Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Progressive drivel, Lopata style

August 10th, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

Casey and Mary Ellen Lopata have published an opinion piece at ReligionDispatches.org, taking many Catholic bishops to task for acting like, well, Catholic bishops.

Entitled Bad Faith: The Catholic Hierarchy’s Pointless Campaign Against LGBT Rights, the Lopatas dissent from Catholic teaching is clear for all to see.

What follows is the text of the Lopatas’ article (in white), my comments (in red) and a few quoted sources (in blue).

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In early July, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles opposed a modest piece of legislation that requires schools in that state to include lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people, and other previously excluded groups, in their social studies curricula.

The archbishop argued that he was merely supporting parents’ rights to make decisions regarding their children’s education. But Catholics who pay attention to our bishops’ energetic campaign to thwart any legislation that legitimizes (or in this instance, even recognizes) same-gender attraction are familiar with this ruse.

Our hierarchy has a habit of invoking noble sounding principles but applying them only when they can be used against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

[Was that really Archbishop Gomez’ game? Hardly! Anyone who bothers to spend a couple of minutes reading California Bill SB48 will quickly realize that this “modest piece of legislation” goes far beyond including “lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people, and other previously excluded groups” in the state’s social studies curricula.

Here are the pertinent sections of the bill …

SEC. 2. Section 51500 of the Education Code is amended to read:
51500. A teacher shall not give instruction and a school district shall not sponsor any activity that promotes a discriminatory bias on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, or because of a characteristic listed in Section 220.

SEC. 3. Section 51501 of the Education Code is amended to read:
51501. The state board and any governing board shall not adopt any textbooks or other instructional materials for use in the public schools that contain any matter reflecting adversely upon persons on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, or because of a characteristic listed in Section 220.

SEC. 5. Section 60044 of the Education Code is amended to read:
60044. A governing board shall not adopt any instructional materials for use in the schools that, in its determination, contain:
(a) Any matter reflecting adversely upon persons on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, occupation, or because of a characteristic listed in Section 220.
(b) Any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda contrary to law.

Taken together, these sections make it effectively impossible for a teacher or a textbook to say anything negative – no matter how true or how germane to the topic under discussion – about any member of the protected classes. Given California’s liberal judiciary, any such statement will almost certainly be seen as promoting “a discriminatory bias” or “reflecting adversely” on class members.

Thus it will be possible to teach about the Watts Riots (1965), the Detroit Riots (1967) and the Stonewall Riots (1969), but any mention of such things as looting, arson or physical assaults committed by rioters will almost certainly be off limits. It also wouldn’t be surprising to find the words ‘riot’ and ‘rioters’ expunged from history and replaced with more politically correct terminology.

For the same reasons California students will almost certainly remain ignorant of the full story behind the American Psychiatric Association’s decision to remove homosexuality from its diagnostic manual. Any accurate mention of the threats and guerrilla tactics employed by gay activists would surely reflect adversely on gays and thus would be likewise banned from the classroom.

Finally, the role of gay activists and their political sympathizers in thwarting “the tough measures necessary to curb the [AIDS] epidemic’s spread, opting for political expediency over the public health” and thus causing countless unnecessary infections and deaths, will almost certainly be left out of California’s retelling of history.

And there are other problems with the law.  According to the August 4, 2011 edition of The Wanderer

… Charles LiMandri … is west coast regional director of the Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center, a public-interest firm that defends traditional morality.

A new California law requiring young students to be taught about homosexuals as role models is the result of “a very well-organized, well-funded political agenda .. . representing less than 2% of the population,” LiMandri told The Wanderer.

Although maintenance drugs have lessened the fear of looming death from sexual disease among active homosexuals, LiMandri said, often their lives still are shortened by decades.

Holding homosexuals up for emulation in public schools isn’t giving students the necessary warning that “it can and will kill you,” he said.

Teaching young people to regard homosexuals as role models is “encouraging them to engage in this behavior,” LiMandri said.]

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington did something similar last year when he announced that the legalization of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia had forced him to stop offering health insurance to the spouses of new employees of Catholic Charities. The marriage equality law, he explained, would force him to extend benefits to gay and lesbian couples, and since this violated the church’s teaching on marriage, he could not do it.

