Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Language of the Laity Matters!

December 1st, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

From those who follow the ‘signs’ most closely, there seems to be general agreement that the meeting in Rome in February, 2019, of heads of the various national bishops’ conferences, will most likely be managed toward treating the entire crisis as pedophilia and therefore have a “protect the children” agenda (not that it isn’t a worthy subject) for the purpose of diverting attention away from the vital issue of rampant homosexuality among the clergy, in particular.

Some bishops can’t even bring themselves to say the ‘h” word, let alone deal with it. Many know it is time for the Laity to do more, but what? Lots of activity doesn’t necessarily accomplish anything if it is disorganized or uncoordinated, or dilutes the effort for what most urgently needs to be accomplished. After Prayer, and more Prayer, which is always #1, here is a proposal for the next most important thing for the Laity to do, and it is easy and doesn’t need funding.

Let us begin immediately to only speak of the crisis/problem/abuse etc. as the “homosexual” crisis/problem/abuse. Let’s not talk about it in a disconnected, unnamed way as an “issue” or a “challenge.” It’s a sin. And let’s try to influence others, including media, to name it too. The data are well-known; about 80% of the abuse (and that is before homosexual abuse of seminarians gets added into the mix) is caused by active homosexuality in the Church, and by cowardly hierarchy afraid to speak the Truth. The Rome meeting has the vibe of continuing the same reluctance. To the extent clericalism in any way can be implicated, it is by the silence of leaders, implying no one else should speak the Truth either.

But someone has to speak it, and it’s the Laity. And this is a measure the Laity can take easily — in all discussions, insert the “h” word. Suppose one is asked “Is the crisis in the Church going to destroy the Church?”  Then let the answer begin: “The homosexual crisis in the Church cannot be denied. We are in a time of …….. etc. ” If we don’t call it what it is, then who will? Our objective is to make leaving out the “h” word untenable, its absence a constant echo of “cover-up.”

Opinions are most welcome!


17 Responses to “Language of the Laity Matters!”

  1. Ginger says:

    While it might seem that homosexuality is the dominant problem, I maintain it is both a heterosexual and homosexual problem.

    There are collectively 6 priests serving 3 different clusters in my surrounding area. What if they were all required to live in community when not directly serving in the parishes they care for? There might be a greater degree of accountability and looking out for each other.
    Do away with independent rogue living that supports a dual lifestyle.

    Use the Rule of St. Benedict as a guide.

  2. militia says:

    Sorry, Ginger, but I do have to disagree with your point. The statistics are overwhelming that it is a homosexual problem. The only thing lacking is the hierarchy admitting to the obvious. The longer they fight the admission, the sillier and more incompetent they look. Or guilty themselves? And even if your comment were true, the difference would still be obvious. While both are sinful, unchaste lustful sexual relationships, by men vowed to celibacy,one is a natural, normal inclination between man and woman that calls for strong self-discipline, submission and faithfulness, and which was willingly and knowingly surrendered to God at ordination. The other is an abominable perversion that cannot be gifted to God; what kind of vow would that be? To offer to God ‘not sinning?’ What does that gift to God imply when it is already an obligation of both ordained and the non-ordained?

    Sorry to also disagree on the living situation, except among the retired. I’ve seen that from its seamier side, too. Think of it this way: investigations have so far justifiably focused on the perpetrator, and on the negligent bishop or cardinal. But what about the junior priest on parish staff with only a thin wall separating him from the perpetrator’s quarters? Virtually none took the responsibility to report brother priests? Why? Because the brotherhood makes them feel safer rather than having their sexual activities revealed? What about those seminarians at Cardinal McCarrick’s beach house, going there and knowing what would happen, and grabbing the ‘safe beds’ before the trap was sprung? And, to think, a number of them are ordained priests today!

  3. Diane Harris says:

    I would add to the above discussion two more points.

    1) First, a man should be ordained only when his emotional and psychological maturity are beyond doubt, and his commitment to holiness a beacon to the flock. That doesn’t mean that he has to be perfect, only that he has the capability of being faithful and is fully committed to his vows. He should not need a babysitter to keep him on the ‘straight and narrow.’ If he does, that is a failure of the seminary discernment process, and his own.

