Friday, July 28, 2017

The LGBTQ lobby has been right in front of my face all along?

Bishop Paprocki

Bishop Paprocki on Fr. Martin, S.J.

At first I simply associated the so-called gay lobby with those rumors of gay orgies and that kind of salacious news people like to publish online.  I wasn't thinking of how some authors and priests could be part of it in and through their work for LGBTQ rights.  I never really considered New Ways Ministry or Sr. Gramick as part of a gay lobby because they were more or less condemned by the CDF and forbidden to 'promulgate' their errors.  New Ways was also banned.  Even though sympathetic Catholics continued to review their work, attend their conferences, and embrace their teaching.  I still didn't consider them part of the lobby which 'infiltrated' the Church.

In my naivete, I pretty much imagined a gay lobby as a bunch of gay priests conspiring to have sex and get promoted and live grandly.  I'm being somewhat facetious saying that, but I just never considered that straight priests would be involved.  But I digress.

That said, Bishop Paprocki clarified some aspects of the gay lobby which may have been obscured by sensationalist claims of perversion and satanism and to be sure - those gay orgies.

A U.S. bishop said that the outcry from “within the Church” against his statement prohibiting unrepentant homosexuals from receiving Communion or a public funeral within his diocese shows the existence of a “strong…LGBT lobby” that has infiltrated the Church. 
Paprocki said that the “fact that there would be such an outcry against this decree is quite astounding and shows how strong the LGBT lobby is both in the secular world as well as within the church.”
- Citing Pope Francis’ comments against judgementalism, the bishop noted that the Pope had warned against any form of lobbies, including a “gay lobby.” - CNA
The spirit of the age.

Actually we see the evidence more clearly now than ever.  Not just in the hostile response to Bishop Paprocki's decree on same sex marriage*, but just this week in the outrage expressed after Trump's tweet banning transgender persons from military service.  (Which may or not be implemented.)  It seems to me the culture is almost totally gay now.  It's amazing.

I noticed online that even a couple of Courage Catholics had a knee-jerk unfavorable reaction towards Paprocki's letter, as well as Trump's ban on transgender persons, while expressing opposition to the DOJ's attempt to target employment protections for LGBTQ persons.  E.g.'An employer who discriminates based on sexual orientation alone does not treat similarly situated employees differently but for their sex,' the Department of Justice, which isn’t a party in the suit, said in a brief. 'Gay men and women are treated the same, and straight men and women are treated the same.'**  (I'm not well informed on the political controversies stirred up by the Trump administration, so I have no response to any of that.)

Agree or disagree on what is just or unjust discrimination, what many regard as settled law could one day be reversed - especially if it is found not to be settled law.  Not a few people seem to be in agreement with the opinions expressed by the Justice Department, just saying, insisting sexual orientation is not a protected right, or something to that effect.

As Bishop Paprocki's statements demonstrate, Catholic teaching is settled and cannot be changed, no matter how packed the lobby becomes.

Resisting the zeitgeist.

It really is stunning how contaminated one can become by 'the world's slow stain', as St. Catherine of Genoa called it.  Today we identify it as 'the spirit of the age' or the 'zeitgeist'.  It's what permeates culture, drives it, infects it.  For instance, Fr. Martin's book - caters to it.  Not everyone recognizes that immediately, until reasonable people, like Archbishop Chaput and Bishop Paprocki calmly point out errors in conflict with actual Church teaching.  When harsh critics cry out, contrasted with the 'generosity' shown by Fr. Martin's POV, we recoil.  Yet when a bishop responds in charity, the truth becomes clear - and attractive.

However, even then, many otherwise faithful Catholics can resist Catholic teaching because they are steeped in the 'spirit of the age' - on some level they resist the Holy Spirit.  Something I read the other day helped me understand that:
The natural corruption of man inclines him to what is evil, and inspires him with a secret aversion to what is good. His passions overpower and obscure his reason; his ignorance and weakness are extreme. - Fr. Jean-Nicolas Grou, S.J.

Grace frees us from the contagion of the world's slow stain.

Fr. Grou continues, "he needs a far stronger grace if he would do what is right and persevere in it."  Just the simple realization of this is itself a grace.  It accounts for our need of repentance.  Repentance is also a grace - God's gift.  To pray for the grace of repentance - to repent daily, hourly, even minute by minute, frees one from the world's slow stain - cleanses us from it - immersing us in the Holy Spirit, swimming in the mercy of God, as St. Teresa Margaret Redi described it.  The Hesychasts used the Jesus prayer in that way - although this is not well understood in the West and can be 'contaminated' as well.  (e.g. Centering prayer, Eastern meditation, and so on.)  Whatever immerses you in the presence of God, which is described by the Carmelites as the prayer of recollection, obtains that freedom of spirit we so desperately need, especially when the spirit of the age seeks to enslave us.  Prayer obtains all things.

Man, if he is not assisted by a heavenly light, which makes things clear to his mind, and by a good inspiration acting on his will, can never form one holy thought, one good desire, or perform one action which is worthy of eternal life. His free will needs to be continually prevented and assisted by grace. - Grou, S.J.

 Beware the 'spirit of the age' - resist the zeitgeist - the contagion of the world's slow stain ...  That said ...
"I am glad that we are talking about 'homosexual people' because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity. And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love." - Pope Francis, The Name of God is Mercy

How cool is this?
Paprocki loves hockey!

*It needs to be reiterated:

Bishop Paprocki rejected the characterization of his decree as focusing on “LGBT people.” Rather, he said, it focused on “so-called same-sex marriage, which is a public legal status.” 
“No one is ever denied the sacraments or Christian burial for simply having a homosexual orientation,” the bishop continued. “Even someone who had entered into a same-sex marriage can receive the sacraments and be given ecclesiastical funeral rites if they repent and renounce their marriage.”
The bishop further explained the Church’s response to church burial rites.
“This does not mean that unrepentant manifest sinners will simply be refused or turned away,” he said. “Even in those cases where a public Mass of Christian Burial in church cannot be celebrated because the deceased person was unrepentant and there would be public scandal, the priest or deacon may conduct a private funeral service, for example, at the funeral home.”
Citing canon law, the bishop said everyone conscious of grave sin should not receive Holy Communion without first going to confession and receiving absolution. This is relevant to everyone who has committed a grave sin, whether it is sexual sin, missing Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation without grave cause, procuring an abortion, or having attempted remarriage after a divorce without obtaining a decree of nullity.
The bishop noted that a couple who agrees to live as brother and sister in an irregular union, if there is no public scandal, could receive Holy Communion after repenting, going to confession, and amending their lives. This similarly would apply to two men or two women who live chastely with each other. - CNA

**On just and unjust discrimination:
Homosexual persons, as human persons, have the same rights as all persons including the right of not being treated in a manner which offends their personal dignity (cf. no. 10). Among other rights, all persons have the right to work, to housing, etc. Nevertheless, these rights are not absolute. They can be legitimately limited for objectively disordered external conduct. [...]
Including “homosexual orientation” among the considerations on the basis of which it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead to regarding homosexuality as a positive source of human rights, for example, in respect to so-called affirmative action or preferential treatment in hiring practices. This is all the more deleterious since there is no right to homo- sexuality (cf. no. 10) which therefore should not form the basis for judicial claims. The passage from the recognition of homosexuality as a factor on which basis it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead, if not automatically, to the legislative protection and promotion of homosexuality. A person's homosexuality would be invoked in opposition to alleged discrimination, and thus the exercise of rights would be defended precisely via the affirmation of the homosexual condition instead of in terms of a violation of basic human rights. - Some considerations - CDF

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