Refusing Communion to Boy Scouts?

A reader writes:

Another Catholic writer I like to read, a priest, recently posted that he would no longer give Holy Communion to anyone wearing a Boy Scout of America uniform as ALL scouts are now morally complicit in a grave moral evil now that the BSA leadership has voted to allow for homosexual scouts. By virtue of the scout oath he says all scouts are agreeing with / assenting to this evil. He says all scouts are “militant homosexualists.”

Here’s a link to his post.

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this. Does that also mean that I, as an American who has been known to say the Pledge of Allegiance (which is an oath), will also be complicit with a grave evil when my government at the federal level formally recognizes “gay marriage”? Will there then be justification to deny me Communion? Must I renounce my citizenship, maybe even move to another country? What about now…aren’t I already complicit with intrinsic evil, by the oath in the pledge and my tax dollars, enacted by my government? Should I be denied Communion now?

I don’t think any of this is the case, and I think denying Communion to a scout who says the Scout Oath (see below for its content) based on the notion that the stating of that oath means scouts and leaders are in agreement with the decisions of the scout leadership is a stretch. I’m curious on your thoughts and how you might respond to the priests assertions and either justify supporting or denying them.

In case you aren’t familiar, here is the Scout Oath:
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

Whew. Well, obviously, I think the Scouts’ decision was a bad one for a number of reasons. First, it introduces into scouting something that is completely irrelevant to, well, scouting. Scout meetings have never been about, “So, Billy, who do you long to have sex with?” There is something bizarrely narcissistic about the homosexual insistence on making sure that every human activity is derailed into the same obsessive rut about rutting. Only a creepy adult Scoutmaster wants to delve into the sexual longings of kids, and kids are not eager to chat about it on campouts with each other, or interrupt meetings to regale the crowd with their sexual exploits (assuming they have any), because they are busy doing fun stuff that has nothing to do with sex. Normal people, when they meet each other in social situations like a Scout meeting, have this thing called “discretion” and don’t feel the need to ask about or volunteer information on who they had sex with last night. I don’t want to know about your sex life, thankyouveddymuch. And if you ask me about mine, I will know you are a weirdo to avoid.

So the question is, what does a ruling like this do exactly? Well, for normal people–gay or straight–it will change nothing. Why? Because normal people–gay or straight–do not walk into a room full of strangers and say, “Hi! I’m Bob and I want the world to know who I am hoping to have sex with!” Certainly, normal kids–gay or straight–don’t do that. They join Scouts in order to go camping, work on merit badges and do fun stuff and don’t shove their sexuality in anybody’s face because it is irrelevant to camping. Similarly, normal people do not sit around squinting at somebody and asking themselves, “I wonder if that guy is gay?” If some kid *does* ask that question, normal people tell the kid to mind his own business.

Similarly, normal people of whatever age tend to shy away from and avoid people who obsessively talk about their sexuality. And that’s where a rule like this will make its impact. Because now people will be afraid of what will happen when the inevitable narcissistic human toothache of a kid or his obnoxious militant parents show up, determined to make Precious Billy’s sexuality the relentless focal point of a group that is supposed to be about Scouting, not about Celebrating Billy’s Sexuality. There are not, thank God, large numbers of such people, but they do exist and they do long for confrontations in which they can assert their narcissistic demand to be, not merely accepted, but celebrated and made the domineering center of the universe. This ruling will put a club in the hands of such people and God help the troop they decide to Teach a Lesson.

All that said, I think the average troop will largely function as it did before since normal people will not want to know if a kid thinks he’s gay and normal kids will not be eager to talk about their sex lives. I think the main reason the Scouts did this was a) they are reflective of the culture and the culture wants to be nice to gay people (not a bad thing in itself) and b) the Scouts wanted to cover their financial and legal butts. Saying “gay kids can be Scouts too” is a quick fix for dwindling donors, and the opprobrium that attaches to things like “Steven Spielberg renounced us because we didn’t let gay kids be Scouts.” So they predictably caved to the culture. Welcome to Millennial America.

What’s the way forward? Well, I think that while Padre is entitled to his opinion (and I am both ignorant and skeptical about his canonical power to deny communion on such a basis–and strongly suppose his bishop is too) I can say this with certainty: I can imagine few things more overwrought, unjust, and destructive than punishing thousands of good boys for a decision made by some butt-covering bureaucrats. One of the weirder aspects of conservative American Christian culture is the strange tendency it has of regarding some American cultural institution as “Christian” merely because it is perceived as “wholesome”–and then registering shock and horror and something like rage at apostasy when it turns out the American institution is merely American and not Christian. So 20 years ago, Christians got up in arms when it began to dawn on them that Disney was not the Christian Entertainment Corporation but was, in fact, what it has always been: a capitalist operation dedicated to making money off amusements that were pleasing to the general culture. As the general culture became more semi-pagan and PC, Disney followed suit with insufferable crap like Atlantis and Pocahontas and Hannah Montana. All this was treated like a betrayal when, in fact, Disney had never signed any contract with conservative Christians to give a rip about their values.

