Friday, June 1, 2018

ST. FRANCIS, HILTON HEAD PASTOR, FR. MIKE, FIND SUPPORT IN A LETTER TO THE EDITOR ABOUT HIS EXCLUSION OF A CHILD FROM HIS PARISH SCHOOL OF A HOMOSEXUAL "MARRIED" COUPLE

 

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

CATHOLIC PRIEST MADE RIGHT CALL

Father Mike made the correct decision when he did not admit the same-sex married couple’s children into the St. Francis Catholic School. Catholic schools have been established to foster the Catholic faith in children, imparting not only the 3 R’s but also a (Catholic worldview).

The Catholic religion does not recognize same-sex marriage. What kind of message would Father Mike be giving the other students if he admitted the children in question? That same-sex marriage is OK?

I congratulate Father Mike for taking a stand when so many Catholic universities and other institutions are caving to the politically-correct culture.

It does not matter that two-thirds of Catholics support same-sex marriage. The Catholic church isn’t a democracy and its doctrines aren’t based on popular opinion or current culture.

According to the Catholic church, homosexuality is a mortal sin and it will stay that way. Pope Francis made an off-the -cuff remark to the gay man he encountered. He cannot change the fundamental teachings of the church that are based on a 2,000-year-old faith.

Actually, Pope Francis disappointed those expecting changes to the church’s teachings on abortion, same-sex marriage and the ordination of women priests when he published the “Joy of the Gospel” affirming the unchangeable nature of those and other doctrines.

– Paul Mathias, Hilton Head Island, SC

27 comments:

TJM said...

Bravo!

Father Mike's big mistake was considering admitting the child under any circumstances. Unless Father Mike was willing to suppress information on the Church's teachings on marriage, these children would have had rough sledding there.

rcg said...

Is a Catholic school merely a vendor of knowledge? Or is it an atmosphere of learning with a specific ethical center? In other words it has a premise that the applicant must accept as central to the school that the student must accept and adapt to.

anon said...

Careful, Fr. McDonald. The parish and school in Valdosta (diocese of Savannah) has a student with 2 "mommies" and it is common knowledge. Evidently the pastor and your bishop have no problem with that.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think Savannah like Charleston leaves it up to the local parish/pastor to decide these issues. That is problematic as i think clear diocesan policy would assist pastors and principals.

In my previous two parishes we had one Catholic and two non-Catholic children who had same sex partners as parents (marriage wasn't allowed then). There wasn't an agenda by the parents and in one case it was the Catholic grandparents who wanted to make sure their grandchild was brought up in the faith and attended Catholic school.

Unless there is an ideological agenda being pushed on the Church by the parents, I don't think we should take the sins of the parents out on the children and it does offend/alienate many that a child is being used as a pawn in the whole mess.

Our school makes it clear to both Catholics and non Catholics that we teach/taught the Catholic faith to include issues surrounding sexuality and marriage.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

We also have divorced Catholics remarried outside of the Church who use our Catholic schools for their children. Same policy applied. We teach Catholic morality and what true marriage is as revealed by God to our kids.

Anon said...

Not trying to be critical Fr., but your comment: "marriage wasn't allowed then" about homosexual couples is troubling.

You know and I know that it STILL isn't "marriage".

Come on!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course I am speaking of civil marriage.

Gene said...

Swirl, swirl, swirl.....

Anonymous said...

I think it would save a lot of headaches and problems if a Catholic school would inform prospective students and parents that the Catholic church's teaching on marriage is what will be taught to the students. The way to do this is to hand out
to the parents of the prospective students documents or pamphlets which contain the teaching, and why the Church opposes same sex "marriage", and tell them up front that this is what is, and will be taught to the students.

rcg said...

Anonymous at 5:33 pm: i am skeptical that people who would need the handout would be honest enough to use it.

George said...




If those in authority in the Church and in the diocesan schools don't demonstrate by their actions that they take Church teaching on same sex "marriage" seriously, can anyone be all that surprised when others, both inside and outside the Church don't either? The Church, in her official capacity, and her members, must be a witness to others. What happened in South Carolina, thanks to the media coverage, is a powerful witness to others on the teaching of our Faith. These are difficult times to proclaim the Truth, but whether they agree with us or not, when the opportunity presents itself, others must made aware of what we believe.
That does not mean in any way that we cannot pray for the parents and the children in these situations. We, as Catholics, are obligated to do so. It is acting on our Christian love that impels us to be concerned about the spiritual welfare of others.

