¡Vaya lío! Archbp. Sample weighs in on same-sex unions in Oregon. Fr. Z kudos.

From the Oregonian:

Portland Archdiocese joins anti-gay marriage effort; lay group plans Ash Wednesday action

Since Pope Francis began his reign as the head of the Catholic Church a year ago, he’s sounded a more welcoming tone toward gays. [Their effort to pit Francis against Archbp. Sample.  And it's "homosexuals", not "gays".] But it hasn’t led to a change in church doctrine opposing same-sex marriage [It's not "marriage", either.] — and that’s reflected in the potential ballot fight over the issue in Oregon.

Portland Archbishop Alexander K. Sample told his pastoral staff last month that the Archdiocese of Portland and the Baker Diocese would join the coalition opposing the same-sex marriage initiative.  [OORAH!  They are going to suffer, but OORAH!]

In a Feb. 12 memo, Sample directed his staff to “do whatever they can to help support this effort” and said that “it is my intention to commit the energies of the Church to help defeat this initiative and to uphold the uniqueness and sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.“  [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]

The memo was first publicly mentioned by the Los Angeles Times in a report on the fight over gay marriage in Oregon. [Someone leaked it.]

The archbishop’s missive didn’t come as a surprise to Jackie Yerby, a Portland parishioner and lead organizer for a new group called Catholic Oregonians for Marriage Equality. [Here it comes....]

“As much as I am hopeful about Pope Francis and the tone he is setting for the Catholic Church,” she said, “it is going to take a while for that to really take root.” [Pit Francis against Sample. What class.]

Yerby, who served on the board of Catholic Charities of Portland for six years, said members of her group plan to show up for the Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral and other churches with large buttons proclaiming their membership in the marriage equality group. [They must be denied Holy Communion if they do that.]

Yerby said her group doesn’t see it as a protest so much as a “public witness” of their views. “We want to say, ‘We exist, we’re one of you and we do this out of how we understand our faith,’” she explained. [Not a protest?  Suuuure, it isn't.  They can call their action "bar tending", "reef snorkeling" or "naked hot yoga" if they want to, but it is still a protest against the Church's teachings.]

Fr. Z stands with Archbp. Sample and Bp. Cary.

They are going to suffer.  I commend them, and all working to defend marriage, to your prayers this Lent.  Start making a list.

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48 Responses to ¡Vaya lío! Archbp. Sample weighs in on same-sex unions in Oregon. Fr. Z kudos.

  1. Bob B. says:

    “…how we understand our faith…” Either they weren’t catechized (correctly or at all) or they’re lying. Unfortunately as a Catholic school teacher, I ran across parents who obviously weren’t either. It was always interesting to have a parent question a Church teaching, let alone a Jesuit-”educated” principal (from the Church of Nice).

  2. Pingback: Pope Francis vs Archbishop Sample? | Catholic Bandita

  3. Iacobus M says:

    Opposing the “spirit of the times” will be tough no matter what, but it might be at least a little easier if the Pope stopped giving interviews . . .
    -Iacobus M
    http://vitafamiliariscatholica.blogspot.com/

  4. mburn16 says:

    “Pope Francis and civil unions?”

    It doesn’t really surprise me. You could make the argument its kind irrelevant to the church, since the church will have no part of it, it doesn’t clash against a church institution, etc.

    This isn’t to say that its a good idea from a societal point of view, but there is an element of pick-your-battles-and-render-unto-Caesar here. Its not entirely impossible for the church to say “homosexual acts are always wrong. all sexual acts should be reserved for marriage. but if the state wants to allow unmarried people to denote another specific individual on certain matters, so be it”. Its problematic, I think, from the way it could be interpreted as being permissive of homosexuality – but I don’t think there’s anything about civil unions that are inherently in violation of church teachings.

  5. danhorse says:

    As a Catholic within the Baker Diocese: God bless Bp. Liam Cary!

  6. acardnal says:

    “” . . . we do this out of how we understand our faith,’” she explained.”"

    It’s the same old cry from all dissenters and their “holy trinity”: me, myself and I. “We” determine what is true not Christ the creator or the Church He created to “bind and loose”.