There is Sin, and then There is Gay Sin

To take this argument seriously, one has to overlook the fact that Catholic Charities already offered benefits to the spouses of employees who had not been married in the Catholic Church, or who had been remarried without benefit of an annulment. These are also clear violations of the Church’s teaching on marriage. But Wuerl’s harsh and unloving stance is typical of a hierarchy that behaves as though there is sin, and then there is gay sin—and gay sin is much worse.

[Critical thinking would seem to be a foreign concept to the Lopatas. In the first place a quick check of the Catholic Charities of Washington web site would show that one doesn’t need to be a Catholic to work for CCoW. Secondly, it’s a pretty safe bet CCoW doesn’t even ask about a job applicant’s religion or lack thereof. So all that verbiage about some of their Catholic employees – and it would be only their Catholic employees – being married outside the Church or being remarried without benefit of an annulment is just so much noise, as there is simply no way CCoW would know that information.

On the other hand, should Adam be hired by CCoW and then list Steve as his ‘spouse’ for the purpose of benefits, it wouldn’t take much beyond a kindergarten education for one to conclude that Adam and Steve are most likely of the same sex.

And so Cardinal Wuerl’s “harsh and unloving stance” is, in reality, a refusal to materially cooperate in an objective evil of which his archdiocese would be aware, a refusal that Catholic moral theology has insisted on from day one.]

Catholics faithful to the scriptural admonition to love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with their God, have become increasingly alienated by bishops who seem obsessed with pushing a narrow anti-gay agenda to the exclusion even of simple charity. Our bishops were in the small minority of religious leaders who failed to speak out when a wave of anti-gay bullying, some of which led to suicides, swept the country last year. At a time when seemingly every organization in the United States was finding a way to tell young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people that “It Gets Better,” our hierarchy, to our shame, was silent.

[The Lopatas seem unaware that, more than any other organization, religious or otherwise, the Catholic Church has consistently and continually stressed the inherent dignity of each individual human being. But even if they had acknowledged this, it still would never be enough for the Lopatas, as evidenced by the two links they inserted into this paragraph.

The first link seeks to lay bullying at the feet of churches that “perpetuate theologies that undergird and legitimate instrumental violence,” i.e., churches that teach the inherent sinfulness of sexual relations outside of traditional, male-female marriage. It doesn’t matter that these churches might also teach the inherent dignity of every human being because some wackos might not get that part of the message. Therefore, these churches must also change their sexual doctrine or risk taking the blame for the actions of members who choose to ignore the full teaching of these churches.

The second link points to videos aimed at teens who begin to feel a same sex attraction, encouraging them to come out and thereby get support because “It Gets Better.” As one blogger recently wrote,

… an enormous amount of people have bought into the logic that a person’s sexual orientation is the sum total of their being. Further many people have bought into the logic that a person is GAY or STRAIGHT. There is no in between.

We have now arrived at a place where a young person that is experiencing normal sexual confusion is being told by the world that one same sex sexual experience makes him or her gay!!

Well that is pretty bad science and very bad theology. ]

In their zeal to deny any form of legitimacy to same-sex relationships, the bishops have neglected more urgent pastoral duties. Catholic schools and parishes are closing by the dozen in dioceses across the country, yet somehow the hierarchy and its allies in the Knights of Columbus have found millions of dollars to spend in one state after another opposing marriage equality, or its weaker cousin, the civil union.

[Outside of our city cores where shifting demographics has played a significant role, the primary reason Catholic schools and parishes are closing is the refusal of Catholic bishops and priests to proclaim the faith in its fullness. People like the Lopatas may not want to hear that proclamation, but most of those former Catholics now inhabiting evangelical pews might never have left, had our clergy only fulfilled its basic obligation to preach the good news in season and out of season.]

Leaders Without Followers

The rhetoric our bishops employ in these campaigns is hardly pastoral. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, referred to same-sex marriage as “an Orwellian nightmare” and an “ominous threat.” He compared his state’s government to North Korea’s during New York’s recent debate on marriage equality. Then, upon losing the debate, this prince of the Church, with a palace on Fifth Avenue, proclaimed himself a victim of intolerance.

