Gay marriage is inevitable?

The following was taken from an article on MSN:

My comments are in red.

Vice President Joe Biden predicted Friday the evolution in thinking that will permit gays to soon serve openly in the military eventually will bring about a national consensus for same-sex marriage. [If they go by “national consensus”, it won’t happen.  But these guys go by dictatorship!  They are the “ones” who know it all and dictate their liberal agenda on the rest of society.]

Changes in attitudes by military leaders, those in the service and the public allowed the repeal by Congress of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, Biden noted in a nationally broadcast interview on Christmas eve.  [Maybe the leaders were for a repeal, but most of the troops on the line were against it!]

“I think the country’s evolving,” he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” [What planet does Biden live on!  He needs to start associating with real people for a change.] “And I think you’re going to see, you know, the next effort is probably going to be to deal with so-called DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act).” Biden said he agreed with Obama that his position in gay marriage is “evolving.”  [Yes, another Kennedy Catholic whose Faith is more important than his politics!  How about forming your conscience according to Catholic teaching, and not according to the world Mr. Biden!]

The Vice President is probably correct in saying that it is inevitable, but if he and other Catholic politicians stood up for the truth and did not drink of the cup of relativism, we would not be in this boat.

To read the whole article, click here.

The Church and politics

How often have you heard it said, or maybe, you have even said, “The Church has no business in politics!”  I hear it all the time.  Even good Catholic people tell me the Church should not talk about politics.  Just what do they mean by that? Are they saying that the Church has no right to speak about moral issues that come up in the public arena?  Are they saying that we should be silent in the midst of injustice and human rights issues?  Do people really know what they are saying when they say the Church has no place in politics?

Of course the media would like to silence the Church, but this is for monetary and political gain.   The media is no longer a news outlet, but more of a tool to propagate an elite agenda.

Many good people in the pews are beginning to swallow the lie that the Church has no place in politics.  They don’t realize that the media would really like to say: “Keep your morals to yourself”.  “How can the big bad Church, think they have a right to judge people for how they live?
The Church has always been the moral compass for secular society.  The US judicial system is based on the Judeo Christian moral code.  Christianity is a way of life which provides a set of moral principles for one who adheres to it.  However, it does not end there.  True Christianity is not meant to be something one keeps on a shelf and takes it down on Sunday mornings.  Faith must be lived.  Faith is to have a connect to daily life.  One cannot say, “I believe”, they are called to “practice what they preach”.  A person who proclaims one thing and does another is an “empty gong” or a car without gas!

It is so clear in the Letter of St. James 1:23-25: “For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing.”

A faithful Christian is called to embrace the faith in their heart, and also has the responsibility to effect change in the world in which he or she lives.  For the past 2000 years, the Church has championed the rights and dignity of the human person.

From paternal authority and marriage, wills and testaments, property rights and contracts, prescriptions and legal procedure, the Church has been at the side of those without a voice.  If one looks carefully enough, much of our legislation was supported with Sacred Scripture.  In the 20th century the role of Church’s influence in society has come to be disdained. Yet, She will not be silent in the face of injustice and sin.

St. Francis Xavier’s scolded the King of Portugal over his support of the slave trade: “You have no right to spread the Catholic faith while you take away all the country’s riches. It upsets me to know that at the hour of your death you may be ordered out of paradise.”  Bishops and priests may not use the same words as Francis Xavier, “yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world”.

Today as always, the Church has a role in the public square.  Men and women have given their lives for these truths in the past and will continue to in the future.  The Church will never be silent, She has the privilege and the obligation to proclaim the Truth “in season and out of season”.<

Muddying the Waters

In the past few weeks, Bishop Thomas Tobin has been in the news a number of times. Patrick Kennedy a “Catholic” who resides in the State of Rhode Island and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence,  attacked the Bishops of the Catholic Church for opposing any health care reform that would involve public funding for abortion.  Kennedy had the gaul to suggest the Catholic Church was fanning the “flames of dissent and discord”.  With Kennedy’s serious and offensive remarks, Bishop Tobin had no choice but to respond.  The Bishop invited Patrick to meet in privacy to discuss the issue at hand and Kennedy declined.  Since then, Kennedy also made public a letter he received from the Bishop in 2007 requesting that he refrain from receiving Holy Communion.  Kennedy even went so far as to lie about the Bishop notifying his priests to refuse to give him Communion.  I personally never received any such memorandum, and the Bishop stated that he never sent one.

In the midst of this, the media has given their usual spin.  On November 10th, Providence Journal article “Bishop again attacks Kennedy over abortion stand in health-care reform”.  Again on November 24th, Projo reported “R.I. Bishop Tobin has testy exchange with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews”.  Who was the one that actually attacked who?

