Clerical Malpractice and Priests Who Encourage People in Their Sins

Bene

Deacon Greg Kandra, who always has the story, published a recent post about a priest in San Francisco who removed the portrait of Pope Benedict XVI because members of the parish complained that they felt hurt by things the Holy Father had said about LGBTQ people.

The priest said he was “saddened” by this, but removed the portrait. In his letter to the parish, he wrote about people who “will not accept us as we are” and what we should do about them. His letter asked parishioners to “forgive” the pope, as if the pope had sinned by refusing to back down on Church teachings.

While I have not read every word Pope Benedict wrote, I have read quite a few of his statements on the question of gay marriage and the responsibilities of political office holders. None of the things I read said anything condemning homosexual people. So far as I know, the Holy Father has always supported the simple truth that homosexuals are human beings, made in the image and likeness of God and that they are precious in His sight. 

Despite this, I admit that some of what I read was hard for me to accept. I had gay friends who meant a lot to me and I did not want to disappoint them by failing to support gay marriage. I wrestled with this, prayed about it and engaged in lots of long talks with my pastor over it. It was a tough one for me.

I ultimately decided that I have proven to myself by my past actions that I can not be the arbiter of what is morally right. I do not have the wisdom. I have made egregious mistakes that resulted in great harm to other people by assuming that I knew more about right and wrong than 2,000 years of Christian teaching.

It was not an easy step for me, but I realized that the only way to follow Jesus is to “trust and obey.” What that means for me, as well as for any other Catholic, is that I follow the teachings of the Church. What has happened since I made the decision to bow my head and stop trying to be my own pope is that I have found that the Church proves itself right in the long run. I may have difficulty with a particular teaching at first. I may be so deeply embedded in the world’s reasoning that what the Church says seems upside down to me at first. But I have learned that this is the nature of following Christ.

Lonely

Jesus’ teachings have always seemed upside down to the world. I believe that is a natural outgrowth of seeing things through eternal eyes versus seeing them with our temporal, fallen vision. It you follow Jesus, you will often be at odds with the world. If you follow Jesus, you will often find yourself practicing one kind of self-denial or another. It may be that you find yourself denying your own selfish impulses to take the easy way out to instead follow Jesus through the narrow way. It may be that you have to go against the popular reasoning and place yourself at odds with the people around you.

Heaven and Hell Sign 600x375 zpsf3e782d5

This can cost you a great deal. It can cost you your friends, your comfort level with other people, even your job or livelihood. But if you persist in denying Christ with the words you say and the things you do you will  inevitably come to a point where you have denied Him in total. You will no longer be His follower. You will be the world’s thingy person. The cost of that is your soul.

The priest in Deacon Greg’s post missed an incredible opportunity to stand for Christ. He side-stepped a chance to express his vows to the Church in living action in front of the people of his parish. I am sure there would have been painful consequences if he had done this. But I am equally certain that he would have been a much better priest and a much better witness for Christ if he had.

We are not called to duck and cover when the going gets tough for Christians. We are called to persist in following Him, come what may, until the end.

A priest who sidesteps this responsibility and in essence gives people support in their sins is not functioning as their shepherd. Instead of protecting them from the wolves of a culture that tells them their sins are not sins and they can do whatever they want and God Himself is wrong if He disagrees with them, this priest joined that culture and supported it in its contentions.

Gay people are human beings. There is nothing wrong with being a homosexual person. Nothing. Homosexuals are just people who are slightly different from heterosexuals, and that difference is not something that interferes with their functioning as productive people. However, some of the things that homosexual people do are wrong. I’m not going to be specific here, because I am not their priest and it is not my job.

Malpractice fitted

But if it was my job, I would hope that I did not fail them by encouraging them to think that their sins don’t matter. That is not tolerance. It is, in fact the ultimate cruelty. It leads people away from God in the name of God. It is clerical malpractice.

For a Catholic priest to take down the portrait of the pope because parishioners don’t like things the pope has said concerning their sins, is weak in the extreme. Poor, sad priest. Poor, sad parishioners who have such a shepherd.

Collar

Marriage and Euthanasia: Your Most Important Vote May Be Further Down the Ballot

“The vote in Massachusetts on doctor-prescribed death will be one of the

most consequential votes in America this November.” National Right to Life

 

The most important vote you cast next Tuesday may not be when you chose between President Obama and Governor Romney. Your most important vote might very well be quite a bit further down the ballot.

Voters in several states are faced with culture-destroying, life-ending votes on a couple of important issues.

FIRST, four states have votes on the November ballot which would change the legal status of same-sex marriage within their borders.

