Fr. Terence Ryan, CSP, approves of lesbian marriages

At the blog of one Fr. Terence Ryan CSP, I saw this.

Apparently Father believes that the moral doctrine of the Church reflects bigotry.

Lesbian Dismissal

Seems that a Catholic Academy fired a woman for being a lesbian. She was living with a partner. I guess that did her in. If she was teaching something like math, but happened to be a lesbian, she might have survived. She was not teaching about her lifestyle. The reason given for the firing is that the church has clear teaching about lesbian unions. You don’t say. Well, we have a lot of clear teachings and some of them rub one off of another. Don’t judge. Welcome all. Sexuality is supposed to be for the forming of a community of two, a domestic Church, if you will. We teach this. So what did the lesbian do wrong? She did not desecrate a sacrament. She has a legal right to her relationship. The Supreme Court just said so. Is a lesbian supposed to be celibate, remain single, simply because she is a lesbian? Suppose she said to her students that it is OK to be a lesbian, that a lesbian has value and is loved by God? Unless she proposed that all become lesbians, I am left in the dark about her firing. But then if you are a bigot, everything is clear.

I will grant this post will bring far more attention to Fr. Ryan than perhaps he has ever had.

But stuff like this…

Sexuality is supposed to be for the forming of a community of two, a domestic Church, if you will. We teach this. So what did the lesbian do wrong?



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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Kerry says:

    So what did the auctioneer do? He didn’t beat the Negros with whips. He tried very, very hard not to sell a single child, but always included a sibling. His prices were fair. He certainly didn’t force himself on the Negresses…
    “Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard”. -Auden

  2. Stephen McMullen says:

    As usual, a liberal has spun the event. She was not fired for being a lesbian, she was fired for
    breach of contract: Creating a public scandal. If I (straight married man) went to the school where I teach and bragged about running around with another lady, I would be dispatched also.
    And the Supreme Court says it’s legal, so she should be able to do it? Oh well, of course, abortion is now legal, so she should be able to do that too? Well, if you do, you can’t let it be public knowledge.

  3. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Father’s post betrays the tendency of the “tolerance” crowd to describe those who disagree with them as bigots. Evidently internally consistent logic isn’t his strong suit.

    Since this week we celebrated the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, Father’s ideas “Welcome all”, and “don’t judge” can be thrown in stark relief: one judges the evil-ness of actions, not the evil-ness of people; what, exactly, does “welcome” mean? (Surely Father would welcome bigots in his church?)

  4. murtheol says:

    Even priests can be trapped in a false piety. It would be true to say that God loves Hitler, yes? Love Stalin, yes? Loves murder? No.

  5. Legisperitus says:

    The most obviously wrong thing I’ve seen in years. Sexuality is for forming a domestic church of more than two.

  6. VeritasVereVincet says:

    “We teach this.”

    No we don’t.

    “Sexuality is supposed to be for the creation of children and the unity of the married male-female spouses. She has desecrated a sacrament. She has no legal right to her relationship. The Supreme Court has merely said a monumentally stupid thing.”

    Fixed it for you, Fr. Ryan.

    “Don’t judge. Welcome all.”

    I.e., do not presume that you can judge someone’s soul, and do not reject others. But absolutely judge others’ actions. And hark! I spy the classic liberal response: “In order to ‘welcome’ me, you must accept everything I do as right and good, or else you obviously hate me!”

    “Is a lesbian supposed to be celibate, remain single, simply because she is a lesbian?”

    Yes. Just like everyone else. End of story.

    Things like this just…baffle me. How anyone can get the Church’s teaching so wrong while claiming to be Catholic, how they presume that idiotic governmental decisions instantly override the Truth of millennia. How they treat sex as 100% necessary for survival and therefore a right that must NEVER be denied to anyone for any reason. It’s so bizarre, it’s difficult for me to comprehend that people actually think like this.

  7. Long-Skirts says:

    “Sexuality is supposed to be for the forming of a community of two, a domestic Church, if you will. We teach this. So what did the lesbian do wrong?”


    There are some couples
    O, so nice
    As nice, as nice
    Can be.

    They have their weddings
    Roses, rice
    And plan forever

    No more.

    They know the latest
    Things to do
    That pleasure their skins
    And pore.

    “What need for seeds
    And eggs take space
    We desire to be
    In lust –

    Our lives are erotic
    Never neurotic
    In cholesterol-free
    We trust.”

    Some of these couples
    Are Bob and Rick,
    Some are Michael
    And Sue,

    No matter their genders
    Each has his trick
    Of blending secretions
    Like stew.

    Much money they’ll save
    On themselves these few
    From their vows ’til their graves
    They’ll live well…

    But because their INTENT
    Was a-party-of-two…
    Alone they’ll be seated
    In Hell!

    (may God have mercy on all of their souls)

  8. iPadre says:

    Lines are being drawn very clearly. I pray Father repents for leading people into sin. Someone today told me of a Religious Sister who performed a wedding on a local beach. (No, I don’t know who she is, nor do I want to know.)

  9. Nightcrawler says:

    Based off his logic, since the Supreme Court said gay marriage is ok, then he is also in favor of abortion. Time for a career change. Or at least a church change.

  10. Joseph-Mary says:

    The Vortex had a thing this past week that stirred controversy: A superior at the seminary in Detroit told the seminarians to wear their bathrobes when coming from the showers and not just a towel around their waists so as not to disturb the homosexuals in their midst! We know that those with that tendency should not be ordained; how can they truly preach about sexual sins if they identify themselves this way? Or some are just very sympathetic to those very inclined or involved with those sins. Sex outside of marriage is sin and no matter what the immoral secular govt approves or legislates (think also of abortion murder), marriage is always one man and one woman. Scandal is given by those who cohabitate outside of valid marriage and thus must not be allowed to be in a leadership position in Catholic churches or schools. The salvation of both the souls of the people in immoral relationships as well as the souls of children come before the passing desire of sexual pleasures.

  11. Makemeaspark says:

    My newest question, to those that have brushed off Leviticus 19 and Romans 1, because, well Leviticus is outdated, and Paul was intolerant, and whatever other myths you are believing about homosexual activity. IS: what do you think that God is judging the earth for in Revelation 9 (and others), when the angel pours out his bowl of wrath on the earth? Here are the salient verses:

    20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts

    What really IS sexual immorality then? In the light of the so much smarter, way that YOU read the scriptures. What practices are God really repulsed by? what road is too far? Bestiality? Pedophilia? Sexual Fetishism?

  12. Muv says:

    Sexuality is supposed to be for the forming of a community of x:-
    Man+woman+God+number of children God sends

  13. APX says:

    Is a lesbian supposed to be celibate, remain single, simply because she is a lesbian?
    Yes, and live as an example of bearing one’s cross patiently.

    It’s time to stop preaching Fluffy Jesus, and start preaching Christ Crucified.

  14. Faith says:

    “Is a lesbian supposed to be celibate, remain single, simply because she is a lesbian? ” Yes, she is, just as heterosexuals are supposed to remain celibate until they are married.[… to someone of the opposite sex.] What kind of confessor is this Father Ryan? [We hope that in the confessional he is better than he is on his blog.]

  15. Theodore says:

    To bad St Sir Thomas More wasn’t with the Zeitgeist of Tudor England. He could have avoided all that argle bargle with Henry VIII.

  16. JimRB says:

    Fr Ryan posted another blog entry today that, at best, is a misrepresentation of Church teaching. I believe Father Ryan may be straying from the truth and we should pray for him, lest he fall away completely or lead others away from the faith. I wonder if his superiors could be persuaded to order him to cease publications, to prevent scandal.

  17. FrAnt says:

    Someone fell asleep in their sacramental theology, canon law, and moral theology classes. Please tell me he is a newly ordained.

  18. Traductora says:

    Poor Isaac Hecker.

  19. thomas tucker says:

    This doesn’surprise me. The modern day Paulists have never impresse me with their orthodoxy. The one I knew personally was an active homosexual who told me that he didn’t belive in Satan or demons or angels. I hope Father Hecker is praying for them.

  20. Former Altar Boy says:

    Yes, Fr. Ryan, in answer you your question, she is supposed to remain celibate.

  21. clarinetist04 says:

    One of the interesting paradoxes with dealing with folks like this is that the littlest criticism is taken as an insult (or worse, bigotry), making it very, very difficult to do the work of the New Evangelization with compassion. Unfortunately, this mentality (other than showing a complete lack of depth in understanding Catholic moral teaching) is pervasive in the majority of Catholics these days, it seems.