Last night, Matthews kept turning the issue to how the bishop would punish women who have an abortion.  In reality, this was not the issue at all.  The issue Matthews will not face is that the Bishops, and most Americans do not want to support abortion with our money.  WE DON’T WANT TAX FUNDED ABORTION!

This evening Bishop Tobin was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly.  O’Reilly was much fairer in his treatment of the bishop, allowed him to speak and give his response, unlike the rude and hostile treatment of Matthews.

Again, the issue for the Catholic Church is plain and simple.  We are against the killing of innocent human life in all instances and we do not want to pay for it!  I wonder if our Catholic politicians who are against abortion, but don’t want to force their opinions on others would allow someone to own slaves!  It’s called intellectual dishonesty.

Let’s not muddy the waters!

Bishop Tobin Makes It Clear!

So often people write on blogs and tell us priests, “Why don’t the Bishops speak out?”  We’ll my Bishop does, and, I thought you would all enjoy my bishops response to Congressman Patrick Kennedy.  Patrick is the son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

——-

Dear Congressman Kennedy:

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” (Congressman Patrick Kennedy)

Since our recent correspondence has been rather public, I hope you don’t mind if I share a few reflections about your practice of the faith in this public forum. I usually wouldn’t do that – that is speak about someone’s faith in a public setting – but in our well-documented exchange of letters about health care and abortion, it has emerged as an issue. I also share these words publicly with the thought that they might be instructive to other Catholics, including those in prominent positions of leadership.

For the moment I’d like to set aside the discussion of health care reform, as important and relevant as it is, and focus on one statement contained in your letter of October 29, 2009, in which you write, “The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” That sentence certainly caught my attention and deserves a public response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s true. And it raises an important question: What does it mean to be a Catholic?

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” Well, in fact, Congressman, in a way it does. Although I wouldn’t choose those particular words, when someone rejects the teachings of the Church, especially on a grave matter, a life-and-death issue like abortion, it certainly does diminish their ecclesial communion, their unity with the Church. This principle is based on the Sacred Scripture and Tradition of the Church and is made more explicit in recent documents.

For example, the “Code of Canon Law” says, “Lay persons are bound by an obligation and possess the right to acquire a knowledge of Christian doctrine adapted to their capacity and condition so that they can live in accord with that doctrine.” (Canon 229, #1)

The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” says this: “Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles, ‘He who hears you, hears me,’ the faithful receive with docility the teaching and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.” (#87)

Or consider this statement of the Church: “It would be a mistake to confuse the proper autonomy exercised by Catholics in political life with the claim of a principle that prescinds from the moral and social teaching of the Church.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2002)

There’s lots of canonical and theological verbiage there, Congressman, but what it means is that if you don’t accept the teachings of the Church your communion with the Church is flawed, or in your own words, makes you “less of a Catholic.”

But let’s get down to a more practical question; let’s approach it this way: What does it mean, really, to be a Catholic? After all, being a Catholic has to mean something, right?

Well, in simple terms – and here I refer only to those more visible, structural elements of Church membership – being a Catholic means that you’re part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on essential matters of faith and morals; that you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish; that you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly; that you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially.

Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic requirements of being a Catholic, so let me ask: Do you accept the teachings of the Church on essential matters of faith and morals, including our stance on abortion? Do you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish? Do you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly? Do you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially?

In your letter you say that you “embrace your faith.” Terrific. But if you don’t fulfill the basic requirements of membership, what is it exactly that makes you a Catholic? Your baptism as an infant? Your family ties? Your cultural heritage?

Your letter also says that your faith “acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity.” Absolutely true. But in confronting your rejection of the Church’s teaching, we’re not dealing just with “an imperfect humanity” – as we do when we wrestle with sins such as anger, pride, greed, impurity or dishonesty. We all struggle with those things, and often fail.

Your rejection of the Church’s teaching on abortion falls into a different category – it’s a deliberate and obstinate act of the will; a conscious decision that you’ve re-affirmed on many occasions. Sorry, you can’t chalk it up to an “imperfect humanity.” Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church.

Congressman Kennedy, I write these words not to embarrass you or to judge the state of your conscience or soul. That’s ultimately between you and God. But your description of your relationship with the Church is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance. It’s not too late for you to repair your relationship with the Church, redeem your public image, and emerge as an authentic “profile in courage,” especially by defending the sanctity of human life for all people, including unborn children. And if I can ever be of assistance as you travel the road of faith, I would be honored and happy to do so.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas J. Tobin
Bishop of Providence