Saturday, January 31, 2015

FATHER PAUL SCALIA AND COURAGE!


Our campus minister who studied in Rome told me that he had heard Fr. Paul Scalia speak to some of the students at the North American College about Courage and the appropriate way the Church can act as a field hospital for those injured in the war of life and to minister to them appropriately.

So I asked our campus minister to think about how we could offer Courage here in the Macon deanery and if it would be a worthwhile pursuit given the hyper-paganism that so many experience in the area of sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular.

This is what Father Paul Scalia writes. I have to say the more I heard and read about Fr. Scalia, the more I admire this priest. He has the heart of Christ in the sense of the Church Militant rather than the Church Belligerent and how as Catholics we have to have a heart and love for people and not use doctrine as a monstrance to hit people over the head until they submit to a cold doctrine! At the bottom are links to other subjects by Fr. Scalia on sexuality.  What do you think about Courage in a parish/deanery setting?

Same-sex attractions: Part III - The Courage apostolate

  • FATHER PAUL SCALIA

For the past two weeks this column has set forth the Church's teaching (which is simply the natural law) on homosexuality. We must know the doctrine and first principles in order to address this issue accurately, always keeping in mind that doctrinal and moral truth is necessary for love.

We must know the doctrine and first principles in order to address this issue accurately, always keeping in mind that doctrinal and moral truth is necessary for love. We must speak the truth in love, as St. Paul the Apostle says (cf. Eph 4:15). Nevertheless, to conclude this series I would like to give a more personal reflection on the basis of my almost six years of serving as chaplain for Courage in the Arlington Diocese.

First, a little background. Courage is a support group for men and women with same-sex attractions. The members meet weekly in strict confidence to share their thoughts, experiences and struggles, and by so doing to give and receive needed support. Members of Courage dedicate themselves to the goals of chastity, spiritual growth, fellowship, support and good example.

Courage is aptly named. The world offers two extremes in response to the issue of homosexuality. One extreme is love without truth. That is, to "love" the person by approving whatever lifestyle he may choose. Thus, homosexual activities are approved in the name of love. The other extreme is truth without love – that is, to run roughshod over persons in the articulation and pursuit of the truth. Thus true doctrine is proclaimed, but the person is left without help. Men and women with same-sex attractions therefore find themselves caught between the extremes of a false love and a loveless truth. One side condemns them to a life of immoral behavior, the other to cold doctrine. It takes courage to resist both the depravity of the first and the discouragement of the second.

Courage follows the words of Pope Paul VI: "To diminish in no way the saving teaching of Christ constitutes an eminent form of charity for souls" (Humanae Vitae). Love for the truth and love for the person are not in competition or conflict. The human heart is made for the truth, and the Church possesses the fullness of truth about the person. So it is not enough for the Church to teach against homosexual activity. She must also provide assistance to those who have same-sex attractions – so that they can live the truth and beauty of the Church's teaching. Courage strives to affirm both the dignity of the person and the full truth of human sexuality.

Unfortunately, some see Catholic truth in conflict with the human person. So they try to help without speaking the truth – and thus out of misguided compassion they only enable destructive behavior.

There have been and, unfortunately, still are other groups that claim to be Catholic and claim to "help" people with same-sex attractions. But such groups either dilute the Church's teaching or remain silent about it. They practice what then-Cardinal Ratzinger called a "studied ambiguity" about the Church's teaching. Dignity and New Ways were two such groups and some years ago were officially condemned by the Church. They in no way represent the Church.

So, Courage has really a very simple purpose: to help men and women with same-sex attractions live the truth of human sexuality. We call that chastity. Courage has full confidence both in the Church's teaching and that it can be lived joyfully. Anyone with same-sex attractions who desires to live chastity and strive for holiness is welcome.

Courage has chapters in many cities (not enough, in my opinion) throughout the nation and the world. Each chapter typically has a priest chaplain and follows the same general format at its meetings: prayers (usually the rosary), the reading of the goals of Courage, a reflection, and time for discussion and sharing. Our chapter meets weekly and up until two years ago I was the priest present almost every week. Now, although I still serve as the official chaplain, several other priests from the diocese also assist. Allow me to share some of the blessings I have received in this work.
There would be nothing easier for them than to surrender to society's siren song and live the homosexual lifestyle. But they have the spiritual honesty to acknowledge that that would provide only a false and ephemeral peace.

First, to witness the freeing power of the truth. Now, we know in principle that the truth sets us free (cf. Jn 8:32). But to see this in action is something entirely different. Many Courage members have experienced the freedom of knowing, first of all, that their struggles are not without reason. When they encounter the Church's teaching on homosexual attractions as a disorder they have responded, "Yes, that is true. That is what I have felt." As one member said to me, "I have felt this disorder for years. It was just great to hear someone speak honestly about it." Indeed, it is freeing to hear someone else confirm that your struggle is genuine and real.

