Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Now legal; Still sinful

June 29th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

ScreenShot174-211x300A post earlier today by Christian got me thinking that the Same-Sex “Marriage” decision by the Supreme Court deserves a special post in which our readers can contribute.  I’ve moved Christian’s comment to this post, to acknowledge the importance of our focusing on this issue, and how we might respond.  I will write some thoughts over the next few days, but don’t want to delay giving us a place to comment now, so here it is.

Meanwhile, I am pondering whether or not the title of this post would make a good bumper sticker to park in the church parking lot.


Christian wrote:

With regard to your insertion, annonymouse (and without intending to derail the topic of Laudato si), there are other Catholics employed by the Diocese of Rochester in ordained and lay positions who have advocated for same sex marriage, and are now celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same sex marriage throughout the United States.

The Chaplain at Nazareth College posted an article on Nazareth College Catholic Community’s Facebook page commemorating the legalization of same sex marriage, entitled “How should Christians Respond to the Court’s Decision on Same Sex Marriage?” written by Fr. Daniel P. Horan on June 26th, 2015 at 3 P.M.-On All Things for America: The National Catholic Review. The article strongly endorses Same Sex Marriage backing it with excerpts from “Gaudium et Spes” and “Nostra Aetate.”

(The Chaplain previously served at a Catholic parish under an openly homosexual priest who advocated for the homosexual lifestyle and Same Sex Marriage. There was an article written about this priest and his views).

How can ordained clergy and ministerial lay persons under the tutelage of the Diocese of Rochester and Bishop Salvatore Matano, teach and promote an agenda not recognized by the Catholic Church, especially to young, impressionable people?


Your thoughts?  Personally, I am looking forward to Bp. Matano’s catching up with priests who teach counter to the magisterium.  Let’s pray.


19 Responses to “Now legal; Still sinful”

  1. avatar annonymouse says:

    Nazareth College has not been a Catholic college for quite some time, so that probably explains this chaplain’s presence there. Now I don’t know to what extent said chaplain owes respect to the local ordinary, nor do I know if the bishop can proscribe said chaplain from celebrating sacraments, but the bishop could preclude sacraments from being celebrated there if he desired.

    As with every other issue of substance where Christ’s Church engages our secular culture, the Church has no shortage of “protestants” who dilute her teaching and confuse the faithful.

  2. avatar true faith says:

    I also saw the posting of the Chaplain of Nazareth College who frequently counsels students. What is concerning me is that he wrote the post rejoicing in the Supreme Court’s ruling and shared an article written by an openly gay priest citing his interpretations of Church Doctrine which favors same sex marriage as a moral imperative. He did this post under the Facebook page for Nazareth College Catholic Community with a rainbow flag. He is identifying same sex marriage as a doctrinal stand of the Nazareth College Catholic Community. I wonder what the Sisters of Joseph must think who virtually live on the same campus and are involved in the lives of the students. By posting this on the Nazareth College Catholic Community Facebook page, doesn’t he risk misrepresenting what the Catholic Church’s stand on same sex unions is ? I believe that those who serve in an official capacity for the Roman Catholic Church should be instructing the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church in it’s orthodoxy. Having compassion and understanding of homosexuals , befriending them and inviting them to church , to a meal or an activity and loving them with the love of Jesus Christ is quite different than condoning homosexual sexual activity and same sex marriage as a church official.

  3. avatar snowshoes says:

    Thank you, Diane. I like your bumper sticker idea; my tweak-to make it pithier to my ear- is: Now Legal, Still a Crime (that cries to Heaven for Vengeance).

    As we have said before, catechism and preaching must return to the instruction of ALL the doctrinal and moral truths proclaimed by the Catholic Church. It is a mercy to teach it all, and yes, it will bring persecution, but the LOTH morning reading from St. Peter yesterday says to rejoice in the sufferings we endure for Christ. By doing so we arm and protect the innocent, and save our souls.

    The pagans of the late western Roman Empire weren’t interested enough in the tribes threatening Rome, they were more interested in their selfish pleasures. We’re threatened by ISIS, China, and company, to say nothing of satan’s “plans” and we’re doing this? God help us. Pray, pray, pray.

    We must stick with the governmental framework given us by the Founding Fathers, and work for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. It looks like it will be a long time before the SCOTUS will vacate this recent ruling and Roe. The accretion of invalid jurisprudence/laws like these and their evil fruit will doom this nation to a bad end if we don’t pray and act quickly.

  4. avatar JLo says:

    2016 will (hopefully) be the perfect time for a full forward push on the Constitutional amendment regarding marriage: hopefully the progressives will still be a minority in both Houses, the WH will no longer have a progressive living in it, and the vast majority of states will still have GOP governors. There will never be a better time to attack this mess in the political arena. Voters should demand this be first on the GOP’s platform list. +JMJ

  5. avatar snowshoes says:

    Amen, JLo. Again, proposal of amendments is done by a 2/3 vote of both the House and Senate, and then when passed, a proposed amendment is sent to the States for ratification. 3/4 of the State legislatures must pass it, then it is amended to the Constitution.

