Looking over a collection of links to stories I had collated over the last week I saw that the majority of them dealt with the collision between the Church’s teaching on homosexual acts/same-sex marriage and the culture. This collision is occurring more and more as the culture becomes more accepting of this and more bigoted towards Catholics. I guess closets also abhor a vacuum and as those who suffer from same-sex attraction come out of the closet, Catholics are being forced into it.
First off a story from today:
“Nicholas Coppola’s faith means everything to him. His Long Island home is full of religious books, pictures of cardinal timothy Dolan even the word, faith.
“Father Nick said I have to remove you from any public ministry, he said I have no choice,” said Coppola.
Coppola was teaching religious instruction, he was a Eucharistic minister and also a lector then in January, he got word from his church in oceanside he couldn’t do any of it anymore. He never thought marrying the love of his life a man would cost him that.
“What was pointed out, you made a very public statement getting married, I think the question was asked why, I said I got married like any other loving couple,” said Coppola.
The pastor of Saint Anthony’s Church in Oceanside told us “He’s always welcome to come to the church and receive the sacraments as far as I’m concerned.”
Pastor Nicholas Lombardi says the decision came from the Diocese of Rockville Center.
The Diocese received an anonymous letter complaining of Coppola’s marital status and sent a letter the parish. He showed us copies.
The Diocese of Rockville Center told us in a statement:
“Gay married people cannot be on staff in the position that he held, however the church is welcoming of all persuasions.”
Coppola just wants to get back to doing what he loved so much. (Via A Long Island Catholic)
I have several reactions to this story. The first being Mr. Coppola’s total obliviousness to the consequences of his actions. Although the parish preist seemingly contributed to this atmosphere. I am also quite annoyed by the statement from the Diocese. For one I wish Catholics would totally stop using the word “gay” as an identifier. Plus using the term “Gay married people” gives too much away to cultural usage. There are people of the same sex who attempt marriage, but there are no “Gay married people.” The language we use is important and should be much more precise even in a general statement.
As for Father Lombardi, S.J. if what he said was correctly quoted that is another serious matter that I hope the Diocese does not just sweep over.
Now I try not to jump to conclusions just because someone is a Jesuit, but since he is also associate director of online services for Fordham’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies I would not be surprised if he was accurately quoted. A center named after a dissenting Jesuit who was barred from teaching theology by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith does not exactly give me confidence regarding orthodoxy. Note 1
It is bad enough that we are constantly being attacked from outside the Church. Unfortunately the same is true within the Church including the priesthood. Another recently story involved surprisingly another Jesuit, Father Edward F. Salmon who is allowing two men to attend McQuaid Jesuit High School 2013 prom as a couple. His reasoning is the typical mush to describe as love what is actually indifference to sin. He is doing these two men a great disservice that is certainly not love, the willing the good of the other. Edwards Peters has Some thoughts on Fr. Salmon’s letter re the McQuaid High prom
There are of course those priests who do defend Church teaching and a story today concerns Father Greg Shaffer a chaplain for the Newman Center at Georgetown University.
Two gay seniors who said they felt alienated by the Newman Center’s controversial priest will launch a campaign this week to force him off campus.
At least a dozen students, including seniors Damian Legacy and Blake Bergen, say they have left the Newman Center in the last several years because Father Greg Shaffer’s strong anti-gay and anti-abortion views are too polarizing. Shaffer, a Roman Catholic priest, has spent five years preaching to GW students.
Truth is polarizing as Jesus said in Luke 12:53. We have passed the stage of general acceptance of homosexuality to where it’s acceptance is forced. The attacks on religious freedom will only get worse and in this specific case one of the men involved is a priest in the “North American Old Catholic Church”. (Thanks to Dawn Eden for the heads up)
The students lambasted Shaffer’s counseling sessions, in which he said he advises students who are attracted to members of the same sex to remain celibate for the rest of their lives.
Imagine that a confessor helping someone to avoid sin. Obviously we can’t have that. In our culture the general idea is that the best way to avoid sin is to not call something a sin at all.
“The fundamental flaw in modern thinking about human sexuality, the “Ur” (root) problem, is the (sinful) declaration that there is “no necessary connection” between human sexual activity and procreation”
The above is from Msgr. Chrles Pope’s excellent column this week Reaping the Whirlwind: A reflection on the deepening darkness that celebrates homosexual unions and activity. There is a straight line from the acceptance of contraception, divorce, and abortion to the acceptance of homosexual acts. Catholics can once again say “I told you so”, but of course nobody is listening. It is easier to call someone a homophobe and a bigot than to engage their argument.
Now if only we could evangelize as efficiently as homosexual activists and their supporters have been able to do. They have been effective in moving the culture and we haven’t. Saturating the media with their message and their using Hollywood to spread the message has worked for them quite well. Remember how Vice President Biden described how the television show “Will and Grace” helped him to “evolve”. Funny how people mocked Vice President Dan Quayle for actually critiquing (correctly) a television show plot and yet further abandoning your faith based on one is just fine.
We have our work cut out for us, but that has always been true. Evangelization like conversion is a daily thing.
To leave off, Msgr. Charles Pope responds to comments on his previous article with What does the Catholic Church offer to the Homosexual Person?. An excellent response, but again could do without using the term “gay”.
Note 1: In 1993 then-Cardinal Ratzinger said about Fr. Curran “With his theory of dissent Father Curran moved beyond individual questions to challenge the Church’s teaching office as such. He wanted to accord dissent itself an official teaching role.”