Can a publicly pro-homosexual marriage teenager be admitted for Confirmation?

Dr. Peters has a new post on his fine canon law blog, In the Light of the Law.  He doesn’t have an open combox over there, and I can understand why.

Confirmation and advocacy of ‘gay marriage’
by Dr. Edward Peters

Those trying to figure out exactly what happened to a teenage Catholic scheduled for Confirmation consequent to his posting a pro ‘gay marriage’ photo of himself on Facebook will not, I fear, find in secular press reports (amid their hyperboles and irrelevancies) much useful information about the incident, but it seems like something along those lines happened in Minnesota. [sigh] So let’s set out some points.

Catholics have a basic right to access the sacraments (Canon 213). The burden is on ministers to justify withholding sacraments from Catholics who seek them “at appropriate times, properly disposed, and not prohibited by from receiving them” (Canon 843). Hmm . . . “properly disposed.” Canon 889 § 2 states that to receive Confirmation licitly one must, among other things, be “properly disposed” for the sacrament. Hmm.

Well, what about this “proper disposition” requirement?

Generally “proper disposition” is not a question of internal disposition (such as interior faith, fervor, or grace) [It isn't?  I think it is.  But how is a minister of a sacrament to know that?  Thus, he must go by what can be known: outward signs that point to interior disposition and the public knowledge of those outward signs.] but rather of external disposition (public demeanor, dress, and conduct). The state of a would-be recipient’s soul is not determinable, of course, but his or her attitudes and conduct are observable (we’re talking Facebook, no?), and potentially actionable. [As I said.]

If a pastor, charged with the custody and celebration of the sacraments left to the Church by Christ, has solid reason to doubt the liceity of his conferral of a sacrament on a given individual, he is within his authority to delay, or even to deny, that sacrament for so long as that sad situation lasts. His decision is, of course, reviewable by ecclesiastical authority (not by the media) and such authority (with access to all the facts) might reach a different conclusion. But one starts any review with the above canons clearly in mind.

In another context I wrote about the risk of invalid (not just illicit) Confirmation on rebellious teenagers. See my “Invalid confirmation due to contrary intention of the recipient”, 2007 CLSA Advisory Opinions at 68-70. Such concerns should be assessed here as well.

Remember, this kid in question made a public statement of support for something that the Church cannot condone.

From CWN:

Report: MN bishop says pro-gay marriage teen can be confirmed when he publicly repudiates position

The parents of a teenage boy in the Diocese of Crookston (Minnesota) told the Fargo Forum that their parish priest has denied the Sacrament of Confirmation to their son, Lennon Cihak, because of his Facebook post in support of same-sex marriage.

Father Gary LaMoine of Assumption Church in Barnesville denied the family’s charge but would not elaborate.

“They’re my parishioners, and so when the press comes after me from different points of view and asks me all types of questions about their situation, I hesitate very much because I owe them, I owe that family confidentiality,” he said.

“He said ‘I cannot, cannot confirm him,’” Lennon’s mother said. “Father would not confirm him, and they won’t confirm him unless he changes his views.”  [He made a public statement in favor of someone that the Church clearly teaches is not possible, and he made it for all the world to see.]

The parents also told the newspaper that they are no longer permitted to receive Holy Communion at the parish. ["They"? Are not "permitted" to receive Communion?  That doesn't sound right.]

“The mother did say that Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston informed her that if Lennon stood before the church and denounced his support of same-sex marriage claims, he could be confirmed,” the Fargo Forum added.

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98 Responses to Can a publicly pro-homosexual marriage teenager be admitted for Confirmation?

  1. JacobWall says:

    I can imagine situations things like this leading to laws “protecting” people like this boy, attempting to prevent the church from refusing sacraments, calling it discrimination, etc.

    In Ontario very recently the Minister of Education (a “c”atholic,) stated that publicly funded Catholic schools were not allowed to teach that abortion is wrong; according to her it is a form of “bullying.” The province has recently enacted a very broad and completely off-track anti-bullying law that has more to do with protecting and protecting progressive views than bullying. The Minister very quickly backed down from her statement after the Archbishop and a good number of Catholics spoke up about it. Apparently, they had misunderstood her and taken her comment out of context. BS

    As a side note, today our (public) school had the children participate in certain activities for anti-bullying day. I should have been delighted. Obviously, I hate bullying. I don’t want my son to be bullied or to participate in or tolerate bullying. Yet, this recent law and this non-sense the Minister of Education tainted the day and idea for me. More than delighting me, I felt more distrust and almost disgust. The theme and name of the day was all to similar to that of this ridiculous law. Was this day designed by the principal or school board to promote the liberal values of the law rather than counter-act bullying? I can’t say for sure, but I’m suspicious.

    Anyway I won’t be surprised if we begin to see more “anti-bullying”, “anti-discrimination” and “protection of freedom” laws to turn up little by little that are designed to prevent the Church from acting on situations like this.

  2. sanctasophia says:

    By the way Dr Peters has a good translation of the Codex Iuris Canonici 1917 in English which is referenced to the current Code. I have a copy from the British Library Inter Libary Loans and it only cost £2.50 to borrow for 6 weeks. Thank God for the British Library.

  3. stgemma_0411 says:

    Just wish we had more Bishops who were willing to stand up to those who publicly stand against the Church.

  4. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    IF this happened, my question is, just how public is a facebook post, really?

    In 2011, according to FB’s own research, the average person had 190 friends (the median was only 100). I’m kidding myself if I think all my friends pay attention to what I post (In fact I don’t even let all my ‘friends’ see my posts, for various reason. I can also assume that some have blocked my posts from showing up, as I have done to others). so we might only be talking in the 90-150 range on average. In a teen’s case, his list is likely to be skewed older than he is, meaning his post is reached mainly by peers and elders/superiors, and by very few younger/subordinate people (unlike, say, a teacher, public figure, other adult).

    Which to my mind means that his post will likely cause very little public scandal , as a result of its lack of reach and authority (as what he has will likely not have much influence. I certainly don’t give much credence when my teenage facebook friends/family post arguments. Heck, I don’t even trust their movie reviews). While it might still be appropriate to sit down with him in private the supposed renouncement from the church steps would seem an entirely unnecessary step.

