Your prayers for our Abp Sartain and the Seattle Archdiocese would be appreciated

Your prayers for our Abp Sartain and the Seattle Archdiocese would be appreciated December 20, 2013

He’s a very good man and a very good bishop and he’s stuck with the crappy, thankless job of having to say to Seattle-style Catholics who see no conflict between the Faith and gay “marriage” that there is in fact such a conflict and you don’t get to pretend to enter into a gay “marriage” and go on running a Catholic High School. Seattle media and a large portion of his flock will treat him like an ogre. A real shame since he’s, you know, right.

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  • Matt G.

    Saw a post on Reddit last night from a student at the high school. Apparently the entire school staged a sit-in protest in the cafeteria. The problems there run way deeper than one gay teacher.

    • Athelstane

      It sounds like they are doing a fine job of teaching the next generation of ex-Catholics.

    • Claire

      I think a large number of students did join in the protest, but I personally know some students who were not involved in the protest. The problem is that in the Seattle area, there really are not very many choices for Catholic high school education. There are no real orthodox Catholic schools to choose from at the high school level – and, if you can believe it, EC is known to be less liberal than some of the other high schools in the area. It really is a sad state of affairs.

  • John Barnes

    Had the pleasure of meeting Sartain at my parish before we pulled up stakes and left Washington state. He is a good man and a holy bishop. He has tough job but he swims against the cultural tide with charity and joy.
    Having attended Catholic schools in Washington for 12 years, and having served on the Board of Trustees for a Catholic high school there, I can attest to Matt G.’s comment that the problems run much deeper than one teacher or administrator.
    I also worked with the press out there long enough to know that Joel Connelly is a world-class joke working for a dying media outlet. And as for Dan Savage, well, his problems speak for themselves.

  • ahermit

    So the Church was OK with a teacher living with his same sex partner, but not with him actually formalizing their loving commitment to one another…


    • SteveP

      The diocese did not pry into what this man was doing outside of work hours and in the privacy of his home – just as the secular rightthink police demand. However, the man made a public statement by participating in a sham marriage; that action violated the employment agreement between him and the diocese.

      Please try again. Thank you.

      • ahermit

        Sounds like he was living quite openly with his partner. And now they are taking advantage of their legal right to formalize that relationship and claim the the same rights and privileges (and obligations) as other couples.

        And for his love he’s punished by the Church.

        Hypocrites and bigots.

        • SteveP

          Thank you, I did not know that agreements could be broken without penalty “for love.” This revelation opens up some exciting new income possibilities.

        • Donna

          Love wishes the good of the other. Involving someone in sexual sin which, if not repented of, can result in said person going to Hell is, by definition, not loving.

        • Athelstane

          You’re right. They should have sacked him years ago.

    • Rachel LaPointe

      Actually, I think the church does need to come down harder on ALL who are living with people who aren’t their spouses, whether they are homo or hetero sexual (or any other kind of sexual). I don’t think “bigot” is the correct word, as this is not about his sexual orientation (which is never a sin), but rather that many dioceses are being hypocritical about who they choose to enforce these morality clauses with.

      I don’t think they mean that people should be “perfect” either, but rather if someone is living in public unrepentant sin (like living together, or constantly getting drunk and disorderly at the local Knights of Columbus), that there would be repercussions.

  • brian_in_brooklyn

    Technically, I can’t boycott the “Catholic” Church any more
    than I can boycott a cigarette manufacturer since I am not a Roman Catholic and
    I don’t smoke. But I can urge people who are members of the this church to use
    the power of their economic vote and school choice to tell them that this
    latest attempt to crush free speech by Archbishop Sartain and the archdiocese
    is repellent. Like it or not, Catholics live in a world where millions of
    people think gay is OK and in a country where people have the right to say that
    if they like. It’s true that the “Catholic” Church doesn’t owe anybody a
    platform for that view. But it’s also true that nobody owes this organization
    their allegiance or donation dollars.

    • Alexander S Anderson

      Wait, him getting a marriage license from the state is “free speech”? Methinks you’re stretching that category across its bounds.

    • SteveP

      I’ll admit your comment is humorous; but I’ll also ask: did Robertson have an employment agreement with A & E that he’d not use the “v”-word in any third party interviews?

