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

Buy THIS Book!

UPDATE! – And a biggie! http://magister.blogautore.espresso.repubblica.it/2020/02/12/francis%e2%80%99s-silence-ratzingers-tears-and-that-never-published-statement-of-his/

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”.  https://www.ignatius.com/From-the-Depths-of-Our-Hearts-P3550.aspx  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: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/archbishop-ganswein-benedict-xvi-wrote-text-but-did-not-agree-to-be-books-co-author-52484  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!

 

 

 

 

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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

By PETER ROWE

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.

II. THE FORMATION OF CONSCIENCE

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

III. TO CHOOSE IN ACCORD WITH CONSCIENCE

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

  1. ERRONEOUS JUDGMENT

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.

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/02/03/how-can-catholic-colleges-welcome-lgbt-person

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.  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-catholic-university-bars-campus-workshop-that-destigmatizes-abortion-methods 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? https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/the-popes-take-on-transgender-issues-accept-the-body-god-gave-you-56797

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.

+Cupich & His Unreasoned Allegiance to All Things +Cupich

Cardinal Cupich warns against the Church entering partisan politics

Christopher White

Jan 27, 2020

Translation? Don’t vote for Trump. Honestly, I’m so tired of being lectured endlessly by our clergy about partisan politics. Do they actually know what that means? Do they actually think we are stupid?

Here’s the definition of partisan:

1: a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person

especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance

We all do what we do every time we enter into politics. We do the best we can to stop the worst evil. There are no perfect candidates. And, despite Cardinal Cupich’s best efforts, we look at the preeminent issue first and then, when we find two candidates with the same stance, we start weighing the rest of the important factors. Why do we do this? Because, as the Holy Father said just last week,

if you’re not alive you can’t do anything else.

Just a few blog posts ago, I asked how Cardinal Cupich was going to spin the Holy Father’s words.  Guess we know now.  He can’t, so he’s just going to act like they don’t exist.

NEW YORK – One day after President Donald Trump became the first sitting president to address the March for Life, Cardinal Blase Cupich cautioned that “the Church’s job is not to discern which political, partisan or military force we should support in order for good to triumph,” but to see Christ as the “starting point” for the Church’s social ministry.”

What in the what? So at this point, is he just telling us not to vote at all??? The last time I checked, he and his ilk told us ad nauseum that we are the Church. Suddenly no? I saw this tweet today. It’s completely true and I immediately thought of the contrast between Archbishop Chaput and the guy who actually does infantilize the laity at every turn.

It is certainly the job of the clergy to help Catholics rightly form their consciences so they can freely make the best choice possible regarding Catholic teaching. That being said, in case you didn’t know, the Church actually has a doctrinal note on “The Participation of Catholics in Political Life.” It doesn’t say anything different than Pope Francis on the issue. You probably won’t hear about it from Cardinal Cupich, though. He must have a harder time twisting that one to make it sorta appear as if, somehow, the documents are at odds. Regardless, Cardinal Cupich appears to want people to think there are “fresh” ideas out there. Sorry. Same old, same old. The only person who seems clueless on the issue of life is Cardinal Cupich. He’s been fighting against it since he was a lowly bishop and told his priests to stay away from the 40 Days for Life campaign https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/confusion-as-spokane-bishop-asks-priests-not-to-join-40-days-for-life-vigil . Seriously, let that sink in. He wanted people (especially his priests) to stay away from praying for the babies and their moms about to go in for abortions. He’s always had some weird conflict of interest.

“What is needed is an integrated and consistent approach, with the priority being our attention to what Christ is doing, saving us by bringing us together, bringing about the Kingdom of God by creating a people,” said the archbishop of Chicago.

Well there’s a bit of psychobabble for you. What does “creating a people” mean? It’s so simple: TEACH CATHOLICISM! Honestly, if you made sure to teach the faithful, would we really have to worry? If you simply gave your faithful the Truth, they could move mountains.

His remarks were delivered to the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering on Saturday, an annual event in the nation’s capital, organized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development.

The four-day event includes workshops on Catholic social teaching, followed by in-person lobbying on Capitol Hill on behalf of Catholic legislative priorities.

Honestly, who invited him? He can’t even clean up the mess in his own area. People are dying on the streets of his town and he hasn’t been able to do a darn thing about it, yet we’re supposed to take advice from him on Justice, Peace, and Human Development? Please.

In his keynote address, Cupich highlighted the teachings of the Second Vatican Council that provided “a new way of being church and of understanding our baptismal call.”

“It makes us more aware of the need for a consistent ethic as we promote human dignity and justice for all,” said Cupich. “It also helps us achieve a proper balance as the Church engages the world of politics and as we take up our ministry to the least in our midst.”

YOU CAN’T HAVE DIGNITY IF YOU DON’T HAVE LIFE!!! You don’t even get to have a “baptismal call!” Dignity and justice don’t trump life!!!  Even Pope Francis agrees. As we pro-lifers always say, “Social Justice begins in the womb!”

In particular, he emphasized that the Council taught that holiness and salvation is not an individual exercise, but one that must be understood in relationship to the community.

You’d think he would pony up a quote or two from “the Council” to prove his point, but no. It is glaring in its absence. It’s always absent.

