Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Sr. Pat on Sexual Ethics (part 2)

July 10th, 2010, Promulgated by b a


Picking up “after midnight”, we remember Sr. Pat having described in full the Church’s teaching (and their sources) on sexuality in less than 15 min and with no mention of God’s revelation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the fact that these issues (masturbation, homosexuality, and contraception) are not new and have been around since the beginning of time, or the teaching of Pope John Paul the Great.  She’s now about to egg on the crowd to have her speak to the “questions” that naturally arise.  Before we continue, I have a few comments.

In the previous post, and intermittently throughout this series, we’ll hear Sr. Pat mention her desire that everyone attend St. Bernard’s.  I would highly discourage anyone from doing so or participating in any other educational programs endorsed by the DOR.

On a somewhat related topic, I’m sure many of us have read Bishop Clark’s latest Along the Way column in the Catholic Courier.  In the spirit of openness and dialogue which is supposedly promoted by the DOR and by Sr. Pat, I made this comment on the Catholic Courier’s facebook page.

I believe the Bishop’s statement is somewhat (purposefully?) ambiguous and that he should clarify exactly what he means.  If he means that we should love homosexuals while not condoning their lifestyle, then he should explicitly say so.  I think we’re all a little confused, though, when one of his most prominent leaders (the president of St. Bernard’s seminary) clearly teaches things that aren’t in line with Church teaching
<<inserted link to Sr. Pat on Sexual Ethics (part 1)>>

The above quote is paraphrased based on my memory as they quickly deleted my comment.  I guess they’re not as open to dialogue as they claim they are.  Perhaps I will try next to leave a comment on the Catholic Courier’s main site.  Perhaps others will try to do so as well.

update: When I originally posted this I missed the fact that there are comments questioning the bishops column on the Catholic Courier’s site. This was pointed out by Nerina in the comments below. My apologies for overlooking this.

Enough hullabaloo, let’s cut to the chase.  This next snippet isn’t quite as long as the first as I’d like to dissect it a little more and allow for our readers to offer some more insightful comments.


note: The following quotes are all paraphrases. I don’t have the time to make sure they’re all 100% correct and since I have included the source, you can hear for yourself.

If you want me to, but I wouldn’t force this on you….Certain questions have arisen about that teaching…..from society and even from people within the church…and even from theologians and pastors…Maybe this ethic needs to be stretched a little

Oh, please, Sr. Pat, please don’t spare us from your wise and enlightening dissenting opinions.

aren’t you all in college, where life is happening?  Everything new is emerging?

There is nothing new under the sun

Doesn’t natural law dwell too much on physical, doesn’t attend to emotional.

There are answers to this in Theology of the Body.  Get the book. I would think a PhD moral theologian would be interested in in what her Holy Father has to say.

Notice that all of her dissenting questions are based on a false premise. Sr. Pat incompletely described why the Church teaches what she teaches thus it becomes much easier to present arguments for why the Church could be wrong.

grandparents wouldn’t receive counseling

huh?  Not sure where she’s going with this except that she’s trying to group together everything before 1973 as “bad”. Just to be clear, people who hold to traditional Christian morality are capable of incorporating newer techniques.

Let’s play golf, let’s have cocktails

Again, huh? I’m guessing again this is only said to imply that all people and ideas prior to the Vatican II were ignoramuses.

1973 American psych institute “Gay and lesbian people are as normal as straight people”

Yeah, so what? Even if that statement is true, it still doesn’t imply that the Church should change it’s teaching. It’s “normal” for me to be attracted to a clantily scad woman walking down the street, but that doesn’t mean I should give into my inhibitions.

Adds dimension that the church is not quite ready to handle

hmmm… “not ready to handle”. I’m getting tired of responding to these statements. Perhaps others can pick it up in the comments. I would say that this is somewhat falsely portraying Church teaching. Since saying people are “asking questions” is a good way to hide behind making allegations, I’ll ask a question… “when do such false statements become slanderous?” see: slander-what-it-is-and-what-it-isnt

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14 Responses to “Sr. Pat on Sexual Ethics (part 2)”

  1. Nerina says:

    Ben – Re: Bishop Clark’s latest column – it appears they are allowing some opposing comments to be posted on the Catholic Courier website. I noticed that James Likoudis posted a very good one and he is definitely a critic of our Bishop.

    Regarding this part of Sr. Pat’s talk all I can say is she is the master of duplicity. Again, what is so frustrating about her presentation of Church teaching is its incompleteness and how she presents her “questions” as perfectly reasonable ones considering the culture we live in and how times have changed. She mentioned how her parents (or grandparents) were married for 51 years without the benefit of counseling and I could swear she found that an embarrassment. She then implied that the type of commitment exemplified by her parents/grandparents was unreasonable or too extreme. Again, this argument, or in Sr. Pat’s term – “question” – must be raised in order to advance other “questions” like artificial birth control, gay marriage, divorce and remarriage.

  2. benanderson says:

    Nerina, I totally missed that. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Also, +1 one to the Catholic Courier for leaving those comments up. I will update this post accordingly.