Same here. The Scouts, though densely populated by Christians, are not a Christian organization. They have no charism guaranteeing they will remain true to Christian faith and morals. They are subject to sociological forces and are basically going to be whatever their members decide they are going to be. The Holy Spirit is not the soul of the Boy Scouts.

That said, there is still lots of life and native health in the organization and I think it is folly of the highest order to impose a draconian punishment of mass interdict and excommunication on everybody who wears a Scout uniform. Christians are called to be leaven in the world and our mission is not to withdraw into Fortress Katholicus, but to go out into a screwed up world and be disciples of Jesus there. The Scouts are, despite this dumb ruling from higher up, far more open to basic gospel values than most sectors of American society. Excommunicating everybody in a Scout uniform seems to me as dumb as excommunicating everybody in a military uniform as punishment for repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It sends the message that same-sex attracted kids are the irredeemable enemy. It punishes thousands of innocent kids who just like to go camping and have no interest in making some political statement about homosexuality. It assumes the absolute worst about every Scout (“All members are now militant homosexualists”? Really?) and it’s stone blind to the many options Scouts still have to carry out their mission healthily (including fostering troops that are dedicated to Catholic discipleship).

So Padre is welcome to take this, IMO, massively foolish pastoral position in the sense that I cannot stop him (though I think the Church may well do so). But if he decided to excommunicate my boys for belonging to a Scout troop that takes St. Francis as their patron, opens every meeting with the Our Father and the Hail Mary, prays the Rosary around the campfire, does fine civic improvement works, goes devoutly to Mass each week, and gives no thought to “militant homosexualism” I’d tell him that I will sadly have to find another parish rather than watch my boys and their wonderful friends endure this draconian and unfair interdict.

  • Marc

    The faithful as per the Cannon Law have rights to the sacraments except in some very special circumstances. Thus, it is may very well not be the case that the priest has the “right” to deny communion to Boy Scouts.

    • http://decentfilms.com/ SDG

      It is absolutely NOT the case that the priest has any such right. It is canonical insanity to think that wearing a Boy Scout uniform constitutes obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin per canon 915. It is moral insanity to think that it constitutes grave sin at all. The priest has ZERO grounds to deny communion to a uniformed Boy Scout.

      • Marc

        I completely agree with you.

      • chezami

        Okay. I’m not a canonist so I wasn’t really trying to address his rights, which I don’t know. I was simply trying to say “If you do this dumb and unjust thing, here’s what I would do in response.” I have altered the post to reflect that I don’t speak as a canonist, but as an ignorant layman.

      • Ed Peters

        Steve, I, too, am dumbstruck by the priest’s post. There is not a shred of justification for his position, and it reads, frankly, as something unhinged. Your take on c 915 is spot on. Perhaps more later, pressed with other things now, but I wanted to say, you are right.

        ps: it seems, 12 hours later, that he has withdrawn his post.

        • Rosemarie

          +J.M.J+

          Yeah, the post is no longer there this morning. Maybe that’s a good sign that he’s reconsidered his rash decision.

  • Joseph

    I’m sure his bishop will set him straight.

    • Newp Ort

      Nicely done. :)

  • Hermann o

    “There is something bizarrely narcissistic about the homosexual insistence on making sure that every human activity is derailed into the same obsessive rut about rutting.”
    True, and now we should be very careful not to put on the same kind of worldview! It´s not all about the homosexual agenda! Sometimes for sure, but often life is about other things!
    Shalom
    Hermann

    • kenofken

      The ONLY people in this world who obsessively talk about, and visualize homosexual activity in lurid detail are: A)The tiny sliver of the gay community involved in extreme kink groups and B) Conservative Christians, who swear they’re 290% straight but just seem to pull off any conversation about gays in any context without ruminating about gay sodomy.

      If a soldier wants to preserve their career from McCarthy-era blackmail, it’s about sodomy. If an exemplary Boy Scout does everything he’s supposed to for Eagle and doesn’t want to see that thrown in his face when some other kid calls him a “fag”, it’s about sodomy. If a gay man protest a parking ticket, he should be summarily refused, because he was only parking there to launch a campaign to make YOUR kid celebrate sodomy.

      When gay people fight discrimination and humiliation and violence against themselves, it’s never, ever, about a claim for respect or dignity, because gay people have no other dimension to them whatsoever beyond sodomy. For an act they swear is just unspeakable, Christians spend an awful lot of time speaking about it, and in fairly poetic terms. Why is that?

      • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

        just seem to pull off any conversation about gays in any context without ruminating about gay sodomy

        But isn’t that the whole point? The church has been saying for years and years that it doesn’t care if a guy talks with a lisp and likes interior decorating – more power to him – but sticking your —- in someone’s ——- is not the way to sexual happiness and we need to stop doing it, no matter how many pair of shoes the people involved own.

        • kenofken

          The Church, and really, the RWNM, are the ones obsessed with this act, much more so than most gays. It’s more on their minds than the gays. That can only happen if you’re driven by hate, or it’s precursor of irrational fear OR if one doth protest too much.

          And if it’s really all just theological scolding about the act itself, why is it that I’ve never heard any loud campaign, or even a stern bishop’s statement, condemning the act or seeking to outlaw it among the vast, vast majority of those who indulge in it (hint, that’s HETERO folks!). Why is there no move afoot to deny marriage to those people or keep them out of scouting or deny them communion? Does the Church only stand up for sexual morality when it is convenient to do so?

