Tuesday, June 30, 2015

WHEN SINNERS (AND AREN'T WE ALL) CAST STONES AT SOME SINS AND SINNERS AND IGNORE THEIR OWN

There is a lot of anger these days especially from some Catholics, but not exclusive to us. Anger, like lust, no matter the orientation, is a deadly sin, a mortal sin.

Those who die in mortal sin unrepentant of the sins they have committed are justly condemned to hell by our all loving God who does not impose salvation on anyone but rather offers it as an unmerited gift. One can take it or leave it or receive it and hand it back depending upon sin and grace.

So here is an explanation of the Sin of Anger, one of the seven deadly or capital sins:


The Seven Capital Sins, #4 Anger

Father Michael gives practical advice on how to overcome the sin of anger in our lives.
by Fr. Michael Sliney, LC | Source: Catholic.net
This week I return to the series on the Capital Sins, focusing on anger this time.

First of all, what is anger?  Bishop Fulton Sheen describes it as following: “Anger and reason are capable of great compatibility, because anger is based upon reason which weighs both the injury done and the satisfaction to be demanded. Here we are not concerned with just anger, but with unjust anger, namely, that which has no rightful cause- anger which is excessive, revengeful and enduring…the anger which seeks to ‘get even’, to repay in kind, bump for bump, punch for punch, eye for eye, lie for lie…” (The Seven Capital Sins, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, pp. 1-3)  

A Winning Strategy for Inner Peace and Authenticity:

1.  Sacraments and Prayer

-   Lots of Eucharist and regular Confession (at least once a month): you cannot conquer these powerful passions without the help of God’s grace.
-   Pray a decade of the rosary every day for a greater capacity of forgiveness.

2.  Assume the ignorance and good will of those who harm us:   We often do not know the circumstances, the good faith or the motives behind someone’s actions, so we need to repeat with Christ:  “Father, forgive them; they do know not what they are doing. ” (Lk 23: 34)

3. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…”  “There are Christians who think they can dispense with this unceasing spiritual effort, because they do not see the urgency of standing before the truth of the Gospel. Lest their way of life be upset, they seek to take words like "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you" (Lk 6:27) and render them empty and innocuous. For these people, it is extremely difficult to accept such words and to translate them into consistent patterns of behavior. They are in fact words which, if taken seriously, demand a radical conversion. On the other hand, when we are offended or hurt, we are tempted to succumb to the psychological impulses of self-pity and revenge, ignoring Jesus’ call to love our enemy. Yet the daily experiences of human life show very clearly how much forgiveness and reconciliation are indispensable if there is to be genuine renewal, both personal and social. This applies not only to interpersonal relationships, but also to relationships between communities and nations.” (Pope John Paul II, Message for Lent, 2001) 

4.  We need to take the “plank” out of our own eye before removing the splinter from our brother’s eye:   “The harder we are on ourselves, the easier we will be on others…the man who has never disciplined himself knows not how to be merciful. It is always the selfish who are unkind to others, and those who are hardest on themselves are the kindest to others…” (The Seven Capital Sins, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, p. 9)

5. Forgiveness as a condition for God’s forgiveness to us:    “Now - and this is daunting - this outpouring of mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us. Love, like the Body of Christ, is indivisible; we cannot love the God we cannot see if we do not love the brother or sister we do see.136 In refusing to forgive our brothers and sisters, our hearts are closed and their hardness makes them impervious to the Father's merciful love; but in confessing our sins, our hearts are opened to his grace. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2840)

6. Never act or react to someone when your passions are boiling:   It is prudent to wait until you are “detached” from the situation and you can address the person in a more balanced and considerate manner.

NOT TO BEAT A DEAD HORSE, BUT AS I HAVE BEEN SAYING AND THIS EDITORIALIST CONFIRMS IN BETTER WORDS, THE HAND WRITING IS ON THE WALL FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND ITS POSITION THAT MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN AND FOR A LIFETIME AND AN INTERVIEW I GAVE ON HOMOSEXULAITY FOR OUR LOCAL TELEVISION CBS AFFILIATE LAST YEAR

Fasten your seat belts, institutional Church and faithful Catholics, the ride is going to get bumpy!  After this New York Post editorial, my interview from a year ago.

Churches are the left’s next target in the gay-marriage war


Everyone knows where the debate over gay marriage is going next.

Now that the Supreme Court has imposed its edict on the land, the question is whether religious institutions and people of faith will still be permitted to act on moral beliefs that the court has portrayed as bigoted and deeply wounding.

In his long prose-poem about love masquerading as a judicial opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy made a bow to these concerns.

He cited the First Amendment for the proposition that religions and those who adhere to them “may continue to advocate with utmost sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.” Gee, thanks, Mr. Justice.

This assurance is about as convincing as the rest of Kennedy’s airy majority opinion with little or no connection to the Constitution or law — which is to say, people of faith ought to brace for the worst.

Kennedy’s statement was carefully hedged to include only advocacy and teaching, a lawyerly wording that the other lawyers on the court were quick to pick up on. The First Amendment, Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out in his dissent, actually protects the freedom to exercise religion.

That means people of faith acting on their beliefs, not merely advocating them or teaching them.
It’s easy to see the coming clash of moralities, one enjoying official favor, the other religious sanction. What Kennedy refers to as the “dignitary wounds” of the traditional definition of marriage are also inflicted by the private institutions and people who uphold that definition.

In oral arguments, Justice Samuel Alito asked Solicitor General Donald Verrilli whether, on the model of Bob Jones University a few decades ago when it banned interracial dating and marriage, a college that opposed same-sex marriage could be denied tax-exempt status. “It’s certainly going to be an issue,” Verrilli admitted. “I don’t deny that.”

