Catholic Catechism does not deal with homophobia–Why???

The teaching of Catholic Church on the subject of homosexuality is caught in a paradox theologically. Is being LGBT a curse or a gift from God? The Catholic Catechism of the Church reflects what I refer to as the Mr. Hide and and Dr. Jekyll syndrome.

Before going any farther let us be perfectly clear on what the Church Teaches in this matter. The pillars of support are captured in the two documents issued by the Teaching Magisterium. I am specifically referring to the 1975 document Persona Humana. Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics, and in 1986 a Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexuals. This document was the first time “moral disorder” was used in reference the LGBT people.

Clearly the first document in 1975 references the fact that the causes of homosexuality for both male and female is unknown. Yet does this document base itself on the knowledge of the day or is it caught up in the homoerotic clerical culture which is based on a closet mentality that promotes a “don’t ask don’t tell policy” a policy that is clearly unjust to most reasonable people.

The thinking of this clerical caste is that when you promote tolerance you become locked on a slipper slop to acceptance. They see the difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality not based on the ancient Church Teaching that we are all children of God, but rather that LGBT people are the lesser children. Perhaps this was the Achilles heel in their argument against LGBT Civil Rights, and one of the reasons they are loosing the debate in the public square.

The Church feels LGBT Rights should be a private matter and kept away from public view or even discussion. In other words even discussion with any who would identify proudly as LGBT people is strictly forbidden by this overriding clerical mentality. To even discuss homophobia in the Church is to set yourself on a heretical journey.

If Pope Francis is concerned about reaching out to LGBT people in and out of the Church he must be able to confront this unreasonable situation that infects so many bishops in the Church. To elevate silence as a response to the discussion of homophobia for fear of losing control is at best unchristian, and worst anti God that is if we believe we are all his children.

We hear much now about religious liberty as if Gay Rights is not only lesser child of God, but also lesser child of the US Constitution. Also, we are witnessing how legislation such as ENDA passed by the Senate is still waiting for a vote house. However, this legislation now becomes useless with all the religious exceptions built into it with the amendment process is useless for working class people and the poor. The Rainbow Sash Movement is glad to see that the majority of LGBT political leadership has pulled their support for this legislation based on the fact the we believe in Equality without Exception.

So the real question becomes is the current leadership of the Church able to deal with such a theological blind fold when it comes to homosexuality, or will it have the courage to honestly face this clerical mantle of homophobia and risk for the truth? In my opinion, this is what the Bishops Synod in the Vatican, about the family in October 2014, will tell us. Is there really anyway of resolving the conflicting message of love Vs. homophobia when it comes to expressing one’s gay identity.

Certainly we have learned from the Nazi experience when we make procreation a central identity of marriage we engage in purity of identity, and that the punitive measures presently used in the Church can only lead to more radical ones thereby upsetting the common good. 

As for the Rainbow Sash Movement we will continue to promote dialogue as long it is based in reason, without claims from either side that they need not listen. The only resolve to situation is honest dialogue. Entering into meaningful dialogue with LGBT Catholics who do not bye into the current don’t ask don’t tell policy of the Holy Office of the Doctrine of the faith is the only reasonable road ahead.

Clearly lay people in the Church are clamoring for both reform and change.

Bill O’Connor
Rainbow Sash Movement

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Press Release

For Immediate Release

 

Bigoted Catholics in the Archdiocese of New York Challenge Cardinal Dolan

 

The Rainbow Sash Movement LGBT Catholics wishes to commend two parishes in the Archdiocese of New York for their commitment to ministry that no one is forgotten in ministry. Because of this approach to pastoral outreach the LGBT community has been openly and honestly welcomed by St. Francis Xavier, and St. Francis of Assisi Parishes.

 

In response fundamentalist Catholics are going berserk and going as far as asking Catholics not to donate money to the Archdiocese of New York. These chastise Cardinal Dolan for plans to close down close to 50 parishes in the Archdiocese: however, these two parishes are not on the list for closure. Our sources at the Archdiocese inform us this is because the Archdiocese has no authority over these parishes the Franciscan Order has jurisdiction over them rather than the Archdiocese of New York or even Cardinal Dolan.