We are well acquainted with the history of anti-Catholic bigotry in this country, and keenly aware of what our forebears in the faith suffered at the hands of hateful fellow citizens. But we find it reprehensible when that legacy is invoked by those who themselves advocate discrimination and repression. If you are the Catholic parent of LGBT daughter or son, you know firsthand that it is your child’s sexual identity, and not a belief in the Immaculate Conception, that puts them at risk for beatings and taunting. Archbishop Dolan and his colleagues should stop pretending that they face anything like the intolerance that our children do.

[Ah, so the Lopatas’ ‘victim card’ is bigger than Archbishop Dolan’s? That would seem to be their only justification for being intolerant of the Church’s right to point out the intolerance of gay activists and their sycophants. How wonderfully Christian of them!

BTW, Archbishop Dolan and company do not “advocate discrimination and repression”; rather, they proclaim the truths of the Catholic Church, the Church established by Jesus Christ to teach in his name, the Church he promised to be with until the end of the age. And these particular truths are not some arcane musings of medieval theologians. Rather they are blindingly obvious from natural law, clearly inherited from our elder brothers in the Faith, equally clearly reinforced in the scriptures of the New Testament, and consistently and universally taught for nearly 2000 years.

That the Lopatas reject these truths does not diminish their status as truth; it merely highlights the Lopatas’ own willful rejection of the Church’s authority to teach in the name of Jesus Christ.

Finally,  “this prince of the Church, with a palace on Fifth Avenue” never says a word about being a victim of intolerance in the blog  post linked to by the Lopatas.   He does, however ask this question:

But, really, shouldn’t we be more upset – and worried – about this perilous presumption of the state to re-invent the very definition of an undeniable truth – one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children – that has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start?

It is telling that the Lopatas nowhere in their 1,200 word piece attempt to refute this basic Catholic understanding of marriage.]

A Gay-Friendly Church?

The one fortunate aspect of the bishop’s campaign against LGBT people is that it has been singularly ineffective. Polling by the Public Religion Research Institute makes clear that almost three-quarters of Catholics support either marriage equality or civil unions, and that we back legal protections for LGBT people in the workplace (73 percent), in the military (63 percent), and in adoptions (60 percent) by significant margins.

We are, in other words, an extremely gay-friendly church; and while it has taken a while for this fact to filter out beneath the bluster of our bishops and their lobbyists, political leaders have begun to take note. A Catholic governor and Catholic legislators made marriage equality a reality in New York. A Catholic governor and legislators passed civil unions into law in Illinois. Heavily Catholic Rhode Island passed a civil union bill over the protests of Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, and a Catholic governor has promised to permit same-sex couples to marry in Maryland, if the legislature will only put the bill on his desk.

[That so many self-identified Catholics (one wonders how many actually attend weekly Mass) seemingly reject Church teaching is symptomatic of our clergy’s failure to consistently and convincingly proclaim the moral truths of the Church. The result is a laity largely ignorant of what it should believe and why.

Be that as it may, Jesus did not come to proclaim the Democracy of God. Much recent Mainline Protestant theology notwithstanding, Matthew’s Gospel doesn’t end with Jesus telling the eleven to go back to the upper room and carefully review everything he had taught them, and then to toss out whatever they thought was too difficult to live with.

No, the content of the Church’s teaching is not subject to the whim of some electorate. It never has been. It never will be.]

A few days after Archbishop Gomez announced his opposition to the legislation requiring California schools to give an accurate recounting [Absent pertinent negatives, how can any recounting be accurate?] of the nation’s history. Gov. Jerry Brown, a [dissident] Roman Catholic, signed it into law.

Those of us who support equality for LGBT people in civil society do so not in spite of our Catholic faith but because of it.  [While it may be their faith, it isn’t the Catholic faith.] We learned in childhood that Jesus moved freely among the outcast and the marginalized [and, in the process, telling at least one person to go and sin no more], that he warned his followers to judge not lest they be judged [The Lopatas seem ignorant of the fact that Jesus was talking about judging internal motives, not external actions. If this were not the case, how could he have also told his followers to treat recalcitrant sinners like pagans and tax collectors – i.e, to shun them (Matthew 18:15-17)?], and that he taught that our neighbor was not the priest who passed the beaten traveller on the other side of the road to avoid ritual impurity, but the hated Samaritan who bound up his wounds, and paid for his care.

