As a Roman Catholic, I’m very happy that Pope Francis will be visiting the United States for The World Meeting Of Families.
This much anticipated event will take place in Philadelphia, PA. I am especially excited, because my parish church is part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
For those who may not be aware of the latest news re Pope Francis’ visit, here’s an update. President Obama has invited several people to the Whitehouse for the express purpose of welcoming the Holy Father to America. These include a religious sister who seems to condone abortion, a transgender woman, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and Catholic gay activists, all of whom openly flout Catholic teaching. Please click here. For more analysis, see this article by Declan Finn, of The Catholic Geeks.
Invitee #1? The retired Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, famous for leaving his wife for his boyfriend, and being the first openly gay episcopal bishop in 2003. Robinson would divorce said partner in 2014. The cross-dresser in this group is a “Mateo” Williamson, former co-chairman of the Transgender Caucus for Dignity USA, born a woman, now thinks of herself as a man, and yet is still attracted to men.
No, this is not part of a joke. This is an actual quote:
“Today I identify as a gay man and before that was difficult to understand because I thought that in order to be transgender, in order to be a transgender male that I had to be attracted to females but I never have throughout my entire life.”
Pardon me while I bang my head against a wall. After a while, I may even come to enjoy it.
For people who may not know, all of the behaviors these guests are proud of are against Catholic Church teaching.
That’s not to say that Catholics do not ever fall; all of us do. No human being is perfect. All of us sin. If we sin, whether by missing Mass, committing murder, having sexual relations outside of marriage, cheating on our spouse, telling lies about others and bearing false witness, looking down on our neighbors, and numerous other sins, we are taught that Jesus always forgives. Jesus forgives a repentant soul, always. Always. No matter what. However, the sinner must repent of the sin, and try not to sin again. Some of the more serious sins, such as murder and theft, must be paid for by being brought to justice. In most civilized nations this includes a jail sentence. Being forgiven does not mean we don’t pay the consequences.
Of course, we all know that we fail many, many times. We commit the same sins over and over again, go to confession, are absolved, and leave church with the intention to never do it again. Some of the sins are venial, such as using foul language. (This is one that I struggle with daily). You get the picture, right? We, as Catholics, are supposed to follow Christ’s Church every day, and if we fall, we should admit it, repent, and know that we are forgiven. It does not mean that we should openly flout our behavior and lead others to follow us, which is what the people Obama invited to meet Francis are doing. Nobody would admit openly to the taking of a human life and expect not to be punished, even if Christ forgives the person, right?
Oh, wait. I forgot. Some people do take human lives and do not pay any consequences other than being hailed as doing “God’s work” by our President, Barack Obama. And at least one person whom Obama has invited to greet Pope Francis condones the taking of innocent human life by abortion, through her promotion of Obamacare, since taxpayer money is given to Planned Parenthood, enabling them to continue performing abortions. How many people were influenced by this person are not known, however, her behavior might possibly have led others off the narrow way Jesus asked all of us to stay on. It seems odd that this religious sister would be someone chosen to represent Catholics here in America, but I’m sure Obama had his reasons.
Now, of course, this all comes after Pope Francis has declared that, while on the one hand, he doesn’t believe in judging people, on the other hand he’s also stated that Catholics reject transgenderism, and even said that gay marriage is the devil’s “attempt to destroy God’s plan.”
The Vatican just recently made official that the transgendered cannot be baptismal godparents, especially when acting as the opposite sex they were born into — because acting as a transsexual is blatantly contrary to the Church’s moral imperatives. Or, in Vatican-speak, “transsexual behavior publicly reveals an attitude contrary to the moral imperative of resolving the problem of one’s sexual identity according to the truth of one’s sexuality.”
(Why President Obama decided to invite these guests is anyone’s guess. Please click here to see what might possibly have been going through Obama’s head after issuing the invites).
Remember those bad old days, before we evolved, when all Catholics used to worry about was the following?
But such times are in the past now. There are other issues which must be addressed. On June 26th of this year an event occurred, one which changed everything. No matter that the Catholic Church was begun by Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago, and has held the same beliefs on marriage for the duration. On June 26th Gay Marriage was legalized in America, and according to many, especially some Catholics, the Church needs to get with the times. I mean, come on. It’s been almost 3 months. That’s more than enough time for the Church to get the hint: Gay Marriage should become part of Church doctrine. Get it over with already.
