Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Canadian Bishops Issue Document: Pastoral Ministry to Young People with Same-Sex Attraction


A new document - one that is very much overdue.
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As Fr. Tim Finigan said, the document is composed: With kindly pastoral advice, the document does not shirk from Catholic doctrine but presents it in a balanced way with a view to fostering the spiritual life of young people with SSA.  Fr. Finigan hi lights some key sections of the document that I will reprint here.
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Above all, welcome these young adults and, if they are honestly striving to live in accordance with the teaching of Christ, encourage their full and active role in parish life. ...
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To the extent that a same-sex attraction is not freely chosen, there is no personal culpability in having such an inclination. Nonetheless, when oriented toward genital activity, this inclination is “objectively disordered.” This does not mean that the person as a whole is somehow defective or “badly made,” or that he or she has in some way been rejected by God. Inclinations to homosexual acts in no way diminish the full human dignity or intrinsic worth of the person. For many people, same-sex attraction constitutes a trial. They therefore deserve to be approached by pastors with charity and prudence.
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A person with homosexual inclinations is not called to a “loveless” life, but to live in the love and grace of Christ Jesus. He alone fulflls our human personalities and lifts them up to the Father. Such a life entails both self-giving and self-sacrifce, the marks of true love for God and one’s brothers and sisters.
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We ask you to pay particular attention to guiding adolescents and young adults with same-sex attraction away from two specifc dangers. First, help them see themselves as persons with a God-given dignity and not merely as individuals with sexual inclinations and desires. Second, help them avoid involvement in a “gay culture” opposed to the Church’s teaching, with its often aggressive and immoral lifestyle.  - The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) Full document here.
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Help them avoid involvement in a “gay culture” opposed to the Church’s teaching, with its often aggressive and immoral lifestyle.
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I personally believe that the need for this new pastoral instruction on doctrinal teaching and direction is urgently needed today more than ever, since in many places education, government, media and entertainment has already more or less united together to indoctrinate young people and children into accepting the construct that gay (homosexual behavior) is good, and that gay (homosexual behavior) is no different from heterosexual marital relations.  As Fr. Finigan observed: "One of the most important pastoral concerns of the Church should be to protect young people from the strident and aggressive gay culture which is prevalent in many cities."
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Bonus:  Two more excellent quotes from the document:
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20. Because chastity is not only a journey but also a battle, be on guard against temptations that will continually arise. Realistically assess your weaknesses, and avoid circumstances that might lead you to fall. When using the internet, be on guard against pornography, as well as certain chat rooms and social networking sites that promote immoral lifestyles. Chastity is a challenge, but God’s grace will give you the strength to overcome temptation. ...
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21. ... When you stumble on your way, the Lord is with you. Never give in to discouragement, but return frequently to the Lord for forgiveness. Growth in holiness is a long and arduous journey. Because we are all sinners, God continuously calls us to conversion when we give in to weakness and sin. God always offers you his grace, especially in the hardest moments of your lives. Confess your sins with contrite hearts, resolved not to repeat them again. Try to find a stable confessor or spiritual director with whom you can discuss your difficulties honestly and so receive help in overcoming them. -  Best Quotes Source
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These last two are very important to remember so that one doesn't become discouraged.  It takes time and effort to do God's will - patient endurance and trust in merciful love.

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Thanks very much to Diane at Te Deum for the heads up.  Thanks to Fr. Finigan for the excerpts and his commentary.
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Art: Andrew Wyeth

20 comments:

  1. I don't see anything new here.

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  2. That is true, since Catholic teaching can't change.

    I think what is new here is the fact the bishops recognize the need to take the teaching directly to young people, especially since so many Catholic schools have gay clubs and sometimes teach a type of acceptance and tolerance which is more in keeping with the 'gay is just another alternative to straight sex' POV.

    Gay activists like Michael Bayly have devoted themselves to creating study guides and curricula to help foster such attitudes amongst Catholic educators and parents. That is why I maintain that this document is overdue.

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  3. Wonderful. So glad to hear the Canadian Bishops elucidate this and specifically call for persons with SSA to take an active role in their local Church communities. Because quite often, persons with SSA feel alienated from the community, as if we're constantly being eyed with suspicion.

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  4. "As if" isn't quite right. It is a reality.

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  5. When you stumble on your way, the Lord is with you. Never give in to discouragement, but return frequently to the Lord for forgiveness. Growth in holiness is a long and arduous journey.

    This is beautiful, Terry. Terry, we need Bishops,real men, who are unafraid to preach it in the public square, who take on Cuomo in the public square. How many young people read these things? I have not seen one Bishop on TV denouncing it. Dolan did made some sort of milk toast statement. The dissent among Bishops re contraception is the same dissent we are witnessing re homosexuality/homosexaul marriage. Unless the Bishops wake up and start taking it to them, we will be having the same sad coversations about gay marriage forty year from now, that we have had for the last forty years about contraception.

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  6. This document isn't about "marriage." Read it again.

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  7. Thom-You miss the point. This is about the homosexual "culture". I get it.

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  8. It's not about "culture," either. It's about living life as a gay person. You need not politicize everything.