 

These fundamentalist Catholics are asking Catholics to stop donating money to the good works the Church provides for the poor because of Gay Ministries. This is certainly a new low for this group who call themselves Latin rite Catholics.

 

Joe Murray, Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement said we encourage Catholics to continue their donations to the Church and not be taken in by these misguided Catholics who confuse the seed with the ground. Shame on them for their deceptive practices.

 

The Rainbow Sash Movement has at times been at odds with Cardinal Dolan, but in this matter we support his efforts to be responsible in the management of the Archdiocese of New York and its resources.

 

Contact Person
Bill O’Connor
Rainbow Sash Movement
Sashmovement@AOL.Com

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Pope Francis Must Oppose Homophobia

The Rainbow Sash Movement must continue to speak out at the Roman Catholic Church’s position on LGBT people and their rights. We can no longer be content to stay silent while elements within the Church continue to promote homophobia under the banner of Church Teaching.

Within the Archdiocese of Chicago we continue to challenge the homophobia of Cardinal Francis George. His style of leadership has left this Archdiocese in ruin. His response to the clergy sexual abuse scandal is shameful and should be loudly condemned. He continues to oppose equal rights for the LGBT people and we pray for the day when he has retired his position so healing and reconciliation can begin.

We like many others in the Catholic Church are supporting the appointment of Archbishop Gregory of Atlanta to replace George. Gregory’s record reads like a road map to Catholic Social Teaching. We can longer promote homophobia in the guise Church Teaching. The Church must begin to teach tolerance and be realistic about the negative affect its Teaching has on the daily of lives LGBT people. This is why the Rainbow Sash Movement endorses the selection of Archbishop Gregory as the new Archbishop of Chicago.

Far too long many Catholics have turned their gaze away from Church sponsored homophobia. We are either all sons or daughters of God or none of us are. The unequalization of LGBT People within the Church calls out for reform. It is time for a new beginning where dialogue without any conditions can take place.

We call on Pope Francis to oppose all forms of homophobia especially as it has expressed itself in the African nations of Uganda and Kenya. The nice words must translate into acts of justice for LGBT People.

Board of Directors
Rainbow Sash Movement

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The Winds of Change are unrelenting

Is there any real difference between the Uganda’s Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Arizona Conference of Catholic Bishop when it comes to LGBT people? Both support legalized discrimination against LGBT people. Sadly the difference is to be found in degree rather than Gospel Values.

In the Case of Uganda the cultural hate is so deep, and encouraged sadly by our Catholic bishops that they have become blind to what the Church really teaches. Their place should be to stand with the marginalized and outcast. If they are going to proclaim marriage is between one and one women than they must proclaim with as much vigor that legalized discrimination is against Church Teaching.

Like the Uganda Bishops the Arizona Catholic Conference of Bishops is so obsessed with hate, that they have become blind to their own bigotry.

There is no doubt where Jesus would stand on legalized discrimination against the LGBT Community. Like the Bishops in Uganda the Bishops of Arizona cling to an ancient hate that is not based in Catholic Social Justice.

The Rainbow Sash Movement encourages Governor Brewer to veto this un American legislation, and in like manner we call on the Vatican to reign in these hateful Catholic Bishops whose only goal is to promote homophobia before the Gospel.

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Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality

Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality

By Father Louise J .Cameli

 

Endorsed by Father Pat Lee (back cover of book) Moderator of the Chicago Archdiocese Gay and Lesbian Outreach Ministry.

 

A Response

 

Joe Murray

Executive Director

Rainbow Sash Movement

 

In his book “Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality” Fr. Cameli begins by speaking about his pastoral concern for others. He sites people he has known who are deeply troubled in attempt to legitimize his position that all homosexuals are deeply troubled. That LGBT live cosmetic lives of normality.

 

When he refers to “homosexuality”, he betrays his objectivity by describing “homosexuality” as a sad zone. This is also the position of the Church’s dysfunctional teaching.

 

That teaching basically says “Who you are most certainly is not evil; however, the expression of who you are is.”

 

This is the sign of a dysfunctional theology that only confuses the pastoral response .

 

Cameli sees homosexuality tied to “confusing, disruptive, and dispiriting ” lives.

 

He appears to want the reader to accept him as competent in the question that surrounds his less than objective  view of homosexuality.

