December 05, 2007

More Annotations than "The Waste Land"

Gentle Reader: Concerned Conscious for the Common Catholic Cathy here. I spent hours trying to decipher the references from a Letter to the Editor in today's Pioneer Press, I thought it would save you some time if I made a first crack at annotating one of them. I picked the first letter. Both letters are here

Annotations are marked by numerals in the paragraphs. The annotations follow the letter.

The letter:

Thank you for covering the public protest at the St. Paul Cathedral on Sunday. Your article alerted Catholics of Archbishop John Nienstedt's outdated condemnation
(1) of those of us who "encourage" gay and lesbian family/friends. We "are guilty of mortal sin." (2)YIKES! (3)

It sounds like he hasn't read current scientific and psychological data (4)(or the New Testament)(5). After 13 years of excellent Catholic education, countless religious retreats, books, meditations, (6)plus 50 years of Mass and Eucharist,(7) I am prepared to disagree with his edict.(8)

Perhaps he never met a faith-filled person of the GLBT community, (9)or maybe his life was never enriched by a friend/family member who was gay or lesbian (10). If not, he had better get out(11) into his (12)archdiocese, prepare to dialogue(13) and experience our riches. He may see another side of this issue, (14) and hopefully soften his (15) attitude. We can only hope ... and pray! (16)

Annotations for the first letter:
(1) assumes Archbishop has the authority, in this life or the next, to create the teachings on homosexual acts all on his own "his outdated condemnation"
(2)"Those who actively encourage or promote homosexual acts or such activity within a homosexual lifestyle formally cooperate in a grave evil and, if they do so knowingly and willingly, are guilty of mortal sin. They have broken communion with the church and are prohibited from receiving holy Communion until they have had a conversion of heart, expressed sorrow for their action and received sacramental absolution from a priest."-- Archbishop John Nienstedt column in Catholic Spirit November 15, 2007 Cathy's note: Notice H.E. says ACTS and ACTIVITY. There should not be a presumption that H.E. meant you can't, in general, encourage homosexuals. I.e. encouraging them to live a Christian life might be nice.
(3) DAMNATION! Emphatic meaning of "Yikes!"
(4) H.E. initiated chapters of Courage and Encourage in Detroit. Both groups are well-versed in the current studies of homosexual inclinations. I would bet H.E. is too.
(5) Lame attempt at referencing the "Jesus loved everyone, including sinners" tactic as a justification for why the Archbishop should wave his magic pen of power and overturn centuries of Church teaching. Claims that H.E. has been a Catholic his whole life and has never read the N.T.?!?!
(6) Carondelet Center
(7) Author is not claiming Mass and Eucharist are mutually exclusive. Rather, she is informing us that she has been receiving Communion.
(8) Author is trying to make us think she has not already been prepared, well before this letter, to disagree. Note: "his" edict.-see #1 above.
(9) Doubtful. See #4
(10) "The some of my best friends are GLBT argument" Red herring. So? I have a bunch of sinners in my family and among my friends too. Does that mean I should seek to change Christ rather then them?
(11) Threat?
(12) Ummmm...Archbishop Flynn is still alive and in charge, y'all. Besides, it's not really "his", Archdiocese, it's His-know what I'm sayin'?
(13)listen to circular arguments with no basis in faith or reason until you give in because we will not
(14)insinuation that H.E. has never before seen or heard the other side of this issue before
(15) See #1-assumption yet again that H.E. is the ONLY barrier to getting what they want
(16) Always a good idea. I'm praying too! But, it's probably not the same prayer.

This letter was really an eye-opener for me. I used to think like this author did. Now, I realize that if you believe that everyone has their own authority to individually decide what to, and not to, believe why do you care what the Archbishop thinks? Really? I'll tell you why. It's because deep down you DO recognize the authority he does have as Shepherd. Unfortunately, you fail to realize the authority he does NOT have as Shepherd. The Archbishop cannot give you the validation on this issue that you so desperately seek. You will never get it. Not from him. Not from Him.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Cathy!
If I as a catholic, who goes to mass and receives Holy Communion, choose to engage in adultry, premarital sex,or maybe have an abortion- should I expect the Church to endorse my actions as a Catholic? I WANT to do these things, so shouldn't my behavior and lifestyle be accepted, loved and encouraged by my pastor, archbishop, even the Pope? Why limit the protests and condemnations to homosexuals and women who want to be ordained? Shouldn't we all be protesting that the Church change it's positions on ANYTHING we disagree with? I think we'd look more like a unitarian faith- everything is accepted and you can believe what you want.

December 06, 2007 7:53 AM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Very well stated - I also completely agree with what anonymous wrote.

Your statement: "listen to circular arguments with no basis in faith or reason until you give in because we will not." Pretty much sums up their tactics.

December 06, 2007 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry I didn't sign above. I need to take credit for Terry agreeing with me. :)


December 06, 2007 3:39 PM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

It's the eve of first Friday and I'm on my way to Confession. But, as I sit and ponder my sins, I think it would be much easier if the Church just changed the rules so I don't have to keep confessing the same darn sins over and over and over. It would make things soooo much easier.

December 06, 2007 3:49 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

swissmiss: I know! And then I can stay home and stuff my face rather then have to go out on a cold night to Confess!

All: swissmiss and I are kidding-in case, someone thinks we are not.

December 06, 2007 8:15 PM  

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