Wednesday, July 20, 2011

From Archbishop Dolan's Blog

Just to keep current, I wanted to post a few quotes from Archbishop Dolan's "Afterthoughts" about same sex marriage.   Although some might be saying that Dolan should have/could have done more (note here the suggestion that Cuomo be given a "public rebuke" by the bishops of New York), Dolan points out that legalizing same sex relationships has less to do with homosexuals wanting to marry and more to do with the homosexual lobbyists' desire to chip away at religious freedom, challenge the Church (Catholic, of course) and  define away traditional marriage and existing sexual norms (such as they are at this point).  
If the experience of those few other states and countries where this is already law is any indication, the churches, and believers, will soon be harassed, threatened, and hauled into court for their conviction that marriage is between one man, one woman, forever, bringing children into the world.  
the problem is not homophobia but theophobia — a hatred by some of God, faith, religion, and the Church. 
And now we ring the steeple bell again at this latest dilution of the authentic understanding of marriage, worried that the next step will be another redefinition to justify multiple partners and infidelity. If you think I’m exaggerating, within days of the passage of this bill, one major newspaper ran a flattering profile of a proponent of what was called “nonmonogamy.” Apparently, “nonmonogamy” is the idea that society is unrealistic to think that one man and one woman should remain faithful in marriage, and that openness to some infidelity should be the norm!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sexual Liberationist Ideology

The term is not mine, but it's certainly an accurate and useful one.  Prof. Robert George uses it in this article which discusses the implications of legalizing same-sex marriage in New York state. 
The vote in New York to redefine marriage advances the cause of loosening norms of sexual ethics, and promoting as innocent — and even “liberating” — forms of sexual conduct that were traditionally regarded in the West and many other places as beneath the dignity of human beings as free and rational creatures.
Prof. George discusses the meaning of marriage in New York by saying,
What New York now offers its citizens is “marriage” in name only. In reality, it doesn’t give marriage to same-sex partners — the nature of marriage makes that impossible, just as it makes it impossible to offer marriage to parties of three or more persons in polyamorous sexual partnerships. Rather, it takes away the legal recognition of marriage — a comprehensive union of persons ordered to having and rearing a family. 
He goes on to explain how sexual norms will erode further.
Because these domestic partnerships are not actually marriages, despite the appropriation of the label; there is no intelligible basis in them for the norms of monogamy, exclusivity, and the pledge of permanence that structure and help to define marriage as historically understood in our law and culture. 

Prof. George's remarks put in perspective the New York Times article I referenced here
In fact George cites the article himself and concludes
On sexual-liberationist premises, there is no reason (apart from the subjective tastes of this or that particular set of partners) for “marriages” to be monogamous and demand sexual fidelity.

There's much more good reading in this piece.  The culture wars continue.

Statement of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn on Same Sex Marriage

I have been meaning to post this since reading it last week.  Highlights are mine.

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have deconstructed the single most important institution in human history. Republicans and Democrats alike succumbed to powerful political elites and have passed legislation that will undermine our families and as a consequence, our society.

With this vote, Governor Cuomo has opened a new front in the culture wars that are tearing at the fabric of our nation. At a time when so many New Yorkers are struggling to stay in their homes and find jobs, we should be working together to solve these problems. However, the politicians have curried favor with wealthy donors who are proponents of a divisive agenda in order to advance their own careers and futures.

What is needed in our state is leadership and not political gamesmanship.

In light of these disturbing developments and in protest for this decision, I have asked all Catholic schools to refuse any distinction or honors bestowed upon them this year by the governor or any member of the legislature who voted to support this legislation. Furthermore, I have asked all pastors and principals to not invite any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration.

The above request is intended as a protest of the corrupt political process in New York State. More than half of all New Yorkers oppose this legislation. Yet, the governor and the state legislature have demonized people of faith, whether they be Muslims, Jews, or Christians, and identified them as bigots and prejudiced, and voted in favor of same-sex “marriage.” It is mystifying that this bill would be passed on the last day of an extended session under the cover of darkness.

This issue has been framed as upholding marriage equality. This is not the case since one of the principal purposes of marriage is to bring new life into the world. This cannot happen in same-sex marriage. It is not a civil rights issue, but rather a human rights issue upholding the age-old understanding of marriage. Our political leaders do not believe their own rhetoric. If they did, how in good conscience could they carve out any exemption for institutions that would be proponents of bigotry and prejudice?

Republicans and Democrats equally share responsibility for this ruinous legislation and we as Catholics should hold all accountable for their actions.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beatification for the Ulma Family

I'm very late with this.  For several years, maybe 7 or 8, I've saved a newspaper clipping about Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma from the village of Markowa in Poland.  They and their seven children, the seventh being Wiktoria's unborn child in the womb, were murdered by the Nazis for harboring Jews.  The clipping I saved was brief in content, no more than a paragraph, but it left such an impression that it's never seemed quite right to throw it away.  

