Saturday, June 03, 2006
People with same sex attraction or homosexual tendencies, even those who consider themselves gay are indeed welcome in the Roman Catholic Church. The Church proclaims Christ's message in the Gospel to all persons; "The kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Repent! And believe in the Gospel!" The Church calls all to repentance and reconciliation. People with homosexual orientation are called to repentance as are all members of the Church. Communion is given to all of those who have converted and returned to Christ through the Sacrament of Penance. Christ calls us to deny our very selves, take up our cross and follow Him. He calls us to change, to reform our lives - we may not and can not demand that He change or that the Church change or that Church teaching should change. Truth is immutable.
For those who are unfamiliar with the "Sashers" - presented here is their statement on their 'core values' taken from the Dignity website: [http://www.dignitytwincities.org/}
Mission statement of the Rainbow Sash movement:
"Our Core Statement -
1)In wearing the Rainbow Sash we proclaim that we are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who embrace and celebrate our sexuality as a sacred gift.
2)In wearing the Rainbow Sash we call the Roman Catholic Church:
to honor our wisdom and experience;
to enter into public dialogue with us;
to work with us for justice and understanding.
Together, let us seek a new appreciation of human sexuality in all of its diversity and beauty.
Our Core Action
The movement's core action, or ritual expression, involves the symbol of the Rainbow Sash. The sash is a strip of rainbow colored fabric which we wear over our left shoulders when we attend the celebration of the Eucharist. Carrying this symbol, we publicly claim our place at Christ's table, sacramentally expressing the truth of our lives, and calling the Church to embrace a new day of integrity and freedom.
The movement began on Pentecost Sunday, 1998, at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne, Australia, when a group of seventy people attended Mass wearing the Rainbow Sash. Hence, Pentecost Sunday each year is the primary day when members of the movement don the Rainbow Sash and present themselves in their local cathedrals to celebrate the Eucharist with their fellow Catholics. Their presence at the cathedral is preceded by a letter to the local bishop explaining what the sash means, and informing the bishop of when and where they will be present."
It should be noted that it is not God's gift to a person to either be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or trans-gender. The mystics have certainly seen suffering as a grace or gift from God in so far as it contributes to the sanctification of the person. Therefore the mortification inherent in suffering from an "objective disorder" could indeed be redemptive in proportion to the person's efforts to overcome these tendencies by grace, personal effort, and with the help of prayer and the sacramental life of the Church. In this respect one may consider it a "gift" on the pre-condition that the person has repented of any sin committed in acting out sexually. If one reflects upon the verse from the Easter "Exultet!"; "O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, that gained for us a Savior!" Then one may understand that God draws good, even from sin as it were - after our repentance.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Letter from the Rainbow Sash Organization
( In case some have never read it.)
May 16, 2006
Excellences and Eminencies:
May the peace of our risen Lord be with you.Pentecost is the celebration of not only the Church’s birthday, but its great diversity. “I have other sheep who do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead and they will hear My voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd” [Jn 10,16]. We recognize our Shepherd and respond to his call with joy in our hearts. Therefore on Pentecost we will be entering Cathedrals around the nation wearing Rainbow Sashes, a symbol that identifies us as faithful GLBT Catholics.The late Joseph Cardinal Bernadin once asked “Will the Catholic Church in the United States enter the new millennium as a Church of promise, augmented by the faith of rising generations and able to be a leavening force in our culture? Or, will it become a Church on the defensive, torn by dissension and weakened in its core structures? There is nothing wrong in itself with the prospect that different visions should contend within American Catholicism.” We need to regain a courageous and optimistic vision of our Church, and its members, and we must begin to communicate with love.When caution is everywhere, courage is nowhere to be found. So we come back again to our Shepherd’s and say open wide the doors of your Cathedrals, and your hearts for we to are your sheep. We come to be fed with the bread of life. Jesus said, “I myself am the bread of life. If you come to me, I will fill all your hungers and thirsts.” John 6:11-35.So we come to share our story, we come to break the bread; we come to know our rising from the dead. I am reminded of the word of Pope John XXIII in Pacem in Terris, “The person who errs is always and above all a human being, and he retains in every case his dignity as a human being; and he must be always regarded and treated in accordance with that lofty dignity.” All we ask is that you feed all your sheep.