 

The book is an attempt to promote both shame and the necessity of closet mentality. This is a classic example of the type of clericalism that has major currency in today’s Church.

 

Camellia wants to rap his form of bigotry in words that sound nice such as love, and hope but they ring hallow by his focus on gay people as a class being singled out by  his brand of judgementalism.

 

Something I would point out to the reader that even Pope Francis does not agree with that position.

 

Cameli appears not to believe our sexuality is gift from God and goes to great length to try keep his homophobia in the closet.

 

He claims he wants to help and then acknowledges that “I can give them the basic moral Teaching of the Catholic Church, but freely admits “any genital activity outside of the marriage relationship must be open to life” a neat hook to hang your homophobia on. He continues “it is morally disordered” and freely admits that the teaching is not helpful to homosexual people.

 

He then cuddles the reader with references to the diversity of society as if to infer that he understands the diversity he speaks of. He calls into question our experience  with homophobia as if he and the Church are innocent bystanders. He does not seem to recognize LGBT people part of the people of God as if we do not have the imprint of God within us.

 

Clearly Cameli does not want to consider the part he plays with the publication of this book when he says “How exactly does difference acquire such power to move people down a path of segregation , than discrimination coupled with hatred, and ultimately destruction. How can any reasonable person agree with such a preposterous position?”

 

He than goes on to quote the Catholic Catechism. “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 every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided (CCC, 2358).”

 

This is I believe to be the crux of pastoral confusion on the part of priests. Cameli, and Fr. Pat Lee the moderator of the Archdiocese Gay and Lesbian Outreach Ministry who wrote a glowing endorsement on the back of the book. Such an observation shows an immaturity of intellect.

 

Clearly the book represents old wine in new wine skins. Cameli promotes the idea that as long as LGBT people hide their lives in shame the dilemma the Church finds itself in will be satisfied to welcome us.

 

Clearly the Church is out of touch with the sense of faithful, as poll after poll has found. The most recent being reported in Time Magazine is the survey by the US-based Spanish-language network Univision of Catholics in 12 countries found that those most likely to support Church teachings are married men and women 55 years and older who attend Mass frequently and live in rural areas.

 

The Church is losing the battle it currently faces with the whole issue of gay rights. It is time for sincere dialogue. Are people such as the author of this book up to that task, only time will tell.

 

 

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Russia and Nigeria Plant the Seeds of LGBT Genocide

As our focus turns to the Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi Russia we are reminded once again how homophobia can brutalize innocent people because of their difference. Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church like the Nigerian Catholic Conference of Bishops have declared war on the LGBT population in both Russia, and Nigeria.

The decision of the Nigerian Government to criminalize LGBT people for just existing will most certainly have violent ramifications by supporting the government’s actions they have moved from advisory to prohibition morality.

The Rainbow Sash Movement (LGBT Catholics) believes the Nigerian Bishops like the government of Nigeria and Russia are planting the seeds of genocide against the LGBT Community of that country. Will the world sit by and let this go unchallenged?

We have witnessed what such laws against LGBT people have brought on the LGBT Russian Community. The Law has sparked a banquet of hate, and violence against the Russian LGBT Community. Like the Catholic Bishops of the west they are fanning the flames of bigotry.

Differences of opinion are inevitable and even essential in a diversified nation. But too often, especially when it comes to the LGBT Community, a difference of opinions descends into hate and violence in these two nations and beyond.

We are calling on Pope Francis to use his moral authority to speak out against these genocidal attacks on an innocent community, and for him to challenge publicly the actions of the Nigerian Catholic Conference and Russian Orthodox Church for such a judgmental acts that will only promote hate and violence; something he has said he would not do.

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CLERGY SEX ABUSE TRANSPARENCY ACCORDING TO CARDINAL GEORGE

Thomas Doyle

January 20, 2014

The leadership of the Archdiocese of Chicago has a mediocre to poor track record in responding to reports of clergy sexual abuse and their honesty with the public. Cardinal George’s recent statement to the archdiocese (January 12, 2014 in The Catholic New World) does nothing to change this pattern. This statement was issued to prepare the archdiocese for the release of the files of thirty priests confirmed as sexual abusers. His statement is defensive, misleading and insulting in addition to the fact that it does not reflect the reality of the key issues. A significant part of the statement is devoted to the defense of his mishandling of the Dan McCormack case. The McCormack files are not among those released!

