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Fr. Rosica — Part of the Problem?

July 18th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

In my opinion, Fr. Thomas Rosica, a Basilian priest cultivated in the troublesome soil of Rochester’s historic spiritual politics, is a significant part of the problem rather than the solution. What problem? Proclaiming truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, rather than seeming to toy with the political exigency of a social agenda.  I have only heard Fr. Rosica speak twice, and both left me with an uncomfortable feeling. The first was around the time of election of Pope Francis, a speech and Q&A at St. Ambrose, which I thought was highly orchestrated to avoid several problem areas, but which were revealed much later. The second was the eulogy at the funeral for Fr. Joe Lanzalaco, in which Fr. Rosica left out completely the pro-life work and support given by Fr. Joe, and it had to be added by others at the final blessing. I wondered why that happened.

Ensconced in the secular permissive environment of Canada, with a bevy of dinner table vignettes from a few years in Rome during Pope Francis’ reign, Fr. Rosica, not surprisingly, recently jumped to the defense of Fr. James Martin, S.J., by attacking those guilty of preaching 2000 years of Church Teaching.  Putting aside for now the obvious need for a serious Reformation of the Jesuits, Fr. Martin slid in under the radar of good Catholics by first publishing his acclaimed but simplistic book: “My Life with the Saints,” to now infiltrate with his seeming opposition to Church Teaching, with his latest book “Building a Bridge….”

Pause here for a moment.

ScreenShot649Fr. Martin cleverly picks the bridge image to apparently align with and mimic Pope Francis’ criticism of a border wall during the US Presidential election, and the Pope’s call for bridges, not walls.  But as best I can remember, none of the Vatican criticism of border walls took into account the Wall around Jerusalem, biblically justified in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah as a response to God’s call for protecting the returning Israelites from attack. So Fr. Martin ironically uses a title which is more of a bridge to sin than a protection of virtue. The full title and subtitle? “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.”

One can justifiably wonder why no one has written a book entitled: “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the _____________ (Fill in: contraceptive, abortive, euthanasiac, pedophiliac, arsonist, drug-addicted, adulterous, or heretical) _______ community can enter into a relationship of respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” Outrageous? Yes. But what is really outrageous is the selection of one sin as “special,” worthy of being singled out and protected, at least by language choice. But language is the very point of Fr. Martin’s attack, and of support from Fr. Rosica, who himself was apparently very involved in the news releases from the Synod, and necessarily the ambiguity therein. And homosexuality was one of the initial glaring points of mis-translation into English (Fr. Rosica’s work?) from the original which in Italian which was reported as marriage being between one man and one woman, but the English version translated as marriage being between two people. This kind of language is directly related to making sin more attractive by not calling it sin. (For those who don’t really know what the bible says about same-sex intimate relations, see the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and also St. Paul’s words in the last half of Romans Chapter 1, lest there be a doubt.) If ever we are threatened by changes to the bible, Romans Chapter 1 will probably be the first to go.

LifeSiteNews: a boon to Catholics trying to find some truth

For the LifeSiteNews story regarding Fr. Rosica’s support of Fr. Martin (and resulting attack on good, faithful prelates) see: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-consultant-fr.-rosica-slams-apb.-chaput-for-defending-catholic-sexu?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=40ebbaad81-Catholic_7_17_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-40ebbaad81-402220649

LifeSiteNews and Fr. Rosica (or his Salt and Light Network) have had their run-ins before, and Fr. Rosica at one point was reported as bringing a lawsuit against an elderly retiree who was criticizing him, although the lawsuit (or threat of one) was ultimately withdrawn or not filed. But Fr. Rosica apparently continues with his vitriol against bloggers, priests as well as laity, exercising their canonical rights. Are they sometimes harsh or ill-considered? Perhaps. But one need not be perfect to bring a righteous complaint.

Excerpts

Here are some excerpts (in red) from the LifeSiteNews article, which hopefully will add much more to the concerns expressed above:

“Fr. Rosica, a Basilian priest and CEO of the Canadian-based Salt and Light Media, wrote …  he was filled with “bewilderment” and “astounded” after reading “critical comments” of Fr. James Martin’s book. He specifically mentioned that he was referring to “some bishops’ messages” as well as some “commentaries” and “blogs.” [Believed to refer to the beautiful defense of Church Teaching by Archbishop Chaput, or possibly also related to diocesan policy implemented by Bishop Paprocki.]