    2)Second, if a man is committed to holiness, in his ordination he will receive the charisms needed. We should not reduce his position to a common dormitory fraternity situation, but rather as being constantly in the Presence of the Lord. We as laity need to do a better job in valuing the gift to our parish of a dedicated priest.

  4. Ginger says:

    Militia, Stats show an overwhelming homosexual problem. What happens when you brush your hand against the nap of corduroy? It is rough to the hand and shows a color different than when brushing with the nap. I guess this is what is happening. We brush our hand against the nap and are bristled seeing one thing-homosexuality. Brush the other way and it is smooth and all looks and feels as it should feel. The majority of the population is heterosexual-the smooth easy to touch and feel side. Homosexuality is a perversion but no less a human reality-like a person with pica who might enjoy eating dirt or another afflicted with excessive scrupulosity. The human psyche is fragile. Sometimes we master life. Sometimes we don’t. This is true for everyone at some point or another. Either way, we are called to understanding, compassion and love.

    I don’t label celibacy qualitatively as you do. Obviously the Church doesn’t either. I suspect it never did.

    Community life for priests could definitely be tweaked and tightened for successful chaste living. Didn’t Jesus live and move successfully with a group of 12 men? It is a fact.

    Does the Church have problems? Yes. Labeling people with a big letter H probably isn’t going to happen or solve a single problem. It didn’t work in the case of Hester Prynne.

    But please correct me if I’m wrong. Dialogue is good.
    I’m just seeing Diane’s addition. Thank you

  5. militia says:

    “I don’t label celibacy qualitatively as you do. Obviously the Church doesn’t either. I suspect it never did.”

    Ginger please explain what you mean by those excerpted words, and how you feel I “labeled celibacy qualitatively”

  6. Ginger says:

    Militia, At this point, I see no sense in paraphrasing my words or yours.

  7. militia says:

    Well, Ginger, since you won’t engage in the discussion about what you posted, I will. I think that is a fair response on a blog. And you wrote “But please correct me if I’m wrong. Dialogue is good.” I don’t think you believe that, or you would reply.

    So you don’t want to “paraphrase” but that is not what is needed; I understand the words just fine. But to me they don’t make sense. How can anyone “label celibacy qualitatively?” One is either celibate or not. Celibate in thought, word and deed. What would labeling celibacy “quantitatively” then be? Something like “6 out of 10 times he was celibate?” That would not be celibate. So perhaps you misspoke and meant to use a different word, but I can’t guess. I can only point out the implicit error or confusion in what you said.

    But there is also additional confusion in what you posted. I don’t find a corduroy analogy to be helpful at all. Corduroy is obeying its natural function in both cases; not so homosexuality, which you agree is a perversion. One thing we do agree on is that we are called to understanding, compassion and love. OK. We agree. But it always requires truth. An that should mean focusing on the ‘h’ word because ignoring it is to ignore what is at the very essence of the sin. It is greatly sinful to not speak the truth when it is needed for the good of souls.

    What do you mean by Jesus living and moving with 12 men? Are you implying one of the apostles was homosexual? Your idea of “tweaking and tightening” for successful chaste living is just what I meant about not having a babysitter to make sure someone keeps his vows (yes, I know “promises”) although I think those most successful do treat them as vows. But to have them tweaked or tightened to be sure their promise is enforce is highly insulting. It denigrates the very essence of their free will by which they give themselves to God. (Makes one think that would also argue for bedroom enforcement to make sure married couples don’t use contraception!) It is a great affront as well to the privacy of conscience.

    And there are further points about what you posted which also deserve to be made, including some bad analogies. Homosexuality compared to scrupulosity? or pica eaters? The point which you do seem to miss is that labeling the issue as a homosexual issue is not the same as ‘labeling people.’ Without adequate diagnosis, the disease is less likely to be held in abeyance.

    Finally, Ginger, I would propose you think more about the following question: “Is celibacy a priest’s gift to God? Or God’s gift to the priest?” Let’s have some discussion about that!

  8. Ginger says:

    Now that you relieved some pressure, I will proceed.

