Cleansing Fire

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Fr. Ted’s Catechism — Or Why We Should Permit Gay Marriage

December 18th, 2012, Promulgated by Dr. K

Retired Diocese of Rochester priest, Fr. Edwin “Ted” Metzger, entertains a question about gay marriage from a parishioner of Greece’s Mother of Sorrows church in the parish bulletin. Sadly, Father fumbles the ball big time and implies that we should permit legalized gay marriage because people hold different opinions.

The following Q&A appeared in the parish bulletin this Sunday:

Q. More questions from a reader: What should we tell our children about same-sex marriage?
A. I would say nothing, until they ask. As far as our Catholic definition of marriage, matrimony, is concerned, The Catechism tells us in no. 1603: “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament”.

Q. Shouldn’t this definition be the law for all people in all the States?
A. No [What?!], because the United States is a vast country, with millions of people with diverse and strongly held beliefs about marriage. [There are diverse opinions about abortion… does that mean abortion should be legal?]

Q. But it is obvious to many citizens of the United States that “marriage” is a union of one man and one woman.
A. True. But to be realistic, we Catholics must admit that many other citizens hold that this ‘ain’t necessarily so’. So, relax, and treat your friends and neighbors as Christ has taught us: “Love one another, as I have loved you”; John 15:12 and elsewhere in the Gospels.”

I don’t have a major qualm with the first answer, but Father Metzger is dead wrong about the next two. We Catholics have an obligation to oppose the legalization of gay marriage. Our Holy Father, while Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had the following to say about fighting legal recognition of gay unions:

“In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.”

“If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.

When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.

When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth.

The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

Source: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html

We can not sit idly by while the definition of marriage is rewritten. Catholics have a duty to resist these efforts, and we must defend the traditional understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Fr. Metzger is wrong and a correction is necessary.

If you would like to contact the Pastor of Mother of Sorrows, Fr. Adam Ogorzaly, the parish e-mail address is: mos@dor.org

Source: http://www.motherofsorrows.net/files/Bulletins/12-16-2012.pdf

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21 Responses to “Fr. Ted’s Catechism — Or Why We Should Permit Gay Marriage”

  1. avatar annonymouse says:

    Father Ted oughtn’t be given column inches in the bulletin for what is a quite shoddy and lazy “catechism” lesson.

    Perhaps he isn’t facile with the newfangled computers, but a quick google search would have found ample evidence that we as Catholics have an obligation to support the continuing erosion of the instituion of marriage. It took about one minute to locate this, Father: http://old.usccb.org/laity/marriage/samesexeng.shtml

    And it took me about eleven seconds to find the catechism entry that deals with annulments – 1629 says: “For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed. In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged.”

    And, Father Ted, it is a mistake to say the spouses may “marry again.” For we believe by the annulment process that they were never married to begin with.

    Father Ted – play checkers. Golf. Bingo. Whatever. Just please step away from the typewriter and stop leading the people astray.

  2. avatar ROBERT says:

    It’s time for Ted to make his retirment FINAL !

  3. avatar ROBERT says:

    That is RETIREMENT !

  4. avatar annonymouse says:

    My bad – I meant to say that Catholics have an obligation to OPPOSE the continuing erosion of the institution of marriage!

  5. avatar Jim R says:

    concerning his question on annulment below the one in question here…he’s either a bit disingenuous (True “annulment” isn’t in the CCC, but it is certainly referenced in 1629) or inept (he couldn’t find this reference):

    1629 For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed.130 In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged.131

  6. avatar Scott W. says:

    Q. Shouldn’t this definition be the law for all people in all the States?

    A. No, because the United States is a vast country, with millions of people with diverse and strongly held beliefs about marriage.

    I think he just invented a new game. Let’s play. I’ll go first:

    Q. Usurping another’s property against the reasonable will of the owner is theft. Shouldn’t this definition be the law for all people in all the States?

    A. No, because the United States is a vast country, with millions of people with diverse and strongly held beliefs about property rights and stealing.

  7. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    I wouldn’t know Father Ted if we bumped into each other.

    But i recognize him.

    He sounds a lot like who Michael Voris describes:

    http://www.churchmilitant.tv/daily/?today=2012-12-19

    Rather than be depressed, let’s pray, fast and sacrifice.

  8. avatar raymondfrice says:

    “we as Catholics have an obligation to support the continuing erosion of the instituion of marriage”.

    Do you really mean this???

  9. avatar Jim says:

    Jim M. here: Just a few thoughts on Fr. Ted Metzger. I’ve known Fr. Ted for quite a few years, having gone through Becket Hall, back in the 1970’s. I may be wrong, but I think that during the years, Fr. Ted has had a number of health issues, and possibly some mental health problems as well. (I sure hope he’s not reading this!). If this is the case, he may be in a different state of mind, while writing these things, and could be influenced by other factors. I’m not saying for sure that this is the reason or an excuse, or has any bearing on what is happening, but he sure is a much different priest than the one I used to remember. I saw him at Mass, at a different church, a few months ago, and he really does not look well to me. Maybe a little compassion is needed here.