“This teaching stands in stark contrast to the not-so-subtle message of so much American public discourse today – namely that what matters most is the individual person, choice, personal freedom,” he said on Saturday. “What the Council Fathers wanted to underscore was that it is in our relationship with one another as a human community that we are saved.”

Again, got a quote from the Church Fathers for us?

“Such an approach also subverts any attempt to fragment our Catholic social teaching, pretending to offer so-called non-negotiables, which ends up reducing our moral tradition to a single set of issues,” he said.

The only person fragmenting our Catholic social teaching is you, Cardinal Cupich. You keep suggesting that people who believe in the “preeminent” moniker somehow live in a complete vacuum and that’s all they can see and that’s all they do. Ridiculous. You’re using a tactic that the pro-aborts use. “You only care about abortion and do nothing to help women!” Baloney. We are all into creating a culture of life. Let me ask you a question I’d normally ask a pro-abort, Cardinal Cupich. If a person engages in a mission like, say, breast cancer prevention and put their efforts into raising money for it, does that mean that they don’t care about other cancers??? Does that mean that don’t support other cancer fighting organizations? Does that mean they wouldn’t’ give someone they find hungry on the street some help? Does that mean they don’t take care of their elderly parents? Yeah, that’s the idea that you’re trying to put forth. If you really buy this, how come you’re not telling Sr. Helen Prejean she’s wrong?  Hmm… Do you really think that because her main thing is the death penalty that she doesn’t also work as much as she can in other areas? Of course not. That line of thought apparently applies only to those whose main work is stopping babies from being ripped apart. Maybe you should spend a little more time encouraging people to find an apostolate that encourages building a culture of life rather than tearing people down for not addressing every social issue on the planet at the same time. Nobody can do that. But to assume that faithful Catholics are somehow a one and done crowd is ridiculous. I have NEVER limited myself to only fighting abortion, but that is my preeminent issue because the Church consistently says it should be. Why don’t you jump on the real bandwagon rather than this fantasy one you’ve created?

This year’s Social Ministry Gathering was intentionally scheduled to take place immediately following the annual March for Life in an effort to focus on bridge-building across a spectrum of social justice issues, ranging from migration, human trafficking, abortion, and poverty.

OK, but I’d better hear that each and every topic got exactly equal time, otherwise the faithful are fragmented!!! But seriously, I’m going to keep bringing up a question I had for the annoying high school teacher who got his MA from Cracker Jacks. It applies to you, too, Cardinal Cupich. If you saw a child (or make it a lady) about to be killed by a man, and a homeless person a little ways away in the same proximity, who would you tend to first?!?! It’s just that easy. That’s what we are called to do. We are called, if it is in our ability, to fight for the life of the person in the closest proximity to death first.

Turning to Pope Francis, whom Cupich pointed out is the first pope to be a “son of the Second Vatican Council,” he said that Francis helps reorient the focus to see where Christ is already active in the world and how Christians might best engage that work.

So we’re supposed to ignore the areas where Christ isn’t active? What does this even mean? We’re supposed to go and make disciples of all nations. That would certainly be the way to overcome much of the evil in the world. But you? You want to focus on grand statements and obnoxious lectures instead of teaching the Faith, which ultimately is going to be THE solution (although, thanks to satan, some will always reject that.)

“Instead of starting with what we are doing or should do, his attention is on what Christ is doing,” he said. “He understands that the pursuit of a holy life is about encountering this Christ who is already active and present, and joining in his saving work.”

“This is what it means to read the signs of the times,” he continued.

More complete babbling.

Drawing heavily from Francis’s 2018 apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exultate, Cupich quoted at length a passage that in November he attempted to have the U.S. bishops include in their new introductory letter to their voting guide, known as Faithful Citizenship.

“Pope Francis warns against such an ‘ideological error found in those who find suspect the social engagement of others, seeing it as superficial, worldly, secular, materialist, communist or populist. Or they relativize it, as if there are other more important matters, or the only thing that counts is one particular ethical issue or cause that they themselves defend,’” said Cupich, citing Francis.

“He goes on to say, ‘our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.’”

And??? You’re suggesting that anyone disagrees with the fact that all lives are sacred. This is a strawman. We simply believe that you must deal with the preeminent issues, i.e., the most life-threatening ones, first. It’s not the people that are weighed differently. It’s their proximity to having their lives being snuffed out. How anyone is fooled by Cardinal Cupich’s faulty logic is beyond me.

“What is needed is an integrated and consistent approach, with the priority being our attention to what Christ is doing, saving us by bringing us together, bringing about the Kingdom of God by creating a people,” he continued.

So, is he saying you don’t save the child or woman in imminent danger of being killed before you address the housing situation of the homeless guy??? Seriously? No, you can’t always address both situations in an “integrated” fashion. Some situations require attention before others. I think his lack of desire to focus on the life and death issues is kind of telling.

“Absent this focus, we risk our call to holiness. ‘We cannot uphold an ideal of holiness,’ Francis observes, ‘that would ignore injustice in a world where some revel, spend with abandon and live only for the latest consumer goods, even as others look on from afar, living their entire lives in abject poverty.’”