Another member wrote the following:
"I came to Courage at a time in my life when my struggles had led me to the breaking point. I found myself praying for death ... and wishing that I had never been born. I begged God with all of my being to lift this burden from me. I felt such immense shame. In time, through prayer and support, I have come to realize that this very unique struggle has made me dependent on God's unconditional love. I am learning to truly accept myself and others who share this immense cross, which is slowly and steadily freeing me from the shackles of self-hatred and judgment. The comfort which I have derived from being not only accepted but truly understood is a gift beyond any imaginable. My prayer now is not to have this cup pass from me, but to love the way God intends, instead of the way that I wanted. I ask for the grace to unite my will with His, and to let my light shine forth in reflection of His love. I have hope again that I may indeed one day be fit for eternal glory in God."
Members also find the freedom of knowing that their struggles are not without purpose: that there is hope. Many members thought for years that there could be no relief, no way out. Once they believed they must either live in secret shame or come out of the closet – neither of which brings peace. Now they find the freeing truth that chastity is possible. This truth brings hope: that they are able to live chastity even with the same-sex attractions. And although Courage does not require its members to pursue reparative therapy (i.e., the reduction of homosexual attractions and cultivation of heterosexual attractions through psychological or psychiatric counseling or treatment), it is certainly supportive of those who seek it.

Second, I have discovered that so little of this issue actually has to do with sex. The homosexual community would have us believe that the only difference between heterosexuality and homosexuality is sexual practice. But that is not true. Sexuality always engages more than just the body; it engages the soul as well. So, more often than not the discussions at a Courage meeting center on the deeper issues that give rise to or accompany same-sex attractions: for example, lack of masculine/feminine identity, family wounds, isolation, anger, addictions and shame. (In this context it is worth noting that the homosexual lifestyle is characterized by higher rates of alcohol and drug addiction, suicide and depression – even as our surrounding culture has grown more approving of it.)
Third, the importance of friendship and fellowship. More than once I have seen relief and peace on a newcomer's face as he learns that he does not struggle alone, that he finally has people he can speak with about his troubles. The sharing and fellowship at a meeting produces such relief.

Finally, I have gained a great admiration for the men and women in Courage. There would be nothing easier for them than to surrender to society's siren song and live the homosexual lifestyle. But they have the spiritual honesty to acknowledge that that would provide only a false and ephemeral peace. They have the spiritual courage to look at their sins, wounds and struggles. They also appreciate more than most the importance of the Church's doctrines and sacraments.

Find out more

Go to couragerc.net
Same-sex attractions
by Father Paul Scalia

Part 1: Sexuality and Homosexuality
Part 2: The Church's pastoral response
Part 3: The Courage apostolate
Part 4: Fidelity to both love and truth

dividertop

Acknowledgement

Father Paul Scalia "Same-sex attractions part III: The Courage apostolate." Arlington Catholic Herald (October 20, 2010).

The Author

Fr. Paul Scalia is Pastor at Saint John the Beloved Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia. He received a Master of Arts degree from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelicum, in Rome in 1996 and was ordained a Priest for the Diocese of Arlington the same year. Fr. Scalia has published articles in various periodicals including This Rock, First Things, Religion and Liberty, Adoremus Bulletin, and Human Life Review, and is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Fenwick Review.
Copyright © 2010 Arlington Catholic Herald

61 comments:

Bee said...

Maybe I'm an idiot for even taking the bait and commenting on this story, but I am wondering why there needs to be a "support group" for people experiencing same sex attractions. The first thing that occurred to me is this is pandering to the problem of particular temptation. We all have temptations. I don't see a support group for "Those Experiencing Kleptomaniac Attractions" or "Those Experiencing Extramarital Sexual Attractions."

And what exactly would you be saying to people who would attend the two latter groups? 'We understand you REALLY REALLY want to steal, even when you can pay for something, but with God's help and prayer you can control yourself."? "We understand you find other people wildly attractive and REALLY REALLY want to stray, now that you are married, but with God's help and prayer you can control yourself."? How seriously would we take someone if they told us well, I have a problem with wanting to steal; I have a problem with wanting to commit adultery? Maybe one on one counseling with a priest, but really, a support group?

Secondly, I'm trying not to be too jaded but it also occurred to me such a group would be a great way for Christian minded homosexuals (oops, I mean "persons with same sex attractions") to find that "someone special." Father Scalia may be very sincere, but unless the group is open to anyone and everyone trying to live chastity, (whether single or married), then isn't he really just legitimizing "same sex attraction"? Why wouldn't the discussion be the same for all, since in his series of articles he says, "For the Church does not propose different standards of sexual morality (one heterosexual and another homosexual). Rather, she articulates the truth about human sexuality for all – a truth that is not her exclusive possession but pertains to the nature of man. She bears witness to the natural law, to the design and purpose of human sexuality. The truth is this: Human sexuality has meaning, purpose and design – all discernible by natural reason. It is for something: for procreation and union."

So why make a "support" group specifically for one kind of sexual temptation?

Anonymous said...

Question for "Bee"....have you heard about AA? It has probably saved more families and lives than all of the priests and preachers and churches combined.

Sounds like Rev. Scalia might be dealing personally with his own sexuality...and is trying to figure out....Is it a "choice"? Is it the result of some childhood trauma? Can we "pray away the gay"?

He speaks of those involved in the program as "they". Does he mean "us"?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

If you are human you deal with your sexuality in the pursuit of chaste holiness no matter one 'a marital status or attractions, clergy or laity.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I also suspect that some who have given into the hyper-paganism of our culture concerning sexuality which always entails a certain amount of rejection of God, find it difficult and laughable to even think about chaste holiness even in its imperfect state.

Paul said...

We're all "something", we're all born some way, only God knows why. It what we say and do with this cross or blessing that will matter at Final Judgement.

Bee said...