We learned later that the Church’s teachings on social justice compelled us to act as advocates for fairness, justice, and individual dignity [all properly understood, of course], that its teachings on politics instructed us to vote for the common good [again, properly understood], and that in making moral decisions [which voting almost always is], we were to follow the promptings of our own well-formed consciences.

[The word ‘conscience’ comes from the Latin cum scientia, meaning ‘with knowledge’.  Thus a person with a well-formed conscience would know the teachings of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, he would accept these teachings because he also understands that one of the reasons Jesus gave us the Church was to teach in his name and with his authority after he had ascended to the Father.

That is not to say that there may not be some areas of difficulty, that the reasons underlying certain teachings might not be fully understood, or that the necessity of the crosses arising out of obedience to some teachings will not sometimes be questioned. It is in these areas that he, despite the difficulties, the lack of complete understanding or the lingering questions, puts his faith in Jesus and is obedient to the Church he established to teach in his name.

This is not blind obedience. Rather, the person with the well-formed conscience chooses to make the completely logical decision that the same God who has already proven his love for him by first creating him to share in his eternal happiness and then by suffering and dying on the cross to make his salvation possible, that this same God really does know both what is good and what is bad for him, even if his own personal feelings – to say nothing of the world around him – might be telling him just the opposite.]

There are times, it seems, when our hierarchy is so committed to cultivating political power [certainly not by opposing same-sex marriage!], and deploying our Church’s resources in contemporary culture wars [i.e., fighting sin], that they expect us to forget all of this. We won’t.

As Philadelphia Burns

Last week, the Vatican announced that it had appointed Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver as the new archbishop of Philadelphia. The clergy abuse scandal that has badly damaged the hierarchy’s credibility is still spinning out of control in Philadelphia, and Pope Benedict XVI clearly thinks that Archbishop Chaput is the right man for a difficult job.

We would only note that in his previous post, he supported a parish priest who expelled a girl from a Catholic school because her parents were lesbians. The archbishop argued that parents must be able to cooperate with Catholic schools in the education of their children, and that those who do not embrace Church doctrine cannot do so.

This was not an argument he employed against Protestants, or non-Christians, or children whose parents had remarried after a divorce. It was employed exclusively against lesbian parents. Because in the theological universe that our bishops are constructing to support their personal biases, there is sin, and then there is gay sin, and gay sin is so much worse.

[Actually, Archbishop Chaput’s argument is far more substantial – and logical – than the Lopatas would have us believe:

“Our schools … exist primarily to serve Catholic families with an education shaped by Catholic faith and moral formation. This is common sense … The idea that Catholic schools should require support for Catholic teaching for admission, and a serious effort from school families to live their Catholic identity faithfully, is reasonable and just.

“That’s the background. Now to the human side of a painful situation. The Church never looks for reasons to turn anyone away from a Catholic education. But the Church can’t change her moral beliefs without undermining her mission and failing to serve the many families who believe in that mission. If Catholics take their faith seriously, they naturally follow the teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals; otherwise they take themselves outside the believing community.

“The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are “bad,” or that their children are less loved by God. Quite the opposite. But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is wrong; that marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society. The Church cannot change these teachings because, in the faith of Catholics, they are the teachings of Jesus Christ.

“The policies of our Catholic school system exist to protect all parties involved, including the children of homosexual couples and the couples themselves. Our schools are meant to be “partners in faith” with parents. If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible. It also places unfair stress on the children, who find themselves caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church.

“Most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced. That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents. That isn’t fair to anyone—including the wider school community.”

And what about those “personal biases” our bishops are so intent on propping up? Actually, those “biases” are not their own, but come directly from St. Paul:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9-10).]

Editor’s note: Casey and Mary Ellen Lopata wrote the above as individuals; the piece doesn’t necessarily represent the position of Fortunate Families

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21 Responses to “Progressive drivel, Lopata style”

  1. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    It’s interesting this couple is the poster advertisement for the DOR concerning homosexuality. They have been spreading their heresy for over 15 years.

  2. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    well said, Mike. Regarding your St. Paul quote:

    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9-10).]