Who is doing this?!?! Maybe Cardinal Cupich could give us an idea of who he’s hinting at? I mean, I’m assuming the talk was for the Catholic laity. So which of us is he accusing? How about his palatial estate? I mean, the Holy Father did talk about people living for consumer goods while people are in abject poverty.  Maybe he should start with the Archbishop’s mansion?

This talk was a waste of time. By all means, please, please, answer the Call to Holiness. Don’t abandon it because you cannot fix every moral and social issue that exists.

In the end, the bishops voted to include only the first section of passage 101 from Gaudete et Exultate, citing concerns about its length.

…and the fact that it was already taught and a big “DUH!”

In pointing the way forward, Cupich said that bringing salvation to the world will first come from a “deep and loving respect for the poor,” where Christ is already alive and at work.

Really? First? It would seem like bringing salvation to the world might require a knowledge and belief of the One True Faith. Might be why the current missionaries have had trouble bringing people to the Church.

“Those we serve are not objects of our charity,” he said. “They don’t exist to make ourselves feel better by offering our help. Rather, as Pope Francis often reminds us, we must see the poor for who they are: protagonists, subjects of their own history, but also worthy contributors to society, precisely because their unique experience has taught them what it means to belong to a people.”

The problem is, dear Cardinal Cupich, there will never be respect for the lives of anyone when we, as a world, are killing our most vulnerable. We can’t keep committing offenses against life itself and expect to be blessed in any regard. Abortion has led people to devalue life at all stages.  And, sadly, a good portion of the people in the pews are aborting their children and seeing them as objects rather than their own flesh and blood. Maybe, just maybe, if our pastors actually taught people about the evil of abortion, birth control, and the destruction of the family, we might have a shot at showing them the dignity of the human person, because that dignity starts in the home.

“If we do not help those in need, we have failed Christ, precisely because of the way persons are related – not only to one another, but also to God. If we do not understand this fundamental Gospel truth, then we do not understand the call to Christian holiness,” he said.

If you don’t preach the TRUTH, YOU have failed Christ. Don’t lay this at our feet.

In his closing remarks, he turned once more to warn against compromising with worldly powers for political success, and in the process, losing the fullness of the gospel.

Name names, Cardinal?

“When we fail to make what Christ is doing the starting point as we take up the social ministry of the Church, we end up with a distorted view of the Church and our very call to holiness,” he concluded. “So too, losing sight of Christ’s saving action as our point of reference, risks fragmenting our approach to social justice by giving priority to one issue or a set of issues according to our standards or worse yet, our compromises with worldly powers.”

Let’s not pretend (like +Cupich) that he’s not talking about Trump. What if it was Christ himself who is bringing about the conversion of a man once so vile that STDs were his biggest worry? Why is it that everyone doubts that he could possibly reform?  I mean, seriously, shouldn’t we all be hoping and praying for that?  It seems like he’s got one issue nailed down. Did I even expect to hear the speech I heard from him on Friday? Nope, but I didn’t rule it out and prayed for it daily. Talk about “losing sight of Christ’s saving action.” Apparently with Cardinal Cupich and gang, salvation is possible for a variety of sinners, but not at all possible for Trump. Sorry, I have a little more faith in God than that. And this upcoming election – you know, the one you have no partisan feelings about – is about further stopping murder. How about you stop being so completely jealous that a non-Catholic has more sway with Catholics than you? It’s really quite sad.  Why don’t you start chastising all of those Democrats, who are supposedly the only ones who care about the poor and downtrodden, to stop advocating for the murder of children through all nine months of pregnancy and now even after birth? You’d think that might get priority, but not in your very troubled mind.

 

 

 

 

 

Critiquing James Martin, SJ All Year Long

Well, now that the holidays are behind me and “Pro-life Weekend” is over (that’s a huge, busy deal in my house), I can finally write again.  Once again, I’d like to thank my go-to guy, Fr. James Martin, SJ, for providing me a bit of fodder just in the nick of time.  How kind of him!

Ah! There’s the perennial martyr I know and love! As usual, however, his comparisons are a bit off. Let me, once again, try to help him out.

In January I’m usually critiqued by the left for advocating for the unborn.

First of all, babies are being ripped apart all year long, so this should be the preeminent priority of all priests. Having your ego bruised by your normal groupies for doing so isn’t going to kill you. Really, I promise. The babies still have it worse. Now, I totally thank you for standing up against abortion, even if it’s in the usual seamless garment way, but maybe offer up the trauma to your pride for, you know, the ones actually being killed.

In June I’m usually critiqued by the right for advocating for LGBT people.

Next, you are not “advocating for LGBT people.” There is no such thing. There are simply humans made in the image and likeness of God. What you are advocating for is a completely immoral lifestyle.  You’re encouraging people not to repent of their sins, but to embrace the sins as godly. You are rightfully critiqued by those in the Body of Christ, and you will someday be judged by God, too.

Unlike you, though, I’m actually the one advocating for those with same-sex attraction. I want them to be treated with the dignity we are expected to show as the Body of Christ. I do not act as if they are incapable of overcoming sin. I do not teach them that sin is relative. I do not teach them that their sin is special. Those are your tricks. Instead, I ask them to join the rest of us in our struggle to overcome our stupid selves. I’m trying to keep them from throwing in with your complete loss of hope in this arena. I’m trying to keep them from thinking they can’t live as the Church teaches we ought. They can, and by joining us in the struggle, they can vastly improve their lives and the lives of the rest of the Body of Christ.