    • bob

      Post of the week.

  • Jared B.

    I’m putting this down as one more reason I haven’t been in a big hurry to usher my kids into the Catholic school system: they’re doing the same job as the public schools of raising the next generation of EX-Catholics, and doing so on their parents’ dime. Those student protesters will make Seattle U, Gonzaga and Notre Dame proud someday.

  • Alexander S Anderson

    I hope everyone protesting this in Seattle is also arguing that the Vice President of PETA shouldn’t get fired for having a closet full of fur coats.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    Don’t read the comments on that article. Mark, is that combox representative of local opinion on Catholics? If so, I’ll be sure to pray much more for the Church in Seattle.

    • jaybird1951

      I lived in Seattle for 14 years and the PI was always the most favored daily paper by the lefty and ultra secularist types but those comments surprised me with their virulence. However, the PI is basically a defunct paper, now digital only. It is clear that Eastside Catholic has failed to teach its students Catholicism or even basic Christian teachings about marriage. It is also clear that the now former vice principal acted dishonestly and without integrity in flaunting his disregard for the Church’s teachings and his violation of his contract. If he had any integrity, he would have resigned before he went through with a sham “marriage” ceremony. He knew better, I am sure. Also, would someone tell all those students that no one’s “love” is being forbidden. It is the sham “marriage” that violates the Church’s teachings.

    • B.E. Ward

      The comments sections of Seattle’s local news outlets tend to confirm “the only remaining socially acceptable bias is against Christians, particularly Catholics”.

      But.. the rather unfortunate part about this Christian gig is that we can expect enmity and persecution. May we accept it in humility as our Lord and Savior did.

  • Andy

    Isn’t this as teaching moment – dismissing the student protesters rather than instructing them? A response of instruction – you know following what Pope Francis says about the culture of encounter – seeing why they the students are upset and then engaging them in a discussion is what the church needs to do. Approach these students where they live and maybe, just maybe they will see their way to accept what the church teaches.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Makes sense to me. I think the school, especially, should see this as a teaching opportunity. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though; the posted article implies that the principal sold the Archbishop down the river and doesn’t support this at all. Sartain likely had to step in because the school wouldn’t.

  • kenofken

    This is just as much a matter of the marketplace of ideas as Robertson’s case. I don’t believe the government has any business stepping in in this case based on what I understand about “ministerial exception” to labor laws. On the other hand no one is obliged (under secular law), to support Sartain or the Church’s position on this or anything. Personally, I think if someone’s beliefs are radically out of phase with whatever church they’re in, they should seriously think about going elsewhere, but that’s a matter for their own conscience and discernment.

  • Mark R

    What do you expect from a Church that puts her adherents through an assembly line formation, makes no real demands on her adherents other than money, gives the laity no sense of ownership in the parishes –they are owned by the archdiocese, and operates institutions that poorly duplicate secular institutions?

    • Andy, Bad Person

      poorly duplicate secular institutions

      Name one. ONE. That does more charitable work than the Church.

      • Mark R

        No dispute where charity is concerned…but mediocre schools?
        (I live near Bellevue and the school is hardly stellar.)

    • peggy

      I guess you haven’t been to a Catholic parish in a long time. (I am actually annoyed at how much they are asking of us…participation, bleh. I’m an introvert. I do what I can.) Sense of ownership in property? Well, that got a group of Catholics way off the beam in St Louis. The beautiful historic property is now owned by the parishioners, but the parish is no longer Catholic, officially and by design. The original Polish Catholic who founded the parish and their descendants must be broken-hearted. For their church they sought to own and protect is now in the hands of Satan. (Yep, I said that.) See the St. Stanislaus story.

      And it is secular institutions which duplicate, poorly at that, the charitable works that the Church has always been doing. Religious groups now do these services for the state in exchange for state funding. It is a terrible relationship frankly, for the Church.

      • texastwist

        “Religious groups now do these services for the state in exchange for state funding”

        Yeah, and the state funding has made a mess of it too. If you’ve ever worked in outreach you know how complicated the state has made it to simply give out food. ‘Sorry, your address isn’t in our designated service area, you need to go to St. Someone Else on the other side of town.’ ‘Sorry, this is a food pantry and you have no home. We can’t give out pantry food to anyone who is homeless. Yes, I know a box of crackers could hold you over for a time, but that’s a pantry item. You need a soup kitchen, so you’ll have to get the bus three blocks away and take that over to. . .’ I was always in trouble for giving food to the wrong hungry.