    “The other is an abominable perversion that cannot be gifted to God; what kind of vow would that be? To offer to God ‘not sinning?’ What does that gift to God imply when it is already an obligation of both ordained and the non-ordained?” said Milita.

    In this way you label quality of celibacy per individual. Celibacy is celibacy. I am hard pressed to say to any priest or nun with homosexual inclinations that his/her vow to celibacy cannot be gifted to God. I obviously believe that homosexuality need not be an impediment to religious life. The current Church response to bar people with homosexual tendencies from the priesthood is ineffectual and what I believe to be a facade to appease. The hierarchy know themselves well and fully realize the complications that modernization causes and that adjustments need to be implemented to make holy again what has been sullied. Necessary adjustments need to also be extended to those religious with heterosexual inclinations.

    It wasn’t long ago that homosexuality ranked in the DSM-5 along with obsessions and other abnormal psychologies. Should abnormal psychology prevent someone from religious life? Once again, I would be hard pressed to say that all saints had stable mental health according to today’s mental health standards.

    I refer to the R of B as a possible guideline for religious community living because it includes all practical ways to live in Christ. The R of B even advises sleeping and traveling arrangements! I maintain that Jesus lived and moved with The Twelve. That facts stands on its own without any further support from me.

    The bottom line is that I don’t believe slapping a big ‘H’ on the matter will solve problems the Church faces today. The problems are multiple and complex.

  9. Ben Anderson says:

    or we could skip the H word and go with the S word. Austin Ruse pointed to some articles by Hannon on firsthings It’s been a little while since I read them, but I think it was “Against Heterosexuality” that I found most interesting as well as “Against Obsessive Sexuality”.

  10. militia says:

    Ginger, you wrote “I am hard pressed to say to any priest or nun with homosexual inclinations that his/her vow to celibacy cannot be gifted to God. I obviously believe that homosexuality need not be an impediment to religious life. The current Church response to bar people with homosexual tendencies from the priesthood is ineffectual and what I believe to be a facade to appease. The hierarchy know themselves well and fully realize the complications that modernization causes and that adjustments need to be implemented to make holy again what has been sullied.”

    Do you really hear your words: “complications that modernization causes” and “adjustments need to be implemented.” NO! Homosexuality is not a “modern occurrence”. What is modern is the idea of reshaping truth, and dictating to God what he will accept or not. St. Paul said it clearly in Romans Chapter 1:

    “God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.” Romans:26-32

    Now, if someone suffers from same-sex attraction, even for their own souls they need to avoid occasions of sin, and that should certainly mean a nun not living in community with other women, and a priest not hearing the confession of a teenage boy struggling with SSA. Apparently Pope Benedict saw the point when in his first year as Pope he issued the Instruction (shown in the CF post “Brother delivering up Brother to Death.”:

    The point I think you are missing, Ginger, is that NO MAN has the right to take the priesthood to himself. He must be CALLED by God. And God deserves the most perfect gift possible, not members of the DSM text casebook, not people with broken moral compasses.

    Finally, you wrote: “The bottom line is that I don’t believe slapping a big ‘H’ on the matter will solve problems the Church faces today.” The straw-man gets attacked again. I don’t think anyone in this post said “slapping a big H will solve the problems of the Church.” Not at all. The point is that the church is in crisis and it is because of sexual impurity and abuse, over 80% if which is male on male homosexual. There is nothing wrong with constantly keeping that truth in mind, and labeling it appropriately. But let’s always remember that homosexuality and homosexual inclinations are not the sin, but acting on those impulses is. And to put such a person in temptation’s way is highly irresponsible. So it doesn’t really matter what your opinion is; we have the bible and we have church teaching, and what is needed now is obedience.

    This blog follow Church Teaching, not to debate it, but to learn and obey it. If opinions against Church Teaching are repeated comments, I’ll ask the administrator to delete the repetitions.

  11. Ginger says:

    Militia, I understand all that you are saying but really no one is perfect. We are all sinners.
    As tough as it is for me sometimes, I try to avoid putting a quality mark on people.
    The Church gratuitously gives us Saints as guides and help.
    They are the only ones besides Christ that I look to along the way.

