Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Raymond Arroyo posted this on Facebook
Pope Francis on the Church's "small-minded rules" and his outreach to gays:
“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all. The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, ‘This is not a sin’ or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds...
"In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this.During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.
A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person."
From the new extended interview granted to Jesuit Magazines, released today.
Here is my take.
Too often the position of the Church, that homosexual actions is sinful, alienates the person struggling with same sex attraction, and he or she does not seek healing and confession, feeling rejected. What have we gained if he or she doesn't return to the Church? Is that what Christ died for, to alienate the sinner who then seeks refuge in his sin?
My friend, married for several years, the father of several children and an active member in lay ecclesial movements, experienced a severe crisis in his family, a double murder of those closest to him. His reaction was to return to the sin he thought he had overcome by himself; homosexual relations. Fr Harvey of Courage offered to personally counsel him and his wife. For some reason it didn't happen, and an opportunity to save a family was lost. This man was a leader in the Church, a great husband and father who carried a deep wound not one of us who cared for him knew about. Fr Harvey's offer to counsel him did not include, I am sure, finger wagging in his face, nor would it include justification of his sin, as I suspect some clergy had done for him. I feel that it would have led to healing and a repentant sinner who could witness to others.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
|Mme Lejuene addressed the gathering.|
At first, my daughter and I were awestruck by the Embassy's elegance: soaring, frescoed ceilings, marble foyers, and dramatic two story windows framed by velvet draperies. Waiters proffered champagne flutes and savory hors d'oeuvres. World-renowned scientists chatted with businessmen and clergy while well-dressed children whose almond eyes bore the signature of an extra chromosome, darted between adults.
But what instantly made me feel at home was the love which which permeated the gathering.
|Dr William Mobley and LeticiaVelasquez.|
Love was indeed the theme that evening. Those of us who have worked to support the research and improve the public understanding of Down syndrome, separately met, shook hands and became friends. I was honored to thank, once again, the widow of my hero, Dr Jerome Lejeune,
|Mme Lejeune and Leticia.|
Madame Berthe Lejeune, for her sacrifice as the wife behind the great man during his lifetime, and as the President of Fondation Lejeune after his death. I met columnist and fathers of daughters with Down syndrome, Matthew Hennessy, and Kurt Kondrich, and was able to thank Stephanie Hall Meredith for her work with The Human Development Institute.
I had very little time to meet everyone there who has done great work advocating for those with Down syndrome, but the man I met as we left the Embassy surprised me by his presence.
Fr George Rutler, so impressive in his EWTN series "Christ in the City" was quietly waiting for his coat when I boldly asked him the question which had been on my mind every anniversary of 9/11. "Father, I heard that you gave general absolution to the first responders entering the Twin Towers on 9/11. Is that true?" He looked at me a bit startled at the question, seemly out of nowhere, then his eyes took a distant look as he began to relive the tragic events which he witnessed firsthand as a priest in New York City who instantly rushed to the scene.
I quickly regretted reviving those painful memories, as a tear welled up in his eye, but he didn't seem to mind recalling that day, painful as it was. He affirmed that he had indeed given wartime absolution to those entering the Towers, because, as he said, we were at war, suddenly and unexpectedly in our own land. But Fr Rutler refused to dwell on his own vital, soul-saving role in the events of that tragic day. He told me the moving story of the heroism of Fr Mychal Judge, who was killed while hearing the confessions of first responders entering the Towers to their deaths. He recalled how Fr Judge's body was laid at the foot of the altar of old St Patrick's Cathedral downtown, his spilled blood still flowing down the marble steps. A true alter Christus, offering himself to the last drop of blood for Christ's body, the Church. These two priests, like the crowd in the Embassy were about love. Love which doesn't count the cost as it " bears all things, hopes all things. believes all things." (ICor:13:7)
|Gabriela and Leticia Velasquez, Mme Lejeune, Dr Elizabeth Rex.|
efforts in the service of those beautiful people whom God had given us to bless our families.