"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Things we thought would never happen, or that we never thought we would see, we are experiencing now, and we dare not even imagine the future." - Pope Francis

"The way in which we locate ourselves in history has changed." - Francis

Yesterday the Holy Father acknowledged to the priests of Rome the reality many of us are just coming to recognize as a change in epoch"That which appeared normal to us – family, the Church, society and the world – will probably no longer seem that way. We cannot simply wait for what we are experiencing to pass, under the illusion that things will return to being how they were before”.

His words are in line with what his predecessors have pointed out when calling for a New Evangelization.  His words define for us the rapid changes in culture we are witnessing: "The defining aspect of this change of epoch is that things are no longer in their place. Our previous ways of explaining the world and relationships, good and bad, no longer appears to work."

The Holy Father's acknowledgement appears to be in line with what critics of the hierarchical structure of the Church have to say, as well as what dissidents who reject traditional Catholic teaching on sexuality say.  Two comments on a post I wrote last week illustrate that:

"They (bishops) realize they lost a lot of the faithful on this issue (gay marriage), so they are trying desperately to keep the people they do have."MM

"The bishops may have power (to fire church workers, for instance, who disagree with them), but they have no influence." - MB 

No doubt the bishops understand and know that a great number of the faithful have gone missing, that their (bishops) credibility and influence has been compromised - yet they also have to know, together with the Holy Father, that Christ's "grace is sufficient, that His power is made perfect in weakness.”  That His love, at work in those who believe, "can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine."  Hence the Holy Father's solution is not to change Catholic teaching, or preach a new gospel, but rather to take it to the streets, even outside the 'institutions', to the most remote corners of cultural collapse:  "To become once again a Church driven by evangelical momentum and audacity, we must again become faithful and evangelised disciples”.

At least, that is how I see it.

"Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow."



Francis urges priests to give a helping hand to couples that live together. 


  1. "Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow," so true. Church teaching had and does change, (i.e earth being center of the universe, slavery, blah,blah, blah,blah, blah.)

    I think the main problem is that Church leaders don't realize that no amount of evangelical action is going to change what people see day to day, out in the streets and in their neighborhoods. That , whatever you may believe in terms of sexuality or other issues is what they need to deal with. Now that solution is what the Holy Father seems to be advocating and what he himself lived..getting out into the streets and living working with people. The problem with that is that it if they go out into the streets they need to "listen," and not just preach. And by listening they might just open their own eyes.

    Imagine seeing for their own eyes healthy, happy gay people raising families, contributing to communities and being "normal," and not sick, perverts getting their rocks off in parks or in bars or whatever they think every gay person does.

  2. Mack - you should read a more detailed report on what the Pope told the priests of Rome. (I don't know how to embed links in the combox, but I'll give the sources.) It is clear the Pope does listen, and urges the priests to listen. He is especially open towards cohabitating couples, the divorced and remarried - check it out here:


    and here:


    He says things I've longed dreamed of - such as leave churches open for 24 hours and provide confessors for instance. Accompany - be with - persons not quite in communion with the Church. To be present and open to them - to befriend them.

    But Mack, the Pope acknowledges that the doctrine, the canons, the teaching, the Gospel cannot change as regards sin and un-chastity. That is always there.

    As noted here:

    "In response to a question on pastoral service, Francis reiterated that one should not “confuse creativity with making something new. Creativity is finding the path to proclaim the Gospel and ... this is not easy. It is not simply a question of changing things. It is something different, it comes from the spirit and passes through prayer and dialogue with people, with the faithful”.

    "This, he explained, is “courageous creativity”, and it is necessary to “find new paths”. The Church, “and also the Code of Canon Law”, he added, “give us many, many possibilities, so much freedom to look for these things. ... We must find those moments to welcome and receive the faithful, when they enter the parish church for one reason or another”. - VIS

    You say:

    "Imagine seeing for their own eyes healthy, happy gay people raising families, contributing to communities and being "normal," and not sick, perverts getting their rocks off in parks or in bars or whatever they think every gay person does."

    Imagine that - I believe the Pope and the Church can do so. "Healthy and happy" needs to equal chaste and openness. Un-chastity within a monogamous homosexual relationship is still disordered. The Pope cannot ever condone sin, much less urge a change in Catholic teaching to permit it. But the Church is not closed to reconciliation - but is always open.

    We have to be careful not to become like the Pharisee, saying, "Thank God I am not like the perverts getting their rocks off in parks or in bars..."

  3. "Healthy and happy" needs to equal chaste and openness. Un-chastity within a monogamous homosexual relationship is still disordered."

    But the question would be why??? The answer..cause the church says so !That aint going to fly in this day and age and that is really my point.

    Also, from comments that you post here from religious leaders, (got to admit your the only place I go to for "Church Chat,") they actually have never met anyone gay who is happy and healthy...each time they talk about it its like a bad hyper dramatic movie from the 50;s with some lonesome schlub drinking his life away in some bar in the factory area, while melancholy music plays in the background....

