Mary Stachowicz – murdered by “gay” man – a Martyr for the Faith, says Bp. Paprocki

Mary Stachowicz (1951-2002)


Homosexuals often commit the most physically brutal crimes that the police see.

[UPDATE: Some people in the tweetosphere are having a spittle-flecked nutty about the sentence I wrote, above. At least I think that is why there is a spittle-flecked nutty going on. On review, I should revise it to say rather that “violent crimes committed by homosexuals are often really brutal”.  The point is not that all homosexuals are often committing brutal crimes.  That would be absurd and unfair on the face of it.  But I am happy to revise and to say that I’m am sorry if the way I phrased that caused confusion or distress to homosexuals.]

This is where we are headed.  Mark my words.  [Another point: I think we will see an escalation of violence as the “new abnormal” takes root.]

Also, pay attention to the asymmetry revealed in the piece.

From CNS (my emphases and comments):

Bishop: Catholic Mom Murdered by Gay Man ‘Died a Martyr for Her Faith’

( – A Catholic mother who was brutally murdered by a gay man because she challenged him about his homosexual lifestyle “died as a martyr for her faith,” according to Bishop Thomas Paprocki, head of the Catholic diocese in Springfield, Ill., who also said the woman’s “murder was widely ignored by the media,” apparently for political reasons.  [Her murder was IGNORED?]

The woman, Mary Stachowicz, a 51-year-old mother of four children and devout Catholic, was beaten, stabbed, raped, and strangled to death by then-19-year-old Nicholas Gutierrez on Nov. 13, 2002. He then wrapped her body in plastic and stuffed it under the floorboards of his apartment. After his arrest, Guttierrez gave a videotaped statement to police saying “he attacked Stachowicz after she confronted him for being a homosexual,” reported the Chicago Tribune.

According to the defense attorney, Stachowicz apparently had asked Gutierrez, “Why do you sleep with boys?”  [Homosexuals are winning their battles one by one.  The next battle they will wage, with the help of the MSM, is to lower the age of consent.  Mark my words.]

Bishop Paprocki spoke about Stachowicz and her 2002 death during a discussion about same-sex marriage sponsored by the Jesuit Alumni in Arizona group, in Phoenix, on May 31 of this year. [Watch this…] In his opening remarks, the bishop talked about the extensive coverage by the media given to the murder of Matthew Shephard, who was killed partly because he was gay, and contrasted that with the minimal coverage given to the Stachowicz case, a mother killed because she shared her Catholic beliefs with another person. [Take note of the asymmetry, the double-standard. On the one hand a ‘gay’ is killed, media frenzy. On the other a straight white Catholic is killed by a ‘gay’ (Oh how I HATE how that word has been twisted) and media silence results.. not even a cricket chirps.]

Bishop Thomas Paprocki

As the bishop said: “A Google search on the Internet for the name ‘Matthew Shepard’ at one time produced 11,900,000 results. Matthew Shepard was a 21-year-old college student who was savagely beaten to death in 1998 in Wyoming. His murder has been called a hate crime because Shepard was gay. [If his murder was a hate crime, was not also the murder of Mary Stachowicz?]

“A similar search on the Internet for the name ‘Mary Stachowicz’ yielded 26,800 results. In 2002, Mary Stachowicz was also brutally murdered, but the circumstances were quite different.

“Mary, the gentle, devout 51-year-old Catholic mother of four urged her co-worker, Nicholas Gutierrez, 19, to change his gay lifestyle. Infuriated by this, as he later told police, he allegedly beat, stabbed and strangled her to death and then stuffed her mangled body in a crawl space in his apartment, located above a Chicago funeral home, where they both worked.

First and foremost, God bless Mary Stachowicz!

Second and consequently, God bless Bp. Paprocki and Fr. Z magna kudos to him.

The article was well-written and deserves your attention, but it was too long to post here.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z KUDOS, Modern Martyrs, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Bob B. says:

    Note: all events start at 6:00PM and are held at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ: 12861 N. 8th Ave. , Phoenix, AZ 85029
    At 6 p.m. Friday May 31, Thomas John Paprocki, bishop of Springfield, Illinois, will be part of a program with Sister Jeanine Gramick, director of New Ways Ministry and a long time spokesperson for a group of American Catholics who call themselves GLBT– gays, lesbians, bi-sexual, transgendered.
    They will each give their views on a currently hot-button issue, gay marriage, both in the Church, and in civil society.
    We will have time for questions from the audience after Bishop Tom and Sister Jean have had their say.
    We hope those in the audience, members of JAAZ and guests, will have good short questions, not long speeches, that will make us think, in keeping with our JAAZ mantra, “For a thinking Church in Arizona.”
    From the JAAZ site located at: where they also have discussions for a “People’s Catholic Church in America”

  2. Jean Marie says:

    What’s coming next is not just lowering the age of consent, but polygamy as well. This serves the homosexuals and the muslims.

  3. Jack Hughes says:

    how do we start winning the battles?

  4. Priam1184 says:

    Father the homosexual relationship is, by definition, the use of another person solely for your own pleasure or satisfaction whether emotionally or physically. This type of relationship isn’t limited to homosexuals; since the advent of the birth control pill many, if not most, relationships between men and women have degenerated to this point as well. But the homosexual relationship can in fact be nothing else. And when this sort of relationship is championed by a society as a whole, as it was in the dark and ancient and now forgotten pagan days then the use of other human beings for one’s own personal pleasure becomes the rule. And once again, as it was in the dark old pagan days before the coming of Our Lord and His establishment of the Church, this will degenerate into a slave society. If you look at history you see that while all slave societies have not necessarily encouraged homosexuality, all societies which have encouraged homosexuality have been slave societies accompanied by all of the violence and oppression and social destruction that one would expect.

  5. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:


    You have noted in the past how there is a double standard: what the media wish to portray is described in positive terms, while the opposition (because they are opposed) are always “anti”-something or other. This morning’s headlines from Texas confirm this problem. “Abortion-rights activists” and “anti-abortion extremists” are the two groups battling.

    What would you think of the Remnant’s recent argument that the battle isn’t really about any of these things, but about restoring the social reign of Christ the King?

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think lowering the age of consent will be the next battle, nor will bestiality. I think that the next battle will be in criminalizing opposition to the agenda.

  6. Mari Kate says:

    Fr Z: Thank you for posting this. What I also don’t understand is why Holy Mother Church has not recognized this woman for the great example of her martyrdom. Why do we just hear of it from a courageous priest like you on a blog thirteen years later? The pathetic silence inside the Church is appalling as well as that of the media, even more so. Notice the date of her martyrdom? Right smack dab in the middle of the sex abuse scandal that was all over the media at the time- Bishops who were not doing their job by properly dealing with priests who were truly guilty. Instead they denied the allegations or hid them or transferred them to other parishes. Perhaps I am too rash here but it seems obvious why they did not speak out about this courageous woman, as so much of the sex abuse was do to homosexual activity. May her memory always be honored and may she one day receive the recognition she truly deserves. This is what we are called to-to speak truth with love. I believe the time is coming when we will either be willing to speak the truth with love or succumbing to living the lie through our silence. Please pardon my soapbox.

  7. Subvet says:

    Before the dust settles we’ll be automatically suspected of homophobia unless actively in a gay relationship. This new thought crime will require extensive treatment at the nearest reducation camp (funded by your tax dollars of course). Welcome to our brave new world, wish I was just joking but I’m not.

  8. Johnno says:

    We should make it a point to start mentioning and remembering and praying for people like her and her family in EVERY Catholic Church. That’s how we can be a COMMUNITY!

  9. jhayes says:

    Homosexuals often commit the most physically brutal crimes that the police see.

    According to the article, Mrs Stacowicz was killed in 2002. Have there been other killings or beatings of Catholics by homosexuals in the eleven years since then?

    May she rest in peace.

  10. Legisperitus says:

    If ’tis the season to waive the 50-year wait for canonizations, this is the cause that needs to get rolling in our day.

  11. Andy Lucy says:

    Hate crime. Hmmmm. How many people are murdered because the perp loves them, I wonder. I have trouble with the whole concept of a hate crime, as it creates protected classes of people, inherently making the statement that if you kill a homosexual because he is homosexual, and then you kill a rich guy because he is rich, the murder of the homosexual is “worse.” I just cannot go along with that. Also, hate crimes legislation seems, to me, to be getting away from punishing people for what they DO, and more into what they THINK. I really don’t want the criminal justice system, for which I work, getting into that particular arena.

