The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sign of the Times

Earlier this morning I came across an article that should cause all Americans to shudder. The likelihood that it will have little effect on most people is perhaps even more disturbing.

Mayor Parker
Annise Parker, the openly lesbian major of the city of Houston, Texas, has had the city issue subpoenas demanding that several of the city's pastors turn over any of their sermons addressing homosexuality. The issuance of these subpoenas is, of course, completely unconstitutional since it violates the pastors' clear First Amendment rights, both to freedom of religion and speech. As you might expect, the mayor will not state why she wants the sermons, but one can only believe that she hopes to be able to prosecute one or more of the pastors because of "discriminatory" statements they may have made. You can read more about this in an opinion piece here and in a local news story here.

For several years now I have joined many others in predicting increased pressure on the Church to be silent in the face of political correctness imposed by various levels of government. We have already seen this in a number of states where the Catholic Church has been prohibited from facilitating adoptions because it will not permit homosexual individuals or couples to adopt children. We've also seen it in Obamacare as it relates to the provision of "health" services involving both contraception and abortion. 

Among those on the political left there seem to be two issues that trump everything else: homosexual "rights" and abortion. One is no less than a direct attack on the sacrament of marriage with the goal of destroying the traditional family, and the other is an attack on the sanctity of life. Both, of course, are at the same time direct attacks on the Church, and in particular, the Catholic Church. Once the Church and its moral objections are removed, the state can claim its complete authority over virtually all aspects of private life, even life itself.

Cardinal Francis George
In a post written a few weeks ago I quoted Cardinal George, the now retired Archbishop of Chicago, who once stated: "I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die in the public square.” Many who heard the Cardinal say this probably dismissed it as a gross exaggeration, as an example of episcopal hyperbole; but given what is now taking place in our nation and elsewhere in the world, I suspect they may be reconsidering their doubts.

As for myself, I can't recall ever preaching against homosexuality per se, since the Church does not teach that a person's sexuality is, in itself, sinful. The Church, however, does teach that living a homosexual lifestyle and all that it entails is indeed sinful. Homosexual activity is sinful just as heterosexual activity outside of marriage is sinful. And since the Church clearly defines marriage as a sacrament that can be received only by a man and a woman, any homosexual activity must take place outside of marriage. On several occasions, therefore, I have preached against the homosexual lifestyle. To date, however, no politician -- mayor, governor, president, or dogcatcher -- has demanded copies of my homilies. But since I post most of them on this very blog, they really won't have any trouble finding them.

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