Crazy? Angry? You decide and I couldn’t care less!

Just Something “Fun” AKA Bizarre Before Lent

I’m sure everyone thought this a Babylon Bee post when they first saw it. It is real. I know it’s not really fun but tell me you didn’t chuckle when you thought it was from the Bee.  I mean, I’ve seen a lot of bizarre things coming out of the region but it looks like we’ve wandered into a modern-day German annexing of the sanity of Austria. Geez.

“I. CAN’T. EVEN.” pretty much covers this one. I’m having trouble even ranting about this one because it’s so preposterous. I’m sure THE most liberal Catholic I know was thinking “What in THE…?” I’ll let it go there because they’d probably use something I wouldn’t. I mean, the die-hard liberal is now faced with having to be honest or trying to fake understanding the profound meaning like the idiot who paid $120,000 for the banana duct taped to the wall.

Heck, this whole thing is making the felt banners look pretty darn good right now. Maybe that was the plan all along?! Perhaps Cardinal Schoenborn has some sort of substance abuse problem we didn’t know about? I mean, who says “Yeah! Let’s hang a giant purple sweater in the cathedral!” unless they were stoned out of their ever-loving mind? Really, who? Did someone lose a bet?  The guy who wrote the copy “the priority of warming love of neighbor” for the cathedral website must having been crying as he realized this was his career. Can you imagine being the person who has to frame utter insanity?

And, after finding out this is real, I decided I was pretty offended for more than the obvious. As a woman, I wouldn’t be caught dead in that sweater! Why in the world is this considered a “woman’s sweater?” Looks more like product placement for Under Armor. I’m sure the women who love real men would love to see a Georg von Trapp rip that sucker down and tear it in two just like the Nazi Flag. Wouldn’t that be satisfying? Am I right ladies?

To all those giving up the internet for Lent, we’ll catch you on the Easter side!

LGBT=Ultimate Reduction of Person to Inclination

Here’s the most fantastical and smarmy effort at “I know you are but what am I?” I’ve ever seen. It’s pure fiction! Do people actually fall for this? Please read JD Flynn’s call out of Fr. Martin and judge for yourself.  JD did a great job pointing out Fr. Martin’s ever present attempt to tie people to their sexual inclinations. It’s his shtick and he’s made a mint doing it. (Yes, yes, he’ll tell you that he took a vow of poverty. Sorry, he ain’t sleeping on a floor and eating at McDonald’s in between Met Galas and movie premieres.)


I will point out something I’ve learned. When Fr. Martin sends out multi-tweets like this, it shows he has gone into defensive mode because somebody exposed him. Let’s look at them. I snipped the link to his ridiculous talk because it should be ignored by all anyway.

Let’s look at his fanciful text rant piece by piece, shall we?

However, this article does what it says it wants to avoid: reducing LGBT people to their sexual desires.”

Dude! You do this EVERY TIME you use the LGBT acronym. It is the ultimate reduction of a person to a disordered inclination. It’s akin to calling someone a Fat Catholic, Porn Catholic, Lazy Catholic, or Alcoholic Catholic. Catholics with a shred of love don’t do this. Christ never did this. Why do you? Despite the accusations in your tweet, JD Flynn didn’t even mention chastity by name. He’s calling you out for not teaching the fullness of the Faith, which you, yourself, have admitted you do not do.

“The “fullness” of Church teaching on LGBT people is not simply the teachings on chastity and celibacy (which I am not challenging).

Well, first of all, you leave those teachings out all the time. And, hello, let’s try a little truth for once. You challenge them all the time. I really need to bookmark this page, because it’s a nice, concise list of the times Fr. Martin challenged Church teaching on this issue.

Next, chastity and celibacy (the first of which you never give a clear definition of your understanding) are a HUGE part of teaching on people suffering with same-sex attraction. It is there to protect the dignity of the person and to help them gain everlasting life with God. How you can so easily write this off is beyond me? Don’t talk to me about the dignity of the person when you seem to have your own private catechism on the issue or, at best, are trying to completely misrepresent the actual Catechism.

Let me show the mental gymnastics that James Martin, SJ, goes through to remove chastity from the obligation from those suffering with same-sex attraction. If you want to hear him in his own words, go here, but I will distill it down for you. 

For a teaching to be really authoritative, it is expected that it will be received by the people of God, by the faithful. So you look at something like say, the Assumption. So the Assumption is declared and people accept that. They go to the feast of the Assumption, they believe in the Assumption, it’s received.


The teaching that LGBT people must be celibate their entire lives, has not been received.

First of all, how can James Martin, SJ, say with a straight face he doesn’t challenge Church teaching? It’s really incredible. He’s saying that the teaching is not binding because people don’t receive it. Uh, where does it say that in the Catechism??? Is, say, murder not a sin because it’s not received by a person??? Same logic, but he won’t like that reference. In fact, the sections on conscience, which he mentions later, say just the opposite. Of course, he also tries to lead people astray in the “primacy of conscience” area, too. He has to, but that’s another story that goes hand in hand with this one.

Rather, the fullness of church teaching on LGBT people is found in the mystery and person of Jesus Christ, and in his teachings of love, mercy and compassion, especially for those people who felt on the margins of society.

Blah, blah, blah, what does this mean? Fr. Martin, I’ve never actually heard to you deliver the fullness of Church teaching (maybe that lower case “c” in your tweet is appropriate) on the issue (or probably any issue). Literally never. In fact, you’ve stated that you purposely don’t talk about “chastity and celibacy” because they’ve already heard that a bunch.

LGBT lives are more than their sexual desires.

Then stop calling them by their sexual inclination! You’re the one doing this every day. 

LGBT people lead rich lives, participating in the lives of their parishes, loving their friends, caring for the poor, looking after aging parents, and so on. They also still suffer great discrimination, especially within the church.

And here we go into victim status, as usual. Is there really anyone who doesn’t suffer from some sort of discrimination? What Fr. Martin constantly puts forth as examples, people being fired, removed from their ministry, etc., isn’t discrimination of the person. It’s discrimination of the lifestyle they are living. Fr. Martin always wants to say that those suffering with same-sex attraction are simply being singled out for being who they are. Sorry, not letting that stand. What he wants to do is single out an immoral lifestyle with the goal of trying to confuse people on the difference between public and/or obvious sin and private sin. “Why aren’t they firing the divorced and remarried? Those using birth control? Etc.” First of all, you cannot look at a heterosexual couple’s wedding picture on Facebook and know if they are divorced and remarried, using birth control, etc.  If they decide to make this public, I’m totally fine with firing them (we’re talking Catholic school teachers here – you know, people who are supposed to be transmitting the Faith). It would be scandalous to do otherwise. If they chose to keep these sins hidden, though, there is no scandal caused. Why would you fire them? 

But, if two guys or two girls post their wedding picture, they’ve just blasted their sin. It’s really not that confusing, but Fr. Martin confounds away!

So the question is: How can we treat them with the love, mercy and compassion that Jesus showed for people on the margins? And in this case: How can Catholic colleges and universities show them welcome and respect?

Uh, I think JD Flynn actually covered this, but maybe you didn’t give it a good read. Let me help. You tell them the truth. You teach them about the freedom that only Christ’s teaching can give. You don’t offer them a stone or snake when they ask for bread or fish.  You love them. You encourage them. You struggle with them to follow Christ’s teachings.

The Smoking Gun Finally Appears     

Alright, alright. I know everyone is looking at THE exhortation to end all exhortations and adding their own spin on it but there was some other HUGE news it seemed like many missed. In fact, I think the liberal “married priests & woman deaconesses/priestess” types are very happy to have people caught up in the document news because they look like complete and utterly despicable after this other news dropped. It was THE smoking gun of the last few weeks. I’m just going to post this puppy and add few emphasis and comments in the text. Then I’ll show you what we’ve been subjected to since January 12th. I think some BIG apologies are owed. Will they be big enough to do that? I mean they’ve smeared a pope, a cardinal, and a few publishing houses. I doubt they will but one can hope. Remember, emphasis and comments mine.

12 feb

Francis’s Silence, Ratzinger’s Tears, and That Never-Published Statement of His

What is most striking in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation “Querida Amazonia,” made public today, February 12 2020, is its total silence on the most anticipated and controversial issue: the ordination of married men.

Not even the word “celibacy” appears in it. Pope Francis desires “to configure ministry in such a way that it is at the service of a more frequent celebration of the Eucharist, even in the remotest and most isolated communities” (no. 86). But he reiterates (no. 88) that only the ordained priest can celebrate the Eucharist, absolve from sins and administer the anointing of the sick (because it too is “intimately linked to the forgiveness of sins,” footnote 129). And it says nothing about the extension of ordination to “viri probati.”

