December 02, 2007

Romans 13:11-14

Gentle Reader: I wasn't going to go to the Cathedral of St. Paul today and catch the CPCSM's latest production of "I AM Church". However, I had this overwhelming urge to pray another Rosary and a Divine Mercy Chaplet in reparation for the offenses committed against Our Blessed Lady and Her Son by the actors in said production. I decided to go to the Cathedral to do so.

I decided to post on what I saw so you can get it straight from a witness who was there. I leave you to judge me reliable or not.

I arrived at the Cathedral at 2:00. The "play" was scheduled to start at 2:00 on the outside staircase. I saw one man outside with a rainbow flag and NO ONE else.

I went inside the Cathedral and knelt before Mary in her chapel. There were some staff members of the Cathedral in evidence. I'm sure they were there to make sure there was no "trouble" inside. May God bless them.

Gradually, I could perceive some commotion outside. More people must have arrived after I went inside. I could just barely hear them do the still-popular-after-all-these-decades variation of the Fish Cheer. I can't quite tell what they were spelling out. Probably not H-E-L-L since most dissidents refuse to believe in it anyway.

I prayed the Rosary in reparation and a Divine Mercy Chaplet. I threw in a few other prayers. I left about 2:40 p.m. I think there were about 100 people outside-that includes cameramen, press and the organizers of the event.

My car was surrounded by other cars with the following bumperstickers on them: Greenpeace, WAMM, Coexist, The Earth-Your Mother, Peace, Bring the Troops Home, Water: Every Drop is Holy-you get the picture.

The age ranges most of the people that I saw were maybe mid-40s to 60 years old. I saw very few people under 30. Even fewer under 20.

Do they even realize that their demographic is aging into death and is not being replaced? I'm not crowing about it because I don't think we should be complacent. Are we sure that the people their movement isn't getting, are coming to the side of Christ? Or, are they just falling away or going to other faiths? Those are the people we need to be praying for today. I should have.

I wonder of those people that were there on the steps: How many of them even know why they are there? How many are even Catholic-even CINO's? How many of them have even the vaguest conception of what they are protesting against? Can 2 of them even explain, truthfully, Christ's teaching on homosexuality as He said it? Not as the "producers" of this play tell them it is? How many of them just showed up because a buddy told them they should? How many of them showed up because they thought it sounded like a good idea? How many of them make it a habit to protest just for the sake of protest?

There are "professional" protesters around. They don't, necessarily, get paid to do it. Some people just like the comaraderie of protesting. True. Really. I used to see the same people at protests all the time. There's something bewitching about feeling like you are "sticking it to the man". 1/2 of them probably don't even know who "the man" is.

Funny. I was at a protest once and a gal that I recognized came over to me and asked me what this event was for. She couldn't remember. She was encouraged to come by someone she knew who believed as she did. She trusted him and she went. I looked at her and drew a blank. "I don't know", I said. We both laughed but, really, it wasn't funny. Some people are easily manipulated and coerced. Later, I wasn't laughing because I realized I was being used and I had no clue what for or why.

The stakes are higher but the questions remain: What are you doing? Why? Deep down how certain are you that you are living with Christ and for Christ?


Blogger japhy said...

From the web site: We invite you to stand with us as we “promote” Jesus’ message of inclusion, justice, and compassion.

I didn't even need to quote the word promote. They did it for me. By promote, they must mean usurp, twist, and obscure.

And while they're doing that with Jesus' message of inclusion, justice, and compassion, they can feel free to ignore all of Jesus' other messages.

December 02, 2007 9:14 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Bayly counts 300+ as the people who attended this rally - so that means how many elderly Corondolet affiliates and sistas, old queens, and mums and dadums of gay kids, with an occassional longtime companion couple thrown in?

Most gay guys could give a crap if the Catholic Church approves of their lifestyle or not - REALLY! These activists are enemies of the Church - duping mums and dadums that really only want their gay kids to be Catholic at any cost - just like the way they contracepted and received Communion themselves all of these years.

December 02, 2007 9:51 PM  
Blogger Tom in Vegas said...

"What are you doing? Why? Deep down how certain are you..." This is where maturity and interest from your own free will would move you to ask, seek, contemplate, and pray. Let's face it, some people are Catholic because the Mormons or J. Witnesses or some other group didn't get to them first.