  22. Peter J. says:

    I discovered that Fr. Ryan travels the country giving missions and retreats. He appears to speak on contemplative spirituality and especially on St. Therese. How can someone who speaks on Therese get things so wrong? Modernism is alive and well!

  23. robtbrown says:

    Antinomianism is alive and well.

    Mt 5:17
    Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

  24. chris_R says:

    I live near the school in question. It’s amazing how the local parents, press, and religious are outraged at the dismissal of this teacher. It’s actually frightening. This priest’s commentary precisely echoes their sentiment.

    Fail is right — bad example might be another reason to add to the fail — and how about being in a state of public sin as another. My secular employer would have every reason to discharge me if I committed some public secular sins.

    I have to ask as well when somebody says that they are entitled to their relationship from the SCOTUS ruling … when did SCOTUS become a religious council? Since when did their rulings become infallible? When did their rulings preempt Natural Law? I took a course in law in college — the profession (who was Catholic) pointed out the history of law — Natural Law being first, followed by Ecclesiastical Law, followed by Civil Law, and each could not contradict the previous up the ladder. That makes this law on same-sex marriages and abortion invalid and voided laws if I understood him correctly from simple perspective of law in a secular settings. It matched what many a good priest taught me previous in catechism lessons. My classmates were a bit befuddled at this.

    If I recall rightly, Abram Lincoln resisted the Dred Scott SCOTUS decision on slavery. This is no different but today, I would say, things are completely inverted.

  25. Grumpy Beggar says:

    It isn’t really a fair way to blog – ( Father Ryan’s ) citing of what so far, would have to be deemed a hypothetical or imaginary um, incident. He has left it hanging out in the abstract where it is impossible to debate , because he has chosen not to substantiate his claim – which he should’ve done by citing the particular source. There is no link provided in his blahg article.

    I’m afraid I can’t agree at all with his words:

    “But then if you are a bigot, everything is clear.”

    Umm, no Father Ryan – actually nothing is clear at all to anyone : You see, you haven’t even told us which case you’re talking about. And “Don’t judge” . . .Well duhhh ! . . How can we judge a situation at all without even one single verified fact ?

    What do you think guys ? Might it be because it’s old news. . . maybe back in 2014 , or earlier ? What if it happened to be this particular case where ,

    ” The couple had married in New York over the summer and the school said they had violated the moral contract faculty are required to sign as part of employment.

    “The firing comes as news that a chemistry teacher at a Catholic, all-girls high school in Bloomfield Hills, outside Detroit, said she was fired before the semester started because of her “non-traditional” pregnancy. . . “

    So there might even be valid reasons to be discovered , but instead we’re just supposed to believe, what for now, from a technical perspective is nothing more than an unsubstantiated ranting – a flight of the imagination.

    Even so , the reasoning is all messed up:

    ” Unless she proposed that all become lesbians, I am left in the dark about her firing.”

    Because he hasn’t cited a source, we’re all left in the dark on this one, but for the record:

    She doesn’t have to propose that all become lesbians. She only has to imply it to one Catholic daughter of two Catholic parents who have put their daughter – their still impressionable daughter, in a Catholic school system to be taught Catholic values. That in itself constitutes an offense against the Catholic faith – a most insidious one. Basically, it is convergent on molesting a child’s mind . Lesbians may have a right to live their lifestyle, but they certainly don’t have the right to force acceptance of that lifestyle on other people’s children either implicitly or explicitly.

    And so what if the Supreme Court says she has a legal right to her relationship ? The Supreme Court also said a woman has a right to an abortion – even though , Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) never even had an abortion. And so what now ? . . . We’re supposed to let women who have had abortions (God please bless them and heal them) teach Catholic girls by example in Catholic schools that it’s “okay to have an abortion” too ? I guess if we say “No” to that one, we’re all bigots too – right ?

    What a reckless way to run a blog.

  26. cwillia1 says:

    Nothing prevents a person with same sex attractions from marrying a person of the opposite sex. One thinks of the autobiography of Whitaker Chambers. It is obvious to me that Chambers had a deep affection for his wife and that his marriage brought him happiness and consolation in difficult times.