    Through the words of Sr. Pat I believe I know the response Mr. Lopato would give to your scripture quote:

    One teacher I heard, one guy who was talking on this by the name of Casey Lopata who’s a local guy actually, and he said, had the knowledge been available to the writers of the New or the Old Testament that we all possess a sexual orientation, we didn’t choose it, and we can’t change it… if the authors of the Bible had known what contemporary theology, what contemporary psychology have known and that is we just are gay or straight, we didn’t cause it and it’s not nurture, it’s not nature, whatever it is we don’t know what it is.

    I kind of cut her off at that point, but you get where she was going. The “author of scripture” was wrong.

  3. avatar brother of penance says:

    There are people with biases. There are people who dislike and even hate this or that person for no good reason. But when a Catholic Bishop asserts he loves homosexual people and wants what is best for them and everyone else as well, i.e. the common good, how dare one impugn the Bishop’s motives. If a Bishop proclaims Catholic truth about human sexuality, chastity and the institution of marriage and its positive role in society, how dare one disregard the truth proclaimed and accuse the Bishop of a personal bias! Are Catholic Bishops, and the Pope himself, merely constructing theological universes in which they and their political lobbyists comfortably live falsely believing there is sin, then there is gay sin and gay sin is worse? No, they are not. I sense those who hold such perceptions strive to be compassionate advocates for persons with the same-sex attraction, yet, these same people cannot accept the real situation. Perhaps because they have already given themselves over to the notion that homosexuality is a good gift from God and they simply cannot accept naural law. Archbishop Chaput did write “The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are “bad,” or that their children are less loved by God. Quite the opposite. But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is wrong; that marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society. The Church cannot change these teachings because, in the faith of Catholics, they are the teachings of Jesus Christ.” Bishop Clark himself could have written the same thing; in fact he may have. Does our brother and sister Lopata believe that their own bishop has been seduced by this false theological universe and as such he also teaches there is sin, then gay sin and gay sin is worse? Does Bishop Clark know that our Catholic sister and brother Lopata publicly make these accusations about bishops who strive to be faithful to the Lord Christ and His Church on the matter of marriage? Lastly, I want to offer a comment for those who think homosexual sex is not deviate, just different. All of us, since the fall, struggle with some disorder or other. All of creation, to some extent, has been disordered by the fall. The Lord Jesus Christ, the only Savior of the world, reorders that which is disordered. Even our sexuality has been affected by the fall. To some degree or another, our sexuality has been disordered. Please listen to the Church, the Catholic Church. That which the Church has received, that which the Church reasons, that which the Church understands, teaches and strives to live is beautiful, wholesome, and good. Forgive the Church her sins; forgive the Church her hypocrisies, forgive the Church her perceived injustices. The Lord is not finished with us. One day He will present the Church to Himself as the spotless and unblemished Bride He calls us to become. Yes, listen to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

  4. avatar Sassy says:

    If Bishop Clark was truly doing his job, he would have spoken out against the Lopatas (and their dissident) web site long ago. Rather, he’s embraced both with (the Lopatas and FF) with seemingly open arms.

    The archdiocese of Philly is very excited over Pope Benedict’s new appointment. My prayers remain that the DOR is blessed with a likeminded bishop next year.

    Thank you Mike for a great analysis!

  5. avatar Ink says:

    Ooh, let’s play “progressive fail” bingo! (You get a separate playing card–and maybe comment, if it’s worth my time–for buzz words.)

    “Sexual identity”–fail. I don’t really see how my being straight defines me. I’m Catholic, I veil in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, I respect adults and other people, I like to laugh… that defines me quite well. But the fact that I am a female attracted to men? Means pretty much nothing to me. Not much of an identity.

    “anti-Catholicism is not rampant”–another fail. You say you’re a faithful Catholic and everyone calls you a bigot. It’s worse than being beat up on the playground–it’s total social ostracism. Bruises, scrapes, even broken bones heal… but a fractured social life? That practically dooms them to engineering! …joking aside, it IS very spiritually detrimental to have few or no friends.

    “gay sin is much worse”–again, fail. Once you get into the realm of mortal sin it’s bad all around. Sodomy is as bad as infidelity which is as bad as sacrilege. Sexual sins are just more notorious, since they’re the shocking thrillers in the media. Seriously, would anyone read about some crazy person who disrespected the Eucharist? It’s horrendous and atrocious but not as hard-hitting-scandalous as sex crimes.