But it’s the same advocacy: for the dignity of all human life. All life is sacred.

And that’s a big fat “Nope!” It’s not the same advocacy.  While you might be advocating for an end to abortion, you are not advocating for the dignity of the same-sex attraction. Maybe take a look at the Catechism once in a while, Father?

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1.htm

CHAPTER ONE

THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON

1700 The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son1 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.

That points out one big difference right there.  Infants in the womb cannot contribute to their safety. There is no self-determination. Their freedom is eviscerated.

And more that follows up the same point:

1704 The human person participates in the light and power of the divine Spirit. By his reason, he is capable of understanding the order of things established by the Creator. By free will, he is capable of directing himself toward his true good. He finds his perfection “in seeking and loving what is true and good.“7”

Those suffering from SSA and, really, any other sin is capable of directing himself toward his true good. This is the not the same for the child in danger of abortion.

1705 By virtue of his soul and his spiritual powers of intellect and will, man is endowed with freedom, an “outstanding manifestation of the divine image.”8

1706 By his reason, man recognizes the voice of God which urges him “to do what is good and avoid what is evil.”9 Everyone is obliged to follow this law, which makes itself heard in conscience and is fulfilled in the love of God and of neighbor. Living a moral life bears witness to the dignity of the person.

BAM! So what does NOT living a moral life do, Father???

1707 “Man, enticed by the Evil One, abused his freedom at the very beginning of history.”10 He succumbed to temptation and did what was evil. He still desires the good, but his nature bears the wound of original sin. He is now inclined to evil and subject to error:

Man is divided in himself. As a result, the whole life of men, both individual and social, shows itself to be a struggle, and a dramatic one, between good and evil, between light and darkness.11

And that just gets worse every time we give in to temptation. Don’t you think it might be a good idea, James Martin, SJ, to advise people to avoid and fight against temptation?

Then there’s a whole part on freedom AND responsibility.

1733 The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to “the slavery of sin.“28

That’s where you’re helping to lead sinners, Fr. Martin, straight into the slavery of sin. We all have free will, but you might want to let people in on the fact that, just because people are free to choose sin, it doesn’t mean they should.

Of course, this section on the “Dignity of the Human Person” goes on and on with a lot of good stuff. I highly encourage a read. It tells of all the threats against it. Interestingly enough, most of the threats are from within ourselves. Nowhere does it advocate for or against the “LGBT” lifestyle or equate it with dignity, because lifestyles have little to do with human dignity. In fact, they are most often an attack on it.

So, yes, Fr. Martin. All life is sacred. That said, not all lifestyles are consistent with the dignity of the human person and many lead to the slavery of sin. This is why your January activities should be praised and your June activities should be shunned.

How are Cardinal Cupich & Bishop McElroy Going to Spin This?

Gotta say I love it when Pope Francis contradicts the position of Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy and club.  I especially love it when it’s done after Cardinal Cupich tries to accuse those who favor the “preeminent” language as being discordant or undermining Pope Francis.  Oops, guess they were wrong.

https://osvnews.com/2020/01/16/pope-speaks-to-u-s-bishops-about-pro-life-issues-transgender-ideology/

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Protecting human life is the “preeminent” social and political issue, Pope Francis said, and he asked the head of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities to convey his support to the pro-life community.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the bishops’ committee, told Catholic News Service Jan. 16 that the pope agreed with the U.S. bishops “identifying the protection of the unborn as a preeminent priority.””

“His response to that was, ‘Of course, it is. It’s the most fundamental right,’” Archbishop Naumann recalled the pope saying. “He said, ‘This is not first a religious issue; it’s a human rights issue,’ which is so true.

Seamless garment hearts are breaking right now. To paraphrase Obi-Wan, “I felt a great disturbance, as if dozens of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.”

Archbishop Naumann was one of 15 bishops from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska making their “ad limina” visits to the Vatican in mid-January to report on the status of their dioceses. He and other bishops spoke to Catholic News Service Jan. 16 after meeting with the pope for more than two hours.

Archbishop Naumann said he told the pope that since the Roe v. Wade court decision legalized abortion, an estimated 61 million abortions have taken place in the United States.

“I think the pope was truly kind of stunned by that number,” Archbishop Naumann said. “Sadly, our abortion policies are one of the most liberal in the world. The fact is that it really is literally for all nine months of pregnancy. Most other nations don’t permit (abortions) at least at a certain point in the pregnancy.”

Sadly, cardinals and bishops like Cupich and McElroy are some of the reasons we’re in this predicament. They don’t believe it is a preeminent issue and they’ve given license to the faithful to ignore it, too.

Archbishop Naumann said that while Pope Francis has “elevated issues like the care of refugees and migrants,” he also understands that the situation in the United States is different compared to other countries.

“I think sometimes as he elevates those things, people mistakenly think, ‘Well, that means that the abortion issue will become less important,’” he said.

