At first glance, the Episcopal Church seems an unlikely battleground in America's culture wars. Strolling through the exhibits [at the Episcopal Church's triennial Convention] one encounters all the trappings of traditional piety: elaborate vestments, elegant chalices, magnificent stained-glass windows."
Unfortunately, Bishop, "separation of Church and state" gets twisted south of the border too.
Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary in the Toronto Globe and Mail: "It is disingenuous to ask religious believers not to base their contribution to society and political life -- through the legitimate means available to everyone in a democracy -- on their particular understanding of the human person and the common good. The mantra of 'separation of church and state' in our Canadian context is simply a crass secularist attempt to discount and marginalize persons with religious faith."
"In a letter published in Montreal's La Presse, Father Gravel said the Vatican's position against same-sex marriage is 'discriminatory, hurtful and offensive . . . for everyone who works to promote human rights and to re-establish justice and equality.'
He attacked the church's hierarchy as outmoded and sick, saying that today's world needs 'words of hope rather than a verdict of condemnation.'
Speaking of the Vatican's denunciation of rape victims in Bosnia who were getting abortions, Father Gravel asked: 'How can this church still speak in the name of God?'
... "Every time the church speaks out on an issue, it's always to condemn. I can't stand it any more," he said. "We're trying to build things with people, and the hierarchy demolishes everything."
Just what is it he is trying to build?
"Everyone knows that sexual deviations are not exclusively related to gays, but to everyone who has to live his or her sexuality clandestinely. In this matter, the clergy has become masterful, as numerous priests frequent parks, saunas and public washrooms to let off steam," he said in his letter.
Whatever happened to prayer? Or living out one's sexuality chastely in celibacy? Instead of parks washrooms and saunas? So the secular myth that sexual behavior is uncontrollable must be right, eh?
The Catholic Church is not about tolerance and equality or even "social justice." It's about eternal salvation. Why are such men in the priesthood? Why do bishops keep them on?
If he wanted to be an activist or social worker why did he get ordained? Where is the belief? How tragic.
I don't know anything about this guy, but there's something endearing in this day and age about a priest launching a business selling duck droppings for charity. A nice old-fashioned priest project. Besides, I love ducks.
Padriac O'Hare was head of the Boston College Theology Department when I was a student there in the 80s. I didn't know him really, but I knew him to be more or less part of the dissenting establishment ruling the roost in the department.
I find it amazing that someone teaching theology for 42 years would say, as he does in the Letter to the Editor linked above, "Without doubt the single most moving educational event over 42 years in which I have played a part was bringing a panel of gay and lesbian adoptive parents to Merrimack College several years ago for the Gay Straight Alliance Education Week."
Anyone who has experienced life to any degree can tell you stories about their lives that will be very emotionally moving. Everyone suffers. But that does not validate the objective rightness of their philosophy of life.
The argument is not about whether homosexuals suffer injustice, are nice people or not, or capable of kindness, compassion, or even heroic virtue. That case does not have to be made.
The question is are we going to change the constitutive base on which Western Civilization is founded, the Judeo-Christian base, to the shifting sands of emotionally-based marxist class struggle and moral relativism.
That homosexual couples may have stepped in rescued a child from being "thrown away" (whatever that means) may be laudable, but it is not an argument for the rightness of homosexual activity.
That O'Hare as a professional theologian and educator cannot or does not make that distinction is cause for concern. Or if he does see the distinction and disingenuously ignores it for the sake of ideology is even more serious, and a further argument for the need for the Mandatum for theologians in Catholic colleges to be enforced.
A quick way to tell when a critic of the Church doesn't know what they are talking about as far as Catholicism, goes: they use the term "dogma" as a colorful word choice, interchangebly with doctrine. Dogma refers to the constitutive elements of the Church which distinguish it from other religions, such as the ressurection, the virgin birth, things you find in the Creed, etc., not moral teachings per se.
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Former Homosexual Minister Warns
Episcopal Church of "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" ------------------------------------------------
HUNTINGTON, CT - Stephen Bennett, a former homosexual turned Christian
Evangelist who ministers to the 'gay' and lesbian community, warns the
Episcopal Church of a "wolf" in the flock. Bennett believes in the strong
biblical prohibition of homosexuality.
V. Gene Robinson, bishop-elect of New Hampshire, is one of the founders of
www.outright.org. The website is geared toward youth ages 22 and under who are questioning their sexuality - and are encouraged to give homosexuality a try. The bishop-elect is openly "gay" and in a homosexual relationship.
"The website is nothing but a front for luring and recruiting young and
innocent youth into the world of homosexuality," said Bennett.
Controversy over a link to hardcore "gay" porn on the website (removed as of Monday) is one of the items at the heart of the scandal. Bennett says
there is a lot more on the website the public should be concerned about.
Bennett discovered that current links from www.outright.org include websites promoting cross dressing, transgenderism (girls becoming boys and boys becoming girls), polymory (the practice of sex with multiple partners within marriage), links to the militant "gay" activist group "ACT UP", condomania - showing descriptive pictures of every kind of condom and sex toy imaginable (including a vibrating male penis wrapped in a candy wrapper called "Better Finger"), "orgasm fuel" for better orgasms, hardcore "gay" pornography and much more.
Bennett says that in only two clicks one would be on a website touting
millions of hardcore "gay" porn images. This is unimaginable on a site
designed for youth - especially having a clergyman as one of its founders.
"This is the bishop that is to lead the Episcopal Church? Is bishop-elect
Robinson going to introduce the Episcopal Church to polymory next, as
promoted on this website? Are the vibrating penises in candy wrappers
specifically for his 'questioning youth?' This is to be the spiritual,
moral leader of the Episcopal Church? It is absolutely blasphemous and
unthinkable that a denomination would even be considering a man like this
who is linked to such vile, aberrant websites." Bennett continued, "This is
a wolf in sheep's clothing."
Stephen lived the "gay" lifestyle for 11 years, sexually active with over
100 men, many whom are dead today from AIDS. He left the "gay" lifestyle in 1992 when he became a Christian. Today, he is happily married for over ten
years to his wife and he is the father of their two little children.
Today, Bennett warns America of the truths and dangers of the homosexual
"Don't be fooled. Homosexuality is about one thing and one thing only - GAY SEX. Believe me - I know - I've been there."
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I'm sure Archbishop O'Malley is much too gracious to tell Voice of the Faithful where to stick the money Cardinal Law and Bishop Lennon turned down, after VOTF urged people not to give money to the archdiocese but instead give it to them so they could turn around "magnanamously" and offer it to the archdiocese, only then to say Law and Lennon didn't care about the poor, because they turned down VOTF's "generosoity."
May VOTF fade into the irrelevancy they so richly deserve.