Friday, May 3, 2013

Bishop Tobin decries new, "Post-Christian" Era

...I wish to invite members of the Catholic Church in Rhode Island to a moment of prayer and reflection as we respond to this new challenge of the post-Christian era into which, clearly, we have now entered.
Bishop Thomas Tobin
I wrote about research conducted by the Barna Group that called Providence, Rhode Island one of the most "post-Christian" cities in the country for Rhode Island Future a few weeks ago. Nice to see that people are reading my stuff. (RI Future is down as I write this, or I would link to the piece I wrote.) Tobin's idea of Christianity seems pretty narrow. There are plenty of committed, believing Christians in the state who support marriage equality. Perhaps Tobin should be lamenting Rhode Island's "post-Catholic" future, rather than claiming to speak for all Christians.

Even though most of us will be celebrating a new era of equality and love, Tobin asks loyal Catholics to remember that our LGBTQ brothers and sisters engage in behaviors that are intrinsically disordered and sinful, but deserving of our love. (Note that Tobin's idea of love seems more like pity.)
…it is important to affirm the teaching of the Church, based on God’s word, that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2357) and always sinful.
As I have emphasized consistently in the past, the Catholic Church has respect, love and pastoral concern for our brothers and sisters who have same-sex attraction...
I would reserve my pity for Bishop Tobin, trapped in his medieval worldview.

Tobin's idea of love means not attending same-sex weddings. Tobin doesn't exactly call attending same-sex marriages sinful, but cautions that merely attending such an event might harm one's relationship to God.
…because “same-sex marriages” are clearly contrary to God’s plan for the human family, and therefore objectively sinful, Catholics should examine their consciences very carefully before deciding whether or not to endorse same-sex relationships or attend same-sex ceremonies, realizing that to do so might harm their relationship with God and cause significant scandal to others.
Let's face it, most Catholics do not accept the Catholic hierarchy's views on this subject. They may believe in all the myths and pomp and history of the church, but they do not believe that homosexuals are lesser citizens, deserving of second class citizenship. They may believe in Jesus and miracles, but they believe in liberty, fraternity and equality more.

Catholics, for the most part, are better than their church.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

1 comment:

  1. Oh you beat me to it - yeah so the churches attitude is that if you're gay you must not act upon it.

    Yeah right - they never went through puberty it appears. They never reached sexual peak either.

    And the entirety of 2357-2359 seems to say we don't have the mental capacity to think for ourselves so the church will do it for us.