Sunday, June 28, 2015

THE NEW NORMAL: HOW DO PASTORS AND PARISHES DEAL WITH MARRIED HOMOSEXUALS ACTIVE IN THE PARISH?

The upcoming synod on the family notwithstanding, how do parishes in a general way deal with Catholics in irregular situations? Now that homosexuals can be married to same sex partners in the civil realm how will this affect parishes and marriage and Holy Communion and participation in Church ministries? At one time I would never have place the above photo of two men kissing on the mouth and in a Catholic looking Church (I don't know if it is or isn't). Today though, we have seen this so much on TV with the coverage of gay issues, it doesn't offend us as it once did. But my point is that now that civil gay marriage is the law of the land, gays will be more open in their affection for one another and in church just as heterosexuals are. Some heterosexuals are obnoxious in this regard and we can only imagine how it will be with homosexuals. How do we deal with this in church??????

We teach that it is a mortal sin to have sex outside of the Sacrament of Marriage--it is called fornication. But usually only the sinners and maybe some others know about this sin, so it is private and the communicant has to either absent themselves from the communion rail, go to confession first and then receive Holy Communion or make a bad Communion in a state of mortal sin. But usually that is known only to the sinner.

Catholic heterosexuals  in a marriage not recognized by the Church are not allowed to receive Holy Communion. This now must apply to homosexual civil marriages as well as to heterosexual civil marriages. Yes or no?

But what about this conundrum? Let's say two women marry each other but one of the partners is feminine and marries a women who looks like a man with manly features and behavior (this kind of Lesbian marriage took place in Macon hours after the Supreme Court's decision).  Let's say that the more feminine one eventually divorces her civil spouse as she discovers she is not a lesbian and then falls in love with a man. Both are Catholic and want a Catholic marriage in the Church. Does the woman who had an illicit/invalid marriage to another woman have to fill out the "Lack of Form" papers for her illicit/invalid marriage to a woman as do Catholic heterosexuals who marry outside the Church prior to having their marriage in the Church to another person?

Other questions:

1. Can openly gay, civilly married or not, Catholics receive Holy Commuion?
2. Can they be altar servers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Lectors?
3. Can they be ushers, cantors and choir members?
4. Can they be Catholic school teachers, catechists for CCD or RCIA or Adult formation?
5. Can they be sponsors for Baptism and Confirmation and Marriage?
6. Can civilly married homosexuals receive Holy Communion if they are not having sex, living as brothers or sisters?

Should policies for the above questions be issued by the bishop or the local pastor? Does canon law offer any solutions? 


31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Father. If. And that's a big IF. If you and other clerics, including the bestest pope everrrrrrr, actually uphold the Church's teaching on marriage you will be branded a bigot and will be silenced and your church will be shuttered. But my crystal ball tells me that you won't have anything to worry about. You will be just fine in this life. As will Francis. You aren't the stuff that martyrs are made of.

Anonymous said...

Are you ignorant or just stupid?

Angry Augustinian said...

I wonder if Anthony Kennedy will be allowed to receive at Mass this morning…did he not just make a public statement that is in direct conflict with Catholic doctrine. My bet is he will receive as if nothing at all ever happened…and THIS is what is wrong with the Church.

Dialogue said...

Angry,

I wonder if he'll wear a rainbow necktie to Mass!

Trashy Traditionalist said...

Justice Kennedy's vote and his opinion do not affect church teaching or practice and is not in any way binding on the church.
His job is Supreme Court justice, not canon lawyer, and the required text is the US Constitution, not church teaching.
No doubt he will receive communion today, just like the church's conservative Catholics who routinely rubber-stamp execution of teenagers or the mentally ill or mentally deficient.

Anonymous said...

Father, I would say no to all of these. However, if we are honest, and take a hard look at the reality of what has transpired in the past 50 years, it is actually yes to all of these. All you have to do is ask the question differently; can openly gay priests say Mass, administer the Sacraments or teach the faith? The real answer to this is yes, that is what has and is going on. That is why we are where we are now. It all comes down to gay priests and priest who are not true to their vocation. They teach a false doctrine, they make a joke out of the Sacrament of confession, and of course, all are welcome is there motto. And by that I mean all are welcome to live life as they see fit with no need for conversion. The most important thing is “love”. Because as we all know, “love is love”.
I am going to a meeting at our parish today where our priest will talk to us about our situation up here in Minnesota where our archbishop was deposed. He was drummed out of here by those very same gay/gay friendly priests, Catholics, and of course the engine of the media. So my question to you is; the answers to your questions should be a resounding “No”, how is any bishop or priest supposed to say no when he has in the back of his mind what the outcome might be? While “Anonymous” is overly hysterical, there is some truth to what he/she says. Not what was written about you, that part is pure calumny and I would urge Anonymous to go to confession concerning this sin.
Vianney1100

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The lack of form affidavit even for an attempted invalid marriage, which same-sex would be, I think we would have to require it. What about transgendered marriages where one claims to be a man or women but isn't biologically?

rcg said...