Please see the following pew research analysis on countries of the world that have legalized Gay Marriage.
As you can see, less than half of the world’s countries have legalized Gay Marriage. This is an important point. You see, the Catholic Church is also known as the Universal Church. This means that the Church’s doctrine applies to all Catholics, whether they reside in the Northeast Region of the United States, or China. Catholics in France follow the same rules as Catholics in Syria.
For folks who didn’t hear this bit of news, ISIS executed four gay men by throwing them off of rooftops in response to the SCOTUS decision on June 26th.
Four gay men were executed by members of the Islamic State following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide Friday.
As was reported by a Syrian Twitter user on a tweet posted on the #LoveWins hashtag and picked up by Gateway Pundit, the men were thrown off the roof of a highrise building in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor as a crowd gathered to watch below.
Several Islamists also reportedly sent out anti-gay messages on the social networking site using the hashtag #LoveWins. That hashtag was used by many worldwide to celebrate the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.
While everyone in America was tweeting about Love winning (complete with a rainbow heart supplied by twitter) and disparaging people who might possibly disagree for more reasons than one, gay men were executed by the Islamic State.
Please see the following Pew research map of Catholics around the world. Note that only countries with one million plus Catholics are represented. For more info on Catholics in the Middle East, please click here. For a taste of what happens to Christians and Catholics in certain regions of the Middle East, click here.
As you can see, the two maps differ significantly.
Please think about this for a moment while we look at Catholic Doctrine regarding marriage, straight from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (Universal). See 2396.
Also see The Catholic Church and Homosexuality from dummies.com.
The Catholic Church respects and loves the homosexual person the same as it does the heterosexual. Catholicism teaches that homosexual people must be treated with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every act or thought of hatred, violence, or persecution toward the homosexual is condemned.
Possible unintended consequences of Pope Francis being photographed with the guests mentioned above.
The consequences are self explanatory, however, we can go over them briefly. Again, the map showing countries where gay marriage is legal is much different than the map showing Catholics around the world, yet Francis is the head of all Catholics. As demonstrated above, Islamic Militants kill gays in their own countries. This is not news. Now, as I write this, there are Christians fleeing ISIS, seeking refugee status in Europe and other countries. Click here for a story detailing the uprooting and displacement of Christians in Iraq. Other atrocities committed by ISIS on Christians include crucifixion, and rape and sale of women and girls as sex slaves.
As seen above, ISIS is not unfamiliar with social media. They used it to tweet their response to the SCOTUS decision. Imagine what might happen if Francis is photographed with the guests Obama has invited to greet him. Just imagine it. The photos will be in news stories and tweeted and shared on Facebook. Since not all Catholics live in the first world, might not such a thing cause distress? Is it possible that ISIS militants could seize these photos and use them as an excuse to grab any Catholic they see, and perhaps crucify or kill them?
We all know such a thing is not impossible, and we shouldn’t pretend it might not happen. So, Pope Francis is being put in a terrible position by our President and American Progressives. America and the west are not the only members of the flock. Francis is Il Papa to all Catholics. He has a responsibility to look out for everyone, not just Americans or the West.
For any progressives who might read this, can you understand that something greater than yourselves and your feelings might be in play? Does any of this matter?
For a way to help persecuted Christians and Catholics in the Middle East, please click here.
So, you may be asking yourself what the above information has to do with Catholics shaming other Catholics. This is where my own personal reflections come in. When folks see the words “Catholic shaming” they might be tempted to think of holier than thou Catholics scolding others for what they wear to church, or perhaps for failing to pray a certain way, or other such things. But that’s not what I’m talking about.
I have blogged repeatedly over the past year or so about my community at large, and some fellow parishioners who seem to not be on board with Catholicism. For background please see my posts, Saving Nineteen Minutes, parts one, two and three, and No one can Drive you Crazy unless you give them the Keys.
In addition to what was described in the above posts, other things have happened. They have happened more to my friend than to me, since my kids are grown and hers are still in school. Being termed a Nazi in public by the people who are supposed to be your brothers and sisters in Catholicism does take its toll. So does snootiness in church and other nonsense. The point is, things are about the same as they were last year. It may be that a stalemate is in progress. We can only pray that tension will diminish in time.