In 1982 the parents of a minor boy reported that former Fr. Bob Mayer had sexually abused their teenaged son. This was under Cardinal Cody’s watch. They reported the abuse to the archdiocese and in return were intimidated and even threatened with excommunication by the chancellor at the time, Fr. J. Richard Keating who later became the bishop of Arlington VA. In 1988 they finally settled for a measly $10,000.00 that didn’t even cover their legal costs. The boy’s mother was not about to succumb to the scare tactics nor was she buying any of the dishonest mumbo-jumbo served up as excuses for their deliberate neglect. She went on to found the Linkup which quickly became one of the two most influential victim support organizations in the world.

Knowing about Mayer’s track record Cardinal Bernardin who had by then succeeded Cardinal Cody, gave him two more assignments as a parish associate and in 1990 made him pastor of a parish in Berwyn IL. During this period the archdiocese received other allegations and ordered Mayer not to be alone with anyone under 21. The infinite wisdom of the archdiocese in imposing this restriction was apparently not infinite enough.

In 1991 Mayer was charged with sexual abuse of a minor girl. When confronted by the angry parishioners, the auxiliary bishop dispatched to deal with the incident lied to them about Mayer’s background. In 1992 Mayer was sentenced to three years in prison. He has since been laicized.

Cardinal Bernardin died in 1996 and Cardinal George replaced him in April 1997. He was ordained bishop in 1990 and served first as bishop of Yakima WA and then as archbishop of Portland OR. Both Portland and Yakima had their share of sexual abuse problems during George’s time. Equally important, he was a member of the U.S. bishops Conference during the years they started to at least talk about clerical sexual abuse. During those years George and his fellow bishops received numerous documents from the conference headquarters that provided detailed information about clergy sexual abuse and the serious risks it posed the Church. He was also present, at least presumably, when a variety of outside experts addressed the assembled bishops on the very serious nature of sexual abuse of children. These included Fr. Canice Connors, at the time President of St. Luke Institute; Dr. Fred Berlin, Johns Hopkins University, on diagnostic concepts, treatment and ethical considerations; Dr. Frank Valcour, psychiatrist at St. Luke Institute on expectations of treatment; Bishop Harry Flynn on care of victims; Jesuit psychiatrist James Gill on priests, sex and power and Fr. Steve Rossetti on the parish as victim. During this period Pope John Paul II addressed his first public communication of clergy sex abuse to the U.S. bishops and that same year, 1993, the bishops established their first committee to deal with the problem. The claim voiced by the Cardinal and his auxiliary, Francis Kane, that “had they known then what they know now they would have handled the allegations differently,” has become a mantra for bishops when they are confronted with their disastrous actions. It’s also so worn out that one would think the conference spin-doctors would come up with a fresh excuse.

If Cardinal George read any of the numerous documents sent by the conference and if he was awake for even part of the lectures given at their annual meetings he would certainly have known the serious nature of clergy sexual abuse. So what is it they did not know “then’ that they know now? It’s fairly obvious.

They did not know that their duplicitous defenses and paper-thin excuses would gain them no traction. They did not know that the deference and unquestioned credibility they had taken for granted had eroded. They didn’t know that the victims and their attorneys would not be intimidated or put off by the endless legal delaying tactics. In short, they didn’t know they’d be caught! That’s what they didn’t know then that they surely know now.

The Cardinal has apparently not learned that the excuses from the bishops’ playbook have gone moldy. He invokes clericalism but applies it to the offending priests, claiming that it causes them to try to avoid accountability for their actions. That’s not clericalism, its just plain fear. The cardinal is smart enough to know that the truly egregious examples of clericalism are not provided by the perpetrating priests but by the arrogant bishops and cardinals who insist they are above accountability and entitled to twist the truth to suit their own purposes.

The next excuse, deemed not only historically and sociologically invalid, but actually ludicrous, is borrowed from the second John Jay Report. He tries to shift the blame to the social and cultural trends of the seventies and eighties as if these trends cause sexual dysfunction or hierarchical arrogance.