  27. tzard says:

    “We teach this”

    First time reading this, I read it as he’s saying the Catholic Church teaches this. But I suspect his perspective of the Church is himself or his cohorts, not the universal Church with people outside of America.

    There’s an ominous ring to this statement that he really means he teaches this to people he gives retreats to. And that multiplies the effect of his error beyond just a blog statement.

  28. Michelle F says:

    “But then if you are a bigot, everything is clear.”

    Well, it sounds as if Fr. Ryan is very clear on what he believes is right and wrong. Does this mean he is confessing to being a bigot?

  29. Gail F says:

    “Is a lesbian supposed to be celibate, remain single, simply because she is a lesbian?”

    Do you think it would come as a shock to this priest that a married person whose husband or wife deserts her or him is supposed to remain single and be celibate, because he or she is actually still married? Even if the spouse files for a civil divorce (but not an annulment)?

    Do you think that it would come as a surprise to him that a man or woman who does not find a person to marry is supposed to remain celibate and single?

    Honestly. Our culture has gone INSANE. Single, celibate life is not a fate worse than death!!!!!!

  30. Martlet says:

    It used to be that we were warned about wolves in sheep’s clothing. Today, we also have to be on the lookout for them dressed in shepherd’s clothing. So sad.

  31. Scott W. says:

    As another put it, when you create a victim class, which is code for protected class, which is code for privileged class, a new “bigoted” class is created. Faithful Catholics, you and I are officially in the same class as someone who puts on a white sheet or wears a swastika. Get used to being a pariah. Learn to live on lentils and (maybe) you won’t have to flatter the king.

  32. DeGaulle says:

    This Father Ryan’s definition of sexuality is utterly wrong, even in natural terms. Sexuality in nature is what provides the encouragement to reproduce. When the link between sexuality and reproduction is broken, as happens with contraception and homosexuality, reproduction collapses. That is why, by the end of the century, there will be few Germans, Italians or Greeks remaining in the world, for example. All populations limiting their offspring in order to have a good time now will find themselves overwhelmed by those who continue to have larger families. Ironically, this most particularly applies to the most libertine.

  33. O God, please clean up the mess!
    Prayers for Fr. Ryan and all those he is leading astray.

  34. bibi1003 says:

    When priests and religious say things like this, I want to scream, “WHERE ARE THEIR BISHOPS????”

  35. Rosary Rose says:

    ” She was not teaching about her lifestyle.”

    St Francis said, “Preach the gospel always and sometimes use words.” We teach by our example. [St. Francis didn’t say/write that in anything of his that we have, as it turns out, but your point is taken.]

    How much more of a powerful statement it would be for that teacher, and any of us, to witness, by our actions, “Yes, I am attracted to someone and desire them strongly, but my love for Jesus Christ is stronger, and I am going to deny the lust of my earthly body, this temporary shell, so that my eternal soul can rejoice with unfathomable joy with Christ forever in Heaven.” And, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have priests and catechists who taught the faithful how to strengthen their faith and deny the body? (And God bless those priests and catechists who do teach the doctrine faithfully!!)

    By their fruits you shall know them. Is this the fruit of VII? I went to confession yesterday at my NO parish, no one else went while I was there. (A very holy congregation, I’m the only one who sins). While I was praying, I observed a man preparing the altar for Mass was walking around absolutely not recognizing the tabernacle at all. Walking back and forth, looking around, like it was just another space, no big deal. People were in the back of the church talking so loudly it was difficult to pray. If Catholics don’t recognize the truth that Jesus Christ is present, body, blood, soul and divinity in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar, and act like they believe it, then no, they will not see the truth of any of the Church’s teachings.

    Lord have mercy on us, send us strong leaders to get us back on track. St. Michael defend us. And, please send an FSSP parish to my city.

  36. Papabile says:

    One should give Father the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps, when he wrote, “We tech this”, he meant Legion.

  37. Nightcrawler says:

    He refers to Cardinal Kasper, Archbishop Cupich and Fishwrap for support. Enough said.

  38. frjim4321 says:

    He touched the third rail.