Now I’m going to write my personal account of the latest in Catholic shaming. It all started with a Facebook post, which I made the mistake of commenting on a week ago. Since I cannot seem to get this event out of my mind, I thought I should write about it, hoping some hearts and minds might see that there are larger issues in play.
Please read this article, which was posted by a friend, and on which I commented. I commented because my granddaughter is in an ArchPhilly school, and I could see the point of asking people to sign this statement.
I still fail to see an issue with this statement. Students other than Catholics attend Catholic schools, because of the superior education Catholic schools provide. To make sure everyone understands that Catholic teaching will be a part of the school day seems prudent, especially now that the Court ruled that gay marriage is legal. (Hold on for elaboration on this point.) Also, students of differing faiths attend Catholic schools. It’s a good idea to let parents know that the schools will be teaching their children about Catholicism. Gone are the days when such simple points could be taken for granted. These days some people fail to understand such issues. In order to head off a possible case of a parent taking issue with parts of the curriculum, this statement is a pretty good move. No one will be forced to sign it. In fact, people were quoted in the above article saying they ignored this paper.
Such a statement, whether it’s signed or not, simply lets parents know that the school is in charge of the curriculum. This could head off parents who feel that certain books or texts which are not included should be, and vice versa. This protects the parents who are happy with the curriculum from having their child’s school year disrupted with a dispute among families. It also protects ALL the kids in the school, because sometimes such disputes become national news. Imagine a 2nd grader being a part of such a thing. News stories about their school, twitter flame wars, Facebook posts, and families taking sides against each other might be possible.
Children don’t need this kind of BS. It’s upsetting, and they don’t understand why parents are fighting. Maybe their friends stop speaking to them, and they have no control. And older kids get sucked into these messes by their own parents and even teachers sometimes. See my posts on Nineteen Minutes for just such a scenario. Such things are unnecessary and hurtful to all involved.
How does all of this apply to Gay Marriage and the other information above?
Simply because, in a roundabout way, the post in question had to do with Gay marriage. A lot of this stems from the firing of a popular teacher, Margie Winters, from a Catholic school in Merion PA. Ms.Winters had been employed for many years, and the firing took place a short time after the SCOTUS decision. My personal opinion is that Margie Winters should not have been fired because of the simple fact that the school knew she was in a same sex marriage when she was hired. I assume the admins of the school know Catholic doctrine, yet they hired Ms. Winters anyway. Why on earth should she have been fired simply because of an overreach by SCOTUS? I have to assume the court decision put the nail in Ms. Winters’ coffin. Why else would her firing have taken place just a few weeks after the decision? Couldn’t this teacher, who was beloved by students and parents alike, have been grandfathered in?
But all that aside, it happened. Ms. Winters was, unfortunately, collateral damage in this transforming America in which we find ourselves. She’s no different than pharmacists who have been forced to choose between their profession and their conscience when asked to sell Plan B abortion pills over the counter to minors. It sucks, but this is the America we live in now.
Each time such a moral conflict arises I’m reminded of the following scene from the Godfather II:
“This is the business we’ve chosen.”
It may seem a little strange to include a clip from a movie about mobsters in a post about Catholics, however, for me it speaks volumes. What has happened in America over the past ten years or so is what we have chosen. All of us made our choices. We shouldn’t be surprised when ugly consequences to those choices come to pass.
It’s terrible that people with lives and families and dreams are used as pawns by the elites of our nation, however, we let it happen. Perhaps, if we’re blessed, we might get some semblance of normalcy back someday. The people who fought for gay marriage to become the law of the land got what they wanted. But such a rapid and complete turn around of what was previously considered marriage will not leave victims in its wake. I’m sorry for Ms. Winters, but at least she’s alive, unlike others who were unlucky enough to have their lives taken while Americans were covering their Facebook profiles with rainbow filters.
And now we come down to the nitty-gritty of Catholics who shame other Catholics, and why I feel it was a mistake for me to have given an opinion on the Archphilly school statement. It certainly won’t be happening again. I made my own choice in venturing a comment, and was promptly put in my place by other Catholics, people I have never met, and who know zero about me.
I will begin with a screenshot of my first comment. The poster had stated that she would never sign such a statement. Here’s what I said:
As you can see, I received one “like.”