Read these carefully. In some states, you must vote “no” to support traditional marriage. In others, you need to vote “yes.” They are:
Maine: An initiative on the ballot seeks to legalize same-sex marriage. This is the first time a state’s voters have been directly asked to legalize same-sex marriage, rather than prohibit it. Vote “no” to support traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

Maryland: Voters will consider a popular referendum seeking to overturn a new law legalizing same-sex marriage. Vote “yes” to support traditional marriage.

Minnesota: A Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment, Amendment 1, is a constitutional amendment. The measure would define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Unlike previous, unsuccessful attempts to place a marriage amendment on the ballot, the 2012 measure may leave open the possibility of same-sex civil unions. Vote “yes” to support traditional marriage.

The question, along with the measure’s ballot title, would be presented to voters as follows:
Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.
“Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman.”
YES
NO
Washington: Like Maryland, Washington has a popular referendum on the ballot that seeks to overturn a new law legalizing same-sex marriage. Vote “yes” to support traditional marriage.

North Carolina voters approved a same-sex marriage ban in May 2012. The “yes” vote was 61.1%. Done and done!

SECOND, Massachusetts is facing a critical vote on assisted suicide. The voters of Washington and Oregon have passed similar laws legalizing euthanasia in their states in years past. Euthanasia was legalized in Montana by a court ruling. From what I’ve read, the Catholic state of Massachusetts is teetering on the same brink.

The Catholic Church, Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Hospice and Palliative Care Federation, and the American Medical Directors Association all oppose the practice of Physician-Assisted Suicide. The Massachusett Medical Society’s statement in opposition to Question 2 said in part”

The Society’s stand against Question 2, Dr. Aghababian said, is based on the idea that physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer. He also said that predicting a person’s end of life within six months, as the ballot question states as a requirement, is difficult, as such predictions can be inaccurate. Many times patients who are expected to die within months have outlived their prognosis, sometimes for years.

I think the line that says that killing their patients is “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer” is especially important. Killing your patients certainly is inconsistent with the role of healer. If physicians’ professional societies want patients to continue to trust their doctors, they would do well to remember that. (emphasis mine)

Here are excerpts from a National Right to Life article about this proposed law:

Massachusetts November Referendum

With the effort stymied in Vermont, all eyes turned to the upcoming Massachusetts ballot initiative.

The stakes could not be higher. The pro-euthanasia lobby deliberately targeted Massachusetts for several strategic reasons. They are hopeful that Massachusetts legalization would have a far-reaching influence. Massachusetts is home to the Harvard Medical School, which is currently ranked first among American research medical schools by U.S. News and World Report.

The New England Journal of Medicine, published by the Massachusetts Medical Society, is one of the oldest and most respected medical journals in the world. If doctor-prescribed death were to become standard medical practice in its home state, it might not be long before the notion that suicide is an appropriate response to illness would percolate through medical thought across the nation.

Nearly every proposal to legalize assisting suicide has been modeled on the law in effect in Oregon since 1997. The Oregon experience has exposed major weaknesses in supposed “safeguards.”

The pro-euthanasia lobby often makes the case for doctor-prescribed death as a response to the problem of pain. Even overlooking the troubling notion that it is a satisfactory “solution” to kill the person to whom the problem happens, the experience with Oregon’s law shows how inaccurate the pain argument is.

In Oregon, there have been several almost decade-long studies conducted to determine the motivation of those committing suicide with lethal drugs prescribed in accordance with the law. Shockingly, not one person has requested suicide because he or she was in pain. Instead, the studies show the predominant motive has been fear of becoming a burden. In fact, modern medicine has the ability to control pain—and the real solution is to have physicians and other health care personnel better trained in keeping up with cutting-edge techniques for alleviating pain.

With so much on the line in Massachusetts, can the state afford to legalize this dangerous practice of turning doctors from healers into those who prescribe death to their most vulnerable patients? The vote in Massachusetts on doctor-prescribed death will be one of the most consequential votes in America this November.

If you are a traditional Christian, and you live in one of these states, please don’t just check off the big vote at the top of the ballot and go home. Instead of voting for someone else to fight the culture wars for you, you have an opportunity to directly state your opinion with a vote of your own.

The real action is further down the ballot: Be there, or be square.

The New Morality: I am so important to me. Nobody else matters.

Mark Shea wrote about it earlier this week. I’m going to write about it in the future.

“It” is the galloping sense of entitlement of the “I Am So Important To Me” class. You know: The ones who feel free to re-write any book, from history to literature to the Bible to suit their passing fancy of what pleases them today.

