Friday, February 09, 2018

Mark Shea's remarks about Cardinal Marx's remarks about gays...

Mark asked me what I thought, and I responded - spontaneously - as follows, albeit edited to complete my thoughts for this post.
Sure - drag me into this. Haha! I had posts up which I removed [on Cardinal Marx].  [Because] I have gay friends and relatives [on Facebook] I don't want to alienate. Heck - I have a childhood friend whose daughter is legally married to a woman. So what can I say?
Except I'm not ashamed to say 'I'm against it' but I accept the civil reality of it.  [It's legal.]  I know [or think] the Church in Germany is compromised because they benefit from State tax - [people familiar with the system] know the legal ins and outs of that. So I was disappointed - to say the least - at how Cardinal Marx was quoted by media, evidently he's tried to correct that?  [Not sure.]  Most people will not be convinced by that [If he did retract it, since both sides of the issue want it to be what he said in the first place].   Be that as it may, I can't see the Church blessing any union which simulates sacramental marriage. I can't see any gay Catholics wanting that. I certainly don't. Civil unions/marriage is best left to the State, and those who accept that are fine with me. I would bake them a cake if asked - [it doesn't mean I approve of gay marriage, nor am I acting as a witness to theirs]. (Two friends of mine were married a couple of years ago but I didn't attend - though I don't agree with gay marriage, I didn't attend because I don't like weddings. I sent a card though.)  [It was a blank card and I simply signed it.  They know my position on the matter.]
The real point here - as I understand it - is Sacramental Marriage - the Church can't do that for same sex partners - the state may/can - but the Church can't. It doesn't have the power to do that - much like ordaining women to the priesthood.
However.  The Church can welcome gay people and their families [if they come to inquire, and for those already there] - they don't have to kick them out. They can baptize and confirm their kids, educate them, bless their homes - treat them like any other couple - even bury them. But it can not bless same sex marriages. (Marriage suggests marital/sexual relations - the Church is clear on it's teaching that it in no way can condone homosexual acts.) Now if the partners mutually refrain from sexual-romantic activities and live together chastely, I suppose a friendship blessing could [theoretically] take place - but why? I know no one who lives in fidelity to Catholic teaching who would want that sort of 'recognition'. Once again - I would not. [Incidentally, the two guys I know who married would never expect a Church blessing, nor even desire it.]  
The recent death of a famous actor who kept that part of his life and his faith quiet - he is one of many I think - [ he just may have kept his private life private to avoid condemnation by Catholic inquisitors]. (I also remember your friend from church you got in trouble for - Perry I think?)  [My point here is that many faithful gay Catholics live discrete, quiet lives, and do not expect special recognition or approval - likewise they don't expect to be condemned or ostracized because of who they are.]  
Anyway, good people may disagree with me on this - but I suspect this is the way the German episcopate may be thinking - although some undoubtedly would accept same-sex unions/marriage and bless them. I'm against it. - Facebook response to Mark Shea's Patheos essay here.

NB: I only publish this because Catholic inquisitors will find my response to Mark's post and accuse me of being too soft, too liberal, what have you.  I'm over this stuff and I find these discussions do more harm than good - I'm not a pastoral advisor or spiritual guide - this is just my position after years of hypocrisy.  I may be wrong - but it is simply my personal opinion.  That said, I firmly believe and support what the Church teaches, I trust the convincing power of the Holy Spirit, and I believe in the Gospel.  

And when I am lifted up from the earth, 
I will draw everyone to myself.

O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons,Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because you have revealed them who are eternal truth and wisdom, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. In this faith I intend to live and die. Amen.


  1. I'm glad you posted this. I just started a new job in an office owned and run by a civilly married lesbian couple. They don't know I'm Catholic because it's not something I normally 'announce' to people. I hope they will come to know and trust me. Who knows what sort of conversations we'll engage in. However, that's how I like to approach most people wherever they are in life.

    1. I'm glad if this helps. I doubt they would challenge you. ;)

  2. I enjoyed Mark Sheas’s post very much and agree with his positive outreach and outlook. I think he is spot on when he describes the attitude many conservative (for lack of a better word) Catholics have these days. Thanks for this post.

  3. Terry, I am in a similar position to yours with my extended family. A beloved cousin has 2 daughters, who I also love very much. The younger decided she is really a man, and had surgery to remove her breasts when she was in her 20s. She also started taking testosterone to acquire a more manly appearance with facial hair, and got a crew cut. Medically, it did not go further than that.

    A couple of years ago, my cousin's daughter decided to marry another woman. I was asked to attend (they are not Catholic, but understand the Church's stance). It absolutely tore me up to know I could not attend because it was offensive to God, and that my actions hurt my cousin and her daughter. It upsets me to know what became of the little girl I loved so much. And to know what it is doing to my cousin, her mother.

    I still love my cousin's child with all my heart. She has a good and kind heart, as does her "wife", who I also love. I cannot bring myself to think of her as a man. I stumble over the new name she has legally acquired to reflect her outward change in gender. I am deeply saddened to know she is living in an unnatural marriage, in spite of the obvious love each has for the other.

    I know we all have to live our lives. But our actions affect others in so many ways, good and bad. I am so conflicted and sad about this.

    Sometimes all we can do is pray and leave it to God's mercy. It hurts.

    God's blessing and protection to you, dear Terry - Susan, ofs

  4. Hmmmm...thought I posted something on this yesterday...guess I am getting forgetful!

  5. Mark Shea asked you what you thought!?!? Heck, he doesn't even permit me to leave a comment on his blog.


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