No news on women’s ministries either. “If they were admitted to Holy Orders,” Francis writes in no. 100, “it would lead us to clericalize women” and to “restrict our understanding of the Church to her functional structures.”

The curiosity that arises immediately, from reading “Querida Amazonia,” is therefore to understand to what extent the bombshell book written by pope emeritus Benedict XVI and by Cardinal Robert Sarah in defense of the celibacy of the clergy, published in mid-January, influenced the exhortation and in particular its silence on the ordination of married men.

To this end, some more information than what is already known about what happened in the fiery days following the publication of the book should be added.

The already known sequence of events was documented by Settimo Cielo in the three “Post Scriptum” at the end of this article of January 13:

But from multiple independent sources Settimo Cielo subsequently received news of at least four more facts, of very substantial importance.

The first occurred on the morning of Wednesday January 15.

All throughout the day of Tuesday the 14th the attack carried out by the radical movements against Ratzinger and Sarah had built up to a devastating crescendo, fueled in fact by the repeated denials of the prefect of the pontifical household, Georg Gänswein, of a co-responsibility of the pope emeritus in the composition and publication of the book, to the point of requesting the withdrawal of his signature, and contrasted to no avail by the precise and documented reconstruction, made public by Sarah, of the genesis of the book itself by the united efforts of its two coauthors. See many of the attacks below.

So then, on the morning of Wednesday January 15, while Pope Francis was holding his weekly general audience with Gänswein sitting as usual at his side in the Paul VI hall, and therefore far from the Mater Ecclesiae monastery which is the residence of the pope emeritus whose secretary he is, Benedict XVI picked up the phone himself and called Sarah first at home, where he did not find him, and then at the office, where the cardinal answered. Hah! Pope Benedict is awesome (as he’s always been).

Benedict XVI expressed his heartfelt solidarity with Sarah. He confided that he could not understand the reasons for such violent and unjust aggression. And he wept. Sarah wept too. The call ended with both of them in tears. Leaving me to want to give some big-time time-outs.

The second fact disclosed here for the first time occurred during the meeting between Sarah and Ratzinger, at the latter’s residence, on the evening of Friday January 17.

That very evening, the cardinal reported on the meeting in three tweets, in which he confirmed the perfect harmony between himself and the pope emeritus in the publication of the book.

But he did not say that during that same meeting – actually held in two distinct segments, first at 5 pm and then at 7 – Benedict XVI had written together with him a concise statement that was intended to be made public with the sole signature of the pope emeritus, to certify the full consonance between the two coauthors of the book and call for the cessation of all controversy. So, some of you were terribly wrong. Would you like to issue and apology now?

For the purpose of publication, Gänswein delivered the statement – which Settimo Cielo has in possession and in which Ratzinger’s personal, even autobiographical, trait is evident – to substitute secretary of state Edgar Peña Parra. And it is reasonable to hypothesize that he informed both his direct superior, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Pope Francis himself about it.

The fact remains – and it is the third piece of news as yet unpublished – that this statement of the pope emeritus has never seen the light of day. But it was arguably the origin of Francis’s decision to exempt papal household prefect Gänswein from any visible presence at his side from that point on.

The last of these public appearances dates back to the morning of that same Friday January 17, on the occasion of the visit to the Vatican of the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After which Gänswein no longer appeared alongside the pope, neither at the Wednesday general audiences nor at the official visits of American vice president Mike Pence, Iraqi president Barham Salih, and Argentine president Alberto Fernández.

In the eyes of Pope Francis, Benedict XVI’s statement had in fact proven the unreliability of the repeated denials made by Gänswein of the pope emeritus’s co-responsibility in the composition of the book.

In other words, the opposition of the pope emeritus against his successor giving in to the radical currents on the front of clerical celibacy stood out at this point front and center, without any attenuation anymore. It’s anyone’s guess what was going on in Ganswein’s head or what led up to his statement.

And all this a few days after the publication of the post-synodal exhortation in which many, all over the world, were expecting to read an opening by Francis to the ordination of married men. Which it didn’t which likely shows that the Vatican News reports were accurate about the Pope’s thoughts on the celibate priesthood. Already covered that here.

As a corollary to all this, news should also be given of the role that Cardinal Parolin played in this affair.

When in fact on Wednesday January 22 the publisher Cantagalli released a statement regarding the imminent debut of the book in Italy, with just a few trivial changes compared to the French original, it was not said that the statement had been viewed in advance and burnished line by line by the cardinal secretary of state, who at last had strongly encouraged its publication.

A press release in which Ratzinger and Sarah’s book is defined as “a volume of high theological, biblical, spiritual and human value, guaranteed by the depth of the authors and their willingness to make the fruit of their respective reflections available to all, manifesting their love for the Church, for His Holiness Pope Francis and for all humanity.”

So there you go. Sandro Magister has always been regarded as pretty darn accurate. So, in the light of this revelation, what do Austen Ivereigh, Massimo Faggioli, James Martin, SJ and Where Peter Is have to say about all their accusations of Cardinal Sarah, Pope Benedict, and those publishers? Hmmm? In addition to that question, I’d also like to offer a suggestion to them. They might want to refrain from suggesting that Pope Benedict doesn’t have all his will and mental faculties. He just ran circles around them!

Here’s just a sampling of the accusations and slander that’s been tossed around. As many tweets as their are, I didn’t even post half of them.

Austen’s Hysteria

Massimo’s Rants


James Martin, SJ’s Contributions

Where Peter Is












Buy THIS Book!

UPDATE! – And a biggie!

But he did not say that during that same meeting – actually held in two distinct segments, first at 5 pm and then at 7 – Benedict XVI had written together with him a concise statement that was intended to be made public with the sole signature of the pope emeritus, to certify the full consonance between the two coauthors of the book and call for the cessation of all controversy.

For the purpose of publication, Gänswein delivered the statement – which Settimo Cielo has in possession and in which Ratzinger’s personal, even autobiographical, trait is evident – to substitute secretary of state Edgar Peña Parra. And it is reasonable to hypothesize that he informed both his direct superior, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Pope Francis himself about it.



If for no other reason than it would tick off the Ivereighs, Martins, and Faggiolis of the world, buy Pope Benedict and Cardinal Sarah’s new book “From the Depths of Our Hearts”.  Of course, there are many other reasons to buy it. The liberals, however, don’t want you to know about those. Their negative PR stunt has failed miserably. In fact, it’s probably helped sell more books than they could ever imagine. It’s been how many weeks? Guess what, the book is going to press as originally planned.

It’s been a few weeks and we’re still seeing the hysteria from the “We want married priests!” types.

Now, Ignatius Press, of which Mark Brumley is the president, is well known in these parts. They published Cardinal Ratzinger’s books before he became Pope Benedict, and they have published him under that title, too. They are devout Catholics, as is Cardinal Sarah. If you think they’re going to do anything against Pope Benedict’s wishes, you are a fool. They actually believe in everlasting life, the Ten Commandments, etc., so if you think they’re going to jeopardize their souls and lie just to sell more books, you are also a fool (or maybe a fool twice over)! I realize that it’s impossible for liberals to realize that some people live by moral rules and try not to put their immortal souls in jeopardy to make a buck, but they do, and if these idiots ever bothered to read these two authors, they would know.

So let’s look at how this went down. On January 12th, the French publisher announced the co-authored book.Let’s see, Pope Benedict wrote one chapter and the into and conclusion were approved by him. The estimates of content attributed to Pope Benedict either in his chapter or in the eleven pages of citations of him through Cardinal Sarah is about 40%.. Yep, that’s kind of the definition of co-author. (And with the update above, despite everyone knowing what co-authoring means, it can no longer be denied.)

On January 13th, “the information system of the Holy See”, Vatican News, published an article entitled “A contribution on priestly celibacy in filial obedience to the Pope.” That should have been the end of it. Also on January 13th, Cardinal Sarah posted correspondence between Pope Benedict and himself on the book collaboration. Again, the story should have ended earlier, but this was chance number two.

However, on January 14th, a German language news agency, KNA, quoted Archbishop Ganswein as saying all of this:  After that article dropped, Cardinal Sarah marched over to Pope Benedict’s home, met with him, and declared ZERO misunderstanding between them. Somewhere along the way, Cardinal Sarah also said that Pope Benedict had seen the final version, including the cover which contradicts Archbishop Ganswein. Archbishop Ganswein has since gone dark and is said to be tending to “other duties”. After Cardinal Sarah’s visit to Pope Benedict, both Ignatius Press and Cardinal Sarah are sticking to the approved plan. Again, if you think that Ignatius Press or Cardinal Sarah would do anything that their longtime friend and colleague would not approve of, you’d be wrong.