Oh yeah, they do! And we don’t have to look further for an example than the seamless garment club.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis told CNS it was “beautiful” when the pope explained why life was the number one, most important issue, “because if you’re not alive you can’t do anything else.”

It really is as simple as that. And, oh, I think I mentioned that here

Archbishop Carlson said they also talked about the importance of supporting pregnant women and making sure they have the resources they need to support that life.

For sure! There is no other way than to give support. Women in crisis pregnancies are under a tremendous amount of pressure. They’re scared.  They don’t know how they’re going to get through it. They see no help.  (This is the norm. We’re not talking about women simply sacrificing their children to advance their Golden Globe chances.)

While Pope Francis “certainly talked about abortion as a preeminent issue,” Archbishop Carlson said, “at the same time he said there’s another significant issue and that would be ‘transgender’ — where we are trying to make all human beings the same, it makes no difference, you can be whoever you want to be.”

The pope, he said, brought the issue up as an example of “another significant issue in our day.”

Asked whether the pope then gave the bishops any advice on how to handle the transgender debate, Archbishop Carlson said the pope touched on the way proponents believe people are “all one and that there’s no difference, which would fly in the face of what (St.) John Paul II talked about on complementarity and it would fly in the face of the dignity of the woman and the dignity of the man, that we could just change into whatever we wanted.”

Oh my!  Hey, America Magazine, National catholic Reporter, and friends, did you catch that? I’m anxious to see how you’re going to try to spin this one.

“Of course, he said, a pope or a bishop or any religious leader must focus on a variety of issues and concerns, but “there are some people who are one-issue people and so they’re never satisfied if you don’t focus totally on that.”

I can agree with this. There is confusion, however, when people don’t understand the preeminent thing, like Cardinal Cupich and Bishop McElroy. As I said in my last piece linked above, proximity to death gains priority, but we should be multifaceted in our efforts to further the dignity of each individual. I really don’t know one person in the pro-life movement who isn’t multifaceted, even if the bulk of their efforts are to save babies and their moms.

<snipping for brevity>

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City, Missouri, said that on the issue of abortion, Pope Francis “simply reiterated what he’s already said in many different ways,” which is that “without life, what other rights are there? So, you have to begin with that. It’s not the only issue — I don’t think anybody has ever said that. But when you’re looking at the core beliefs and the more essential rights, the right to life of the unborn is very important.”

EXACTLY!

The pope, he said, “put it in a very beautiful way: Do we always want to simply eliminate those who are inconvenient? And, unfortunately, that’s part of our culture in the United States — the practice, the habit, if you will, of just eliminating the uncomfortable, the unwanted, as the solution. And we’re called to be better than that. We as a country are better than that.”

When the U.S. bishops say, “the right to life is the ‘preeminent issue’” in Catholics’ political concerns, “that word is carefully chosen,” Bishop McKnight said. “Because we want to avoid the perspective or the understanding that it’s the only issue — because it is not.”

Exactly again, but this flies in the face of the story the liberal spinmeisters at America Magazine and National catholic Reporter would have you believe.

<snipping the rest as it goes onto the abuse scandal>

So, despite the best efforts of the usual seamless garment suspects, the Pope clarifies that their logic is quite faulty.

 

 

Why Abortion Is Preeminent

Since high school theology teacher Rich Raho decided to call out Bishop Strickland, I decided to give him a little attention. (Before I start – parents, if you have kids in his school, find another school, your money is wasted.) I don’t mean to besmirch Raho’s educational accomplishments, but a BA in Psych and a Master of Divinity don’t make him equal in knowledge of the Faith to the likes of Bishop Strickland. So, when I see Raho trying to take Bishop Strickland to task, I have no choice but to point out that he is not in the same league.
Raho has fallen prey to pride in the same way as the America Magazine or National catholic Reporter folks. They’re trying desperately to quiet those who champion an end to abortion, and in doing so try to paint those who do as somehow opposed to Pope Francis.
Let’s first take a look at Raho’s latest folly:
raho1
My response?
raho2
Let me help Rich out and explain the whole “preeminent” language voted on by the USCCB, because he really doesn’t seem to have a clue. Sadly, Cardinal Cupich and Bishop McElroy have aided and abetted his confusion, too.
“Preeminent” has nothing to do with valuing one life more than another. This is what the dissenting liberals (who really couldn’t care less about stopping abortion) try to tell you. “Preeminent” has every thing to do with who is in the most danger of death at the time. Barring a miraculous event, ever single baby who goes through whatever abortion procedure is chosen will die if that procedure takes place and they cannot fight for their lives. This is not the same for any other tragedy, although I suspect out and out euthanasia is on the horizon. Does this mean that any life is worth less than any other? Nope. It means that the danger of death is assured for this evil like no other. Homelessness, hunger, poverty, etc., etc., etc., are all tragedies, but death is not assured. Should we fight to help all? Absolutely! But, seriously, it is ridiculous to downplay the fact that thousands of children are being killed every day in this country simply because there are other tragedies going on.
Rich would have some serious issues proving the “preeminent” wording of the USCCB is in any way deficient or falling short of anything. Always wonder if he actually knows what the definition is.

pre·em·i·nent
/prēˈemənənt/
adjective

  1. surpassing all others; very distinguished in some way:

Being proximate to death makes abortion THE preeminent issue of our world. Rich hasn’t answered my little question to him on Twitter, though. Why? He knows he can’t, because I’m pretty darn sure he might have a heart and would save the child in danger of death first. That admission blows his lame argument out of the water. I’m pretty sure Pope Francis would do the same in that instance. That’s the reality of abortion.