Anonymous 2 said...

The letter to the editor reproduced in this posting contains the following claim:

“According to the Catholic church, homosexuality is a mortal sin and it will stay that way.”

What is wrong with this claim? Now perhaps every reader of this Blog understands what the writer meant to say (or at least what we should certainly hope he meant to say). But what about readers of the publication that published this letter to the editor? Will they understand the writer’s true intent? Does the overall context of the letter make it clear? Or will some (many?) of them now have their worst prejudices about the Catholic Church confirmed, namely that it is an intolerant, unloving Church that teaches that God condemns gays and lesbians just for having a homosexual orientation?

Words matter. We need to be careful with them.



Gene said...

Holy Scripture condemns homosexuality as an abomination. Can't get around it. I suppose the only proper response to gays is to call them to repentance and chastity...fat chance.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

Does Scripture condemn same sex attraction in itself or just sexual conduct proceeding from this orientation? Unlike the writer of the letter to the editor, the CCC makes a clear distinction between orientation and practice, proscribing the latter but not the former.

Gene said...

Chopping logic.

Marc said...

A2, if you're call to use words carefully is sincere -- which I don't doubt -- then, I would suggest you exercise the same caution. The usage of words like "gays," "lesbians," and "homosexual orientation" as descriptors for individuals is quite problematic in this context. What we are talking about are people who are inflicted with particular temptations against right-ordered nature (that is, their desires are intrinsically disordered).

That is not to say they are bad people as a result of their intrinsic disorder since we all share some level of disorder due to the concupiscence resulting from the Fall. But it is inherently problematic for people to identify with their disorders when doing so is a way to normalize the disorder.

Of course the errant sexual actions are sinful, as everyone agrees. It is also true that the celebration of disorder is sinful, as is the failure to condemn the disorder. By identifying with the disorder as a major component of self-identity, then, even the chaste person suffering from the disorder gives into an objectively sinful action.

In sum, I think you're right to point out that the letter does not make the appropriate distinctions. But you failed to make those distinctions as well. In point of fact, the Church both tolerates and does not tolerate sinful inclinations. Mere toleration of sin or sinful disorders is not part of the Church's mission and is actually antithetical to that mission. The Church exists to move us from the toleration of sin to the detestation of sin: that is part of the overall mission of the Church to convert sinners through the grace on offer in the Church.

Gene said...

Marc, Very well said.

Anonymous said...

Marc, what you say in your comment is very important. One can have an inclination to homosexuality and not identify as such. How many persons might there be who live chaste lives, striving to be and maintain themselves as good Christians, but who do not label themselves as homosexuals? Certainly there are some. Why would a person who does not act on a disorder and sinful inclination and sincerely with the help of God desires not to do so, need to refer to him or herself with the name of the sinful inclination? Would they not understandably avoid doing so?

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

Thank you for clarifying the additional nuance. This said, I stand by what I wrote. The Church condemns homosexual acts but does not condemn gays and lesbians just for having a homosexual orientation. My point was that the letter to the editor failed to make this fundamental distinction, which you concede. It was unnecessary to address the issue of disordered inclinations to point out this error. Just as I assume readers of this Blog are familiar with this basic distinction, so also I assume they are familiar with the relevant language in the CCC, which addresses the issue of disordered inclinations and other pertinent issues more comprehensively. Here is the relevant language yet again, however:

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.




Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous:

I believe that, if you read them carefully and sensitively, you will find that your rhetorical questions are answered in the two quoted paragraphs from the CCC.

Marc said...

A2, perhaps you should read this carefully and sensitively and consider its relevance to this discussion.

Ways to co-operate in the sins of others:

By counsel.
By command.
By consent.
By provocation.
By praise or flattery.
By concealment.
By partaking.
By silence.
By defense of the ill done.

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

I really do not understand why you have such a problem with what I wrote and why you are all over my case about this. Perhaps I do you an injustice but it is almost as if you are going out of your way to find fault.

The letter to the editor stated that “[a]ccording to the Catholic church, homosexuality is a mortal sin and it will stay that way.” This egregiously misstates Catholic teaching on the topic of homosexuality as set out in the quoted paragraphs from the CCC, and all I did was to correctly point this out. The writer should have said “[a]ccording to the Catholic church, homosexual acts are a mortal sin and it will stay that way.” He did not, which has the potential to create all kinds of confusion in the minds of readers, many of whom I assume are non-Catholic.