Anonymous at 1:44 pm: Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do recall hearing something about a group called AA. (joking! :-) Yes, I know, but the Catholic Church isn't the one typically organizing and running those groups, although they might meet in Church facilities. I guess I don't understand why same sex attraction is different from other challenges to chastity. Because the Church's teaching is even the attraction is intrinsically disordered. So is that what the support group is trying to deal with? Or the acting on it? Or both?

And not to be really cynical, but should the Church run a pedophile support group? I don't mean to be sarcastic, I'm trying to understand the distinction of why there should be something geared specifically to SSA people.

Anonymous 2 said...

As to your question, Father McDonald, I think it is an excellent idea to think about forming such a chapter in the Macon deanery for the reasons Father Scalia explains and for the reason given in the answer to Bee’s question below.

So, as to your questions, Bee, the answer is given by Father Scalia and the CCC:

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Not to belabor the obvious, but I would also point out that for homosexuals chastity equates to celibacy – not something required of heterosexual marries couples. Try imagining having to be celibate your whole life as a lay person (i.e., without taking a vow to do so). And that’s just the sexual aspect, quite apart from the other difficulties Father Scalia discusses.

Bee said...

Anonymous 2 at 4:23:
"Not to belabor the obvious, but I would also point out that for homosexuals chastity equates to celibacy – not something required of heterosexual marries couples."

No, not required of heterosexual married couples, but required of unmarried heterosexuals as well, including divorced men and women and un-remarried widows and widowers. I don't know why that is significant. It is common but largely unnoticed. I suppose it is because you may think a heterosexual can always hold out hope for a marriage in the future, whereas a SSA person never can? Yet, there are many people who realize they will never marry, given their age or circumstances.

"2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."

Why should I even know if someone is has SSA? Perhaps when people see me they assume I have heterosexual attractions, but I don't know that it is a primary identifier in my relationships. So, if I am struggling with a tendency to commit a certain sin, does everybody have to know it? If someone within the Church says something critical in my presence that touches on a sin I struggle with, should I go into a tailspin, or should I see it as the Holy Spirit calling me to greater holiness? I'm trying to understand here how SSA needs particular support and ministry over and above that provided to the rest of us in the pews.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Chastity is certainly required in marriage, meaning fidelity. There are many heterosexuals who will never marry and they are called celibate chastity. And even those who are married, when they are unable to have natural sexual intercourse any longer, they are called to celibate chastity too.

I would suspect there are more unmarried heterosexuals and who will never marry than homosexuals, but have no statistics.

Anonymous said...

Fr. McD...I expect that you know about as much about being married as I know about being a priest....Happy Super Bowl weekend.

Tell me all you know about having sexual intercourse and I'll tell you all I know about the OF and the EF.

Peace be with you......

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

If we are good practicing Catholics no matter if we are having sexual intercourse or not and do not want to reduce human sexuality to this specific act, nonetheless we should both know about chastity!

Anonymous 2 said...

Bee and Father McDonald:

I understand, of course, that one may suffer trials and sexual temptations in many different sorts of life circumstances. This said, and allowing that perhaps I am just being obtuse here, but I do not understand why apparently you cannot understand, or you discount, the difference between (a) being told you MUST be celibate your whole life, not because you have voluntarily taken a vow to be so but because you are made in a certain way (are indeed “disordered), on the one hand, and (b) (as it turns out) having to be celibate because of contingencies such as not finding a spouse (the closest analog perhaps) or being divorced or widowed or due to the development of various physical impediments (not so close because non-celibacy was in fact once practiced), on the other.

Notice, please, that I am not challenging the Church’s teaching here, but just suggesting that a bit of empathy for the situation of homosexuals may be in order. Indeed, I made the points I did, precisely to defend your suggestion, Father, about possibly establishing a chapter of Courage in the Macon deanery against what I took to be Bee’s rather unfeeling dismissal of that suggestion. Notice, too, please, that I say this as someone who is an unqualifiedly heterosexual male for whom the idea of sexual expression between two men carries no appeal whatsoever, indeed quite the opposite (if you get my meaning).

By the way, Bee, if you still cannot understand the differences, I suggest you talk with some homosexual persons, that is, if they are not already worn-down tired of trying to explain/justify themselves to the rest of us. Perhaps this is partly why the CCC tries to express compassion for their situation. Or do you reject the CCC teaching set out in the passages quoted earlier?

Jdj said...

Bee, I thank you for "taking the bait". I have mulled over this topic for hours today and have had the same reactions you had, but just couldn't find the words to step out as you have. Father obviously cares about this and hopes to be more "proactive" about the issue in his deanery. Why, I can't say, as I can't speak for him. The issue of SSA of course is the latest touchstone issue in the secular world, but I agree with your questioning why it should find pastoral/ministerial/financial (?) precedence over the sometimes daunting problems facing the average pew-sitter trying to live (often in crisis situations that desperately need pastoral help) as the Church teaches.
We show up every Sunday with smiles on our faces, doing our best to support whatever agenda our beloved pastor currently espouses, and "happy" to do it. There is no question that we wish to share the Gospel message and support our Church. But when we find our own problems trivialized, or worse dumped in favor of the latest touchstone ministry requiring Father's time, how should we respond. My family lost a son in just this way...our pastor was "too busy" to meet with him at a critical time and we are still suffering the sequelae 12 years later. This was a young man who just needed a little pastoral time and care. Just a few simple answers to some pretty basic questions; nothing as complicated as SSA or any serious special needs. His siblings are committed Catholics, but he is lost. Where is the outreach for such as he?
I know we are not alone...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A2, I think a support group like courage is all the more necessary for those who have same sex attractions to remain chaste. Keep in mind, no one is forced to join this support group. I suspect the majority who avail themselves to it want to live as the Church teaches and want to avoid the hyper-paganism of the homosexual agenda today. This is all the more reason why the Church should be assisting them.