Despite this, all the liberal minions are trying soooooo hard to spin this whole thing into a Cardinal Sarah vs. Pope Francis battle. They are totally ignoring the fact that Pope Francis’s own information system has confirmed that this book is consistent with the previous statements of Pope Francis. So who’s telling lies again? Oh, let’s see.

Austen Ivereigh in the Tweet posted above:

There has been endless discussion of Sarah’s (unconvincing) claim of celibacy’s ontological connection to priesthood. Now can we discuss the ongoing scandal of a Catholic publisher insisting that the pope emeritus co-authored a book he insists he never did? (I might point out that the only statements we have directly from Pope Benedict are found in the letters that Cardinal Sarah provided.)

And from Vatican News, the self-described information system of the Holy See:

The pre-publication material provided by Le Figaro indicates that, with their contributions, the authors enter into the debate on celibacy and the possibility of ordaining married men as priests. Ratzinger and Sarah — who describe themselves as two bishops “in filial obedience to Pope Francis” who “seek the truth” in “a spirit of love for the unity of the Church” — defend the discipline of celibacy and put forth the reasons that in their opinion would advise against changing it. The question of celibacy occupies 175 pages of the book, with two texts — one by the Pope emeritus and the other by the Cardinal — together with an introduction and a conclusion signed by both.

“The authors”, meaning more than one. ”Ratzinger (their use, not mine) and Sarah”, just as the book was titled by its authors and published by Ignatius Press. “with two texts — one by the Pope emeritus and the other by the Cardinal — together with an introduction and a conclusion signed by both.” The Holy See confirmed EVERYTHING that both Cardinal Sarah and Ignatius Press have said. So, you can issue an apology now, Austen.

Vatican News went on to say:

It is worth remembering that Pope Francis too has expressed himself several times on the subject. While still a Cardinal, in the book conversation with Rabbi Abraham Skorka, he explained that he was in favor of maintaining celibacy: “with all the pros and cons entailed, in ten centuries there have been more positive experiences than there have been errors. Tradition has a weight and validity”. In dialogue with journalists on the flight back from Panama last January, the Pope recalled that in the Eastern Catholic Churches the option of either celibacy or marriage before the diaconate is possible; but he added, regarding the Latin Church: “I am reminded of that phrase of Saint Paul VI: ‘I would rather give my life than change the law on celibacy. It came to mind and I want to say it, because it is a courageous phrase, in a more difficult moment than this, 1968 / 1970… Personally, I think that celibacy is a gift for the Church. Second, I don’t agree with allowing optional celibacy, no.” In his reply, he also spoke about the discussion among theologians about the possibility of granting exemptions for some remote regions, such as the Pacific islands. He specified, however, “there’s no decision on my part. My decision is: optional celibacy before the diaconate, no. That’s something for me, something personal, I won’t do it, this remains clear. Am I ‘closed’? Maybe. But I don’t want to appear before God with this decision”.

There is a reason Archbishop Ganswein has disappeared. It’s kind of the stuff movies are made of. He is THE only one who has contradicted the letters, statements, etc., and he didn’t even do that all the way. Not only that, he has Pope Benedict’s calendar that would show just how much collaboration was going on.  Pope Benedict did indeed write one fourth of the chapters. Hardly just a quote. Kind of the definition of co-authoring. So, let me just ask you this. If Pope Benedict’s name were to be taken off the cover, do you think the Ivereighs, Martins, and Faggiolis of the world would be fine? Nope. In short, the liberal attack mob wants the book to go away. They certainly don’t want to address its content. They can’t. For all their fomenting, they’ve never even shown how it supposedly contradicts Pope Francis. They’ve spent WEEKS demanding that Pope Benedict’s name be removed. Can I just ask a little question? What would that change?!?!?! The book was still co-authored by the two men. Nobody has actually ever denied that. They can’t because all parties have admitted that. They’re simply ticked that it’s written by two Catholic superstars who are going to bring a lot of attention to a debate they don’t want to have. So, can they all shut the heck up now?! Geez. This isn’t even a small diversionary tactic. It’s so obvious it hurts.

Lastly, to you who are trying to portray Pope Benedict as an old man who can barely lift his head and hand, might I remind you that, in December, he launched a foundation for Catholic journalism in Germany? Might I also remind you that, less than 9 months ago, he wrote a scathing 6,000 word letter on moral relativism and the abuse crisis? Oh, and around the exact same time, he penned what ended up in the book which he later gave to Cardinal Sarah to include in the book. Nice try. Clearly he is not the “out of it and easily manipulated” guy you’d like him to be.

Once again, buy the book. Pope Benedict might not be with us too much longer, so let’s make one of his potentially last works a best seller!







California Catholics Apologize to the Faithful for Bishop McElroy

No, seriously. We’re sorry you have to be subjected to the ravings of a madman. We’ve been putting up with him for a long time. We know. Feel our pain. There may be one but I can’t think of a worse bishop in California.

So, in case you haven’t heard, here’s his latest installment of the lunacy. Again, so sorry. It’s like someone sent Cardinal Cupich out to make the pitch and when that flopped they sent out the water boy.

Abandoning the Paris Climate Accords, the bishop said, “is a far greater moral evil” than federal health centers providing contraceptive devices


FEB. 6, 2020 6:45 PM

SAN DIEGO —  With California’s presidential primaries less than a month away, what are voters’ moral responsibilities?

Catholics, insisted Bishop Robert W. McElroy, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, cannot be single-issue voters, focused exclusively on abortion, say, or climate change, immigration, religious liberty or poverty.

Red-herring.  Nobody is a single-issue voter. We prioritize as we ought.

Also important, the bishop insisted: the personalities of candidates. He urged voters to examine politicians’ character, intelligence and even political abilities.

Are we really supposed to think he’s not talking about Trump here? No partisanship here.

“It does little good to elect a saint who echoes Catholic social teaching on every issue,” he said, “if that candidate does not have the competence to carry out his duties effectively and thereby enhance the common good.”

Oy. Hello??? That’s part and parcel of why we have Trump. People were exhausted that the last several candidates got us NOWHERE! I always like to point out that I didn’t vote for Trump. I cannot, however, say that he has not moved the needle in a very positive direction. Is he perfect or done everything perfectly, not in the least but he was the less evil at the time and  he has been shown to have stemmed evil quite well which is really all we can hope for in a candidate. He clearly doesn’t give a flying fig what people think about him or if they’ll vote for him next go around. He just plods ahead like a bull in the evil china shop.

McElroy made these comments during a public lecture Thursday on the University of San Diego campus. While political in nature, his speech did not endorse any candidate or party, but took aim at both sides of the partisan divide. The bishop blasted the Democratic Party’s nearly uniform support of abortion rights, then criticized “the current administration” for its resistance to policies meant to fight climate change.

This is laughable because he’s going to go on to tell you that “climate change” is way worse than abortion or birth control so how’s that going against a partisan divide there? Oh, it’s not.

Those two hot-button issues, abortion and climate change, were compared several times in the speech.

Compared in a completely reprehensible manner inconsistent with the Church and even Pope Francis.

Catholics often regard the former, McElroy said, as “the pre-eminent political imperative at stake in 2020.” The nation seems divided, he said, “with half of our country moving toward laws safeguarding the unborn and the other half of our country adopting ever more extreme laws that allow the killing of children on the verge of birth.

Uh, yeah, because it is. Your fellow USCCB members (well, the majority) and the Holy Father say it is. Why it’s taking so long for Bishop McElroy to figure it out is beyond me. And, no, it’s not half. The vast majority approve some sort of abortion restrictions with only the craziest of crazies saying kill them even after they are born and the more they learn about the child in the womb, the more restrictions or even a total ban they approve of for obvious moral reasons.

“Abortion annually results in the deaths of “more than 750,000 unborn children,” the bishop said, yet “the long-term death toll from unchecked climate change is larger and threatens the very future of humanity.”

Wrong. This is naïve and ridiculous that  bishop attempting to comment doesn’t know this cold. Not all areas have mandatory reporting. This is just an average of what Guttmacher (Planned Parenthood’s stat arm) and the CDC’s numbers are. The problem is not all areas report, California being one of the HUGE missing pieces. Kind of hard to count what’s not reported.

And while he called contraception “intrinsically evil … it is a far greater moral evil for our country to abandon the Paris Climate Accord than to provide contraceptives in federal health centers.”