    Daunting fight, so we pray and act. By letting our representatives and congressmen know through letters and in person that we are committed to this amendment will get the ball rolling. Martyrs of Rome, the new martyrs and all the martyrs, pray for us.

  6. avatar annonymouse says:

    Call me a pessimist, but I don’t see an amendment securing 2/3 in either house of congress, nor gaining the support of 38 states (the six New England states, NY, NJ, MD, DE, CA, IL, OR and WA make 14). The best bet, as it has been for years with Roe v. Wade, is to gain a strict constructionist majority on the Supreme Court, a majority not filled with hubris so as to create new rights. Still, I’m not sure what sort of case might gain a rehearing of this perhaps worst-ever bit of jurisprudence.

    It may well be that our efforts might be best directed toward maintaining a fire wall regarding religious liberty. The homosexual lobby really has no interest in marriage – their goal is to eradicate all voices of dissent, all voices who might point out the inconvenient truth as to the sinfulness and disorder of their acts. This ruling, I fear, is but a step (albeit a giant step) in that direction. One can only hope they overplay their hand.

  7. avatar Sid says:

    There is about as much chance of a constitutional amendment for traditional marriage happening as there would be monkeys flying out of my nostrils. It’s *never* going to happen because frankly the issue is toxic. Any politician showing the slightest sympathy will be tarred and feathered and labelled a hater. Nope, never going to happen… forget about it and pick a different tactic.

    Presently a Church wedding bears civil weight in this country. In my view, any such interaction between Church and State has now become very risky. I think (given the recent ruling) churches not administering marriage “freely to all” (ahem) will soon be confronted (bombarded) with a great deal of lawsuits, both for outright civil damages (just like the photographers and cake-bakers are already seeing) and more ominously, in order to force the revocation of their tax-free status. The argument will be that “discriminatory” organizations denying Constitutionally-protected rights cannot be granted tax-free status.

    This WILL happen. Secularists (even those caring little about gay issues per se) will be employing this as a strategem in their attacks upon organized religion. It IS coming and there will be a slew of nuisance lawsuits along these line. Be prepared for it.

    What the Church (and other faiths) should seriously consider at this point is merely exiting the business of *civil* marriage altogether. Still perform marriages of course, but these would be sacramental marriages in the eyes of the Lord (and Church) only, with no legal standing. A 15-minute stop at the courthouse afterward (completely separate from the Church) would make it “legal”. As far as the law is concerned, what transpired in the church earlier that day was merely a club ceremony (no legal bearing) and as such their jurisdiction is more limited.


  8. avatar annonymouse says:

    I don’t think the issue is as toxic as you think, Sid. In fact, I don’t think a Republican candidate can get elected in many states (or nationally) unless he or she disavows same-sex marriage – it’s vital to the GOP base, and a candidate cannot afford to have the base stay home. That said, you are right that, absent a drastic change of heart among our populace, returning to faith in the Lord (something I pray for daily), a constitutional amendment is not going to happen.

    With respect to attacks on tax-exempt status, the Obergefell decision did not raise same-sex marriage to the same level of protection as race, and the Bob Jones decision only applied to education policy, specifically excluding Churches. So at least at present, an attempt along the lines of Bob Jones University to remove tax exempt status (even though some are already clamoring for it) would almost certainly fail.

    And remember – we do have the First Amendment. Which makes the “services” provided by a Church much different (and more protected) than those provided by a photographer or baker or florist.

    So while the forces of evil (and make no mistake, this homosexual blitzkrieg has been fueled by the forces of evil) will assuredly try the tax exempt avenue, and the “hate speech” avenue, and every other avenue possible in an effort to stamp out any and all opposition to their lifestyle, I think (fervently hope and pray) that they’ll be overplaying their hand.

    As to your last paragraph, I agree that is the likely result – separate civil and religious marriage. But that will not placate the forces of evil.

  9. avatar snowshoes says:

    Also agree that, as in many other countries, the US may end up separating civil marriage from the Church marriage. I also agree, Sid, that it’ll be an uphill battle to win a constitutional amendment process. My question is, though, in the decision whether or not to engage in the process, do we apply the just war principles, which include “winability”, or do we view the constitutional amendment process as the last option we citizens are offered by the Founding Fathers?