  12. tioedong says:

    The next step is ostracism and a black list for non conformers to the gay agenda.

    Keep an eye on the movie “Ender’s game”. It is a sci fi classic that is being made into a big budget movie (Ben Kingsley, Harrison Ford), but the gays plan to boycott it because the writer of the novel, Orson Scott Card, is a devout Mormon who supports traditional marriage.

    First they came for the Mormons, then they came for the Catholics…

  13. Kathleen10 says:

    One thing we definitely can do to improve our sorry situation is to work as hard as we can to elect people who represent our Catholic values as much as possible. Anyone who goes into the current political arena is going to need financial and moral support, so if you notice someone in your area who is running, facilitate that as much as you can.
    The elections in 2014 are coming. Get involved, especially at your local level.
    The presidential election, despite seeming like eons away, will arrive. I live in Liberal Central, but I’m going to work like a dog in any way I can, to elect a dog, if that’s all that runs against the liberals.
    The president is a much more key figure now than ever. I was wrong a year or so ago here, when I said his coming out as the first gay president didn’t matter much. I was so wrong. It’s bad now, really bad, but if we can elect a president who loves Jesus and serves Him, we can make inroads back to a culture most of us recognize. Alot of what has happened has happened because it has been supported and facilitated by Obama and his henchmen. We need, NEED, to work hard to elect a president who will help us yes, put the genie back in the bottle. I think the Tea Party people are going to be very involved and active in the next election, as we see most of our politicians are falling victim to the “need to be liked” disorder.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    I knew Orson Scott Card a long time ago. He is a good man and he was blackballed at a prominent Catholic university for his faith and clarity. He was belittled and left. I encouraged him to leave and to write and to do what God wanted him to do. I saw his gifts while others were jealous and snobs. We all have something to do for God, and if we stand up in the market place, we shall be persecuted for our Faith in Jesus Christ and for the Church and the Truth. People will hate us, just as some hated Orson Scott Card just for being himself.

    We are called to speak the truth to people for their own salvation. That young man who killed Mary made a choice to silence her instead of following a call to listen to objective truth. How many times do we shirk our duties of telling the truth? I have been surrounded by cowards when I have had to stand up for truth by myself. I have had too many opportunities to do this, because God was showing me the future for the Church in my small life.

    There are many kinds of martyrdom. Some of us have lost status and jobs for speaking the truth, moral and Christian truths. If we are not ready to do this, we shall die outside the Will of God. Daily, we must practice truth. Especially we must face the truth of ourselves.

    We do not have much time. Mary did not have much time. She was relatively young. She is an example for all of us to speak the truth in and out of season.

    I am currently in Ireland and daily grievef and am bewildered at the exhilaration in the press and among people that abortion is now legal. People are happy that babies will be killed. I watched the Dail debate for days on when a baby could be killed. It was sickening. The arrogance of evil has no limits.

    Do not fall into false optimism, but chose daily to follow the truth. I pray for final perseverance, as pain is hard, both mental and physical. We may be the greatest generation, not the one that did great things, but the one which endured to the end in Faith.

  15. Kathleen10 says:

    And by the way, homosexuals have very high rates of domestic violence, for both sexes (note I didn’t say genders), since there are only two sexes. I can’t remember the statistics, but I’ve read them before. Jealousy and violence are part and parcel of let’s say, at least many, homosexual relationships.

  16. StJude says:

    Wow.. I have never heard this story. God bless this woman’s soul.

  17. StJude says:


    I am sickened by whats happening in Ireland too. Watch Ireland slip off into the abyss… just like America.
    Not to sound like a baptist but.. I do think the hedge of protection from God doesnt get removed but lifted a bit. Either we learn from it or we don’t. So far.. we don’t.
    Troubled times ahead for Ireland… they have let evil in the door.

  18. Lin says:

    @Kathleen10……. I am not sure that we can ever win another election again. It is my understanding that in a precinct in Philladelphia there was 100% turnout and not one vote for Romney. Election fraud? Free elections ever again? God help us. We have fallen so far!!

  19. James Joseph says:

    The age of consent is already 16 years of age in all of Canada, the Caribbean, New England and much of the United States. California is 18 years of age. New York state is 17 years of age.

    Most states have already changed to allowing firs cousins as well.

  20. theophilus says:

    I was going to pray for her soul, but I think I am going to pray for her intercession because something inside tells me she is in heaven.

  21. Archer.2013 says:

    There’s a small whiff of the disturbing in this article I’m afraid. I am a gay man, I am celibate, I am Catholic and I believe what the Church teaches and defends what she teaches, often in the face of hostility. However, within the Church I have been subjected to awful abuse because I am gay. It is assumed that I “practice” my homosexuality simply because I am what I am. Naming no places or people, I have lost my job, my home and my circle of friends because it became known that I was gay (I answered a question honestly and several years later that answer came back to bite me). After an argument in my place of work (a Catholic Institution) it came to light that my simply being gay was a huge problem for people I worked with (though until the argument hardly any of them had been aware of it). I was fired, but because I lived where I worked, I also lost my home and then after I’d left stories started circulating about my secret gay life. I’d been seen in gay bars, had sex with a man on the staff who had also left etc, etc – none of which was true. I on the other hand did not take this blatant discrimination to solicitors because I wanted to avoid a scandal for the Church.

    What is my point? Not all gays are out to get Catholics or the Church. We are not all a fifth column within the Church, and we are not all living double lives. I have no desire to sleep with teenagers, I am not prone to depression, jealousy or violence. What does come across in this article and the responses to it is what a hostile environment the Church can be for gay men and women who actually practice their faith with integrity. That has certainly been my experience.

    There is a problem which is also highlighted by this article and the responses too is that if there are those within the Church who cannot be honest about who they are (who they are and what they do are not the same thing) then the Church as a community is loosing a debate it does not need to. I know how destructive gay culture is for individuals and the society that supports it, but the minute I say why I know this, the community that I am defending turns on me. I am in a sense silenced by the Church, when as a gay man who before becoming Catholic lived the gay lifestyle, I have insights and experiences that many many Catholics will not have.

    If a lady had asked me “Why do I sleep with boys?” I would have been deeply offended by what the question implies. Did Mary Stachowicz deserve to die for confronting her colleague about his lifestyle? Certainly not! But her approach to evangelising him underscores everything that is wrong with the Church’s approach to its dealings with gays. Judgmental, accusatory, lacking in tact and crude. Her death was tragic, unjustified and senseless. I know the media is disturbingly biased and anti-Catholic, but her argument is as much the reason why she only had 26,800 articles on the net as anything else.

  22. Lin says:

    @Archer.2013…….How should the Church or the individual deal with this issue?

  23. amfortas says:

    jhayes and Archer raise some important points. I think Fr Z has crossed a line here. Hateful.

  24. Scott W. says:

    jhayes and Archer raise some important points. I think Fr Z has crossed a line here. Hateful.

    Show your math please. What exactly is hateful and how so? We can’t verify the anecdotes told here that frankly sound like concern trolling.

  25. Archer.2013 says:

    Hi Lin

    When I can say in my local parish that I’m gay and the response is indifference (because the immediate assumption is that I’m a practicing Catholic), then we are part way there.

    At the heart of all of the problems surrounding such issues in the Church is an out and out lack of catechesis amongst Catholics. If we truly understand the tenets of the Faith, if we are confident as a Catholic community made up of saints and sinners with our own experiences to bring to and enrich the community (channeled through a soundly formed conscience), then we can engage with whatever the world throws at us. This loss of a sense of what it means to be a Catholic, loss of identity and unity has ravaged churches since the 60s and this has made it possible for pro-abortionists, militant gays, liturgical liberals and so on to promote their agenda and still claim to be Catholic (though of course they are not). Study the Catechism, study the encyclicals, be compassionate/passionate but objective, of course pray and use the sacraments. Also try as hard as you can to understand the philosophies behind the arguments of those that are against us. Our faith is a faith of the heart and the head. Take all of this wisdom and power and go out into the world and evangelise one soul at a time and we really will bear fruit.