At this juncture, most supporters of same-sex marriage do deny it, although they have a history of making whatever assurance seems necessary, before discarding it in due course. It used to be that prominent supporters of gay marriage pooh-poohed the idea of a judicial imposition of their view on the country.

In the Supreme Court’s prior pro-gay-marriage decision, just two years ago, it said that domestic relations were exclusively a matter for the states — before turning around and throwing out state marriage laws not to its liking.

If supporters of same-sex marriage truly have no interest in punishing the exercise of religion they find objectionable, they can sign off on legislation to prevent it.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican, has a bill called the First Amendment Defense Act — yes, it’s come to that — protecting organizations from government retaliation over their opposition to gay marriage.

There is unlikely to be a rush on the left to endorse it, when the American Civil Liberties Union is heading in the opposite direction. It has just withdrawn its support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, on grounds that it can be used to protect organizations refusing to get on board with gay marriage.

Already, there are a few calls to remove the tax exemption of churches now opposed to what the Supreme Court has deemed a fundamental right.

These are only tea leaves. The move against religious groups will surely start small, with some isolated, unsympathetic Christian institution, and then grow until what once had been called unimaginable becomes mandatory.

The push for gay marriage is motivated by a moralistic zeal that sees only one point of view on the question as legitimate.

If its supporters weren’t patient enough to see their cause through the inevitable fits and starts of the democratic process, they aren’t going to let procedural niceties stand in the way of an effort to bulldoze their way to a more thoroughgoing conformity on the issue.

The gay-marriage debate isn’t over; it’s merely entered a new phase.

This local news story was done about a year ago:
(I've removed the video as it has an automatic start, which was driving me crazy, so you can to the the video by PRESSING HERE-FOR MY INTERVIEW OF GAY ISSUES FROM LAST YEAR.)

PHOTO TAKEN TODAY: THE HOLY FATHER LOOKS GOOD!


Monday, June 29, 2015

FATHER ROBERT BARRON HAS SOBER WORDS ABOUT MOVING FORWARD NOW THAT CIVIL MARRIAGE HAS BEEN BEEN GIVEN A NEW DEFINITION BY THE SOCIAL ENGINEERS IN THE SUPREME COURT AND FATHER JONATHAN MORRIS' TASTE OF SYMBOIC MARTYRDOM

I think Fr. Robert Barron is clairvoyant and hits the nail on the head. We live in precarious times for Catholics similar to the French Revolution and what happened to the Church in France at that time!

FATHER ROBERT BARRON FIRST AND FATHER JONATHAN MORRIS NEXT:

We’ve Been Here Before: Marriage and the Room of Tears

by Fr. Robert Barron June 29, 2015


Just last week, I had the privilege of spending four hours in the Sistine Chapel with my Word on Fire team. Toward the end of our filming, the director of the Vatican Museums, who had accompanied us throughout the process, asked whether I wanted to see the “Room of Tears.” This is the little antechamber, just off of the Sistina, where the newly-elected Pope repairs in order to change into his white cassock. Understandably, tears begin to flow in that room, once the poor man realizes the weight of his office.

Inside the small space, there were documents and other memorabilia, but what got my attention was a row of impressive albs, chasubles, and copes worn by various Popes across the years. I noticed the specially decorated cope of Pope Pius VI, who was one of the longest serving Pontiffs in history, reigning from 1775 to 1799. Pius was an outspoken opponent of the French Revolution and its bloody aftermath—and his forthrightness cost him dearly. French troops invaded Italy and demanded that the Pope renounce his claim to the Papal States. When he refused, he was arrested and imprisoned in a citadel in Valence, where he died six weeks later. In the room of tears, there was also a stole worn by Pius VI’s successor, Pius VII. This Pope Pius also ran afoul of the French, who, under Napoleon, invaded Italy in 1809 and took him prisoner. During his grim exile, he did manage to get off one of the greatest lines in Papal history. Evidently, Napoleon himself announced to the Pope that he was going to destroy the Church, to which Pius VII responded, “Oh my little man, you think you’re going to succeed in accomplishing what centuries of priests and bishops have tried and failed to do!”
Both popes find themselves, of course, in a long line of Church people persecuted by the avatars of the regnant culture. In the earliest centuries of the Church’s life, thousands—including Peter, Paul, Agnes, Cecelia, Clement, Felicity, Perpetua, Sebastian, Lawrence, and Cyprian—were brutally put to death by officials of the Roman Empire. In the fourth century, St. Ambrose was opposed by the emperor Theodosius; in the eleventh century, Pope Gregory VII locked horns with the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV; in the nineteenth century, Bismarck waged a Kulturkampf against the Catholic Church in Germany, and in the twentieth century, more martyrs gave their lives for the faith than in all the previous centuries combined.

Now why am I rehearsing this rather sad history? In the wake of the United States Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage, a not inconsiderable number of Catholics feel beleaguered and more than a little afraid. Their fear comes from the manner in which the decision was framed and justified.

Since same-sex marriage is now recognized as a fundamental human right guaranteed by the Constitution, those who oppose it can only be characterized as bigots animated by an irrational prejudice. To be sure, Justice Kennedy and his colleagues assure us that those who have religious objections to same-sex marriage will be respected, but one wonders how such respect is congruent with the logic of the decision. Would one respect the owners of a business who refuse to hire black people as a matter of principle? Would not the government, in point of fact, be compelled to act against those owners? The proponents of gay marriage have rather brilliantly adopted the rhetoric of the civil rights movement, precisely so as to force this conclusion. And this is why my mentor, the late Francis Cardinal George, so often warned against the incursions of an increasingly aggressive secular state, which, he argued, will first force us off the public stage into privacy and then seek to criminalize those practices of ours that it deems unacceptable.