    My mind goes back to the reproaches, historically unfounded, leveled at Pope Pius XII regarding his purported lack of support of the European Jews. We know that as far as parliamentary process goes, if any discussion at a formal meeting doesn’t make its way into a motion, and into the minutes of the meeting, it didn’t happen, formally speaking. I think we need to engage in the formal amendment process so that there is a formal parliamentary record that we at least tried. Future generations will be able to look at the record of our efforts and our reasoning, whether we win or lose at the moment, and this is essential. Again, not for prideful reasons, but to do what we can, before God and our country.

  10. avatar Sid says:

    I admire your spunk and sticking to principles, but the civil battle is one that is lost. Any political party (or individual politician) making a case for it will merely drive away any voter under age 30. Have you heard what is being taught in schools today? I’m not saying that moral relativism *should* win, but politicians are going to look at the long term picture. It is better for churches to get out of the business of minting legally-binding contracts. Leave that to the civil authorities. This is not without precedent, either–it is the modus operandi in much of Europe.

    Passing a Constitutional marriage amendment as you favor is a lost cause. At this point, the equity is better expended elsewhere. It’s more fruitful for the Church to plan its own defense for the coming onslaught. There are dark skies on the horizon…

  11. avatar annonymouse says:

    Sid, don’t you think, then, that we’d better get to work changing minds and hearts of under-30s, not only on this issue but on every culture of death issue? For us to give up on changing minds and hearts means were abrogating our baptismal responsibility to evangelize, so vitally important in our post-Christian, secular culture. Here’s the thing – there is no lasting fulfillment in relationships founded on sin, whether they be same-sex or contracepted. It will take some time for the culture to realize this, but we must be ready and available to proclaim that the ONLY way, truth and life is Jesus Christ and the Church He gave us and all that she teaches us in charity.

  12. avatar christian says:

    What is being taught in public schools these days, starting at the high school level, and in some cases, middle school level, is that homosexual or bisexual sexuality is just another form of sexuality, and is valid and healthy as heterosexual sexuality. (The LBGT movement is very powerful and well-funded. There has been an LBGT (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgendered) Lobby at work in our public schools).

    I can see offering support and counseling for students who feel confused about their sexuality identity, or for students who find themselves having romantic and/or sexual feelings toward the same sex, – but students are asked to search themselves out in regard to their sexuality and gender.

    Also taught in public schools: There is nothing wrong with fornication -it’s normal and acceptable to have heterosexual sexual relations outside of marriage, and it’s normal and acceptable to have homosexual relations. It’s also normal and acceptable to have sexual relations with both the opposite sex and the same sex. (Females should use birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Males should use condoms to avoid spreading a sexually transmitted disease and to also avoid being infected with a sexually transmitted disease, in addition to using condoms as another form of birth control).
    *Students are taught that those who do not accept the LBGT lifestyle are ignorant and hateful.

    Once a college or university accepts state and federal funding, even if they had been designated as Catholic or another Christian denomination, or other faith, they have to adhere to governmental regulations in terms of what its policies are in regard to the student body, faculty, and staff. The acceptance and celebration of the LBGT population and their lifestyle is mandatory.
    Can you think of one Catholic college or university in New York State that does not receive State and Federal funding?

    I have some family members/relatives under the age of 30 who are supportive of the Supreme Court’s approval of same sex marriage. They are all heterosexual, single, and celibate. What they all have in common is Catholic grammar school, and public high school, and recent college attendance. There is propaganda and pressure on campus and on social media to accept the LBGT lifestyle and same sex marriage. Those who do not accept the LBGT lifestyle and “same sex marriage” are portrayed as not “in”, and further ignorant and uncompassionate,-even hateful.
    Further, these young people have friends with a sibling involved in a same sex relationship.

    I think a Chaplain that is Catholic or from any denomination or faith which does not condone same sex marriage or the LBGT lifestyle, encounters a conflict of church and state when they are expected to acknowledge or adhere to the governmental mandate of colleges and universities accepting state and federal funding.

    There is already a problem in the military regarding Chaplains expecting to adhere to federal guidelines from the Pentagon when counseling practicing homosexuals, same sex couples, and heterosexual persons and couples having sexual intercourse outside of marriage.

  13. avatar JLo says:

    Sid, annonymouse, Snowshoes, et al… I agree that we must be wise and approach with what we know we can win, but two things on my mind must also be on everyone else’s: the saying of Mother Teresa about God not caling us to be successful but only to being faithful (humble); and in this matter, it’s all in the trying, isn’t it? And then there’s the mystical. Ticking off all the pitfalls and sure losses, the vast armory pointed at us is not the way to go either. Let’s not presume failure. We need to trust in the Lord. History points to many battles with similar odds, and today we call them miracles. Pray on; fight on! +JMJ

  14. avatar snowshoes says:

    Amen, JLo, we also consider the Loaves and the Fishes, and in the LOTH, we’re reading Samuel, we recently read the story of David and Goliath, and the various stories of how the small band of picked Israelite soldiers won over a much larger army. Trust in Our Lord and Our Lady.