          • missing

            No, the church is not trying to FORCE anyone to do anything. It is CALLING people to chastity, as it has always done, and which means to love and respect your own body in a healthy and ordered way. This includes avoiding the temptations of premarital and extra-marital sex, as well as the holistic and healthy unification of mind and body, which means, if you feel you are a “Ghost” trapped in a “Corpse” that has the wrong gender, this is not a healthily unified mind and body. We are creatures of both Spirit(you may call this Mind if you wish) AND body simultaneously, and to reject one or the other is to reject a part of your humanity.

            The church is not trying to legislate against homosexuality at all, instead it is trying to morally guide in the area of sexuality. Sadly it has not done a great job of explaining what and why, and the myriad of opinions you hear from ‘religious’ groups like WBC are confusing, I’m sure. But we have entered a new phase that in the Catholic Church we call the New Evangelism, and it is not the “REPENT, SINNER!!!” of the John the Baptist era that you may be familiar with. It is a more personable approach, and I hope you see more of it from Catholics in the future.

          • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

            Do you know how many more communicants we’d have if we just dropped the whole ban on adultery, fornication, or birth-control? Ultimately, the issues are the same, and those are the ones that affect married people the most. The church has not been silent.

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        Unfortunately, there is some truth to this. Back when I was an Evangelical, I read some explicit descriptions of sexual activities that (some) gays apparently engage in – and I’m talking stuff beyond mere rectal intercourse, some of it in the S&M realm. There are certain sex acts that I’d frankly rather have no knowledge of, but which I first learned about from books written by born again Christians!

        (I considered naming the sex acts themselves, to better illustrate the jarring irony of learning about such things in Christian books. But some people reading this blog might not have heard of them yet, and they would someday be able to say, “There are certain sex acts that I’d frankly rather have no knowledge of, but which I first learned about from reading Rosemarie’s posts on a Catholic blog!” Not that I would give anything other than the name of the act, but the particulars are easy enough to look up online so it wouldn’t make much difference. That’s why I’ll refrain from naming the specific acts I have in mind. But I digress….)

        It’s interesting to note that some of these anti-gay crusaders would also object to children learning about homosexuality in sex education programs at school. Which is all fine and good, but what’s to keep kids from picking up one of these anti-gay books in a Christian bookstore and learning even worse stuff than is likely to be taught in elementary school?

        Anyway, the point of such descriptions is apparently to shock the reader, to make them believe that gays are the most vile pervs on planet earth and so galvanize them to fight against gay rights. While some homosexuals might engage in such extreme behavior (some heterosexuals do as well), surely not all of them do. Not all gay men engage in rectal intercourse, either. It’s uncharitable to assume the worst about people, and I have to believe that such uncharitable behavior on the part of Christians is part of why Christians who disagree with homosexual activity are now all painted as “haters,” even if they bear no hatred towards people with same sex attraction.

        • Newp Ort

          Also a LOT OF straights do that stuff to. Probably more than gays, if only because the straight population is so much larger.

  • capaxdei

    The Archdiocese of Washington released the following statement on May 23:

    “The Catholic Church teaches that all people are always to be treated
    with dignity and respect. The change in the membership policy of the
    Boy Scouts of America does not affect the teachings of the Catholic
    Church and the manner in which the Archdiocese of Washington conducts
    the scouting programs under its purview. Scouting programs seek to
    instill the importance of duty to God and to country, and groups
    chartered through the Catholic Church witness to the faith while
    continuing to provide an opportunity to involve youth in the life of the
    local parish. The Church, through its clergy and lay leaders, has the
    responsibility to teach the Gospel and encourage all people to live out
    the teachings of Christ – regardless of their sexual preference.”

    Given that, and given that my parish among others charters a Boy Scout troop, it would be Eucharistic incoherence in this Archdiocese to deny Communion based solely on the wearing of a Scout uniform.

  • ivan_the_mad

    “Welcome to Millennial America.” That pretty much sums it up. This doesn’t make the job any easier, but neither does it serve as an excuse to retreat from the world.

    I think the priest is understandably mad but reacting poorly; hopefully he finds his way through it quickly enough before any grievous harm is done. We should pray for him. My guess is that this sort of thing hurts homosexuals than it “helps” by whipping up ire against the whole group, and as we can see from you reader it hurts the Body of Christ as well. While the endgame for some zealots may be to reshape society to look like certain parts of Haldeman’s The Forever War, we must not take it out on our neighbor.

  • Abby

    I think you’re wrong to assume that if a boy is “openly gay” it’s because he chooses to talk about his sexuality. If a boy has certain demeanor, especially if he doesn’t participate in his peers’ talk about girls or doesn’t pursue girls, he will be labeled “gay” by his peers. His homosexuality becomes a matter of public knowledge–he’s now the kid whom “everyone knows is gay.” He doesn’t have the luxury of simply being discrete. It’s one more fallout from the public acceptance of homosexuality. Not all open homosexuals are “militant homosexuals.”

    Acceptance by other young men in a non-sexual context is exactly what young men who have this affliction need–and having been rejected by other young men is often part of the source of the problem in the first place.

    • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

      I’m starting to wonder whether these stupid attitudes towards ‘different’ people are all the Protestants fault. They’re the ones who insisted that everyone had to be married in the first place.

      • Andrew Kosmowski

        I know I shouldn’t have laughed at this comment, but I did. The whole Matthew 19:12 thing (Some people are born eunuchs, some are made eunuchs, and some become eunuchs for the Kingdom)…I always took this to mean that some people are called to vocations other than marriage.

    • Newp Ort

      A lot of catholics act like showing compassion to gays means pretending they don’t exist, instead of being openly (and still sadly quite openly in some cases) hostile towards them.

      • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

        I would really like to know what you could possibly mean by “pretending they don’t exist”. I know people that identify as “gay”. As far as I can guess, I would probably disapprove of their sexual activities (assuming they have any), but you know what? I don’t ask them about that. It would be really weird and wrong.

        So, what ends up happening is that I say something like, “Hey, Brad. [names changed, obviously] Good to see you. How are things?” And the conversation goes from there, never having to do with sex at all. Because, as Mark has pointed out, we’re normal human beings. I don’t normally ask any of my other friends and acquaintances about their sexual activities, either.

        I mean, c’mon, what could it mean to “not ignore” them? Does it mean I have to give regular notice of my approval of their (potential) sexual activities? Do I have to vote for changes to social policy (like gay marriage) that I think are completely wrong-headed and stupid for society?

        • Rosemarie

          +J.M.J+

          Back in the 1990s, a gay couple lived on our block. Everyone knew they were gay but we treated them like our neighbors, because that’s what they were. Do I agree with the “gay lifestyle”? Well, no, but I also don’t agree with.a the lifestyle of a heterosexual couple living together outside of marriage or a married couple that “swings.” Just because I don’t agree with someone’s lifestyle doesn’t mean I have to hate them. I could, you know, treat them like fellow human beings, with kindness and respect.

          Does that mean I am ignoring them? No, I’m interacting with them as people. Does it mean I’m ignoring their sex lives? Well, yeah, just as much as I ignore the sex life of everyone else. It’s not like I pry into all my neighbor’s bedroom activities; that’s none of my business. I’d rather not even try to “imagine” what they might do behind close doors because I really don’t know what they do and it’s not charitable to “assume the worst” about people (which is what some anti-gay propaganda does seem to do). Besides, it’s between them and God, anyway. I have to attend to my own business.

        • Newp Ort

          comments (not you, didn’t say all) to the effect THEY brought sex into it. They just wanna camp and hike too without fear they might be kicked out. Implication: it was fine before, when you had to hide who you are. Now we have to admit you exist. Yuck.

          This point is often made by christians. “they were at the park with their child. Holding hands! Being GAY in public! How can I explain to my children that kid has two mommies!?”

          They’d like to pretend gays don’t exist. Get it?

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    The oath is to God and Country, not God and state or God and nation.

    If Fr. Soandso had earned his God and Country award under my dad, he would know the difference.

  • Julian Barkin

    Hello Mark.

    You have just touched upon my two main thoughts

    1) I agree with you mostly. If I were I a priest, I might deny communion to the adult leaders who are smart enough to know about the issue and the stance the Church takes on it, and yet act as scout leaders …. But to deny it to the boys heck no! Even in the minority that some are gay, how complicit in their same sex attraction are they, And likely they wouldn’t know the church’s teaching on the matter in our abysmally, catechally weak society.

    2) a scout troop based on a Catholic parish and values??? YES! However with this decision this might force the parish troop to either close and delist from Scouts America or Canada, or the parish night have to run their own privately funded troop. Speaking of private Catholic troops, you might want to check out dr Taylor Marshall’s blog as he wants to get that idea running, and I have seen pictures of Euopean “troops”/scouts on the Net with the Latin Mass associated traditional Chartes (France) pilgrimage that occurs annually in May.

    • entonces_99

      So if you were a priest, would you deny communion to the general officers who went along with the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, even though they were smart enough to know about the issues?

    • Newp Ort

      The Mormons have their own scout troops based around their stake (stake = where they go to church on Sundays, sort of a much smaller parish…geographically speaking, at least).

      BSA and LDS Are both very proud of this long-standing arrangement.

      LDS church is OK w BSA’s decision, AFAIRITN. (As far as I’ve read I the news, couldn’t resist sticking in one more acronym (CRSIOMA))

      • Andrew Kosmowski

        The National Catholic Committee on Scouting is fine with this too.

        http://nccs-bsa.org/comment/Response-EPM-130529.pdf

      • bearing

        The LDS church practically caused this decision. They are an enormous voting bloc within the BSA. Think about it from their perspective: The BSA is the official youth group of the LDS church. And every boy in the LDS church, just about, belongs to that youth group. Just as a Catholic parish wouldn’t kick a kid out of the parish youth group if he confessed having same sex attraction (therefore, being “openly gay,”) the LDS wards won’t have wanted to kick a kid out of their BSA troops for that reason either. Since I don’t believe for a minute that there are zero LDS boys with same sex attraction, I expect that the LDS church has been for years uneasily at odds with the BSA’s hard line against Scouts who have same sex attraction.

        • Newp Ort

          Oh yeah that would make sense. The Mormons do like to play it close to the vest. (wisely, it seems.)

          I’ve read it speculated that LDS leadership intentionally made such a big push into Brazil in the 70′s, including all the new temple building there, knowing that their longstanding racist stance keeping blacks out of the priesthood combined with the mixed ethnic background of most Brazilians would create an untenable situation. They basically took an oblique route to force the confrontation within their own church, and they had already set up a real life example of how ridiculous their former policy was.

          Meanwhile our magisterium just keeps digging a deeper foxhole.

  • entonces_99

    I was going to ask whether Father planned on denying communion to anyone wearing a U.S. military uniform, then decided I’d better go to his post and see if the question had arisen. It had. He made a completely lame effort to distinguish the two cases, implying that he would still give communion to soldiers in uniform. I really don’t see how he can consistently.

    • Shane

      I was one of those who brought it up. His reply was, in short, insulting. Furthermore, he thinks it plain that same-sex marriage is absolutely unconstitutional, no matter what the court/legislative ruling is; ergo, military members swearing to uphold it are in the clear no matter what.

  • Irksome1

    I question the premise that adolescents don’t talk about their sexual desires, at least among themselves. I think, generally, it is normal for male adolescents to talk about these things often and in fairly graphic terms. I didn’t say healthy, if course, but it is normal.

    • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

      Yeah, that part didn’t exactly ring true to me, either, and I grew up pretty conservative and somewhat naive.

  • Newp Ort

    scouting is now less about sexuality rather than more so. a scout leader could in the past been forced to talk about it as in “we’ve heard rumors of who you long to have sex with, so we may have to kick you out.” no reason to do that now.

  • Rachel

    Doesn’t this give fodder to some homosexual activists that repeatedly say all Christians hate gays? This policy only changes who can be a scout, not who the leaders are. Instead, I’ve seen many terrible comments from Christians saying they won’t support the boy scouts anymore because they allow gay youths…youths, not leaders…youths. I am appalled by the reaction from many Christians because it does give the distinct impression that we hate gays. True, they can’t be priests or monks and they must live chastely just like everyone else. In addition, we don’t want them to be in positions of authority of any sort, including ministering to kids. Now, we don’t want them to be in scouting, when they are still teens? They, just like any young man could benefit from non-sexual contact with other men/boys and learn virtue and there are devout Christians who want to deny this to gays too? Again, aren’t we giving the impression that our real reason is that we hate gays? The reaction to this decision is going to make it more difficult to demonstrate that we don’t. I am sorry to hear that the priest would say such a thing considering his supoort for those who are wrongfully accused of abuse, etc.

    • Newp Ort

      hate gays? what would give THAT impression? certainly not ALL Christians hate gays. apparently just SOME in positions of authority.

      those gays are so unfair, always with their excuse-seeking.

      • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

        If you’re going to define “disapproval of disordered sexual activity” as ‘hate’ (which most people seem to do, nowadays), then apparently the the entire Christian religion hates just about everybody.

        • Newp Ort

          See kenofken’s comment to Rachel please; he states it much better than I could. If you have trouble reading it, remove your head from the sand for a better view.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      Yes, it does seem to give credence to the idea that all Christians hate gays, which is not so. That’s part of what bothers me about it..

    • kenofken

      ALL of the actions and rhetoric of the Christian anti-gay movement reveals a motive of hate, ultimately, and it’s not some gossamer thread that only gay activists can see and seize upon. It’s obvious to the majority of Americans and people throughout the West and even elsewhere.

      In every last conversation about gays, this coalition of Christians descends, in nanoseconds, to vicious demonization of homosexuals. They’re inherent sexual predators. They plot, and in fact live, only corrupt and destroy decent society. The body of propaganda is absolutely word for word the same as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

      You use this as your playbook, 100% of the time, always prefaced of course by the disclaimer “we don’t hate.” You make the disclaimer, and then all of your words and actions that follow look, smell, and chill the blood like…hate. Of course anyone with the temerity to flag this obvious play are then the “haters” themselves, or “homosexual activists” or just “one of them” in the broad sense.

      This priest’s position is not some one-time tactical PR faux pas. It’s just one of a million slips of the mask that reveal the true face of your movement. It’s ugliness is seen by people for what it is, and it won’t be prettied up by whatever non-apology “clarification” this priest or his bishop might doctor up, nor by your weak disclaimers. If you hate being perceived as haters, the only way out of that is to quit hating. Then your statements and actions will cease revealing hate, and you won’t have to dither about which air freshener or PR tools will cover the stench.

      • Newp Ort

        Very nicely put, thank you. Especially the bit about “we don’t hate.”

        Yeah, right.

        “We think your ‘marriage’ to your spouse is a disordered mockery of the institution, and if we’d had our way you never would’ve been allowed to get ‘married’ OR adopt those kids you claim are your children. We *LOVE* you!”

        And which group is trying to destroy the other’s families again?

        • chezami

          A gay “marriage” *might be an act of mockery, but typically it just an act of narcissistic fantasy. The participants want the world to pretend that whatever they call a marriage is a marriage when, in fact, it is not a marriage. Making the word “marriage” means “whatever we want” is simply to drain the word of all meaning.