    On a side note (and possibly pointing to the (in)validity of the story as told), why is the Pastor saying “I cannot confirm him”? The diocese is only 35,000 Catholics, and has a current bishop as well as a living bishop emeritus. Surely they can make the rounds…

  5. Sissy says:

    “why is the Pastor saying “I cannot confirm him”? ”

    I’m guessing it’s because the young man does not believe what the Church teaches and admits it
    openly and in a spirit of rebellion.

  6. MF says:

    Well, if publicly professing support of homosexuality or homosexual marriage means that one shouldn’t be confirmed (and I agree), then I would venture to say that at least 50% of all Catholic teenagers in the Archdiocese of Seattle should not be confirmed. We have one in our own parish who is currently a Eucharistic Minister, not confirmed, and promotes homosexuality on his FB account as well as says very bad things about the Church. I’d say something to the Pastor, but I am in serious doubt that it would make much difference. At the youth group my son attends and also at the recent Archdiocesan wide Youth Convention, there are a number of teenagers that publicly argue with the teachers/priests about gay marriage, homosexuality, contraception, etc. But then, we have priests who never talk about these issues so what do we expect? Heck, at our parish, we even have 80 year old women who support homosexuality so what’s a person to do?? Thankfully, our new bishop, Archbishop Sartain, seems very good and has spoken out bravely on these issues, but we have years of heterodox confusion to make up for.

  7. JacobWall says:

    @Salvatore_Giuseppe,
    Most people (quite foolishly) have their Facebook settings on “Public.” In fact, with the most recent versions, everything is automatically fully public, not only to all of your “friends” and the rest of Facebook, but to the entire world, unless you take the time to change your security settings; I’ve cancelled my FB account, and I can still see many posts and pages.
    I think that many young people don’t see the problem (or even potential danger to them) of leaving these settings as they are.
    I haven’t done my research, but I feel that there is a HUGE gap of #of friends between my generation (30′s) and those born about a decade after. Many teens and even those around the 20 mark that I know have their friends numbered in the 1000s. I suppose the average is lowered by “old” folks like me who only had about 100 friends or fairly inactive users who never passed the 50 mark.
    Also, it must have been a fairly well distributed post, otherwise how would the priest have found out about it?
    However, let’s just say that you’re right; he only has 150 friends. Let’s think of this in the physical world. I live in a village of about 200 people. If I put a huge banner over my house saying that I support gay marriage for 1 day, it’s unlikely that more than 50 people would ever see it. Yet, I’m sure the priest would *hear* about it (he lives in a different town.) I would fully expect my priest to be concerned about that, and take some corrective action.
    With the growing importance of the cyber world and how people use it to define themselves and express their views, I fully agree with this priest’s and bishop’s corrective action, especially if he’s not willing to back down on his support.

  8. JohnnyZoom says:

    Let’s hang on to our hats, there may be more to this than meets the eye.

    LSN is reporting the priest had concerns before the Facebook incident, and had met with the family to express them beforehand.

    This may be similar to the case of the boy whose First Communion was delayed because the family was not supportive, but the reporting made it sound as if the reason was a disability the boy had.

    The meat of the discussion about the Facebook thing is based on our culture’s misunderstanding of the word “hypocrisy’. Several naysayers are claiming we all make mistakes, all are ‘hypocrites’ at one time or another, so this boy’s beliefs or actions should not preclude the Sacrament. But that is a misunderstanding of the term. As Jimmy Akin has said, not practicing what you preach is not hypocrisy, rather it is sin. Hypocrisy is not believing what you preach. Hypothetically at least, it sounds like it would be genuinely hypocritical for this boy to be confirmed.

    Whether this is enough to preclude the Sacrament I will leave to better minds. But this is clearly worse than simply being sinful.

  9. Cantor says:

    It may be permissible, but it seems odd that because the boy currently holds views that differ from the teachings of the Church he should be forbidden to partake of the sacrament wherein he might receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit that include Knowledge, Wisdom, and Fear of the Lord.

    Perhaps it is, rather, the people who’ve taught him, or not, the tenets of the faith in which he wishes to be confirmed who should be held to task.

  10. Therese says:

    Father Gary LaMoine–who received his vocation at Sacred Heart Church in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, where his parents were very active Catholics–deserves our full support; I’ll be calling his parish on Monday to express mine. And I’ll be ringing up the bishop, too, to thank him for not throwing Father LaMoine under the bus. Thanks be to God!

  11. AReluctantSinner says:

    The young man in question has now publicly explained his views and beliefs on Tumblr. Says it all really:
    http://lennoncihak.tumblr.com/post/35318877422/right-or-wrong-you-tell-me
    His Tweets seems to speak for themselves, too: https://twitter.com/LennonCihak
    What ever happened to ‘Not my will, but Thine be done’?
    I wonder what some Catholics are doing / thinking about when they hear Our Lord’s great challenge: “Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’” (Mt 16:24)?

  12. AReluctantSinner says:

    This rather baffling sentence is taken from the young man’s Tumblr post (link above): “THEY [members of his -- faith? -- community] THINK IT’S RIDICULOUS FOR THEM [the Church] TO NOT CONFIRM A STUDENT BECAUSE OF THEIR BELIEFS.
    It seems we have reached the stage where our young people aren’t even given basic catechesis. When I was Confirmed, all the candidates had to make a public profession of faith.

  13. Imrahil says:

    As Jimmy Akin has said, not practicing what you preach is not hypocrisy, rather it is sin. Hypocrisy is not believing what you preach.

    This is an aside, but dear @JohnnyZoom thank you very much for the quote… sums it up beautifully and might come in useful.

    Dear @Sissy, what dear @Salvatore_Giuseppe meant, and what stroke me too upon reading, was this: The pastor couldn’t confirm him. But neither could he confirm any other of the youths in his parish. And that’s, in the first place, because he is no ordinary minister of Confirmation. It would be the bishop who does so.

  14. Gallia Albanensis says:

    Perhaps if he was confirmed as a baby, as is the ancient custom, he would have had the extra grace needed to avoid his unfortunate opinions. There are stories out there of how confirmation changes lives. I wish I had received it sooner. The reasons usually given for withholding this sacrament do not, to me, overcome the tragedy of the years that must be lived without its additional grace.

  15. iPadre says:

    I think this story tells us a few things. First, we have failed to successfully transmit the truths of our faith. Why does a kid accept morality that is contrary to the faith he received from his family and his local parish? Someone was not able to transmit these truths in a convincing manner. Second, he is not alone. I would dare say that if you asked the Confirmation candidates in most parishes, they have the same conviction, although wrong, they believe anyone who loves anyone else has a right to marriage. Third, this is only confirmation that we have a lot of hard work to do. This is the time for the New Evangelization. And we need people who can present our Truths in a new and convincing manner. We need to give these to our people at Sunday Mass. They need to know why we believe what we believe. All looks hopeless, but we must remember, we are on the winning team!

  16. The Masked Chicken says:

    “It seems we have reached the stage where our young people aren’t even given basic catechesis. When I was Confirmed, all the candidates had to make a public profession of faith.”

    This does not only apply to religion. Truth be known, the 99% to 1% split mentioned in modern politics and economics that started the Occupy movement also applies to secondary education. Perhaps the 99% need to occupy a classroom more often! A very interesting book that came out a few years ago that relates to this issue, directly, is Mark Bauerlein’s book, “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30).” It is eye-opening.

    This priest is correct. One is not to be admitted to the sacraments who does not believe the Faith. It would be a sacrilege.

    As for hypocrisy, the term comes from the Greek for actor – more specifically, an actor who held a mask over his face to appear to be something he is not. A hypocrite preaches something different than he believes. It does not mean that he doesn’t practice what he preaches, since he may practice what he preaches as a form of lying. Consider the man who claims to be a vegan. He eats vegan, he speaks vegan, but he really would like to devour a steak, but he needs to appear to be vegan to get money from PETA. Hypocrisy is always a subcategory of lying and, hence, a sin, but it really has nothing to do with not practicing what you preach.

    The Chicken

  17. Cathy says:

    I do believe that the pastor and the bishop are doing right by this young man even if the only issue is publicly repudiating the Church’s teaching on marriage. I have to ask, however, when you have priests and religious that publicly repudiate the Church’s teaching on marriage, or any other Church teaching why are they not disciplined in a similar manner, go before the Church and affirm the Church’s teaching, or else. When you have members of the Church in public political positions doing the same without similar repercussions, what is a young person to think? No big deal, I’m following my conscience just as they are? This is the full impact of scandalous defiance towards the faith. When you have publications directly identifying themselves as Catholic publicly repudiating the teachings of the Church, and they and their supporters are not called to the mat in a similar manner, but are allowed to publicly state, and they do so often, that they are in good standing with the Church, what is a teeny-bopper and his family to think?

  18. cwillia1 says:

    This situation illustrates why deferring the normal age of confirmation to the teen years is unwise. Teenagers are rebellious towards legitimate authority and at the same time they soak up garbage from their friends and popular culture. Confirmation should be conferred before first communion. If a child is “ready” to receive the eucharist, the child is “ready” to be confirmed. A seven year old is not at the stage where he is rebelling against everything. Late confirmation seems to reflect the false notion that confirmation is when a mature Christian personally accepts the faith that others accepted on his behalf at baptism.

    An even better idea is to confirm everyone at baptism which was the universal practice of the church in the first millennium.

  19. Alice says:

    cwillia1, Amen! And one other thing, let’s make it 7, not 2nd Grade, which often means 8 or even 9 since so many parents “red shirt” their children these days.

  20. Scott W. says:

    I have to ask, however, when you have priests and religious that publicly repudiate the Church’s teaching on marriage, or any other Church teaching why are they not disciplined in a similar manner, go before the Church and affirm the Church’s teaching, or else.

    In many cases, the Usual Suspects a very good at obscuring and undermining Church teaching but building in enough plausible deniability that they can survive a canonical process and thereby rendering it a waste of time. This is why I have repeatedly called on bishops to follow Bp. Vasa’s example and compel every employee, religious, and volunteer sign a state of affirmation of faith and explicitly affirm the Church on the “hot button” issues. Any not signing is fired, retired, etc.

    On some things evil is always going to have an advantage over good–I’d argue that public relations is at the top of the list. So cases like this are always going to make us look bad even though the pastors above are acting exactly as they should. If we stop trying to finesse the PR-angle and start offering 180-proof Truth straight-no-chaser, we will be better for it in general.

  21. Mary Jane says:

    Good for Fr. LaMoine. Prayers for him, too, as I am sure he will see some repercussion from this…hopefully not from the Bishop, but perhaps from liberals.

    As an aside, I can’t stand social media. Deleted everything a long time ago, never looked back. Best way I ever found to “make more time”.

  22. Imrahil says:

    An even better idea is to confirm everyone at baptism which was the universal practice of the church in the first millennium.

    No.
    I’m a Roman Rite patriot in this respect. If two Sacraments are always conferred together, then why have two of them? But it is a dogma that we have two of them. It is naturally enough too that baptized adults are Confirmed at once. Hence, if for no other reason, children are not to be Confirmed at once.
    And that other reason would be that Holy Confirmation is a Sacrament of in an explicit sense overbounding grace, apt for a step-by-step approach; and also, as St. Thomas observed, of adulthood-in-faith.

    Also, for completeness’ sake, a person validly Baptized is eo ipso a person that receives Spiritual Communion. To believe that she must at once receive Holy Communion (as afaik the Easterners do it) seems, with all due respect, a bit ritualistic or at any rate in danger of been seen and interpreted such (witness the numerous Easterners that say we are withholding something from them). And after Baptism, even the Easterners afaik wait for some time until ministering Holy Communion again to them before they have a basical understanding.

    And, yes, a bit of education is necessary enough for Confirmation at any rate (adulthood in faith!), but also for all practical affairs and in general for First Communion. [Maybe a chance to resume that old dialogue between me and dear @Lisa P where the combox was closed... but that'd be deviation from the topic...]

  23. frjim4321 says:

    Indeed a restored order approach to initiation would have prevented this sad situation. My initial reaction would be embarrassment for the pastor and bishop but there must be a back story here that must be known before any credible opinions can be offered.

  24. Nancy D. says:

    Any act, including any sexual act, that does not respect the personal and relational essence of the human person, who, from the moment of conception, has been created equal in Dignity, while being complementary as male and female, would be a perversion, not a reflection of Love.

  25. Nancy D. says:

    On cannot receive The Sacraments, while condoning sin.