One reason that this has been rather shocking to American Catholics is that we have had, at least for the last century or so, a fairly benign relationship with the environing culture. Until around 1970, there was, throughout the society and across religious boundaries, a broad moral consensus in our country, especially in regard to sexual and family matters. This is one reason why, in the 1950’s,

Archbishop Fulton Sheen could find such a wide and appreciative audience among Protestants and Jews, even as he laid out fundamentally Catholic perspectives on morality. But now that consensus has largely been shattered, and the Church finds itself opposed, not so much by other religious denominations, as it was in the 19th century, but by the ideology of secularism and the self-defining individual—admirably expressed, by the way, in Justice Kennedy’s articulation of the majority position in the case under consideration.

So what do we do? We continue to put forth our point of view winsomely, invitingly, and non-violently, loving our opponents and reaching out to those with whom we disagree. As St. John Paul II said, the Church always proposes, never imposes. And we take a deep breath, preparing for what could be some aggression from the secular society, but we take courage from a great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us. The Church has faced this sort of thing before—and we’re still standing.

AND NOW FOR FATHER JONATHON MORRIS' FORETASTE OF ACTUAL MARTYRDOM:

Fox News’ Priest Jonathan Morris Spat on Near Gay Pride Parade: ‘I Deserve Worse’

Fox News’ Priest Jonathan Morris Spat on Near Gay Pride Parade: ‘I Deserve Worse’Fox News’ Priest Jonathan Morris Spat on Near Gay Pride Parade: ‘I Deserve Worse’

Father Jonathan Morris wasn’t feeling prideful after being spit on by two men near a Gay Pride Parade in New York City Sunday.

“Walking down Broadway and 22nd St just now, I ran into gay marriage parade.Two men walked by and spat on me. Oh well… I deserve worse,” Morris tweeted.

Morris, who’s a frequent guest on Fox on religious and cultural issues, added that the two men don’t represent all the marchers.

“The two men who spat on me are probably very good men caught up in excitement and past resentment. Most in that parade would not do that,” he added.

The network, like all of cable news, covered the historic same-sex marriage ruling at length over the weekend. The fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision will solicit additional coverage this week

BOMBSHELL ALERT! IS POPE FRANCIS TRYING TO BE A BRIDGE FOR BOTH POLARIZED ASPECTS OF THE MODERN CATHOLIC CHURCH? IT SEEMS LIKE IT TO ME!

Traditionalist become apoplectic when Pope Francis allows discussion of issues once thought closed and forbidden to discuss, such as Communion for Catholics in marriages not recognized by the Church to be sacramental. Pope Francis allowed both sides to be aired at the last synod.

But we also know that the door has not been closed to making regular the life of the SSPX community in the Church. Pope Francis has in fact advanced that cause. He does not seem to want to stop what Pope Benedict tried to do prior to his abdication as the Successor of Saint Peter. Progressives are left scratching their heads or living a sort of psychological denial about the tradtionalist aspects of Pope Francis.

I listened to an interview from Vatican Radio on the XM Catholic radio station of a South American priest who works for Vatican Radio. He tried to explain Pope Francis cultural perspective as a South American which is different than the European perspective we have had in our popes, especially with the first two non-Italian popes in 600 years. South American Catholics are more willing to listen and dialogue with differing perspectives to arrive at a unity in diversity. Whereas as Americans (as well as Germanics, such as popes from Germany and Poland) prefer a more linear approach to disagreements and a clearer demarcation in lines of what is discussed and not discussed. South Americans and Italians, by the way, are not as rigid or regimented or puritanical!

Thus this bombshell from the SSPX and what seems to be going forward under Pope Francis. I copy this from Rorate Caeli blog:

SSPX Superior-General after Vatican visits of their Seminaries: "Francis has kept his promises to us, he sees us as Catholic"

On Saturday, June 27, French conservative daily Présent published an interview Superior-General of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bp. Bernard Fellay, on the surprisingly positive developments for the Society under Francis, and what they mean for the future.