“To use clerical status, episcopal authority, or other forms of leadership to dismiss, disparage or slam the efforts of those who simply want to reach those on the peripheries is not befitting of shepherds, pastors or servants of the Lord. It has nothing to do with the Gospel! It is not who we are!” he wrote. [Well, that is indeed an odd statement attributed to Fr. Rosica.  It has EVERYTHING to do with the Gospel.  Christ said: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” He didn’t single any out for special tolerance.]

“[Abp.] Chaput said that while Martin is correct in stating that the Church must have “respect, compassion and sensitivity in dealing with persons with same-sex attraction,” this does not give a license to him or other influential leaders within the Church to ignore Biblical teaching on sexuality.” [I give thanks for the excellent and faithful pastoral care which Abp. Chaput evidences on a national basis!]

“What the text regrettably lacks is an engagement with the substance of what divides faithful Christians from those who see no sin in active same-sex relationships,” the archbishop wrote …. that Jesus “didn’t come to affirm us in our sins and destructive behaviors – whatever they might be — but to redeem us.”

“Fr. Martin in his June 2017 book … urges Catholics who identify as “gay” to begin “conversations” with their bishops in a bid to slowly move the Church in the direction of normalizing homosexuality as part of God’s creation.”

“…  canon law expert Fr. Gerald Murray added his voice to criticism of Fr. Martin’s book. Fr. Martin is advocating for the “relaxation of the Church’s teaching that sodomy is gravely immoral and that any attraction to commit acts of sodomy is an objective disorder in one’s personality,” wrote Murray. … “An inclination toward unnatural sexual activity is not the heart and soul of a person. True love is expressed in virtuous deeds. Evil inclinations or tendencies to sin must be seen by the Christian for what they are, and resisted,” he added. 

“In his column, Fr. Rosica criticized faithful Catholics who use social media to defend genuine Catholic sexual ethics, calling their writings the “dark, dysfunctional side of the Catholic blogosphere.” He accused them of “erecting high, impenetrable walls and noisy echo chambers of monologue.” … Rosica then criticized the Catholic teaching that calls the homosexual inclination “intrinsically disordered,” saying that “such vocabulary does not invite people into dialogue nor does it build bridges.”  [Well, as best I can recollect, “intrinsically disordered” was used with great clarity by Pope Benedict XVI. Obfuscating meaning, as we’ve seen far too often during the reign of Pope Francis, serves no one. The Holy Spirit is not a Spirit of confusion.]

“… Cardinal Robert Sarah wrote that bishops and priests perform a disservice to same-sex atttacted persons when they withhold from them Catholic teaching on homosexuality….[The Church teaches] things in the Catechism about homosexuality that some members of the clergy choose not to quote, including the clear warning: ‘under no circumstances can [homosexual acts] be approved’ (CCC 2357). The respect and sensitivity to which the Catechism rightly calls us does not give us permission to deprive men and women who experience SSA (same-sex attraction) of the fullness of the Gospel. To omit the ‘hard sayings’ of Christ and his Church is not charity,” he wrote.” 

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One Response to “Fr. Rosica — Part of the Problem?”

  1. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, at Saint Bernard’s Institute (SBI), I heard much about what was just and what was unjust. The Church was unjust toward women and gays. For example, the injustice arguments focused on society’s and the Church’s attitudes and actions against the “gay community”. The morality of homosexual sex was not so much the issue at SBI (although source material was available which explained how and when sex between same-sex partners was moral and good). Social justice and morality demanded justice for the group, the community which had experienced intolerance, disrespect and marginalization.

    I am of the opinion the teachers and leaders who victimize the Lord’s people by their false teaching are being exposed. Their own words expose them for who they are and what they are doing.

    “It seems then that Gramick spent decades intentionally withholding her own personal views, defying directives to stop her ministry efforts, despite ceaselessly claiming to present and promote all of Church teaching in her pastoral ministry, claiming to be a bridge-builder. But all the while, by her own admission, she merely lacked the courage to state her views openly—precisely because they contradict what the Church really teaches.”

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/fr-jim-martin-canonizes-sr-jeannine-gramick

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