You seem nervous, Fr. McDonald. I recommend that you treat everyone the same: explain the requirements for Communion and the active homosexuals, and fornicating heterosexuals, will need to follow. You may need to establish rules for decorum. Do you have a dress code? We have one on the door. Same for public displays of affection. (Pardon my divergation but this would be a great opportunity to deep six the Sign of Peace). Just cover the basics and it will cover everybody. Encourage them to stay and struggle with their sins, but encourage them to leave if they have decided not to.

I don't mean this as a shallow marketing ploy, but if you are full and open about the teachings of the Church and true Love for the people with ALL of these struggles many will leave but many will seek the true Church as refuge. A close friend of mine who is a Methodist was dreading services this Sunday. His female pastor had emailed the congregation her elation with the ruling and was ready to get going in their church. In the past he had expressed indifference to homosexuality, but was recently voicing concerns that were obviously inspired by Catholic teaching. He and I will have a discussion about this soon and I will offer to show him our Church and invite him to inquire. That is only one person, but it is my opportunity. You have the public eye and ear, you have been preparing for this moment without knowing it, perhaps. Raise the light for central Georgia and fear nothing. Some will flee, others will flock to it. Take them home.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think rules for decorum should be established. The church is not a place for sexual displays. The sign of peace I believe is optional. Therefore, I would not have the sign of peace at Mass at all. Bishop Vigneron has already made a stand. Hopefully the bishop of your area will do the same.

"A Detroit professor and legal adviser to the Vatican says Catholics who promote gay marriage should not try to receive holy Communion, a key part of Catholic identity.

And the archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron, told the Free Press Sunday that Catholics who receive Communion while advocating gay marriage would "logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury."

Jan

Trashy Traditionalist said...

Bishop Hartmeyer's statement was very good; I like this one, too. I wish one of them had been read aloud at church this weekend to counteract the hate and fear that is afoot.

ARCHBISHOP WILTON GREGORY, ATLANTA

“Each U.S. Supreme Court decision that has ever been rendered has resulted in deep disappointment for some people and vindication for others. If we all agreed on the outcomes of these divisive cases, there would simply be no reason for the Court to convene. This most recent decision is no different.

By the same token, every court decision is limited in what it can achieve; again, this one is no exception. It does not change the biological differences between male and female human beings or the requirements for the generation of human life, which still demands the participation of both. It does not change the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding the Sacrament of Matrimony, which beautifully joins a man and woman in a loving union that is permanent in commitment and open to God’s blessing of precious new life.

This judgment, however, does not absolve either those who may approve or disapprove of this decision from the obligations of civility toward one another. Neither is it a license for more venomous language or vile behavior against those whose opinions continue to differ from our own. It is a decision that confers a civil entitlement to some people who could not claim it before. It does not resolve the moral debate that preceded it and will most certainly continue in its wake.

This moral debate must also include the way that we treat one another – especially those with whom we may disagree. In many respects, the moral question is at least as consequential and weighty as the granting of this civil entitlement. The decision has offered all of us an opportunity to continue the vitally important dialogue of human encounter, especially between those of diametrically differing opinions regarding its outcome.

The decision has made my ministry as a pastor more complex since it demands that I both continue to uphold the teachings of my Church regarding the Sacrament of Matrimony while also demanding that I insist upon respect for the human dignity of both those who approve of the judgment as well as those who may disapprove.”

Angry Augustinian said...

Nothing is going to be served by "dialoguing" with the Gay Gestapo. They will only see it as weakness and press their advantage.
They should be shunned, ignored, scorned…openly, privately, publicly, theologically. Cast them upon God's mercy and have nothing to do with them.

George said...

1. Can openly gay, civilly married or not, Catholics receive Holy Communion? Openly gay married, no. Openly gay unmarried- only under the condition that the person is living a celibate lifestyle. In other words, no public scandal arising from the the person living an active homosexual lifestyle. If you really know the person and they are dedicated to living as the Church teaches, then I would say the person should able to receive like anyone else. You have to remind people what the Church teaches. If a person comes up for communion anyway and you don't know for sure if the person is living according to Church teaching, at that point you would give the person communion but you should speak to the person privately at the first opportunity. You don't make Church teaching you only abide by it, as should all Catholics. When you converse with and are around a person and those who know him or her long enough,what kind of Catholic they are becomes evident.