More Big Ego Blocking

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! Oh, and “Happy Holidays” to the dissenters. I’m back from “vacation” (doing that family thing) and ready to take on dissent! Woot! Rah-rah-rah! I may be just a little inspired by bowl games but here goes!
Fr. Jim Sickho apparently isn’t really new, but he is new to me after running across my laptop in the last few weeks. I debated his lame, ignorant, political tweet (below), but then, after looking at his Twitter page, I started wondering if maybe I was debating a parody account. I have since done some research and, nope, he’s real. Sigh. I think we’re suddenly hearing about him only because he’s just jumped the shark. Some people will do anything for ratings.
This was my first exposure to the latest “Fr. Jim.” (Poor St. James. His namesakes are not being kind to him.)
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So many errors in one little tweet. I guess one out of three ain’t bad. Just a quick clean up of his ideological take. The Holy Family was Jewish. Yay! He got one. However, they weren’t immigrants, nor were they unmarried. Fortunately, many of the 608 comments pointed out that glaring stupidity .
While I was enjoying my break, I saw his next attempt to woo the liberals. I can’t show it all to you because the original tweet has been deleted, but Fr. Longenecker paraphrased it nicely here. (By the way, since Fr. Longenecker has dared to challenge Fr. Sichko, he’s been banned.) It said something very close to this if not dead on:

Let us all remember during this time of the Holy Family that all families are holy. Some are heterosexual and some are homosexual. Some are single mothers and some are poor, divorced or widowed.

And Fr. Sichko had a follow up tweet:
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Oh, yeah, the Holy Family’s situation is the same as “man-made” family tragedies like divorce and abandonment. Um, really??? Of course, there was a wee bit of a backlash for these posts.
Like I pointed out, interestingly enough, the tweet we’re all about to be accused of leaping to judgment about has been removed. Why? Because Fr. Sichko knows it was wrong. They were his words and he can’t defend them. But, yeah, let’s ban Fr. Longenecker instead of actually dealing with his arguments. So merciful.
Here’s today’s litany of “You’re a bunch of mean judging, judgy people!” ranting tweets. All I can say, if you decide you’re going to play the game, you better be ready for the defense or you might want to stay on the bench. But, noooooo! He’s gonna go with the “Hey, I’m a quarterback!  I’m special! Not my fault I can’t complete a pass to save my life! It’s the mean, old, judgmental receivers!” (Told you the bowl games are on! Go Bears! They won by the way.)
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First, I’m pretty sure that you being a “Papal Missionary of Mercy” doesn’t make you infallible. (Actually, I’m quite positive, since your tweets show the opposite.) Next you either volunteered or were appointed by your bishop, and the Vatican probably gave you a nice little certificate to show for it, but ALL priests are missionaries of mercy. All your title does, essentially, is put you at the bishop’s beck and call for any special Year of Mercy activities. The rest is plain old priestly duties, so please don’t make it sound like it’s some higher education appointment.
Next, let’s be clear. We’re not judging those in tough situations. We’re judging YOUR actions, or, in your case, repeated uneducated comments that are very misleading and wrong. We are ALL called to holiness. To say that everyone is holy simply by virtue of being in a family is ridiculous and doesn’t call people to avail themselves of God’s mercy. (Maybe somebody should revoke that Missionary of Mercy certificate). That is what priests are supposed to do. You are supposed to call us to repent and avail ourselves of God’s mercy. What you originally typed was not that, so, yeah, we can judge that it was a stupid statement. What’s worse, giving people a pass like that victimizes CHILDREN who are OWED parents who help lead them to salvation. Does that happen for all children? Woefully, no.  We all fall short, but that doesn’t mean we simply champion parents who don’t. We don’t need priests who tell us we’re grand (and this goes for all of us) when we are scandalizing our children.
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Here’s more of the same liberal canard we’re regularly subjected to.  So, for the newbies, we CAN judge ACTIONS, we CANNOT judge SOULS. Fr. Sichko, the Pope, and every other person on this earth judge actions on a daily basis. In fact, calling people judgmental is making a judgment. Or how about saying someone has a log in their eye? Sounds a little judgy, Father. Duh! At least you’re exemplifying the meaning of the passage well. So, I’m all for removing the logs in from our eyes.  But please, let’s help others do the same because that’s what we’re supposed to do as the Body of Christ.
Finally, I’m not sure that Fr. Sichko understands what the “essence of his vocation” is. It’s to lead souls to heaven. It’s to be Christlike and tell people to “Go and sin no more!”, just as he did with the adulteress. That’s kind of hard to do when we can’t even talk about objective sin. Moral relativism isn’t going to save a soul. Telling people their holy when they’re not won’t help either. Truth will. That is where true mercy is found.