          • Newp Ort

            You won’t legally be required to pretend. And your fact is based on religious belief.

            So your argument against the right *they* want is based on your *religion*. And your right to not being offended. And, um…semantics?

            But what I put in that paragraph, you believe all that, right? Except for the love part, what with them being visigoths and everything. (And the boy scout shirts are actually Brown! Irony!)

            • missing

              Semantics indeed. You see, words mean things. And the meanings of those words are important. I’m honestly not sure if you know this or not.

              Matrimony, the word, stems from the root matrem, and MEANS the state of being in motherhood. Homosexual unions are incapable of being in this state, because they are by definition excluding the natural path to conception. This is the same reason you can not marry an inanimate object, because it is not a relationship that is open to the life-giving miracle of procreation. This isn’t stemming from a deep-rooted and religious hatred of inanimate objects, this is just a logical realization of the truth of the word.

              This is NOT to say that homosexual couples can not be foster/adoptive parents, this is merely to say that they can never be in the state of Matrimony, especially and most obviously that of male-male relationships.

              Secondly, regarding the topic of Hatred, do you even know what real hatred is? You say that all of our actions ‘reveal’ that we ultimately hate. I guess you are somewhat half-right. We do hate SIN. We are called to Love, and to not judge, the sinNER. Sometimes to love someone, you speak out against their actions. This happens all the time with parents and their children. Do you accuse parents of hating their children when they scold them and tell them not to behave a certain way? I think you do not. Yet why do you accuse US of such hatred when we are condemning an ACTION, and not a PERSON?

              Homosexuality is a disorder of mind and body which needs to be reconciled for the health of the individual.
              Is it love or hate to tell your friend to go to rehab for addiction?

              • Newp Ort

                Gay marriage must remain illegal cuz of the procreation thing, true. Same way post-menopausal women and other infertiles are not allowed to marry.

                Heck in the church my wife and I wouldn’t have been able to marry if we knew we were infertile. But since we didn’t know, we scoot by on a technicality.

                I was not saying christians in general, not even faithful cathlolics are necessarily hateful. but the example I gave (we dont hate you we just wish your family never existed), well you could see how someone might think you hateful, or at least tell you where you can stick your “love.”

                don’t like your addiction analogy. gay people generally can’t flip the switch. if l were them I might doubt your love if you told me I was disordered, and because God and you love me so much I should content myself to a life of “chastity” (single celibacy, at least) while everybody else is having spouses n children n all the other stuff I naively thought I could have in life.

                • missing

                  nope, sorry. your analogy of post-menopausal women and infertile couples does not apply because they are not choosing to completely disregard their biological nature.

                  Homosexuality is a mental and corporal sexual disorder. This is not healthy.

                  I’m sorry you don’t like the addiction analogy, but it is a good one. I hate to tell you, but addicts can’t just ‘flip a switch’ either. It takes an extreme willpower, community support, and an radical lifestyle change to get out of some drugs. Even with the benefit of these foundations, it’s still not guaranteed to work, but because of the psychological and biological damage that addiction can cause, there will be those who will strongly urge this person to get help.

                  The same is true with homosexuality. It causes an incongruent state of the individual, who often feel like a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’, or vice versa. This belief is a denial of reality. If an addict were perpetually hallucinating, you would advise them to get clean, yes? I agree that just a simple “stop doing drugs” isn’t likely to be helpful, but it is a good message to send. Similarly, when we say “just stop having sex with your own gender”, this isn’t very helpful. But the first step is to recognize the disorder.

                  Lastly, regarding the hate issue, you put the words “we dont hate you we just wish your family never existed” into our mouths. But these are not our words, these are your words. who here has said that? Nobody has said that they wish your family never existed, just that the relationship NOT be called marriage. Please don’t be overly dramatic.

                  • Newp Ort

                    Perhaps that wasn’t said explicitly, and I was not quoting anyone.

                    But that is what the church would prefer, right? They don’t necessarily want to rip apart existing families, but they would like if they hadn’t been allowed to form, and would not be in the future.

                    No gay marriage, adoption only to opposite sex married couples. Oh and let’s get you to some kind of gay rehab so you can get “straightened out”. If that was me, I might think call it what u want, it’s hate.

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      >>>Oh and let’s get you to some kind of gay rehab so you can get “straightened out”.

                      You’re confusing the Catholic Church with Evangelicalism, Newp Ort. The latter basically believes that everyone should get married; they have little or no use for celibacy which they see as a “Catholic thing.” This is why gays and lesbians who “accept Christ” in Evangelical fellowships are encouraged to try to become “straight” through conversion therapy. It’s basically so that they can get married like everyone else in the fellowship.

                      The Catholic Church, OTOH, does not require that people with same sex attraction (SSA) try to become functioning heterosexuals through therapy. Courage, the Catholic apostolate to people with SSA, simply counsels chastity for them, which is what the Church requires of any single person. And no, that doesn’t mean they have to be all alone; people in Courage are encouraged to cultivate close, chaste friendships with members of the same sex. They even say on their website that “chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in chaste Christian life.”