Evidently, one of the many books the I Am So Important to Me class wants to re-write is the biology text books we’ve all had to study. They’ve created a whole new label to support their demand for this: Biological Injustice.

You read that right. According to an October 2 article in the Huffington Post, Lesbian Baby-Making for the Entitled Generation, at least some people feel that biology itself should be put on trial for the “injustice” of not being able to make babies with another person of the same sex. They are counting on our burgeoning scientific industry to provide them with the means to overwrite the trifling objections of mother nature and allow them to produce babies from same-sex couples at will.

Mark Shea’s article Children are Not Fashion Accessories for Narcissists, discusses the cultural and social impact of “a culture in which consent is the sole criterion of the good.”

As I said, I’ll be writing about this in more detail later. I think it’s enough for today to just let you read these two articles and ponder, like Lincoln, whither we are tending.

Lesbian Baby-Making for the Entitled Generation reads in part:

I want to have babies the way straight people do.

I don’t mean that in a ’70s euphemism “makin’-babies” kind of way. What I mean is that I want the ease, the convenience, the — dare I say it — naturalness that straight people have when starting a family. I want both the simple beauty of two people loving each other so much that they’d like to see more of the other in the world, and I want that simple beauty to be translated into scientific terms of fairness: chromosomes and DNA given in equal amounts from two parents.

The attitude I have always taken to having a baby with another woman has been this: “It’s not fair! It’s so hard! Why me?”

I am a total brat about what I consider a biological injustice. Did you just hear me say that? Biological injustice? That doesn’t even make sense!

If I were a logical, realistic person I would likely be happy with flipping through sperm donor catalogs, or picking a foreign country to adopt from, or begging my gay male friends to consider jizzing into a warm bowl for me. But I am not logical, and I am not ready to accept the realities of my sexuality compounded by my body’s abilities with a female partner.

Why can’t my girlfriend and I have a baby that shares our DNA? Why can’t an egg from each of us be scrambled up and sprinkled with sperm? It seems so easy! Try harder scientists! Make this a priority. (Read more here.)

The Search for Brad Pitt’s Spine

An elderly woman sent a letter to the editor in Springfield Missouri. The letter was published in the local newspaper.

That would — and should — have been the end of it. But the internet wolf pack locked onto this elderly woman and her little letter. They did this because she has a famous son. Brad Pitt’s name in a headline is always good for a few extra hits from the search engines. Driving up traffic to their web sites by whatever means is how these people make their money. It seems that the trashier they behave, the more money they make. So, the pack went on the hunt for Mrs Pitt.

I have not read Mrs Pitt’s letter. I don’t intend to. First, I am not from Springfield Missouri, so what an elderly woman writes in a letter to the editor of a local Springfield newspaper doesn’t matter to me. Second, I am not writing this post to comment on what she said. I don’t care what she said. I am writing this post to defend her right to say it.

Mrs Pitt has evidently run afoul of some of the internet sewer dwellers who seem to believe that anyone who says anything they disagree with is fair game for threats and character assassination. According to reports that I have read, this lady has been subjected to all manner of attack, up to and including death threats. She is evidently feeling besieged. The sewer dwellers have won their victory. They have effectively intimidated another person who disagrees with them into giving up the exercise of her right to free speech.

This isn’t anything new. Character assassination and verbal terror tactics have become the norm in what passes for public debate in this country. What is surprising is that Mr Pitt has responded to these attacks on his mother with silence.

Mr Pitt is a world-famous public figure who has not been shy about giving his opinion in other areas. His silence in this instance of the public trashing of his mother looks far too much like assent. What kind of man (or woman) would allow anyone to attack their mother this way and do nothing?

From what I’ve read, Mrs Pitt made some sort of comments about the current Presidential race and about same-sex marriage. Based on what I’ve read about her comments on the one hand and Mr Pitt’s stated views on politics and this social issue on the other, I am guessing that he does not agree with his mother’s viewpoint on these things.

My question is, What does that matter? She’s his mother. The issue isn’t whether or not they agree, it’s whether or not he’s man enough to stand up for his mother when she is being attacked and abused.

I don’t know of  a gay man — and I know several of them — who would sit by and let someone attack his mother like this. It wouldn’t matter what she had said.

I wish that both Mr Pitt and the responsible members of the gay community would take a stand against this kind of outrageous attack on people who are merely exercising their right to free speech. Mrs Pitt’s letter was published, presumably with her permission, in a newspaper. That makes everything she said open to equally public disagreement and debate. It does not open her or anyone else up for personal attacks, filthy name-calling and death threats.

