"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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mo Rocca. Who invited you?

Oh what the heck, I'll step in it ...

First of all, I never knew Rocca was gay.  I thought he was married - to a woman - and liked cats.  But I could be thinking of Dan Harris.  I've seen Rocca before and really liked him - he seemed like a lovable geek - totally nerd and unattractive.  Suddenly, last week, he captures the imaginations of Catholics across the country - because he was chosen to lector at the Pope's Mass in Madison Square Garden.  (I didn't watch it.  Papal Masses, lovely as they may be, are way too long.)

Online sites are claiming a Lavender Mafia conspiracy because Rocca was chosen to do the readings:  "When Rocca appeared on live news feeds last night as the lector for the Papal Mass, Twitter blew up with scandalous praise as everyone saw this as the Church's — and specifically Pope Francis' — acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage." - CM

[Disclaimer: In the past, I've been reprimanded for using the term 'lavender mafia' - so be advised I am not suggesting one exists, or ever existed - I'm simply quoting the source.]

But somebody chose Rocca to do the readings - and Cardinal Dolan knows Rocca - and Dolan looked right at him.  What?  I don't know what was going on.

Elizabeth Scalia posted something on Aleteia defending the situation, offering a sort of 'salvo' for the story.  (I said 'salvo' - I'm kind of like a journalist using words like that, huh?)

Surprisingly, most of the comments on Scalia's post are less than supportive.   Scalia does her best to support the situation pointing out that Rocca most likely refrained from the reception of Holy Communion.  Readers think he should have refrained the office of lector.
On social media, I have read – but have not yet been able to confirm — that Rocca refrained from receiving Communion during the Mass. If that is true — and since no one ever knows the state of another’s soul — then there really isn’t much to say, except that one day last week a brother on a journey knew he was not fit to receive Communion. That’s more than many of us ever know.
Here is the last true thing: Nothing prevents a Catholic – any Catholic – from engaging in daily parish life, or from licitly participating in worship at Mass; we are bound only by the obligation to abstain from receiving Holy Communion, unless we are in a state of grace. 
Obedience to that obligation is a kind of witness in and of itself: it proclaims that while one might currently be holding to one’s own conscience, one recognizes something greater than even that — the reverenced respect due to the Real Presence of Christ Jesus.
Such obedience is, in fact, a worthy and admirable demonstration of humility; one to shame any Pharisee. - Aleteia
Once I was helping a priest friend prepare for Benediction
and he asked me to light the charcoal.  I did so with my 
cigarette lighter, and the transitional deacon - who already
eyed me suspiciously, almost audibly gasped and looked 
at Father as if to say: "Are you going to allow him to do that?"
Of course it was only about the lighter...

Right or wrong - Mo Rocca has pretty much been condemned.  Even though we don't know the state of his soul - he's a marked man and people have been scandalized.  Catholics now have another reason to condemn Dolan and criticize the Pope.

I'm a big sinner, a hypocrite.  I believe, accept, and embrace Catholic teaching on marriage and sexuality.  I'm against gay marriage and homosexual activity.  I've lived a chaste and celibate life, but I wouldn't go near an ambo or volunteer at a parish near me.

I've given the same advice to others - and I've been derided by gay-Catholics for that as well.

Active participation - for me at least - is prayer and penance and fidelity to the duties of my state in life, taking care of widowers and orphan cats.  I'm working out my salvation with fear and trembling and I'm just hoping and praying I can die a good death and have a Catholic funeral.

Just saying ...

Maybe look for an organist job 
at a baseball park instead of the Basilica.

Song for this post here.


  1. I used to be a lector at my parish long ago. It went to my head though after a year since I was always being complimented on my "beautiful voice" or how my reading the Word "was from the Lord." I began to realize that I lacked sincerity in what I was doing since I was all about vanity and pride and "how good I looked up there."

    My point is that just being gay is not enough to be found unworthy to serve the Lord or his people since my sins were and are that of pride, vanity and ego and just as serious. I hid my hypocrisy well and tried hard to remain sincere but still I struggled with all of it, prayed about it too, then I just decided I was not worthy and quit.

    I knew folks who were "living it up" yet every Sunday there they were as either lectors or as greeters or as Eucharistic ministers. One woman used to be a Eucharistic minister who would literally "prance" up to the altar when her rumored lover (the then deacon of our parish) was assisting at Mass. Everyone would talk about it afterwards. I used to think they were struggling like me with their own issues and yet wanted to draw close to Jesus and try and be sincere in doing so by serving Him and their neighbor. So many struggles - so much to want to be good.

    I am of the opinion that in order to be worthy of serving Jesus and neighbor in whatever capacity that might be, well, I want to have a clean and contrite heart in doing so. I want to respect and believe and abide by what our Catholic faith teaches us but at the same time, I don't want to be rigid, judgemental or pointing fingers since I failed the Lord first before anyone else did.

    Perhaps Mr. Rocca is struggling too - perhaps his pastor/confessor knows this. For all we know Cardinal Dolan may know it as well. On the other hand, if Mr. Rocca is "living the life" then it's on him and the powers that be to repent and get right with God. I am in no position whatsoever to judge the man nor those who asked him to read at Mass.

    If he is in the midst of a great struggle and it is of God and the world in the meantime is judging and condemning him for reading at Mass. I side with God in the hopes and in the knowledge that he always wins.

    Let's keep supporting one another through sincere heartfelt prayers and cries to the Lord of Life!

    1. Ah, those stumbling steps up and down to the lectern... :)

      It shall be said:
      Open up, open up, clear the way,
      Move all stumbling blocks from the way of my people.
      (Isaiah 57 :14-15)

      You can live the life of fame,
      Pretend it’s real and play their game.
      You can be the trend, everybody’s friend,
      Show the world you’re just the same.

      But you can be yourself with me,
      Who you’re really meant to be,
      The one I love, made for me,
      The one I love, made for me.

      (BG 2013)

    2. Even Pope Francis needs a helping hand up and down the steps to the altar.

    3. "Even Pope Francis needs a helping hand up and down the steps to the altar"

      Amen! That's a source of hope, eh? A helping hand in time of need. ^^

  2. Oh God..parish politics are the worst and the people that get involved in them are some of the pettiest, most self righteous people I have ever met. The Mo Rocca thing is an example of this on a social media level, it seems a certain segment of Catholics are so busy trying to prove someone else is a worse sinner then they are, they can't focus on their own faults. And this certain segment seem to be ALWAYS involved in the parish, volunteering on committees and being on the altar, etc, and they ALWAYS seem to be the meanest, nastiest pieces of work out there. I thought it just happened to be the parish I was involved in but speaking to others I found out that is not true and by reading Catholic blogs I know that is not true..( a writer on Crisis Magazine, which is indeed my must read in the morning, commented on what is wrong with being "homophobic," as everyone should be and that it is very Catholic to be homophobic! Alrighty then!

    Catholic parish politics on the lay level is like my vision of hell...your still in (Catholic ) high school, there are these cliques, they are all trying to get in good with Father, they are all trying to put everyone else down, they talk behind even each other's backs, yet instead of being forever 17, they are middle aged and fat! Wake me up!

    At one time it was got to me so much I thought I would never go back to Church but I decided the best choice was never to go back to being involved on the parish level. Go to Mass, go home and hey, you need some help Ill do what I can but I am not going out of my way.

    Terry, keep helping widowers and stray cats and doing your own kind of good. I have a feeling God smiles at that more then who is the chair of the Mardi Gras Committee!

    Oh, and you need to get your Gaydar taken in for a tune up...

  3. Bravo Terry! Kudos to you for demonstrating some good ole common sense with an ounce of Christian charity thrown in on the side. I am kinda tired, no extremely tired, of the mob mentality on patrol to flush out the sinner. He who is "without sin" is the only one who can cast any stones, never mind the first one. The older I get the more I realize my own faults before and above others. God has many surprises in store for us and I think the final judgement will be the biggest one of all. I just hope and pray I get past that one!

  4. I'm with wallace hamilton ... and agree w/you, too, Terry re: keeping the head down & flying under the radar in the parish. A priest-friend has recommended that I need to become active in my parish as part of my vocation as a single celibate. Really? Not all of us are called to be out in front.

  5. I'm with wallace hamilton ... and agree w/you, too, Terry re: keeping the head down & flying under the radar in the parish. A priest-friend has recommended that I need to become active in my parish as part of my vocation as a single celibate. Really? Not all of us are called to be out in front.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.