      • Mark R

        It is late and you probably won’t see this. I am the same as you, but the ownership touted in Catholic parishes is rhetorical. Protestant and Orthodox churches are owned by their parishes, the priests or ministers have spiritual leadership only and no big admin. headaches. The parish sinks or swims on the cong.’s initiative. There is nothing in Catholic doctrine –and Canon Law is not real doctrine — that says the status quo has to be the way it is. I am really tired of pastors foisting expenses on the parish without so much as as you leave. The Catholic laity are poor givers because we are not suckers.

  • Thanks, Mark. I agree. Prayers for all.

  • bcarp1946

    He was Bishop of Little Rock Diocese. No finer servant of Christ!

  • peggy

    The poor man. And charged with getting LCWR in line too.

    May the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen him throughout this situation.

    Card. George incurred great abuse from the Chicago media and political establishment as he spoke out strongly against homosexual normalization (as I call it) in IL.

    • kenofken

      I live in the Chicago area, and I can tell you that Cardinal George has at times said a lot of idiotic things that came from a spirit of culture war provocation, not the teachings of the Church. One of his biggest media and public opinion black eyes came from his statements likening gay pride parade marchers to Klansmen. He offered that wisdom in a matter which had nothing to do with him nor even with any real conflict between gays and the Church at that time. It was a local parking and traffic dispute between parade organizers and one parish. I haven’t met Sartain, but it seems like he’s a much more diplomatic sort who is running damage control on a conflict he’d rather not have. George on the other hand has a proclivity to kick the hornet’s nest when the opportunity presents itself.

      • peggy

        I am in Southern IL. I have followed things and recall that interview. He made perfect sense for any one to listen or read carefully what he said. He did not call homosexuals Klansmen. He spoke of marching in the streets against the Catholic Church. He is a good man. He is hardly a bull in a China shop or a loose canon. Some say he’s not forthright enough.

        Homosexuals already march in the streets against the Catholic Church with their costumes (for those who are dressed) of nuns and other mockery of the faith. In fact, the “pride” parade was planned to pass in front of a Catholic parish at Sunday mass time. That’s in your face. Further, they often protest outside Cathedrals …for some reason they like to protest on Pentecost. They seek to wreak havoc on the Church and destroy her b/c they will never get the approval they want.

        The Phil Robertson incident shows the true bullies for who they are.

      • SteveP

        Squealer the Apostate: perhaps Cdl. George is attracted to vespine entities. I understand some find the droning to be pleasurably hypnotic. If the good cardinal is sincerely seeking God, who are you to judge?

  • Rhonda

    I’ll not only pray for him and for all of our servants in Christ, but I think we should all start encouraging them through letters and FB posts, if they have a profile. Even just an encouraging note can hold them steady in trying times. Thanks for all you do!

  • It sounds to me like the Catholic schools of the Seattle Archdiocese are about as “Catholic” as they were when I was there several decades ago. Have I ever mentioned that Holy Names Academy (another of Seattle’s fine Catholic high schools) was the reason my parents decided to homeschool? Best decision they ever made.

    The worst part of this scandal is that Catholic parents are paying nearly twenty thousand dollars a year to have Eastside “Catholic” turn their little darlings into oversexed heretical moral midgets. Gosh, you can get that for free at the public schools, which may, in the end, be *less* toxic to the Catholic faith than this reeking cesspool…

    • Andrew

      Having attended St. Whatever up to the 80’s, only to spend 20yrs doing a lot of stupid stuff, find God, then get back on the right track the issue wasn’t so much the school, but the believe upon their parents (like mine, whom I love dearly) that the act of spending $$$ on Catholic school will provide the necessary shield of grace and protection. It doesn’t. If it’s not in the home it’s not going to happen. Christmas and Easter doesn’t cut it. Which, without being presumptuous, is likely the case with these misguided teens.