  26. Fr Deacon Daniel says:

    All the more reason to Confirm them at the font…

  27. Johnno says:

    LifeSiteNews is reporting more details to thsi story:
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/parents-claim-minnesota-priest-denied-son-confirmation-over-gay-marriage-vi

    Apparently the priest contacted the boy to councel him, and the boy himself made the decision not to be confirmed. The priest admitted that given the circumstances he could not have confrimed the boy, but the boy himself decided honestly while talking to the priest that he would not go for confirmation.

    This of course won’t stop the media frenzy from going nuts, but by now the media and behavior of liberals is to be automaticaly expected no matter the circumstances.

  28. Fr AJ says:

    I’m all for restoring the ancient order of these sacraments. The biggest problem we have is 17 y/o teens who do not attend confirmation classes (or come to Mass) very often or at all and then they and their parents demanding to be confirmed.

  29. New Sister says:

    @Fr Deacon Daniel – I respectfully disagree. Priests in my diocese (my awesome diocese!) have had a job policing up invalid sacraments administered by those wanting to avoid “offending” someone’s feelings — e.g., confirming someone who is co-habitating or is actively in a sinful relationship; granting absolution for sins which the “penitent” had no intention of avoiding thereafter (e.g., co-habitation)… Heaven knows how many invalid “marriages” are out and about. With “compassion” like this, who needs a temptor?

  30. Dr. Eric says:

    If we don’t return to the ancient ordering of things as they do in the East, we in the Latin West should at least Confirm the children before their First Holy Communion.

  31. Supertradmum says:

    As an RCIA director years ago, if a man or woman had a disagreement with the Church regarding contraception, I would counsel them to either put off entering the Church or pray and work through their position. Most agreed. They would say why bother to become a Catholic if one does not agree with the Church’s teaching. May I add…unless one has an agenda.

  32. 1173justin says:

    Well when persecution comes at least that will weed out all of these people treating the Church like its a fraternal lodge that you get initiated into because your dad was a member.

  33. Fr Deacon Daniel says:

    @ New Sister – Apologies, but I’m unclear how what you said relates to my point. I’m not talking about misplaced compassion, but misplaced sacraments. :-)

  34. frjim4321 says:

    New Sister says:
    17 November 2012 at 11:14 am

    @Fr Deacon Daniel – I respectfully disagree. Priests in my diocese (my awesome diocese!) have had a job policing up invalid sacraments administered by those wanting to avoid “offending” someone’s feelings — e.g., confirming someone who is co-habitating or is actively in a sinful relationship; granting absolution for sins which the “penitent” had no intention of avoiding thereafter (e.g., co-habitation)… Heaven knows how many invalid “marriages” are out and about. With “compassion” like this, who needs a temptor?

    I don’t think that’s right. It’s one thing to say that the grace inherent in a particular sacrament was somehow prevented to take effect due to an incomplete disposition for the reception of a sacrament but quite another thing to say that the marriage was invalid.

    For example if the sacrament of confirmation was conferred on a person who was not in the state of sanctifying grace then the grace of that sacrament does not attend; however once the person receives absolution the grace of the sacrament is no longer withheld. The church has never taught that such a person needs to be confirmed. The confirmation is valid.

  35. Sissy says:

    Imrahil said: “But neither could he confirm any other of the youths in his parish. And that’s, in the first place, because he is no ordinary minister of Confirmation. It would be the bishop who does so.”

    Is that necessarily so? In my diocese, the Bishop delegates (maybe not the right word) his authority to confirm to the priest. My entire RCIA class of candidates was confirmed by the pastor. I know that was also true of our neighboring church where 40 candidates were confirmed by their pastor last Easter. So my suspicion is that the reason the priest didn’t confirm has nothing to do with his inability to do so.

  36. frjim4321 says:

    above I said “marriage” when I meant “sacrament.”

    Missy, I think it’s a matter of granting faculties, not delegation.

  37. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Sissy, it is possible and valid, yes; but then Salvatore_Giuseppe said the diocese has only 35 thousand catholics, one bishop and one bishop emeritus. It would somehow feel odd that people in such a diocese are confirmed by the pastor.

    Personally I think, by the way, that in the (unavoidable) cases where there is no bishop to confirm, the sense behind the rule should (in cases of youths, not converts) at least be followed so far as not to delegate to the pastor. The bishop is more of a representative of the diocese as a whole, and has more connection to the World Church, than does the pastor; consequently someone for whom this is somewhat true too should do it. The bishop marks this Sacrament with a special air by being higher than the pastor; consequently someone for whom this is somewhat true t0o should do it.

    Even if I’m told that the United States have no cathedral chapters (why?), still there must be plenty of monsignors in the chancelleries who can do that job. Which is how it is done around here.

  38. Laura98 says:

    I read about this yesterday on another blog… and had a lot of mixed thoughts and emotions. First I was happy that a priest, and miracle of miracles a Bishop, actually stood up for what was right! But I also felt bad for the boy in this conflict. He clearly has not received the best religious instruction throughout his life (you can’t cram for this, just to “pass” a test). This unfortunately, is all to common today. For this we can clearly lay the blame at the parents’ feet.

    Thanks to the links given above (Thank you JohnnyZoom and AReluctantSinner) we have more information about what happened. We learned the parents did not bother to attend Mass with their son, and thought he should be confirmed, now matter if his beliefs agreed with the Church or not. He explained his beliefs on his Tumblr account, well sort of. I would hope a 17 year-old would be able to write and spell better than that, but I digress.

    My question is, why do these people want to be Catholic, if they don’t agree with anything the Catholic Church believes in? Seriously. Why don’t they just join another church, a liberal church. I don’t get it. This boy makes a litany of “sins” he believes the Church is guilty of, ones most liberals would agree with. Then these liberals wring their hands and whine that the Church needs to change, to get with the times, needs to modernize, etc., etc., Fine.. you don’t like it… there is the door… We’ll continue to pray for your soul.

  39. Sissy says:

    frjim4321 said: “I think it’s a matter of granting faculties, not delegation.”

    Thanks, Father Jim. I thought I probably wasn’t using the right terminology but I didn’t know the correct term.

    Laura98: I join you in being perplexed as to why anyone would want to publicly identify as Catholic when they don’t believe what the Church teaches.

  40. Oneros says:

    Depends, I’d think, on whether his position was a strictly political one, or whether it was also a theological one. If he questions the Church’s teaching on sexual morality and on the Sacrament of Matrimony, then that would be grounds for some sort of disciplinary action, I’d think. But if it’s merely that he has different opinions on how the civil law should handle or label things…I think it would be very dangerous to use the sacraments to “enforce” political stuff that way.

  41. LisaP. says:

    JacobWall,
    I find the anti-bullying campaigns in school to be really bizarre — they practically promote bullying while providing the school with a handy slogan-based excuse for all sorts of inappropriate authoritarianism. Really sick stuff.

  42. New Sister says:

    @Frjim4321 – we have an Opus Dei priest in my diocese who taught us otherwise. I know a lady [baptised as a baby] who, according to Father, was invalidly confirmed as an adult [for a reason I gave above] and he had to re-confirm her. The priest who had instructed this lady’s first RCIA years prior *knew* she was persisting in a certain grave sin, but told her “we’ll just work with you from where you are,” and habituated her to the sin of presumption [the belief that one can intentionally commit the same sin with the thought, "I'll just go to confession after."] She openly shares her story with others in her current parish, which is blessed with a faithful and learned pastor; he agrees with the Opus Dei priest that her first confirmation was invalid. voilà …

  43. New Sister says:

    P.S. This lady would have corrected the objectively wrong situation (co-habitation) had that first priest been forthright about Catholic teaching. I have many first-hand stories like this – it’s sad. It’s sad that two other couples I know had to hear their marriages were invalid from me — one on what they *thought* had been their 18th wedding anniversary [both times the RCIA instructor, one a priest the other a deacon, never bothered telling them they had to regularize their previous/civil bond].
    As a friend of mine in Brooklyn would say, “please, fathuh! don’ do me any more favuhs like this, would ya?”

  44. wmeyer says:

    The young man’s public statements make plain that he was surprised to learn that his position is in opposition to that of the Church. This is another example of failed catechesis. Had he been properly taught (the CCC is available online, after all, so as he clearly has access to a computer, there would be no barrier), he might either have determined not to be confirmed, or to have consulted his pastor for one on one discussion, so he might then either have revised his position, or turned away, as his own will dictated.

    The pastor seems only to have done what is right with respect to confirmation. However, he appears not to have taken care in supervising the catechetical needs of those approaching confirmation.

  45. acardnal says:

    I agree with Frjim4321 above when he said:
    “I don’t think that’s right. It’s one thing to say that the grace inherent in a particular sacrament was somehow prevented to take effect due to an incomplete disposition for the reception of a sacrament but quite another thing to say that the marriage was invalid.

    For example if the sacrament of confirmation was conferred on a person who was not in the state of sanctifying grace then the grace of that sacrament does not attend; however once the person receives absolution the grace of the sacrament is no longer withheld. The church has never taught that such a person needs to be confirmed. The confirmation is valid.

    My understanding is that if one is married or confirmed in a state of mortal sin, for example, the grace and its affects are withheld until such time as the individual receives absolution in Confession. No repetition of the sacramental rite is necessary.

  46. New Sister says:

    @acardnal – an unlearned laywoman in such things, I’m sticking to the heels of my shepherds who says otherwise.

  47. New Sister says:

    “say” otherwise

  48. jhayes says:

    This reminds me of the decision a priest has to make as to whether he will perform a wedding ceremony for a cohabiting couple.

    He could choose to make a prophetic statement and say no – come back after you have stopped cohabiting.

    Or he could make a pastoral statement and agree to marry them provided they go to confession just before the wedding ceremony, when they can truthfully say they will no longer cohabit.

    My understanding is that most priests (in this area, at least) avoid asking if the couple is cohabiting but if the issue comes up, follow he second course. Some years ago our now-deceased pastor was greatly disturbed to find that the priest who had filled in for him during a prolonged absence had refused to marry a cohabiting couple. He announced this was not his policy and had a permanent sign erected in front of the church announcing that all were welcome regardless of what they had done or were doing.

    I prefer the pastoral approach which welcomes people into the church so they can perfect their lives there – rather than pushing them away unless they are already perfect.

  49. frjim4321 says:

    NS let me get this right. A woman was confirmed. Later a priest found out she was cohabitating at the time of the confirmation and says it was not valid, you have to be confirmed again?

    If so the second “confirmation” was the simulation of a sacrament and a very serious offense.

    I find it difficult to believe that such a thing really happened.

  50. Imrahil says:

    Well… a pastor that refuses to assist at a marriage of a cohabitating couple would be… way off the mark.

    The idea of “we welcome everyone regardless of everything”, although in a certain sense of course true, is, in intention, meaning and the kind of people that tend to say such things, often so too.

    The thing simply here is that cohabitation and anticipation of marriage are (especially if, as clearly the case in a marrying couple, it does not evolve into a substitute for marriage or ceases to be such thing), while grave sins, certainly among the very least wicked and also least harmful of grave sins; in addition, they are pandemical. The general Catholic way of dealing with them, sanctioned by Tradition if I may say so, was to get the couple married a.s.a.p. and tell them that there are worse things on earth and God can draw good of what is in itself bad (witness the chapter that deals with this stage of life in Grimmelshausen’s Simplicius Simplicissimus).

    Dear @New Sister, to sin with the determination “I can Confess again” is not by itself the sin of presumption, but even diminishes the sin a bit. It is presumption to presevere in for the reason that we can Confess again. (St. Thomas neatly distinguishes here in S. th. II/II 21 III obj3,ad3.) And it would surprise me very, very much if we have to talk about invalidity here. It is clearly the teaching (saying so would normally require a quote, which I cut here) that a sin does hinder the character being conferred, and that the caracter gains effectiveness when the hindrance is removed. (However lacking the pastor’s action was.)

  51. Imrahil says:

    to persevere in sin. Word lacking in the last paragraph.

  52. Sissy says:

    As usual, when you get more details, things are not as they seem. The updated story relates that, not only were the parents not attending Mass (plus other issues the priest declined to name), but young Lennon decided for himself that he did not wish to go forward. The parents made a fuss….I smell an agenda.

  53. Matt R says:

    Chicken,
    There was an article in Hell’s Bible-of all places- by David Brooks, I believe, on the iPhone/Internet meme generation. It basically skewered the pseudo-intellectuals we see online, and creeping more and more into public discourse.
    Yes, let’s restore the ancient order of the sacraments. Fr Jim et al. are correct on this one.

  54. jhayes says:

    young Lennon decided for himself that he did not wish to go forward.