If Only She Had Been Allowed to go to Woodstock

Sr. Simone Campbell is, well, an idiot. Yet somehow the oldies from the 60’s and 70’s keep her propped up (kinda like Nancy Pelosi). Sometimes I think these people made a deal with the devil for the fame they have, because it’s the only reason I can see why anyone pays attention to them. In a movie all about her, she was asked “Why did you become a nun?”  Her response? “Because my parents wouldn’t let me go to Woodstock.” Darn!  We were one music festival away from not having to be bothered with her babbling.  Soooooo close!
Her latest tweet:
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I am so tired of hearing how the liberal elite have fought for “the little guys” and the vulnerable.  I’ve stood outside Nancy Pelosi’s house in San Francisco. You know, the area where the homeless people are not allowed to sleep (and/or defecate). Honestly, it’s a beautiful place and I don’t begrudge her living there, but, uh, she has zero idea about what vulnerable means. When was the last time she stepped over the unwashed masses and gave them a second of her time? I mean, seriously, she has plenty of opportunities to go down to the local soup kitchen and help out, but she is so darn elite that she doesn’t even take the time for that photo-op. Seriously, I googled. The closest thing I could find was this: https://youtu.be/xFSWZ91I2mo Could Nan look any more uncomfortable?! So, Sr. Campbell, are you really going to shill for her?  Of course you are.
I’m not quite sure when Nancy last lived her faith, if ever. The Catholic Church denounces Planned Parenthood, abortion, birth-control, homosexual acts, transgender activism, etc., and Nancy soundly embraces all. So, please, let’s just stop this whole “Nancy is a devout Catholic” shtick. She may be Catholic by baptism, which is an indelible mark, but after that, she’s really, really, really bad at it. Her amazing embrace of the faith only comes when she gets a priest to put a nice big ash cross on her forehead on Ash Wednesday. The rest of the year she pretty much does the opposite of what Matthew 6 tells us and more:

1 Be sure you do not perform your acts of piety before men, for them to watch; if you do that, you have no title to a reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 Thus, when thou givest alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in synagogues and in streets, to win the esteem of men. Believe me, they have their reward already. 3 But when thou givest alms, thou shalt not so much as let thy left hand know what thy right hand is doing, 4 so secret is thy almsgiving to be; and then thy Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward thee. 5 And when you pray, you are not to be like hypocrites, who love to stand praying in synagogues or at street-corners, to be a mark for men’s eyes; believe me, they have their reward already. 6 But when thou art praying, go into thy inner room and shut the door upon thyself, and so pray to thy Father in secret; and then thy Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward thee.     
7 Moreover, when you are at prayer, do not use many phrases, like the heathens, who think to make themselves heard by their eloquence.[1] 8 You are not to be like them; your heavenly Father knows well what your needs are before you ask him. 9 This, then, is to be your prayer, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; 10 thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven; 11 give us this day our daily bread;[2] 12 and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; 13 and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. 14 Your heavenly Father will forgive you your transgressions, if you forgive your fellow men theirs; 15 if you do not forgive them, your heavenly Father will not forgive your transgressions either.             Pater noster, qui es in cælis,
16 Again, when you fast, do not shew it by gloomy looks, as the hypocrites do. They make their faces unsightly, so that men can see they are fasting; believe me, they have their reward already. 17 But do thou, at thy times of fasting, anoint thy head and wash thy face, 18 so that thy fast may not be known to men, but to thy Father who dwells in secret; and then thy Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward thee.   
19 Do not lay up treasure for yourselves on earth, where there is moth and rust to consume it, where there are thieves to break in and steal it; 20 lay up treasure for yourselves in heaven, where there is no moth or rust to consume it, no thieves to break in and steal. 21 Where your treasure-house is, there your heart is too. 22 The eye is the light of the whole body, so that if thy eye is clear, the whole of thy body will be lit up; 23 whereas if thy eye is diseased, the whole of thy body will be in darkness. And if the light which thou hast in thee is itself darkness, what of thy darkness? How deep will that be! 24 A man cannot be the slave of two masters at once; either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will devote himself to the one and despise the other. You must serve God or money; you cannot serve both.
25 I say to you, then, do not fret over your life, how to support it with food and drink; over your body, how to keep it clothed. Is not life itself a greater gift than food, the body than clothing? 26 See how the birds of the air never sow, or reap, or gather grain into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them; have you not an excellence beyond theirs? 27 Can any one of you, for all his anxiety, add a cubit’s growth to his height?[3] 28 And why should you be anxious over clothing? See how the wild lilies grow; they do not toil or spin; 29 and yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 If God, then, so clothes the grasses of the field, which to-day live and will feed the oven to-morrow, will he not be much more ready to clothe you, men of little faith? 31 Do not fret, then, asking, What are we to eat? or What are we to drink? or How shall we find clothing? 32 It is for the heathen to busy themselves over such things; you have a Father in heaven who knows that you need them all. 33 Make it your first care to find the kingdom of God, and his approval, and all these things shall be yours without the asking. 34 Do not fret, then, over to-morrow; leave to-morrow to fret over its own needs; for to-day, to-day’s troubles are enough.

