Friday, December 5, 2008
A pastoral message to homosexual Catholics in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
By Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and the Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
As Bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, we are addressing this message first of all to the homosexual members of our Church. Given the controversy generated by the passage of Proposition 8, we want to reassure each of you that you are cherished members of the Catholic Church, and that we value you as equal and active members of the Body of Christ. At the same time, we would like to address this message to all the members of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and to all men and women in the wider community. (Excluding of course, for the priesthood. Believe me Cardinal Mahony, I do not feel welcomed nor cherished and never have, and neither has any gay Catholic friend of mine. Especially those who are working for this 'caring' church, and know they will lose their jobs if they ever come out.)
The passage of Proposition 8 in the State of California does not diminish in any way the importance of you, our homosexual brothers and sisters in the Church. Nor does it lessen your personal dignity and value as full members of the Body of Christ. The Church's support of Proposition 8 was our effort to resist a legal redefinition of marriage. Our support for Proposition 8 was in defense of the longstanding institution of marriage understood as the life-long relationship of a man and a woman ordered to the good of the spouses and to the procreation and education of their children. (These statements are absolutely true. It is impossible to diminish from a starting point of zero.)
We are disappointed that the ballot information about Proposition 8 stated that the purpose of the initiative was "to ban gay marriage." From the very beginning, this was not our purpose. (Really Cardinal, then why didn't you make an attempt to clarify this issue? In fact, you and your supporters dragged up every fear based argument you could come up with, and most of them were FALSE.)
When the United Nations was established in 1948, it proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which set in place some 30 Articles to embrace all rights of all peoples on the earth. Article 16 deals with marriage. In the context of the time when it was written, it is clear that the basic understanding of the family, as envisioned by the United Nations Declaration, was one founded on the marriage of one man and one woman. (I beg to differ. Polygamy was certainly the preferred form of traditional marriage in many countries in 1948. Perhaps article 16 was meant to address polygamy and all the injustice towards women and children inherent in polygamous marriages.)
Subsection 3 states: "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State." It is this universal understanding of marriage and family which Proposition 8 desired to guarantee in California. (Except for the families and children of gay people of course. You don't care what this message says to them. Come to think of it, their very existence kind of undercuts the 'universal understanding' of marriage and family. Come to think of it, SO DOES THE EXISTENCE OF MILLIONS OF SINGLE PARENT AND MIXED FAMILIES.)
Such an understanding of marriage is found in at least three major religious traditions which have described the origin, meaning, and intent of marriage in their sacred writings. In the Hebrew Scriptures, we find explicit reference to marriage between a man and a woman in 51 verses located in 19 books. The Christian Scriptures have 14 verses dealing directly with marriage in six books. The Muslim Koran records 14 passages dealing with marriage. (Cardinal, how many of these cited verses are referring to polygamy? I guess it's OK if a man marries multiple wives in separate ceremonies. Mohamed was a polygamist, Joseph Smith was a polygamist and they were the writers of their scriptural books. The Old Testament is full of polygamists and their writings. Are we to ignore all this? What you really all have in common is traditional polygamy and male homophobia.)
Thus, our faith communities and their sacred writings are in agreement about the application of the term "marriage." And there are other faith communities which, in their own sacred writings, concur with this understanding. Our faith communities have never understood this term to be applied to other types of relationships between people. (Lies, lies and more lies.)
These sacred writings and traditions, spanning thousands of years, support the fundamental truth that God created the human family as male and female, sending them forth to be fruitful and multiply. This is the understanding of marriage which has prevailed throughout human history, and has been enacted in the laws of peoples, nations, races and religions everywhere. It is this truth that is at the heart of Proposition 8. (Marriage has historically been a contractual obligation having more to do with property rights that sanctity. That's my problem Cardinal, prop 8 was based on lies and inventifacting and homophobia, and that's the real truth.)
Proposition 8 was not crafted as a concern for civil rights but as an effort to resist a redefinition of marriage. "Marriage" is not a merely religious concept, but is so fundamental to human experience that it cannot be redefined legally. (That's absolutely true, Cardinal. You and your supporters had zero concern for the civil rights of a particular group of citizens as legally established in the California constitution. )
The Catholic Church has historically opposed attempts to deny or to limit the exercise of the basic rights which are known through the natural law and which are expounded in Sacred Scriptures and in the charters and declarations of world bodies. Our efforts in this country to espouse equal rights for all citizens have frequently created adverse reactions for our Church: our somewhat belated efforts to prohibit slavery; our insistence on equal educational opportunities for all children; our strong support of immigrants' rights; our struggles on behalf of unborn children and those at the end of life's journey, and so many others. (Somewhat belated? Wow it's starting to stink around here. I noticed you didn't add equal rights for women.)
In 1997 the United States Catholic Bishops' Committee on Marriage and the Family published Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers, urging the Christian community and especially parents of homosexuals to offer them understanding and pastoral care. (And then the USCCB completely gutted it in 2006. Let's see, 1997 was before you decided to blame the 2002 pedophile crisis on gays, and 2006 was after. I get it. No wonder you cherish gays. We're very useful aren't we?)