Sincerely In Jesus Christ,
US ConvenerRainbow Sash Movement
My understanding of this upcoming Pentecost assault upon the Cathedrals and parishes throughout this country (and in Europe) by Rainbow Sash people is that this year they are not presenting simply to be a presence, but in fact they are presenting in protest. In this country they are protesting the anti-same sex marriage stance of the Catholic Church. In years past they insisted that they were not protesting Church teaching - perhaps this year they feel a bit more empowered.
Praise God our Archbishop Harry Flynn upholds the teaching of the Church and does not permit those wearing the sash to receive the Holy Eucharist at Communion time. I also heard that Michael Baylay, the local organizer for the annual event is currently in Australia. (The gay agenda is world wide.) I wonder if this means we will not have desecration and sacrilege in the Cathedral of St. Paul this year?
Check out "Northland Catholic" now Known as "Stella Borealis Rountable" - Ray has some very good updates on the "Sashers" and their plans for Pentecost.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
New Accusations Against Other Legionary Priests?
What a mystery this entire matter of Fr. Marciel and his order. The Legionaries of Christ is one of the finest new orders in the Church, a sort of later day Jesuit-style militia, with fierce loyalty to the Pope and the Magisterium.
I have known a couple of men who have left the order, one was under psychiatric counselling for a while, the other also had some negative things to say about the Legion's formation program, but neither ever implied any type of sexual abuse had gone on. I know I seem to like this word, but at most it sounded more like a 'cult' than anything else, that is how they described their experiences to me at least. However, I dismissed it as information coming from two disgruntled former members. Nothing more.
Fr. Marcial Maciel Dellogado, pictured above receiving a blessing from Pope John Paul II. Everything I had heard or read about him left me with the impression that he was a very holy man. In fact, I was certain he had to be to have such a prolific order of priests in addition to his considerable following of (more often than not) affluent laity. I cannot remember if it is Garrigou-Lagrange or St. John of the Cross who wrote that God normally bestows great graces and mysticl gifts to the founders of religious orders as a sort of paternal legacy for the order to partake in for generations afterwards. If all of this is true about Fr. Marcial, would it follow that a certain amount of disorder or at least dysfunction could be his legacy?
"One of Father Maciel's original accusers, Paul Lennon, M.A., dropped the following bombshell in what may be yet another nuclear bomb for the Legion of Christ and its Regnum Christi apostolates in this exclusive interview with The Wanderer: Since the May 19 statement on Father Maciel from the Holy See, more alleged victims have come forward claiming sexual abuse, not only by Father Maciel, but from other priests of the Legion of Christ. He said that due to the stigma attached particularly to male sexual abuse, the new accusers wish to remain anonymous at this time. Lennon was with the first class of Legionary priests ordained from Ireland back in 1969.What Does It All Mean?"Among canon lawyers, there is an expression, where there is smoke, there is fire," said Pete Vere, J.C.L. "As more and more allegations come forward, it is very difficult to believe that something may not have happened," he said.However, Vere added that while he personally believes that based upon the actions of the Holy See with Father Maciel, "many of the allegations have been substantiated," he was quick to caution that that he "did not have access to the evidence.""Inviting Fr. Maciel to live the remainder of his days as a penitent, without the public exercise of his ministry has a twofold effect: it affirms that the Church takes the charges seriously, considers them to be credible and punishable; secondly, it attempts to affect the ultimate salvation of Fr. Maciel by urging him to repentance," said Timothy Ferguson, J.C.L., a 38-year-old canonist from Clair Shoals, Michigan."It is more than a mere slap on the wrists," he said, "as it affects the one thing most people hold very dear, his reputation.""Since this is referred to as an 'invitation' rather than an 'imposition,' it doesn't fall under canon 1342.2, which forbids the declaration of perpetual penalties without a judicial process," Ferguson said. As an invitation, there would seem to be no means for recourse or appeal against it," he said.In other words, if Father Maciel had refused the Holy See's invitation to serve the rest of his life suspended from public ministry in penitence and prayer, Ferguson said he believed it "would necessitate the initiation of a penal process.""I think what we're seeing with Benedict XVI's papacy, he is standing for what is not popular, but what is right," said canonist Vere. "With someone like Fr. Maciel and his stature, it is going to be cleared through the Pope, and this is just another example of him showing he will do the right thing even when it is very painful," he said." (See Seattle Catholic for the original article.)
Just a thought...