This is the following comment by a poster who disagreed with the request for parents to sign the statement. (All names and profile photos have been erased).
As you can see, this person stated that ALL Catholics should be forced to sign such a pledge. This would be to insure that each Catholic who opposes certain positions that other Catholics subscribe to could be “actively monitored, evaluated and judged on their adherence” (that they themselves are without sin of any kind).
Here was my answer on the comments thread:
Here’s what I think after a week of reflection. (Please excuse me for committing the sin of using foul language).
To this commenter: FUCK YOU and your SJW high horse.
This is America. Americans don’t force each other to sign papers, and then monitor, evaluate and judge them on their adherence. I don’t know many Catholics who would suggest such a thing, but as you can see, this comment got 3 “likes” so obviously they’re out there, living among us and sitting in the pews with us.
Again, please take into account all that was described above concerning the effect gay marriage has had on people throughout the world.
Is the above actual shaming? I think it is, since the commenter ended with the warning that Francis is taking the Church in a different “more inclusive” direction.
But wait. It gets better.
Remember right after the SCOTUS decision was handed down, and there was a simplistic article seemingly written for rudimentary readers going around? “A 30 second guide to how the Gay Marriage ruling will affect you.” According to this article (which disparages people who worried about the possible consequences of the ruling by hiding behind snark) NONE of what I’m writing about today should even be happening. Why, if this gay marriage ruling was nothing but a well needed blip on the radar of evolution, are people being shamed and subtly degraded for having different opinion?
(I took great pleasure in fisking the article above. It was my first fisk, and I’m pretty proud of it. It certainly doesn’t rise to the level of master fiskers like Lori Bird of The Catholic Geeks, or other masters, but for a first try, it isn’t bad.)
And now, finally, we have the shaming on full display, in this comment on the same thread as the other one.
There it is. Witch trials. Love thy neighbor! Acceptance of all who marry for love!
Shame, shame, shame on you! Maybe you should wear a scarlet letter!
One more thing, before I share my response to this person, who again, knows absolutely NOTHING about me. I have never met this person. I have never seen this person on social media, or even heard their name, unless I’ve forgotten it. But note the way this person dressed down a fellow Catholic, using talking points and methods of shaming right out of Alinsky 101.
RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
SJWs have no problem making comments such as the one above. That’s what they do, fellow Catholic or not.
Before I end this post, I want to give my opinion on the “acceptance of all marriage that is based on love” part. I don’t know what this person is getting at, but if they or anyone else thinks that marriages in the future will be limited to only two individuals, I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn I can sell them.
Yes, I know there was some such language in the court decision, stating “two people” but that’s not going to be upheld if some threesome, foursome, fivesome, etc. decides they’re victims of discrimination. The idea that such people wouldn’t win a decision in court now that the longstanding definition of marriage has been changed is patently ridiculous, as I’m sure we’ll all know before long.
My position is simply this: I don’t care. I don’t care who marries who, what sex they are or how many there are, as long as everyone in the “marriage” is over 18. I just don’t want it pushed on my family or myself. We are Roman Catholics who try our best to follow Church teaching and our conscience, despite our failings. I have zero interest in this marriage debate beyond how it is affecting my Faith. Until Church teaching says different, I’m following the catechism to the best of my ability. I am guaranteed the right to practice my religion without interference from government or highfaluting SJWs in the 1st amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If people want freedom of religion to go away, they should begin a movement to amend the first amendment. (Good luck with that).
BTW, if the church ever does change the doctrine concerning marriage, I doubt it will be in my lifetime. Such a major change would require a third Vatican Council, or at the very least, a Synod. It won’t, nor should it happen overnight, for reasons already explained above. The only way it could happen without major paperwork and councils is if Francis makes a statement in Ex Cathedra, which he probably will not do anytime soon. Remember, Francis is the leader of the ENTIRE Universal Catholic Church, and he must take into account what such a statement would mean for Catholics in remote areas of the world, including Catholics trapped in ISIS controlled territory.
Here’s my response to the comment insinuating I might be Cotton Mather inhabiting a 21st century woman’s body:
What loving and caring Catholics these commenters showed themselves to be when debating another Catholic. It’s really sort of a shame. But this is the business we’ve chosen.