On the occasion of the blessing of the bells for the chapel of the Saint-Michel de La Martinerie school in Chateauroux, Bishop Fellay gave Presentan update on the situation of the Society of St. Pius X, of which he is the Superior General.
In an interview with Fideliter in 2001, you mentioned the "movement of profound sympathy from the young clergy for the Society." Has this movement grown, especially with the motu proprio in 2007?
"Without a doubt! The motu proprio gave this movement a new impetus. And it is important to insist upon Benedict XVI's interest for the liturgy in general. He truly wished to put the entire traditional liturgy, not only the Mass, at the disposition of the priests and the faithful; this did not happen because there was too much opposition. But the young priests identify with this liturgy, precisely because it is timeless. The Church lives in eternity. The liturgy does also too, which is why it is always young. Close to God, it is outside of time. So it is no surprise that the baptismal character makes this harmony resound even in souls that have never known the liturgy. And the way the young priests react when they discover this liturgy is moving: they have the impression a treasure has been hidden from them."
The Society was officially recognized as Catholic by the State of Argentina, with the help of Cardinal Bergoglio, who has since become Pope Francis. Does this have a purely administrative importance or is it more revealing?
"First of all, it has a juridical and administrative effect with no implications as far as the Society's general relations with--to put it simply--the official Church are concerned. But the secondary effects are not easy to evaluate correctly. There is no doubt that Pope Francis, then Cardinal Bergoglio, had promised to help the Society obtain the Argentinian State's recognition of our society as Catholic and that he kept his promise. So we have no choice but to think that he does consider us Catholic."
Along the same lines, you were made a judge of first instance by the Vatican for the trial of a Society priest. Can that be seen as a sign of good will?
"That is nothing new; it has been the case for over ten years. It is indeed a sign of good will and of common sense. It is something that can be observed in the Roman Church throughout her whole history: her realism, her capacity to go beyond canonical and juridical problems in order to find solutions to very real problems."
In your Letter to Friends and Benefactors, you mentioned "contradictory messages" coming from Rome. What do you mean by that?
"I was thinking of the way in which a society that was becoming closer to Tradition was treated--or rather mistreated: the Franciscans of the Immaculate. And of the different ways we are treated by the different Roman authorities: the Congregation for Religious, for example, still considers us schismatic (in 2011, they declared a priest who joined our Society excommunicated), but that is not the case with other congregations, or the pope himself, as we just said."
"Pessimistic", "closed to others", "thinking that only the faithful of the Society will be saved": you are sometimes referred to in these terms. How would you respond? What is the missionary spirit in your eyes?
"I do not recognize myself in these quips. Firmness in doctrine is indeed necessary, for the Faith is not up for negotiation. The Faith is, as a whole, given by God, and we have no right to pick and choose among the revealed truths. Today, reminders of these requirements are unwelcome, as has always been more or less the case. The expression 'the fight of the Faith' is part of the history of the Church. The missionary has to make the voice of the Faith heard outside, and at the same time seek to strengthen those who already have it. We cannot speak only to the faithful of the Society. The torch lights up the world, the light of the faith shines with warmth. The Faith must be borne by charity: that is how I see the missionary."
A few weeks ago, the Society's seminaries were visited by Cardinal Brandmuller and Bishop Schneider. These visits are a public connection with the "official Church". Isn't that vital?
"The link with the Church is vital. The manifestations of this connection can vary. The dates and places for these visits were left up to me; the Vatican chose the names. I chose the seminaries because they seemed to me to be the most eloquent and representative for the bishops."
What were the first reactions of these bishops?
"They were very satisfied. 'You are normal people,' they told us...which goes to show the reputation we have! They congratulated us on the quality of our seminarians. There is no doubt that their conclusion after this first closer contact was that we are a work of the Church."
Have you been in contact with any bishops who support you discreetly?
"Of course! When we see that priests are coming closer to us today and entering into contact with us, we can easily conclude that the same is true on the higher level..."
In the 2001 interview we already mentioned, you declared: "If there is any chance at all that our contacts with Rome could bring back a little more Tradition in the Church, I think we should seize the opportunity." Is that still your position?
"That remains our position, even if we cannot say it is easy, especially because of the open dissensions within the Vatican itself. These relations are delicate, but our point of view remains valid as is confirmed by the facts. It is a discreet work, being accomplished in the midst of strong opposition. Some are working in one direction, others in the opposite direction."
Is the Society's role as a counterweight within the Church important?
"This role is nothing new. Archbishop Lefebvre started it, and we are continuing it. It is easy to see in the irritation of the modernists at the steps taken by Benedict XVI."
Where is the Society today? What are its strong points and its weak points? What future do you foresee for it?
"I see a peaceful future. It is a work that has been entrusted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary; all we have to do is remain faithful to their will. This Church is the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who remains her head and will not allow her to be destroyed."
"The Society's weaknesses? The risk of separation is serious. Look at the caricature of Tradition that calls itself the "Resistance", for example: it is a non-Catholic spirit that is almost sectarian. We wish to have nothing to do with it; it is a movement that is withdrawn into itself, with people who think that they are the only good and just men on earth: that is not Catholic. It is an objective, but relative danger. Most of the Society is healthy and will not fall into these illusions. This encourages us to rely upon supernatural means. God will show us what He wants of us; He will speak through circumstances."
"The strong points? The living fidelity that bears fruit and shows the world today that the Catholic life, even with all its requirements, is possible. But -another weak point- we are men of our times, and it would be a dream to pretend that we are immunized against the influence of the modern world. To be more precise, we must avoid the caricature of wishing for a Church without wrinkles or stains here below: that is not what the good Lord promised us on this earth. That is not what the 'Holy Church' means; it means that she is capable of sanctifying using the means given by Our Lord: the sacraments, the Faith, discipline, religious life, the life of prayer."
What do you think of Cardinal Sarah's suggestion of introducing the traditional offertory into the New Mass?
"It is not a new idea; it has been around in Rome for ten years. I am glad it has been taken up again. Some criticize the idea, saying it is a way of mixing the profane with the sacred. On the contrary, in the perspective of bringing health back to the Church, I think it would be a great step forward, because the Offertory is a summary of the Catholic principles of the Mass, of the expiatory sacrifice offered to the Blessed Trinity, offered by the priest to God in reparation for sins, and accompanied by the faithful. And that would gradually bring the faithful back to the traditional Mass they have lost."
How would you like to conclude, your Excellency?
"In my opinion, we are on the eve of important events that we cannot yet define very well. I would like to call for prayers and end with a gaze towards God, which allows us to always have hope."



CIVILITY IN THE CHURCH AND TAKING THE HIGH ROAD IN THE FACE OF A NEW CIVIL SITUATION IN THE USA

The Supreme Court as changed the definition of marriage as a state or civil institution. It is a new definition! In doing so it has polarized the civil realm and the religious realm in a area that once had common agreement about the nature of marriage between one man and one woman. The USA as well as other countries though have allowed for divorce and remarriage after divorce something the Catholic Church does not recognize for those heterosexual couples no matter their religion. Their first marriage if valid is for a lifetime. We have coped well with this polarization between the civil and religious and we have ministered to couples in irregular marriages as well as their children. We are not prevent these children from being baptized and receiving a Catholic education or CCD.

