Monday, April 13, 2009

Martin Pendergast on homosexulity in the Church

Briefing: an interesting statement of his position, which no doubt goes for his groups, the Roman Catholic Caucus of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement/ Soho Masses Pastoral Council, and Catholic AIDS Support/ Positive Catholics. He makes it quite clear that he completely rejects Church teaching, including the prohibition on homosexual sexual acts, which he coyly calls 'choosing to exercise rights of conscience'. He is simply laughing at the hierarchy, who would prefer to turn a blind eye to his views when granting him permission for 'gay' Masses.

The fundamental issue here, which we never tire of pointing out, is that in allowing them to organise Masses, run the choir, distribute their literature at the door etc. etc. bishops are allowing these groups to exercise a pastoral role viz-a-viz some of the most vulnerable Catholics in their dioceses. Since these organisations reject the Church teaching relevant to the issues at hand, this is a gross dereliction of duty.

Pendergast writes: Successive Roman documents have embroidered this offensive and confusing vocabulary [that homosexuality is 'instrinsically disordered'] to the present day. The Vatican becomes more and more isolated from other parts of the church in theological reflection and pastoral practise. It has ratcheted up its rhetoric, forcing Bishops to defend the indefensible, whether with regard to admission of candidates to seminaries or religious communities, same-sex marriage and civil unions, or same-sex couples ability to foster or adopt children.

Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality highlights some of Catholicism's best kept secrets: the primacy of a fully informed personal conscience, the hierarchy of truths, and the development of doctrine. The Catholic Bishops of England & Wales rose to these challenges when they authorised the publication of "An Introduction to the Pastoral Care of Homosexual People" in 1979.

These guidelines stayed faithful to Catholic teaching that sexual activity is only admissible within marriage, but stated that both homosexual orientation and heterosexual orientations are morally neutral. This underscores the Vatican position that the orientation in itself is not sinful, but moral decisions relate to how that orientation is expressed sexually. Whereas the Vatican would go no further in the discussion, the local Pastoral Care guidelines encouraged clergy to adopt a more nuanced approach when faced with two people in a permanent, faithful relationship who choose to exercise their rights of conscience. The Vatican was not pleased with this liberal interpretation.

See the full article, in the Guardian, here.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen