Monday, June 29, 2015


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!


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.


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


Supertradmum said...

When ssm went forward in England in 2013, I said we had seen all this before, as Henry VIII's carnage began with a marriage-an illegal and immoral one.

For three years or more I have been accused of being a Jeremiah or Cassandra, encouraging people to stand up against this and to move close to other real Catholics.

It may be too late and we shall face persecution big time here...and some were writing about this in the late 1990s--Malachi Martin.

Anonymous said...

Were there any witnesses to the Morris incident I wonder.

Elrod said...

Malachi Martin did indeed see the destruction of the church that was coming. I am not a fan of Father Baron, he was exposed by Church Militant TV.

Angry Augustinian said...

What's wrong with Morris? "Good men?" Just what we do not need…more mealy mouthed Priests.

Catherine of Siena said...

I agree with AA. Barron and Morris are media darlings. Fr. Roman Manchester's homily is worth reading:

DJR said...

“'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."

How many "very good men" spit on Catholic priests who are merely walking down the street?

"Most in that parade would not do that." I think most of them would absolutely do so if given the chance and there were no adverse repercussions.

I wonder what these two "probably very good men" would have done if Father were a Muslim cleric.

DJR said...

"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..."

Father is a priest and presumably does not have a wife, children, and grandchildren to worry about. However, for those of us who do have families, in what manner are we supposed to be "preparing for what could be some aggression from the secular society"?

And what does one do if that "aggression" ramps up to the level of physical assault or the denial of our basic religious right to practice the Catholic Faith? They're already spitting on our priests and vandalizing our churches.

We're supposed to sit idly by and permit homosexuals and their government allies to take our property or our families and to deny us the ability to practice the Catholic Faith?

I think not.

Politics often makes strange bedfellows. Our allies may just end up being American Muslims, black pastors and their congregations, and Catholic-bashing Fundamentalists. On a personal level, I would cooperate with any of those groups if that's what it takes.

Let the "gays" and their government enablers try to take on the American Muslim community. Hillary Clinton publicly states that groups such as Muslims MUST change their teachings? Good luck with that.

Paul said...

Attributed to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, I believe: "A lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it, the Truth is still the Truth even if no one believes it."

I have no desire to be "on the right side of history" nor be a part of this "pivotal decisiont". While the world is crumbling around the permissives they distract with another "feel-good moment" (for some). Churches that promote "hate speech" will not be protected.

Time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Anonymous said...

Father what are you talking about saying Fr. Barton hit the nail on the head about what the Church will face. A few days ago you dismissed the ruling on gay "marriage" like it was no big deal. You said yes they will persecute a baker but not the Church. So where do you stand?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I have been consistent about what might happen moving forward.

Anonymous said...

The gays will "take our property"? These blog comments are just getting stranger and stranger...

Angry Augustinian said...

Well, DJR, I had a good response for you but, for some reason, Fr. did not post it. Seemed pretty innocuous to me…I was suggesting you stock up, load up, and lock up. Find friends who think like you and are suspicious of government and libs. Bless Fr's heart, he must be completely worn out running from pillar to post defending and apologizing for the Pope, trying to get everyone to be nice to perverts, and fretting about the Confederate flag. LOL!

Square, Uncool Catholic. said...

Yes, we are facing inevitable persecution. I am not happy about it. But it WILL have one good effect: The "Catholics" will be separated from the CATHOLICS by what is coming. Many of the "Catholics" that will cave in will be bishops and priests--maybe even a pope. The number of CATHOLICS left will be a small minority and they will pay dearly. But for the first time in years, there will be no doubt about who means business and who does not.

rcg said...

The game is simple: maneuver us onto positions so that our oppression is just. The fools of the general population don't see that was what happened to the boy in the charleston church and what happened immediately afterward to people with confederate flags. Our first goal should be to recognize that ploy and highlight it to blunt its effectiveness on the general population. Fr Barron was correct, whatever we may think of his theology, that we must present our actual position in a honest, friendly, attractive manner. Some years ago I saw a woman accosted at a street fair by homosexual activists. She was working at a booth representing her parish and the thugs approached demanding to know why the Chuech hated homosexuals. The old dear looked at them with the same friendly face as if they were having trouble getting their bread to rise and explained that the Church, and all three persons of God, loved them but that homosexual acts served no one but the individual and true love respected everyone. They seemed taken aback by the messenger as much as the message. There was some further attempt at discussion, but they had lost their wind. The old lady was from the WWII vintage so I suspect she knew how to fight propaganda. But she would have been better catechised, too, so better armed than the current crop of Catholics.

Angry Augustinian said...

From Tyler, Texas:
On the morning of June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a 5-4 decision establishing the legal right of two individuals of the same sex to legally marry in all 50 states. By doing so, the Court has acted in contradiction to their duty to promote the common good, especially what is good for families. I join with the Bishops of the United States in calling this decision a “tragic error.”
Let me unambiguously state at the outset that this extremely unfortunate decision by our government is unjust and immoral, and it is our duty to clearly and emphatically oppose it. In spite of the decision by the Supreme Court, there are absolutely no grounds for considering unions between two persons of the same sex to be in any way similar to God’s plan for marriage and the family. Regardless of this decision, what God has revealed and what the Church therefore holds to be true about marriage has not changed and is unchangeable.
Marriage is not just a relationship between human beings that is based on emotions and feelings. Rather, our Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Traditions tell us that God established true marriage with its own special nature and purpose, namely the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.
While taking a strong stand for marriage is the duty of all who call themselves Christian, every type of unjust discrimination against those with homosexual tendencies should be avoided. We must treat these individuals with loving kindness and respect based on their dignity as human persons. Christ rejects no one, but he calls all of us to be converted from our sinful inclinations and follow the truth He has revealed to us. Nevertheless, our continued commitment to the pastoral care of homosexual persons cannot and will not lead in any way to the condoning of homosexual behavior or our acceptance of the legal recognition of same-sex unions.
While some of us may have family members who have same-sex attraction, and there are even some who are members of our local churches, this decision to require the legal recognition of so-called marriage between homosexual persons should in no way lead us to believe that the living out of this orientation or the solemnizing of relationships between two persons of the same sex is a morally acceptable option.
We know that unjust laws and other measures contrary to the moral order are not binding in conscience, thus we must now exercise our right to conscientious objection against this interpretation of our law which is contrary to the common good and the true understanding of marriage.
Given this and recognizing my responsibility and moral authority as the shepherd of this Church of Tyler, I will shortly issue a decree in this Diocese establishing, as particular law, that no member of the clergy or any person acting as employee of the Church may in any way participate in the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages, and that no Catholic facilities or properties, including churches, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health or charitable institutions, or any places dedicated or consecrated, or use for Catholic worship, may be used for the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages.
Finally, I call on the Catholic faithful of the Diocese to turn in prayer to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, asking their intercession for our nation that all of us may come to a greater understanding of the beauty, truth and goodness that is found in marriage as revealed to us by our Savior.
I instruct that this letter is to be publically read by the priest-celebrant following the proclamation of the Gospel at all Masses of obligation in the parishes, missions and chapels of Diocese of Tyler on the weekend of July 3-4, 2015.
Given at the Diocesan Chancery
On the 26th day of June
Friday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen
Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland
Bishop of Tyler

rcg said...

Bishop Strickland, good job!

DJR said...

Anonymous said...The gays will "take our property"? These blog comments are just getting stranger and stranger...

What is strange is that this would have to be explained to an adult.

The actual quote was... "permit homosexuals and their government allies to take our property..."

What do you think would happen if you were to get sued by some "gays" for refusing to go along with something the government mandates but is in direct contradiction to your practice of the Faith?

Answer: You lose. That means it costs you money. Money is property.

If you can't pay a judgment, a successful litigant can levy on your property in order to collect on the debt.

So, yes, "gays" will be able to take our property. That's the way the American legal system works when litigation is involved and there are winners and losers.

Angry Augustinian said...

Why hasn't every Bishop in the country issued such a letter as Bishop Strickland? THAT is what is wrong with the Church…I'm thinking God may give the Church over to the Evangelicals and Pentecostals and Congregationalists. They seem to be the only ones who are taking a real stand against all this nonsense. "…and there came a time when no prophet arose in Israel…."