Un-flipping-believable. You heard it. Really? So the destruction of lives, marriages, health, families (and even the environment to round out he list due to the hormone dump into our water supply due to oral contraceptives) is so much better than ditching the ridiculous Paris Climate Accord practically nobody follows? There’s nothing left to say but this is stupid. Plus, we know sin brings more sin into the world so how in the world does Bishop McElroy not think things are just going to get more and more evil? The most liberal cities are the biggest polluters. And, again, proximity to death? I thought you were actually embracing it. Somebody dies every time a woman goes in for an abortion (barring a miracle) and souls and families die every time artificial birth control is used. That’s not the same for any environmental concern we may have.

“Both abortion and climate change are “core life issues in the Catholic church,” McElroy said. But he shrank from identifying either as the top moral issue in 2020, as that would “inevitably be hijacked by partisan forces to propose that Catholics have an overriding duty to vote for candidates who espouse that position.””

It’s not “partisan” to make the issue of stopping the murder of babies in the womb as THE pre-eminent issue in the Church. It’s correct, right, moral, etc. Moral and partisan are two different things, Your Excellency. One would think a bishop would know this but they clearly missed that in your seminary.

That would overlook another key issue in 2020, McElroy said, “the culture of exclusion that has grown so dramatically in our nation in the past three years.” Racial injustice, anti-Muslim bigotry and anti-Semitism are all on the rise, the bishop said, and also fuels “a poison of animosity against immigrants.”

What in the world? Seriously? Look at the stats and for goodness sakes, look around the world that’s already caved to your line of thinking.  Catholic churches, priests and nuns are under attack all over the world INCLUDING in the United States.  And, it’s not only Catholics but other Christians and Jews. Please. Do you really believe this? Somebody tell it to Fr Jacques Hamel, or those bombed this past Easter, or the priests and seminarian killed in Nigeria, etc., etc., etc.  So next time you’re going to talk anti-Muslim bigotry, let’s remember who is actually MURDERING who. Meanwhile, who is helping refugees? Oh yeah, the Christians (and in particular, Catholics). So please, save the preaching to the choir.

“Seen against this background of abortion, climate change and the culture of exclusion,” McElroy said, “it is clear that the faith-filled voter who seeks to be guided by Catholic social teaching is confronted by compelling moral claims that cut across the partisan and cultural divides of our nation.”

And, yet, only direct murder of innocents is preeminent. It’s a for sure. If you believe the danger from man made climate change is no junk science, go ahead. I really don’t care. Doesn’t make you evil. I might possible argue that you’re not a fact finding person but, whatever. You can’t give anyone an expiration date because of it. You can, however, do so with abortion. When the procedure is started, it’s almost certain death will result. You were so close trying to equate the proximity to death with what’s preeminent but you fell flat on your face again.

Moreover, the bishop insisted that faith-filled voters have a duty to weigh the character and abilities of candidates. Will they be able to build bridges and bring positive change, and will they move beyond our current partisan battles?

Can we stop parroting “partisan”? It’s rather annoying. While there is a think such as partisan, you accusing faithful Catholics of it is slander. We’re doing the best we can to stop death from occurring. If you could stop trying to guilt us out of that, it would be grand because that? That is evil.

“Today,” McElroy said, “leaders in government embrace corrosive tactics and language, fostering division rather than unity. The notion of truth itself has lost its footing in our public debate. Collegiality has been discarded. Principles are merely justifications for partisan actions, to be abandoned when those principles no longer favor a partisan advantage. There is a fundamental lack of political courage in the land.”

I’m sorry, who’s actually the one pushing for disunity among Catholics? That would be you and your fellow bishops duly chastised you for it. You can’t have collegiality  and unity over evil. Going along to get along is sick when babies are being dismembered, Bishop McElroy.

In the end, the bishop added, people of faith must vote their conscience, “the voice of God which lies deep within each of us.”

And let’s all say it together! Actually, I’m just going to quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Bishop McElroy seems to think we’re all we need to make the right decision. The CCC spells out how wrong he is. Emphasis mine.


1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.

1784 The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the earliest years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law recognized by conscience. Prudent education teaches virtue; it prevents or cures fear, selfishness and pride, resentment arising from guilt, and feelings of complacency, born of human weakness and faults. The education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart.

1785 In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path,54 we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.55


1786 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

1787 Man is sometimes confronted by situations that make moral judgments less assured and decision difficult. But he must always seriously seek what is right and good and discern the will of God expressed in divine law.

1788 To this purpose, man strives to interpret the data of experience and the signs of the times assisted by the virtue of prudence, by the advice of competent people, and by the help of the Holy Spirit and his gifts.

1789 Some rules apply in every case:

– One may never do evil so that good may result from it;

– the Golden Rule: “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.”56

– charity always proceeds by way of respect for one’s neighbor and his conscience: “Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience . . . you sin against Christ.”57 Therefore “it is right not to . . . do anything that makes your brother stumble.”58


1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.”59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.

1793 If – on the contrary – the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

1794 A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time “from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.”60

The “In the end” mentality only gets one so far. We have to duty to inform our consciences and to form them according to the Church’s teachings.

Not everyone in the audience of roughly 200 agreed with McElroy’s central point, that Catholics cannot be single-issue voters. “There are priorities and the number one priority must be life,” said Guy DiPonio, who wore a button that read “Pray to End Abortion.” “Without life, no other issue is worth anything.”

Sorry, that doesn’t mean that Guy is a single issue voter. If he was, there would be no talk of priorities. There would be talk of “only.” The act of prioritizing means there is more than the single. Is the English language really that confusing?

“Others saw McElroy’s speech as a message of support to Pope Francis, who has tried to move beyond abortion and contraception as the Catholic Church’s central political issues.”

WOW! Some really might want to pay more attention to the news. Pope Francis backed the preeminent argument. Did y’all miss it or are you choosing to ignore. I mean, first Cardinal Cupich and now Bishop McElroy? Really, don’t bother answering. We know.

“I think he’s trying to follow what Francis is doing,” said Dr. Marianne Benkert Sipe, a psychiatrist and former nun who has studied church social and political movements. “He’s trying to make the church a bigger tent.”

Is there anything more gruesome than the former nun psychiatrists???

McElroy was also returning to themes he explored in his 1993 biography of John Courtney Murray, “The Search for an American Public Theology.” A Jesuit priest, Murray wrote extensively on relations between church and state, especially in societies with numerous religious traditions.

By all means, let’s listen to another religious pluralist Jesuit. Sigh.

Catholic Colleges Should Ignore James Martin, SJ

Whew! I’m finally getting around to this LONG load of sinister. Fortunately for you all, I’m going to snip a whole lot, because the whole first part is preaching to the choir. It’s a big “duh”. Maybe you’ve got to say it for a secular crowd but being loving and caring is a Catholic thing. And, yes, I would think any faithful Catholic college could be loving towards anyone. Sadly he still went on and on but I stuck it out until the end where it just got more outrageous.

How can Catholic colleges welcome the L.G.B.T. person?

James Martin, S.J.

February 03, 2020

<lots of snipping>

That’s our topic: How Catholic colleges can respond to L.G.B.T. issues on campus.

Given the importance of this topic, in addition to relying on my experience for this talk, I contacted Catholic college and university presidents, administration, faculty, staff, students and trustees to ask for their insights. So what I am presenting are not simply reflections based on my ministry with L.G.B.T. people, but the shared wisdom of dozens of people affected by this issue, who work in both the groves of academe and the vineyard of the Lord.

How can Catholic colleges respond to the needs of L.G.B.T. people? It is often a contentious topic. But it need not be. Because at heart it is about something that Jesuits call cura personalis: care for the whole person, care for the L.G.B.T. person, care for people like Khadija.

It need not be, until you muck it up.

The primary question for Catholic higher education, therefore, is not primarily a legal one, an ecclestical one, a financial one or even an academic one. It is a spiritual one: how to best care for people who have probably doubted they are loved by God, feared their parents will reject them, questioned whether they could find a place in the world, and, if they are Catholic, have certainly doubted or despaired about their place in the church, and who, because of all these things, may have contemplated suicide or self-harm.

Catholic schools’ primary focus should be on educating and saving souls. Again, big “duh”. Did we really need Fr. Martin to tell us this? Honestly, an oracle he ain’t.

L.G.B.T. people should not be seen only as victims—they bring joy, energy and life to our world and our campuses. They are God’s beloved children, created in the image of God, and so they bring unique blessings, talents and graces to your community, precisely as L.G.B.T. people. Still, when you encounter an L.G.B.T. person, your starting point must be that you are meeting someone who has suffered and may still be suffering.