  3. Richard says:

    She is clueless. Having been separated from the CHurch for almost 20 years, I did many of the actions she now says are part of the modern age. Did doing these things make me happy? NO. All they did was to further separate me from God. It may have resulted in an immediate sense of pleasure, but that quickly changed to terrible feelings and depression. And as much as I tried, I couldn’tescape from this cycle, even with counceling. It was when I finally returned to the Church, and abstained from doing the thibgs Sister Pat advocates doing, that I found peace.

    She is clueless. Does she think shacking up and using birth control, as is done in most colleges, especially the “Catholic” colleges will bring real happiness? All it brings is drug and alcohol use, depression, sexually transmitted diseases and people using each other for their own pleasure.

    It’s too bad. SHe had a teaching moment. She could have used her position to really do a lot of good but she chose to only confuse and cloud the issue. What she has done is to contribute to the misry of those who want to buy into her modernistic nunsense.

    God bless.

  4. Richard says:

    This whole situation is both sad and comical. For such jibberish and nunsense, this bishop wants to be totalitarian and advocate only this kind of rubbish and tolerates no other opinion. But discussing these topics with these people is like shooting fish in a barrel. The theology advocated by the diocese, with NO tolerance for opposition, is a house of cards, ready to fall. Yet isn’t it interesting that when they have seminars and discussion groups, they try and control the discussion, not allowing real quetioning of their positions to take place.

  5. Nerina says:


    Everything you say is true. How many of us bought into cultural temptations because “that’s what everyone is doing?” I know I did. Even early in my marriage when my knowledge of the faith was so limited, I bought the argument that the Church needed to “move with the times,” that “Vatican II changed everything” (though at the time I didn’t know the difference between dogma and karma). How many souls have been lost?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I guess her grandparents only needed the Sacrament of Confession when the ethic started to be “stretched.””In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health till death do us part” was taken very seriously. That generation didn’t need theology on tap. Most serious Catholics were humble and obedient.

  7. Richard says:

    Remember what our parents told us,”Just becuse everyone jumps off a cliff does not mean you do it. Sr. Scholes needs to adhere to that philosophy.

    And birth control. 60% of all people who use it divorce. 3% of thoe using NFP will divorce. I think there is a naked elephant in the room! What is poor sister smoking?

  8. Christopher says:

    Richard, can you tell me where you got those statistics from? I’d like to re-use them.

  9. Mike says:


    I’m not sure where Richard got his figure from, but Physicians For Life has quite a bit of statistical data on its website.

    In the Main Menu click on Birth Control and then either NFP or Research & Statistics. Either selection leads to a collection of articles.

  10. Richard says:

    I got them from Theresa Natare from the USCCB.

  11. Andy says:

    I must say, as a student of SBSTM, the professors are brilliant (and decidedly left-wing), and I’ve learned alot. I’m surviving, and haven’t (yet!) lost my faith.

    That said, I haven’t taken any of Sister Pat’s courses, and I must say I’m dreading them. I find the Pope’s Theology of the Body to be brilliant, and I am convinced that, as Christopher West says, “the Church has it right on sex.”

    Pray for me, PLEASE!

  12. benanderson says:

    you got it, Andy. Certainly don’t lose your faith! I’d love to hear more about your experience. If you’re up for sharing, send me a private note at

  13. Eliza10 says:

    Ben wrote: “There are answers to this in Theology of the Body. Get the book. I would think a PhD moral theologian would be interested in in what her Holy Father has to say.”

    Yes, the answer to that is there. CLEARLY she hasn’t read Theology of the Body!! Yes, a Phd moral theologian should read this – especially a CATHOLIC one! But a Dissident Catholic theologian would not. So that explains it.

    She clearly has teacher’s skills. She knows how to question to keep people engaged so she can have her voice heard. And when what you have to say is shallow/falsehoods/parital-truths, it may make its mark on a purposely-uncatechized population!

    I have witnessed that this Diosesan drivel does not go over so well with an older generation. They may listen politely, but scratch the surface, they aren’t REALLY buying it. But with a college population that is assuredly uncatechized (if they are from Rochesteer, and that represents 34 years of effort to make it so!). The changemakers know this; they aim for the college crowd.

    I found this comment earlier on a random blog from another state. The commenter’s name is Virginia Zignego; [I googled, she is with Pro-life Wisconsin]. She said: “A friend of mine (not me! there would be a scathing write-up if it was me) attended a Milwaukee Theology on Tap recently, where the topic was Interfaith Marriage. The speaker basically said that, if the two spouses cannot agree on raising their children as Catholic, it is not a big deal, and neither is attending Mass every Sunday. And people wonder why no one is at Mass, if that is the message being given.”

    So, Theology on Tap is a National effort. The pro-gay movement is very well-organized!

  14. Eliza10 says:

    Re: Sr. pat’s statement: “1973 American psych institute “Gay and lesbian people are as normal as straight people”

    That was a political move, NOT based on ANY research, as was the previous conclusion! Research will bear this out; Google it for the undeniable facts. It means NOTHING! Other than the Institute is more than willing to lie on matters of its professional expertise. And we all know that.

    Re: Pat Shoelles: “Adds dimension that the church is not quite ready to handle”

    Its just plain arrogance? Pride? Gay Pride? (what about gay humility; is that really an oxymoron?). Sr. Pat is saying the poor weak Catholic Church is just not able to handle her more lofty truths! What kind of order is Pat a Sister with, anyway? The order that lost their beautiful buildings to Nazareth College? That would fit…

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