Jusadbellum said...

Excellent idea father!

Courage is a great ministry and vitally important not only for those brothers and sisters who personally experience SSA but also for their families and friends through the "Encourage" groups.

Every person is part of a family, and this phenomenon involves the family too.

As for why support groups? Because our age is one of atomization and loss of organic community (divorce, families that move far from kin, anonymous neighborhoods, breakdown in institutions...) so when people struggle with any temptation alone, we are vulnerable to so many distortions but also to despair thinking it's just us. To have likeminded souls sharing the via crucis is very helpful in persevering in the faith.

As for threats of cruising or finding partners through such groups...yeah I don't think it's so easy in such groups self selected for people striving to live the Catholic faith. If a gay man or woman wants to find someone for sex, it's literally at their finger tips online or in the sex friendly college groups or other groups out there.

We can't just preach the truth and then not at least try to provide some concrete means to live it.

Gene said...

If an alien from another planet were to land here and spend one day reading the news and watching TV, he would assume that this country was 95 percent homosexual and Black. We need to stop turning flips catering to loud, demanding minorities and anomalies. Homosexuals have all the support they need…Hell, the government, the protestant churches, and the media are their biggest support groups. Let them start touchy-feely pity parties for them. Maybe the blacks and the homosexuals can unite and have a big Crisco party after they burn the next town.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

as it concerns those with same sex attractions, the support they get from the world is precisely the problem and there are Catholic homosexuals who know that and need help to avoid it!

Gene said...

FR, Yes, I understand that…but, given the number of liberal Priests and laity in the church, such groups will doubtless turn into support groups for the homo lifestyle based upon a "change in pastoral practice."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Courage is far from that. There is another group, dignity, that does what you indicate.

Daniel said...

Or is it that some unfortunate souls seem to spend 95 percent of their waking hours in fear of blacks... and gays... and women.
I've spent a great deal of time around all three and I doubt any of them are a threat to hurt Generalissimo Gene... unless he got lippy with my wife.

Gene said...

Danny boy, If it were not for the constant bombardment from the media about blacks and gays, I'd never give them a thought because I do not prefer to associate with either group, and the less I have to hear about them, the better. I have probably worked with and around more women than most males on the blog, and I do not get "lippy" with women because my parents taught me better. However, if I were to get "lippy" with your wife, I would certainly fear her response more than your's.

Gene said...

You know, we read a lot into the NT and into Jesus' teachings and words. We also read a lot of modern, Enlightenment rationalism/egalitarianism into Scripture…you know, I missed that part in Scripture where Jesus embraced homosexuality, condoned aberrant sexual behavior and orientation, and encouraged his followers to embrace and be open to the homosexual lifestyle. I just couldn't find that anywhere no matter where I looked. Oh, you say, his commandment to love others and the fact that he hung around with sinners allows us to extrapolate from that his acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle…ok, then, Jesus wants us to embrace and be open to bestiality, polygamy, NAMBLA, and cannibalism. It says so right there in the NT where he says to love everybody. See, wasn't that easy. Oh, and there is a difference between sins like prostitution and sins that defy and mock God's natural law, gradually transforming our culture into a swamp of immorality and relativism.

George said...


Any group that can help Catholics become as God desires them to be is a good thing. At the same time I do understand Bee and others who feel as she does. One doesn't have to be a homosexual to struggle with chastity and celibacy. Wouldn't it be good to have a group not just for homosexuals, but also for those addicted to say, pornography( a far more prevalent problem since homosexuals comprise only 1 to 3% of the population). How about one for our teenagers and college students who are struggling with sexual issues and promiscuity? I know there is AA and Narc -Anon for those with substance abuse problems but perhaps we could provide some kind of help within the Church for those with these problems AND their families.
Certainly we can keep all those who are struggling to overcome these kind of things in our prayers. As Gene alludes to, the purpose of God's love is not to accept us in our sinfulness and disordered actions, but to call us to conversion and repentance and to conform our will to His.
We cannot do it without His grace. It is always freely available to us but we must co-operate with it so that it orients our will to choose what God desires us to be and to do. The sure path for overcoming sinfulness and corruption of soul is a sincere and dedicated prayer life with regular confession, reception of Holy Communion, and the rosary.


An Examination of Homosexual claims and studies

Daniel said...

That is a shame, Gene. Macon is full of wonderful folks of all kinds, and you have no need to fear being around black people. You might even find them in the next pew.

Gene said...

Daniel, I was born and raised in Macon and am very familiar with its history and decline. Black people in Macon are doing very well…if their goal is to kill each other off. But, Macon is gone and I would not want to raise children there. But, suit yourself.

Anonymous said...

Former pastor....You brought up your parents and what they taught you. Did they teach you your racist ways? Did you learn from them to belittle and degrade anybody you choose...who is different from you?