The same will be for same sex couples who have children. The Church can minister to the couple, who like heterosexuals in irregular civil marriages, should not receive Holy Communion. However, they may attend Mass for the graces and in fact if Catholic they are obliged to attend Mass under the pain of mortal sin. Their children should be baptized and given a Catholic education or CCD classes and the other sacraments of the Church.

I have had a couple of children in my parish who have parents who are gay and in committed partnerships. I did not stand in the way of these children to be baptized if I could ascertain that their parents or grandparents would be sure to rear the children in the faith and prepare them for subsequent sacraments.

While the Church would have preferred the Supreme Court to give same sex couples in "legal civil partnerships" a legal civil platform named "civil union" and not marriage, we should not interfere as the institutional Church from allowing those in civil unions from receiving the same civil benefits as heterosexual civil or religious marriage. The Church should not support discrimination of homosexuals unless their lifestyle and ideologies oppose the philosophy and teaching of other institutions, secular or religious.

At the end of the day love wins not only for the gay community, if love is properly understood, but also for the Church.

However if the Supreme Court's decision presages a persecution, marginalization and suppression of the Church to the point the Church forms its own circle the wagons community out of fear of being stigmatized and restricted from jobs, housing and the rest of it, we have to fight tooth and nail with the spiritual and legal resources we have to the end. Civil disobedience will be a part of that. Martyrdom even in a symbolic way also.

To keep Catholics from succumbing to the corrupt culture of sexuality and civil marriage, heterosexual or homosexual or whatever combinations, we must make strong the Catholic teaching on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and what is expected of Catholics as it concerns marriage and sex and mortal sin:

1. Catholics must be married in the Catholic Church by a bishop, priest or deacon (I believe the permission given after Vatican II to Catholics to be married in other ceremonies is/was a major, major mistake. That must be rescinded! Catholics must receive the blessing of the Church through the Nuptial Blessing offered by a bishop, priest or deacon to have a valid sacramental marriage--this is a shift in theology to bring us to the theology of marriage of the Eastern Rite in union with Rome. No longer can we or should we say that the couple is the "officiant" of the Sacrament of Marriage of which the bishop, priest and deacon are simply official witnesses. The official witnesses are the best man and maid of honor or any two people of whatever combination. The bishop, priest and deacon provide the validity of the Sacrament! Change this now!!!!!

2. Those Catholics who enter into any kind of civil marriage are considered to be living in sin and may not receive Holy Communion unless they renounce sex within their relationship. 

3. Catholics are called to Biblical chastity--abstinence from sex before the Sacrament of Marriage and fidelity to their marriage after the Sacrament of Marriage. Sex outside of marriage is a mortal sin. Sex in a civil marriage, gay or straight, is a mortal sin for Catholics.

Finally, Pope Francis has reassured us in his homily for the Paliums of the new Archbishops today the following:

 Everything passes, only God remains.  Indeed, kingdoms, peoples, cultures, nations, ideologies, powers have passed, but the Church, founded on Christ, notwithstanding the many storms and our many sins, remains ever faithful to the deposit of faith shown in service; for the Church does not belong to Popes, bishops, priests, nor the lay faithful; the Church in every moment belongs solely to Christ.  Only the one who lives in Christ promotes and defends the Church by holiness of life, after the example of Peter and Paul.

THE SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL AND THE BLESSING OF THE PALI

The Sistine Choir continues to improve and the Propers are chanted beautifully. This Mass is primarily in Latin and thus can be classified as a Traditional Latin Mass. The Pali are blessed after the greeting. These will not be placed on the new archbishops by the pope, but rather in a Mass back in the various archdioceses, a new or retrieved custom. The role of the commentator at Mass is used to explain what is happening as the deacons go to the tomb of St. Peter to retrieve the pali for the pope to bless. After the blessing which replaces the Penitential Act, the choir begins the Kyrie which should never, ever, never be omitted when the Penitential Act is omitted even for the Blessing and Sprinkling of Holy Water. Even then, after the absolution, the Kyrie should always and everywhere be chanted and never, ever and never omitted! A powerful Tu es Petrus is chanted at the recessional as the Holy Father and the Patriarch of Eastern Orthodoxy descend to the tomb of Saint Peter to pray!

Homily:

The reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, speaks to us of the first Christian community besieged by persecution. A community harshly persecuted by Herod who “laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the Church… proceeded to arrest Peter also… and when he had seized him he put him in prison” (12:1-4).
          
 However, I do not wish to dwell on these atrocious, inhuman and incomprehensible persecutions, sadly still present in many parts of the world today, often under the silent gaze of all.  I would like instead to pay homage today to the courage of the Apostles and that of the first Christian community.  This courage carried forward the work of evangelisation, free of fear of death and martyrdom, within the social context of a pagan empire; their Christian life is for us, the Christians of today, a powerful call to prayer, to faith and to witness.
        
   A call to prayer: the first community was a Church at prayer: “Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the Church” (Acts 12:5). And if we think of Rome, the catacombs were not places to escape to from persecution but rather, they were places of prayer, for sanctifying the Lord’s day and for raising up, from the heart of the earth, adoration to God who never forgets his sons and daughters.
          
 The community of Peter and Paul teaches us that the Church at prayer is a Church on her feet, strong, moving forward! Indeed, a Christian who prays is a Christian who is protected, guarded and sustained, and above all, who is never alone.
           