    On another note, just because we are promoting the truth doesn’t mean we can use ugly language to promote it. We shouldn’t assume that everything we read in a survey or study is 100% objective and agenda free whatever side of the debate we are on. What’s the point of alienating the people we are aiming to help, we end up then just repeating and reveling in our own message, which is a form of idolatry. In a world that accepts gay marriage as the norm (we lost that argument before it even started – its related to contraception changing society’s understanding of marriage over the last 50 years), in a world that hands out contraception to children, and delivers pornography on tap, we are actually the ones presenting the shocking message. We are telling a group of people, who like it or not have been grossly discriminated against for a very long time, that they must reject what they are taught to see as hard fought for rights. If, against all that, we manage to draw a man or woman into a genuine relationship with Christ we then frustrate that relationship by forcing that person to remain silent about who they are, if we gossip about them, mock them or belittle them, it is us who brings scandal into the Body of Christ and may even drive away for ever a member of our community. Gays aren’t ever going back into the closet so we mustn’t present Christ to them and then expect them to live a lie once they accept Him.

    Having said all of that, as a community we should be far less tolerant of those amongst us who actually live lives that are clearly lived in contradiction to the Faith we profess whilst still appearing to engage without hindrance in the daily life of the Church.

    Those are my thoughts in a nutshell, which are pretty condensed, so I hope they don’t just sound like a mad ramble.

  26. jhayes says:

    What Bishop Papricki told was a very personal story that affected him deeply because Mary Stachowicz was his secretary at the time she was murdered. He condemmed both murders – Matthew Shepard’s and hers. He said that the difference in the Google hits for the two indicates “where popular sentiment lies today on the question of same-sex relationships.”

    He did not suggest that there is a pattern of violence by homosexuals against others and I think it would be greatly unfair to him to try to draw that conlusion from what he actually said:

    Here’s is part of what he is quoted as saying

    “I know about Mary Stachowicz, not from the Internet, but personally, because Mary was my secretary at the parish where I was pastor before I was named a bishop.

    “She worked part time at the funeral home and part time at the parish. One afternoon, she didn’t show up at her usual starting time. This was unusual because she was always on time. A call to the funeral home disclosed that her car was still in their parking lot and her purse with her car keys was still at her desk, but there was no sign of Mary.

    “As Mary’s family and friends prayed and worried about her disappearance, Gutierrez prayed with them. Three days later, her mutilated body was discovered in a crawl space in his apartment.

    “Both murders were senseless and brutal, and I condemn them both unequivocally. However, the fact that there are over eleven-and-a-half million more Internet stories about Matthew Shepard than Mary Stachowicz indicates where popular sentiment lies today on the question of same-sex relationships.

    “Shepard’s story has received such widespread attention because his homosexuality was the chief motive for his murder.

    “Mary’s murder was widely ignored by the media, despite the fact that she died as a martyr for her faith.”

    – See more at:

  27. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Given that the story talks about the man’s “homosexual lifestyle,” one assumes that the man in question was not living chaste and single. If the man was having sex with minors or with those just barely into majority, “sleeping with boys” would seem to be a fair description. And if someone is an adult and is consistently having sex with people much younger than himself, and then letting a middle-aged Catholic lady who’s secretary to the bishop know all about it? It would certainly seem to be a piece of knowledge that calls for questions.

    Of course, in this kind of case it’s difficult to distinguish between hatred of the faith and hatred of women. (He sounds like one of those “grudge against his mom but rapes and kills other women instead” guys.)

  28. amfortas says:

    Scott W, what do you mean by show your math? Apologies, I’m in England where we have maths. Let’s see Fr Z’s maths, sorry math. I’m certainly not engaging in ‘concern trolling’! I think of myself as an orthodox Catholic. I firmly believe in the teaching of the Church in regard to homosexuality. I just happen to think that Fr Z’s choice of inflammatory language, lumping all homosexuals together and implying – if not actually saying – that all have some propensity towards violence is hateful. It’s not grounded in reason, it’s intellectually dishonest and it’s hateful. And it detracts from the horror of Mary Stachowicz’s murder.

    [See above.]

  29. Lin says:

    @Archer.2013…….. I agree with you on the lack of catechesis since the 1960’s. Most of the people I know do not know their faith. That is why I appreciate Father Z’s blog. What I don’t understand is this bit about living a lie. If one lives one’s faith, why is there any need to discuss one’s sexuality? I do not want to know about my “neighbor’s” (meaning anyone’s) sex life! I do not know enough about this case to know about who may or may not have been insensitive but murder is never an acceptable reaction. Her story was not picked up by the mainstream media because it did not promote the LGBT agenda. God bless you!

  30. Johnno says:

    Archer.2013 is right on the money on a lot of things.

    The LGBT activists DO NOT speak for all people with Same Sex Attraction. A number of them disagree with them, and even hate them and have even been on the receiving end of them for not conforming to the party line. The various militant LGBT groups do not represent nor stand for all those with homosexuality. We must point this out and make the distinction. In fact, much of teh base that gives the LGBT the power they have is made up of heterosexuals.

    The homosexual agenda would not have gotten this far were it not for the abominations of heterosexuals and their own sexual vices – contraceptives, abortions, no fault divorce, pre-marital sex, pornography, treating marriage like garbage, adultery, multiple sex partners. When people with Same Sex Attraction see the bahavior of heterosexuals, they naturally see that the lip service to children, marital union and chastity is all rot. It is the hypocrisy of heterosexuals that have made this happen and the Church had better stand its ground 100% against ALL forms of sexual deviency and immorality. Which is kind of hard to do when its own institutions are campaigning for it and its own hospitals are handing out condoms and contraceptives and the Bishop himself is fully aware of it and does nothing.

    Finally it’s not my impression from the story that the woman was accusing that man of pedaresty. Sometimes older women use the term ‘boy’ to refer to men of any age. In any case what the man did was still monstrous and it in no way justifies his actions any more than it would be if a priest killed someone for accusing him of being a pedophile. Homosexuals do have a greater tendency to violence due to their surroundings, pent up frustrations and anger and paranoia, whcih are all natural results of the society they live in and also as Archer.2013 points out, of the society surrounding them that also contributes to this isolation and fear. Much of the violence perpetrated by homosexuals is against their own kind. Especially due to the secretive nature and dependency on each other in an underground environment that creates a greater ‘intimacy’ that goes horribly wrong when one begins to feel betrayed by another in the group.

    Anyway, Fr. Z brought this to our attention simply to highlight the media gap in how stories are portrayed, and the bishop brought it to his audience’s attention because he was involved in a debate in which the majority of the audience was of the opinion that homosexuals can do no wrong, but they are just as human as we are and are also capable of the same tragedies we are. But the slant of media coverage is obvious and used to fuel an agenda that wishes to demonize the opposite side. This story by teh bishop is not meant to demonize homosexuals, only to highlight a naturally assumed hypocracy and even the playing field for the heated debate he was about to engage in so that everyone keeps their cool and behaves reasonably.

  31. Archer.2013 says:

    Hi Lin

    By living a lie I simply mean I should be able to be honest about who I am. I consider myself to be a good looking 35 year old male (there’s a point to be made about that). I’m educated; I studied law but now have a theology degree from a pontifical university and a theology masters too. I have a good job but worked for the Church for a decade after I became a Catholic. In all those years I cannot even count the number of times I was asked “why isn’t a young man you married?”, I’ve been introduced to grand-daughters, daughters…I could go on. In my old place of work that I was eventually fired from, the question I answered which became a huge issue years later was about why I didn’t want to get married. The woman would simply not drop the question, so I eventually told her. I was told after that not to speak about the matter because it would compromise my work in the institute. I sat for years at dinner parties listening to people, middle class educated Catholics, speaking about “queers, fairies and perverts” and kept my mouth closed, not because I was ashamed to be gay, but because I knew my being gay would cause scandal and upset, irrespective of my being celibate. If it was just simply understood in my community that I was gay, all of these mostly innocent situations could have been avoided, people would be aware that not all gays are the enemy, some people just happen to be gay, and the Church is a community made up of all shades of sexuality (like it or not). Because of the nature of modern media, we simply cannot bury our heads in the sand anymore. An issue arising in a parish across the globe is as likely to become an issue of debate here in our own countries.

    As for promoting the LGBT agenda, I agree with you, her story did not promote it, but her line of questioning/evangelisation certainly didn’t help our mission. There is a shocking bias against Catholics in the media, but if our approach to evangelisation isn’t sensitive to what is acceptable language within the cultural milieu in which we seek to evangelise then we will continue to be ignored, ostracized or ridiculed.

