The face of homosexual anti-Catholicism to come

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami had an editorial letter in the Miami Sun Sentinel in defense of true, natural marriage.  Wenski’s note was dignified and measured.   He began:

Those who see “same sex marriage” as progress towards a more “tolerant” society will, with characteristic intolerance, label their opponents as “intolerant,” “bigoted,” “homophobic” and so on.

There was a response to Archbp. Wenski’s letter.  A fellow named Brandon Thorp wrote a nasty, religiously bigoted attack on Catholics in the Broward-Palm Beach New Times.  He began:

Just to be clear, Archbishop Wenski believes that a virgin gave birth to a deity who was nailed to a piece of wood to save us from the wrath of his father; and who rose from the dead, floated in the air, and ascended through a magic portal to heaven. I mention this not to cast aspersions on Wenski’s faith — I’ll do that in a moment — but to underline what Wenski means when he asserts that his side of the culture wars that is concerned with the “reality of things,” and the other side is full of fantasists.

It gets a lot worse.

Thomas Peters has a good analysis of the response made to Archbp. Wenski.

I find the Thorp … response loathsome.  But this is what we are going to face more and more.

I bring it to your attention so that you can know what is coming.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Hieronymus says:

    It is well beyond time we start brushing up on the response to this onslaught. We have to able to answer, and avoid the trap of making this a religious issue. To that end I direct you to the work of Dr. Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton. He and two graduate students working with him wrote an excellent exposition of the marriage issue, which was published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy . I will attach a link below. Read it! We need to be able to articulate our position!
    [Click on “One Click Download” toward the top]

  2. EXCHIEF says:

    It is a sad fact that in this country one of the very few opponents of immorality and irresponsibility are orthodox Catholics. That is why the attacks on the Church from special interests and, indeed, many representatives of our own government, will become more and more frequent and much more intense. The day of persecution of the Church in this country is not far off. St. Michael gird us for the battles to come.

  3. robtbrown says:

    The response simply reinforces an opinion that Papa Ratzinger has held for some years: The detente with secularism has failed.

  4. When pagans gain control it means persecution for the Catholic Church. When I see things like this I think of what St Paul said, “Where sin abounds, grace abounds more”. In a way, we are privileged to be living in such a time where there is so much grace.

    Mother Teresa said once that all the problems in the world would be gone if we had more holy Priests. I pray for that every day.

    God bless,

  5. Rob Cartusciello says:

    When I was Brandon Thorpe’s age, I was stupid, too.

  6. SK Bill says:

    Theere comes a point, it seems, in the radicalization of individuals, when they are no longer interested in actual dialog, no longer want to do anything but vent the pus that fills their guts, when they completely stop listening to facts, when they suspend reason and forget how to speak in anything but a shriek in order to stop anyone who disagrees with them from being heard. Thorp is past that point. Anne Rice is past that point. Sinead O’Connor passed it long, long ago. They are providing the model for this kind of hysterical polemic, setting an example that others who are simply not up to the intellectual talent level required to engage in discussion will surely follow.

    I am not sure that it does any good to attempt to engage such people in any kind of discussion. What we can do, though, is be more active in responding in other areas of public discourse, including standing up for the Church and our beliefs in conversation with family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else. And we can be happy to be thought a fool for Christ — we are probably going to get a lot of practice doing that.

  7. isnowhere says:

    TFP Student Action (a Catholic organization) recently visited Brown University for a peaceful demonstration for traditional marriage . The response from many Brown students was anything but peaceful. You can watch a video and find out more here:

  8. shane says:

    There ought to be a ‘Godwin’s Law’ for (ab)using the sex scandals like this, as a cheap debating point. Not only is it intellectual laziness, it’s also an insult to the victims (many of them devout Catholics)

  9. Kerry says:

    SK Bill is correct about the inability of radicalized individuals to exercise reason, but I believe continuing to ask vary fundamental questions can, like judo, toss them to the mat using their own momentum. For example, “What is the purpose of marriage?” And a quick follow-up to this, “Does marriage have anything to do with children?” I suspect though that such questions will make them stomp away in huffs. However, they will have heard the questions. (As a for instance on a different issue, I recently asked two people this question regarding Wisconsin, “True or false. The Governor of WI and the republicans campaigned on the very things they are now proposing in the WI legislature?” Both the man and woman said “I don’t know” “True” I replied. And, “Therefore, as they received the majority of the votes, do you have any responsibility to abide by the results of the election?” The man said, “Hmm…probably yes”. The woman said, “I don’t want to argue with you anymore, you’re making me uncomfortable”. Heh on uncomfortable.)

  10. frjim4321 says:

    Incendiary language such as Thorp’s is not helpful. [That’s one way to put it.] Though some statements of hierarchs have pushed the limits of actual church teaching by, for example, adopting the scientifically bankrupt language of Nicolosi and NARTH (“sufferers of same-sex-attraction”) and scapegoating gay priests for the sexual abuse crisis. I am not defending Thorp, because he has pushed well beyond the limits of civil discourse here. However by the same token, what goes around, comes around.

  11. MattnSue says:

    So Thorpe thinks it is silly of us for believeing in the virgin birth, resurrection, and other tenets of our faith. That is his right. What I don’t understand is why, if we are such simple folk who believe in such “impossible” occurrances he is so bothered by our beliefs. The same Bible that tells us of the “magical” acts done by God, also warns against immorality in marriage. So, if he chooses to not follow the word of God, he may do so while he walks this earth. If a Wiccan or Budhist or anyone else who has faith that I do not share thinks my rites are pointless , it has no effect on my life or beliefs, nor would my thoughts on THIER beliefs matter to them if they are orthodox in what they do. The point is, We BELIEVE that certain acts are right and wrong, and will point out these ACTIONS are not moral. Thorpe seems to think that having a set of beliefs is wrong in and of itself.

