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November 29, 2019 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: In his weekly bulletin at the Church of St. Michael, Fr. George Rutler said that “life in New York City can be hard for anyone who has difficulty accommodating paradoxes. For instance, the same City Council that has just banned the sale of foie gras on the grounds that it involves cruelty to force-fed geese, previously made New York the first city to pay mothers from other states to come here for abortions. With all due respect to Mother Goose, it seems hyperbolic to treat the over-feeding of ducks and geese as more inhumane than the destruction of the most helpless humans. Babies are human, yet there are those who do not see anything inhumane about killing a human child right up to birth.”
He said that “another curiosity that becomes ‘curiouser and curiouser,’ as Alice described Wonderland, was the recent decision of our mayor’s wife to include among proposed statues honoring women two men who attained fame by pretending to be women. By sane logic, that would be like honoring the women of the Revolution with a statue of Benjamin Franklin dressed as Martha Washington. Another proposed statue celebrates a woman notorious for her promotion of infanticide, the majority of infants killed being female.
“In a poll to decide who should deserve a statue, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini won first place by a landslide. But in her 67 years of humanitarian work, she established 67 institutions, all of which promoted the dignity of life from womb to grave, with no aborting of babies or giving poison pills to the sick and elderly. The saint’s broken English would have been at a loss to describe men with husbands or women with wives. Mother Cabrini’s labors were too exhausting for her to worry about foie gras, which she probably could not afford anyway. Yet the mayor’s wife defied voters and eliminated the saintly woman from the list of honorees.”
Fr. Rutler said that “saints are the greatest people who ever lived, but to acknowledge their existence means that you have to acknowledge God, who alone is the source of heroic grace that raises human nobility to the level of sanctity. This is why the saints are nervously ignored by cynics who hold holy innocence in contempt.”

Q. Why is being gay not acceptable in the Catholic Church, and is it a sin to be homophobic or transphobic? — L.L., Massachusetts.
A. First of all, the use of the word “gay” to describe someone with a same-sex attraction is a mistake because a person is more than his or her sexual inclination. He or she is first and foremost a person made in the image and likeness of God, one who is loved by God and redeemed by Jesus, regardless of sexual leanings. The homosexual movement around 1971 coopted the word “gay,” which used to mean cheerful and happy, to disguise a promiscuous and immoral lifestyle.
When the secular world uses the term “gay,” says the website of the group Courage, which helps persons with same-sex attractions to live chaste lives in union with Christ, they are referring “to someone who is either actively homosexual or intends to be. When a person decides to ‘come out’ and say, ‘I am gay’ or ‘I am lesbian,’ the person usually means, ‘This is who I am — I was born this way and I intend to live this way. I have a right to find a same-sex partner with whom to have a romantic sexual relationship’.”
Courage says that by labeling someone this way, “we discourage those who may wish to try and move beyond homosexual attractions. Some people, especially young people, are able to further their psychosexual development with spiritual and psychological aid. If we labeled them ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian,’ they might think there’s no possibility of moving beyond these attractions.” The late Fr. John Harvey, the founder of Courage, said in his book The Homosexual Person that he seldom used the word “gay” because “in thirty-two years of counseling homosexual persons, I have yet to meet a practicing homosexual person who could be called ‘gay’ in the sense of joyful.”
So does the Catholic Church exclude persons who call themselves “gay”? Certainly not. The Church welcomes all persons who are willing to live by her teachings. What she does not welcome is certain behaviors of her members, whether it be engaging in acts of abortion, adultery, fornication, masturbation, contraception, or homosexuality, or such other sins as racism, hatred, alcohol and drug abuse, theft, lying, etc. The Church is made up of sinners and encourages them to repent through the Sacrament of Penance and to live holy lives. She excludes from her sacramental life only those who persistently and obstinately engage in manifest grave sin and give no signs of repentance.
In other words, while the Church says in the Catechism (nn. 2357-2359) that homosexual actions are “acts of grave depravity” that are “contrary to the natural law” because they “close the sexual act to the gift of life,” she nevertheless forbids unjust discrimination against those with this tendency, saying that “they must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” She also says that “homosexual persons are called to chastity” and 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.”
Regarding the second part of your question, the words “homophobia” and “transphobia” mean hatred or fear of homosexuals and those who would claim a gender different from the one that God gave them at birth. As followers of Jesus, we are forbidden to hate anyone, although we may hate evil actions and behavior and pray for repentance on the part of those committing them. One of the favorite tricks of the LGBTQ crowd is to put these labels on anyone who says that these practices are contrary to the plan of God and harmful to individual persons and to society as a whole. Even quoting from the Bible can bring swift reprisals, including social ostracism, mandatory “sensitivity” sessions, fines, and time in jail.
Yes, it would be a sin to hate a person because of his behavior, but it is not a sin to explain and defend the Church’s reasons for opposing the LGBTQ lifestyle. However, such reasoned opposition through the exercise of our constitutional right of free speech is no longer tolerated by those who not so long ago pleaded with us for toleration of their beliefs. But that plea for toleration quickly became a demand for approval and was followed by a rabid intolerance for any dissenting views.
Those of us who wish to advance the Creator’s plan for human sexuality are in for some tough times, and we need to rely on prayer and the sacraments for the courage to follow Christ and His teachings in an unbelieving world.

Q. A non-Catholic friend wants to know how Catholics can sin, go to Confession, sin again, confess again, and so on. She thinks this sounds unethical. — W.M., via e-mail.
A. Your friend misunderstands the Catholic practice of confessing one’s sins to a priest (per Jesus’ instruction in John 20:22-23). The four elements of the Sacrament of Penance are contrition or sorrow for one’s sins, confession of the sins by name and number, absolution of the guilt attached to the sins by a priest, and satisfaction or the performance of a penance in atonement for the sins committed. But the real test of our sorrow is a decision by the will to avoid sins in the future.
In order for sins to be forgiven, the penitent must sincerely intend while receiving the sacrament not to commit the sins confessed again. If there is any conscious intention to sin again, then those sins would not be forgiven. For example, suppose a person confessed the sin of adultery, but in his mind thought that he would be committing the sin again and would not take the necessary steps to avoid contact with the other party to the sin, then that sin would not be forgiven. He can fool the priest into thinking he is sincere, but he cannot fool God.
Now this is not to say that the penitent will never again commit the same sin — certain sins often bedevil a person over and over again — but a firm purpose of amending one’s life means that the penitent will do all in his or her power to avoid the sin in the future, as well as staying away from any persons, places, or things that might facilitate the sin. If that is the attitude of the penitent in the confessional, then whatever sins are confessed are forgiven.
This may seem to some like an impossible ideal, but as we know, nothing is impossible with God’s help.

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The #USSCB preoccupies itself with open borders, climate change and "tolerance". Meanwhile < 30% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence.

How refreshingly "common sense" this statement is. Finally, a Catholic Bisho (Cardinal) who understands the principle of subsidiarity, as properly applied, and affirms the truth that difference is not a problem, but a gift.

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“"Poland can tell Europe that each nation was created by God to be placed in a particular place, with its culture, its traditions, its history. ...

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In his weekly Bulletin at the Church of St. Michael in New York City, Fr. George Rutler listed some of the false predictions of the climate alarmists and noted their refusal ever to admit being wrong: “Inevitably, the list of mistaken predictions keeps growing. We may remember being told in the 1960s that, within twenty years, overpopulation would…Continue Reading

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The Temple Of God Is Holy

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Catholic Replies

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Catholic Heroes… St. Frances Of Rome

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Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Cortona

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