Wait. Why should they be seen as victims at all? This is where he always gets it wrong. Those suffering from same-sex attraction are suffering with what we all suffer with, our human frailty. We’re all just suffering from original sin in our own unique ways. It doesn’t make us victims, although, of course, some people are. Instead of telling us how we have to consider one class of people as victims and not fellow members of the Body of Christ trying to work out our own salvation, maybe he should start encouraging people to see everyone as struggling just like we are. Honestly, for a guy who accuses us all of being self-righteous, he sure seems to miss the point that approaching people like, “Oh, poor person, they’re ‘L.G.B,T’” might not be the way to go. We should look at everyone as if they are every bit as precious in God’s eyes and struggling like the rest of us to rid ourselves of sin and spend eternity with God.

So, to my same-sex attracted readers, let me offer you a different message. You are not your sins and proclivities, hopeless, helpless, a victim of your attractions. Heck! You are just like me. You’re struggling to overcome original sin and all of the other sin that’s entered the world since then. It’s hard to follow God. It’s hard to be chaste. It’s hard to overcome our sins, but let’s struggle together. Don’t give in to those who tell you that you can’t do it, shouldn’t have to do it, should embrace your sin, etc. They’re speaking on behalf satan.

Imagine a group of refugees suddenly matriculating at your school. You would not treat them the same way as you did other students. You would naturally see them as people who have undergone an ordeal and would adjust your approach to them. In fact—and speaking as someone who has worked with refugees—that is not a bad analogy. L.G.B.T. individuals often feel like refugees from society and almost always refugees from the church, and that’s including the non-Catholic individuals: excluded, discarded, mistreated, marginalized, persecuted. At the same time, like refugees, they bring a wealth of knowledge, perspective and experience that can enrich the academic experience and makes everyone’s experience of a truly “Catholic” higher education a stronger one.

Again, my dear same-sex attracted readers, don’t fall for this. He desperately wants you to believe you are victims. Don’t get me wrong. Bullying (to summarize his list) is bad. We all know that. So many are bullied for so many things and in so many ways. It’s wrong, but we need to overcome our own personal bullies. From personal experience, I can tell you that it can be miserable and can even be a physical danger in this day and age, but I’m here to tell you it can be overcome. Usually the situation is temporary, people can grow and where you are today is not where you will be tomorrow. Why aren’t we told this? I don’t look at refugees as victims. I look at them as people who escaped their victim-hood and are trying to have a better life. People aren’t refugees from the Church. The Church is a refuge for them. This has been the epic misunderstanding FOREVER. “Oh, the Church with all its rules and regulations is soooooo oppressive.” Instead, we need our clergy to show us that Her teachings are a help to us, not a hindrance. Following those rules and teachings are the only way we will be truly free from the real oppression of sin. So, Father Martin, get over your savior complex and start acting like the Church teachings are our path to heaven.

That is how I invite you to see L.G.B.T. people: as gifted and graced people who are also in need of your care, support and advocacy. But how to care, support and advocate for them? To that end, and drawing on insights from leaders in higher education, let me share some best practices when it comes to L.G.B.T. people on Catholic college campuses.

What does “gifted and graced” mean? Is this something that only “L.G.B.T.” people can be? And advocacy? What are we supposed to be advocating for? I mean, seriously, what? Shouldn’t it be the same thing everyone should have? If not, exactly what is it?

1. Begin with the God-given dignity of the human person. This is fundamental. One college dean at a university on the East Coast said: “Catholic colleges and universities should be at the forefront of affirming the humanity and dignity of their L.G.B.T.Q. members (including students, faculty, alumni/ae and others associated with the institution). All else flows from this: theological reflection, moral judgment, discernment of how to respond to their needs. Concrete measures flow from this, too.”

Good luck with that. They can’t even affirm the dignity and humanity of the unborn. It’s crazy to have a Jesuit lecturing the rest of us on affirming the dignity and humanity of all people when they ditched “papaya abortion training” on the Georgetown campus ONLY after people made a ruckus about it. So, spare us the lectures and take care of your own house first.  We’ve got the dignity of each human life down. We don’t need your help.

If you want to truly advocate for the dignity of the human person, you should see to it that consciences are PROPERLY formed. That’s the only way to ensure it. Don’t believe me? There’s a LARGE section in the Catechism on the dignity of the human person and the role conscience plays in that. You’ll never know that because Fr. Martin isn’t going to cherry pick those parts. Here you go.

“The measures he suggests dovetail with the catechism’s call for “respect, compassion and sensitivity.” Calling people by the names and pronouns they choose is part of respect; providing L.G.B.T.-inclusive benefits reflects compassion; and including sexual orientation and gender identity in nondiscrimination policies shows sensitivity. A faculty member at another college in the Northeast said simple acknowledgement is important. “It is,” she said, “remarkably rare for those in leadership positions within Catholic institutions to positively acknowledge L.G.B.T.Q.+ people within their communities.” Indeed, in Catholic settings, L.G.B.T. people may have never heard themselves spoken of in anything other than a negative sense. So begin with their dignity. They should be cared for not because they are Catholic or not-Catholic but because we are Catholic.”

Fr. Martin doesn’t even do this. Somehow he missed the memo. It’s not L.G.B.T. anymore.  It’s now L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+, and they’ve probably added a few more since I wrote this. (“S.J.”, perhaps?) We’ve really got to stop insisting that people ignore biological realities.

It’s rare that Catholicism is spoken in anything but a negative sense nowadays, and usually by you, Fr. Martin. Please. Besides that, here we have more muddling between the attraction and living the lifestyle. It’s shameful. No, Catholics don’t think being same-sex attracted makes one a sinner, but we are not going to say that the same-sex LIFESTYLE doesn’t involve sin. Catholicism 101. Sin is sin, no matter who is doing it. Those engaging in sin (including pre-marital sex, birth control, gluttony, drugs, porn, etc., etc., etc.) are not being ostracized by the Body of Christ. They are the ones causing a rupture within it, because sin begets sin.

Even in the face of opposition (from online campaigns, but also in some cases donors and trustees), Catholic schools should be known for their acceptance of L.G.B.T. people as a visible sign of how much we value their God-given dignity.

Stop. Stop. Stop. Honestly, lying is a sin, Father. No Catholic on the planet should be known for their acceptance of a LIFESTYLE that harms one’s body, mental health and soul. In fact, this notion is in direct conflict with the dignity of a human person that you so often falsely tout. A person’s “God-given dignity” has ZERO to do with a lifestyle choice, especially one that goes against the image and likeness of God.

2. Never forget how much L.G.B.T. people have suffered. A few facts will give us context. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, lesbian, gay and bisexual youth contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate as straight youth; and they are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide. Forty percent of transgender adults have considered suicide; and of those, 92 percent did so before they were 25. So in many situations, L.G.B.T. issues are also life issues.

This starts with the fact that they are living a lifestyle in conflict with the person God made them to be. You’ve lulled them into dualism that allows them to believe God made them to be in conflict with the body He created. Your little lectures to the contrary don’t help the conflict and turmoil they experience. You telling them sin is peachy compounds it.

Let’s consider harassment. According to a study at U.C.L.A., 85 percent of L.G.B.T. students (young people between the ages of 8 and 18) have experienced verbal harassment; 58 percent of L.G.B.T. youth have felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation; 43 percent have felt unsafe because of their gender identity. Twenty-seven percent of L.G.B.T. students have been physically harassed at school because of their sexual orientation and 13 percent because of their gender identity. It is even worse for transgender students: 54 percent reported being verbally harassed; 24 percent physically attacked; 17 percent reported leaving a school because the mistreatment was so bad.

Catholicism is the answer to all of this, not the cause! Again, you’re blurring away, Fr. Martin. I find it interesting that you are somehow insinuating this all takes place only at Catholic schools.

This says nothing about their families. Rejection by families is one of the chief reasons for homelessness among L.G.B.T. youth. According to that same U.C.L.A. study, 40 percent of homeless youth served by services identify as L.G.B.T. Consider other problems faced by L.G.B.T. young people who are not homeless but whose parents have cut them off—financial insecurity, for example.

