Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Mark Shea writes about a man he considers a 'gay saint'.



I can't really add anything to it - it is so beautifully written.
Some folk who have not read the blog for long or who are afflicted with short or selective memory might form the notion that, because I criticize Bullies for Homosex such as Dan “Hooray for Inciting Rape!” Savage, bullying is all I see in the gay community.

Not true. One of the people I admire most in the world, who I regard as an inspiration and, very likely, as a saint was a gay guy who lived here in Seattle named Perry Lorenzo. You can get something of a sense of the man from his blog. Dunno if he was celibate or not and, frankly, regard it as none of my business. All I know is that the guy was clearly a man who loved Jesus, loved his Catholic faith, and taught a huge number of people about it, both gay and straight, in a way that was immensely attractive and uplifting for everybody who encountered him. He was also one of the most learned people I have ever met and a profoundly humble man. He was, for many years, the director of education for the Seattle Opera. Had a brilliant knack for speaking the Catholic tradition to the cultured despisers of tradition here in Seattle. His funeral, which he planned himself as he was dying, was one of the most beautiful and Christ-centered liturgies I’ve ever experienced. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if half the congregation was not Catholic: a testament to his greatness.

Some Catholics (and some of my gay readers) will probably be surprised to hear that I’m not interested in whether or not he was celibate. Not my business. That’s between him and God. (I had a reader write me in some degree of scandal after I posted on his death because he apparently had a partner he lived with. If memory serves, I expressed to my reader a deep lack of interest in that fact since a) Not. My. Business and b) merely living with his partner is not proof of anything anyway, either about his relationship with his partner, nor about his relationship with God. - Continue reading here.

21 comments:

  1. I'm happy to see something like this finally in the "mainstream." Thanks for sharing, Terry.

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  2. Very many thanks for this post and for the bringing to people`s attention the blog of the late Lorenzo Perry.
    I had never come across the blog before. It is a gem, a real education.
    His meditations on the works of Hopkins show a side of Hopkins and his poetry rarely written about. Moreover the attractive personality and Christian faith of Mr Perry comes through and does not fail to impress. The praise of Mark Shea for Lorenzo Perry is not an exaggeration.
    It is a great pity that the hand behind the blog is now stilled.
    It is a very rare occurrence when one feels sad that the opportunity to meet or hear a great person has been lost. And this is one such occasion

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  3. Sadly, the implication, of course, is that, apart from Mr. Shea's singular, keen insight, and exceptional charity, the world is left with the Catholic Church who hates homosexuals. The notion that Catholics hate homosexuals is the running narrative of Fr. Martin et al and it is a narrative bereft of truth.

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    1. I think it's less a notion of "the Church hates gay people" but rather "some people in the Church make some very intolerant, spiteful, and dishonest remarks in public forums."

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    2. That's for sure Thom - your comment is vindicated by the links posted below.

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  4. http://skellmeyer.blogspot.com/2012/05/blind-leading-blind.html

    http://lasalettejourney.blogspot.com/2012/05/mark-shea-deacon-greg-kandra-and-false.html

    Read comments at end.

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    1. Wow the journey to those links was less than edifying and then when I read some of the comments I was left wondering where was Jesus in the whole equation? If there was any lesson in the whole posting by Mark it was that charity covereth a multitude of sins... For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God....pray for my brothers and sisters who struggle with their sins and weaknesses........be merciful... Im not sure many can distinquish between crucifying their neighbor and fraternal correction?

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    2. Anonymous9:41 PM

      Thanks, Maria, for the links. I have followed lasalettejourney for several years now, and I never cease to be amazed at the sheer and utter hatred of gay people that I find on that blog!
      And not only from the blogger, but from the commenters, too!

      Sometimes, I wonder, if the most vicious gay-haters aren't, in fact, self-hating homosexuals themselves.

      Bern

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  5. Terry,
    Thanks for posting this. I found Mark's posting very charitable. I had never heard of this person or his blog before.

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  6. Maria,

    Thank you for linking to that blogpost from "La Salette." I've been thinking about Shea's article for a few days and something struck me as off about it from the start, though I was unable to fully articulate what I saw as the problem.

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    1. so how would you articulate it?

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  7. Most simply, that there is a distinction between judging the internal guilt of someone - that's truly what is none of my business - and judging their actions.

    Now, I think the problem is not so much what with Shea specifically said (and so he should be given the benefit of the doubt), but with the impression that he may have given: Saying "Dunno if he was celibate or not and, frankly, regard it as none of my business," on the one hand, and "that the guy was clearly a man who loved Jesus, loved his Catholic faith, etc.," on the other, while that may be subjectively true as in the man should not be judged (by us) morally for how he lived his Catholic faith, could be interpreted as a judgment, in the abstract, that the call to chastity and celibacy for homosexual persons has no bearing on one's relationship with Jesus or his or her living of the faith. In other words, the message could be: "It doesn't matter if he the man was celibate or not; he was a great Catholic."

    Again, Shea didn't say that and I don't think he believes that, but the way that the article was written could give that impression, I think, and so could have been served by a more articulate choice of words perhaps.

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    1. Thank you Patrick. That's clearer to me.

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  8. Actually, Shea didn't say it didn't matter. He said it was none of his business, and that anyway, he had reason to assume the guy was actually living chastely.

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  9. Mercury,

    I know - I thought I said as much in what I wrote above.

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  10. Anonymous6:44 PM

    Looks like Sungenis has weighed in: http://www.catholicintl.com/index.php/latest-news/871-mark-shea-coming-out-of-the-theological-closet

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  11. Fr. Richard9:04 PM

    I would advise caution to Mark Shea in this regard, as a pastor who deals with the frailty of human nature, my own and others on a daily basis, I am always most reluctant to "canonize" any frail human, gay or otherwise- since only the Lord knows what is truly going on (that's why the Chuurch has a lengthly canonization process to examine closely the fruits, most of all of miraculous intercession from Above)which is always why I speak about Purgatory at funerals and praying for the dead as a supreme act of charity. As Fr. Groeschel puts it nicely, pray for the dead and pray someone will remember to pray for you since most of us when we die are not saints, but hopefully saints in the making in the cleansing fire of God's love in Purgatory.

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  12. Anonymous9:32 PM

    No worries, Padre. I deliberately used qualified language. I'm not really claiming I know he's a saint. Simply expressing my view that he lived an obviously holy life.

    Mark Shea

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    1. I got that Mark - I'm really surprised others did not.

      My mother lived a very disordered life, was reconciled and received the sacraments 3 months before she died. I was with her when she died - she was a changed woman, and died a happy death - a holy death.

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  13. Terry,

    What a great grace for your mother. I am very happy to hear that. I'm sure she had a lot of prayers no doubt your own. I was listening yesterday to Mother Angelica talk about her own father's death. She really didn't know him very well. He came to visit her a few times at the convent. She prayed for him unceasingly as you can imagine. She related that when she heard he was dying she went to the hospital. He was gone by the time she got there. Mother inquired whether a priest had been called and the nurse replied, "well that's interesting because a priest in a brown habit came from no where to his bedside" I immediately thought of Padre Pio but who knows? Mother said there were no orders of religious with brown habits in Canton, Ohio at the time......

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  14. It says in the Catechism, "They (homosexuals) must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should avoided... By the virtue 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 would weigh some of the links and comments against this excerpt and humbly offer that Charity is also a virtue of self-mastery and through disinterested friendship, prayer, and sacramental grace they too should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

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