  39. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Support for same-sex marriage among the clergy can be overt, like Fr. Ryan’s, or covert. For example, a parish in a western Boston suburb has a plaque in its church hall honoring donors. It includes the “family” of two nationally known and married gay activists. The two men and their adopted children are also pictured in the parish directory. All the children in the parish learn that “tolerance” is the single most important virtue. I think the covert is more dangerous. It allows the lazy to ignore the fact that they are separated from the faith.

  40. JKnott says:

    This is from today’s Office of readings: St Paul to the Corinthians 7.

    “For even if I saddened you by my letter, I do not regret it; and if I did regret it for I see that that letter saddened you, if only for a while, I rejoice now, not because you were saddened, but because you were saddened into repentance; for you were saddened in a godly way, so that you did not suffer loss in anything because of us. For godly sorrow produces a salutary repentance without regret, but worldly sorrow produces death. For behold what earnestness this godly sorrow has produced for you, as well as readiness for a defense, and indignation, and fear, and yearning, and zeal, and punishment.”

    If people only knew the promised eternal joy of the Beatific vision they would crave purity. Nothing sullied can have union with the holiness of the Trinity.
    Why oh why is this not being taught?
    Sometimes I wonder if all priests are faithful to praying the Office of Readings daily.

  41. AnnTherese says:

    It’s possible this teacher was leading a quiet, discreet life with her partner. Perhaps she never disclosed to students, parents, or colleagues that she was gay and in a relationship. She might not be Catholic. I’m not saying she has grounds to challenge her firing– she must have known the risk she was taking in accepting a job at a Catholic school. But maybe it was her only option. She may have had a very positive impact on many young people; good teachers usually do.

    I think this priest acted irresponsibly in his blog, and misunderstands Church teaching on the matter. I don’t think we should assume the teacher was trying to “corrupt” her students. She was both wrong to be dishonest with her employer, and a witch-hunt victim.

  42. frjim4321 says:

    “Is a lesbian supposed to be celibate, remain single, simply because she is a lesbian?”

    I think the question he is asking is should celibacy be a choice or are some people forced into a life without intimacy simply on the basis of an embedded feature of their personality?

    [We see what you did there. You expect us to accept your premise: that this is “embedded”. We also see your slanted word choice: “forced”.]

  43. WYMiriam says:

    “Sexuality is supposed to be for the forming of a community of two, a domestic Church, if you will. We teach this.” — Fr. Ryan

    Hm. My memory is bad (but my forgettory is great!) — Fr. Ryan, would you be so kind as to inform us of where in any catechism — e.g., the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the Baltimore Catechism, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, even the infamous Dutch Catechism! — this teaching is found? I (and many others, I suspect) would dearly like to see verification for your assertion . . . or the lack thereof.

    If it isn’t in any catechism, then you have the moral responsibility to define who the “we” of “we teach this” are, and who gave those “we” the authority to “teach” that bit of nonsense.

    A lot of prayers are going up for you . . .

  44. monknoah says:

    I have known Father Terry for many years and he is an outstanding priest. I do understand the distress this blog post has caused. That is most regrettable. Different priests have different ways of responding to problems in the Church. Father Terry is a gentle guy whose instinct is to seek reconciliation. This is a good instinct for a priest! Father Terry had another blog post some years ago in which he explained his fraught relationship with Father Miljenko, a conservative NeoCat priest with whom he served for a time. (I also know Father Miljenko and he too is outstanding, though in a different way). This post will give you a valuable window into Fr. Terry’s worldview. I hope that you will read it.

    Brother Noah

  45. Matthew says:

    I haven’t been called a bigot because I’m an orthodox (small o) Catholic in a good three or four days. Then again I’ve been on vacation.

  46. chantgirl says:

    When I discuss gay “marriage” with those who do not believe in God, I leave God out of it. When I discuss it with Christians, I have some very simple questions. If you believe that God exists and made us, do you think that He had a plan for the sexual organs? Do you think God might be upset if we misuse our bodies in a way that He did not intend? Do you think that there might be consequences for using our bodies in an unnatural way?

  47. JPK says:

    “Sexuality is supposed to be for the forming of a community of two, a domestic Church, if you will. We teach this. So what did the lesbian do wrong?”

    And I always believed that marriage ultimately is about Christ and not the nuptials. From that perspective, our sexuality is a sign of Christ’s love and fidelity to His Church. I could be wrong. But, Fr Ryan’s ideas about sexuality seems as misplaced as that as any layman.