The first reading continues: “Sentries before the door were guarding the prison; and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side… And the chains fell off his hands” (12:6-7).
          
 Let us think about how many times the Lord has heard our prayer and sent us an angel?  An angel who unexpectedly comes to pull us out of a difficult situation?  Who comes to snatch us from the hands of death and from the evil one; who points out the wrong path; who rekindles in us the flame of hope; who gives us tender comfort; who consoles our broken hearts; who awakens us from our slumber to the world; or who simply tells us, “You are not alone”.
          
 How many angels he places on our path, and yet when we are overwhelmed by fear, unbelief or even euphoria, we leave them outside the door, just as happened to Peter when he knocked on the door of the house and the “maid named Rhoda came to answer.  Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the door” (12:13-14).
          
 No Christian community can go forward without being supported by persistent prayer! Prayer is the encounter with God, with God who never lets us down; with God who is faithful to his word; with God who does not abandon his children. Jesus asked himself: “And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night?” (Lk 18:7).  In prayer, believers express their faith and their trust, and God reveals his closeness, also by giving us the angels, his messengers.
         
  A call to faith: in the second reading Saint Paul writes to Timothy: “But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the word fully… So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil and save me for his heavenly Kingdom” (2 Tim 4:17-18).  God does not take his children out of the world or away from evil but he does grant them strength to prevail.  Only the one who believes can truly say: “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want” (Ps 23:1).
          
 How many forces in the course of history have tried, and still do, to destroy the Church, from without as well as within, but they themselves are destroyed and the Church remains alive and fruitful! She remains inexplicably solid, so that, as Saint Paul says, she may acclaim: “To him be glory for ever and ever” (2 Tim 4:18).
          
 Everything passes, only God remains.  Indeed, kingdoms, peoples, cultures, nations, ideologies, powers have passed, but the Church, founded on Christ, notwithstanding the many storms and our many sins, remains ever faithful to the deposit of faith shown in service; for the Church does not belong to Popes, bishops, priests, nor the lay faithful; the Church in every moment belongs solely to Christ.  Only the one who lives in Christ promotes and defends the Church by holiness of life, after the example of Peter and Paul. 
           
In the name of Christ, believers have raised the dead; they have healed the sick; they have loved their persecutors; they have shown how there is no power capable of defeating the one who has the power of faith!
           
A call to witness: Peter and Paul, like all the Apostles of Christ who in their earthly life sowed the seeds of the Church by their blood, drank the Lord’s cup, and became friends of God.
          
 Paul writes in a moving way to Timothy: “My son, I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  From now on there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Tim 4: 6-8).
          
 A Church or a Christian who does not give witness is sterile; like a dead person who thinks they are alive; like a dried up tree that produces no fruit; an empty well that offers no water!  The Church has overcome evil thanks to the courageous, concrete and humble witness of her children.  She has conquered evil thanks to proclaiming with conviction: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”  (cf. Mt 16:13-18).
           
Dear Archbishops who today receive the Pallium, it is a sign which represents the sheep that the shepherd carries on his shoulders as Christ the Good Shepherd does, and it is therefore a symbol of your pastoral mission.  The Pallium is “a liturgical sign of communion that unites the See of Peter and his Successor to the Metropolitans, and through them to the other Bishops of the world” (Benedict XVI, Angelus of 29 June 2005).
          
 Today, by these Palliums, I wish to entrust you with this call to prayer, to faith and to witness.
           
The Church wants you to be men of prayer, masters of prayer; that you may teach the people entrusted to your care that liberation from all forms of imprisonment is uniquely God’s work and the fruit of prayer; that God sends his angel at the opportune time in order to save us from the many forms of slavery and countless chains of worldliness.  For those most in need, may you also be angels and messengers of charity!
          
 The Church desires you to be men of faith, masters of faith, who can teach the faithful to not be frightened of the many Herods who inflict on them persecution with every kind of cross.  No Herod is able to banish the light of hope, of faith, or of charity in the one who believes in Christ!
          
 The Church wants you to be men of witness. Saint Francis used to tell his brothers: “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words!” (cf. Franciscan sources, 43).  There is no witness without a coherent lifestyle!  Today there is no great need for masters, but for courageous witnesses, who are convinced and convincing; witnesses who are not ashamed of the Name of Christ and of His Cross; not before the roaring lions, nor before the powers of this world.  And this follows the example of Peter and Paul and so many other witnesses along the course of the Church’s history, witnesses who, yet belonging to different Christian confessions, have contributed to demonstrating and bringing growth to the one Body of Christ. I am pleased to emphasize this, and am always pleased to do so, in the presence of the Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, sent by my beloved brother Bartholomew I.  

            This is not so straightforward: because the most effective and authentic witness is one that does not contradict, by behaviour and lifestyle, what is preached with the word and taught to others!
            Teach prayer by praying, announce the faith by believing; offer witness by living!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

WOW! PROPHETIC BLACK PASTORS CALLING FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE OVER SAME SEX MARRIAGE RULING! I GUESS THEY DON'T THINK THIS IS A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE AND CERTAINLY THEY ABOVE ALL WOULD KNOW THAT!



From Newsmax!


Black Pastors' Group Urges Civil Disobedience Against Gay Marriage Ruling

By Todd Beamon   |   Saturday, 27 Jun 2015 06:42 PM



Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/bill-owens-caps-gay-marriage/2015/06/27/id/652541/#ixzz3eMusHKKE
Urgent: Rate Obama on His Job Performance. Vote Here Now!

IS MASS WORTH IT EVEN IF YOU DON'T OR CAN'T RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION?