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

Okay, I’ll play. Can you please tell us where Jesus (and not Paul, for example) says anything at all about homosexuals? And please do not mention “jot and tittle” of The Law. By that measure, presumably, the woman caught in adultery should have been stoned and homosexuals also put to death and perhaps divorce even allowed. But I am certainly open to receiving instruction, for your knowledge of Scripture surely surpasses mine by factors (this is not sarcasm, seriously). Your distinction between prostitution and other sins is interesting. I thought it always took two to Tango. So, who is availing himself of the services offered?

And I AM raising a child in Macon. He attends Mount de Sales and attended St. Josephs before that. We are very pleased with the experiences he has had there, not just the academics but the emphasis on spiritual formation. Although the public schools in general may leave much to be desired, and while I can empathize with sadness at witnessing decline of a place one loves, there are many worse places to raise a child than Macon.

A good friend of mine, John Dunaway, organizes a symposium each year “Building the Beloved Community,” which brings together representatives from churches across Macon, including of course from many Black churches (11:00 on Sunday morning being the most segregated hour in Macon). Perhaps you would like to do something practically constructive and attend some of the events this year, just as the establishment of a Courage group would be doing something practically constructive. Here is a link:

https://community.mercer.edu/beloved/


Gene said...

Daniel, you clearly do not understand the definition of racism. Preferring the company of one's own kind is not racism, it is human nature and common sense. Avoiding races and sub-cultures that are responsible for the majority of violent crimes in this nation and who openly and actively defy the law and target white people and institutions also seems like good sense to me.
Oh, and I do not belittle and degrade anyone I choose…only those who richly deserve it….and my assessment of them is not based upon their difference from me, rather upon their behavior and ideology.

Anonymous said...

I admire the courageous priest who brings Courage to his parish.

Sheila

Gene said...

Anon 2, You miss the point completely. My point was about what we read into Scripture and Jesus' words and the blank check we write any aberrant behavior based upon "Jesus said to love everybody…," which is an odd simplification of His teachings. There is a clear distinction between sexual sins such as prostitution and sexual sins which also violate natural law. look it up.
I think as a good liberal and as a witness to your non-racism you should remove your kids from MDS and place them in public schools..hypocrite.

Gene said...

On a further note, let me say that anyone who voted for Obama and supports his agenda and sends his/her kids to private schools is a hypocrite in the highest degree.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

As so often, you take cheap ad hominem shots to distract, and it is you who again misses the point.

First, as to missing the point, no I got the point, Gene. But the deeper and more general point has to do with reading things into the Gospels that are not there. So, would you please now tell us where Jesus Himself talks about homosexuality? Or would you prefer to continue to pursue the tactic of distraction?

Second, as to this tactic, specifically the distracting ad hominem charge of hypocrisy, would you please go back over all my posts on the topic of the presidential election(s) and show me where I say I support Obama’s agenda as you define “agenda”). Hint: you can’t because I don’t. In fact, I make it quite clear that I voted for Obama not because of that “agenda” but despite it, and for good conservative reasons that I despair of you and other so-called conservatives ever comprehending, so far down the rabbit hole have you allowed yourself to be led by the latter day Sirens of Ideology (to mix literary metaphors). Those reasons had largely to do with foreign policy. Unfortunately, however, I fear that Obama is now constrained by forces that escaped from Pandora’s Box due to the ignorant meddling of George W. Bush and his merry men (and woman). But we have been over all this several times already.

I might have more confidence in your actually ever grasping this point if you tell me that you have informed yourself about that true conservative, Russell Kirk. Well, have you?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Daniel - Gene paints his racism as merely preferring to hang out with his "own kind." Of course, the way her determines who belongs to his kind is by the color of a person's skin.

There's more, of course, which he does not mention. He refers to the President as "HNIC" - the Head N----r In Charge - and excuses that by telling us that all his "intelligent" friends do the same.

He refers, proudly, to African-Americans as a "feral minority" but denies that that is a racist remark.

He mocks African-Americans who wear clothing that resembles that of African tribes. He mocks African-Americans who come down the aisle "jukin and jiving." He refers to Africa as the "Dark Continent."

In his own mind and, one assumes, the minds of his intelligent friends, he is not a racist.

The Catechism is of assistance here: ""Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design." #1935

Flavius Hesychius said...

"Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design."

LOL!

Gene said...

Anon 2, Jesus does not talk about homosexuality. Neither does he say or imply that we should embrace or accept it. That IS my point. We can read nothing into Jesus' words regarding His acceptance or lack thereof about homosexuality…but the Leftist/progressivist so-called "theologians" and social engineers do it all the time.
Hey, you voted for Obama…twice. That says enough for me.

Paul said...

To some it appears that Neither Jesus nor the Bible speaks directly about a lot of things and seemingly less so as time moves on -- but only to those who place and affix Jesus and the Holy Bible to the time two thousand years ago. That is the tactic in use today by those who desire "change" and destruction of Christ's Church.

However Catholics know that Jesus lives and so does the Holy Bible. Both are eternally new if we embrace and listen to them.

Anonymous said...

Gene, may Our Lord put you near black people in the Kingdom of Heaven!

Anonymous 2 said...

Of course it says enough for you, Gene. You seem unable to handle complexity.

Anonymous 2 said...

What about my question about Russell Kirk?

Gene said...

Anon 2, No, regarding Kirk, but it is on my list.

Gene said...

Anonymous, In the Kingdom, it own't matter. It does matter here, however.

Anonymous said...

FYI....abortion rates are at the lowest point since 1973.

JusadBellum said...

We Catholics believe that the God who inspired the Old Testament is the same God of the New. That the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets.