  7. McCall1981 says:

    Apparently another “clarification” has come from the Papal spokesman on the Pope’s civil union comments. He was not “referring specifically to same-sex couples”, but was referring to the wide variety of co-habitation/living situations.

  8. Kathleen10 says:

    I am so glad we are not hearing as many off the cuff statements from our Holy Father. The heretics have plenty of fodder however, enough to last forever.
    It may just be semantics, but, should we be “anti-same-sex marriage” or “pro-traditional family”. I’m just throwing that out there, I’m not sure it matters. It was previously called “resisting the effort to redefine marriage”, but we may have lost on that score, now that our DOJ head Eric Holder has instructed state attorney generals to stop defending the gay marriage ban. Actually he said they “don’t have to defend any law they FEEL is discriminatory”, which means our laws now depend on how our state attorney generals FEEL about something. Talk about a potential for chaos. As in California with Prop 8, the initial statewide effort to say no to gay marriage, when the gay activists don’t get what they want through voting, they get by legal action by activist judges, and if that fails, the DOJ simply says “you don’t have to defend it (the law)” depending on the emotional response of the attorney general to that law, and there you have it, the law, any law, actually means nothing if the activists are against it. Their will be done.
    Sincere thanks to Archbishop Sample. I read the responses in the Oregonian paper and there are not as many supportive comments as negative ones, at least in that combox. You’re right Fr. Z. It’s not going to be easy for Archbishop Sample. I admire him and will pray for him.

  9. Ben Kenobi says:

    “homosexual acts are always wrong. all sexual acts should be reserved for marriage. but if the state wants to allow unmarried people to denote another specific individual on certain matters, so be it”.

    Only if one believes that the Church ought to have no say on matters of marriage within the state. The Church has an obligation to defend the teachings of Christ not just within the church, but in the world as well. We should not give hard won ground voluntarily.

    Flip it around. Would one of the most enlightened popes evuh get a pass for arguing that ‘it’s ok if the state wants to attack other nations, the Church has no role in speaking out? Liberals don’t hesitate to enforce their moral authority. Neither should we.

  10. Ben Kenobi says:

    “we may have lost on that score, now that our DOJ head Eric Holder has instructed state attorney generals to stop defending the gay marriage ban. Actually he said they “don’t have to defend any law they FEEL is discriminatory”, which means our laws now depend on how our state attorney generals FEEL about something.”

    Does the DOJ head Holder argue that state attorney generals have the authority to defy him based on their feelings?

  11. benedetta says:

    So once all these laws go through will these dissenting groups stop harassing the faithful and our shepherds? So much to do over what tiny percentage of the total population? From the way these entitled elites behave you would think that is the only issue facing Christianity. Talk about self interested, self absorbed, narcissistic and bullying everyone into your own view. Nothing for the history books in this chapter as far as leadership, social justice for all, tolerance or any of the particularly special liberal dogmas. Will these protesting Catholics after they push and shove for their way then get behind the work of the Church after they are finished with this agenda?

  12. New Sister says:

    There are some of the goofiest deacons imaginable and battalions of EMHCs present at every Mass in that diocese… the only way protestors there will be denied Holy Communion is if they wear chapel veils and kneel.

    May God strengthen and Mary protect Abp Sample!

  13. frjim4321 says:

    “…told his pastoral staff last month that the Archdiocese of Portland and the Baker Diocese would join the coalition opposing the same-sex marriage initiative…”

    I take it this means getting into bed with fundamentalists and evangelicals and this does not always go well for the church. We’ll see how this works out for him.

    I for one certainly hope we don’t end up with communion wars in Portland. I don’t see that going very well for the church either.

  14. benedetta says:

    But frjim4321 our beloved Pope Francis wouldn’t have it any other way. Would you accuse him of “being in bed with fundamentalists”? How very strange.

  15. benedetta says:

    Further to frjim4321′s likening of the Catholic Church’s position to fundamentalism…

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/cardinal_bergoglio_hits_out_at_same-sex_marriage

  16. johnnyDmunoz says:

    It’s not homosexuality either, there is nothing sexual going on… It’s called sodomy and practitioners of sodomy are sodomites. Sex can only happen with a man and a women… That is science.

