Homosexual Propaganda Continues Unabated
Opinion pieces are coming thick and fast as the Homosexual lobby pushes it's agenda of Gay marriage (The very agenda they denied so many years ago when pushing for simple acceptance....all the whilst decrying slippery slope arguments!) The vatican's recent release about disordered sexual lifestyles being a threat to humanity has met with a swift response. It seems some Catholic priests don't understand the concept of authority, as Father Richard Prendergast an American priest seems to take issue with his churches stand on the matter. Richard wants us to 'Watch our judgmental language'. (I guess this means he doesn't want people quoting the bible then....great priest!). One wonders why he is being so judgemental of the church on this matter...i guess he can't practice what he preaches.
Richard gives us a sob story of a lesbian couple and their adopted daughter to try and appeal with emotions, not reason and to look at the rest of his article, it is obvious why.
As pastors we were convinced it was not right for the church to alienate so many people on the basis of an orientation over which they had neither choice nor control.Alcoholics also claim they didn't choose or control their addiction. Yet, just like homosexuality, many people overcome the destructive lifestyle and are healed. What doesn't help, is 'pastors' who would prefer to let people live in such a negative lifestyle. Saying that people are sinners is judgemental too, it alienates plenty of people, but until they realise there is something wrong, they will never find the solution.
Richard ignores the many homosexuals who have changed their lifestyle for the healthier heterosexual one and thus condemns those he is meant to help to a lifetime of needless suffering.
As we made clear in the very beginning of the letter, “We respect the teaching authority of the church”. We were not writing to challenge dogma but to encourage bishops to exercise sound pastoral judgment in the care of these children of God. We stressed, “The life journey in faith is unique and sacred, including the personal integration of sexuality and spirituality. Condemnations levelled at sincere Catholics attempting to make sense out of their journey are inappropriate and pastorally destructive.”What a load of rubbish. Richard's disrespect of the teaching and authority of the church is self-evident. Simply being 'sincere' isn't enough. A father can beat his son senseless 'sincerely' believing it is the best thing for his son. So what? The issue is whether it is right or wrong, not whether the person is 'sincere'. If Richard really accepted the teaching and authority of the church and the bible, he would know this.
Which brings us to the crucial question: how can the church be better at “pastoring” its gay and lesbian sons and daughters? I believe this conversation could be helped by following a strategy employed by the members of the Second Vatican Council.'Conversation'? Perhaps Richard has had some post-modern input.
Rather than trying to find a way to connect every development in the past two millennia of church history, go back to the source: the gospel of Jesus Christ. Specifically, let both sides use as a common foundation the new commandment of Jesus, “Love one another” (John 13:34). Many gays and lesbians express dismay that their attempts to follow this commandment are met with such hostility, while the bishops express dismay that their teachings, which flow from this commandment, are resisted and even rejected.Yep. Lets focus on only this one verse and ignore all the others, which are meant to be inspired by God, that provide the outworkings of this verse. Verses condemning homosexual behaviour, stealing, adultery are all the inspired word of God and so must be consistent with 'Loving one another'. Richard ignores this and tries to reinterpret John 13:34 with his own understanding of reality and love. I guess he values his own knowledge above God's.
Mutual respect is the necessary starting point. If we can begin with a presumption of goodwill and a foundation in the commandment of Jesus to love one another, three steps might follow to encourage a positive dialogue bringing both sides into closer communion. The first step is for both church leadership and members of the gay community to listen to each other while resisting the urge to speak in moral tones. Beginning with judgment leaves both sides aggrieved and feeling that if they dare to let their guard down for an instant, all will be lost.Morality is the issue in question. To say that both sides should 'resist the urge to speak in moral tones' would mean that neither side could speak at all. And this is the key. People like Richard just want the church to shut up about the issue. Those who want the church to stop condemning something that has been considered immoral since its inception often use this sort of reasonable sounding nonsense. Richard gives this game away with his next paragraph
Perhaps a sense of hope and direction can be found from the challenge of a younger generation that does not seem overly concerned about either side. Studies of younger Catholics indicate that for the under-30 generation, sexual orientation is not an issue. If we are to offer the next generation any wisdom, perhaps we first have to learn from them and acknowledge that both sides have something to offer and neither has all the answers. If we expect the younger members of our community to listen to us, we must first listen to one another.He isn't interested in a dialogue, he just wants everyone to accept his position and otherwise just shut up.
The second step is to recognise that there is a lot of pain on both sides. Gays and lesbians feel they have been reduced to less than full human beings whose lived experiences are neither valued nor honoured. They point to the language of church documents and episcopal pronouncements when making their case. As Cardinal George said, language is a concern he shares. Because the language of morality and ethics is, by its very nature, judgmental, the church, even if it doesn’t want to be offensive, is perceived as offensive. Another way of speaking must be found that avoids this offence.The cross is offensive too....should we stop talking about that too? Perhaps if people stopped being told that their homosexuality is part of their identity, there would be less of a problem here. Richard is part of the problem that he rails against when he argues that homosexuals cannot do anything about their lifestyle.
The gay community, on the other hand, has become so frustrated in attempting to dialogue with the official church that many members have given up and dismiss the church as having nothing to say in such an important area of life - sexuality. The gay and lesbian community needs to admit that two millennia of church experience and wisdom do have something to offer the discussion. In each recognition, there is an implied request for and granting of forgiveness - a positive and respectful human activity.Here is one of Richard's biggest whoppers. He wants the church to not say anything about sexuality so that homosexuals will no longer think it has nothing say about sexuality?? Just another nonsensical rhetorical attempt by Richard to get the church, whose teaching authority he supposedly respects, to shut up so that his position can be accepted.
It seems generally accepted that asking individuals to live in a state of denial about their sexual orientation is unhealthy and destructive. Such denial is contrary to full human development and the journey toward holiness. The church needs to be a partner with those searching for such holiness.Yep. There it is. Richard thinks that sexual orientation is fixed...ignoring the many homosexuals who change. The real problem is that richard is living in a state of denial about homosexuality and wants to encourage people to stay in an unhealthy and destructive lifestyle. He no longer accepts the authority of church or bible about what constitutes 'holiness'. Perhaps he should read this recent report on how and why many homosexuals have managed to escape from their destructive addiction.