    I doubt Lennon would agree with that (from what I have read of his posts)

    Perhaps what Fr. leMoine means is that Lennon was unwilling to do what Fr. leMoine wanted him to do in order to be confirmed.

  55. acardnal says:

    Sissy says:
    17 November 2012 at 4:03 pm
    As usual, when you get more details, things are not as they seem. The updated story relates that, not only were the parents not attending Mass (plus other issues the priest declined to name), but young Lennon decided for himself that he did not wish to go forward. The parents made a fuss….I smell an agenda.

    Yeah . . . remember the poor Fr. Marcel Guarnizo set-up in Washington, D.C.?

  56. acardnal says:

    I guess it was Maryland but the D.C. Archdiocese.

  57. Sissy says:

    acardnal said: “Yeah . . . remember the poor Fr. Marcel Guarnizo set-up in Washington, D.C.?”

    Just what I was thinking….not so much the kid as his mom….she seems to want to make a big deal out of something that sounds pretty ordinary and reasonable. And judging by the priest’s account, it sounds as if she isn’t being honest about what actually happened.

  58. redselchie says:

    not that it makes that much difference, but I agree that at this point in time, he is not ready for confirmation.

    But I also think it’s the shepherd’s responsibility, to go after the lost sheep. Isn’t confirmation required for the proper formation of conscious?

  59. PostCatholic says:

    Keep drawing the circle tighter, folks. You’ll wind up with a very pure and cohesive group, which will indeed be formidable but also easily ignored.

  60. benedetta says:

    Probably the age of confirmation should be much lower anyway. Young people need the sacrament at younger and younger ages nowadays to withstand the onslaughts from public schools, television and media, relativism, the oversexualized peer pressure. Believe me I know. Don’t get why this student would still desire the grace if he has already made up his mind that the Church is a terrible institution. And, don’t get why people would desire that he have the sacrament if he truly believes this — wouldn’t that be an imposition on his free will? Confirmation apart from Holy Mother Church, means what exactly?

  61. New Sister says:

    @acardnal – the marriages I mentioned were invalid because of no “convalidation” to a civil bond (whether their souls were squeaky clean or not doesn’t really matter in that case). I should not have mentioned marriage and blurred it with the issue of the invalid confirmation. I’m not sure why at least two priests agreed that this particular confirmation was invalid, but I am guessing it was a question more germane to the thread: receiving it without subscribing to the teachings of the Church. ?? Anyway, I had meant to convey that bad RCIA was the common denominator in both the invalid marriages and the confirmation that I know of.

  62. acardnal says:

    Well, hopefully, my link to Fr. Z’s 2010 post above on this subject cleared things up for you. These are settled matters in sacramental theology.

  63. Nancy D. says:

    One cannot receive The Sacraments if one is not in communion with Christ’s Church. To be in communion with Christ’s Church, see Catholic Canon 750.

  64. Pingback: SATURDAY EVENING EDITION | Big Pulpit

  65. joeclark77 says:

    One detail of the story that the reports are skimming over is that he didn’t just make a “Facebook post in support of same-sex marriage”. The boy stole a campaign yard sign from someone, vandalized it, and uploaded a picture of himself smiling boastfully about what he’d done. There’s more to the story than a prudential judgment about a ballot initiative.

  66. Scott W. says:

    Keep drawing the circle tighter, folks. You’ll wind up with a very pure and cohesive group, which will indeed be formidable but also easily ignored.

    Not really. Evil always demands full-throated approval and must crush anyone even if merely suspected of disagreeing.

  67. Scott W. says:

    From the LifeSite article: Lennon’s post came days before Minnesotans were slated to go to the polls to vote on an amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. It showed him holding a pro-marriage sign that he had defaced to express his support for “equal marriage rights.”

    Note that: this isn’t just some Catholic who posts the ignorant but understandable “Well, maybe the state should get out of the marriage business and we’ll have our own version of it.” This kid went out of his way to demonstrate he is entirely in the other camp and possibly using theft and vandalism to do it. So scoffing at the Church for “drawing the circle tighter” is like scoffing at the defenders of Helm’s Deep for not just opening the gate and letting the orcs walk right in.

  68. wmeyer says:

    PostCatholic, as Pope Benedict has said ” the Church will be smaller but much more faithful and spiritually potent.”

    The Church must be true to the faith, and abandon all the “feel-good” spirit of Vatican II innovations. The coming persecution will be weathered by the faithful, not by those to whom the Church means only Easter and Christmas.

    However, I am curious: if you are “post” Catholic, what is your purpose here?

  69. New Sister says:

    @acardnal – I never meant ot convey that being in a state of mortal sin [or not] was the issue. I do not state this is why our priests deemed a confirmation to be invalid.

    @Nancy D. – thanks.

  70. drea916 says:

    I would be surprised if he even believes in God. So many people are “spiritual, but not religious.” I would want to know why they would want to enter an institution that (they would see as) so horrible. I mean, if the Church isn’t who she says she is, you don’t believe she right on the moral issues, then she doesn’t have the Holy Spirit, then you would have to throw out the Bible. Why in the world would you want to join an organization that you view that way?! Gosh, sleep in on Sunday mornings. They just have an attitude of entitlement, it has nothing to do with the sacraments.

    Our local parish has been busting our chops about kicking in money to build more CCD classrooms. WHY?! You’re not going to teach them the Faith, then they are going to fall away. They show up for Christmas and Easter, so then I’ll have no place to sit. Then they’ll demand a Church wedding to make their wedding pics look good…and that’s it!

  71. jhayes says:

    Fr. Coleman says:

    “In a similar way, the official church teaches that homosexual sexual acts are immoral. Once again, there is no clear Catholic teaching that a Catholic who votes for or supports civil laws allowing marriage for gays and lesbians is guilty of any clear sin, let alone mortal sin. When I was a boy, I was taught in my catechism quite clearly what was considered mortal sins. Never did I run across a list of such sins: ” because I voted for civil laws in contradistinction to a prudential ( or not so prudential!) judgment of my bishop about a civil law.”

    In my state, we recently had a referendum outlawing capital punishment. The church dis-approves of capital punishment. Most California bishops showed support for the rescinding of capital punishment. Surely, however, I would be egregiously wrong to argue that some Catholic who voted to retain capital punishment was in sin and should be refused communion. Nowhere in canon law do I see any mention of bishops’ or pastors’ arbitrary ability to claim something new is now a mortal sin! We need someone to guard against such so-called guardians of the faith. Canon lawyers do your job!