  48. sw85 says:

    “I think the question he is asking is should celibacy be a choice or are some people forced into a life without intimacy simply on the basis of an embedded feature of their personality?”

    I have myopia, so without corrective lenses of some sort everything more than a few inches from my face is an indistinct blur. Am I therefore “forced” into a life of wearing lenses? Of course not, I am always free to stumble through life in a haze. But wearing correction is the rational response to this abnormality.

    Likewise, is a person with same-sex attraction (or any other kind of deviant attraction) “forced” into a life of celibacy? Of course, they are in principle capable of indulging their lusts in whatever way they see fit. But celibacy is the rational response to such abnormal desires.

  49. templariidvm says:

    It seems that the only sin that’s left is being intolerant. Well, that makes life much more easy and confessions much shorter!
    Even within our midst, there are those who would rend the fabric of Christ’s teachings. Be on guard!

  50. frahobbit says:

    @FrJim: Not all people, however much they desire marriage, find someone to marry. Yes they are “forced” by those circumstances to remain celibate and chaste. But celibacy and chastity do not exclude intimacy. It only excludes one part of a whole spectrum of intimacy. First off, the depth of a growing relationship with God, who, if he is calling a person to celibacy, and he will not be outdone in generosity, he will give of Himself to the person in a way far exceeding desires. As the psalm has it: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” ps.37:4. He will also put persons in your life that will help you, and by the give-and-take of friendship, will content the human heart.
    cf Aelred-Rievaulx-Spiritual-Friendship-Cistercian/dp/0879079703 found on Amazon (there is a link to Amazon on Father Z’s Page). There shall be times of difficulty, of sacrifice; but even married people have times of loneliness with their spouse, and frustrations. No one is stopped from giving of himself/herself to others, which is true intimacy.

  51. mrshopey says:

    No one is forced to work at a Catholic School. It isn’t imposed on anyone as the draft may be, or voluntary taxes, etc.
    If I decide to work for someone and they have a code of conduct and I break it, I expect to be reprimanded/terminated. If I am doing something that is contrary to what they expect of me, then I need not apply.
    As for the the priest and his sorry blog post, I see he didn’t say he was going to storm the diocese in order for him to better understand the situation but just labeled those, including his Bishop?, as a bigot.

  52. maryh says:

    Fr Jim said, “I think the question he is asking is should celibacy be a choice, or are some people forced into a life without intimacy simply on the basis of an embedded part of their personality.”

    Should celibacy be a choice? Well, we should always choose God’s will for us. So if you are a lesbian with zero attraction to men (yes, some gay and lesbian can find themselves attracted enough to the opposite sex to consummate a marriage and have children, although they would much prefer the same sex; such people may not consider themselves bisexual) then yes, you are called to a life of chaste celibacy.

    Here let’s not be coy and say “intimacy” when you mean sex. Or are we to understand that anyone who lives without sex is doomed to have no deep intimate relationships. With family, with friends? As frahobbit says – with God. Is it possible that the problem is with a society that believes there is no intimacy without sex, rather than with a church that says homosexual acts are wrong and certainly cannot form the basis of a marriage?

    The Church has a rich tradition of non marital vocations, and not just to the religious life. Many orders have lay (third degree, I believe it is called) members, which could include the victims of divorce as well as gay / ssa. How about our singles groups at church. Are they just fellowship for people who haven’t found a spouse yet, or is it understood that some people may be called to celibacy but not the religious life? This doesn’t just affect ssa people you know. Loneliness is epidemic, and it isn’t cured by sex or marriage. Especially by sex or marriage that separates people from intimacy with God (ie by mortal sin).

  53. WYMiriam says:

    Brother Noah, I did go read the post you linked to. While you call Fr. Ryan “an outstanding priest,” you do so because you’ve known him for some time. I know him only through the post that Fr. Z alerted us to, and the post for which you provided the link, and I would not call him an “outstanding priest” except in a negative sense. In support of that, I provide the following examples from the blog post you linked to:

    A difficult person is one who does not agree with me.” Does that make every person here on Fr. Z’s blog automatically a “difficult person” because we do not agree with him on the lesbian teacher who got fired? What makes Fr. Ryan the touchstone for the definition of a “difficult” person?