  6. avatar Thinkling says:

    Wow, I finally get my user account gremlins eradicated [?], and I return to this.

    I’ll post more later when I get composed, but as I tend to borrow when flustered:

    Once again, … there is no joy in Mudville, mighty Casey has struck out.

  7. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    brother of penance said:

    Archbishop Chaput did write “The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are “bad,” or that their children are less loved by God. Quite the opposite. But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is wrong; that marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society. The Church cannot change these teachings because, in the faith of Catholics, they are the teachings of Jesus Christ.” Bishop Clark himself could have written the same thing; in fact he may have. Does our brother and sister Lopata believe that their own bishop has been seduced by this false theological universe and as such he also teaches there is sin, then gay sin and gay sin is worse? Does Bishop Clark know that our Catholic sister and brother Lopata publicly make these accusations about bishops who strive to be faithful to the Lord Christ and His Church on the matter of marriage?

    to my knowledge Bishop Clark has said nothing even close to what Archbishop Chaput has said (which is simply echoing the teachings of the Church with much charity).

    The most public statements, I believe, we have on record for Bishop Clark are in the worst hits post I did a while back. Specifically see these:

    Bishop Clark’s column “All are beloved children of God” (see James Likoudis’ comment)

    Bishop Clark’s “Gay Mass” homily

    Bishop Clark silences local guilds for simply backing Church teaching on homosexuality

    Bishop Clark’s “Gay Mass” homily

    I very much pray that I am wrong and that Bishop Clark has privately met with Fortunate Families and tried to bring them back into the fold. However, we have no public information to indicate such an undertaking, and thus we must assume otherwise (public scandal).

  8. avatar Mike says:

    Ben,

    Maybe a dozen years ago when Sr. Pat’s column was still running in the Catholic Courier I got into a back-and-forth email discussion with her about the Bible’s prohibition (my position) or lack thereof (her position) of same-sex sexual relations. She did not come right out and say that I was wrong but did say I seemed unaware of “recent scholarship” that cast doubt on traditional readings of Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, etc. One of her points was that St. Paul knew nothing of the modern psychological understanding of homosexuality and might have written differently if he had.

    My reply was that, while St. Paul might have been ignorant of this, the Holy Spirit certainly wasn’t and that her suggestion seemed to call into question the Church’s teaching on biblical inspiration as expressed in Dei Verbum No. 11:

    …. since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation.

    That was the end of our correspondence on that matter.

  9. avatar JLo says:

    Is everyone as sick to death as I am of being described by sexual whatevers?!! Ink apparently is, too… thank you for your input.

    Sexual activities are the sum and substance of all homosexual storm troops talk about!!!! I am SUPPOSED TO give a care as to HOW they pursue ecstasy!? That they pursue it so relentlessly and publicly and pursue applause, for crying out loud, tells me all I need to know about such folks? Apparently; to them. Nothing else defines a human being? Their virtues or lack thereof? Their God-given talents and skills and how they’ve enlarged upon such? What they believe is the reason for their very existence?

    Do you get what I’m saying? We could fill books with questions to pursue in getting to know a person; but with active and militant homosexuals, it all begins and ends with one question, sex!!! I am sick to death of it! And bored silly by these people, truth be told. They are all one-note people with pleasure the only thing that gives them a pulse. And I don’t mean those who live with the defects, but those who flaunt and fight for such.

    Sorry for the rant. I see it as just such a waste of time, all of this talk about sex, and we take the bait every single time. It’s their one note, and we play an orchestra back at them! Instead, let’s pray in thanks for what we have been given by our Creator and praise Him for it and pray in sorrow for all our endless human defects which in His mercy He will forgive if we ask and give us the help we need to get to where we want to end up when our own personal journey ends. Please, enough with arguing with the indefensible. Just pray for them, and print and say and live Truth.

    +JMJ

  10. avatar Ink says:

    Thanks, JLo. That pretty much sums up my frustration. I think there’s a name for people like that: exhibitionists.

  11. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    What is really offensive is how the homosexual movement is portrayed in the media as a very normal way of life. Yet, when seeing videos of homosexual parades in various cities like in San Francisco, it is anything but. If people saw how really bizarre the involved people behaved and dressed, there would be an outcry but thanks to the media and also our catholic bishops and priests, and people like the Lopata’s, these important facts are overlooked and brushed aside.