    Just as a ‘source d’inspiration pour la pensée’, imagine if you were gay and growing uncomfortable with the gay lifestyle and you came across an article that started with “Preambles: Homosexuals often commit the most physically brutal crimes that the police see.” It is blatantly untrue (any glance through the papers will show that). As a seeker, a young gay man or woman would see a Catholic blog, “a bishop said…” , and then they would just click on to the next site, Catholicism having thus been flippantly (but not unjustifiably) rejected. [See above.]

    If a gay Catholic has to pretend to be straight so as to go through the day not being subjected to abuse by the community he or she is called to serve, then that gay is forced to live a lie. If a gay simply expressing his thoughts about his experiences as a day to day Catholic, if talking about his sometimes negative experiences within the Church is accused of “concern trolling” which I guess is a form of lying on my part (or of burying one’s head in the sand for the one making the accusation), then that is what it means, at least to me, to be forced to live a lie.

  32. knorland says:

    Fellow Catholics often tell me they are saddened that the media and the non-Catholic public misunderstand Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Why don’t those outside the Church understand that we recognize that “the number of men and women who have deep seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible”? That we believe “they must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity”? That “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”? (CCC 2358) That “”It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs.” (On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons)

    Maybe they misapprehend Catholic teaching because many Catholics speak so vehemently in the public forum in a way that stereotypes and dehumanizes our gay brothers and sisters. Or because we make light of the reality that gay men and women are targeted for violent crime in the United States and around the world. Or because we speak and act in a way that reflects hatred and fear.

    What does the Church want to communicate to gay people? Based on Church teaching as reflected in the documents cited above, I would think we would want to communicate that Jesus Christ has the words of everlasting life, that Jesus offers us this life through his Body the Church, and that the everlasting life Jesus offers to those who follow him and do his Father’s will is so true and good and beautiful that even the hardest teaching and the most serious suffering should be joyfully accepted in order to attain that life. And I would think we would want to communicate that gay Catholics will find in the Church and in their parish communities a loving, supportive family to help them bear their cross, as she helps all her children bear the crosses that come with their various states in life.

    But on this blog and in many other public Catholic discussions of the issue, I don’t see that being communicated at all. I see the message that the Church hates gay people and fears them and would just like them to please stay out of sight.

    Sarcasm and paranoia, stereotypes and false accusations (“Homosexuals often commit the most physically brutal crimes that the police see”) don’t evangelize, and if we aren’t evangelizing what are we doing? There’s a way to speak the truth with love. Francis does. Benedict does. Couldn’t we try a little harder to do the same?

  33. PA mom says:

    Archer-I believe I hear what you are trying to say.
    I am sorry for your experience. Once people feel threatened by something it is so difficult to get people to look past that which alarms them to the details of the person in front of them.
    You are to be commended for your celibacy. It is a gift to the Church. And for your unwillingness to seek retribution against Her; it too is an important gift.
    Thank you for speaking here, too, with graciousness and clarity. I wish more were heard by the world at large by people of your witness.

  34. Lin says:

    Hi Archer.2013!
    Thanks for the explanation! I do see your point of view and am sorry for your experience. Life certainly isn’t fair nor is it easy. And to that point, there are many people walking this earth with secrets they prefer not to share. But I don’t think that means they are living a lie. People can be cruel but that is part of our cross in this life. They can also be a source of great comfort! Choose your companions wisely and may God bless you!

  35. maryh says:

    Another problem with saying that people with ssa shouldn’t come “out” is that it does nothing to help those who are already “out”, have lived that lifestyle, and want to get away from it. We effectively cut off the return path because we don’t want to have to deal with it.

    Here’s an idea: why don’t married people give up sex for a month or other period of time, and offer it up in solidarity with our brothers and sisters struggling with ssa? And perhaps those with ssa could dedicate part of their own cross for their brothers and sisters struggling to avoid contraception, or to remain married.

  36. jhayes says:

    This week’s USCCB Blog talks about the importance of welcoming all people

    One of the numerous surprising moments of Pope Francis’ young pontificate was the announcement that on Holy Thursday, March 28, he would celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at Rome’s Casa Del Marmo Youth Detention Centre. There, in an unforgettable moment, he washed the feet of 12 young inmates. In anticipation of the pope’s visit, one of them said, “At last I shall get to meet someone who says he is my father!”

    This observation captures the power of the pope’s gesture. “True power is service,” Pope Francis said in his inaugural homily and later on Twitter. And the power of this particular act of service is that it cast a light where there was darkness, a light that allowed a young person the world had forgotten to experience a father’s love for the first time….

    It’s not a stretch to think that Pope Francis washed the feet of the young inmates because he sees the world with the radical vision of Jesus, who sees that God loves these inmates as much as he love any other person. It also reflects the call of Jesus to serve those at the margins.

    Like a light shining forth, faith makes a person go forth into the world. A person of faith must be ready “to come out of himself and find the God of perpetual surprises,” Pope Francis writes. Even the Ten Commandments, he writes, aren’t about rule keeping so much as “concrete directions for emerging from the desert of the selfish and self-enclosed ego in order to enter into dialogue with God, to be embraced by his mercy and then to bring that mercy to others.”

    Those who believe in the light of faith, he says, come to see themselves as members of a body, in an essential relationship with others.

  37. acardnal says:

    Those who knowingly commit sin are offending God. They must repent, change their behavior and ask for His mercy if they want to please God and reach heaven. Otherwise, hell awaits them.

  38. jhayes says:

    Those who knowingly commit sin are offending God. They must repent, change their behavior and ask for His mercy if they want to please God and reach heaven. Otherwise, [in the case of mortal sin] hell awaits them.

    That’s certainly true of all of us, whatever our particular sin may be. We are a church of sinners. Only the Pharisee said “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are…”

    As Jesus said:

    “13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

    14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

  39. acardnal says:

    And Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “go and sin no more.”

  40. jhayes says:

    21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

    22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

    God’s mercy is infinite.

  41. acardnal says:

    I reiterate Catholic teaching: Do not persist in sin (e.g. the mortal sin of sodomy), repent, turn away from sinful behavior and seek God’s mercy . . . which is infinite but not to be presumed by sinners.

  42. acardnal says:

    It’s all about repentance. One cannot persist in sin (e.g. sodomy) and presume God’s mercy.

    In the Gospel of Luke and Revelation, repentance is especially and frequently mentioned as being necessary in order to receive mercy and enter the Kingdom of God; one cannot remain in sin (sodomy) and be saved:

    Revelation 2:21
    I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.

    Luke 13:3
    I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.

    Luke 13:5
    I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.

    Luke 15:7 I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.

    Luke 17:3
    Be careful. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him.

    Luke 17:4
    If he sins against you seven times in the day, and seven times returns, saying,’I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

    Acts 2:38
    Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

    Acts 3:19
    “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, so that there may come times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,

    Acts 8:22
    Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you

    Revelation 2:21
    I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.

    Revelation 2:5
    Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent

    Revelation 2:16
    Repent therefore, or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth

    Revelation 3:19
    As many as I love, I reprove and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent

    Many, many more scripture citations are there which state that repentance and conversion are prerequisites for God’s infinite mercy. Justice prevails for those who remain in persistent, unrepentant mortal sin, e.g. sodomy.

  43. robtbrown says:

    Archer.2013 says:
    When I can say in my local parish that I’m gay and the response is indifference (because the immediate assumption is that I’m a practicing Catholic), then we are part way there

    Why would you want to tell anyone? Should an unmarried young woman who’s only attracted to married men drop that fact in parish conversation?

  44. JohnNYC says:

    “First and foremost, God bless Mary Stachowicz!
    Second and consequently, God bless Bp. Paprocki and Fr. Z magna kudos to him.”

    Dear Father Zuhlsdorf,

    I couldn’t agree any more, but I would first change the gender of the adjective modifying the neuter noun.

    “magna kudos” –> “magnum kudos”
    And maybe it would be even a little nicer to put both in the Greek: “mega kudos”. (???? ?????)

    :-) :-) :-)

    In Christo,

  45. amfortas says:

    A reluctant and ungracious climbdown. Disingenuous too as Fr Z know very well there are traditional Catholics who have been shocked by the depths to which he descended in this piece. He should hang his head in shame. [Okay. This is getting ridiculous.]