    There are two ironies in this Minnesota case of egregiously bad pastoral practice by the pastor and his bishop. The referendum was not, as such, one to allow gay marriage. It was an attempt to put into the constitution an amendment that marriage was uniquely between a man and a woman. I could easily conceive of someone opposing gay marriage also opposing the referendum, thinking it was unnecessary so to amend the state’s constitution. The point in canon law on this is that canon law assumes that in cases of any kind of punitive penalty, the interpretation of a claimed wrong-doing must be ‘ strictly’ ( i.e., very narrowly) interpreted before any penalties are imposed. That did not happen in this Minnesota case. The  second irony is that in a different Minnesota diocese, Duluth, Father Peter Lambert of Saint Louis parish in Floodwood gave $1,000 to oppose the amendment the Minnesota bishops were supporting. He did not know that this act would become public. When it did become public, he suffered no reprimand from his bishop.”

  72. Southern Catholic says:

    This reminds me of the decision a priest has to make as to whether he will perform a wedding ceremony for a cohabiting couple.

    He could choose to make a prophetic statement and say no – come back after you have stopped cohabiting.

    Or he could make a pastoral statement and agree to marry them provided they go to confession just before the wedding ceremony, when they can truthfully say they will no longer cohabit.

    I may be mistaken, but that would allow the sin of presuming against God’s mercy. They did nothing to stop there sin of cohabitation, nor even repent and they ask for God’s mercy. They are shepherds of the flock, priest shouldn’t allow the sheep to wander around and hope they come back with the flock. No, rather they should go out there and gather the flock, even if that means telling the flock what they do is sinful.

    I prefer the pastoral approach which welcomes people into the church so they can perfect their lives there – rather than pushing them away unless they are already perfect.

    The problem with your statement here is that the only way we can correct our lives and become holier is by the grace of God, it cannot be done by ourselves. We have to depend on what Jesus and his Holy Bride teaches about morals and truth. even if that makes people uncomfortable.

  73. Southern Catholic says:

    I messed that up, let’s try that again. My first response should have been the following:

    Or he could make a pastoral statement and agree to marry them provided they go to confession just before the wedding ceremony, when they can truthfully say they will no longer cohabit.

    I may be mistaken, but that would allow the sin of presuming against God’s mercy. They did nothing to stop there sin of cohabitation, nor even repent and they ask for God’s mercy. They are shepherds of the flock, priest shouldn’t allow the sheep to wander around and hope they come back with the flock. No, rather they should go out there and gather the flock, even if that means telling the flock what they do is sinful.

  74. Supertradmum says:

    PostCatholic, thanks for reminding us all what the definition of a “remnant” is.

    The way is narrow, not broad, if I can refer to a famous Scriptural passage. But, everything depends on grace. And, if one is in a position of mortal sin, one cannot receive grace. Therefore, the object would be to repent in order to be with and in the sanctifying grace, which is the Life of the Trinity. If we are not one with God in sanctifying grace, we shall not see God. Would you not be more willing to sacrifice all in order to live and move and have your being in the Love of God?

    Simple, really….

  75. Cathy Caridi says:

    Dear Father Z, a great post as usual–but I feel obliged to defend my fellow canon lawyer from your bracketed red ink!

    Dr. Peters is absolutely correct when he writes, “Generally ‘proper disposition’ is not a question of internal disposition (such as interior faith, fervor, or grace)…” He’s not making a theological statement here, but rather he says this in the context of discussing canon 843.
    Canon law–”generally”–can’t legislate about what’s going on inside someone’s head/heart/conscience. It can only address (again, “generally”) what is external and concrete.

    That’s why, for example, someone might insist that he KNOWS his marriage is invalid… but the marriage tribunal might not agree, simply because there isn’t sufficient hard evidence enabling the judge(s) to reach that conclusion. Metaphysically, the spouse may very well be right–but without tangible proof, what’s a lawyer to do?

    Theologians, who are by definition accustomed to thinking in terms of absolute principles, might instinctively cringe at this assertion that canonically, it’s not about “internal disposition”–but it’s just another instance where we canonists, and you theologians, are divided by our common language. Not the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last! Cathy Caridi, JCL, JCOD (canonlawmadeeasy [dot] com)

  76. acardnal says:

    From Fr. Coleman’s article in America magazine, a Jesuit operation: “The church dis-approves of capital punishment.”

    Not true. CCC 2267 states ” . . . the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.”

    There are so many things wrong with Fr. Coleman’s article but they aren’t the subject of this post. I hope the Holy See is reading it though and calls for the Jesuits to remove its editor again because it continues to publish false teaching.

  77. wmeyer says:

    acardnal: Well, gosh, if you’re going to insist on bringing actual Church teaching into it…. ;)

    In fairness to Fr. Coleman, I would say that CCC 2267 indicates a general disapproval of capital punishment, while making clear provision for its use when no other response is an effective solution. An (unpopular) example I would cite is (actual) pedophilia, for which the recidivism rate approaches unity. It seems clear that people who commit such crimes will never stop doing so, as long as they live. Given that the victims are innocent children, there seem to be only two alternatives: lifetime imprisonment (which doesn’t really exist in the current culture) or the death penalty.

  78. acardnal says:

    Fr. Coleman would have been more accurate to say the Church “discourages” the death penalty. It does not, however, “disapprove”.

  79. acardnal says:

    As the late, great Msgr. Wm. B. Smith used to say, “all social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering.” Liberal theologians and clerics love to do this. “Choice” = murder.

  80. jhayes says:

    Acardnal, I think the central issue in Fr. Coleman’s article is:

    “there is no clear Catholic teaching that a Catholic who votes for or supports civil laws allowing marriage for gays and lesbians is guilty of any clear sin, let alone mortal sin”.

    In other words: You can accept the church’s teaching that a certain behavior is sinful without necessarily believing that there should be a civil law forbidding it. 

    Do you disagree with that?

  81. acardnal says:

    jhayes said: “In other words: You can accept the church’s teaching that a certain behavior is sinful without necessarily believing that there should be a civil law forbidding it.

    Do you disagree with that?”

    Depends on the seriousness of the behavior in question. Stealing a candy bar is both sinful and against the civil law. I would think homosexual behavior is more serious than that. The scripture calls it sodomy, a sin which cries out to God for vengeance. It’s a sin contrary to boht the nature and God’s law.

