Shea on A Roll

Remembering two of the sins that cry to heaven, Mark Shea writes magnificently here about homosexuality and here about wealth and poverty.

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  • Bryan

    Thanks, but I’ll pass on Shea from here on out, Father. I know you guys are pals and everything, butI think he tends to argue in bad faith. It’s not that sometimes I disagree, it’s that I never know if he is making an honest argument or not…

    I disagree with you plenty, but I feel like you’re shootin’ straight. For what it’s worth…

  • veritas

    Sorry Father. I too will now give Mark Shea a miss.

    He states, “Dunno if he was celibate or not and, frankly, regard it as none of my business.” then goes on to argue the man could be considered a saint.


    If he is practising sex outside marriage he is in a state of mortal sin. That mortal sin is dealt with by Confession and renouncing the sinful activity. All of us are sinners, and many of us have at times been in a state of mortal sin. If we stay in that state we most certainly are not saints.

    If this hero of Mark Shea’s made his homosexuality so public that others knew about it, and if he left some doubt as to whether he was living a chaste life, then I find it offensive to Catholic faith for Mark Shea to argue he should be considered a saint.

    Mark Shea has gone right down in my estimation and is off my list of reliable Catholic contributors.

    Now I stand back and wait for the barrage of posts accusing me of intolerance, bigotry, lack of charity.

    I just ask such posters to read again what Scripture (Old and New Testament) says about homosexuality.

    It is not charitable to let people continue in a state of sin without warning them of the consequences. Look again at Our Lady’s presentation of the reality of Hell to the three young seers at Fatima and her accompanying warnings about sins, especially sins of the flesh – which St Paul himself also singled out as particularly dangerous sins. It is a total lack of charity to gloss over these things in the name of so-called tolerance..

  • akavarmint

    I believe that Mark Shea expressed the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality.

    2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called 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.

    2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

    I think his use of the word Saint is a bit much, however I know what he is talking about. I do not believe he meant that this man should be recommended to the Vatican for consideration and that there have been miracles attributed to him. I think he used a more generic term for the word ‘Saint’. Meaning a good person. I think his purpose was to show that sinners can be good people too, even non-repentant sinners. If he didn’t know if this man was living a chaste life or not, I would assume that he was not entirely open about his lifestyle. So we may be throwing the first rock without looking at ourself.

  • Les

    The diversity of Catholics and their positions and reasoning, is what gives the Church the vibrancy of a living body. I would much rather see debate and discussion of important topics, than goose stepping down the theological road and declaring all else wrong arbitrarily.
    That said, dont put a tutu on a pig and call it a ballerina.. which seems to be the adjenda of SOME activists in the area of Homosexuality, Birth Control, and Abortion. Thank God for the Teachings of the Church and the Magesterium for guiding us through the terrible times the world is enduring right now. God Bless you all.

  • Joni

    I have always respected Mark Shea’s teachings and encouragement to the Body of Christ.

    However, on this issue, I must totally disagree. I am listening to Catholic radio right now. A very wise nun is speaking on this very issue. She is reminding the listeners to never try to redefine marriage, because God is the one who defined it from the beginning.

    Encouraging ANYONE to continue in mortal sin is not pastoral. I don’t know who Mark Shea’s confessor(s) are, but I have NEVER heard a priest encourage someone to continue in sin.

    To call someone gay is incorrect. As the host of the radio show stated, “People are heterosexual, with same-sex tendencies, but they are not gay.”

    The group Courage (see has a much more orthodox way of dealing with this issue.

    • Joni

      By the way, there is a very indecent ad showing up on your page. Thought I’d let you know!

  • Sal

    As you’ll notice, there are several follow-up posts on the original one. He admits that his use of the word “allow” re: the continuation of a homosexual relationship was really misleading. There’s some good comments, as well, discussing the subject.
    So, he did try to remedy the error.
    But, I guess b/c he feels unjustly judged by the reading-comprehension challenged Combox Inquisition (his term) over that post, he’s doing satirical posts to show them how wrong-headed they are.
    I do like him- he can be very endearing and when he’s not being all Chestertonian, very informative. His articles for the Register can be very good indeed. I keep reading b/c I get the impression that in spite of the bluster, he is, or is working hard to be, a truly humble person.
    Just my .02.

  • Arnobius of Sicca

    The problem I have with Mr. Shea’s blog is he tends to turn to the personal attack when someone challenges him on an issue. That doesn’t help defuse matters when some miscommunication occurs.

    He also tends to treat some of his personal interpretations of how Church teaching ought to be followed as if it were taught authoritatively, and those who disagree are labeled hypocritical.

    I don’t intend to accuse him of being a bad person or a bad Catholic. He isn’t. However, his blog isn’t for me. I strongly disagree with some of his positions (not all, of course) and tend to dislike his tone.

  • Mary N.

    Actually, for the first time, I was touched by Mark Shea’s post. It was humble and merciful. We are all sinners in need of redemption and I think he made this clear in his post. He never said that practicing homosexual acts was not sinful…it seems to me he looked beyond the sin and saw the beauty of the man within. I have to admit that I am not a great fan of Mr. Shea but I thought this was his best post ever. If we are going to err, let it be on the side of mercy. And mercy is one thing this post contained in spades.

    • Billiamo

      Well said, Mary.

    • Alister

      Very well said.