I’m just curious, do you advocate for parents to give money to their child if they are, say, doing drugs? I don’t. I’m going to cut their money off as fast as I can. Likewise, if my child was engaging in promiscuous behavior in my house, I also wouldn’t support them. In the end, it’s going to be their choice whether to obey or run away. Any way my children are harming themselves isn’t going to be supported. Are parents supposed to stop insisting their children lead moral, healthy lives because their kids might not be happy with it? Maybe, Fr. Martin, you should realize that sometimes parents have to make gut-wrenching decisions about what they are going to tolerate in their homes to protect themselves, their other children, and the children who may leave home because of it. Again, if LIFESTYLE isn’t the real issue here, why would any parent simply toss their kid from the house for being same-sex attracted? Give me a break. I’m sick of hearing how horrible parents are to their children for simply not rubber stamping everything they do. It’s ridiculous. And your endlessly telling us about it is you telling us to just accept the homosexual lifestyle. Just admit it.

Now consider how L.G.B.T. people are treated in the Catholic Church. Every day I receive messages from L.G.B.T. people recounting rejection, insults and persecution from the church’s ministers. One woman told me that when she came out at her college, the priest in campus ministry said, “I’ve prayed my whole life never to meet a gay person.” Another young man told me a pastoral associate told him that since he was gay—not sexually active, just gay—that he could no longer receive Communion. L.G.B.T. youth also are aware that the church has targeted employees in same-sex marriages who have been fired from jobs, when others who also do not follow church teaching are largely left alone.

Conjecture isn’t helpful here. If somebody is wrongly treating someone, go to their superior on that person’s behalf. So tired of hearing how awful parents and priests are. Your savior complex apparently is alive and well. If you want us to believe it’s parents and priests that are the main ones doing the bullying, rather than peers, prove it.

And we have not even talked about the undercurrent of “conversion therapy” that runs through our church like a polluted stream. Thoroughly discredited by psychiatrists and psychologists, banned in many places for the havoc it wreaks on people, it still is used, promoted and praised in subtle and not-so-subtle ways in too many dioceses, parishes and schools. Judging from recent conversations I have had, it is still taught and supported in some seminaries. All this compounds the suffering of the L.G.B.T. Catholic.

When you are dealing with an L.G.B.T. person, you are dealing with someone, to quote Isaiah, “acquainted with grief.”

“Conversion therapy” is a broad term. It can range from lobotomies to counseling. While I doubt lobotomies or shock therapy are going to bring about “conversion”, I have no problem with counseling, especially if the person wishes to make a lifestyle change because, as I’ve said, we are not our attractions and inclinations. I also have no problem with parents seeking Christian counseling for their teens experiencing SSA. Controversial? Deal. The reality is that many people suffering from same-sex attraction have experienced some sort of sexual trauma in their youth. And, with the suicide rates, I’m definitely for some counseling. Fr. Martin would have you believe the suicide rates are simply from “not being accepted.” I live in the most accepting place in the world. Guess what? Suicides are still happening here.

3. Welcome L.G.B.T. youth groups, programs and centers.As a Catholic community, we need to be clear about our welcome. One faculty member at a Midwestern university said an L.G.B.T. outreach group on campus “should be the floor, not the ceiling.” Almost everyone mentioned this. The recently retired president of a university in the Northeast said, “It’s important to facilitate the formation of an L.G.B.T. support group. It’s important for gay students to know that they are not alone, that there are others like them on campus, and for them to form a support community.” He also rejected the idea that these groups are usually out to challenge church teaching, and he is correct. “They are much more interested in mutual support and community building.”

Hey! What about creating Catholic groups, programs and centers??? Wow! There’s a thought. How little respect does Fr. Martin have for the Church that “Catholic” isn’t his first thought? Want people not to feel alone, isolated, martyred? Don’t make them so by isolating them in some sort of subclass of people. Don’t make them feel alone, ostracized, etc. Make them feel like there are more people out there with whom they can struggle to become the holiest person possible.

Why not afford them the same respect and resources you do for other groups? The dean of student development in a college in the Northeast said, “We need to be even more pro-active in our outreach to students in these groups—they have higher rates of depression, anxiety, relationship violence and suicide.” In essence, these are programs for at-risk youth.

The real question is, why are you allowing all these groups to wander alone instead of in one, big, Body of Christ??? I’m not talking “chess club.” There shouldn’t be a multitude of spiritual clubs AT A CATHOLIC COLLEGE. Remember, that’s supposedly who this talk is aimed at. There could be Catholics struggling against secularism, and Catholics struggling to be the holiest people they can be. If the non-Catholics in the school want to join, grand! They’ll learn what Catholicism is all about. That’s kind of what a Catholic school is for.

The four years spent in college is an important experience for all students, but especially for L.G.B.T. youth, who are not only discovering their identity and navigating their relationship with parents but hoping to discover their own value. Outreach programs help them to do this. L.G.B.T. resource centers, like the large one at Georgetown University (which are still rare), are an even better idea. And objections to gay-straight alliances, outreach programs and resource programs are almost always off the mark. Simply by comparing them to other programs shows up the double standard. They promote sexual activity? No they don’t. Besides, you could argue, so do co-ed dorms. They promote rowdy behavior? No they don’t. Besides, you could argue, so do football games.

LOL! What makes you think we are in favor of co-ed dorms on Catholic campuses??? As a mother, I can tell you that we’re not worried about rowdy football games. We’re worried about sexual deviancy and immorality. And, are you trying to say that the “L.G.B.T.” programs have a rippin’ chastity program? Please. That’s altogether absent from most Catholic colleges these days, much less those with “L.G.B.T.” clubs.

Be creative with programs designed to welcome: One college sponsors an L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ mixer with students, faculty and staff, including allies; another school has a Lavender Graduation, where L.G.B.T. faculty and staff wear purple stoles over their academic regalia.

Yeah, those sexual inclination graduation ceremonies are soooooo necessary. Again, how about a CATHOLIC mixer? Geez. You know, the thing that’s supposed to unite those at a CATHOLIC college?

4. Bring together your entire school. The whole school needs to come together on an issue that is often seen as the province of campus ministry or the counseling center. Khadija’s story shows how well things can work when the entire school understands the unique needs of its L.G.B.T. members. One dean said: “No one part of the institution, like an L.G.B.T. center, can meet the needs of L.G.B.T.Q. students. Training is necessary for people in all areas of the school: academic advising, student health, counseling and psychological services, campus ministry, resident life, athletics.” Also, bringing together the whole school and building relationships makes it easier to communicate during times of crisis over a hot-button L.G.B.T. issues.

Again, being a CATHOLIC school should be the answer.

Can your whole school be a place where L.G.B.T. people feel loved? To answer that, ask yourself: Would they feel comfortable coming out at your school? Often an L.G.B.T. faculty member is the first one to whom a student comes out. But faculty members, said a former president of a large university, may be unconnected to the other professional staffs, like counseling, psychiatric services and campus ministry. “Faculty,” he added, “are more likely than other student-centered professionals to assume the church has a blanket condemnation of these students. Does the top administration signal to the entire school that the position of the church is pastoral accompaniment?”

Nobody is saying that students with SSA should be condemned. Well, nobody but you. Stop making these straw arguments to set yourself up as a savior.

More fundamentally, can the entire school be a place where L.G.B.T. people are safe? One former president of a college in the Northeast said: “Priority always has to be given to the safety and well-being of the students. If a gay or trans student were attacked, I would never want anything I said to have given encouragement to the attackers, even unintentionally, by criticizing gay or trans students, their lifestyle or their activity.”

Sigh. Again, Catholics aren’t for violence. Next, if this happens at a Catholic school, then the school is failing to pass along basic Catholicism. And the biggie, how would anyone be offended by a gay or trans student unless they were living the lifestyle??? That’s really what this comes down to. You expect those who hold the Catholic beliefs on sexuality dear, and are presumably paying a bundle to be at a Catholic school, to accept what? Immorality on campus? Let’s say that you’re talking about Georgetown, you know, the epic Jesuit school (or any of the other ones) that left its Catholicism on the table and walked away a long time ago. Do you have a problem with SSA people being harassed and beat up? And how about your other regular run of the mill universities with “gay and trans” communities? Huff Po actually did a piece that’s worth reading (and I don’t say it often). Or is it happening at, say, Christendom or Thomas Aquinas College? You know it’s not.  So, what’s the difference? Could it be authentic Catholicism??? Of course it is. The instances of generally un-Christian behavior are always going to be lower on these types of campuses because immorality is pretty much frowned upon no matter what the action. Immorality breeds immorality. There is no dignity of the person when they are reduced to a sexual object, and G-town and the like have done nothing to promote true dignity of the person.

5. Remember that words matter. So do signs and symbols. Many people tend to see L.G.B.T. issues as political matters, weapons in “identity politics.” The words we use (the pronouns, for example), or more broadly the way we talk about L.G.B.T. people in the Catholic world, often turns into a battle. You can still be criticized even for using the term “L.G.B.T.”