  12. avatar annonymouse says:

    “There is sin, and there is gay sin.”

    When was the last time you heard a homily preached in our diocese that mentioned any sin and need for repentence? I’d settle right now for an acknowledgement that sin exists!

    To the Lopata’s – isnt it the job of the Church (and her leaders) to talk about sin and repentence (I’m pretty sure that was a constant theme of Our Lord’s)? Isn’t the Church about saving souls? And given our 2000 year history of recognizing same sex “intimacy” as sinful, isn’t that important for HMChurch to point out? How can you be so certain that homosexual relations aren’t resulting in the loss of souls? How can you be so certain that such relations aren’t grave sin? Is the fact that your offspring is engaged in such behavior completely coloring your perspective? The most loving thing, I think, is to call sinners to repentence and conversion.

    What audacity it takes to conclude that you are more intelligent, or more enlightened, than those men the Holy Spirit has given us to lead the Church!

  13. avatar Scott W. says:

    Our hierarchy has a habit of invoking noble sounding principles but applying them only when they can be used against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

    If there is ever a massive movement to indoctrinate children by trying to add “Great American Gangstas” to the social studies cirriculum, I’m sure the bishops will speak up about that.

  14. avatar Mike says:

    annonymouse,

    Well put. The first words out of Jesus’ mouth in Mark’s Gospel, while they didn’t mention sin, did mention repentance:

    The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel. (Mark 1:15)

  15. avatar Hopefull says:

    Listening to this morning’s gospel, I was suddenly struck by the applicability of Matthew 19 to the “gay marriage” situation. Christ said to His disciples:

    “Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.”

    For those who claim they were born with SSA, I think these verses apply in a way I had never noticed before; i.e. that they are incapable of marriage because they were born that way. That is to say, “marriage” is impossible for them, no matter what NYS says. And for others, perhaps seduced or beguiled into a SSA relationship, they have been made so by others, and perhaps then too become incapable of a normal heterosexual relationship/marriage.

    But another insight which struck me in hearing today’s gospel is what is going to happen to the children getting SSA indoctrination at such a young age? Are they being made unable to enter into marriage as God intended, that is between a man and a woman? Are they being made “incapable” of true marriage by others indoctrinating them at such a tender age? It seems to me there is much more to contemplate in this passage than I had ever noticed before, principally having seen mostly the eunuch applicability of the verses, and of course celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. But what else is Jesus saying?

  16. avatar JLo says:

    Just read a really instructive article which gave me some clear insights for discussing this condition with others… you can find it here… http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/columns/guests/davidprosen/iamnotgay.asp
    … and it is well worth your time, even if you think you have all the ammo you need for effectively discussing this issue.

    The writer says, “I am not gay; I am David”, and makes the case that since the discussion has been changed from SSM being an EXPERIENCE to it being an IDENTITY, such a sinful lifestyle has been mainstreamed and accepted.

    One of the writer’s suggestions is to never ever use the terms homosexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, etc., because those words support SSA as an identity. Rather, use only the term same-sex attraction in talking about this condition, giving it its actual definition… an experience.

    God did not create man, woman, and homosexual!! He created TWO personhoods! These people themselves and those who support and defend their lifestyles are completely off the rails.

    +JMJ

  17. avatar Mike says:

    JLo,

    Great find!

    In one of his online talks (could be this one, although I haven’t double checked it) Peter Kreeft mentions a conversation he had with a student who identified himself as a homosexual. In that conversation he noted that the student first and foremost identified himself by his sexual orientation and asked him why that was so, when no heterosexual Kreeft knew saw himself first and foremost as a heterosexual.

  18. avatar Ink says:

    Hopefull: I’ve seen a bunch of places where the idea of the “gay gene” has been renounced. I’m pretty sure the Human Genome Project concluded that, though I am not 100% certain. I’ll check my facts and update this later.

  19. avatar JLo says:

    Ink, please do update on this!!! I had no idea that science has been definitive on this! If that is so, that is HUGE. +JMJ

  20. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    There was an article on the failure to document a “gay” gene, many years ago in Scientific American.

  21. avatar Mike says:

    JLo,

    Here are a few “Gay gene? Not!” references: See here, here, here, here, here and here.


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