One of the biggest flaws with the overemphasis of the Mass being a meal is that it reduces the Mass to the moment of the actual reception of Holy Communion. I have had many Catholics tell me that if they couldn't receive Holy Communion, they would see no point in coming to Mass. Mind you, this implies that they believe in transubstantiation and that Holy Communion is the Body and Blood of Christ. They believe this and thus feel that missing receiving Holy Communion makes the Mass pointless for them!

To take it a step further, I've been in dialogue with a parishioner who will depart my parish if this parishioner can't have access to the common chalice, to receive the Precious Blood. This person does not feel that receiving only the Host fulfills what Jesus said to the Apostles at the Last Supper.

I am not denying the fact that the Mass is both Sacrifice and Sacrificial Banquet (meal). The EF tended to emphasize Sacrifice and de-emphasize Sacrificial Banquet.  The reasons were many for this not the least being the fast from food and water from midnight as well as a very keen sense (for some quite scrupulous) of mortal sin and almost every sin being mortal. One would not dare receive Holy Communion in a perceived state of mortal sin or having broken the strenuous fast. (There was no sin in breaking the fast; the sin was receiving Holy Communion when one had broken the fast.)

As a child from my First Holy Communion in 1961 till about 1971 or so, I infrequently received Holy Communion although I went to Mass each and every Sunday. I did not feel worthy to do so for a number of reasons only known to me and my anonymous confessor.

I knew, though, simply being at Mass was efficacious for my salvation and I could also pray for the dead and help those in Purgatory. I knew there were graces simply being at Mass, adoring the Host from afar at the elevation and giving thanks to God for the Sacrifice of His only begotten Son.

So, what graces do those Catholics who are in mortal sin, either sexual (to include fornication, adultery, masturbation and regardless with which gender) or otherwise, receive when they attend Mass but forgo receiving Holy Communion because they are not in  a state of grace due their mortal sin(s)?

LAUDATO SI AND REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS AS WELL AS CAFETERIA CATHOLICS

An editorial cartoon is a worth a thousand words!
And on another political front:


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? 


IS THIS DOCUMENT FROM SAINT POPE JOHN PAUL II ISSUED IN 2003 HATE SPEECH? WILL CATHOLICS WHO USE THIS TO TEACH BE THREATENED WITH ARREST IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE?

This was released by  the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2003. Will I be investigated one day for either posting this or teaching this:

Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons
INTRODUCTION

1. In recent years, various questions relating to homosexuality have been addressed with some frequency by Pope John Paul II and by the relevant Dicasteries of the Holy See.(1) Homosexuality is a troubling moral and social phenomenon, even in those countries where it does not present significant legal issues. It gives rise to greater concern in those countries that have granted or intend to grant – legal recognition to homosexual unions, which may include the possibility of adopting children. The present Considerations do not contain new doctrinal elements; they seek rather to reiterate the essential points on this question and provide arguments drawn from reason which could be used by Bishops in preparing more specific interventions, appropriate to the different situations throughout the world, aimed at protecting and promoting the dignity of marriage, the foundation of the family, and the stability of society, of which this institution is a constitutive element. The present Considerations are also intended to give direction to Catholic politicians by indicating the approaches to proposed legislation in this area which would be consistent with Christian conscience.(2) Since this question relates to the natural moral law, the arguments that follow are addressed not only to those who believe in Christ, but to all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society.
I. THE NATURE OF MARRIAGE
AND ITS INALIENABLE CHARACTERISTICS
2. The Church’s teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose.(3) No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.

3. The natural truth about marriage was confirmed by the Revelation contained in the biblical accounts of creation, an expression also of the original human wisdom, in which the voice of nature itself is heard. There are three fundamental elements of the Creator’s plan for marriage, as narrated in the Book of Genesis.

In the first place, man, the image of God, was created “male and female” (Gen 1:27). Men and women are equal as persons and complementary as male and female. Sexuality is something that pertains to the physical-biological realm and has also been raised to a new level – the personal level – where nature and spirit are united.

Marriage is instituted by the Creator as a form of life in which a communion of persons is realized involving the use of the sexual faculty. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).

Third, God has willed to give the union of man and woman a special participation in his work of creation. Thus, he blessed the man and the woman with the words “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28). Therefore, in the Creator’s plan, sexual complementarity and fruitfulness belong to the very nature of marriage.

Furthermore, the marital union of man and woman has been elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament. The Church teaches that Christian marriage is an efficacious sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church (cf. Eph 5:32). This Christian meaning of marriage, far from diminishing the profoundly human value of the marital union between man and woman, confirms and strengthens it (cf. Mt 19:3-12; Mk 10:6-9).

4. There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts “close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”.(4)

Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity… (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”.(5) This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries(6) and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.

Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.(7) They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity.(8) The homosexual inclination is however “objectively disordered”(9) and homosexual practices are “sins gravely contrary to chastity”.(10)

II. POSITIONS ON THE PROBLEM
OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS

5. Faced with the fact of homosexual unions, civil authorities adopt different positions. At times they simply tolerate the phenomenon; at other times they advocate legal recognition of such unions, under the pretext of avoiding, with regard to certain rights, discrimination against persons who live with someone of the same sex. In other cases, they favour giving homosexual unions legal equivalence to marriage properly so-called, along with the legal possibility of adopting children.

Where the government’s policy is de facto tolerance and there is no explicit legal recognition of homosexual unions, it is necessary to distinguish carefully the various aspects of the problem. Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons. Therefore, discreet and prudent actions can be effective; these might involve: unmasking the way in which such tolerance might be exploited or used in the service of ideology; stating clearly the immoral nature of these unions; reminding the government of the need to contain the phenomenon within certain limits so as to safeguard public morality and, above all, to avoid exposing young people to erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage that would deprive them of their necessary defences and contribute to the spread of the phenomenon. Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil.