    We have to be careful not to become like the Pharisee, saying, "Thank God I am not like the perverts getting their rocks off in parks or in bars..."

    Ahhh...but Terry, you misinterpret. That quote on "perverts" is what I believe the church sees in every gay person (who is not kneeling on rocks or nails or something to get their minds off of boys or girls) They don't see that there is any other kind of life for gay people then that or the above. Plus it aint hypocritical if you admit that you sowed your wild oats in your youth ..(tho never in public places, I mean, people get some class!!!) I grew up though.

    And please, my kneeling on rocks comment is ment as a joke, not to imply anyone who is chaste is some nut kneeling or rocks..(though I would have to....)

  4. Actually, Mack, I think you mean exactly what you say: that all of us with SSA who strive to live faithfully to Church teaching are hypocritical jerks and religious nuts.

    Why do you hate us so?

  5. Getting a little touchy there.

    I don't hate you or anyone else. Strong words and not fair. Do I disagree with you, yes. Am I trying to show that there is a different opinion on this...yes. But hate you...no.

    Where did the hypocritical jerk idea from? I never said or implied that at all.

    The religious "nut," thing. Well, I think "nut," is too strong a word. Quite frankly I think" some " of the people you described (not necessarily you as I don't know you) have and boy did I hate sounding like an episode of "Oprah," .."internalized homophobia," that the Church teaching supports. I posted this before but I went on the Courage web site and saw that the "testimonials," were all from people who weren't happy with their sexuality and life to begin with (oh the dramatic tales of woe there....) What would a person who is not comfortable with him or herself and their sexuality be drawn to, a place that would label them "intrinsically evil." I think that some people believe the bull that we were brought up with (I say WE as I think you are around the same age as me but don't get mad if I am wrong) and instead of dealing with their sexuality use faith to just not deal with it at all. Once again, I said "some," but not all.

    Some of the people in or out of Courage who are "SSA," and still get married to a woman, yea, I think they are nuts, but not more so then the poor woman who entered into that "bad deal," with full knowledge. Anybody in their families who go along with that is "nuts."

  6. The Church never calls anyone "intrinsically evil". Individual acts, yes, never persons.

  7. Mack, I believe we're the same age. I came to terms with the gay issue. I embraced it wholeheartedly, walked in parades, joined the gay veterans group, and even tried to pursuade my family to join PFLAG. I left the Church for 12 years and thought *thought* I was happy. Had lots of friends, money, dates. Serial monogomous relationships. And still unhappy. And that led to a dark pit of other stuff because it was never enough. I won't go into gross details, but suffice to say it was through that rock bottom we all hear so much about (and may have experienced) that I was able to turn to God. Because before that, I had no need of Him (not that I could see; Him and His hateful Church).

    All I know is that once I decided to place God first in my life (not knowing exactly how or what that was going to look like), I was given a big gift: the Gift of Understanding. And truly it was like the clouds parted and I finally 'got it' ... not that I understood all things w/SSA 100% (took some time to accept some things that I still did not fully see, like the whole disordered language) but God gave me a great gift. And I haven't been this at peace and truly happy in years. I still struggle, but I know I'm loved by the One Who is Love. And my intrinsic worth comes from Him. And because He founded the Roman Catholic Church which is safeguarded from error in faith and morals, I will submit my wayward heart and mind to Her *especially* when I don't get stuff. It's difficult because it forces me to change. But the alternative - which I've lived - is unbearable.

    So yeah, I get a little touchy when I hear my brothers & sisters in the gay world call me names like a nut. And maybe I am hypocritical because there are days when I think this chastity stuff really sucks. But like Fr. Barron says, 'we're all in the same boat, and we're all seasick.'

    But on those days when I embrace chastity, even amidst a hard struggle, it's a grand and beautiful thing. I have integrity.

    So ... I'd encourage you to not make the mistake of thinking that those of us striving to live according to the Church's teachings are only doing it because we're blindly following orders, or are running from ourselves. I've faced it. And dealt with it. Trust.

  8. Doughboy...I think that is great..wonderful..fantastic..."for you!" I am not being sarcastic when I say that..we all have different roads paths to God and happiness..there is not one set plan, and that is all I am saying.The Church puts out one plan and that is it..or go to hell ...literally. Courage and chastity helped you be a better person.. living my life ...having a family and putting others before me has made me better and yes see the love of God...not that I don't have a LONG way to go.

    And my friend..if you didn't think chastity sometimes sucks then you would be lying..or a real "nut"!!!:-)

    Aces to you for doing what is good for you..just don't think its for everyone..but then I should take my own advice and stop being as my Jewish friends say..a "mensch" and quit trying to find a nice girl or guy for single people..as if that's the only way to happiness.

    And hey thanks for serving our country!


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