It’s like Nan took it as a playbook instead of a list of what not to do. She talks about how caring she and her buddies are, wags her fingers, proudly displays ashes on her forehead (and probably holds a press conference that day just so she can show you what a great Catholic she is), etc., yet she can’t seem to help people in the city she grew up in. But, hey, she’ll show you how to take care of all the vulnerable (which is rather ironic when she’s trying to kill the most vulnerable among us).
And, as far as Sr. “I’m a leader in the faith community” Simone goes, who made her Queen “in the faith community”? It wasn’t me or my family. She’s in the same boat as Nan. Actually, she might a little better only in the fact that she openly admits to disobedience. She’s never met a Church teaching she didn’t want to dissent from, so let’s be real, she’s hardly a person to tell us who is living the Faith.  In fact, she’s not even qualified to tell us who the vulnerable are, since she’s also failed repeatedly to protect the unborn, our most vulnerable. In fact, she’s actually advocated for legal abortion, so please, just ignore her. She’s not an expert on anything moral. We’ve got plenty of other superstars in the area of protecting and serving the vulnerable in the Catholic Church, and she ain’t it.  If you’d like to know a wee bit more about Sr. Simone, please see my blog post dedicated to her. https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/old-bitties-on-the-bus/
 
 

Abounding Conjecture & Innuendos

Update: I want to update with this series of tweets from Elizabeth Scalia. I’ve seen many apologies on Twitter over the years and I have to say it’s one of the best ever. I applaud and thank her for it. This is simply the text of the tweets. I hope everyone will be charitable with it.

Yesterday I made a terrible mistake on Twitter — a big mistake, all of my own doing, out of my own personal head, meaning I own all of it. At the shocking news of the postponement of the canonization of Venerable Fulton Sheen, my thought processes were firing all over the place
 
And I, like a true bonehead, let my fingers fly with them in an uncharacteristic fashion that shocked many and—much too late—shocked and embarrassed me, too.
I sent out a tweet that led some to believe that I was tagging Fulton Sheen as a man with same sex attraction, and advancing an agenda. I wasn’t doing either of those things. But what I said was speculative, imprudent, and insensitive to an emotionally charged situation.
People were rightly appalled, and I have decided to remove the tweet.
I apologize to everyone who follows me, and those who don’t but who were also appalled. In the glare of morning, I am myself appalled, and really can offer no excuse beyond thoughtlessness and perhaps a bit of pride. Which always cometh before a fall. And I fell.
I have also apologized to Fulton Sheen this morning for adding to an already muddy and unclear situation. I revere Fulton Sheen, and I want to see him canonized as soon as possible. On a normal day I wouldn’t even have to say that, but today I certainly do.
Mea maxima culpa.
To make a mistake of this size tells me that I need to use this Advent season to recalibrate my radar away from my own pride and more toward the sensibilities of others, so that is what I am going to do, starting by removing myself from social media until the Bridegroom has come.
In your spiritual generosity, please pray for me.


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Yep, just another “When did you stop beating your wife?” kind of day for the liberals. If you’re going to make accusations or insinuations, BACK IT UP! Otherwise, can we just let the faithfully departed rest in peace??? If it’s never been confirmed by any sources why in the world do you want to bring it up as if it might be some sort of fact?!

The first thing I heard today was “some bishops” asking for a delay in the beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Give me a break. The accusations were out there for years. They’ve been investigated, but nothing could be found. Even a blogger who I usually avoid said “Not credible.” Don’t put on that shoe if it’s not you.
And, even though the Diocese of Peoria said they didn’t know why there was an indefinite postponement, they still felt the need to declare that they had no evidence that Archbishop Sheen was anything but a man of conviction and that there were no credible accusations against him. What in THE heck, Peoria spokesperson? Why even suggest it, then??? I feel like someone should find a new job over that bungling.
Next, Elizabeth Scalia decided that it was a shame, because Archbishop Sheen was “flouncy” and could have been the perfect SSA saint. Seriously? Time for Elizabeth to retire. Not really sure why some are sooo desperate to divide Catholics into categories, nor why some need to speculate about the sexual inclinations of someone who has never given evidence of being more than faithful AND theatrical, but whatever. You’re either faithful, or you are not. We’re all in the same sinful boat. You either recognize you need God’s mercy for whatever, or you think that God thinks everything you do is peachy.
It’s a good time for Fulton Sheen quote because when is it not?

A Catholic may sin and sin as badly as anyone else, but no genuine Catholic ever denies he is a sinner. A Catholic wants his sins forgiven – not excused or sublimated. -Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Back to the bishops…Where’s the transparency that you always wax on about? If you asked for a postponement, man up (if at all possible) and tell us why. If you are not willing to come forward, can you do us all a favor and stop calling the Vatican when something remotely moral and Catholic is about to happen (like the time you stopped the plan to hold bishops accountable)? My guess, but it’s an educated guess, is that Cardinals Cupich, Farrell, Tobin, and Bishop McElroy are behind this debacle, just like their stonewalling about actually doing something to stop abuse. While Elizabeth is hoping Archbishop Sheen was same-sex attracted, these guys are annoyed at the idea that a faithful, moral archbishop might someday be canonized. Rather ironic. Believe me, Elizabeth, if the good archbishop was same-sex attracted, don’t you think that they’d all be totally pushing for the immediate canonization? Use a little common sense.

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