  46. Priam1184 says:

    There are many of us in the world who have to say no to strong impulses that come up from within ourselves, and what’s more the world tells us that these impulses are not only ok but perfectly natural and to be encouraged and everybody should be happy about it. The part about them being mortal sins is slid under the rug with a laugh or a smile or a shrug of the shoulders or a mocking gesture of contempt at the very idea that one’s life will ever undergo divine judgement. In truth though if you are a man who is attracted to other men but does not engage in any form of sexual activity then it is nobody’s business why you are not married, and if you express no desire to talk about these things then no one else should either. They will of course, but that is on them. You have a hard and heavy cross to bear in your life and I can’t tell you how to do it but God be with you.

    NB Since the advent of the birth control pill many heterosexual relationships are guilty of the same sin that homosexual relationships are; the bodily organs and functions used to create life (to share in the creative work of God Himself) are turned primarily if not solely to the pursuit of pleasure, and the counterpart in the relationship becomes eventually just the object in one form or another of pleasure.

  47. Supertradmum says:

    Several points.

    There has been much on the web on how Catholics should help those with ssa not identify with gayness. We do not need to identify with a disorder. I suggest reading this to start with-

    We are instricially more than our sexual passions and even attractions. We are integrally Children of God, made in His image and likeness first, with conscupiscience following Original Sin, which we inherit as humans. Much of what has been written on this blog regarding ssa is neither sound theology, sound philospophy or sound pyschology. The world wants gay people to see themselves primarily and even only in those terms.

    There is more to each of us than sexuality, passion, sin, disorder.

    That Damian Thompson is so angry is a mystery to me. He seems to have missed the point. That many in the gay lobby and pushing the gay agenda have become more strident and violent is obvious in news items. Fr. Z is not saying anything which is not becoming more and more part of our culture. As to domestic violence among gays, there are studies on this which people can pursue, just as there are studies on heterosexual domestic violence.

    We are witnessing the fragmentation of civilization. There are reasons why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. This is not a story. There are reasons why God asked the Hebrews to conquer Canaan. This is not fable. Either we understand evil and try to reasonably deal with it while it remains at a reasonable stage, or we shall face the onslaught of unreasonable persecution.

    That there are daily hate crimes against Catholics is a fact completely ignored by the media and the governments of the West and East. That some do not like the language in this post may reflect the fact that they are not aware of these hate crimes against Catholics.

    I suggest and try dialogue, as much as possible. But, one cannot shirk the Catholic duty of pointing out serious sin. Spiritual works of mercy.

    And, I a sinner, take God’s words seriously-Ezechiel 16:48-50. Hard words for all of us to heed.

    As I live, said the Lord GOD, Sodom your sister has not done, she nor her daughters, as you have done, you and your daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. …

  48. jflare says:

    I”m pretty disgusted–and enraged–by your attitude. First you declare yourself a gay man, then you demonstrate how you’re anything EXCEPT a gay man, then you declare yourself offended when people respond to you as if you might live a typical gay lifestyle.

    Seems to me you can’t have it both ways. If you deal with a same-sex attraction routinely, but don’t fit the part of a gay man, perhaps it’d be wisest to cease calling yourself a gay man. ..Because your own description makes plain that you aren’t.

    I cant readily speak to the difficulties of people using disparaging terms, outside of suggesting to them that such terminology speaks almost as many volumes about their own character as it does anyone else’s. Being furious with others about their attitudes towards active homosexuals though..seems very counterproductive to me.
    It would also be wise to remember that..if you think same-sex attracted people suffer some form of discrimination, it’d be a very good thing to be able to describe what you mean in particular. I don’t actually find anything terribly vulgar or ugly in the postings thus far. Sure, some of it isn’t all that pretty, but we’re talking about a murder of a 51-year-old woman, it’s not going to be as nice as a trip to Disneyland.

    I must say too that your argument about how heterosexuals have abused sexuality doesn’t fly very well with me either. I and others are very well aware of how contraception and whatnot have wrought havoc on families, on relationships, and on society. Attempting to insist that this strikes same-sex attracted people as hypocritical, well, great. So now all sides have demonstrated how they can use the other guy’s profane use of sexuality to justify their own sins.
    Now, can we get down to insisting on being moral? Or shall we go a few more rounds of each side blaming the other for society’s ills? How long do we need to keep this up?

    BTW, knorland,
    For all that I think I understand your view, I must warn you that I and others see things very differently, especially with regard to the law. If someone tends toward stereotypes and whatnot, let’s remember that most of those stereotypes came from someplace, often enough there’s rather more truth than the activist lobby might wish to admit. If someone speaks vehemently in public, don’t forget that they’ve already very likely been pounded and subtly condemned for even disagreeing with the idea of homosexual behavior as virtuous.

    We may not like it much at all, but the fact remains that we ARE and have been effectively at war for the culture of this nation. If you think you’ve seen it bad already, I’d think this article demonstrates with crystal clarity that things CAN easily become much worse.
    In a few years, we may be wishing for the days when all we had to worry about was an activist screaming ignorant obscenities or holding up an equally ignorant sign.

    If that happens, ..God help us.
    Are you ready to be a martyr?

  49. StWinefride says:

    This is a very sad case, but Mary Stachowicz asked the young man why he sleeps with boys? There is a way to evangelise and there is a way not to evangelise. I’m not taking anyone’s side in this but it seems that once more, the words of St Thérèse de Lisieux come to mind:

    Ah! It is prayer, it is sacrifice that gives me all my strength, these are the invincible weapons that Jesus has given me. They can touch souls much better than words, as I have frequently experienced”.

    Our Lady at Fatima:

    You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.

    She also stressed the necessity for prayers and sacrifices to save these poor sinners from hell.

    For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” St Paul to the Ephesians 6:12

  50. Supertradmum says:

    StWinefride, It could have been the beginning of a discussion instead of a death warrant. One has a right to ask questions. Why not?

    As noted above, instructing the ignorant and admonishing the sinner are two of the spiritual works of mercy which we are called to do as Catholics. We have no choice about this. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy are DUTIES not options.

    St Therese was a contemplative nun. We are laity in the world. Yes, we pray but if we are not leaven in the world to change it , we have only ourselves to blame.

  51. Elizabeth D says:

    StWinifrede, St John the Baptist asked Herod why he sleeps with his brother’s wife, and same thing. Murdered. Nobody says of him, “there’s a way to evangelize, and there is a way not to evangelize.” No, the truth it is withheld because of the sin of human respect, which is fearing man rather than God. Respect is good–and telling people the truth in charity respects them. Human respect is a sin, not a virtue. Most of the problems in our society would NOT have gotten the kind of traction they have if Catholics had not fallen victim to this sin. Blessed are you when people hate you, and laugh at you, and speak all kinds of evil about you on account of Jesus, they treated the prophets the same way.

    If someone sleeps with boys, then asking them why they sleep with boys, and urging them to stop, is an act of great charity. That does not mean it is likely to be well received.

  52. jhayes says:

    I hadn’t heard of this case until I read the post above. I have since found the court record online. It provides reliable information rather than the speculation circulating on the internet. None of this changes the basic fact that Guttierez killed Mary Stachowicz.

    Guttierez was a 19-year old bisexual living openly with a 38-year old self-identified homosexual man. There is no indication that he was “sleeping with boys”. The court record says:

    Scacchitti testified that he is homosexual and defendant is bisexual. In November 2002, he and defendant were living openly as a couple in an apartment above the funeral home….

    Soon after Sikorksi terminated Scacchitti’s and defendant’s employment, she hired Mary Stachowicz, whom Scacchitti knew from St. Hyacinth, the church across the street. Scacchitti testified that Mary knew he was homosexual and never confronted him or questioned his beliefs. However, defendant and the State stipulated that Angela Ruffolo, Mary’s daughter, would testify that her mother did not like defendant and Ray and did not approve of their lifestyle.

    There were no witnesses to the encounter between Guttierez and Mary Stachowicz, so all we know is what he said in his confession, which may not be reliable. Here is how that is reported in the court record, excpt that I’ve substituted periods for some letters.