                      (If you’d like to learn what the authentic Catholic approach to SSA is, check out the Courage website at http://www.couragerc.net )

                    • Newp Ort

                      I know the catechism doesn’t endorse a pray-away-the-gay approach, but it isn’t forbidden and many catholics endorse it. My comment was in reply to “missing” above, they likened being GAY to drug addiction – often won’t take, but we need to change them if they are able
                      Missing also says gays often feel they’re trapped in an opposite sex body; this is totally false, that’s transgendered people an entirely different thing (well aside from the commonality that they both have been and continue to be misunderstood, maligned and discriminated against).

                      but aside from missing’s fix’ em approach, that’s what the church teaches, right? Can’t get married, can’t adopt, no family for you. You are welcome to celibacy, though!

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      I guess you glossed over the bit about encouraging chaste friendships. They don’t have to be alone in the world even though they can’t marry. You’d be better off talking to a member of Courage about this rather than myself, though. You seem to think it such a terrible injustice but Courage members might have a different perspective on things.

                    • missing

                      Newp, if you would please stop putting words in my mouth for half a second, we might be able to get somewhere.

                      I never wanted to break up any families. Anyone can be with anyone. I’m not going to stop that, and neither is the church. Anyone can adopt, and anyone can have any family they want. What I’m saying, is that you can’t call it Marriage. Call it anything else, that is fine. The word marriage has a specific meaning though, and it describes One man and One woman, in the same way that ‘heterosexual’ describes an attraction to the opposite sex. You are fine with a different word to describe a different attraction, and you need to come to terms with having a different word for a different familial relationship. This is just a fact you will have to come to terms with.

                      ALSO, and SEPARATELY, I personally see homosexuality as a disorder. This IS an opinion. this you can contend all you like. Because of this, I want people to be the maximum they can be, both health and personality-wise. I know you differ in this area, but it is not helpful at all to tell me that you can ‘imagine’ me saying things, therefore they are true, and therefore I am hateful. I am not a hateful person, I want the best for everybody, and that includes everyone of every persuasion. Sometimes, to love someone, you have to tell them something difficult and hurtful. that does not have to mean that you love them less though. I believe that is what i’m doing here. I know you can not see this at all, but please believe that there is no malice in my heart.

                    • cajaquarius

                      As a gay former Catholic I strongly agree with you here; it is an odd sort of “love” that seeks to cut our romantic orientation away from our personality and self. The constant bits about not being gay, boiling it down to mere behavior, then using these misguided perspectives to paint all homosexual relationships as narcissistic is an unfortunate reality of the way many in the Church handles this issue. Ironic, as it is narcissism that prevents most of these Catholics parroting this tripe from ever bothering to put themselves in our shoes. Some even have the audacity to claim that everyone is supposed to be celibate so gays have it no worse – this is proof they don’t really care about us and wish we would die. It is nice to see a heterosexual who shows some degree of empathy for our experiences.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Really? ALL of the actions and rhetoric? The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

        You’re unhinged. Seriously.

  • Rosemarie

    +J.M.J+

    Two thoughts occur:

    1. Does he also refuse
    Communion to Girl Scouts? The GSUSA has “no membership policies on
    sexual preference,” meaning they’re okay with having both lesbian
    members and leaders, and have been for some time. (Maybe I’m starting
    trouble by pointing this out?)

    2. The Church doesn’t even
    automatically excommunicate everyone with same sex attraction. Isn’t
    this priest being more strict than the Church herself? His actions
    don’t just apply to SSA scouts, but all boy scouts. I do hope his bishop weighs in on this; it just seems “off.”

  • kirthigdon

    It’s wrong for a priest to have his own rules about giving or not giving Communion. These things should at least fall under the authority of the Bishop and he can be corrected by the Pope if necessary. That said, I no longer recite the pledge to the flag; it doesn’t represent anything I owe or want to give allegiance to. It’s one thing to owe obedience to the just laws of even extremely unjust rulers; it’s quite another to pledge allegiance to the flag which represents their system.
    Kirt Higdon

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      I think you’re right about this. The priest should be waiting for the Church (specifically, his bishop) to speak or rule on this matter. As Marc below noted, Catholics have a certain right to the sacraments so a priest cannot justly withhold them on a personal whim like that.

  • Brandy Miller

    Actually, for him to deny communion to them merely based on a uniform is a violation of Canon law.

    • ke whitney

      you got it…too much fiction and not enough fact being posted on this subject..many like to pass along their thoughts and word of mouth as truth..not always best..the church does not deny communion to Boy Scouts in unform..stop speaking/posting about matters that you have no facts on folks..it hurts many!

      • Newp Ort

        Well apparently they are in one parish.

        • Tzard

          Which parish? This priest isn’t associated with a parish – he’s a hermit. I always question theoretical stands which can’t be applied in reality. They’re a bit too easy to make and doesn’t require the courage of actually doing something.

          • Newp Ort

            Oh gosh I get it now. I was thinking priest + communion = parish, when I know that isn’t necessarily the case. You said stop speaking when you have no facts, so I demonstrated my ignorance! Sorry Tzard n thanks fo the correction.