    This month’s prayer intention from the Pope is that we be involved in the political process (my summary). I don’t think this is just a coincidence. All those fence sitters need to see us diligently working and communicating the clear message of Nature’s law and Nature’s God (please re-read the Declaration of Independence) that Marriage is between one man and one woman who are free to marry. The key in the lock opens the door to a consummated, fruitful Holy Matrimony. Two keys or two locks, you’re going noplace, but… Ora et labora!

  15. avatar Diane Harris says:

    From PBS series on Freedom:
    “At Concord and at Lexington the American farmers were ready: They grabbed their guns. They were called minutemen because they could fight on a minute’s notice. Captain John Parker was their leader, and he spoke firmly: “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

    The greatest munition is not ammunition, but TRUTH, and we know Who He is. It is essential to be armed with and speak the Truth, and not succumb to the framing of the battle as we have too readily accepted in the past (e.g. words like “choice” and “hate” and gay “marriage”.) That is why I am no longer going to use terms that talk around the issues, like “Schools are teaching homosexuality” or “Churches risk losing their tax exempt status” or “There is a liberal agenda to disenfranchise Christians,” at least not without identifying the real opponent.

    Rather, I am going to (and please correct me when I forget or misspeak) name the New Government Religion (which is, of course, a very old ‘religion.’) By blaming a variety of disciples of the Government Religion, or its symptoms, I think we miss the point. I think we then lead others to miss the point.

    All that is happening — from bad Supreme Court positions, to compelling insurance support for abortion, from one-sided enforcement of “hate” language, to schools setting rules in conflict with the parents’ rights to teach their children — all are manifestations of the New Government Religion.

    So I exhort you, my friends, to name “Government Religion”, and to speak clearly and forcefully against it, and thus in defense of Christian principles. We didn’t want this battle, but if it is going to be (and so it seems will be) then let it begin with us — speaking with the munition of Truth. It is essential that those who have rejected “religion” in all forms begin to see that they have actually embraced a religion — the Government Religion; that the Government indeed has established its own religion.

  16. avatar Scott W. says:

    “the Government Religion; that the Government indeed has established its own religion”

    Yep. A while back I imagined its motto:

    non habemus deum nisi Caesarem “We have no god but Caesar”

  17. avatar pebbles says:

    Let’s stop using the term “re-define,” as the rogue court that legalized the oxymoron “Gay Marriage” has rendered marriage undefinable. “Pandora’s Box” has been opened. GK Chesterton said: “The only way to say something definite is to define it, and all definition is by limitation and exclusion; and that the only way to say something distinct is to say something distinguishable; and distinguishable from everything else. In short, I think that a man does not know what he is saying until he knows what he is not saying.” This short-sighted “feel good” ruling will lead to tryanny and a “ball of confusion” about the meaning of all words connected with marital unions, i.e. husband, wife, brother, sister,aunt,uncle,niece,nephew,cousin, grandfather, grandmother. It doesn’t end with marriage. There is already evidence of intolerance of words connected to gender difference in schools and elsewhere. “Snowpal” replaces the discrimminatory “snowman.” Even he and she are being banned in favor of person or friend, as the tyranny of the minority marches down the path of frantic, irrational common nonsense.

    The insistence on coerced acceptance of the secular “progressive” agenda, as opposed to tolerance, reminds one of the terror of the French Revolution. In the name of “equality,” many innocent heads rolled. Will Catholics who refuse to acquiese, eventually suffer a similar fate? Can’t happen here? That’s what Germans said in the early 1930s. My church pastor never mentioned the Supreme Court decision last Sunday at Mass. He did mention the importance of saving the environment. Very discouraging!

  18. avatar snowshoes says:

    Diane and Scott, agree. Interesting article in Crisis: Kennedy Replaces the “Laws of Nature” with His Own, by PAUL KENGOR. This sums it up. The “scientism” of the neo-atheists, combined with the straw-man of “creationism” combine to fight the true religion and world view of Catholicism. The Bible is “banned” from schools, I put that in quotes because we all know brave teachers, principles and superintendents who DO teach the Bible in the public school all over the country, so there is hope, but…

    I remember your brilliant reflection, Diane, of realizing a moment of crisis when your whole career comes to a point, you were prepared for this one crisis, such as Capt. Parker. I’m having that “feeling” now. You masterfully framed the issue, the putting in place of the “Government Religion”, and now the legal requirement to “offer incense” to the Emperor. We must stand, and work and pray, together on this.

  19. avatar annonymouse says:

    Note the 10-point swing in public opinion after the Obergefell decision (as compared to April) – 6% more against same-sex marriage, 4% fewer for it. It’s now statistically tied, and heading against those who would redefine marriage as it’s intended to be.

    Perhaps the battle is not yet lost in the court of public opinion.

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