    As a pastor a prophet would be a disaster as we wee [sic] to measure pastors. That is, the congregations would be small and the collection would match it.” So, small congregations and small collections are what makes a pastor-prophet a “disaster”? But what if that very same pastor-prophet were making saints of his congregation? What if that very same pastor-prophet were actually teaching the fullness of Catholic doctrine — the very truth of God Himself!! — to his congregation, who were putting it into action because of the example he was setting them of not being afraid to preach the truth “in season and out of season”?

    Surely Father Ryan doesn’t think that large congregations and large collections are the only signs of “success” in the Church?

    But we need prophetic voices, even if I don’t care to listen to them.” What breathtaking hubris. We need prophetic voices (the authentic prophetic voices, mind you), period. It doesn’t matter a single whit whether Fr. Ryan “doesn’t care to listen to them.” Does he “care to listen to” such prophetic voices as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Amos, Micah, and all the other Old Testament prophets?

    I am more of a comforter voice. I am liked by lots of people. I remind them that God loves them and forgives our messy lives. Oh, I encourage people to do better, but we are still loved no matter what. Maybe we can do better knowing we are loved. No fear of God here. No worry about having a bad judgment from the Divine Lover.

    I really don’t think that when we come before the judgement seat of God that He will ask us, “How many people liked you?”

    News flash: God forgives — when we repent and ask His forgiveness.

    Fr. Ryan “encourages” people to do better. I wonder what he does if/when they don’t do better? People need REASONS — good, solid, manly reasons — to change their sinful ways and “do better”. In a word, they need to be challenged, which is apparently just what Fr. Ryan consciously refuses to do.

    It’s a fallacy, if not an out-and-out heresy, to say that “God loves us no matter what”. It’s a fallacy, because “the rest of the story” is missing — God loves us and wants us to live forever with Him, and only those who die in the state of grace can do so. I suspect that Fr. Ryan is among those who mistakenly think that because “God loves me no matter what, He can’t keep me out of heaven, no matter how terrible a life I’ve lived.” I certainly hope I’m wrong about that, but . . .

    “MAYBE we can do better” if we know God loves us? Just “MAYBE”?? Oh, but if there’s “no fear of God here”, then perhaps he’s preaching universal salvation? We don’t have anything at all to fear from the Divine Lover, Who loves us so much that He allows us to choose our own eternal destiny, even if that is hell, because He will not force us, against our will, to avoid hell? What kind of talk is that?

    I heard just recently that “God loves us enough to accept us as we are, and too much to let us stay that way.” The people who think that what we do has no bearing at all on where we are going to be in eternity are just plain W.R.O.N.G.

    I could continue for a long time in that vein, but I’ll stop with just one more quote:

    I never like a kick in the butt.” I guess that means that he doesn’t like such “kicks in the butt” as Jesus gave, either, such as this one (Mt. 7:21-23):

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kindgom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father in heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and work many miracles in thy name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity!'”

    Fr. Ryan, you are in my prayers.

  54. Alaina says:

    This is the situation that Father Ryan is referring to:
    While the true issues regarding same-sex marriage have been discussed in the previous posts, I feel that Fr. Ryan should have at least tried to present the facts regarding this situation before making his point.
    1) The teacher was hired by the administration after she fully disclosed her sexual orientation and that she was living with her partner. The agreement was that she could be open to the faculty but had to “keep it from” the parents (thus making the entire staff involved in the deception). Eventually, it seems that the only party that didn’t know after eight years was the Archdiocese.

    2) The teacher openly married her partner. Both are self-proclaimed, devout Catholics. Fr. Ryan, Marriage is a sacrament. Many argued about getting rid of the teachers that have sinned in one way or another.

    3) The teacher was not teaching Math (although what does it really matter which subject it is when discussing a school that proclaims itself Catholic – the faith should be integrated in all subjects). She was hired as the head of Religious Education.