The Cardinal’s statement really breaks down and falls apart when he gets to his version of the Dan McCormack story. He claims the plaintiff’s attorneys “fashioned” the story and distorted facts that would “mitigate the charge of archdiocesan neglect.” The lawyers didn’t have to do anything to demonstrate archdiocesan, i.e., the Cardinal’s negligence. His documented actions do a sufficient job of doing that without any outside help.

McCormack was first arrested in September 2005. It’s true that the police questioned him but what the cardinal does not tell his readers is that his priest-personnel representative, who was called by McCormack from the police station, was also a civil attorney who told McCormack not to cooperate with the police investigators. He was released but if his ministry was restricted and if he was put under monitoring, this existed only in the Cardinal’s imagination.

The archdiocesan review board eventually received the results of the internal investigation, which came up with sufficient information to allow the board to make a solid recommendation to the Cardinal that McCormack be removed from the parish for the protection of children and not be put back in pastoral ministry. The Cardinal says, “no one involved in investigating the allegation, not even the review board that struggled with their justified concerns, told me they thought he was guilty.” This is nonsense. It was no one’s job to assess guilt or innocence especially the review board. The sole issue was suitability for pastoral ministry and probability that the allegation was true. On that the board members were clear. Guilt or innocence would be determined later.

Against the review board’s urging Cardinal George retained McCormack as pastor. He also kept him on as a regional dean. On January 20, 2006, he was again arrested and it was determined that more children were harmed, primarily because of Cardinal George’s arrogance and willful negligence.

On January 28, 2006 the review board sent the Cardinal a letter. Portions of it tell the real story. “The media statements that the board was unable to reach a decision because they did not have access to the alleged victim or his mother (Sun Times, January 25, 2006), and ‘after the family made the accusation in August, the Archdiocese’s Office of Professional responsibility referred the allegation to the Independent Review Board (Tribune, January 24, 2006), imply that we as a board chose not to act. Clearly this is not the case.”

Contrary to what the Cardinal would like people to believe, the review board made clear recommendations: “These included removing Rev. McCormack from St. Agatha’s and suspending him from ministry pending further criminal investigation.”

The board presented their recommendation to the Cardinal on October 17, 2005. Instead of heeding them he returned McCormack to his pastorate. When questioned about his action at the time of McCormack’s second arrest the Cardinal and the archdiocesan spokesperson came up with a convoluted and obviously misleading story that tried to spread the blame to the archdiocesan process, misunderstandings about national policies and canon law and finally lack of information. In a 2013 deposition he said, concerning the review board, “They gave me that advice, yes, I thought they had not finished the case investigation.” All pure nonsense. The review board’s letter tells what really happened: “Our recommendations were presented to you on October 17, 2005….You chose not to act on them, and now we have a situation that reflects very poorly, and unfairly, on the board.” As to George’s excuse that he thought the investigation was incomplete, the review board saw it much differently: “We resent the media implication that the Professional Review Board did not find Rev. Daniel McCormack to be a threat to the safety of children. These reports do not accurately reflect the situation, and we take offense at the lack of truth telling.”

In the second to last paragraph the Cardinal claims that the money for the multi-million dollars in settlements came from revenue “entirely separate from regular donations or investments.” He then says that the sale of unused properties has provided funds for the settlements. Where exactly does he think the money came from to buy the properties?

Attorney Jeff Anderson knows the detailed history of the Chicago archdiocese’s response better than anyone else. His summary of why things happened the way they did applies to Cardinal George and his predecessors: We see this as a long-standing pattern of top officials of the archdiocese making conscious choices to protect their reputation and to protect the offenders,” he said. “That means conscious choices were made to imperil the children over the years.”

It goes without saying that the Cardinal and the archdiocese would have been much better served had he said nothing. But he didn’t remain silent. The McCormack fiasco was not the result of confusing or bungled procedures, incomplete information. It was the result of the Cardinal’s arrogance, his over-riding concern for his and the Church’s image and worst of all, his disdain for the victims. The attitude that underlies the Cardinal’s statement is not unique to him. This attitude, painfully evident wherever clergy sexual abuse has been reported throughout the Church, shows that the bishops in general have a long, long way to go before their actions began to match up with their promises.

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