Father Rosica (it pains me to use the word Father), begins with a trip down memory lane to a time when he visited Most Holy Redeemer Church in the heart of the gay community in San Francisco.
|Most Holy Redeemer's Facebook page promotes New Ways Ministry- condemned by the US Bishops|
Father Rosica writes: "Many of the gay persons who I met that week revealed a deep spirituality and faith. And most interesting of all, the people I met asked that we, as ministers of the Church, be people of compassion and understanding, and not be afraid to teach the message of the Gospel and the Church with gentleness and clarity even in the midst of ambiguity of lifestyle, devastation, despair and hostility. As a Church and as pastoral ministers, we still have a long journey ahead of us as we welcome strangers into our midst and listen to them."
A few things about what Rosica says here...
1) "a deep spirituality and faith"... in what exactly? Surely not Catholicism or they wouldn't be marching in support of the gay marriage agenda!
2) "asked that we, as ministers of the Church, be people of compassion and understanding..."[clip] Priests should be compassionate enough to help people get to Heaven not Hell. That is done by telling them what sin is, that they must repent (confess and turn away from sin) or they WILL suffer eternal torment in Hell. If priests aren't warning the sheep about eternal Hell, then they aren't caring for their eternal souls.
3) continuing "...and not be afraid to teach the message of the Gospel and the Church with gentleness and clarity..." The "message of the Gospel and the Church" should be one and the same. Unfortunately, these days one can't always be so sure of that. Again, our only options for eternity are Heaven or Hell. Priests should treat ALL people the same and help them get to Heaven by helping them avoid sin -whatever that sin may be. How much more "gentle" do you want the Church to be? She is here for the sole purpose to SAVE SOULS, not coddling the sinner in his/her sin!
4) "...as we welcome strangers..." this one goes back to my #1 above about the gay people Rosica met having "a deep spirituality and faith"...if they are now "strangers" just what sort of "spirituality and faith" did/do they have?
Rosica goes on: "Over the past weeks, I read many of the critical comments of Jesuit Fr. James Martin’s book, ‘Building a Bridge.’ I shook my head in bewilderment several times as I read venom and vitriol in some of the critiques. It is one thing to critique and raise questions. It is another to condemn, disparage and dismiss. I sensed palpable fear and anger in some of the negative commentaries. I made it a point to read the book in one sitting last weekend. I was astounded that what I read in commentaries, blogs, some bishops’ messages, had very little to do with what I considered to be very mild, reflections offered by a well-known Jesuit priest who simply invited people to build bridges with those who are on distant shores. Fr. Martin’s book is not dogma or doctrine. It is by no means revolutionary It is merely an invitation to sit down and talk, face-to-face with people we consider to be different."
1) "palpable fear and anger..." I seriously doubt anyone felt "fear" reading Martin's book, except perhaps for Martin's soul and the souls of the people he is leading to Hell. "...anger..." yes! It makes me angry when priests fail to do what Christ ordered them to do... Matthew 28:18 "And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."
That is what priests are called to do, not coddle people IN their sin, but help bring them out of it by preaching the Truth and telling people they MUST obey the Faith to obtain salvation.
2) "...people we consider to be different." Who considers homosexuals to be "different"? They are people. Period. People who have a disordered sexuality yes, but still just people. Sinners in need of a Savior, that is what we all are. There is no difference in our humanity. The natural order, is as God created them male and female to bring together in marriage for procreation. That is the natural order God created. If you have a sexual preference that goes against the natural order, it is "disordered". Period.
Rosica: "Whereas Fr. Martin and Pope Francis invite us to build bridges and become instruments of dialogue, critics of both Fr. Martin, the Pope, and many of us who support Pope Francis thrive in erecting high, impenetrable walls and noisy echo chambers of monologue."
A bridge to where?
Seriously, if clergy (be it pope or parish priest) aren't telling people that sex outside of marriage (true marriage, not these false homosexual unions the United States is currently calling "marriage") is a mortal sin that leads to eternal damnation during their "dialogue" then that "bridge" they are building is leading people straight to Hell.
Priests who warn people about mortal sin and tell people they MUST repent are building bridges that lead to Eternal Life with Christ! That is the "dialogue" and sort of "bridges" mankind needs from the Church.
Now, Fr. Martin who has been out defending his book since its release against those in the Catholic world who see the errors in it has come out once against trying to explain the errors in his book. (*Father Murray's review at EWTN's The National Catholic Register HERE.)
Over at America, Martin writes a five point article where he basically says nothing new and again makes the homosexuals the victims of the big bad mean Catholic Church for not changing its doctrines.
*Why didn't Martin mention Church's teaching on gay marriage? Oh because, ya know, everyone's already heard that tune, so why bother?
*Why does Martin insist on the term "gay" rather than "same sex attraction" or the Church's use of "homosexual"? Because (and I quote) "if Pope Francis can say “gay” so can the rest of us."
*What sort of "conversion" is Martin talking about in his book? Does he mean repenting from homosexual acts? Nooooooooo...he means (and I quote) "a conversion of minds and hearts." Repenting of homosexual acts is never mentioned in Martin's book.
*How can homosexuals be expected to treat the big bad mean Catholic Church with respect when the Church is so mean to them? Martin offers this drivel, "Yes, it can be a tough pill for L.G.B.T. people who have been ignored, insulted and excluded in the church. But this is coming from Jesus, not from me. Even if you still think that some church leaders are your enemies, you are asked to love them and pray for them. Surely that love includes respect. It is hard but it is Christian."
Martin ends his five points by stating its his belief that it is the Holy Spirit guiding this
I can tell him where his bridges without repenting will lead. Hell.
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner
My book review of Fr. Martin's "Building a Bridge" book: