The Bishop of Springfield recently banned Rainbow Sash people and gay marriage advocates from the Cathedral, explaining that praying the rosary publicly for same sex marriage is blasphemous:
“Praying for same-sex marriage should be seen as blasphemous, and as such will not be permitted in the cathedral,” he warned. “People wearing a rainbow sash or who otherwise identify themselves as affiliated with the Rainbow Sash Movement will not be admitted into the cathedral, and anyone who gets up to pray for same-sex marriage in the cathedral will be asked to leave.” - SourceThe Shepherd is exercising his right and duty, protecting the sheep - he is also protecting the perpetrators from committing blasphemy, a grave offense against God. In effect the Bishop is acting mercifully.
God is gravely offended by sacrilege and blasphemy. We try to make reparation for such sins through prayer and penance. ["Reparation is a work destined to save society." - Pius IX] When possible, it seems to me it is even better to prevent the commission of such sins. For myself, that is the positive side, the merciful aspect of Bishop Paprocki's actions, he not only prevented public blasphemy but he also protected the faithful from grave scandal. There are consequences to sin.
Does God get angry?
People like to say God doesn't get angry, that he doesn't punish. I'm not a theologian, but I think that may be a mistaken notion. After all, aren't there sins that cry to heaven for vengeance? Doesn't every sin carry with it some sort of chastisement? In the Old Testament there are numerous examples of God's 'wrath', likewise, private revelations in recent times have indicated that God is not pleased - to say the least - by the increase of sin throughout the world. In her apparitions Our Lady frequently calls Christians to amend their lives and stop offending God, who is already gravely offended.
Pondering the purposeful actions of Bishop Paprocki, I searched St. John of the Cross for examples of prayers which might displease God - the type which could be considered blasphemous or sacrilegious. I searched for scriptural references I knew St. John used to illustrate God's anger over similar things. St. John points them out by way of his teaching on prayer and the purification required in preparation for a soul to arrive at union with God.
God has fixed natural and rational limits by which man is to be ruled.
I couldn't really find anything directly related to God's anger because someone prayed for something illicit or against his will. We know of course that God punished the Israelites for complaining and demanding the food they craved as they wandered in the desert. We also know how Christ rebuked the disciples when they asked if they should call down fire from heaven on those who rejected their preaching. Although vivid examples of Christ's anger are those directed to the money-changers in the Temple, as well as the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees.
Though I couldn't come up with anything specific, St. John of the Cross does cite several instances of God being angered, which may help us understand the grave offense of sacrilege and blasphemy.
In Chapter 21 of Book II of the Ascent, St. John writes that God is displeased by the request for revelations and locutions, despite the fact that some believe their curiosity to know these things is good because God has revealed himself in this manner in the past. St. John asserts that God is not pleased, saying not only is he displeased, he is 'frequently angered and deeply offended.' Explaining:
The reason lies in the illicitness of transcending the natural boundaries God has established for the governing of creatures. He has fixed natural and rational limits by which man is to be ruled. A desire to transcend them, hence, is unlawful... consequently, God who is offended ... is displeased."He has fixed natural and rational limits by which man is to be ruled. A desire to transcend them, hence, is unlawful ..." Imagine how 'unlawful' it is to transcend God's plan for marriage and family?
I may be overworking this, but...
St. John goes on to cite several examples of God's displeasure from scripture. Now of course St. John is speaking of the illicitness of seeking knowledge of God through revelations and locutions, and in the cases he cites, these requests run contrary to God's will and are therefore sinful. As St. John explains why it was lawful to request signs and wonders in the Old Covenant, and why it is not expedient to do so in the New, I think he also helps us understand why praying for Divine approval or a change in doctrine upon something as illicit and sinful as same sex marriage, is so offensive to be regarded as blasphemous.
We must be guided humanly and visibly in all by the law of Christ the man and that of his Church and of his ministers. This is the method of remedying our spiritual ignorances and weakness; here we shall find abundant medicine for them all. Any departure from this road is ... extraordinary boldness ... one must ever adhere to Christ's teaching. - John of the Cross
Of course there are other sections of the Saint's writing which describe God's anger, but I'm not sure it's worth the time to try and manipulate them to illustrate something so obvious. I'm not even sure why I even worked on this? At any rate, Bishop Paprocki's statement is enough: “Praying for same-sex marriage should be seen as blasphemous..."
More importantly, Bishop Paprocki prevented the blasphemy from taking place, and he also offered pastoral consolation when he counseled:
"Of course, our cathedral and parish churches are always open to everyone who wishes to repent their sins and ask for God's forgiveness."I believe God is always pleased by our repentance, and prayers for forgiveness - no matter where we are at.