Anonymous said...

Interesting what happened to Fr. Morris on the street. I'm assuming he was wearing his Roman collar, which provoked the men to spit on him. I expect Father Morris might know this act of spitting on someone is battery; an actual crime. I also expect it could be classified as a hate crime, since the motivation seems to be religion. That would make it a felony. But what's the reaction from the media? The sound of crickets.....

I am glad Fr. Morris reacted with grace and demonstrated the Christian response to such an act. Yet, I also note there was no outrage by the press at the audacity and vileness of the action by those men. I imagine if a Catholic priest or even an lay Catholic ever spat on a homosexual or black person (God forbid this ever happening!) because he or she was a homosexual or black person, be assured it would be national news, and the media and population would side immediately with the one spat upon and call for the most extreme prosecution.

I understand the changing times means we are in for a time of persecution. I see that handwriting on the wall. I think back on history to times of Catholic persecution (Henry VIII in England, Nazi Germany, Communist anywhere) and know many, many others have suffered greater things than these for Christ. I guess its proving time.

Father Morris' test only shows just what's in the hearts of those who hate us. I think Father McD's quote of Bishop Fulton Sheen in another post here: "...the man who has never disciplined himself knows not how to be merciful. It is always the selfish who are unkind to others...” (The Seven Capital Sins, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, p. 9) actually tells us a lot about the men who did the spitting. Pray God we know better, and have disciplined ourselves enough to act like Fr. Morris, not the two men who spit.

Angry Augustinian said...

Any man who spits on a Priest (or anyone else, for that matter) needs his a** whipped on the spot.

John Nolan said...

AA, have you considered that the perv in question might well have enjoyed having his 'a** whipped'?

Angry Augustinian said...

John Nolan, Not if I do it.

Anonymous 2 said...

No, in that case, AA will get all the enjoyment. This raises an intriguing question: Is spanking how the Jolly Jansenist gets his jollies?

Unknown said...

Oh my...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - Catholic churches disallow participation in ALL the Sacraments to those who are, by our doctrine, not allowed or not free to participate.

No Catholic priest has to baptize the infant child of Methodist parents. No Catholic priest has to give communion to a Buddhist. No Catholic priest has to perform the wedding of a person or persons who, according to our doctrine, are not able to participate in that sacrament.

The First Amendment and subsequent court cases.

Presbyterian Church v. Hull Church, 393 U.S. 440 (1969) Civil courts cannot, consistently with First Amendment principles, determine ecclesiastical questions in resolving property disputes; and since the "departure from doctrine" element of Georgia's implied trust theory requires civil courts to weigh the significance and meaning of religious doctrines, it can play no role in judicial proceedings.

Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940) A state statute which forbids any person to solicit money or valuables for any alleged religious cause, unless a certificate therefor shall first have been procured from a designated official, who is required to determine whether such cause is a religious one and who may withhold his approval if he determines that it is not, is a previous restraint upon the free exercise of religion, and a deprivation of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Kedroff v. Saint Nicholas Cathedral, 344 U.S. 94 (1952) Freedom to select the clergy, where no improper methods of choice are proven, must now be said to have federal constitutional protection against state interference, as a part of the free exercise of religion.

AGOSTINI ET AL. v. FELTON ET AL. No. 96-55 1997- A federally funded program providing supplemental, remedial instruction to disadvantaged children on a neutral basis is not invalid under the Establishment Clause when such instruction is given on the premises of sectarian schools by government employees under a program containing safeguards such as those present in New York City's Title I program.

Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 565 U.S. ___ (2012), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court unanimously ruled that federal discrimination laws do not apply to religious organizations' selection of religious leaders.

Among many others.

I am not suggesting that we will not face similar challenges. But I am suggesting that, in this non-lawyer's opinion, we are on pretty solid ground.

Anonymous 2 said...

Although constitutional law is not my area of legal expertise, I agree with Father Kavanaugh. As I suggested on another thread, the real battle – and the one that_can_be won as opposed to the one about civil marriage that could not – concerns religious liberty and defense of the Church’s prerogatives under the First Amendment free exercise clause.