  10. avatar annonymouse says:

    Jim – point well taken. We should be compassionate to Father Ted.

    But by all means, if what you imply is in fact true, don’t you think they should stop letting him write in the parish bulletin? I mean “Q – what should I say if my kid asks me about same-sex marriage? A – NOTHING!” We certainly don’t want anyone to properly catechize their kid when the schools do such a fine job of imparting Christian virtue to them, do you?!!

    Raymond – that was a slip which I caught – see my post 12/18 at 2:19p

  11. avatar Dr. K says:

    But by all means, if what you imply is in fact true, don’t you think they should stop letting him write in the parish bulletin

    I heard from someone who contacted the pastor that he (the pastor) stands behind the errors made by Fr. Metzger, in addition to making some disparaging comments about Cleansing Fire. So be it.

    The diocese is filled with rotten fruit. May our next bishop perform a good prune.

  12. avatar Scott W. says:

    I heard from someone who contacted the pastor that he (the pastor) stands behind the errors made by Fr. Metzger, in addition to making some disparaging comments about Cleansing Fire. So be it.

    Anyone willing to go on record? It would be helpful because if the Fr. Metzger is really in diminished capacity, then it is exploitation.

  13. avatar Jim says:

    Jim M. here: Yes, I agree with you,annonymouse….Fr. Ted should not be writing these things at all. He should retire and if he needs help, he should get it.

  14. avatar eyeondor says:

    It was announced that Fr. Adam has taken a “leave of absence” from the Priesthood for 1 year at all of this weekend’s masses, I heard it at the 8am mass. Maybe he didn’t care about what was published because he was leaving?

  15. avatar Hopefull says:

    Fr. Adam’s name still shows as pastor in this weekend’s bulletin. The prior bulletin said his pilgrimage trip in the spring has been cancelled. Those pilgrimage trips can be quite rewarding for the priests who run them….a whole bunch of people pay a little more and the priest travels for free. And he gets time away from the parish — is that counted as vacation time off or is leading trips to Europe and Israel just part of his job? Is it a job (like a priest dog groomer being a DoR-permitted “job.”) In case of problems, who is financially responsible? I’ve wondered about that. Suppose most of the travelers are from his parish? Does the parish have any responsibility? The diocese? Suppose it’s been advertised in the Courier, other church bulletins?

    I guess a tour would have to be cancelled since there probably is not much market for priests taking a year off to lead pilgrimages if they are not functioning as priests. Cancellation fees? Lost opportunities to have joined other tours? Interesting dynamics.

  16. avatar Dr. K says:

    A reader informed us that two area parishes experienced staff shakeups on January 1st. Perhaps this is one of them. If you have anything concrete to document such a change, please send it to contact@cleansingfire.org

  17. avatar eyeondor says:

    It was told to our congregation that he left on New Year’s Eve, so the bulletin would have been sent to the publisher by then, I would imagine with the holidays. Sister Leandra explained that he is now living as a “lay person.” I would imagine he would not be allowed to lead a pilgrimage. I don’t know what repercussions the parish or Diocese would have. Could he be personally responsible to pay back the deposits? I would think deposits would have to be submitted by now!

    Does anyone know how a leave of absence works? Does it typically mean that he will be gone forever? Do the priests typically leave? It was said that he could request longer, but that a priest generally starts with a year off. Any ideas on the logistics?

  18. avatar Dr. K says:

    He’d still be a Roman Catholic priest, though he wouldn’t be permitted to publicly exercise ministry. He remains bound by the promise of celibacy.

    Fr. Mark Brewer of St. Charles Borromeo is also on leave.

    Additionally, the Official Catholic Directory lists five local priests on leave of absence. As of 2010 they were: Lee Chase, Peter DeBellis, Douglas Della Pietra, Charles Manning, and Melvin Walczak. I don’t miss any of these five.

  19. avatar eyeondor says:

    Lee Chase is at St. Lawrence now, he must be back from leave. He’s listed in their bulletin: http://content.seekandfind.com/bulletins/06/0101/20130106B.pdf as Vicar. It looks like he was listed in the 12/23 bulletin. One of my friends goes there and told me they had a new Vicar, Fr. Lee. I hadn’t put it together until you posted the list of people on leave.

  20. avatar Dr. K says:

    “Lee Chase is at St. Lawrence now”

    That’s not good.

  21. avatar Interstate Catholic says:

    Melvin Walczak is back with the Polish National Catholic Church in Irondequoit.

    Fr. Jim Schwartz has been appointed pastoral administrator of Holy Spirit in Penfield for six months, concurrent with his duties at St. Joseph. Not sure what that’s all about because Fr. Fred is still there.

    That ridiculous 12 year “term limit” for pastors has to go with the next bishop.


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