      • True, Andrew. I owe my persistence in the faith to my parents, who made sure we were learning at home what we weren’t at school long before the homeschooling thing started. None of us ever had the idea that Mass attendance was optional, either, or that we “graduated” from having to go to church when we graduated from high school and/or were confirmed (whichever came first).

        But I still think Catholic parents, especially the ones who don’t do the C&E (or CAPE) thing but are involved in their parishes, are being cheated out of good money by schools which not only don’t teach the faith but which permit it to be attacked, in the classroom, by the heretical teachers. Haven’t we already lost enough young Catholics this way? Do we have to keep the status quo of these terrible schools?

    • Anonymous

      I go to Holy Names, and they have significantly changed throughout the years in terms of education, somewhat of their theology classes, and whatnot. I sometimes regret making the decision because likewise, they aren’t that “Catholic.” Their theology classes do not help students because they merely skim the surface of the Catholic Faith, so it’s not “too deep” that it will challenge people; it’s basically your own opinion and adding “God loves you.” However, sometimes this is the only exposure they receive from the Catholic Church because their parents don’t practice anymore or they’re affiliated from another religion or no religion. I think it’s best to figure out a better way to teach the faith in times like these where the domestic church isn’t as strong in a society where morale is at a low.

    • Athelstane

      The worst part of this scandal is that Catholic parents are paying nearly twenty thousand dollars a year to have Eastside “Catholic” turn their little darlings into oversexed heretical moral midgets.

      Line of the month, Erin.

  • Elmwood

    Interesting to me that Christianity offers little in compelling arguments to prevent abortion or gay marriage from being legalized. In the end, our Masonic inspired democracy, which recognizes no transcendent or objective natural order, deteriorates society from individualism and relativism.

    Everyone knew that we were going to loose the battle against gay marriage before it happened. We really don’t have a good enough argument against it because without God, we can’t think straight, pardon the pun.

    I like JRR Tolkien’s view that Catholicism in the world, is really just a long defeat.

  • RelapsedCatholic

    Careful Mark, your Seattle-style Catholics comprise 62% of all U.S. Catholics. One of two things will happen 1) that number will rise, or 2) the number of Catholics in the US will drop. Actually it’s probably going to be both.

    • Athelstane

      More likely, #2, alas. But one wonders how Catholic many of them are in any meaningful sense. The demographic numbers suggest that the young people who stick around will be a (considerably) smaller cohort than their parents and grandparents, but also more orthodox.

      Many American Catholics are, in fact, far more “American” than they are “Catholic.” Which is a problem when it’s an America that’s speeding away rapidly from even the residue of traditional moral codes.

      • RelapsedCatholic

        The church has become deeply disconnected to the ways in which people lead their lives. I think birth control remains at the heart of the disconnect. Every Catholic family I know practices birth control of some form, it would behoove the church to offer some alternatives besides NFP. Nobody I know trusts or uses it.

        • Athelstane

          The church has become deeply disconnected to the ways in which people lead their lives.

          I prefer to put it the other way around: the way in which people lead their lives has become deeply disconnected from the Church.

          I don’t know what else we can “offer” to people in the way of alternatives. Either we accept that the Church cannot err in the teaching of faith and morals (a precept of which is the injunction against artificial birth control), or we deny its claims, and insist that it gets these things wrong. But if you choose the latter, the question becomes why anyone would wish to belong to a Church whose central claim has been, finally, proven profoundly wrong.

          As to the difficulty that many modern folk seem to have with this moral code, I can do no better than to quote Chesterton: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

          • RelapsedCatholic

            I have faith in many things. I believe that the universe was a deliberate act of creation from an entity too great to be fathomed, despite the lack of evidence or evidence to the contrary. I believe that God became man in the Incarnation. That He was born of the Virgin Mary, the result of an immaculate conception. That God sent his only Son to spread the good news of our salvation and we as the ungrateful little bastards we are killed him for his efforts. I believe in the apostolic succession of our Popes extends all the way back to Peter.

            To believe that a group of exclusive, insulated, octogenarian men that represent a hierarchical organization that wields tremendous political, cultural, and economic power is perfect in all its pronouncements and doctrines is a bridge too goddamnned far.

            To be wrong is human, to refuse to see that fact and adapt is tragic, and often arrogant.