Proposition 8 was never intended, directly or indirectly, to lessen the value and importance of gay and lesbian persons. Your intrinsic value as human beings and as brothers and sisters continues without change. If we had ever thought that the intent of this proposition was to harm you or anyone in the State of California, we would not have supported it. We are personally grateful for the witness and service of so many dedicated and generous homosexual Catholics. We pledge our commitment to safeguard your dignity. (Look my daughter in the face, Cardinal, and try this crap on her. Every single child of every gay family has been grievously hurt. Every gay child in every church who had to sit through this campaign has been grievously hurt. What did they ever do to you Cardinal? Where is the dignity for them?)
Here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles we began our spiritual and pastoral outreach to homosexual people over 20 years ago. And we were pilloried by many for doing so. We began the various Serra Residences for victims of HIV and AIDS when the public understanding and fear of this illness repulsed so many. ('Pilloried' must be the new code word for the Church being tortured for their ever so generous and caring understanding of homosexuality. Poor church.)
As we have come to learn over these past decades, there are many groupings of people residing under one roof across California. Some of these groupings are related family members, while others are companions and friends. There are now 17 rights for such companions and friends specifically included in the State of California's legal structure. (As Fr. Geoff Farrow says on his blog, imagine some guy telling his prospective wife: "Let's forgo marriage for a civil union." I'm sure she'd be ever so willing to go along with that one.
We are saddened that some people who opposed Proposition 8 have employed hurtful and accusatory language, and even threatening actions, against those who voted for Proposition 8. This is most unfortunate since such strategies obscure the basic matter at issue: the preservation of the ordered relationship between man and woman created by God.
Supporting marriage as it has always been understood diminishes none of us. (The onus is on you to prove that gay marriage somehow diminishes marriage, something you turn on it's head with this statement. What prop 8 did do, is diminish the family experience and legal safety net for every child of gay parents. It hurts real children--millions of them.)
We welcome thoughtful and civil dialogue with you so that we can deepen our realization that all of us cherish God's creative life which we equally share. We are committed to find ways to eliminate discrimination against homosexual persons, and to help guarantee the basic rights which belong to each of us. (Isn't this the whole point of your marriage argument, that gay marriages do not have CREATIVE life, that they are not EQUAL. Quit with the bogus double speak, it's sickening.)
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony
Bishop Thomas Curry
Bishop Gerald Wilkerson
Bishop Edward Clark
Bishop Gabino Zavala
Bishop Alexander Salazar
Bishop Oscar Solis
Bishop Thomas Curry
Bishop Gerald Wilkerson
Bishop Edward Clark
Bishop Gabino Zavala
Bishop Alexander Salazar
Bishop Oscar Solis
I have nothing more to say. The picture at the top of this piece says it all.
The Catholic Church has historically opposed attempts to deny or to limit the exercise of the basic rights which are known through the natural lawReplyDelete
References to the natural law are spurious attempts to provide a non-sectarian rationale in defense of a particular cultural mileu or sectarian belief.
In my opinion, the determination of natural law is best left to the scientists.
Agreed Antonio. I find the repeated references to Natural Law completely worthless, in as much as most of the defense of the Church's concept of Natural law necessitates inventing their own science to support it.ReplyDelete
Or attempting to discredit science when it is at odds with doctrine.ReplyDelete
Antonia, as to your point about discrediting science when it is at odds with doctrine, the science they quote on the gay issue is typical.ReplyDelete
I've noted that in all their statistics about gay conversion, they never seem to know just how many of their 'converted' are bi sexual. In fact they don't mention this at all.
Colleen- I've struggled with this for years... and I'm done. I've been studying about Lutheranism ELCA, specifically... its too good to be true... but it is. Here's the itty bitty Church I attend in Buda TX. out in the Hill Country- beautiful scenery and the Charism absolutely prophetic!!! Our Pastor Lori Ruge-Jones ROCKS! Her congregation is filling up with bisexuals and gays... because we feel WELCOMED... no longer, will I live in the shadows or religious fringe... I say all gay nuns and gay priests should come out! And the catholic church would then fall to its knees... SILENCE never freed any oppressed people...ReplyDelete
Delizza D. no longer catholic
If every single gay priest, nun, and pastoral worker came out and left the Church, the institutional church would be flat on it's back, not on it's knees.ReplyDelete
My anger with this issue, and it's extensive, is two fold. The homophobic messages are brutal on gay children and the children of gay parents, and the Church itself is functioning on the backs of silent fearful gay employees.
The whole thing is despicable.
Plese run a spel-checker on your comentery. (It's pastoral, not pastural.) It makes your blogg look rathor unsofisticated.ReplyDelete
The use of the word pastural is exactly what I meant to use. I always use spell check because I never remember "I before E except after C".
This statement from Cardinal Mahoney is bs. You find a lot of BS in pastures.