US bishops issue pastoral letter on marriage, condemn contraception, homosexual unions
November 18, 2009 Catholic News Service
The bishops of the United States have issued a 60-page pastoral letter on marriage that offers an overview of Catholic teaching on the sacrament while addressing the challenges posed by contraception, same-sex unions, divorce, and cohabitation.
The draft of the document, which earned praise from pro-life and pro-family leaders, underwent nearly 100 changes before it was approved by a 180-45 margin. For example, in the section on contraception-- which cites Humanae Vitae seven times-- the sentence “this is an intrinsically evil action” was changed and expanded to
This is objectively wrong in and of itself and is essentially opposed to God’s plan for marriage and proper human development. It makes the act of intercourse signify, or speak, something less than the unreserved self-gift intended in the marriage promises. (I see where our gutless bishops really don't want to offend all those contracepting couples by calling contraception intrinsically evil and equating contraception with homosexuality.)
The draft’s key paragraph condemning the legal recognition of homosexual unions remained unchanged:
The legal recognition of same-sex unions poses a multifaceted threat to the very fabric of society, striking at the source from which society and culture come and which they are meant to serve. Such recognition affects all people, married and non-married: not only at the fundamental levels of the good of the spouses, the good of children, the intrinsic dignity of every human person, and the common good, but also at the levels of education, cultural imagination and influence, and religious freedom.
(This is absolutely stunning in it's totally unsupported condemnation. It's a statement worthy of Joseph Goebbels.)
There should be no more question about where the USCCB stands when it comes to gays. Uncloseted partnered gays are the epitome of evil, and threaten everything and everybody. This is called catastrophizing and it is indicative of a serious endemic institutional personality disorder. This statement by the USCCB is not pastoral, it is pathological. This kind of language is very incendiary and dangerous. It follows in the footsteps of Benedict's 1987 Halloween letter. See this post on Bilgrimage for an example of how this kind of language ACTUALLY impacts the REAL world.
What makes this even worse is that the USCCB also changed the 'intrinsically evil' language they had originally used for co habitating heterosexuals in one of their 'amendments'. I suppose co habitation, like birth control, is now just objectively wrong, as opposed to no doubt about it evil.
In other words, all those heterosexual marital sins, including divorce, may be less than perfect, but they are not the intrinsically evil acts of gays. Apparently none of these heterosexual less than perfect acts threaten all people, married and non married, the intrinsic dignity of humanity, the fundamental levels of the good of the spouses, the good of children, the common good, education, and cultural imagination and influence.
Well guess what? I can cite study after study from the REAL SCIENTIFIC world, which proves heterosexual co habitation and divorce harm all those societal goods--especially children. I can even find multiple well done studies which show the children of lesbian couples do better in society than the children of straight couples, especially in advocating social justice issues. But what's REALITY got to do with our bishops when it comes to gays? Absolutely nothing.
None of what the bishops have written about gays, nor any of their actions towards gays, is about Christian love or concern for souls. It is purely pathological. One only need read these gross and unfounded generalizations, note the lies and distortions in the anti gay marriage crusade, listen to the scapegoating of gay priests for the abuse scandal, and note the exclusive use of the terms 'intrinsically evil' as applied to gays to see the pathology.
But it is oh so traditional to scapegoat a marginalized class of 'evil others' in order to secure a false hold on authority. Lest anyone think this process will stop with gays, check this out. Sarah Palin has now been classified as pro choice by the 'traditional' right. Anyone who thinks this kind of violence can't be done to them, that they are part of the 'in' crowd, had best think twice. In this kind of pathology anyone is fair game because duplicitous delusion reigns. See Carrie Prejean.
Sickness and ignorance seems to abound. The Bishops are stupid and cruel, nasty and mean, just blatantly wicked. You are right, Colleen, this is not pastoral, it is pathological.ReplyDelete
So much so it is pathological and deranged it is as if the spirits, the most contemptuous ones from the past, like Goebbels, are marching again and embodied in likeness of spirit in a majority of these US Bishops. I can imagine from this "teaching" of hatred towards gay persons that similar talk from Church leaders occurred back in the last century leading to Hitler's rise to power. These stupid leaders need to wake up. They are destroyers of life and fool me not.
Come Lord Jesus, deliver us from evil.
I am beyond angry. This is beyond disgraceful. This is beyond cowardice. This is evil.ReplyDelete
Colleen, I used to observe frequently that the only thing "disordered" about loving homosexual relationships is the Vatican teaching. Now, I fear, you are leading me to retract. It is not "disordered", it is pathological.ReplyDelete
Just as Cardinal George in his opening address emphasised that we are all one, and that it not about control but power, to conclude that those in the power elite need to further their control (but in a loving way), they once again demonstrate their commitment to love and justice, and the importance of dignity and respect for all God's children, by demonising us all.
Ever since I read the progress report of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, I have been haunted by one observation in particular - how apparently simple words can undermine our consciousness and unbalance proper relationships. The example given was "hierarchy", which implies an appropriate, valid ordering of authority.
As such, it does not apply as a collective noun for our bishops and cardinals. We must remember that what we have is not a hierarchy at all. The office of bishop was originally one of service to the community, and answerable to it. Over the past 2000 years they have transformed into a self-selecting club, claiming more and more authority for themselves, in pursuit of power, prestige and (sometimes) riches.
No, there is a more appropriate technical term available: "oligarchy" (or just plain power elite).