  82. Imrahil says:

    First of all, we depend on not confusing the homos*xual act with the thing-known-as-the-homos*xual marriage.

    The law cannot forbid homos*xual marriage. It can only forbid things that exist. There is no such thing as a homos*xual marriage. What happens with these laws that are always proposed these days is that the meaning of Marriage is confused, and that people receive benefits that are not theirs by true right.

    In clear terms, even neutrally (if there is such thing; but you get my drift), the activists want the state to establish homos*xual marriage. It means giving in to their propaganda, and not even a very effective-in-itself parcel of this propaganda, to say that at this moment the State forbids homos*xual marraige.

    A totally different question, to which Catholics have indeed had different opinions, is the question whether the homos*xual act, as such, should be rewarded with prison.

  83. jhayes says:

    Acardnal, Catechism 2335 classifies prostitution as intrinsically evil. However, Aquinas and Augustine did not believe that the civil law needed to prohibit it.

    although God is all-powerful and supremely good, nevertheless He allows certain evils to take place in the universe, which He might prevent, lest, without them, greater goods might be forfeited, or greater evils ensue. Accordingly in human government also, those who are in authority, rightly tolerate certain evils, lest certain goods be lost, or certain greater evils be incurred: thus Augustine says (De Ordine ii, 4): “If you do away with harlots, the world will be convulsed with lust.”

    And

    Again it must be observed that the end of human law is different from the end of Divine law. For the end of human law is the temporal tranquillity of the state, which end law effects by directing external actions, as regards those evils which might disturb the peaceful condition of the state. On the other hand, the end of the Divine law is to bring man to that end which is everlasting happiness

  84. acardnal says:

    I know. We discussed this previously.

    Prostitution is not sodomy.

  85. jhayes says:

    Sorry, should have been 2355 – and it says “gravely sinful”, not “intrinsically evil”.

  86. acardnal says:

    FYI, there is no mention of prostitution being an “intrinsic evil” in CCC #2335.

    Some sins should also be prohibited by civil law and others not.

    Consenting to impure/lustful thoughts is a sin but I don’t think it’s practical to outlaw it.
    Stealing candy bars is a sin and should be outlawed, too.
    Sodomy is a “sin that cries out to God for vengeance” and prostitution is not. Sodomy should be outlawed – and still is in a number of states.

  87. Giuseppe says:

    I agree with @Supertradmum, @Laura98, and @Sissy — why would someone who disagrees with the teachings of the Roman Catholic church want to be a Roman Catholic? Does he really think he can change the church’s mind? There are many other denominations which believe what he believes re. same-sex marriage. He could be perfectly happy in many Episcopal, Presbyterian, or a United Church of Christ churches.

    A Jewish friend of mine was trying to explain what it meant to be ‘Jewish, culturally’ vs. ‘an observant Jew’. I think Roman Catholicism now has that issue. People consider themselves Catholic, like they consider themselves from a certain city, a fan of a specific team, or a member of a political party. It has very little to do with God or belief. I think many people just want a place to have a christening (they wouldn’t even use the word Baptism), communion, marriage, and a place to be buried from. Why? It’s familiar; it’s tradition; their family always had that. All of my European colleagues who consider themselves Catholic fall into this category, and quite a number of people I know in the US are also in this group.

  88. jhayes says:

    Acardnal wrote:

    Prostitution is not sodomy

    Can’t argue with that. But Thomas’ point is that civil laws are made to preserve the “peaceful condition of the state”, not to enforce Divine Law. Therefore, decisions about civil laws are prudential decisions on which faithful Catholics may differ.

    Civil laws which require persons to perform sinful acts are a different thing – like a law limiting families to one child and requiring the abortion of any additional children conceived.

  89. Giuseppe says:

    @acardnal, In which states is sodomy illegal? I would have thought with Lawrence v. Texas, that sodomy laws were found to be unconstitutional.

  90. acardnal says:

    Giuseppe, you may be right. I forgot about that Supreme Court ruling.

  91. Sissy says:

    Giuseppe said:”People consider themselves Catholic, like they consider themselves from a certain city, a fan of a specific team, or a member of a political party. It has very little to do with God or belief. ”

    I think there is something to that, Giuseppe…I think there are “cultural Catholics”. But I also think there is more. Even if they are bad Catholics, they are still baptized Catholics. They have a link to the Church that can’t be broken. Maybe it’s a good thing that they still cling to that way of identifying themselves. It may be that they will someday return home. I pray so.

  92. acardnal says:

    Civil laws which require persons to perform sinful acts are a different thing – like a law limiting families to one child and requiring the abortion of any additional children conceived.

    Can’t argue with that. :-)

    But I believe laws which permit some gravely depraved, intrinsically and objectively disordered sinful behavior, e.g. abortion, sodomy, are prudential and those who vote for them will be held responsible before God. (cf. CCC # 2357, ” . . . homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered . . . Under no circumstances can they be approved. “)

  93. acardnal says:

    Above wasn’t clearly stated. Sorry.

    Should read: “But I believe laws which permit some gravely depraved, intrinsically and objectively disordered sinful behavior, e.g. abortion, sodomy, should be prudentially declared illegal in civil law and those who vote to legalize them . . . . “

  94. wmeyer says:

    I think there is something to that, Giuseppe…I think there are “cultural Catholics”. But I also think there is more. Even if they are bad Catholics, they are still baptized Catholics. They have a link to the Church that can’t be broken. Maybe it’s a good thing that they still cling to that way of identifying themselves. It may be that they will someday return home. I pray so.

    I also pray so, but I cannot help wondering at the damage they do in the meantime. Especially those nominal Catholics who establish a beachhead in the religious education of their parish, but teach contrary to the Church.

  95. acardnal says:

    Better still . . . need more coffee.

    But I believe laws which permit some gravely depraved, intrinsically and objectively disordered sinful behavior, e.g. abortion, sodomy, are not prudential and those who vote for them will be held responsible before God. (cf. CCC # 2357, ” . . . homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered . . . Under no circumstances can they be approved. “)

  96. Giuseppe says:

    @acardnal — “Better still…need more coffee.”

    You and me both, buddy. I cannot tell you how often I’ve mangled in writing what seemed clear in my mind. My undercaffeinated brain on a Monday is intrinsically disordered until proven otherwise.