And so must I.
My post "Are gay activists the new neo-Nazis?" was equally offensive (as cardinal george's remarks) to my personal friends and those who read my blog. It is a struggle to not become engaged in hyperbole when one confronts controversial subjects - especially the conflict between the Catholic Church and the gay equal rights movement. My post did not purpose or intend to accuse gay activists of actually being Nazis, much less a new manifestation of the KKK - I just happened to pick up on the term Mark Shea uses in reference to a range of tactics used by some of the more vociferous gay activists - he calls them gay brownshirts. (The origins of the real Nazi brownshirts can be found here. There was a gay element within the group - hence the adaptation. My apologies.)
Although I did not go into great detail in that post, my point was that it may not be so radical an idea, when one seriously considers some of the tactics employed by Act Up against the Church in the'80's, as well as the harassment and black listing of contributors in support of California's Proposition 8 which eliminated the right of same sex couples to marry. Not to mention the 'outing' of otherwise conservative politicians, priests and religious who reject unwanted same sex attraction. I have also had friends who have been gay activists, whose tactics, and or plan, was to adopt the tactics of groups such as the Red Brigades in Italy. Then there is the Rainbow Sash people who like to disrupt Communion distribution on Pentecost. So there are radical elements within the gay political movement. Yet, whatever source their tactics may be reminiscent of, be it Fascist, Marxist, or American Republican/Democratic campaign strategy, resulting in political intimidation and coercion - there exists a perceived threat to religious liberty, no matter how one labels it.
The Cardinal said he mis-spoke out of fear. Thus, on some level, the threats and the outcry against what he said, how he said it, and what he stands for, obviously worked. Many seem to be appeased by his apology. Feelings were hurt and the apologies appear to be accepted.
I am personally distressed that what I said has been taken to mean that I believe all gays and lesbians are like members of the Klan. I do not believe that; it is obviously not true. Many people have friends and family members who are gay or lesbian, as have I. We love them; they are part of our lives, part of who we are. I am deeply sorry for the hurt that my remarks have brought to the hearts of gays and lesbians and their families.
I can only say that my remarks were motivated by fear for the Church's liberty. This is a larger topic that cannot be explored in this expression of personal sorrow and sympathy for those who were wounded by what I said. - Source
I too apologize if feelings were hurt. As the Archbishop of Minneapolis and St. Paul cautioned his priests when promulgating Church teaching in defense of marriage stated:
In doing so, we must never vilify or caricaturize those who argue otherwise. Indeed, we must acknowledge that all men and women are God’s sons and daughters. But it is this very truth and the fact that the truth is one and bears no contradiction that the Church and her ministers must witness here and now. - Archbishop NienstedtI believe that is very good advice and advice I hope to adhere to in future posts on the subject. Although I must say, I believe I have been very hospitable on this blog, speaking from my own experience regarding a life long struggle. Yet I have to be clear and to the point, especially since I know how easy it is to be dissuaded from authentic Catholic doctrine and to compromise moral teaching simply because the alternative seems too hard, too narrow a road to travel. I know how easily one can be seduced by romantic notions and Modern Family scenarios of domestic bliss. The world and popular culture has a tremendous impact upon even the most committed person... That said, I think Church people better buck up, playing at the heart strings of one another is sentimentalism and leads to misplaced charity - which is worse than any sort of liturgical abuse.
With all due respect for any differences of opinion on this subject, I am sorry if I offended individuals who are my friends and read this blog. Please keep in mind that I am not a spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Church. It's just me here - writing all by myself.
That said, it seems to me that neither is Cardinal George speaking for the Roman Catholic Church, especially when he says things like this:
George said although church teaching does not judge same-sex relationships as morally acceptable, it does encourage the faithful to "respect everyone."I am not aware of any discussion to change Church teaching.
"The question is, 'Does respect mean that we have to change our teaching?' That's an ongoing discussion, of course. … I still go back to the fact that these are people we know and love and are part of our families. That's the most important point right now." - Source
Photo: Cardinal George.