[NB] In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.

III. ARGUMENTS FROM REASON AGAINST LEGAL
RECOGNITION OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS

6. To understand why it is necessary to oppose legal recognition of homosexual unions, ethical considerations of different orders need to be taken into consideration.
From the order of right reason

The scope of the civil law is certainly more limited than that of the moral law,(11) but civil law cannot contradict right reason without losing its binding force on conscience.(12) Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person.(13) Laws in favour of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex

Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good.

It might be asked how a law can be contrary to the common good if it does not impose any particular kind of behaviour, but simply gives legal recognition to a de facto reality which does not seem to cause injustice to anyone. In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behaviour as a private phenomenon and the same behaviour as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure. This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more wide-reaching and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good. Civil laws are structuring principles of man’s life in society, for good or for ill. They “play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behaviour”.(14) [NB] Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation’s perception and evaluation of forms of behaviour. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage.

From the biological and anthropological order

7. Homosexual unions are totally lacking in the biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family which would be the basis, on the level of reason, for granting them legal recognition. Such unions are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race. The possibility of using recently discovered methods of artificial reproduction, beyond involving a grave lack of respect for human dignity,(15) does nothing to alter this inadequacy.

Homosexual unions are also totally lacking in the conjugal dimension, which represents the human and ordered form of sexuality. Sexual relations are human when and insofar as they express and promote the mutual assistance of the sexes in marriage and are open to the transmission of new life.

As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood. Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.

From the social order

8. Society owes its continued survival to the family, founded on marriage. The inevitable consequence of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children. If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good. By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties.

The principles of respect and non-discrimination cannot be invoked to support legal recognition of homosexual unions. Differentiating between persons or refusing social recognition or benefits is unacceptable only when it is contrary to justice.(16) The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it.

Nor can the principle of the proper autonomy of the individual be reasonably invoked. It is one thing to maintain that individual citizens may freely engage in those activities that interest them and that this falls within the common civil right to freedom; it is something quite different to hold that activities which do not represent a significant or positive contribution to the development of the human person in society can receive specific and categorical legal recognition by the State. Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfil the purpose for which marriage and family deserve specific categorical recognition. On the contrary, there are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase.

From the legal order

9. Because married couples ensure the succession of generations and are therefore eminently within the public interest, civil law grants them institutional recognition. Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not need specific attention from the legal standpoint since they do not exercise this function for the common good.

[NB] Nor is the argument valid according to which legal recognition of homosexual unions is necessary to avoid situations in which cohabiting homosexual persons, simply because they live together, might be deprived of real recognition of their rights as persons and citizens. In reality, they can always make use of the provisions of law – like all citizens from the standpoint of their private autonomy – to protect their rights in matters of common interest. It would be gravely unjust to sacrifice the common good and just laws on the family in order to protect personal goods that can and must be guaranteed in ways that do not harm the body of society.(17)

IV. POSITIONS OF CATHOLIC POLITICIANS
WITH REGARD TO LEGISLATION IN FAVOUR
OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS

10. If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.

When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral. [gravely immoral]

When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth. If it is not possible to repeal such a law completely, the Catholic politician, recalling the indications contained in the Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, “could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality”, on condition that his “absolute personal opposition” to such laws was clear and well known and that the danger of scandal was avoided.(18) This does not mean that a more restrictive law in this area could be considered just or even acceptable; rather, it is a question of the legitimate and dutiful attempt to obtain at least the partial repeal of an unjust law when its total abrogation is not possible at the moment.

CONCLUSION

11. The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, in the Audience of March 28, 2003, approved the present Considerations, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered their publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 3, 2003, Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs.
Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect
Angelo Amato, S.D.B.
Titular Archbishop of Sila
Secretary
NOTES
(1) Cf. John Paul II, Angelus Messages of February 20, 1994, and of June 19, 1994; Address to the Plenary Meeting of the Pontifical Council for the Family (March 24, 1999); Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 2357-2359, 2396; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Persona humana (December 29, 1975), 8; Letter on the pastoral care of homosexual persons (October 1, 1986); Some considerations concerning the response to legislative proposals on the non-discrimination of homosexual persons (July 24, 1992); Pontifical Council for the Family, Letter to the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe on the resolution of the European Parliament regarding homosexual couples (March 25, 1994); Family, marriage and “de facto” unions (July 26, 2000), 23.
(2) Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life (November 24, 2002), 4.
(3) Cf. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 48.
(4) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2357.
(5) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Persona humana (December 29, 1975), 8.
(6) Cf., for example, St. Polycarp, Letter to the Philippians, V, 3; St. Justin Martyr, First Apology, 27, 1-4; Athenagoras, Supplication for the Christians, 34.
(7) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2358; cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter on the pastoral care of homosexual persons (October 1, 1986), 10.
(8) Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2359; cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter on the pastoral care of homosexual persons (October 1, 1986), 12.
(9) Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2358.
(10) Ibid., No. 2396.
(11) Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 71.
(12) Cf. ibid., 72.
(13) Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 95, a. 2.
(14) John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 90.
(15) Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Donum vitae (February 22, 1987), II. A. 1-3.
(16) Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 63, a.1, c.
(17) It should not be forgotten that there is always “a danger that legislation which would make homosexuality a basis for entitlements could actually encourage a person with a homosexual orientation to declare his homosexuality or even to seek a partner in order to exploit the provisions of the law” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Some considerations concerning the response to legislative proposals on the non-discrimination of homosexual persons [July 24, 1992], 14).
(18) John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 73.