    4) The outraged social media promised a backstory that would reveal all. Here’s what it turned out to be (revealed by the media of course). A parent asked the teacher if Theology of the Body could be incorporated into the curriculum for the middle school aged children. The teacher said that Theology of the Body was too mature for those students. She said she couldn’t officially say “no” to the request, but her recommendations are considered by the principal. (It took me all of about 2 minutes of searching on the internet to find that a Catholic publishing company – local to this school – publishes a Theology of the Body program for middle school and high school students, as well as adults. Fr. Ryan stated, “She was not teaching about her lifestyle”. No she wasn’t but if she had to teach Theology of the Body, she would have had to instruct what St. Pope John Paul II taught about man and woman. She would have had to teach what contradicted her lifestyle.) The parent, along with another parent, complained about the teacher’s sexual orientation and its influence on the education of the children to the principal and the Archdiocese.

    5) The principal fired the teacher to maintain the school’s Catholic identity, and made this statement to the parents, “In the Mercy spirit, many of us accept life choices that contradict current Church teachings, but to continue as a Catholic school Waldron Mercy must comply with those teachings.” (Huh?!)

    6) Outraged parents (what seems to be the majority), took to social media to complain. A gofundme site was made for the teacher. The parents talked about what is “mercy” and how the treatment of this teacher contradicted what the Sisters of Mercy taught. Blame was placed on the principal, the Archbishop, or both. The parent that complained about the teacher was publicly identified (although she herself refused to identify the other parent that made the complaint with her). “Mercy” and what it “stands for” was discussed to the end of the world and back on social media. There was a meeting at a restaurant for healing and discussion. There was a prayer meeting in park for healing and “mercy”. The teacher’s wife wrote a letter to Pope Francis to allow her spouse to be rehired at the school, and was posted all over social media. However, although the teacher said that all discussion should be approached in “mercy” on her site, posts were allowed that were disrespectful to individuals and the Catholic faith. No one seemed to care about what it meant to be Catholic. Just what they called “mercy”. No one said, “I talked with my priest about this….” or “Let’s stop the media frenzy and have a real meeting with the school, Archdiocese, and the Sisters of Mercy.” Instead, a local politician, who is running for mayor, was asked to get involved. And he definitely jumped at the opportunity.

    7) The Sisters of Mercy (whom, many of the parents said, are persecuted by the Church for their views on social justice and “mercy”), finally made a statement after over a week of social media judging the situation. The mother house for the sisters is on the same campus as the school. They supported the decision of the school to dismiss the teacher. This was disappointing to the social media crowd.

    8)Archbishop Chaput stated that the school was responsible for the decision, and that the Archdiocese did not force the school to make their decision. They are a private, Catholic school. He supported the “common sense” exercised by the principal.

    9)Social media credited the Sisters of Mercy statement to be the result of their constant oppression by the the “men” in the Church. It then attacked the Archbishop, accusing him of “learning nothing from the new Pope”, lying, and other disrespectful statements. By the way, no one had yet called for a productive, civil meeting with the parties they were attacking, and no one still made a comment about discussions with their priests for clarity. Maybe some did so, and kept it private, but a letter to the Successor of Peter making a personal request, with personal spiritual reflections was posted for the world to see. Somehow I don’t think much was kept private, except for some facts.

    10) The parents, in their efforts to seek “mercy”, involved everyone but those who would have the best interests of, what is supposed to be, the Catholic school at heart. In the midst of the public debate, the media then posts this article
    Now, this is the reason why the media is saying Catholic schools shouldn’t receive tax credit funding. Forget the fact that the Catholic school parents are already paying taxes for public school education and public school programs that they don’t support, and that the EITC program allows businesses to choose the organization that receives the funds. The funds go toward tuition assistance. They want to take it away. Where’s the “mercy” in that?

    11)The school is going to have a meeting with the parents.

    There are “common sense” answers to all of this. The parents of this school (many stated their dislike of Church teaching) can send their children to a different school. The school can also choose on the side of “mercy”, as they stated that they like to do when not forced to be Catholic, and not be a Catholic school. They can be a “Mercy” school.

    Mercy doesn’t mean to agree with everyone. Mercy doesn’t mean to hate someone because they don’t agree with you. There was a lot of hate in parent and other postings about this subject toward anyone who did not agree with them. Hate in the name of “mercy”. Fr. Ryan can call me a bigot. I know what is in my heart and soul for humanity. If that is the best he can do as a person who is supposed to guide Christ’s flock, then I’ll pray for him. I will also pray that all Catholics make a true effort to understand and embrace their identity.

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