But for the L.G.B.T. person these issues are something else. One student, Maddie Foley, wrote in Notre Dame’s student newspaper, “Please, in the name of gentleness and mercy…if you are still opposed to LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church, choose your words carefully and remember that there are real, complicated, dignified, made-in-the-image of God people hearing them, people you haven’t witnessed in prayer, people that have been wounded by the church, people that love God, people who have wept and wept about their place in God’s kingdom, people who will be far more affected by your words about gay rights than you will ever be.” Questions about words, terms, phrases and even the way we discuss these issues have real-life impacts beyond some imaginary “agenda.”

Again, Notre Dame is just another school that turned in its Catholic identity a while ago.

This is a good place to draw on your school’s institutional mission. One diversity officer from a Southern university founded by a religious order said, “The institutional mission tells us…how to treat our L.G.B.T. students and colleagues, just as Catholic teaching does.” And of course we can’t assume that all the students are Catholic. One gay college professor in the Northeast said, “What does it look like for Catholic schools to welcome L.G.B.T. students from other (or no) faith traditions? The way that we treat L.G.B.T. people, Catholic or not, speaks volumes to non-Catholics about how we treat everyone.

As an aside, L.G.B.T. Catholic students come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Many have left the church because they felt rejected or never thought of the church as a home at all. Some may be comfortable with their own sexuality and see no contradiction between their belief and sexuality—whether they follow church teaching on chastity. (You could make the same observation about sexually active straight students.) These L.G.B.T. youth are happy in campus ministry, at Mass and in the church. Still others are wrestling with church teaching. Finally, many struggle with what some theologians call “Christophobia,” the fear of Christ and the church brought on by generations of hatred and homophobia. Self-loathing is a real issue.

If someone feels comfortable with themselves when they don’t follow the Church’s teachings on chastity, there is a BIG, BIG problem, no matter what their inclination. It’s not homophobic to champion the Church’s teaching on sexual morality. Self-loathing becomes a problem not because of Church teaching, but because of a conscience that knows how it should behave but chooses a contrary lifestyle. Again and again, sin causes the rupture with the Body of Christ.

Beyond words, what signs and symbols show them that they are loved? How about L.G.B.T.-affirming spiritualities, theologies, liturgies and safe spaces? Are L.G.B.T. people fully welcome at Mass? Remember: Lex orandi, lex credendi. How we worship shapes and shows what we believe. How we study does as well. Are their experiences part of what they study? This means including their stories, histories, contributions to society and struggles in their classes.

Visible and supported L.G.B.T. faculty and staff members are important symbols too. The former president of a medium-size Catholic university said, “I found the gay faculty at my university some of the most supportive and engaged in the mission of the institution.” L.G.B.T. faculty can and do, he said, serve as role models. This shouldn’t be required of them, but they often do this.

What the heck is are “L.G.B.T.-affirming spiritualities, theologies and liturgies”?!?! We are talking about Catholic schools, right? “L.G.B.T.” is not in the Catholic lexicon.

One campus minister at a large university in the Midwest pointed out an even more visible symbol: the statue of Dr. Tom Dooley on his alma mater Notre Dame’s campus, an image of a gay man renowned for his generosity. Raise up L.G.B.T. people for them to see.

He isn’t a renowned Catholic because he was homosexually active. He was renowned for his charity. Considering people renowned for their sexual sins or inclinations is ridiculous. I mean, really, “Yay he engages in homosexual activity and he cured cancer!” or “He engaged in heterosexual sexual activities and he ended slavery?” See how bizarre it is? Quite frankly, he would have been a truly amazing person if not for the immorality in his life.

Remember that you may be offering students, for the first time in their lives, a space where words support them, signs encourage them and symbols help them to re-evaluate their whole stance with the church, with themselves, with their families and with God.

Support them in what??? This is the same question Fr. Martin’s been asked a thousand times. Never elucidating is very telling.

6. Stand with them. Money issues and fear are always poor excuses not to stand with the marginalized. There is a more severe cost of not standing with L.G.B.T. people: suicide, depression, loss of community, loss of faith. It would be the same with students of any minority.

Sometimes you find that standing with them yields unexpected benefits. One dean of a university in the Northeast said that while you may have trouble with “reluctant trustees, bishops or other constituents” over the moral case, the practical case is strong. Thirty-one percent of millennials described themselves in a recent poll as other than fully heterosexual, and many applicants will be more curious about the level of L.G.B.T. acceptance, especially at Catholic schools that they may presume are not welcoming to L.G.B.T. individuals. And the more people who come out, the more this issue affects every family, every person, every faculty member, every trustee. Also, the rest of millennials and Gen-Z who do not identify as L.G.B.T. are watching closely to see how their friends and their brothers and sisters and siblings are being treated.

And? Are we to say “Go team!” when it comes to them acting on their inclinations? Sorry. I for one love them too much. I’m not going to say “Go for it!” when I know the physical, mental and spiritual costs of activity outside the realm of sexual morality. You know what? Some people are really addicted to porn. Not going to give them the thumbs up for pretty much the same reason. Some people are addicted to food. Not going to tell them to eat away. Some are addicted to being skinny, not going to give them the thumbs up to anorexia. Some really love having sex outside of marriage. Not going to say “Yay!” to them either. Why? Because all of these sins lead to death, spiritually, mentally and physically, and more often than not, all three.

A faculty member who was also on the board at a medium-sized college told me a story. The students wanted to form a gay-straight alliance, but some trustees were worried. When the president announced it at the board meeting, there was dead silence. Here is how the trustee described what happened next: “A big C.E.O. type hunches up his shoulders and leans in, forcefully sweeps his gaze and looks everyone at the big table in the eye and says, ‘Frankly I’m surprised it took this long.’ No one wanted to mess with him. Turns out his daughter was gay and had just adopted his grandchild with her partner.” Bottom line, said this faculty member: “The administration won as much as they lost.”

So are you condoning same-sex relationships with this last paragraph??? Are you saying this is what gay/straight alliances condone? I know the answer, but you’ve always seemed dodgy on this one.

And firing married L.G.B.T. faculty is clearly not standing with the L.G.B.T. person. The reason usually given for the firings is that these employees are not supporting or conveying church teaching. But you could say the same for many Catholics: those who use birth control, those who don’t attend Sunday Mass, and so on. You could also say it about those who aren’t Catholic. Will you fire the Protestant employees who don’t believe in papal authority or the Jewish employees who do not believe in Jesus? Targeting married L.G.B.T. employees is not enforcing church teaching—because you are enforcing it selectively. Rather, it is engaging in discrimination.

Nope, it’s not standing with homosexual activity or activism, and it is also back to blurring the line, as per your usual, on public sins vs. private sins.

So even if it costs, stand with them. Be prophetic. Be like Jesus. Because if we’re not trying to be like Jesus, what’s the point?

Great.  Go and sin no more. Just like Jesus said. I’m all for it.

7. Work closely with your local ordinary. The former president of a university in the South said that it was essential to keep your local bishop up to date about what is going on in the school. I’m sure this point does not need belaboring. This president said, “They may or may not be sympathetic, but they hate to be surprised.” It’s often not an easy task, and there can be misunderstanding. That’s why dialogue and openness are important, especially on this issue. I would invite those who have diocesan bishops who are not as sympathetic to see your role as an advocate. You may be the only person who has ever had a face-to-face meeting with this church leader to advocate for L.G.B.T. people. What message do you want to share with him?

And hopefully your local ordinary will educate you as to why Fr. Martin is someone to run far away from.

8. Educate yourself and your school.The kind of education that occurs around L.G.B.T. issues is multifaceted. First, the best education is simply listening to the experiences of L.G.B.T. people. If we start with experience, it will help to inform all else: ethics, spirituality, theology and so on. Second, educate yourself on the full range of church teaching about L.G.B.T. people. Even educated Catholics tend to think that the catechism includes simply a restriction on same-sex relations and same-sex marriage. It does, but there is also the invitation to treat them with “respect, compassion and sensitivity” and the restriction against “unjust discrimination.” But even this is too narrow. Church teaching on L.G.B.T. people is more than a few lines in the catechism. Church teaching is the Gospel and Jesus’ message of love, mercy and compassion, especially for those on the margins. That is the heart of church teaching.

Yes, by all means, listen to those who are SSA, but don’t just leave them there. Bring them to the true beauty and freedom that the Church’s teachings on sexual morality give us.