I think I figured out where this comes from - standing at Mass that is. Dah! I knew this before yet obviously never gave it much thought. The whole concept developed in the monasteries. It stems from the monastic communal Mass. The priests circle the altar for concelebration, since they are monks and the non-ordained brothers are also monks, the community stands together. Some monasteries invite the retreatants up around the altar with the community. The retreatants (priests, laymen, liturgists) obviously went back to their parishes and diocese with these innovations. I was in a Trappist monastery for a while, when I left I could always recognize who had been on retreat at an abbey by the way they bowed to reverence the Blessed Sacrament instead of genuflecting. (Benedictine custom is a profound bow instead of genuflecting.) Lay people think monastic practices are more holy I guess. They like the novelty - hence the assimilation into their parish practice. So maybe some liturgical abuses really started out with good intentions, but then took on a life of their own. I think St. Teresa of Avila said, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." I really prefer kneeling and genuflecting, if I was in a monastery, I would conform to the custom of the place.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
At Last! Women Priests!
and with style...
[Pictured, newly ordained women priests in red vinyl faux-patent-leather vestments! Or is it that wet-look slippery satin?]
"'God has called me,' said Juanita Cordero, a Los Gatos woman who will soon be ordained as a deacon and aims to be a priest by 2007. 'Growing up it was never a possibility because it was always for men.' Cordero, a former nun, is among 120 women enrolled in the Roman Catholic Womenpriests program, which has been boldly ordaining groups of women as priests and deacons. A dozen will be ordained in Pittsburgh on July 31, including Cordero and women from Carmel and Pismo Beach. Another woman -- fearful that her bishop will quickly excommunicate her -- will only say she's from the Bay Area." -taken from the Cafeteria Is Closed.
#1) There is no such thing in the Roman Catholic Church known as "Roman Catholic Womenpriests program".
#2) Women are not eligible for ordination in the Latin Rite Church, better known as the Roman Catholic Church.
#3) The woman who said she was afraid that her Bishop would excommunicate her if she revealed her identity. Yeah, she would be automatically excommunicated at her so-called ordination. Nevertheless, with her beliefs as they are, she is already virtually excommunicate now!
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Monday, May 29, 2006
Planned Parenthood opens up shop in Woodbury, Minnesota strip mall.
A nicer, more customer friendly office of Planned Parenthood opens soon in Woodbury and a couple hundred pro-life protestors were there Saturday May 27 to make sure they knew they were not welcome. Nevertheless, this is the new face of family planning - that is, abortion. From now on it will be neatly packaged in upscale malls, neighborhoods and schools. Abortion clinics will soon be passe with the new and improved abortion pills coming on the scene. Of course there will still be surgical procedures - but this will be in extreme cases and continued to be performed by a qualified physician in a nice hospital. Read on:
Other News From The World Over:
10,000 home abortion cases: A RECORD 10,000 women had an abortion at home last year, according to new figures. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) said nearly a third of the 32,000 terminations it provided to women in the first nine weeks of pregnancy had involved the abortion pill. The pill, also known as EMA - or early medical abortion - has been criticised by pro-life campaigners who say it encourages a "DIY" culture for ending pregnancies. But research by the Department of Health has found it is safe, and supporters say it can provide greater comfort and privacy. -Google News
"No more ugly mess!"
Yep! That is the plan my friends, all very clean, neat and tidy - out of sight and out of mind. See why abortion clinics are so 20th century? Going forward Planned Parenthood and other facilities will always be where you least expect, albeit in a convenient location, and they will be so sleek and sanitized that no one need ever be offended again. Drive up, pick up your pills and off you go to the privacy of your home, isn't that neat! It's very Stepford Wives!
"Woke up...got outta bed...dragged a comb across my hair..."
Remember that Beatles song from "Sargeant Pepper"? Wasn't there a line about "4000 dead in Lancashire" or something? I often think of that song when great disasters are reported on the morning news. If they don't happen in the United States however, they never get much mention or extensive coverage - only if many Americans would happen to be involved.
The recent Indonesian massive quake's death toll is now over 5ooo people. There are threats from Mount Merapi, the volcano that has been errupting - if it does our news will certainly cover that because it's spectacular and is entertaining. Speaking of entertainment, the bigger news in our country seems to be Brad and Angelina's baby girl. Who gives a flying...?
The day after Christmas 131,029 people were killed in Indonesian alone after the tsunami. The region is on the so-called ring of fire and so there are quakes all of the time, and from time to time, huge mega quakes. The people of that region are non-white and live in huts - is that what some people think? Whatever the case - it's a world away from us, it's a different culture. California is on the same ring of fire - you can bet there will be non-stop coverage when something happens there however.