    “But I don’t think there’s anything about civil unions that are inherently in violation of church teachings.” Except that it is open promotion of sexual perversion and the harming of the children they will raise. To consent or condone the legitimization of these acts will make one an accessory. So other than these points yeah no conflict with the Church.

  17. Priam1184 says:

    I realize that I’m going to sound like a jerk here BUT it is a sad sign that the fact that a successor of the Apostles announces that he is going to join a coalition that is opposing the ludicrous idea of a man marrying a man or a woman marrying a woman is treated as some great and praiseworthy thing. Isn’t he just doing his job? Do I slap the produce guy on the back when he puts out pears and tomatoes on his shelves? In truth the successors of the Apostles should be leading the spiritual warfare against these insane ideas and drawing others to themselves, not just joining coalitions. Ah but maybe if his predecessors had done their jobs and his colleagues would do their jobs and all of us sitting in the pews would do our jobs then maybe, just maybe, the world wouldn’t be as screwed up as it is.

  18. Hidden One says:

    Dear Priam1184,

    And maybe if I had done my job the world wouldn’t be as screwed up as it is.

  19. benedetta says:

    Pope Francis appears to have been speaking about heterosexual civil unions, not gay marriage. If you read the comments he alludes to the types of things that occur from unions where children naturally occur and must be provided for under civil law. There is also the word “inherently”.

  20. McCall1981 says:

    @benedetta,
    Where is the word “inherently”?

  21. Lyn M says:

    Regarding today’s interview in the mainstream media – they are not quoting the pope correctly as usual. Here is the quote from The Vatican Insider: “On the question of marriage and civil unions, the Pope reaffirmed that “marriage is between a man and a woman”. States seek to justify civil unions “to regularize different situations of living together”, pushed by the need to regularize the economic aspects between people, such as, for example, to ensure health care, he said. “We have to look at the different cases and evaluate them in their variety”. Note that he said the States were saying that not him. Same interview – very different. Getting weary.

    Source: http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/francesco-francis-francisco-32502//pag/1/

  22. McCall1981 says:

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/pope-gives-new-interview-to-secular-newspaper

    “On behalf of the Vatican, Fr. Thomas Rosica released the following statement regarding certain interpretations of the interview:
    “There have been numerous questions, calls and messages throughout the day today regarding Pope Francis’ recent interview in the Italian daily newspaper, Corriere della Sera, particularly referring to the section on marriage and civil unions. Some journalists have interpreted the Pope’s words in the interview to reflect an openness on the part of the Church to civil unions. Others have interpreted his words to be addressing the question of same-sex marriage. I have consulted with Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, throughout the afternoon and have prepared the following notes on Pope Francis’ interview.

    [It is important to understand here that “civil unions” in Italy refer to people who are married by the state, outside of a religious context.]

    Journalists have asked if the Pope was referring specifically to gay civil unions in the above response. The Pope did not choose to enter into debates about the delicate matter of gay civil unions. In his response to the interviewer, he emphasized the natural characteristic of marriage between one man and one woman, and on the other hand, he also spoke about the obligation of the state to fulfill its responsibilities towards its citizens.

    By responding in this way, Pope Francis spoke in very general terms, and did not specifically refer to same-sex marriage as a civil union. Pope Francis simply stated the issues and did not interfere with positions held by Episcopal Conferences in various countries dealing with the question of civil unions and same sex marriage.

    We should not try to read more into the Pope’s words that what has been stated in very general terms.”

  23. Pingback: Archbishop Sample Defends Marriage Against Homosexuels - BigPulpit.com

  24. Warren says:

    Somehow Ms. Yerby missed the rather obvious theme of the Ash Wednesday Mass. That is, self abnegation.

    http://www.opb.org/news/article/portland-catholics-attend-ash-wednesday-service-wearing-same-sex-button/?google_editors_picks=true

  25. Liz says:

    God bless them both. We will pray for them in our rosary today. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be a bishop!