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  9. "It's not about "culture," either. It's about living life as a gay person..." Thom

    It is about living life as a child of God who has ss attraction and avoiding the pitfalls of the "gay" culture.


    http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2011/06/canadian-bishops-on-ssa.html

    " ...One of the most important pastoral concerns of the Church should be to protect young people from the strident and aggressive gay culture which is prevalent in many cities. In fact, in their advice to Educators, the CCCB address this question:

    'We ask you to pay particular attention to guiding adolescents and young adults with same-sex attraction away from two specifc dangers. First, help them see themselves as persons with a God-given dignity and not merely as individuals with sexual inclinations and desires. Second, help them avoid involvement in a “gay culture” opposed to the Church’s teaching, with its often aggressive and immoral lifestyle.'


    I recommend this document for parents, priests and educators, all of whom are addressed specifically, and especially to young people themselves, whether they experience SSA or not, to see what the Catholic Church really teaches as opposed to the malicious distortion of that teaching which itself forms part of the stock in trade of the “gay culture.”

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  10. I think you're trying to pick a fight where there isn't one. Don't some of you have NFP charts to be drawing and glittering on construction paper and selling on Etsy? :-)

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  11. Thanks for this post, Terry. My own thoughts about this matter are fairly clear. I wish I could sort out my feelings though.

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  12. How to Preserve the Catholic Faith: The Family
    Bishops, dissenters of Humane Vitae, July 1968, close of the Council

    by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

    "Dissenters, as they piously called themselves, dissenters from the Church's teaching, erroneously used the council to support the idea of bishops being independent of the pope, and the single main reason for the wide spread dissent of bishops from the Vicar of Christ is contraception. When Humane Vitae was published the Bishops conference in most countries throughout the world met to vote either pro or con the bishop of Rome. About half the Bishops of the Catholic Church supported the Vicar of Christ, the other half did not, including the Bishops of the United States and Canada. Inevitably, the faithful in large parts of the Catholic world were confused. What a mild adjective, confused. All of this is part of the history of what we are calling the contraceptive mentality".

    The point I have been trying to make, Thom, is that we need Bishops who are unafraid to proclaim the Word of God in public and with force. Many have failed to do so. As a consequence of this failure dissent and hersey have infiltrated both society and the Catholic Church. The silence of Bishops continues to fuel dissent. If Cuomo et al are given carte blanche to promote the legalization of sodomy, why should anyone believe that Bishops subscribe to the tenents of Catholicism? We are at war. One does not issue written statements in an effort to end bodily slaughter. We need Bishops on the ground in combat boots.

    "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus...preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the future will come when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to satisfy their own likings and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry"(II Timothy 4:1-5).

    I submit that somn Bishops, and in large number, are not fulfilling their duty.

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  13. I say again, re-read the document. (And then reconsider your use of "sodomy.") Have you actually read the document?

    Oh, and.

    "The Word of Hardon."
    "Thanks be to John."

    :-D yeah? yeah?

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  14. What is wrong with the use of the word sodomy?

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  15. Find one gay person who doesn't find it offensive, at best.

    Based on the document that you said you read, that's what's wrong with it.

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  16. SODOMY. In general, unnatural sexual relations. The term is derived from the biblical city of Sodom on the Dead Sea, destroyed with the city of Gomorrah because of the wickedness of the people (Genesis 13:10). More particularly, sodomy is homosexuality between male persons or between a human being and an animal. (Etym. French sodomie; from Latin Sodoma, Sodom.)
    Modern Catholic Dictionary

    Curious that a "gay" person would find it offensive. If one subscribes to the practice of sodomy, engages in sodomy and defends one's right to practice it, why on earth should one be opposed to calling it by its rightful name? Makes no logical sense.

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  17. 1. It is a loaded term- kinda like "papist" or "bead rattler." Neither of those designations is inaccurate, but both are intentionally derogatory because of the images they evoke.

    2. Not all gay people have sex; therefore, calling all gay people "sodomites," based on your incomplete definition even, is inaccurate.

    I'm sorry you're bored, but you're f*cking with peoples' lives and faith when you mindlessly regurgitate things that you've read other places and post them on the internet.

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  18. Aceman9:08 PM

    What has become legal, is that two people of the same sex can have their relationship recognized with the same rights and privledges as an opposite sex couple. I believe anti-sodomy laws are gone in all 50 states, with 3 states still having "anti-homosexual conduct laws." Many of the sodomy laws outlawed certain acts regardless of who comitted them, including married couples, therefore not exclusively against homosexuals. I find it disingenuous to use the definition (of sodomy) from a Catholic source to define a civil law term, which did not define sodomy the same way.

    I have been trying to stay out of this but...(sorry Terry) I totally agree with keeping youth free from unsafe or blatantly sexualized material, and hyper-sexualize culture regardless of whether straight or gay. And teaching that they have God-given dignity as the children of God is something everyone needs to hear.

    The document admits that homosexuality is not chosen, and not a sin and doesn't diminsh full human dignity. It then reveals gay people aren't called to a loveless life. But that love can only be in the love and grace of Jesus and can never be realized in the love of another human person. "Such a life entails both self-giving and self-sacrifce, the marks of true love for God and one’s brothers and sisters." That should be the mark of every Christian's life, not just a gay person. And it also sounds suspiciously like the life of a priest or religious, which of course a homosexual cannot be, right?


    Saying to a probably scared and confused kid who is realizing that he is gay that "you're ok, it's the way you are, you didn't do anything to cause it, you're not defective, you're a fully human child of God, loved by him and the Church, BUT you can't live a normal fully human life, with the love of a partner or spouse."

    You're normal, fully human, but you're not. Bullsh*t!

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  19. And there you have it. Thanks y'all! :)

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