Thus the Old Testament stories of Onan, the destruction of Sodom, the death penalty for sexual sins including bestiality and sodomy can't be dismissed.

The essential point of sex was the life long union of one man and one woman ("and thus the two shall become one") leading to children and their proper upbringing in the Lord (thus not for a season but for a lifetime).

Any use of the sexual faculty outside of the marital embrace was (and thus is) deemed by God almighty to be an abomination of his original design.

As for 'no mention' of homosexuality, the New Testament epistles are full of condemnations and list male prostitutes and 'dogs' on the list of activities that will not lead to salvation.

One thinks of St. Paul's warning to the Church in Corinth, the letter to the Romans on the darkening of the intellect leading men to lust for men and women for women. The Epistle of St. Jude warning about these sins being precursors of the end times.

It's embarrassing to read otherwise intelligent people continue to insist that there is thus "no" condemnation of sodomy in the New Testament or that somehow the same Jesus who told us that looking lustfully at a woman is to commit adultery would not be upset with men looking lustfully at other men!

In what moral universe must you live if you accept Jesus' warning about merely looking lustfully at women and yet think man on man sexual congress is somehow "OK" because he didn't explicitly condemn it?

He also didn't explicitly condemn nuking a city - just not calling down fire from heaven (see how we can quibble? Sure, it's fire that annihilates the city, but it's not "from heaven" and thus....).

So, no explicit words against nuking cities....golly I guess we're good to go? Ah, no..not so much.

Well, did Jesus explicitly call for women suffrage? No. How about federated constitutional republics? Nope.

But he did preach that men would leave their parents and cling to their wives and the two would be come one flesh and thus form a new family and be blessed with children. That's the core, fundamental building block of society: man to woman marriage, consummated in conjugal union open to life.

That this is no longer popular is of no moral or theological consequence.

JusadBellum said...

We know that Jesus is "for" friendship. That people need friends. That all people need interpersonal love.

But parent to child, sibling to sibling, extended family to each other, colleagues at work, co-workers and fellow patriots can - and do - enjoy deep and meaningful friendship with each other without a sexual dimension.

To go from Jesus' expressions of love and friendship for others to a tacit approval of same-sex behavior (i.e. sodomy) is simply to stand everything on its head. If that's how one does exegesis and theology, then what ELSE might one develop?

It's not true that men must commit sodomy with other men in order to be healthy psychologically or emotionally. Indeed, it's exactly the opposite. But rationalization is strong and lust makes demands that can silence reason as we all witness in our own lives and in the scriptural account of King David falling for Bathsheba and killing a loyal soldier to hide his sin. At no time did his actions "make sense" or fall into the category "healthy". But it was enough for his lust to be enflamed for his will to give way.

Thus it stands to reason that anyone or institution that would stand in the way of men lusting for something will face certain wrath. The Georgia martyrs died upholding the sanctity of marriage after all!

To stand for chastity and monogamy is to challenge deeply wounded people who see sex as some way of salvation. It's a vulnerable place to be in and it will 'cost' us to be faithful to the Lord in this way. But what choice do we have but fidelity?

We are not the cultural aggressors here. We aren't the ones who practice spite, hatred, anger, and fear. We're not the ones calling for tax exempt status to be revoked, anti-discrimination laws imposed, claiming religious rights must cede to 'constitutional rights'.

It's certainly hard to stand between a man and the object of his lust. But if we love him we will stand there.

JusadBellum said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35NtCUqmIv4

Well worth watching to see and hear the message of Courage.

JusadBellum said...

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/a-case-of-mistaken-sexual-identity

A witness from Courage -very interesting take on the anthropological mistake in calling people by their appetites or disorders rather than by their inherent dignity as sons and daughters of God.

Anonymous 2 said...

JusadBellum:

“It's embarrassing to read otherwise intelligent people continue to insist that there is thus "no" condemnation of sodomy in the New Testament”

You may not have been thinking of me at all when you wrote this, but then again you may have been because my comments perhaps come closest on this thread. So, let me say that I was very clear in limiting my observations to the Gospels and expressly recognized that condemnations are present in Paul and elsewhere in the New Testament as well as the Old testament (jot and tittle reference).

I was responding to Gene’s statement that: “you know, I missed that part in Scripture where Jesus embraced homosexuality, condoned aberrant sexual behavior and orientation, and encouraged his followers to embrace and be open to the homosexual lifestyle. I just couldn't find that anywhere no matter where I looked.”

My point was simply that one cannot read a condemnation in the Gospels either and so one cannot not draw conclusions one way or the other from the Gospels themselves (although you do suggest some possible inferential reasoning). And the context for my response was to help blunt Gene’s adducing the absence of Gospel approval of homosexuality to dismiss the idea of establishing the support group Courage in the Macon deanery, something that you and I both appear to agree is a good idea deserving of serious consideration.

Sorry if I am a bit touchy here but I am very tired indeed of having my positions misrepresented and/or of being subjected to ad hominem attacks because a certain someone (not you) does not want to or is unable to address the merits of an issue intelligently through reasoned discussion (something you certainly do in exemplary fashion).



Gene said...