2. Can they be altar servers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Lectors? If the person is an active homosexual, no. If the person is NOT leading an active homosexual lifestyle, then this would be a prudential judgement on the part of the pastor on whether there would arise scandal. Really, one should look to the most faithful Catholics in the parish for these ministries.

3. Can they be ushers, cantors and choir members? Yes

4. Can they be Catholic school teachers, catechists for CCD or RCIA or Adult formation? Teachers-again if they commit to what the Church teaches and there is no public scandal arising out of their personal lifestyle, then yes. Practicing Catholic heterosexuals should be given preference to teach in a Catholic school.
As far as Catechists,CCD etc.-No

5. Can they be sponsors for Baptism and Confirmation and Marriage? Baptism, I would say no.

6. Can civilly married homosexuals receive Holy Communion if they are not having sex, living as brothers or sisters?
-I would say no-at least publicly because of the scandal. If it can be trusted that they are living as brothers or sisters and not having sex then I would give communion to them in private as with the homebound.

Angry Augustinian said...

George, everything you listed is happening in Churches right now across this country and the world. This battle is lost…forget it.

Trashy Traditionalist said...

Angry A.: Angry, hateful, vengeful, bigoted. Who's the Gestapo here?

Angry Augustinian said...

TT, Angry…yes, hateful no. Bigoted, yes, toward certain elements of our society against whom we need to be bigoted. TT, you sound like a punk or a sister boy. Are you?

Bee said...

Sorry, Fr. McD, the photo is still plenty offensive. I avert my eyes and change the channel on T.V. if something like that comes on, I won't look at photographs in the newspaper of such things, and I sure don't like seeing them on Catholic blogs.

Regardless.
When you ask, HOW DO PASTORS AND PARISHES DEAL WITH MARRIED HOMOSEXUALS ACTIVE IN THE PARISH? Preach from the pulpit. Every week. Every week preach against homosexual relations and homosexual "marriage," against fornication and perversion. Every week tell your congregation homosexual "marriage" and actively participating in homosexual acts or thoughts is wrong. Every week. Okay, every other week.

Why? Because if you do, those present who are there to challenge the teachings of the Church by open defiance of them will be confronted without directly naming them. If you do it every week, you will be making clear the teachings of Christ. If they convert, Praise God! If they leave, pray for their souls.

But I have little hope of this actually happening, because now many priests are not in the business of saving souls, but are "pastoral," which often times ends up being the equivalent of tolerant of mortal sin, even blatant mortal sin done right in front of them.

Anonymous 2 said...

Bee:


Interestingly, I am unable easily to see these sorts of images involving two men (and I don’t think I will ever be able to get used to it) but I do not react the same way if it is two women. I imagine it might be the reverse for women. But here is another interesting point: How do gays and lesbians react when they see such heterosexual displays of affection? I don’t know the answer to this question (although I am able to speculate about possibly relevant distinctions) and must endeavor to find out.


Every week, Bee? Or even every other week? If Catholics do not know the teaching of the Church about this by now, they never will. Regarding proper decorum during the sign of peace (which is also an issue), wouldn’t drawing the congregation’s attention to a simple and clear statement in the Weekly Bulletin suffice?

Anonymous 2 said...

TT:


As I replied to AA on another thread:


“You have the luxury of lobbing vicious and uncharitable comments here, there, and everywhere and of talking big about “lock and load” (the default sentiment of those who cannot be bothered to do the really hard work of defending the Church while trying to maintain civil peace). Most of us have to live and work in environments in which we do not have that luxury (even if we wanted to, which we don’t). And this means that some of us are on the front lines of the real battle, not your pseudo macho battle. Jesus didn’t “lock and load.” Give me a break! Moreover, the battle lines are now clearly drawn – to defend religious liberty – now that the skirmish in the public square is over.”



Trashy Traditionalist said...

"A punk or a sister boy?"?

Angry A, if the last arrow in your intellectual quiver is to accuse me of being gay, you've really got nothing.

No wonder conservative Catholics are losing all the arguments lately. They're running on empty.

Angry Augustinian said...

Hey, Anon 2, I was just axing you a simple question about your gay buddies. A hit dog do holler. LOL!

Jusadbellum said...

There is no such thing as 'gay' marriage in Catholic theology. It is fornication or sodomy. Thus no declarations of marriage (civil) matter in deciding whether a person is free to be married (sacrament).

qwikness said...

The decision really just solidified the separation of church and state even more. Same sexers having the right to "marry" is really just a civil union. It just proves America is not a judeo-christian nation. We Catholics are a people set apart. As long as they don't force marriage in the Church and as long as we can properly catechize the next generation and the next we'll be okay.

It's all because of the Enlightenment and the Great Experiment of the Founding Fathers who were so influenced by them. A Democracy separate from the old ways of Monarchies and Creeds for the pursuit of worldly ambitions and riches. The grand plan has come almost to full bloom.