They have no clue about God and Who and What He is, and don't even recognize that the Catholic Church is the vehicle that has been entrusted to carry out His message of Salvation. I believe you call them CINO's.


December 02, 2007 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I don't know how you can dare accuse the people, protesting for their GLBT sons, daughters, or friends- of not knowing what they're protesting. How dare you accuse them of not knowing what the Church teaches about homosexualty. Of course they do! And that is exactly why they were protesting it. The main message of the vigil outside the cathedral was to tell Archbishop Nienstedt that GLBT members deserve respect, inclusion, and compassion within the Church and they are not, as he says "intrinsically disorderd."

Please, don't assume these people are not faithful Catholics, just because they do not blindy follow every teaching of the Catholic Church.

December 03, 2007 12:23 AM  
Blogger Tom in Vegas said...


Before someone beats me to it, you've been tagged! Come to my blog for the gory details:0)


December 03, 2007 12:44 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

elizabeth: If you don't follow EVERY teaching of the Catholic Church then you are NOT Catholic. You can't pick and choose and consider yourself in full communion.

December 03, 2007 6:11 AM  
Blogger Brendan Koop said...


Thank you for this insider's perspective. It still boggles my mind that someone like "Elizabeth" or those who attended this event really won't get it, no matter how many times it's said: Homosexual ACTS are contrary to natural law and the explicit teaching of Holy Scripture and the Church. How on Earth someone should be condemned for stating this truth is beyond me. Those with homosexual attractions are to be loved, and family members should love them as their sons and daughters. But when it comes to actively supporting their homosexual lifestyle (i.e. actively supporting serious sin) then obviously that is a serious sin in itself and for the good of souls must be pointed out by the bishop. "Compassion" is to do what is unpopular or easy, informing people of the truth, all for the sake of that person's salvation. Thanks for your prayers at that event.

December 03, 2007 9:18 AM  
Blogger Fr. Andrew said...

Furthermore, there has been no public attempt at genuine discourse on Archbishop Nienstedt's presentation of the Church's teaching. Cathy is certainly allowed to question their understanding, which she did in a restrained manner.

Where is the restraint, where is the dialogue, where is the openness to all presentations to which our culture claims to be open?

It makes civil and democratic life difficult.

December 03, 2007 9:43 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

As I said on Terry's blog "If they want to sit on the steps of the Cathedral, making fools of themselves, and freezing their asses off - let em!"

Elizabeth - they already have respect, inclusion, and compassion. What they cannot have is sex with each other because we are all called to chastity. End of story!

December 03, 2007 10:29 AM  
Blogger Michael J. Bayly said...

Elizabeth, thank you for your powerful words.

Cathy, like author Garry Wills, many Catholics (the vast majority, I would say), simply don’t believe that “the whole test of Catholicism, the essence of the faith, is submission to the Pope” – and by extension, official church teachings.

In his book, Papal Sin: Structures of Deciet, Wills observes that “during long periods of the church’s history, [such unquestioning submission] was not the rule – St. Augustine, for one, would have flunked such a test. And today it is a test that would decimate the ranks of current churchgoers. It is not a position that has a solid body of theology behind it, no matter how common it is as a popular notion.”

I also appreciate the historical perspective provided by Gary Macy – a perspective that accurately identifies the “strange form of authoritarianism” currently popular among so-called traditionalists (including those within the Vatican) as stemming from the “ultra-montanism of the late nineteenth-century papacy.”

Such “authoritarianism,” Macy remnds us, “narrowly understands Roman Catholicism as fundamentally an attempt to provide the definitive answers to all questions, usually in one ‘big book of doctrine,’ whether it be Thomas’s Summa, Denzinger’s Enchiridion, or lately the Roman Catechism of the Universal Church.”

Again, it’s important to remember that this “strange form of authoritarianism” and its “Big Book of Doctrine” school of theology are, as Catholic theologian Mary Bednarowski notes, a “fairly recent development” in Catholic history.

Of course, the desire for absolute certainty is an understandably human one, but in our pursuit of such certainty we tend to create rigid, monolithic and very absolutist institutions that accordingly are very dehumanizing. They become the very antithesis of what Jesus was all about.

I appreciate what Chuck Lofy has to say about this. In an interview I conducted with him in 2005, he noted that: “The temptation for any form, image, or organized structure is to become monolithic; to become crystallized and to become an end unto itself. In some ways that is what’s going on with the church right now. The function of any monolith can become primarily to continue itself in its current crystallized, opaque form. Yet Jesus said the form profits nothing. It’s the spirit that gives life.”