    On November 13, 2002, he went to the flower shop with Scacchitti and got into a disagreement with him about the path his life was taking. Defendant stated that he left the flower shop and returned to the apartment. He entered the apartment through the door on George Street that leads directly up the staircase to his apartment. When he opened the door, Mary opened the door to the staircase from the lobby of the funeral home and said, “Oh, it’s you.” Defendant gave her a disrespectful wave of his hand, as if to say, “Don’t bother me,” and continued up the stairs. He stated that Mary started to close the door, stopped, opened it back up, and asked, “Why do you f..k boys?” Defendant told her to “f..k off” and continued up the stairs.

    Defendant stated that Mary followed him up the stairs and asked, “Why don’t you like girls? Why do you f..k boys?” He entered his apartment and shut the door. He heard banging on the door and started to lose control. He opened the door, grabbed Mary by the hair, and dragged her into the apartment. She slapped and kicked him, and he let her go. He backed up into the dining room, and Mary followed him, asking, “Why don’t you like girls?” He slapped Mary, and she slapped him back. As he continued backing up through the kitchen to the den, he “lost total control of himself.” He punched Mary in her jaw, knocking her to the ground. He grabbed a knife that was on top of some boxes and stabbed her and hit her until he became exhausted.

  53. Everyone: Check out the UPDATE I add to the top entry.

  54. maryh says:

    Oh for goodness sakes! Get real. She wasn’t accusing him of pedophilia when she asked if he was sleeping with boys, and his own testimony shows he understood that. Unless he thought she wanted him to confine his pedophilia to girls.

    As for the rest of it, I’m at a loss to understand how that’s supposed to “counter the speculation” on the internet. Am I supposed to think it’s understandable that Guttierez “cracked” because Mary was being pushy? Am I supposed to think that Mary is less noble or is hypocritical because she didn’t like Guttierez and his partner? Am I supposed to think it would have been more honorable for Mary to confront Guttierez at work than privately? Exactly how does this “reliable” evidence differ from the “speculation” on the internet?

    Mary did a dangerous thing by confronting Guttierez in a private place. Martyrs do stuff like that. I think she should be canonized a saint for being a martyr, and perhaps made the patron saint of those afflicted with ssa.

    I”m pretty disgusted–and enraged–by your attitude. First you declare yourself a gay man, then you demonstrate how you’re anything EXCEPT a gay man, then you declare yourself offended when people respond to you as if you might live a typical gay lifestyle.
    By “gay”, he clearly means that he is ssa. None of the rest of his post makes sense otherwise. Certainly, I can understand him being offended if people assume that just because he’s ssa, he’s living a typical gay lifestyle. Even though the MSM actually promotes that idea.

    I think it would be absolutely wonderful if we could get to the point where it could or would be assumed that someone with ssa was living chastely, just as we still assume that someone who is married is not an adulterer.

    I completely agree with Archer when he says Having said all of that, as a community we should be far less tolerant of those amongst us who actually live lives that are clearly lived in contradiction to the Faith we profess whilst still appearing to engage without hindrance in the daily life of the Church.
    And I’m sure that he’d agree with me that this would include the openly gay couple who act as Eucharistic ministers as much as the divorced and remarried CCD teacher or the straight couple living together before marriage that are lectors.

    I can sort of understand the point of some people who think it would be better for someone with ssa not to mention it, if the idea is that you don’t want to give it undue attention as a kind of “identity”. But ssa is very hard to change in an adult, from what we know so far, and it has very practical and mundane consequences. Why should Archer have to hide the fact he’s not attracted to women when people try to get him to date? Why can’t he add his witness that it is possible for a person with ssa to live a faithful and happy life? It does tend to come across to me, at least, as if people just don’t want to have to deal with it.

    I don’t see Father Z’s post as having been hateful at all. Although again, we have such a problem with words. If Damien actually was a regular reader of Father Z’s blog, how did he miss that Father Z distinguishes between homosexual activists and those with homosexual tendencies? People automatically take whatever term you use in the worst possible light.

    It does make sense to me that people who actively live in contraindication to Natural Law would be likely to be more brutal and violent. Whether they are abortion activists in Austin or people with ssa living an actively gay lifestyle. After all, when you go against Natural Law, how do you set bounderies? Where are the limits?

  55. maryh says:

    And yes, I understand that to many Catholics, for someone with ssa to call himself “gay” automatically means he lives or approves of the gay lifestyle. I agree that ssa is the more correct term, and better distinguishes the affliction as an attribute rather than as an identity, but it is not commonly used outside our community. We can’t make automatic judgments based on the words people use in this case. We have to be bilingual.

  56. Pingback: Unmistakable Fervor: Servant of God Augustine Tolton -

  57. Al says:


    The problem I think is using a sexual compulsion to identify oneself. For example, I am married, love my wife, and find myself attracted to many women. Should I therefore identify, categorize or introduce myself to others as a , a “Polygamous” Man? The answer is “No”. Your sexual compulsions do not “Define” you…so quit identifying by them. This is why the discernment between “SSA” and “Homosexual/Gay” is extremely important. The reason Judaism/Christianity civilized the pagan world is that they “Sanctified” the sexual relationship, identified “Marriage” as the appropriate context to engage and put it into the world of the “Private”…instead of the world of

    I do have some compassion for people with sexual compulsions but not a lot because we all have them so therefore….”Welcome to the Club”. I have immediate suspicion for those who define their human identity by their sexual piccadilos…sorry there is immediate distrust there because I find it a dangerous priority for people to focus on in their lives.

  58. jflare says:

    “We can’t make automatic judgments based on the words people use in this case. We have to be bilingual.”

    I completely disagree, Mary. I fully understand that Archer doesn’t intend to convey the usual lifestyle by referring to himself as “gay” based on his comments. But that’s precisely the problem: I understand his point based on HIS comments. Over the past 20 years, the vast majority of what I’ve heard about “gay” people has been quite different. Much of it has been definitively hostile to even a dissenting word about the virtue of homosexual conduct.
    Our “gay neighbors” have become militant enough about legitimizing the evil we all think of, I think most people have just cause to make the routine assumptions.

    I would comment too that the sort of approach that you and Archer refer to strikes me as being more reminiscent of how politically correct speech demands come about than anything else.

    If we lost the battle over sexuality when the Church didn’t stomp on contraception and the like, I’d say we probably lost the battle over terminology about the same time. ..And for the same reasons.

  59. maryh says:


    Well, when the MSM paints every person with ssa as agreeing with their assessment of the normalcy and goodness of ssa, then of course people are going to make routine assumptions. I think I pointed that out. Which is why I think it would be wonderful if people didn’t believe what the MSM says about people with ssa, and were able, realistically, to assume that a person who had ssa was living chastely according to his station in life. I don’t think we’re there yet. But how can you not want that?

    I’m not quite sure how you connect me and Archer with politically correct speech. I have no idea what Archer thinks of the term “ssa”. For all I know, he may be offended by it, just as you appear to be offended by his use of the term “gay” to describe a faithful Catholic with ssa.

    It may be useful for Archer to know that if he uses the term “ssa”, he will probably get a more positive reception among other faithful Catholics than if he uses the term “gay”. Just as I think it could be useful for you not to assume that someone who refers to himself as “gay” considers it a primary identity rather than an attribute, or an indication that he participates in the gay lifestyle. Of course, I’d recommend not making assumptions either way. If you’re in a conversation where someone refers to himself as gay, I’d say it is perfectly appropriate to ask him what he means by that.

    Really, people, since when do we consider a MSM description to be definitive? Why are we letting the homosexualists (whether ssa or not) dictate what we think about the average person with ssa? We’re so busy (rightly) countering their “it’s good and normal” with “it’s bad and disordered” that it sometimes seems that we’ve totally accepted everything else the MSM says about people with ssa. They WANT us to believe every person with ssa thinks exactly the same way they do.

  60. StWinefride says:

    From Archbishop Denis Hart (Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia) – 4th February 2013 (my emphases)

    “….St Peter said that we should witness ‘with gentleness and respect.’ (1 Peter 3:15) We should practise the virtue of prudence, which teaches us that there is a time to speak and a time to keep silent (Ecclesiastes 3:7). If the opportunity to speak is given to us, the virtue of prudence will teach us to use a few well-chosen words rather than many, or to show our love in action, which will sometimes speak much louder than words.

    Justice is also a virtue; and by acting justly in our relationships with others, we will give strong witness to the Lord of Justice in whom we believe and hope”.