There are ample references in Scripture to homosexuality being an abomination. Christ supported the Law as its fulfillment as well as the way to salvation from the condemnation of the Law. But, the condemnation still stands as the Law. It would really be a stretch to attempt to show that Jesus' would have supported homosexuality or gay marriage. Of course, Paul is very clear, but libs do not like Paul.
Oh, and I did not dismiss the idea of a support group for gays if it is based upon the effort to help them adopt a normal lifestyle or remain chaste. I was merely suggesting that such groups, run by your typical lib Priest or layman, would likely turn into a gay fest.

Gene said...

Jusad, do you notice, with Anon 2, how a hit dog hollers? He cannot resist running in to defend all his homosexual friends...he also runs in little circles when anyone suggests that Islam is not a religion of peace. Like watching a little wind up dog or something.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

“I did not dismiss the idea of a support group for gays if it is based upon the effort to help them adopt a normal lifestyle or remain chaste. I was merely suggesting that such groups, run by your typical lib Priest or layman, would likely turn into a gay fest.”

Really?

In response to Father’s post about Father Scalia and the notion of starting a Courage group in the Macon deanery, you said: “We need to stop turning flips catering to loud, demanding minorities and anomalies. Homosexuals have all the support they need…Hell, the government, the protestant churches, and the media are their biggest support groups. Let them start touchy-feely pity parties for them. Maybe the blacks and the homosexuals can unite and have a big Crisco party after they burn the next town.”

Father then responded to that comment by saying: “as it concerns those with same sex attractions, the support they get from the world is precisely the problem and there are Catholic homosexuals who know that and need help to avoid it!”

To which you replied: “Yes, I understand that…but, given the number of liberal Priests and laity in the church, such groups will doubtless turn into support groups for the homo lifestyle based upon a ‘change in pastoral practice.’”

So, yes, you did dismiss the idea because “doubtless” they will turn into something else and my reading of your words as “dismiss[ing] the idea of establishing the support group Courage in the Macon deanery” was a perfectly fair and natural reading of your words.

Of course, if you have now been persuaded to change your view from “doubtless” to “likely but not necessarily” then that’s fine but it represents a change in your view and not your view as originally stated.

And we should not forget: “Danny boy, If it were not for the constant bombardment from the media about blacks and gays, I'd never give them a thought because I do not prefer to associate with either group, and the less I have to hear about them, the better.”

Anonymous 2 said...

And Jusad:

Have you noticed how Gene does not have any homosexual friends or Muslim friends (or, I assume, Black friends or Democrat friends) because he seems unable to imagine that a person is more than the particular characteristic(s) he dislikes? I can only assume, then, that the only friends Gene has are people who think, feel, and act exactly as he does. He even refuses to meet me because, horror of horrors, I voted for Obama and he willfully and stubbornly refuses to understand my reasons for doing so. (If and when he reads Kirk he may finally understand). I expect this sort of attitude from the member of an extremist, narrow religious sect. I do not expect it from someone who calls himself a Catholic.

But I try to understand Gene and to be charitable by thinking that his heart is in the right place and that his uncivil rants proceed from the misplaced zeal of a recent convert to the Faith. However, it is difficult sometimes and I get worn down by it. I have been asked why I bother and waste my time on him. Perhaps I am a glutton for punishment. Or perhaps it is because I have also seen a much better side of him on this Blog and I like what I see. So I continue to challenge the rants and the equivocations as I do in the previous post.

So go on Gene, make my day – tell me I am wrong about your friends.

Gene said...

Anon 2, I answered your post but, for some reason, Fr. did not post it. here is the short version…no, I do not have any gay friends or Muzzie friends and do not want any. My business partner and attorney for years was black, and our first pediatrician was black. I have several close associates who are Japanese and who stay at my home on visits….just so you know. I no longer have any liberal acquaintances because I have shunned them all after deciding they were either dangerous, or stupid, or both when they voted for Obama twice. All this being said, I still prefer to associate and live among my own kind…racially and politically. That is normal and healthy. I do not find globalism, egalitarianism, multiculturalism, or forced diversity to be desirable things and consider them to be, in most cases, socialist ploys of the Left to change America into a totally socialist/welfare government directed European type State or some Third World political drump. If you are for those things, you are my enemy. Clear enough?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Racism and segregation are not natural.

THE CHURCH AND RACISM:
TOWARD A MORE FRATERNAL SOCIETY
Pontifical Commission Justice and Peace (1988)

2. "Racist ideologies and behavior are long-standing: they are rooted in the reality of sin from the very beginning of humanity, as we can see in the biblical accounts of Cain and Abel as well as in that of the Tower of Babel."

6. "In the eighteenth century, a veritable racist ideology, opposed to the teaching of the Church, was forged. It stood in contrast, moreover, with the commitment of some humanist philosophers who promoted the dignity and freedom of the black slaves, at that time the object of a shameless and widespread trade. This racist ideology believed it could find the justification for its prejudices in science. Apart from the difference in physical characteristics and skin color, it sought to deduce an essential difference, of a hereditary, biological nature, in order to affirm that the subjugated peoples belonged to intrinsically inferior "races" with regard to their mental, moral or social qualities."

12. "Some mention must also be made of ethnocentricity. This is a very widespread attitude whereby a people has a natural tendency to defend its identity by denigrating that of others to the point that, at least symbolically, it refuses to recognize their full human quality. This behavior undoubtedly responds to an instinctive need to protect the values, beliefs and customs of one's own community which seem threatened by those of other communities. However, it is easy to see to what extremes such a feeling can lead if it is not purified and relativized through a reciprocal openness, thanks to objective information and mutual exchanges. The rejection of differences can lead to that form of cultural annihilation which sociologists have called "ethnocide" and which does not tolerate the presence of others except to the extent that they allow themselves to be assimilated into the dominant culture."