You would think that the secular media could maybe just report things like the earthquake in Indonesia, or the mass killings in Darfur, or the genocide that occurred in Rawanda from a population control angle. They could say - "Population explosion fears have been quelled somewhat by the extensive death toll in Saturday's earthquake. However survivors will still need supplies of condoms and birth control pills." Something like that.
That's why I think of "A day in the life of." At one point the lyrics say, "and I went into a dream..." That's what it is like in our country. We hear about someone else's tragedy and go on with our lives, more concerned about 'American Idol' and amoral celebrities and their illegitimate kids. That seminarian, Ben Kessler, who spoke at the commencement ceremonies at St. Thomas last week hit it right when he scolded about our selfishness. And to think he was criticized for that.
Well - I gotta go - I have to catch the entertainment news on the Today show. Have a great holiday! What holiday is it anyway? Oh - Memorial Day. I always forget what that was all about...Hey! I'll bet there are a lot of people who do not know what it's about.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Norman architecture - similar to Holy Family Catholic Church in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
For many years I attended St. Olaf's Catholic Church in downtown Minneapolis. For quite a few more I attented Holy Family - after Fr. Thomas Dufner arrived on the scene. I returned there today after about a 2 or 3 year absence, I left to join St. Agnes. One of the things I most appreciated about Holy Family is confessions before Sunday Mass, and of course, the brilliant Fr. Stromberg, both he nd Fr. Dufner are terrific confessors. Needless to say I have always been appreciative of Fr. Dufner's intelligent and culturally astute homilies, not to mention his solid Roman Catholicism. He's an incredible priest and the son of a rather saintly mother. He was no 'sinner' like Augustine but he had pursued a career in the secular world before realizing his vocation, probably an answer to his mom's prayers. He's a real straight shooter; he is keenly aware and sensitive to trends in our society as well as the decadence surrounding us and infecting the Church. Nevertheless he is tremendously positive about the power of Catholic Christians not just to influence the world but to change it for the better. He is so onboard with the policy of John Paul II and Benedict XVI - evangelization! What is so different about Dufner - who gets out there praying before abortion clinics and building and strengthening an already viable parish - he's also a contemplative. He prays. You see him before the Blessed Sacrament daily - how many hours, I do not know. And he is a very pastoral priest, willing to administer the sacraments at any hour. He's not a whiner, a complainer, a mudslinger or a mean spirited critic, he is an honest and holy parish priest who directs people in a positive and pro-active fashion.
I contrasted all of this with my St. Agnes experience. In the past I deliberately would attend Mass at various parishes in town so that I would not be so attached to how a particular parish celebrated liturgy, as well as to remember we are all Roman Catholics in the same Church. I'd go to Annunciation and Our Lady of Peace as well as other South Minneapolis parishes. I eventually couldn't take the rah! rah! stuff. I needed something more prayerfully substantial and was not strong enough to endure the more protestantized churches. (Please forgive me, that's how it seems to me when the priest just wears an alb and a stole, the music is bad with trumpets blaring, and there is a crowd of Eucharistic ministers converging upon the altar festooned with stupid loving-hands-at-home decor.) Holy Family was none of those things, it still isn't, although I couldn't help thinking, do they really need that much hoopla in decor for Easter? (It's kind of house-wifey looking.) Nevertheless, as faithful to the magisterium and to dignified liturgy as the parish is, it is not at all unfriendly or stodgy. It's a very welcoming community, you feel acknowledged and people greet you and actually smile at you. They also have a wealth of parish activities and ministries, while maintaining the spiritual; they have never lost an iota of reverence, devotion, piety, what have you. The people who attend and are involved in the parish are very spiritual and prayerful.
I went this morning because I needed to make my confession. Since I started blogging I realize I have to confess more frequently. I am so grateful that Father allows confession on Sunday, some priests say it's inappropriate - doesn't that remind you of the Pharisees telling Jesus it was forbidden to heal on the Sabbath? I was also gratefull that the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, as usual, before the 1st Mass of Sunday. There I am, in adoration and praying and people come in, reverence the Sacrament and actually nod to me when they go to their pew. Sure some people talk before Mass and after, but it isn't irreverent - and if you catch any of it, it's usually arisng from some charitable concern. No one is walking around covered in veils and looking glum or in their own little world of pietistic prayer. It is a communal celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it is a moment when we realize that we are Roman Catholics united together, offering perfect worship to the Father - together - not in a private devotional manner, but as the Church has prescribed. It was good to step out of my paradigm today. I highly recommend it for others.