  61. Cosmos says:

    Archer stated “When I can say in my local parish that I’m gay and the response is indifference (because the immediate assumption is that I’m a practicing Catholic), then we are part way there.”

    – There is significant disagreement about what it means to be a “practicing Catholic” (Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Sean Hannity, Justice Kennedy, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Burke, Fr. Z, Mother Angelica, and the Rorate folks might have to agree to disagree). Has there ever been a time in history where everyone just assumed that all fellow parishners were living in full compliance with all Church teachings? I doubt it. The reality is that the Church has always had all kinds: lukewarm, pilgrims, indifferent, hypocrites, saints, and notrious sinners.

    – We use terms like “gay” or “Catholic” as shorthand for bundles of ideas. The term “gay” is very politically charged and can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. In fact, it is generally distinguishable from the broader term “homosexual.” Once a person is self-identified as “gay,” I think a lot of people are going to make assumptions about lifestyles. To argue that these assumptions are narrow-minded is just semantics- words have meanings and we don’t get to insist on our own at the begining of every conversation. If we want people to understand us, we need to use terms they understand.

    – A call to indifference is a little frightening. The biblical worldview is not neutral towards homosexuality. It sees it as a deep disorder that leads directly to grave sin. Much of the Bible is aimed at getting us uncomfortable with sin in all its forms. We are not supposed to dwell on other’s sins, but we certainly aren’t supposed to be indifferent to them. Judge not does not mean don’t use judgment. One cannot look with indifference on an admission that one has a great natural desire to steal or that one looks lustlfully at the young women in the congregation. It’s not the stuff of indifference. These kind of things are best left between friends or a confessor and penetant.

    – I generally agree with Al’s response to Archer: “The problem I think is using a sexual compulsion to identify oneself.” It is a pretty strange request that Christians become emotionally indifferent to announcing an unassailable prolivity for a grave sin. Why should that not make one feel uncomfortable? Love can certainly follow discomfort. I guess such an admission could be seen as “honest,” but no one is calling for such honesty with regard to every other sin. If I told a fellow parishner that I have a bad, actually violent, temper, I can’t expect them to be indifferent to that fact. While society at large would agree that we can’t compare violence and sodomy, they are both grave sins in the doctrine of the Church.

    – I agree with those who say that one’s sexual desires are not the business of the parish. Marriage and family are because they are not sexual desires. When someone declares an engagement, they are not declaring their proclivity for heterosexual sex ro their desire to have relations with that person, even if there is a logical connection between the two.

  62. jflare says:

    I’m pretty surprised that you’d think that some of us would be referring to MSM (mainstream media) for the information we receive. For the record, I haven’t actually watched news or entertainment on any major cable or broadcast channel in some time. I simply have no interest in them.
    No, when I refer to the culture war against our country, I refer to something much closer to home, but also spread around the country.
    I remember when my university’s administration established the office to promote “gay culture” and people. Obviously they didn’t call it by that name, but that was the point. It was right there in the Student Union. I remember when the University hosted a “coming out party” when Ellen Degeneres made her move on network TV. I recall being disgusted when the Daily Nebraskan made it front page headline news the next morning. I remember when the “gay community” on campus decided they needed to make their presence known again, so they made all sorts of chalk markings all over campus for all to see. I remember some being downright bigoted, others being simply ignorant, especially in front of the Military and Naval Science building. I recall when a fellow meteorology student felt compelled to insist that he felt offended by Ralph Reed warning against the dangers of a homosexual lifestyle.
    I remember the Chancellor’s parting shot when I graduated: He proclaimed that he felt they (the university administration) had done a great job of promoting women and minorities. I also recall thinking thinking they HAD, indeed, done just that. ..And wondered if the degree I had earned was worth the paper it had been written on.

    In more recent years, I notice that we don’t need to pay attention to MSM to hear that there’s been intense intolerance leveled against Prop 8 in California; not too long ago, the US Supreme Court overturned part of the choice of The People. ..Mostly because the “gay community” didn’t like it.
    I also remember when my neighboring state passed a law allowing for gay marriage and how some interests in THIS state wished to follow suit.
    I remember when Congress insisted in repealing DADT; apparently too many Democrats and Republicans felt that allowing for sin in the bedroom wasn’t enough, now the people in that lifestyle had a compelling need to be “more open” about their choices. ..As if for some reason anyone REALLY wanted to know…..

    I also am aware of the various excuses for “tolerance” that members of TFP Student Action have encountered as they’ve protested in favor of traditional marriage.

    Even ignoring most mainstream media, we’ve been bombarded with the “being gay is cool” message for a loooong time.

    Perhaps neither you nor Archer intend to impose any vintage of politically correct speech. Problem is, you don’t need to. All you need say is “I don’t want you to say that because I don’t like it” and you’ve effectively imposed your own version of..politically correct speech.

    If you think it cruel that we would allow a “gay community” to dictate to us how we should speak, I’d remind you that “gay” has been well known as a reference to homosexual behavior since looong before now. Some seven years or so ago, I recall attending a family reunion; in the course of this, I overheard a conversation between a 12-year-old boy and eleven-year-old girl. Somehow the subject of being “gay” arose, whereon the boy asked the girl “do you know what “gay” IS?”. ..And I can’t recall any time that I ever heard the term and DIDN’T think of sinful behavior, even though I began coming of age well before the current militancy got rolling countrywide.

    Suffice to say, we lost the battle over defining “being gay” decades ago. Sadly, we all pretty much realize that we aren’t talking about the Flintstones having “a gay old time”. I could wish we were.

  63. jflare says:

    I suppose I should mention something else:
    On two or three occasions, I’ve been mistaken for some moments–or longer–as a gay man myself. One was during college, when a good friend informed me that the guy who’d seemed a little over-friendly in the Barnes and Noble checkout line had likely assumed me to be gay also due to my (military-short) haircut. Another was a few years later when a fellow who’d struck me as being a little over emotional “came out” to me while I was driving the two of us down a road in Japan. In both cases, while the revelation at least made more sense of what had struck me as being quite strange, I spent several moments feeling quite uncomfortable. Ultimately, in both cases, I had to realize that someone else’s misperceptions..didn’t really need to affect my life at all. Embarrassing and awkward certainly, but not life-ending.

    Why does this make any difference? Perhaps it doesn’t, outside of commenting that I’m well acquainted with the difficulties that people face. We can’t all have super-sensitive skins and expect to be able to solve problems.

  64. Archer.2013 says:


    I’ve found all these posts really informative and they’ve certainly given me allot of food for thought. I don’t believe I used the words furious or offended, though I did say I would find it offensive if someone suggested I was inclined to having sex with boys.

    I can’t remember who said it above, but I agree, the word “gay” has certainly taken on a different meaning from its original, it was a slow process that, according to wikipedia, started as early as the 19th century – but that’s wikipedia. Like it or not though its shorter and easier to say than homosexual which sounds a bit clunky, and more suited to formal language style debates. Whatever the reasons “gay” is the word that people now use to refer to homosexuals, people with SSA or ( I cringe at the word) sodomites (not all gays do it). It’s a loaded word certainly, but no more so than straight, black, white or whatever other adjective a minority or individual might choose to self identify with today. What’s important to me is that as Catholics we take ownership of such adjectives, strip them of their political baggage, and then show that the Faith changes the individual and brings unity to a society fracturing through its obsession with “minorities”. This need for groups to form with their own “cultures” and demands on wider society is demonic in the extreme. It is, as I see it, an aggressive attempt to hamper the unifying message of Christ in an age when modern communications technology can bring that message into our very pockets. We have to provide the antidote to that fracturing and to do that we must speak the language of the masses. In the letters of St Paul we see the great evangelist to the pagans taking their words and redefining them to suit his agenda. As an example look at what he did with the word “humble”. We can and must do the same. (I think Cosmos would agree with that?)

    Cosmos makes lots of interesting points. He notes that there is significant disagreement about what it means to be Catholic. I don’t assume that every one who says they are Catholic lives free from sin, but I would assume that they do not engage in activities that consistently demonstrate that they are anything but Catholic. If they “struggle” with a proclivity and fail regularly, that they struggle is demonstration enough that they are Catholic. They recognise what it is to be Catholic and strive for that. This is quite different to those who claim to be Catholic but then promote agendas that are clearly in conflict with the teachings of Scripture, the Church and the best interests of human beings. It is for the Pope and the bishops to determine what Catholic is, not the individual, so there may appear to be “disagreement about what it means to be a ‘practicing Catholic'”, but the Church has spoken on this, so there is no disagreement, only dissension in certain quarters.