  12. Kerry says:

    Seventeen pages through a forty-three page PDF, (thanks for the link Hieronymus), among many others this question comes to mind: Mr. Thwap, is friendship marriage, and if not, why not?

  13. Oneros says:

    Here, here, frjim! Contact me if you can.

    The fact is, considering that there is no such thing as “gay marriage”…it really CAN’T be legalized. Yet all these hierarchs working so hard to politically oppose it speak as if legalizing “gay marriage” actually will cause it to exist. It won’t. It will cause purely civil partnerships, a mere legal arrangement, to exist, that happen to be called “marriage” but are really not in the natural sense of that word (and words are just words).

    If they’d spend their time on the spiritual question more than the political ones, maybe they’d be more effective. I’m just saying.

  14. Hieronymus says:


    Indeed! The paper is a bit long, but it is a thorough and extremely well-reasoned treatment of the “gay marriage” question. It goes a long way toward showing that opposition to gay marriage is not founded on a religious faith, but upon reason. The gay lobby has done a fairly successful job of painting this as a case of the Church “interfering” in politics. Not so. Catholicism is certainly opposed to this practice, but we did not need revelation to tell us that.

    So again, What is Marriage?
    R. George, Princeton University, has the answer:
    [Click on “One Click Download” toward the top]

  15. Joe in Canada says:

    Oneros. I agree there is no such thing as ‘gay marriage’. The problem though is that the State has a vested interest in defining and regulating marriage, which interest the Church says is to serve the common good and particular goods, particularly children. If the State redefines marriage for its own purposes, the goals of the State’s regulation of marriage are changed. In fact, the new definition of marriage will by necessity have to have no reference to a family with children as the basic unit of society (a principle of Catholic social ethics) but rather to interests and contracts. As you say, ‘mere legal arrangement’ rather than a fundamental basis of civil society. All that apart from the image of a State that feels it can redefine reality.

  16. Giambattista says:

    I read the rest of Thorp’s article. At the end he says it is laughable that the hierachy sets themselves up as a moral authority in light of the thousands of children who have been abused by clergy. I know many people, including many Cathoics, who agree with Thorp on this issue.

    Yes, there is going to be an onslaught of this type of stuff at Catholics. The problem is that our “house” is divided and it is going to be difficult to navigate. Liberal Catholics are not going to be militant on this issue. Conservative Catholics and trads, the ones who will fight, are treated like second class trash. Many bishops are busy fighting their own when they really need to be focused on unifying everybody for the fight which is coming our way. The bishops also need to get serious about repairing our image. Everytime things settle down, something like Philadelphia breaks loose. Not good!

  17. Fr. Basil says:

    \\It will cause purely civil partnerships, a mere legal arrangement, to exist, that happen to be called “marriage” but are really not in the natural sense of that word (and words are just words).\\

    But can’t the same thing be said about the remarriage of most divorced persons?

    \\If they’d spend their time on the spiritual question more than the political ones, maybe they’d be more effective. I’m just saying.\\

    Good point, but can spiritual matters be determined and regulated by civil law?

  18. Hieronymus says:


    I have to disagree. The hierarchy should not just sit back and allow “gay civil marriages” to be adopted.

    We live in an age where morality is largely, however unfortunately, understood in terms of legality. The culture is shaped by the law, and we citizens are shaped by the culture. If this practice is given equal standing in terms of the law, this will become culturally “normal” — as it is on college campuses — and the radical silencing of opposition to homosexuality that we currently see on college campuses and (sadly now) in the US military will be universalized. The average citizen will be flooded with indoctrination from his earliest school days. This is already being painted as a second coming of the black civil rights movements of the 60’s, give them the legal victory and Matthew Shepherd is going to be the next Martin Luther King. Legally and culturally, this is as important as the Roe v Wade decision was, and I don’t think you would have recommended the hierarchy keep silent on that issue, right?

  19. Brad says:

    I googled Thorpe. He’s a poor misguided soul. satan has him totally confounded and blinded. Let’s all say a Hail Mary for him.

  20. JKnott says:

    Very sad but true Hieronmous to Oneros. We have much persecution waiting in the wings.
    But poor Thorp – Matthew 13: 14 – 15
    Informing him of Matthew 13:41-43 is probably useless at this point, but we shall pray for him anyway.
    In the end …the wheat and the chaff….

  21. Sid says:

    nailed to a piece of wood to save us from the wrath of his father

    Note how Thorp has absorbed the soteriology of Penal Substitutional Atonement, probably from pop culture’s understanding of Calvinism and certain Evangelical denominations. It’s not the soteriology of the New Testament. Yet it’s used to smear us.

  22. @Hieronymus: re “We live in an age where morality is largely, however unfortunately, understood in terms of legality.”

    I agree. And while I definitely think we must oppose same-sex ‘marriage’ – and it might be a good idea to try to repeal no-fault divorce laws in the more conservative states (those are state-by-state — there’s no Roe issue — so I’m not sure it would be a futile attempt in … say… Utah.)

    However, I wonder to what degree we are playing into that very culture-equals-law mindset by doing so?

    Somehow we need to *both* work against legalizing (or rather attempting to create) same-sex ‘marriage’ *and* challenge the culture-equals-law mindset underlying the very same debate… but I’m not sure how. Possibly by framing the attempt to create same-sex ‘marriage’ as an attempt to impose a cultural thing by force of law?

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