33. "The effort to overcome racism does in fact seem to have become an imperative which is broadly anchored in human consciences. The 1965 U.N. Convention expressed this conviction forcefully: "Any doctrine of superiority based on the difference between races is scientifically false, morally condemnable and socially unjust and dangerous."(77) The Church's doctrine affirms it with no less vigor all racist theories are contrary to Christian faith and love. And yet, in sharp contrast to this growing awareness of human dignity, racism still exists and continually reappears in different forms. It is a wound in humanity's side that mysteriously remains open. Everyone, therefore, must make efforts to heal it with great firmness and patience."

Gene said...

BTW, it is interesting (and maddening for libs) that both Jesus and Paul accept both slavery and ethnic differences as givens and part of the natural order. The NT message is that any can be saved in spite of these differences…not that they should all be one big uniform race or society, which is an Enlightenment/modernist interpretation. I would point you to the story of the Syro-Phonecian woman as a good example of Jesus' thinking on the matter. Even the Church is not above rationalist encroachment into her thinking and theology…to wit, Vat II.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene - Claiming that Jesus and Paul accepted slavery as part of the natural order is absurd. No, it is beyond absurd.

Mark Brumley writes at the Catholic Education Resource Center:

"First, while Paul told slaves to obey their masters, he made no general defense of slavery, anymore than he made a general defense of the pagan government of Rome, which Christians were also instructed to obey despite its injustices (cf. Rom. 13:1-7). He seems simply to have regarded slavery as an intractable part of the social order, an order that he may well have thought would pass away shortly (1 Cor. 7:29-31).

Second, Paul told masters to treat their slaves justly and kindly (Eph 6:9; Col 4:1), implying that slaves are not mere property for masters to do with as they please.

Third, Paul implied that the brotherhood shared by Christians is ultimately incompatible with chattel slavery. In the case of the runaway slave Onesimus, Paul wrote to Philemon, the slaves master, instructing him to receive Onesimus back no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother (Philem. 6). With respect to salvation in Christ, Paul insisted that there is neither slave nor free . . . you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:27-28).

Fourth, the Christian principles of charity (love your neighbor as yourself) and the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you) espoused by the New Testament writers are ultimately incompatible with chattel slavery, even if, because of its deeply established role as a social institution, this point was not clearly understood by all at the time.

Fifth, while the Christian Empire didn't immediately outlaw slavery, some Church fathers (such as Gregory of Nyssa and John Chrysostom) strongly denounced it. But then, the state has often failed to enact a just social order in accordance with Church teachings.

Sixth, some early Christians liberated their slaves, while some churches redeemed slaves using the congregations common means. Other Christians even sacrificially sold themselves into slavery to emancipate others.

Seventh, even where slavery was not altogether repudiated, slaves and free men had equal access to the sacraments, and many clerics were from slave backgrounds, including two popes (Pius I and Callistus). This implies a fundamental equality incompatible with slavery.

Eighth, the Church ameliorated the harsher aspects of slavery in the Empire, even trying to protect slaves by law, until slavery all but disappeared in the West. It was, of course, to re-emerge during the Renaissance, as Europeans encountered Muslim slave traders and the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

If Jesus and St. Paul approved of slavery or accepted it as part of the natural order, the Church could not have condemned slavery repeatedly. Sicut Dudum (1435), Sublimis Deus (1537), Response of the Congregation of the Holy Office, 230, March 20, 1686, In Supremo (1839), etc., all condemn slavery.

It is not a part of the natural order.

Gene said...

Accepting slavery and racial/ethnic differences (which was really my point) as a given is not the same as promoting slavery. The NT neither condemns nor promotes slavery, but is rather neutral on it. Too bad.
Mark Brumley is the CEO of Ignatius Press…that qualifies him…how…as an NT scholar...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene - Slavery is not a part of the natural order as you claimed. It is a result of sin which is, by definition, disordered.

Gene said...

Slavery, like many other things, is indeed a result of original sin. The natural order, being the fallen world, includes all the sins within it. The good creation, created by God ex nihilo, is not the natural order…at least as it is generally understood.

Anonymous 2 said...

Thank you for your reply, Gene. It is clear enough but still sad.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene - We are not, by nature, sinners. We were created in God's image, willed into existence by God for our own sake.

We were established in friendship with our Creator and in harmony with ourselves and with the creation around us, in a state that would be surpassed only by the glory of the new creation in Christ. (CCC 374)

By nature we are wholly in union with God. That is our natural state.

Slavery, murder, theft, dishonesty - none of these is part of the natural order, but the fallen order. All are spoken of in the Scriptures. But in no place in Scriptures are the results of sin approved as part of the natural order.

Gene said...

We were created in harmony with God and with His will. But, we sinned and the consequences thereof infected the entire world of nature. So, from the sin of Adam, the entire Creation is "groaning and travailing" awaiting redemption by Christ. Our original (imago dei) nature created by God, was broken in the Fall (to what extent, Calvinists and Thomists have argued incessantly), and can only be restored in us through the supra-natural Sacrifice of Christ and in nature through His coming Kingdom. Now, mikey, I suggest you review the Enchiridion, De Trinitate, Confessions, and Civitate Dei. We are not "wholly in union with God by nature." Your Pelagianism is showing.