    I think that when I used the word “indifference” I probably could have picked a better one. I wasn’t suggesting that one should be indifferent to the sin of homosexual practice, just that when I say that I am gay the person or persons hearing that word shouldn’t assume that I mean that when I’m out of my Sunday best I spend my days mincing around in a rainbow sash whistling Abba tunes, amongst other things. So be indifferent to my being gay, but don’t be indifferent to active homosexuality, which Scripture is very clear about. I can’t remember where I read it in St Paul nor can I remember the exact quote, but I remember him giving a list of the different sorts of sinners that made up the Church and “homosexuals” was in the list. It made a deep impression on me and played a large part in my coming to the Faith. What that quote did say to me when I heard it is that people would have recognised themselves somewhere on it, both then and now.

    I’m not looking to begin every conversation with “Hi, my names Archer, I’m a gay” but my homosexual inclination does cut me off from many different aspects of everyday life that many people take for granted, so I will stick out. People really do ask why I haven’t settled down yet, and I have really been told that “you should meet my grand-daughter/niece etc”. A simple “I’m gay” would bring an end to all of that. I will never have a wife or children, so I will probably live alone. I do not have a vocation to the priesthood, but I must be a chaste celibate for the rest of my life. I didn’t choose to be gay, but I did choose to be Catholic, so I accept all the responsibilities and obligation that come with that choice. I therefore self identify as Catholic, but my being gay is necessarily as much a part of who I am as my faith. One’s sexual orientation really does determine how we engage with the world but when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we begin a slow and long process of re-orienatating that engagement. My homosexuality didn’t go away, it just ceased to be the lens through which I see the world, and it in fact became just another part of who I am that I must consider through that new lens. For the heterosexual who embraces Christ, their new found faith of course supports and nourishes the vocation to marriage, so their faith affirms their sexual orientation and resulting sexual activity. Denying that I have a sexual identity would be auto-destructive and I think quite irresponsible, and as much as the community supports its married members in their vocation, it should support its celibate members in theirs, whatever their reasons for being celibate.

    In the same way that Catholicism establishes the parameters of what is and is not acceptable practice in a true marriage, it also establishes what isn’t acceptable for me. Someone inclined towards thievery, gluttony or violence are not cut off by their proclivity from marriage, children and all the ups and downs that family comes with. I don’t think my sexual orientation is the business of the parish, but I assure you not being able to be honest about who I am is pretty exhausting. I’m not in the slightest afraid of saying that I’m gay, but I am aware of the animosity that suddenly appears when you do, nor is it my idea to see an old lady or her grand-daughter squirm with embarrassment. I’d also be more than happy to answer the question “what does that mean?” It would’t be indifference (for want of a better word), but it would be a step in the right direction.

  65. maryh says:

    @Archer One’s sexual orientation really does determine how we engage with the world but when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we begin a slow and long process of re-orienatating that engagement. My homosexuality didn’t go away, it just ceased to be the lens through which I see the world, and it in fact became just another part of who I am that I must consider through that new lens.
    Well said. A good description, to me, about the difference between seeing homosexuality as an identity and seeing it as an attribute.

  66. knorland says:

    Archer, that was beautifully said. And in addition to the reasons already mentioned for why it would often make perfect sense for someone to discuss his sexuality with people (and would sometimes be dishonest not to), there’s this: celibate gay Catholics are in a unique position to make a powerful, credible presentation of the Church’s teachings on marriage and sexuality to those who disagree, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

    If I talk with people about why gay Catholics are called to lives of celibacy, they usually respond that I would see things differently if I actually had to face the hardship I’m talking about. It really does make an impression on these friends and colleagues of mine when I point out to them various blogs and articles written by gay Catholics who live according to the teachings of the Church.

    Of course, I couldn’t point out those blogs and articles if the individuals who write them were keeping their sexuality secret. That same powerful witness takes place at the more local and less public level of conversation in a parish setting– but, again, not if gay parishioners have been persuaded to stay silent about it.

  67. jflare says:

    Good Evening,
    Archer, that’s a rather better way of stating what you’re thinking; if I said something offensive earlier, I do apologize, I thought you had a rather different..frame of mind.

    I am curious about two things you’ve said though:
    – You’ve mentioned how people ask you why you haven’t married or “settled down” yet. .And how that’s annoying to you. I think I understand that. If I had lots of people asking me about it for some time, likely I’d become inclined to be a little snappish. Oddly enough, though I turn 40 next year, I haven’t heard very much of that at all.

    – You’ve mentioned how your homosexual tendencies tend to cut you off from aspects of life that others take for granted.
    I’m a little puzzled by that one. I’ve never entirely succeeded at describing what a “normal” life for any one person or two IS. Maybe I spent too much time in the military with the possibility of chaos and mayhem right around the corner; or, since separating from the military, jobs or roles I’ve filled in civilian have been prone to being equally problematic.
    So I guess the question that comes to mind for me is:
    How are you defining “normal” aspects of life?

  68. Archer.2013 says:

    Hi jflare

    I didn’t think you said anything offensive, you were just blunt and as a family we should be able to talk honestly and bluntly with each other without hard feeling, this is what will make us strong in the face of the enemy.

    As to your first question about marriage proposals. It might be a cultural thing, or it might be about my own personality. I’m outgoing and, I am told, have a good sense of humour, I’m a bit of a fitness freak. People do get on with me and warm to me. After all that though, I should also point out that I now live in a small country parish in the South East of England and new men appear to be a rare commodity. This is a country parish where fresh blood has rarity and appeal value.

    As to your second point: how many times have you heard someone ask you “what about her?” or told you “she’s on the market”. I don’t want to be a priest, so people assume I’m open to marriage. Once again I could have said earlier what I did say in a better way: basically I am cut off from marriage and children because my orientation means that neither are possible to me. I don’t feel bad or sad about that. It’s just the way things are. It is a reality that I am aware of, but one a accept without issue. I experience family, children and such, through the community of the faithful to which I belong. Maybe because these things are cut off from me in the traditional sense my faith community gives me more than it realises. On a very personal note, I would say that I see children and their fathers and I do feel real envy; I see the intimacy that exists between husbands and wives at coffee mornings or Mass, maybe just one putting a hand on the other just for a second. I see children hugging their father or a father chatting to an awkward teenager, I would like to have that too, but I simply cannot. This level of human intimacy is closed off to me. If you were a heterosexual but had chosen to be celibate, celibacy (though as much a gift and a challenge for you as for me) would be something you had chosen in the full knowledge that the other option (a normal sexual life) was available to you. It is not, as a Catholic, available to me.

    Having said all of that I must say that I don’t wake up in the morning and immediately think “woe is me because of my gayness”. I have mousy brown hair and brown eyes, I like indie-pop, historical novels, canoeing and I’m gay. Certain basic possibilities others take for granted are closed to me and that is simply that. It would just be nice to say why marriage isn’t for me openly without my being perceived as the enemy within. (A perception that in the current political climate is, I admit, understandable – but one that as Catholics we MUST move beyond ). Truth, we are assured, will set us free. After embracing all the uncomfortableness of the truth about who and what we are as a community, as a body, is there anything that could really shake us or knock us down? I think not! Our issues about who we are holds us back. I refer once again to that Pauline text that I can’t quite remember. When Paul addressed that early community, listing the peccadilloes of each of its constituent members maybe they knew who amongst them he was referring to. What Paul was doing though was acknowledging that the community was made up of every sort of sinner, and that whatever sin they were inclined towards or guilty of, they were one in Christ. Oneness, it needn’t be pointed out, is only possible if each constituent part is wholly open its the other constituent parts. This is a very scary demand for us as a community, but what power it offers us if we were to wholly embrace it.

  69. Archer.2013 says:

    A small grammatical correction:

    What Paul was doing though was acknowledging that the community was made up of every sort of sinner, and that whatever sin they were inclined towards or guilty of, they were one in Christ. Oneness, it needn’t be pointed out, is only possible if each constituent part is wholly open its other constituent parts. This is a very scary demand for us as a community, but what power it offers us if we were to wholly embrace it.

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