I do not see how a movement that is based on working for the human rights of a group of people can justify advancing that work by attacking the human rights of other people.

I have no quarrel with homosexual people advocating for the things they believe. I also have no quarrel with them working within the electoral system and the courts in support of those beliefs. It doesn’t matter whether or not I agree with all their goals. That’s how we do things in this country.

The rights to petition the government, vote and organize, freedom of speech and access to the courts belong to every American. The Constitution applies to every single one of us; whether we are gay rights activists, or an elderly woman writing a letter to the editor in Springfield Missouri.

Anyone who tries to effect social change will encounter disagreement and resistance. If you can’t accept that and answer these disagreements, counter this resistance, in a civil and intelligent manner, then it makes it look like your cause is without real merit.

I hope that responsible leaders in this movement will make a statement of non-support when followers of their movement do something so wrong as these attacks on Mrs. Pitt. I think they should do this out of respect for the basic human rights of all people, including those who disagree with them, and also out of respect for their own movement and the things they say they believe.

As for Mr Pitt, my only advice to him is,  grow a spine.

In Defense of Chick-Fil-A

This article comes from Mother Jones, which is named after a famous supporter of organized labor and has a long tradition of backing liberal causes, including gay rights.

The article contains a quote from the American Civil Liberties Union defending Dan Cathy’s right to free speech. Dan Cathy is the president of Chick-Fil-A.

Hopefully this comment, however left-footed it may be, is a harbinger signifying that the ACLU has reverted to its roots and once again taken up supporting the Bill of Rights. Now, if  we can only get them to support the other half of the First Amendment and stop defending the HHS Mandate!

Mother Jones

In Defense of Chick-Fil-A

Democratic politicians should stop blocking Chik-fil-A restaurants over the anti-gay views of its president.

By Adam Serwer | Thu Jul. 26, 2012 9:19 AM PDT


Dan Cathy, the president of the fast-food franchise Chick-fil-A, doesn’t like same-sex marriage. He believes that [1] “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.” The company has put its money where its mouth is, lavishing anti-gay rights groups with millions of dollars in donations [2].

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that a Chicago Alderman named Joe Moreno has pledged to block construction of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in his ward [3] over Cathy’s anti-gay views. Boston Democratic Mayor Thomas Menino is also trying to block construction of a Chick-fil-a restaurant over its president’s anti-gay views.

Menino and Moreno have it wrong. Blocking construction of Chick-fil-a restaurants over Cathy’s views is a violation of Cathy’s First Amendment rights. Boston and Chicago have no more right to stop construction of Chick-fil-As based on an executive’s anti-gay views than New York City would have had the right to block construction of an Islamic community center blocks away from Ground Zero. The government blocking a business from opening based on the owner’s political views is a clear threat to everyone’s freedom of speech—being unpopular doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. It’s only by protecting the rights of those whose views we find odious that we can hope to secure them for ourselves.

“We think there’s a constitutional problem with discriminating against someone based on the content of their speech,” says John Knight, director of the LGBT rights project at the Illinois branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. And Illinois law does not demand that restaurants have anti-discrimination policies in place—”It’s a good idea for restaurants to have those policies,” Knight says, but the law doesn’t require it.

Even so, Illinois and Massachusetts residents are still protected. There are federal laws against discrimination in employment and public accommodation on the basis of race, sex, religion, and national origin. Federal anti-discrimination law does not yet protect people on the basis of sexual orientation, but Illinois state law does [5]. So does Massachusetts state law [6].

Chick-fil-A should not be prevented from opening business because of the views of its leaders, or his donations to anti-gay causes. But gays and lesbians in Illinois and Massachusetts have the right to be free from discrimination in employment based on who they are. They also have a right to protest, boycott, and make Chick-fil-A’s customers aware that their purchases fund anti-gay activism. If Chick-fil-A discriminates in hiring or refuses to serve customers on the basis of sexual orientation, the local authorities can and should hold him accountable.

Until then, the politicians should get out of the way.


Links:
[1] http://www.christianpost.com/news/chick-fil-a-president-says-gods-judgment-coming-because-of-same-sex-marriage-78485/
[2] http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201207020001
[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/chicago-alderman-says-hell-block-chick-fil-a-expansion-in-northwest-part-of-the-city/2012/07/25/gJQAnPIt9W_story.html
[4] http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/07/rahm-emanuel-needs-back-chick-fil
[5] http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2266&ChapterID=64
[6] http://www.mass.gov/mcad/forEmployers.html


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