December 03, 2007 10:51 AM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

Elizabeth, my apologies for insinuating that the people involved in the protest yesterday were not faithful Catholics because they were probably contracepting parents. That was a cheap shot! I'm very sorry.

I'm sure most of the people involved at the Cathedral protest are well aware of Church teaching - which they reject since most if not all, are just as well informed on selected secular, medical, psychological, or dissenting theologian's teaching on sexuality which contradicts Roman Catholic Church teaching.

If, as you say, these people do not follow every teaching of the Church, then these people can hardly be called "faithful Catholics". On that matter, you and your group of protesters are woefully ill informed.

And yes, I dare say, some of these people in your group, presenting as opponents of Church teaching, and therefore the hierarchy of the Church,make themselves "enemies of the cross of Christ" (Philippians 3:18).

December 03, 2007 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Archbishop Nienstedt does not disrespect or strive to keep homosexuals out of the Church. He is merely stating the Church's teachings on ACTS of homosexuality. The same holds true that that he speaks out against the ACTS of premarital sex, and other sexual activities outside of the sacrament of marriage. Do I have compassion for homosexuals? Of course-it would be very difficult to be a homosexual,faithful catholic and live chastely. Likewise, it would also be difficult to be a single catholic and live chastely. If I could not follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, felt disrespected or not included, or somehow belittled, I would find another religion in which to worship.

December 03, 2007 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Sherry said...

What is sad to see is that people assume that because they are in the majority on the internet, they constitute the same in reality. The fact is the majority of Catholics in this country are still quite liberal.

This ultra-conservative, shall I say, fundamentalist approach to the world is not the norm. It is unfortunate that Catholics are now falling victim to what has happened to some sects of protestantism and Islam.

From visiting Catholic blogs for a couple of months now, I see two main themes. 1. Return the church to before Vatican II, and 2. accuse everyone of heresy who doesn;t agree with with fundamentalist interpretation. Thus anyone who disagrees with you is NOT Catholic. Sorry but we aren't gonna die any time soon. Your politics of exclusion is sad,and hardly in keeping with the One you claim to uphold.

December 03, 2007 3:11 PM  
Blogger Miss Emily said...

Then I'm not in full communion either, but I still receive the Eucharist and I call myself Ccatholic whether you think I'm Catholic or not. And I jsut pray for the day that the people in power get their heads screwed on straight and change some things. I wouldn't leave the church officially over random issues, that's not really the important part. We get so legalistic.

Besides, he's the archbishop, not God himself. Take it with a grain of salt.

No one should follow blindly without thinking. People ARE capable of making bad teachings and not catching it until much later.

I have a much greater respect for those who take the time to think through teachings instead of just following them just because someone said to follow them. There's something to be said for thought.

December 03, 2007 6:00 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

In the spirit of providing "all the news that's fit to print" I can testify that I was present for the "Fish Cheer" as you call it.

Here it is:

Gimme a C! C!

Gimme a O! O!

Gimme a L! L!

Gimme a D! D!

What's that spell?

[Much laughter and applause!]

December 03, 2007 6:38 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Michael Bayly: I've read Garry Wills' work. I've heard him speak twice. I still have no idea why he remains in the Church since he has no respect for it.

Miss Emily and Sherry: When you call yourself Catholic and take the oaths stating you believe and profess all that the Catholic church teaches I hope you thought it thru before you made the oath. No one is twisting anyone's arm to believe what Christ and His Church teach. However, when you receive Holy Eucharist you are making a public statement that you are in full communion with the Church. Anyone can receive the Host, however the only people who receive the graces it can impart are those who are properly disposed-which means free of serious sin and in full agreement with His Church.

The Archbishop, not even the Holy Father himself, has the authority in this life or the next to arbitrarily change dogma's of the Church. They certainly don't have the authority to do so even if popular opinion thinks they should. Popular opinion thinks that abortion should be legal. Do you expect our Shepherds to, tomorrow, suddenly declare: 'You know, we've been wrong all along. Life should not be sacred from conception to natural death'. No. They are not going to do that any more then they are going to declare that sexual acts outside of the giving act between two people of opposite genders joined in Holy Matrimony is allowed.