Anonymous said...

Don't you know the answers to those basic moral theology questions ? Then how do you hear confessions ? You just treat them like you would cohabitating heterosexual couples .... No difference .... No excuses.

Bee said...

Trashy Traditionalist said:
"No wonder conservative Catholics are losing all the arguments lately. They're running on empty."

My response to this is to remember that Jesus Christ died on a cross, and every one of His enemies thought they'd won and He (and His disciples) "lost." His enemies thought He "lost" and they "won" because they were right and He was wrong. The people sided with them. They were on the right side of history, so to speak.

So, please review if you will just how "wrong" Jesus was, since He "lost" and all on that Good Friday.

"The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." John 1:5

Sometimes people just insist on the darkness. They can't even comprehend the light. That doesn't invalidate it.

Paul said...

People who perform vile spectacles in the presence of Christ do so at their own peril. Neither the peril nor safety is from Earthly man.

Trashy, the Truth won and has been won since eternity. Winning or losing "arguments" in light of The Truth is rather trivial.

There was no so-called "victory" with the US Supreme Court opinion on Friday -- only Lies and deception.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think even an attempted marriage has to be cleared if it is civilly legal. Lack of form could be simplified and done on the parish level.

Bee, yes what you say is true about the vocal traditionalists/conservatives is true. We are loosing the battle through their uncharitable ness. One big reason more priests don't celebrate the EF Mass is that the more difficult traditionalists make priest's lives and parish life miserable through their ugly attitudes. A Catholic can uphold natural law without a humiliating denigration of sinners be they gay or straight. These pseudo conservatives should recall that mortal sins against charity if I forgiven in this life could cause eternal damnation putting them in the same bed with those they hate in hell!

Anonymous 2 said...

AA:


Let the reader judge whether you were just asking a simple question. What you said was:


“Hey, Anon 2, how are all your gay friends you apologize for doing today? Have they stocked up on Crisco and olive oil?”

Angry Augustinian said...

Actually, that is two simple questions…but, I already know the answers…fine and yes.

George said...


Trashy Traditionalist said...

" Justice Kennedy's vote and his opinion do not affect church teaching or practice and is not in any way binding on the church. His job is Supreme Court justice, not canon lawyer, and the required text is the US Constitution, not church teaching. No doubt he will receive communion today, just like the church's conservative Catholics who routinely rubber-stamp execution of teenagers or the mentally ill or mentally deficient."

"No wonder conservative Catholics are losing all the arguments lately. They're running on empty."

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Catholics,conservative or otherwise, if they hold to all the Church teaches, are not losing all the arguments. Some court decisions have not turned out well, that is true. There is a difference in losing an argument and losing a court case. I would have no problem with a Catholic Supreme court justice being influenced by Church teaching in his or her decisions. God's law supersedes man's whenever the two are in conflict. How can anyone of the Faith hold that that which is outside of her should be given preference in a judicial decision? Are we to hold that that which is inferior and lessor, should be given preference over that which is superior and therefore greater?
The framers of the Constitution knew that our rights derive from a Higher Source, otherwise our rights would be subject to the whim of those who held positions of earthly power and dominion. It seems that what they labored with great effort to construct would not, as we see today, protect us from judicial tyranny.
As far your appellation:
Anyone who agrees with Church teaching as far as abortion,same-sex marriage,artificial contraception,embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, and the male only priesthood, is by today's political and social/ moral criteria definitely "conservative". We are not losing the arguments, because our arguments and positions are the Church's. It is the dictatorship of relativism that is being imposed upon us. If our society today was not so much blinded by sinful behavior, and it's collective conscience not so darkened, what we hold to be true would prevail, because the Truth which is embodied in our Faith, is greater than anything which is in opposition to it because it source is God, form whom all things come, and who is Truth itself.

As for your accusation about the "church's conservative Catholics who routinely rubber-stamp execution of teenagers or the mentally ill or mentally deficient." I've been involved in the pro-life movement in some way or another for quite a long time. Pretty much all the people in the movement that I've become acquainted with are against the Death penalty. Most of them I would characterize as conservatives.




Anonymous 2 said...

AA (at 9:44 p.m. on June 29):

I hope you realize that when you double down on your inanities many of us just double up.

Mary R said...

"A Catholic can uphold natural law without a humiliating denigration of sinners be they gay or straight. These pseudo conservatives should recall that mortal sins against charity if I forgiven in this life could cause eternal damnation putting them in the same bed with those they hate in hell!"

Father McDonald,
I have been following a variety of blogs discussing this issue and am appalled by the extreme conservatives and their derogatory comments about those who are still children of the same God who loves us all. This statement is one of the best I have seen expressed in discussions of this troubling issue.