  12. militia says:

    We are commanded to be “perfect.” Quite a challenge!

  13. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    The crisis is a crisis of faith, morals and mission.

    Early in the 1980’s Ralph Martin toured the country giving talks which eventually became the content of his 1983 book: Martin highlighted attacks within and outside the Catholic Church to undermine her faith in Jesus, her call to the moral life and to proclaim the Gospel for the salvation of souls.

    It appears to me that our Catholic brother Ralph spoke and wrote prophetically. Many of the attacks he highlighted have taken root in seminaries, Catholic schools, religious institutes and bishops’s offices. If one thinks I am avoiding the h word or the s word, I am not; they are only symptoms of a greater problem. (BTW, the First Things article linked above by Ben makes a good argument)

    That greater problem is a low regard for Sacred Tradition and Scripture. Psychology, now that’s where it’s at! Society’s modern perspectives? Yes! Many in the hierarchy are embarrassed and ashamed when pressured by secular values and psychological insights. Secular Culture has convinced many hierarchs. Remember when a particular Cardinal exclaimed BRAVO when a football player announced his same-sex attraction….

    Homosexual crisis? Sure, and because of all of the above. I’ll go along with Diane’s suggestion to use the “homosexual” word; and I am ready to point out the 40 and 50 year old attacks on the Church’s faith, morality and mission have overcome and subjugated many clergy and laity have.

  14. Ginger says:

    The Hannon article/links shared by Ben A. are very good.
    “By treating lustful desires as an essential part of his personality, a man sets up a seemingly insurmountable barrier to chaste intimacy, and there is absolutely no reason for it. Some people may happen to be tempted more than others in some regard. So what? We’re all human and we’re all fallen. We all need to work around our temptations and overcome them where possible. But we should never identify them with who we are, or waste more anxiety on them than they deserve. ”
    Michael W. Hannon Against Obsessive Sexuality

    Against Heterosexualilty by Michael W. Hannon is also very good and should be read first followed by Against Obsessive Sexuality

  15. BigE says:

    Right on Ginger (and Ben to an extent with his added comment)!
    I think homosexuality has become the scapegoat for the church’s sex abuse problem.
    Numerous studies have shown that homosexuals don’t sexually abuse at any greater rate than heterosexuals.
    Which means the large amount of homosexual sex abuse in the church is simple a reflection of the large number of homosexuals in the ordained (much larger % than the population at large)
    This “red herring” of a homosexual problem in the church has covered up the real issue IMHO:
    Bishops having no one to answer to….ie, the church’s power structure which allowed and then perpetuated this whole scandal.
    My sense is that the “coverup” by Bishops enrages people more than the abuse itself.
    Most people realize that child abusers are mentally sick individuals, who in many ways can’t help themselves.
    But the Bishops who covered it all up? Nothing more than protecting themselves and their power.

  16. Ginger says:

    Ginger’s comment has been moved here b/c the programming notice to which was attached is no longer relevant (event is over, and has been deleted.)

    I will try to tune in and listen because you shared.

    Catholics: The new normal is the old normal.

    Catholics are called to walk the fine (no pun intended) line to Life.
    Given varying culture climates, we must be careful not to fall prey to either extreme yet not be lukewarm.
    Love the sinner. Hate the sin. Thankfully, the Church in her gratuitous love and superior wisdom goes full circle to gather everyone in.

  17. Ginger says:

    The Catholic Current broadcast on The Station of the Cross Radio featured author Robert R. Reilly Has Homosexuality Become “The New Normal”? 5pm 12/5

    Systematic rationalization of LGBT is apparent. It is good that authors like Reilly document and discuss the progression so that future generations understand. These books will be banned and already, as pointed out, we are witnessing censorship in many areas. I maintain that the Church identifies a larger snake in the jungle. This beast is larger than the beast that rationalizes sexual abominations.

    We are presently in the beginning a persecution that will shift in awful ways. Be obedient to the Church. Keep compassion and mercy as companions along the way. The goodness extended today will have an impact in ways you can never imagine. Extend goodness simply and purely for love of God.

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