December 03, 2007 8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cathy of Alex,

Very well said, it’s not a popularity contest.

I’m often amazed that the Episcopal Church isn’t packed to the rafters each week with all of the so called “liberal Catholics” who are out there and feel the Catholic Church is out of touch. Just look at it that Church, the hierarchy has changed its traditions and teachings and now allows everything that these “progressive Catholics” say they want. Yet the Episcopal Church is dying. Why is that I wonder?

December 03, 2007 8:43 PM  
Blogger Tom in Vegas said...

Nothing to do with the topic of discussion that dominates this post, but I think we should have something similar to a mass card for recreant Catholics like Gary Wills that actually PROMOTES and ENCOURAGES people to leave the Church.

The Anglicans are calling, Gary. Answer their call...pleeeeease!


December 04, 2007 12:36 AM  
Blogger Brendan Koop said...

Ah, what a Church we would have if her teaching were actually dependent on majority opinion. Thank God it doesn't work that way. Instead, the Church's unchangeable teaching is based on Truth. Gary Wills is the last person on Earth to go to for advice on the Church's teaching and foundation in truth. There's lots of people throughout history that have dissented from Church teaching on faith and morals, even Saints on occasion, and there's nothing left to be said except that they were wrong (though most of the time I have found that those who point to Saints who "dissented" actually misrepresent what in actuality was the opinion of that Saint on a doctrinal matter that remained unsettled by the Church at that time, but has since been settled). The existence of dissenters has nothing to do with the truth of the Church's teaching, but serves only to remind us of the reality of sin in the world. Dissent doesn't change the truth, it just separates one's self from the truth. And the truth is Christ himself, who established the office of the papacy for the express task (with the supernatural aid of the Holy Spirit) to protect the truth. Separating yourself from an official teaching of the Church on a matter of faith or morals separates yourself from truth. And the matter of the morality of homosexual acts cannot be expressed any more clearly than the Church already has, and it will never, never change. It's part of the deposit of faith the Church is entrusted to hand down through the ages, and the Church has no authority to change the deposit of faith.

December 04, 2007 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss Emily, you say "people should not follow blindly"...

And I totally agree with you! YES! Please do NOT blindly follow contemporary western culture whose current fashion is to promote and flaunt homosexuality -- and every other kind of promiscuity. Please THINK (as you say), and realize that this was not the trend twenty years ago, and certainly not this way most of our history. Please ask yourself why this is the case today? Please do take a look at history and realize that whenever a civilization embraced homosexuality, it was the beginning of its complete and utter demise.

Also, PLEASE note that it is not the Church which is obsessed with sex, it is our society obsessed with sex. The Church sticks with Her principles from time immemorial. Those poor (unthinking sheep) who follow the culture are the ones pressuring the Church to embrace homosexuality and other forms of promiscuity and disordered behavior.

PLEASE do not blindly accept and follow the new religion of the secular humanists, Moral Relativism. This new religion teaches that what is "right for you may not be right for me". This is a falsehood and the Church frankly calls it like it is. The truth is, God has made the world with LAWS to govern it. And we may be free to disagree with those Laws, but we are not able to change them even one iota. Just like we cannot change the laws of Physics (authored by God and woven into the fabric of our world), so we cannot change the Absolute Moral Laws (also authored by God and woven into the fabric of our world). We may try to act contrary to these laws, but in the end, we always get hurt. We might try to jump off a cliff, but if we tell ourselves we will not come down again, it is ultimately we ourselves who will be hurt.

And because of this, the Church would be seriously remiss in Her duty if she misled us to believe that following a sinful life is "OK". Just as a parent who never reprimands her child when he hits or hurts others but instead jollies it up with him about it, may be quite popular with him when he is young, but when he grows up and find himself in serious trouble for continuing this behavior to the next step, hurting, or even killing others, he will wind up in jail or on death row -- and she won't be so popular with him any more. More likely he will be cursing her for not warning him and training him properly while he had the chance.

The Church realizes some of Her children might hate Her now for sticking with Her principles, because She knows that they would really fault Her when they end up in Hell if She had not done so. What is more so, She knows they will LOVE and ADORE God forever when they reach Heaven by following Her guidance and direction as He Himself ordained Her to do.

May God help us all to see His truths more clearly.

In Christ,

December 04, 2007 9:27 PM  

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