            • Tzard

              No problem – It’s an understandable assumption he’s in pastoral work – as most priests are. But as a hermit, he’s ostensibly *separate* from the world as part of his apostolate. A lesser chance of actually denying communion to a boy scout.

              My statement about theoretical stands was not directed at you, but at him. Truth be told, I don’t know if he’s erstwhile associated with any parish, even occasionally – only that he’s primarily a hermit.

  • Joshua

    Well in this case it is ridiculous, but it is true that communion can be denied based on what someone is wearing. For example, the immodestly dressed are to be denied, and if bad enough, and it can be done without disruption, even put out of Church. Though this policy is rarely enforced outside of Rome.

    One should deny rainbow sashers, I would also deny any who were a uniform of the Masons, Salvation Army. But the Boy Scouts are on a quite different field. If they were to make it their mission to preach homosexual activity, then yes deny them. But that isn’t what they did.

  • elle

    Here’s the thing…*we* are falling into the trap of providing *them* marketing fodder for free. “Look how much Catholics hate gays!! Read this priest’s post!!!”

    The reality is, and I have already shared this in an email with some people in my parish, a lot of Catholics didn’t give a damn about Scouting UNTIL there was RELIGIOUS DRAMA. (In the USA, the RC only charted about 8,000 units, about 160 per state. Our small town has 6 units total.) Oh, then they cared a lot..must harass Cubmaster and Scoutmaster because now Scouts are EVIIIL. But never once in the 7 prior years did they even show up for an information meeting. So they’ve said “our boys will NEVER be in Scouting NOW!” and I say in response “who cares?? None of your boys were ever in scouting BEFORE!”

    And yeah, the boys do sometimes talk about girls, or in one case we had, boys. But it never gets very far. They’re too busy to actually get in trouble, and as adults we let it go until/unless it gets to heavy, (which so far it hasn’t). But if a maybe, possibly, sort of confused boy (or his parents) gets just a little bit Catholic morality, isn’t that a good thing?? Cause those aren’t the kids who are going to sign up for Life Teen or Confirmation anyways. But maybe they’ll be in the RCIA class of 2017. This is a golden opportunity for the new evangelization I keep hearing about. And yeah, I’ve seen it happen.

    Not that I have any opinion about the matter. :)

    • Newp Ort

      I at first misread that as “they’re too busy actually getting in trouble”. What, a big bunch of teenaged boys? :)

      • elle

        Well, there’s days that you can take an either/or or both/and approach LOL….we have 4 scouts coming home today from a boy-led camp out…I’m not sure I want to ask how it went. I’m just grateful there were no calls to come get anyone and take them to the emergency room. But seriously….they pack instant oatmeal and top ramen for all their meals. They’re “easy to pack and easy to cook” I’m not entirely sure these kids *could* get into serious trouble, the effort may be too much, :)

  • Loretta

    Or let’s suppose a different case. Say that some years ago, the church decided to deny Communion to folks like myself and Joan, who wore our Mariners (host) uniforms to Mass, on the grounds that we worked in the sport of baseball on Sundays (thereby not keeping the Sabbath day holy to someone else’s satisfaction). I would have been most angry and, like Mark alluded, sought another parish.

    Else by the measure with which you measure shall you be measured also.

    • Newp Ort

      I would not bar Mariners fans from communion. Now on the other hand, Cubs fans…

  • Tom

    Hey, now, I like “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”. No cheap shots on Disney movies, here.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      The TV show “Hannah Montana” wasn’t all that bad, despite Miley Cyrus’ shenanigans outside the TV studio. IIRC, the actual objection Christians had to Disney approx. two decades ago was to “Gay Days” at Walt Disney World and the 1994 movie Priest (released by Miramax Films which was owned by Disney at the time). As well as New-Agey fare like Pocahontas, which Mark mentioned.

  • Tom

    And because somebody had to post it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FONN-0uoTHI

  • not happy

    So, if he doesn’t want to give communion. Do we stereo type back by saying we dont want to receive communion from a priest who may be a child molester? or above any other sin? The boys in scouting dont even have a sexual orientation at this age. Do we stop them from going to school because there may be gay kids in class? How narrow minded and un – catholic is this?

  • Michael

    I don’t know how it works in the USA, but here in the UK we just have our own parallel Catholic Scouts.

    That would seem to be the obvious way out if indeed there is a genuine problem, which Mark S. ably distinguishes in the original post.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      There are possible Catholic scouting alternatives but none as widely available as the Boy Scouts. The Federation of North-American Explorers, for instance, seems to only exist in the Toronto, Canada and Camden, NJ areas in North America. Which is great if you happen to live in one of those areas but what about the rest of the continent?

      Then there’s the Blue Knights Boys’ Club, popular with homeschoolers, but that seems to be more oriented toward training in virtues than camping as such. It, too, is not as widely available as the Boy Scouts.

      Anyone know of others?

    • Andrew Kosmowski

      Dear Michael,

      Unlike many other nations, which have a large trunk organization for Scouting and then the leaves of various groups (often religiously affiliated), the US has one group, period.

  • L Fleure

    Just look at this poor young man’s blog – totally self absorbed. An adolescent on a mission to save God from His people. Let’s hope that he matures and grows in self knowledge before he does the Church too much damage.


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