New Jersey Catholics, are you pissed? Bishops enter marriage debate.

  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Aug 30, 2009 12:56 AM GMT
    http://www.dioceseoftrenton.org/church/oneman-onewoman_statement.asp

    Who went to Mass last Sunday? I didn't, but I knew this 5 page letter was coming. It's the Catholic Bishops' response to the pending same sex marriage debate in NJ. It was handed out with the bulletins, which means that pretty much every parishioner got a copy of it. The good news is no one really reads the bulletin, so they probably won't read this either. Hopefully.

    Scanning through this 5 page letter endorsing the idea that the civil law of marriage somehow affects the Church, it's clear it's so full of contradictions.

    They say, love [is] the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being, and then follow it up with, In the Church's view, marriage is not a civil right. A strong desire does not make a civil right.

    They say people practicing or moving toward a belief in personal independence and tolerance for diverse life styles is a problem. Ridiculous.

    Or [marriage] is a gift that our Creator bestowed on all of humanity through the first man and the first woman. So, Adam and Eve had a big church wedding then?

    They quote St. Paul as saying, Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching. Of course, unless it's the Pope saying condoms make AIDS worse in Africa. They let his strange teaching slide all the time.

    But they still try to be our friend in this letter. Homosexuals must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in this regard should be avoided. But, [their teaching] is not unjust discrimination to treat different things differently. So our legislators can't redefine civil marriage, but they can redefine discrimination any way they want to in order to make things neat and tidy.

    The worst for me was that every time they wrote same sex marriage in this letter, it was same sex "marriage". The quotations, so trivial, yet pissed me off so friggin' much. I just cannot believe that this letter was passed out in the Church that I spent 12 years going to every single Sunday. Very upsetting.
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    Aug 30, 2009 1:10 AM GMT
    You have been going to a Catholic church for 12 years and you are surprised by this? Have you not been paying attention to the Catholic stance towards homosexuality and same-sex marriage?

    http://www.catholic.com/library/Homosexuality.asp
    "Every human being is called to receive a gift of divine sonship, to become a child of God by grace. However, to receive this gift, we must reject sin, including homosexual behavior—that is, acts intended to arouse or stimulate a sexual response regarding a person of the same sex. The Catholic Church teaches that such acts are always violations of divine and natural law.

    Homosexual desires, however, are not in themselves sinful. People are subject to a wide variety of sinful desires over which they have little direct control, but these do not become sinful until a person acts upon them, either by acting out the desire or by encouraging the desire and deliberately engaging in fantasies about acting it out. People tempted by homosexual desires, like people tempted by improper heterosexual desires, are not sinning until they act upon those desires in some manner."
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Aug 30, 2009 1:39 AM GMT
    I misspoke. I went to Church for more than 12 years, I went for 18, right until I went away to school. I went to Catholic school for 13, K-12.

    And yeah, I am surprised a little, at least at the "officialness" of this action.

    I'm sure a lot of people know the stance on homosexuality, love the sinner, hate the sin, etc. I've known that for a while, no surprise there, and my father has driven that home recently, since coming out. Not in a "he hates me" way, but in a "you should still come to church, they're kinda sorta pro-gay" way.

    But I had no idea they would make such a direct, non-camouflaged move like this. Distributing a 5 page piece of propaganda to every church goer in the entire state is a big deal, one I didn't anticipate them ever making. Usually, they let the Knights of Columbus do their dirty work. I would have thought that this being a civil, legislative issue, they wouldn't touch it.

    These bishops sound no different than that horrible NOM woman.
    Maggie_Gallagher.jpg
    photo_BishopSmith2.jpg
    The exact same agenda.
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    Aug 30, 2009 4:23 AM GMT
    It shouldn't be shocking. Most diocese issue bishop decrees for many many things: calls for money, calls for volunteers, calls for votes, etc... I too have read many and seen it all. This, just like a lot of other items they publish will be received like it always is. Those Catholics who have a brain will just brush it off and still go to church as they feel picking and choosing what to believe since the church's orthodox stance is archaic. And the other blind believers will eat it up not even having read it.

  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Aug 30, 2009 9:00 AM GMT
    In the Church's view, marriage is not a civil right. A strong desire does not make a civil right.

    Unless it's the desire to speak freely?
    How about the strong desire to practice a religion?
    Marry someone of a different race?
    Ride in the front of the bus instead of the back?
    Drink from the same fountain?
    Vote?

    ETC..


    What about the pursuit of happiness? lol
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    Aug 30, 2009 12:36 PM GMT
    Mate. Don't be hurt by this organisation, it's something it has a long history of; hurting people. Learn form your time with them, as I did, and the Mormons too, and move on and forward. Don't let them eat away at your soul.
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    Aug 30, 2009 1:34 PM GMT
    The RC Church is never going to budge on this; the homophobia is just too integral at this point.

    You might want to conside the Episcopal Church. As a Catholic, you would be surprised at how familiar the liturgy and rituals seem. Not identical, but very similar (and with better music).

    As far the politics of the EC are concerned, the social progressives outnumber the conservatives by a 2-to-1 margin at this point and the church is very clearly headed in the right direction-- esp. as of last month's General Convention, at which legislation passed, by a a more than 2-to-1 margin, endorsing the ordination of gay bishops and the development of an official liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions.

    For more information, check out the website of the gay Episcopal organization, Integrity:

    www.integrityusa.org
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    Aug 30, 2009 2:19 PM GMT
    its crap like this that made changing religions so much easier than changing phone companies- i'm still stuck on the family plan with the latter lol. but no one tells me i can't be myself- not even their silly "god"


    "when God gives you lemons...... you FIND A NEW GOD"
    to quote Powerthirst
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    Aug 30, 2009 3:18 PM GMT


    jlly_rncher, as an ex catholic, I can tell you that tomorrow, if they could, they would annul every straight atheist marriage in the world.



    -Doug
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    Aug 30, 2009 6:17 PM GMT
    francisx saidThe RC Church is never going to budge on this; the homophobia is just too integral at this point.

    You might want to conside the Episcopal Church. As a Catholic, you would be surprised at how familiar the liturgy and rituals seem. Not identical, but very similar (and with better music).

    As far the politics of the EC are concerned, the social progressives outnumber the conservatives by a 2-to-1 margin at this point and the church is very clearly headed in the right direction-- esp. as of last month's General Convention, at which legislation passed, by a a more than 2-to-1 margin, endorsing the ordination of gay bishops and the development of an official liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions.

    For more information, check out the website of the gay Episcopal organization, Integrity:

    www.integrityusa.org


    Great suggestion - can you forward it to every "gay Catholic" icon_wink.gif
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    Aug 30, 2009 7:16 PM GMT
    phemt said
    francisx saidThe RC Church is never going to budge on this; the homophobia is just too integral at this point.

    You might want to conside the Episcopal Church. As a Catholic, you would be surprised at how familiar the liturgy and rituals seem. Not identical, but very similar (and with better music).

    As far the politics of the EC are concerned, the social progressives outnumber the conservatives by a 2-to-1 margin at this point and the church is very clearly headed in the right direction-- esp. as of last month's General Convention, at which legislation passed, by a a more than 2-to-1 margin, endorsing the ordination of gay bishops and the development of an official liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions.

    For more information, check out the website of the gay Episcopal organization, Integrity:

    www.integrityusa.org


    Great suggestion - can you forward it to every "gay Catholic" icon_wink.gif


    Wish I could. I think there are lots of gay Catholics out there who would end up a lot happier than they currently are if they went this route.
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    Aug 30, 2009 7:20 PM GMT
    Let the Catholic church continue to burry itself. The Vatican will one day make for a fine condo complex.
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    Aug 30, 2009 8:36 PM GMT
    NoSuchPerson saidLet the Catholic church continue to burry itself. The Vatican will one day make for a fine condo complex.


    icon_eek.gificon_lol.gif Yeah, I had to laugh at that.
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    Aug 30, 2009 9:25 PM GMT
    Don't let it get you down too much.

    The ones at church probably hated you anyway. The rest of us went out for brunch on Sunday morning.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14351

    Aug 31, 2009 10:38 PM GMT
    This is one of the reasons that I am no longer a Roman Catholic. The RC Church just cannot get out of the dark ages on any social issues. What really bothers me is the hypocrisy of the Church. It is very obvious that they have a do as I say and not as I do in all their church doctrines. This is just another contributing factor to the continued closure of catholic parishes in both inner city neighborhoods and older first ring suburbs. Oh well, unless the RC Church becomes less conservative and intolerant many more churches will be closed because more people will abandon the Catholic faith thanks to Pope Nazi.
  • somedaytoo

    Posts: 704

    Aug 31, 2009 10:50 PM GMT
    Don't expect any church to be perfect. There is none. Only God is perfect. Wherever you, there will be something you don't like. Church is for the worship of God, not a committee of people who agree on everything. Every family has disagreements, even a church family. I'm sure my church would feel the same way as the Catholics. I just go, do what I'm there to do, and believe what I know is right. It's my hope that the church world as a whole will some day come to it's sences. Best of luck.
  • dantoujours

    Posts: 378

    Aug 31, 2009 11:10 PM GMT
    I am also an Episcopalian and active in the Diocese of Long Island, but have a few gay Catholic friends. My understanding is that lay Catholics tend to be rather progressive and generally roll their eyes when Rome issues letters like this. So you probably have a lot of company in the pews

    It isn't the letter that matters, it's the money trail. Even though their finances are in decline, the bishops tend to throw lots of money at defeating gay marriage instead of doing Christian things, like helping the poor.

    So I guess my advice is to withhold your pledge money during political campaigns and gay marriage referenda and channel it toward pro-gay organizations, or see if you can earmark to Catholic social service agencies like Catholic Charities, but try to keep it out of the general or discretionary fund (What goes into the collection plate on Sundays), so it can't be used against you.