Speaking of church teaching, a former president of a Midwestern college now working in Rome said, “It’s important to note how much the Congregation for Education has essentially trusted US Catholic institutions on the L.G.B.T. front.” He said that they know that the schools are helping these students. “Individual bishops may be upset, but the Congregation is not inclined to make a fuss.”

I’m just curious why so many names are not named.

Third, there is a great deal you can read on your own about topics that are still confusing and that you may not feel ready to share with the school. Recently I confessed to the parents of a child who identifies as “gender queer” that I didn’t understand that term. In response, they gave me a book called Gender Queer, which helped me understand that rather new experience.

Finally, offer education programs for your whole university. “Safe Zone” or “Q Advocacy” workshops are opportunities for students, staff, faculty and community to learn more about sexuality and gender issues, which often help people do the following: Set and clarify vocabulary on L.G.B.T. issues; provide lectures or activities that serve as a space for discussion on issues of bias and identity; offer opportunities for people to ask questions; empower people to feel involved in issues that face an increasing number of students. Let your college, already a place of learning, be a place of learning on this complicated issue as well.

Gee, I noticed you didn’t recommend Fr. Mike Schmitz’s “Made for Love”.

9. Listen to transgender people in humility. This is the leading edge in L.G.B.T. issues in Catholic higher education, and I am no expert. But few people are, including psychiatrists and psychologists. The medical, scientific and psychological data about this phenomenon are complex. We are all learners, so we should all be listeners

Last year, I was invited to discuss this topic with the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education after they published their statement, “Male and Female He Created Them.” During my meeting with Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, the prefect of the congregation, and his undersecretary, Friedrich Bechina, F.S.O., I read aloud letters from Luisa Derouen, O.P., a Dominican sister who has worked for 20 years with transgender people, from a mother and father with L.G.B.T. children, and from a transgender man. With the congregation’s permission, I can share that they spoke about the context and purpose of their document, which was focused on Catholic schools. And I can say that Cardinal Versaldi expressed sorrow if people thought the congregation was accusing people of being ideologically distorted and that he wanted to share the congregation’s care for transgender people and his desire to continue dialogue to reflect on the transgender experience.

And no matter what you might hear from angry donors or ill-informed websites, transgender people are not the result of a “gender ideology.” Ray Dever, a Catholic deacon with a trans child, noted this in a superb article in U.S. Catholic magazine: “Anyone with any significant first-hand experience with transgender individuals would be baffled by the suggestion that trans people are somehow the result of an ideology.” Nonetheless, the position of some Catholics is to bind up this complicated personal experience with some political agenda. So I beg you to listen and learn—from trans people and from reliable scientific studies. Also, remember that while many college-age kids have already come out—especially in large cities—trans kids still need accepting support groups.

Oh my gosh. I forgot, you are the only one who cares about people, and people who are against transgenderism are just hateful, hateful, hateful. Really, Fr. Martin? I realize that you live in an ivory tower, but the rest of us do not. Gender dysphoria is a widely recognized term in the world of psychology. It is indeed a dysphoria. Could it possibly be that we love our fellow man enough to not foster a dysphoria? Could it also be we don’t want men/women in bathrooms with children of the opposite sex?  Could it be that we don’t believe in making boys nationals stars for being transgender exotic dancers? The list of people damaged by this issue goes on and on.

Speaking of listening, I asked a Catholic transgender man with a Ph.D. in theology, who transitioned during his senior year in college, to suggest a few tips. Here they are: Make it easy, he said, for students to live in housing that matches their gender identity. Essentially, they should be offered a housing option that helps them feel safe. Second, he said, ensure the availability of some gender-neutral bathrooms. Not all but some. Third, he suggested ensuring that school health insurance should cover transition-related services. Medical transition, he said, is a recognized condition. In general, covering services does not significantly raise the cost of health insurance, since few students access these services. Fourth, he suggested ensuring that students can change their names/gender on records, and that faculty members use the student’s preferred name and pronouns. Trans people have often told me how difficult it is to continually hear the wrong pronoun. Sister Luisa said: “Addressing a person in the way that they have told you is simply good manners. Failing to do so is a reflection on the speaker, not the trans person.” One philosophy professor simply passes out a sign-in sheet on the first day of class to ask about pronouns.

And what of the people who are not comfortable living with members of the opposite sex? People suffering from gender dysphoria should be given preference over my, say, 18-year-old daughter? Doesn’t it matter if she feels safe? Thanks. Same goes for “gender neutral” (no such thing) bathrooms? To hell with the women or men who are uncomfortable with this. They just have to deal. And medical transitioning??? Johns Hopkins won’t even do this anymore because it didn’t help the underlying psychological issues but now you want to make colleges pay for what? Surgeries and hormones?  Honestly, who can say they love their fellow man and then give the thumbs up to hormones being pumped in at large doses that aren’t supposed to be there. The amount of mental and health issues you are championing is insane. Sadly, you’ll end up bearing the responsibility for your “advocacy.” And lastly, no, we should not encourage dysphoria. And what about Pope Francis? Are you going to dismiss his teaching in this area?

There are also ways of moving ahead that don’t upset everyone. One vice president for student affairs in a college in the Northeast spoke of having the student’s new name on the diploma but retaining the original name in the school’s records, until a legal name change was undertaken. One college for women has this explanation on their website:

In furtherance of our mission, tradition, and values as a college for women, and in recognition of our changing world and evolving understanding of gender identity, the College will consider for undergraduate admission those applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth. The College will continue to use gendered language that reflects its mission as an undergraduate college for women.

The level of insanity is staggering.

As an aside, controversy over gender-neutral bathrooms is less important than the safety of these people. Sister Luisa noted that the idea that the transgender people or L.G.B.T. people will somehow assault straight kids is backwards. It’s the L.G.B.T. kids who feel unsafe. It’s not without controversy, but trans youth have been through enough. Let them at least go to the bathroom in peace. Overall, though, when it comes to trans people on campus, a simple plea: Listen to them.

Well, it’s already happened, so? Do we really think it’s the 10-year-old girls who are going to assault the man insisting he’s a woman? The children are always the victims in our twisted world.

10. During a crisis, discern and make a preferential option for the L.G.B.T. person. Here are three things to begin with during a crisis over LGBT issues. Avoid boilerplate responses to hot-button topics. Find out what’s going on yourself and exercise empathy. And recognize that attacks about L.G.B.T. issues are often attacks on other things—higher education, some political party, the 1960s, Vatican II or even Pope Francis.

Some topics seem inevitably to incite controversy: drag shows, gender-neutral bathrooms, gender-neutral pronouns. The former president of a college in the Midwest said, “Few issues are as combustible in the Upper Midwest as the trans person and bathroom access.” As an aside, he also noted that the church loses “lots of these kids who have been raised Catholic” who draw upon Catholic social teaching to support their opposition.

Uh, yeah.  Are you giving all these things a pass, Fr. Martin?

Let me share common some responses to crisis management on L.G.B.T. issues from leaders in Catholic higher education. First, keep your diocesan bishop informed. Second, approach these things from an educational point of view. Can you have a panel or a presentation on what drag shows mean or on why gender-neutral bathrooms have become so important? Earlier I mentioned including the stories of L.G.B.T. people and their history in classes. Fostering an environment like that, where the L.G.B.T. experience is integrated into the curriculum, helps the entire school in times of controversy, because the school already sees these issues in a larger context.

Well, he’s really jumped the shark. We’re now supposed to have drag shows on Catholic college campuses and cheer?!?!  Instead, how about we educate the “trans” person as to the fact that God didn’t create their body and soul to be in conflict???

Finally, discern. No one size fits all. Trust that God will lead you to the best decision, which is based on your school, your history, your mission, your student body, your diocese and your bishop. But all else being the same: make a preferential option for those who have few on their side in the church: the L.G.B.T. person.

Wrong. There is a one size fits all. It’s called Catholicism. We are all called to it because God loves us and gave us the Church to be our help and our guide to struggle against sin.  All of us, every day.

The only thing Fr. Martin has right in his whole missive is that same-sex attraction needs to be addressed. We need to step up since we’re actually the people with day-to-day relationships with those struggling. We need to be Catholic, which means we need to love. You can love without approving sin. Don’t let the likes of Fr. Martin and his ilk tell you otherwise. Moms and dads know this well.  I’ve said this before, I’d love to see groups pop up that are focused on struggling together with whatever thing you are trying to overcome in life. Think about it. We need to save our world, and overcoming sin is the only way to do it. And please remember the children. They are always the biggest victims in wholesale immorality, and we’re starting to see the results of a generation being raised in a world that’s completely given up trying to fight against sin.

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