph says:

    Im compassionate to my drug addict friends because I know them personaly, not because I have been told to by some bishop.

    We can be “compassionate” while at the same time condemning. Some seem to suggest that we want to “get rid” of people with ssa. not true, we just dont want to condone any behevior associated with ssa because all such behevior is wrong. if YOU want to help people then do that, dont force the rest of us to be councelors.

  160. Paul says:

    I must admit that I have not read this thread meticulously but I wanted to add a couple thoughts as a “gay” man.
    (1) I think it would have been better if the early Church had sanctioned gay relationships.
    (2) But the Bishop is right, She did not sanction them, the teaching is clear, gay relationships are not allowed. John Boswell was full of wishful thinking.
    (3) You can’t change the Apostolic deposit.
    (4) We are stuck with the teaching. It has the consistency historically of an infallible proclamation.
    (5) Gay people will and do suffer because of this.
    (6) But in the end, what Christ did for us is infinitely greater that our suffering.
    Who am I to question the Love of Christ? Perhaps, like Job, some day He will shine His countenance upon me.

  161. Matt Q says:

    All of this Tiller angst has been a distraction for the past couple of days. Anyway, last post about this topic.

    It’s evident there are those who insist the Church change her position ( like Weakland–obvious selfishness ) on the matter. She won’t and same-gender couples can play house all they want to. It won’t make them any more valid in the eyes of God than watering Astroturf to make it grow. Rather than offer up their lot in life–as we all must–and doing their best to love God as He wishes one to love Him, they waste all their time and effort trying to turn the sham into something it can never be. Humility allows one to see this. Pride does not. Narcissism.

    =====

    Gus wrote:

    “Let me be clear, the activity is sinful, and individuals who are in such sin should not receive the Eucharist. Nor would I ever encourage people to continue in sinful activity. What I am trying to show is a method of ministry that recognizes reality—sinners (of all stripes) tend to persist in their sins even after they start the process of entering into the fullness of the Church. I have personally known people who have been in unlawful illegitimate marriages after divorce, and it took them years of going to mass (but not receiving) and meeting with their Pastor before they finally did the right thing. Along the way they had a number of ‘failed launches’ where they tried to do the right thing, but couldn’t ‘stay the course.’”

    )(

    In this, I agree with a greater pastoral approach, but as long there are those who insist on allowing feelings to run their lives rather than rational, concrete decisions in spite of feelings, yes, Gus, they can’t stay the course. Unfortunately many parishes are staffed with priests who are inept in this form of pastoral leadership. In part it comes from the seminary ( some are much better than others ) and then there is their own concept of living the Catholic life. Without any of the aesthetics of the Faith and Devotional encouragement, long a true supplement in the practice of the Catholic Faith, people will have a very difficult time achieving any true progress in their spiritual growth and in turn their ability to live an evangelically chaste and sober life.

    As with anything not in conformity with the Truths of God, it must be stopped first. In this regard, whatever one’s attraction to the same or opposite sex must not permit any opportunity by which the near occasion of sin is possible. One cannot indulge a sin or a bad habit and yet try at the same time to overcome it.

    =====

    LCB wrote:

    “I disagree quite strongly. Homosexual relationships are by their nature disordered, and by their nature are never under any circumstances life-giving. By development in doctrine you seem to mean change in doctrine.

    As for treating all sins as equal, all sins are equal in that they are sins, but the method of dealing with them (from the individual’s or the Church’s perspective) are very different.

    How we minister to a woman who has had an abortion is radically different from how we minister to a grown man who killed someone in cold blood.”

    )(

    True. Each sin is ministered to on its own construct, up until the abortion part. What is the difference? A grown woman going to a Tiller-like person is no different that you finding someone to put a hit on your neighbor. You’re actively seeking the death of another. One always has a “reason” or an “excuse.” The woman in Oregon who threw her two children off the bridge into Willamette River had her reasons. Is hers different than the woman going to an abortuary? How about the man who killed his entire family because he lost his job? Once you make an excuse why a woman has an abortion, the excuses are just as valid for anyone else to want some else dead. It’s only under the cover of law and the false sociology we deal with does the woman get a pass on her dastardly deed but in the eyes of God, they’re all the same.

    =====

    Virgil wrote:

    “If the Rainbow Sash folks actually sat down with the Archbishop, I hope they would see that there home is here with us. All are sinners, but all rely on the salvific work of Christ to make us whole.”

    )(

    Yes, true, but only after one acknowledges his sins and has perfect contrition for them which also means putting a stop to them. These Rainbow Sash folks and others of such ilk, unless they are able to let it go, will find it impossible to live a right and just Catholic life.

  162. LCB says:

    Matt Q,

    I hope I can clarify my words a bit.

    I’m not seeking to make an excuse for a woman who has had an abortion. Only pointing out that the method of ministering to a woman who has had an abortion is radically different from a man who has committed pre-meditated murder.

    There is a reason women who have abortions are usually called the “2nd victim.”

    Virgil,

    Though I fundamentally disagree with your reading of the relevant passages, I feel that you have touched on a very key point. You wrote:

    “I thank God for the blessings of my two parishes, both conservative TLM, who have successfully welcomed dozens of gay couples without question, with simple trust that if we call ourselves Catholic, we are serious about what the Church expects of us”

    For most individuals that experience SSA, their struggle and their decisions are a private matter. They are a matter between them and their confessor, and them and Almighty God. (Obviously this is different for public citizens, or for those who make their sin a public issue, but for the average Catholic with SSA it is not our job to even attempt to ascertain the status of their soul).

    All things being equal, I suspect this issue would be less divisive in the Church if Confession were offered more frequently, and were better attended.