It would have been bad enough for the husband and wife to have been shot, but seven young children from ages 7 to 18 months?  How can one even begin to understand what it means to do that?    The unspeakably inhumane actions of the Germans are spelled out further in this Zenit article from earlier this year.   The beatification of the Ulma Family was, I believe, carried out in May of this year.

Same Sex Marriage

In another mind-twisting game to convince us that black is really white, this article wants us to accept the "finding" that gay promiscuity is healthy for relationships and "some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships.  And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution."

If you're still reading after that, the article goes on to say that while straight people might call having various partners "cheating," gays view this kind of activity in a positive light.  The thinking seems to be that traditional marriage is in trouble (can't imagine why) and the more evolved thinking of gay people can help provide a cure.  This sounds like some variation of the Stockholm Syndrome where victims begin to identify their persecutors as their saviors.  Gays and lesbians, so deeply involved in the negativity and counter-intuitiveness of promiscuous relationships begin to define them as positive in order to survive.  An indication of all this openess has to offer is reflected in the fact that no one interviewed for the article would give their name!  

None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage. 
A good antidote is to read "A New Movement For Marriage" and Maggie Gallagher's article following the passage of same sex marriage in New York.

Friday, July 1, 2011

This was sent out last week by Catholic Advocacy Network

A Message to Catholic New Yorkers from the Bishops of New York State
We bishops share with so many of you deep disappointment in the presumption of our state’s elected officials in the radical redefinition of marriage. Yet we are heartened by the vigor with which so many faithful Catholic New Yorkers fought to preserve the true meaning of marriage.
Many surely believed that Catholics would simply shrug their shoulders and go along with this radical act of social engineering. Yet you did not do that. Together with people of other faith traditions, you spoke out. Thousands of you, by phone, email, letter or in-person visits to your legislators, and through social media like Facebook and Twitter, as well as hand-signed petitions in the back of your church, let you convictions be known.
We are grateful to you, as we are to the many legislators in the state Senate and Assembly who voted to reject this bill. We know the pressure that was brought to bear on them, and we admire their courage and yours in attempting to defend marriage and protect religious freedom. Their integrity and yours was called into question by many. Both you and they were accused of bigotry for simply defending the timeless understanding of marriage.
The proponents of so-called “same-sex marriage” portrayed their cause as a matter of “civil rights.” Redefining marriage has nothing to do with civil rights. The Catholic Church has a proud history in this country’s civil rights movement for African-Americans. However, this situation is in no way analogous. In the first case, a race of people was shamefully made to endure hundreds of years of slavery and systemic persecution and discrimination. Today’s debate focuses on a small group of persons, whose human rights must always be respected and defended by us all, but who claim a civil right to redefine marriage for all of society based on a private and personal preference.
As so many of you have let us know, this is not just a “Catholic issue.” Yet for us Catholics, there is particular disappointment with those elected officials who publicly profess fidelity to our Catholic religion but whose public stance is at odds with a fundamental teaching of that faith. The definition of marriage resides in the plan of God for humankind. It is at the very least presumptuous for the state to attempt to redefine it.
From this sad moment in our state’s history, let it be our prayer that we witness a new appreciation for authentic marriage as understood by our Catholic faith and revealed to us by God through nature. We have seen so many threats to marriage in recent years, from widespread cohabitation, to infidelity, to exploding out-of-wedlock birth rates, to pornography and other addictions that undermine family and married life. Sadly, we have even seen rates of Catholic marriages plunge over the last four decades by nearly 60 percent. And now we see the state presume to alter what God already has defined and common sense can recognize as right and true.
While our culture seems to have lost a basic understanding of marriage, we Catholics must not. We must be models of what is good, holy and sacred about authentic sacramental marriage. Let this moment where marriage is being attacked from without become a moment of renewal from within – in our Church, in our communities and in our families – where marriage is indelibly marked by fidelity, sacrifice and the mutual love of husband and wife leading to children.
The Church does not seek to be at odds with the society and culture. The Church welcomes the opportunity to be part of the public dialogue and listens respectfully to all positions. But the Church cannot do otherwise than stand against the claims of any culture and any society that attempts to define a relationship into being what it is not. To that extent we members of the Catholic Church are called to be in opposition to the prevailing culture. And sadly we are called to do so again. We know well that marriage always has been, is now and always will be the life-long, life-giving union of one man and one woman. No act of government can change that reality. With respect for the dignity of every person, we proclaim this truth and we will be faithful to its meaning and to its observance in all that we say and do.

--The Catholic Bishops of New York State

June 24, 2011

Feast of the Birthday of St. John the Baptist