    As a Canadian ex-pat, I remember lots of squawking when gay marriage was proposed at home (and even practising Catholic Prime Minister Paul Martin was threatened with excommunication for pushing the bill through), but once the law was passed and the family didn't collapse, the church calmed down and moved on to other things. It's just a power trip for these bishops and once they realize they don't have that power anymore, they tend to get over it. And remember, the Church isn't theirs'. It's yours. Your conscience is the final guide.


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    Sep 01, 2009 1:05 AM GMT
    somedaytoo saidDon't expect any church to be perfect. There is none. Only God is perfect. Wherever you, there will be something you don't like. Church is for the worship of God, not a committee of people who agree on everything. Every family has disagreements, even a church family. I'm sure my church would feel the same way as the Catholics. I just go, do what I'm there to do, and believe what I know is right. It's my hope that the church world as a whole will some day come to it's sences. Best of luck.


    Sorry to tell you, but Church is not God. Church is a collection of people which in the Catholic case are working against your interests as a gay person.
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    Sep 02, 2009 12:52 PM GMT
    dantoujours saidI am also an Episcopalian and active in the Diocese of Long Island, but have a few gay Catholic friends. My understanding is that lay Catholics tend to be rather progressive and generally roll their eyes when Rome issues letters like this. So you probably have a lot of company in the pews

    It isn't the letter that matters, it's the money trail. Even though their finances are in decline, the bishops tend to throw lots of money at defeating gay marriage instead of doing Christian things, like helping the poor.

    So I guess my advice is to withhold your pledge money during political campaigns and gay marriage referenda and channel it toward pro-gay organizations, or see if you can earmark to Catholic social service agencies like Catholic Charities, but try to keep it out of the general or discretionary fund (What goes into the collection plate on Sundays), so it can't be used against you.

    As a Canadian ex-pat, I remember lots of squawking when gay marriage was proposed at home (and even practising Catholic Prime Minister Paul Martin was threatened with excommunication for pushing the bill through), but once the law was passed and the family didn't collapse, the church calmed down and moved on to other things. It's just a power trip for these bishops and once they realize they don't have that power anymore, they tend to get over it. And remember, the Church isn't theirs'. It's yours. Your conscience is the final guide.




    You make a very important point here. At a time when they can ill afford it, many RC dioceses are spending large sums of money to combat gay marriage (they did it in MA, for example-- to no avail). Gay Catholics really need to rethink what they are doing in a church that explictly opposes them at every turn. Even more important, however, they *really* need to refrain from giving money to the church that may end up being used against them and let their priest and bishop know why they have made that decision.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14351

    Sep 02, 2009 10:13 PM GMT
    That is what burns my ass about the RC Church. Catholic dioceses are experiencing serious financial problems due to overall membership decline and many people turned off by the ultra-conservative pope in Rome. You would think that the Catholic Church would stop wasting its time and dwindling resources on anti-gay marriage platforms and focus on more important issues like poverty, crime, and unemployment in the communities that the RC Church has parishes. Another thing that pisses me off about the Roman Catholic Church is the harsh way they are handling the diocese restructuring and church closing process due to declining membership. Many active catholics were literally told that their churches are being closed even though many parishes are still financially sound with large, active congregations. Granted there are many catholic parishes that are bordering on bankruptcy and many church buildings are old and needing major repairs but at least the Vatican could consider the needs of many parishioners that are restricted mobility wise. No the churches just get closed down and the faithful from those parishes have no place to worship or they are forced to travel over 10 miles just to find a catholic parish that is suitable for them. Instead of closing the architecturally magnificent old churches, close down those ugly, tacky, poorly built suburban churches and encourage people to come into the city to worship and fill our historic, landmark churches to capacity.
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    Sep 02, 2009 10:47 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidThat is what burns my ass about the RC Church. Catholic dioceses are experiencing serious financial problems due to overall membership decline and many people turned off by the ultra-conservative pope in Rome. You would think that the Catholic Church would stop wasting its time and dwindling resources on anti-gay marriage platforms and focus on more important issues like poverty, crime, and unemployment in the communities that the RC Church has parishes. Another thing that pisses me off about the Roman Catholic Church is the harsh way they are handling the diocese restructuring and church closing process due to declining membership. Many active catholics were literally told that their churches are being closed even though many parishes are still financially sound with large, active congregations. Granted there are many catholic parishes that are bordering on bankruptcy and many church buildings are old and needing major repairs but at least the Vatican could consider the needs of many parishioners that are restricted mobility wise. No the churches just get closed down and the faithful from those parishes have no place to worship or they are forced to travel over 10 miles just to find a catholic parish that is suitable for them. Instead of closing the architecturally magnificent old churches, close down those ugly, tacky, poorly built suburban churches and encourage people to come into the city to worship and fill our historic, landmark churches to capacity.


    What an excellent point you make about the architecture of RC churches! Preserve the beautiful and historic late 19-thc./early 20th c. neo-gothic structures so conducive to worship and just tear down those mid 20thc. suburban pseudo-modern horrors.