This is not a proud day for progressive hopefuls within the People of God... :(ReplyDelete
What I can't understand is how the bishops can willingly describe homosexual attractions as "instrinsically evil" when they really have no grasp of what a person who is gay goes through in their everyday life. I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure that they haven't conducted interview to find out. I don't understand it...
All we can do now is pray and continue to speak our minds.
I am consoled by the fact that most enlighted Catholics of reason understand that all of this is just ludicrous and devoid of any kind of serious scientific or or analytical formation. It's as if they don't want to investigate the issue because they're so afraid of it, probably because their own sexualities play a prime part behind this fear...
*sigh* when will we move towards following Jesus Christ instead of admonishing those who don't fit our "doctrines of men" which the Lord chastised the Pharisees for clinging to so fervently?
We must write our bishops letters so that they understand that these statements impact individual's lives personally. Even if we have to do it anonymously (which is what I think would be in my best interest considering that I'm gay and beginning to be a Eucharistic Minister in my parish) we must get our points across and let them understand that the People of God is not going to go down without a fight on these issues!
Hopefully, movements such as Catholics for Marriage Equality in Maine were just the beginning!
"they really have no grasp of what a person who is gay goes through in their everyday life. I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure that they haven't conducted interview to find out. I don't understand it..."ReplyDelete
Hell. excuse the word, they don't even have a grasp of what heterosexual people go through.
I agree with Anonymous. They are a "caste" which wants nothing to do with its (self-defined) "untouchables".ReplyDelete
Sociology has demonstrated that those who are oppressed always know far more about those who oppress them, than the reverse. (Which proves who the oppressors are here!)
That Jesus was comfortable with the "outcasts" of his day demonstrates one of the"FRUITs" we need to be looking for in leaders. Jesus told us to "know" them by their "fruit" - and that the branches that do not bear fruit will be pruned away. Servant-leaders would be compassionate, fruit-bearing, lovers of the flock. And they would be zealous to demonstrate loving service to the very groups they now castigate.
I didn't intend a pun with "fruit" - but isn't it delicious?
The majority of US Bishops are much in line with the spirit of US Christian evangelicals of the extreme fundamentalist right wing, who, in a report on Rachel Maddow last night, pray the Psalms in which it says "May his children become orphans and his wife a widow." This they are saying about Obama and his family. The threats against Obama's security recently have escalated some 800%. These are supposedly "Christians" who are selling and buying bumper stickers of this Psalm (can't remember the number of the Psalm 10something) against Obama on their vehicles and in their hearts and from their preacher's lips. This hatred for Obama extends outward to all liberals and gays and anyone who does not agree with them. It's the same sort of spirit and spell that the majority of US Bishops have fallen into, and apparently the Pope too, and he seems more confused than anybody else to allow this to happen under his watch.ReplyDelete
They have truly crossed a line to commit evil and to commit it in the name of their false god of hatred and wrath and judgment. These seem like signs for chaos & evil reigning and taking over of the spirit of Churches and this nation and destroying both ideas at the same time. Yes, the Bishops are blind, as they were in Germany and Italy & elsewhere leading up to both World Wars. The fruit of their leading their flocks are millions dead, persecuted, tortured, maimed, torn from families, famine, hunger, disease, homelessness. So much for the graces and fruit of VI. Look at the fruit that is rotten to the core. But they will scapegoat anyone or anything to take away any responsibility that they share in the sin and evil that is in the Church and in the world.
Blind as bats & concerned with their own selfish desires & leading people of Christian faith away from Christ to death and destruction and killing many minorities and all those who are against the spirit of evil who they deemed evil in their sight. They believe they are warriors of Christ. They are truly warriors for evil.
The majority of Bishops are a pack of Scribes and Pharisees that Jesus spoke to, but they did not hear or believe in Him either.
There is nothing but evil & hypocrisy coming forth from them.
I think you have made a very good point butterfly. Benedict is confused and caught between an autocratic governing style endemic to his generation, and a more pastoral teaching style. He can't have it both ways. It's this confusion that comes out in Cardinal George's statement about governing and love. There is no love in the governance coming from these guys.ReplyDelete
RE my earlier post in which fundamentalist right wing fanatical evangelical Christians are quoting the Psalms against Obama and his family: "May his children become orphans and his wife a widow."ReplyDelete
This should be changed to:
"May his children become fatherless and his wife a widow."
No love here either from the "Christians" who hate Obama, people who don't agree with them whom they call liberals, who are a stereotyped individual they know not for real but condemn and pray for their death.
Pathological! The document should contain a warning: "TOXIC, Read with extreme discretion."ReplyDelete
The document is written by men who have not proved they have credibility in the area of sexuality. The clergy abuse crisis proves that.
There are the underground reports that a sizeable number of bishops have a gay orientation. There are other reports that some of these bishops have been sexually active. I conclude that the vote to pass this document was done by a significant number of men filled with self hate, that is internalized homophobia. I am willing to bet that another bunch of bishops are severely repressed sexually.
Coleen, as you report, the bishops move words around at will to describe situations as "intrinsically evil" or "objectively wrong". What do these words mean? Is there a difference? I don't think the bishops know what they are talking about.
Since the document passed on the first vote, we can soon forget it. We won't be subject to listening to how it could be revised. The document should carry some warning that it could be dangerous to a person’s mental and emotional well being.