  26. JonPatrick says:

    Fr. Jim above is concerned that if we have “communion wars” or support points of view that happen to coincide with those of other separated Christians, that “things won’t go well for the Church”. I interpret that to mean that the Church will get bad press and will be portrayed as mean spirited and homophobic. Things didn’t “go well” for the early Church either, they had this annoying habit of refusing to worship the Emperor and the pagan gods, and their stubbornness about this brought them persecution. We have to stop worrying about how we are seen by the world as it will always hate us if we are truly doing God’s work. If there have to be communion wars, because a bishop is actually going to enforce Church law for a change, then so be it. The only way to please the world is to become like them as the main line Protestants have.

  27. CharlesG says:

    So does Fr. Jim think the Church should not stand up for her teachings just because they coincide with those of “fundamentalists” and “evangelicals”? I’d call that a “heretic’s veto” (analogously to a “heckler’s veto”) against the Church’s free speech rights. I also get uncomfortable when I hear Catholics say they are against redefining marriage, but maybe civil unions are OK. No, the state should not be giving the benefits of civil marriage (which civil unions essentially are) to immoral behavior, even if it is legal between consenting adults. And don’t tell me the purpose of civil unions (and civil same sex marriage itself) is not to get the state’s imprimatur, and thereby society’s approval of, homosexual activity and use the state’s coercive power to crush all expression of belief in the traditional definition of marriage. The Church should not be supporting civil unions.

  28. frjim4321 says:

    “So does Fr. Jim think the Church should not stand up for her teachings just because they coincide with those of “fundamentalists” and “evangelicals”?” – Charles

    In this diocese we got involved with “coalitions” against pornography and abortion. In both cases fundamentalists ended up picking fights with the diocese. It ended up going badly and our bishop said “it was a mistake getting involved with them.”

  29. incredulous says:

    Please Saint Michael and Holy Mother provide protection to Archbishop Sample and supporters in their fight against this evil. May Jesus convert the hearts of the confused and wayward Catholics who support sodomy which is such an abomination and an insult to G*d. G*d save the souls who engage in such pagan sexual immorality including sodomy, fornication, adultery, etc. May we all see our fellow brothers and sisters as children of G*d and not sexual objects.

  30. Mike says:

    Fr. Jim: Your remarks seem to impugn ecumenical outreach based on political disagreements. Weren’t we (as in “Church”) supposed to have got over that circa 1975?

    Prayers going out to all in Oregon.

  31. Priam1184 says:

    @Hidden One: that is probably the case for most of us, especially these days. I know that I was way too fat and happy for way too long and I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the only one. Even though we should have started fighting the spiritual war yesterday (long before in fact), we can at least rejoice in the fact that God has given us today.

  32. Scott W. says:

    Ok, one more time: I can sympathize with the libertarian impulse to go for the “get the government out of the marriage business” or the gay-marriage-bad-but-gay-unions-ok schtick, but you ought to know that the Church has officially and explicitly rejected these proposals. See: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html

    To sum up: the State (even one not confessionally Catholic) has both an interest and duty to uphold and protect traditional marriage against other alternatives and where the State has capitulated, the Church gives the exact same instruction it gives when the State legalizes abortion: Catholics must avoid any and all formal cooperation with such laws, and avoid material cooperation as much as is reasonably possible.

  33. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    I for one certainly hope we don’t end up with communion wars in Portland. I don’t see that going very well for the church either.

    Neville Chamberlain lives!

  34. incredulous says:

    @robtbrown, did frjim4321 mean to type Poland instead of Portland? LOL.

  35. Sonshine135 says:

    @Priam1184
    You hit the nail on the head with the sodomy comment. I have given this much thought as of late, and why Catholics lose the redefinition of marriage debate (notice I didn’t use same-sex marriage). We allow our opponents to frame the debate with a faulty premise. I am now calling it the Catholic Trap.

    As Catholics, we believe that men and women are made in the likeness and image of God (notice I didn’t say homosexuals). Sexual relations can only happen between a man and a woman in a committed marital relationship. Otherwise, the person is called to chastity no matter what the preference or inclination of the person. All other acts are disordered.

    Wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

  36. majuscule says:

    Yerby, who served on the board of Catholic Charities of Portland for six years, said members of her group plan to show up for the Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral and other churches with large buttons proclaiming their membership in the marriage equality group.” Fr. Z: “ [They must be denied Holy Communion if they do that.]

    Is it an occasion of sin for me to be wondering if they did present themselves for communion and if so, what transpired??

  37. NBW says:

    The best way to do battle with Yerby and others like her, is to pray the rosary and ask God to resolve the situation. It worked in Lepanto.

  38. ad Deum says:

    AGREEING with “Fr. Jim”.

    My own personal observations, as well as others’ (eg, The Remnant newspaper), coincide with Fr. Jim’s experiences. We have to be very careful with pro-life and pro-marriage efforts when working with heretical groups; these people can defend life more than the next Catholic, but, BUT, when it comes down to WHY we should do or do not X, Y, and Z, problems abound

    Think about abortion: we say (or should) ” No contraception and be open to life.” and bingo!, the fighting can ensue. Same with viewing pornography, filthy shows, and so forth, in regards to chastity, that is, sexual purity.

  39. St Donatus says:

    FrJim, I would disagree. I know that the liberals will work with every other group it can to forward it’s agenda. It will work with labor unions, by supporting them on unionization as long as labor support gay marriage, etc. I think that we must try to work with our allies where need be. It can sometimes turn out badly but generally in the past worked out well. For example, it was the Catholics in union with protestant groups that brought about the movie rating and censoring during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. I don’t know what happened in the late fifties to stop the support for censoring ( I have a feeling that it was a lack of support by many Catholic and protestant clergy as they were trying to be more inclusive and loving of the fallen away).

  40. Bob Glassmeyer says:

    Some years back, I was fortunate to attend seminary with Archbishop Sample. From the start, I noticed two unmistakable things about him. First, he is orthodox, without exception. Second, he practices his orthodoxy with charity, in a way that is astounding.

    He is that rare mix of solid, uncompromising fidelity to Catholic teaching and proclamation of that teaching with gentleness, humility, tenderness and charity. What a priest! What a human being!

  41. wmeyer says:

    If “we understand our faith” in such a way as to support the notion of same-sex unions, then “we” have professed the Protestant position, and “we” do not understand the Faith as presented in the CCC. Anyone who determines to know better than the pope, the Magisterium, and the CCC what our Faith teaches clearly has failed to know the Catholic faith at all.

    May God strengthen and Mary protect Abp Sample!

    Amen! He is a champion of our faith.

    robtbrown, while, as usual, I find myself at odds with frjim, it cannot be the act of a Christian gentleman to resort to name calling. I pray that was more thoughtless than malicious.

  42. Lisa Freeman says:

    Our family happened to be in Hawaii last fall when their legislative battle was raging. We attended a gigantic rally at the state capitol that went largely unreported. The effort only managed to slow down the legislature – because they were required to hear the thousands of people who signed up to make a statement in person.

    The whole issue is being sold as “equality” and anyone who opposes the legislation is “anti-equality.” The truth is hidden and the two sides are not even speaking the same language.

    What I really learned from the experience is that we need to use the weapons we have been given – most especially prayer and sacrifice. If we play on their turf, we will lose.

    Archbishop Sample is a holy leader and brave – up against much opposition here in Oregon. I think though that he can really set the tone by his own prayer and sacrifice and that may make a difference. He mentioned once that he sacrifices for all of us every Tuesday. I feel so blessed to be part of his flock.
    Lisa

  43. Chon says:

    Majuscule…if you click on the link Warren posted above, you’ll see the news report that Yerby did indeed go to communion at the cathedral wearing her button. I don’t know what happened in the communion line. Vocal has nothing on it…

  44. Chon says:

    Oops, correction, the article just said Yerby et al. went into the church. I saw a photo of them with ashes on their foreheads, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily went to communion. Sorry for assuming.

  45. cl00bie says:

    members of her group plan to show up for the Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral and other churches with large buttons proclaiming their membership in the marriage equality group. [They must be denied Holy Communion if they do that.]

    But they should be invited to the front of the line for ashes. (Okay, that was catty :P)

    I am trying to follow Pope Francis’ lead and love these people and try and meet them where they are, but they are making it REALLY difficult for me. Maybe that’s part of the exercise God wants me to participate in. :)