As for Anonymous’ rhetorical questions, they are also answered by the CCC paragraphs.

I consider the CCC as very authoritative, although I do understand that some “Catholics” reject the bits “they” don’t like because they think they know better. Are you one of them?

Beyond this, I have two questions for you:

(1) What is the source for your list?

(2) How have I, in my comments on this thread (which, I remind you, are made in the context of this Blog and the assumed knowledge of its readers), done any of the things you list?


Marc said...

I don't consider the CCC at all, honestly. But that isn't really part of this discussion as the underlying portions of the CCC upon which you are relying are based on accurate teachings of the Church.

Since you find it to be "very authoritative," perhaps you should refer to CCC 1868 as a reference to the list I provided. In the interest of full disclosure, the specific list that I copied is found in an examination of conscience. The same list can be found in any prayer book or missal that I have in my possession.

I am not accusing you of doing any of the things on the list. I am suggesting that upholding the self-identity of people with an intrinsic moral disorder often results in co-operating with sin based on the methods of doing so in that list.

Am I "all over your case about this"? My understanding was that we were having a discussion about it. If you perceive my slight opposition to your sweeping generalizations and failures to hold your own writings to the same bar to which you hold others, then perhaps I am all over your case. But, again, my motivation was to draw you into considering whether the presently-accepted terms used in this discussion are themselves problematic from a Catholic standpoint and whether the use of those terms tends to lend support in itself such that those doing so might be co-operating in sin.

If you don't want to have that discussion, of course, that's fine with me.

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

I am sorry but I still do not understand why you characterize what I wrote as “sweeping generalizations and failures to hold your own writings to the same bar to which you hold others.” To repeat, I merely pointed out that it was incorrect of the writer of the letter to the editor to imply, as he clearly did, that the Catholic Church “teaches that God condemns gays and lesbians just for having a homosexual orientation.” How on earth this amounts to “sweeping generalizations” and “failure” to be careful with words is beyond me. Perhaps you should focus on the all-important phrase “just for” in “just for having a homosexual orientation.” If you condemn or challenge someone for identifying with the orientation or celebrating it, as you suggest should be the case, then you are not challenging or condemning them “just for”_having_the orientation but for something over and beyond that.

I am willing to accept legitimate criticism for being imprecise or careless in my use of words. I just don’t think I was either.

You make some very good points. I just wish you would not use me as a foil to make them. This said, perhaps I am being overly sensitive or defensive about all this.


Marc said...

A2, I apologize for using your argument as the spring board for my points. The main thing I was trying to convey is that it is errant to use as descriptors for individuals words that identify such people by their principle vice, especially when that vice is an intrinsic moral disorder. I view that as dehumanizing and ultimately antithetical to the salvific goal of the Church because, instead of seeking to identify with Christ, these are identified by their sinful inclinations, even if they themselves believe that identification to be a mark of pride.

Giving in to that use of language is to condone the identification and, thereby, the sin to at least some degree. If nothing else, the identification normalizes abherrant behavior.

So then, I am criticizing the method of your argumentation because, although you wish the writer of this editorial to be precise when it comes to describing the Church’s teaching, your argument falls into another pitfall of being imprecise by using descriptors that tend to co-operate in the sin.

I don’t think you did an of that intentionally, and you probably had never thought about it before. In fact, I’d never really thought of it until I read your post! So you were an unwitting foil because your writing brought the entire issue to my mind in the first place.

We both agree on the large points here. Words matter is all I’m saying. Sorry for the overly combative tone earlier.

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

P.S. Perhaps your point is that the terms “gay”, “lesbian”, and “homosexual orientation” are somehow imprecise or inappropriate in the context of a discussion among Catholics such as this. If this is indeed your point, then I should explain that I understand the term “gays” to denote male homosexuals, the term “lesbians” to denote female homosexuals, and the term “orientation” to be synonymous with “inclination.” I believe these are the ordinary meanings of these terms. If I am incorrect in my understanding of the ordinary meaning of these terms, or if I have used these terms inappropriately in the context of the present discussion, then I await and welcome correction and instruction from Father McDonald or one of the other priests on the Blog.

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

Thank you for your gracious apology, which I greatly appreciate, and for clarifying that you were “thinking out loud” regarding a novel issue. As to that issue, I don’t have anything to add to my last comment, which crossed with your own. I await guidance from our priests regarding a more appropriate terminology than I used, if there be such. Thanks again.