Saturday, 30 October 2010

Bishop Cantu says Ucant !

An interesting post from the blog "Enlightened Catholicism," - Forget knowing us by our love, Jesus knows us by our sexual sins.

I sincerely hope such judgments don't happen here in the UK. The initial article was written by Michael A Jones. The commentary following the article exposes the ridiculous position of the Bishop Cantu very eloquently. I reproduce both the article and commentary below - thanks to "Enlightened Catholicism."

Installation of Bishop Cantu as Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio, making him the youngest bishop in the US--in more ways than one.

Forget knowing us by our love, Jesus knows us by our sexual sins
by Michael A. Jones - October 23, 2010

For 15 years, LGBT Catholics and allies were able to worship at St. Ann Catholic Church in San Antonio. On a weekly basis these folks would filter into the pews, and honor that age-old commandment to keep holy the Sabbath. Priests and other Catholics interested in building a better relationship between the Church and the LGBT community would attend, setting aside whatever divisions might exist the other six days of the week, and focus on reconciliation, forgiveness, and a little love between neighbors.

But in a memo released by their acting head bishop, the Archdiocese of San Antonio has said goodbye to reconciliation, forgiveness, and the whole 'love thy neighbor' mission, and instead are telling LGBT people in San Antonio that they're no longer welcome in Church. Well, that is, unless they want to change their sexual orientation.

Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantú, the interim head of the San Antonio archdiocese, said that creating a safe space for LGBT Catholics (and their friends and families) to worship was contradictory to the tenets of Catholicism, and that simply allowing LGBT Catholics to worship as a group made Jesus weep, and could simply not be tolerated. His suggestion? That LGBT Catholics pledge celibacy if they really want to worship.

The sad part is that for 15 years this has been a non-issue, as leaders within the Archdiocese felt it more important to welcome all folks to the table, rather than exclude a heaping portion of the population. But as with many Catholic dioceses around the country, the politicization of the issue of homosexuality has taken center stage. Gone are the days where many churches can be counted on to focus on poverty, homelessness, hunger, education, and health care as their top social priorities. In are the days where church leaders want to denounce gay people, even if most folks in the pews have friends and family who identify as LGBT. (My heart goes out to the parents of gay kids. They are faced with two brutal choices, condemning their kids or being more or less condemned by their Church. It was very easy for me to see why Anne Rice finally took a hike.)

The actions of the Archdiocese, however, aren't going to keep LGBT Catholics from speaking out. Fred Anthony Garza, the President of a local chapter of Dignity, said that the definition of Church isn't a building, but rather a community of people. If the San Antonio Archdiocese won't let the LGBT community inside its doors without pre-conditions, then LGBT Catholics will just find another place to meet.
(As more Catholics come to this insight, more Catholics are going to find real and meaningful Catholic spirituality.)

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Bishop Cantu really needs to take a look at his orthodoxy. It's too luke warm. Why is it that only a Mass dedicated for gays and their supporters is contrary to Catholic tenets and makes Jesus weep? I think this notion of the good Bishop needs to be taken much much further. I would hope Cantu would also see a similar need to stop special Masses dedicated for those people who like Latin, or special Masses for the KofC, or any other 'special' group, like convents or monasteries, whose need for 'special' treatment must also make Jesus weep. Seriously, San Antonio should prohibit all special Masses for special groups. Jesus had no special people who needed special rituals or attention. period.

Secondly if gay Catholics must be celibate and silent to step foot in a church to receive their baptismal rights, then all single heterosexuals should also pledge celibacy and all married people should pledge to be monogamous and free of birth control, and no one should step one foot inside a Catholic church if they can't make a pledge refraining from masturbation. If Cantu is going to enforce Catholic sexual morality for gays, it seems to me that Jesus must also be weeping over this special treatment. I can easily imagine Jesus makes no distinctions when it comes to Catholic sexual sins. Kick all the unpledged sinners out. period. Especially clerics.

Granted this won't leave many Catholics in the pews, but the sacrifice would be worth it if it stopped Jesus's weeping. Well, at least weeping in church. He might weep a river of tears over all the people outside the church but it might be that following that river led all those people to found a new Catholic community. A community in which they discovered that sexual sins aren't that important beside the great commandment to love one another. It might be in this kind of community that they would be brought to understand that one of the greatest of sins is not about sex at all, but about denying any believer access to the gifts of His love that Jesus gave to all who profess faith in Him. That's a big one and Cantu is guilty of committing it, and to make it even worse, he's blaming it on Jesus. That won't cut it. period.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Survey : Catholic Attitudes

A survey of attitudes to all things 'Catholic' or not, as the case may be can be found by clicking on the logo left or here.

It's an interesting attempt to gather a range of opinions about current attitudes to catholicism. The Obsurvey site is also well worth a visit if you are considering adding a survey to your website !

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

When Death Comes

When Death Comes
Mary Oliver
From New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver
(Beacon Press, 25 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108-2892, ISBN 0 870 6819 5).

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;

when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;

when death comes
like the measles-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don't want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Mary MacKillop

Thinking of our family in Australia on this special day for them all.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

UECC-UK Ordination

Saturday 2nd October - Feast of the Guardian Angels - was a great day for ECC UK; and for Father Nick was the culmination of 25 years of seeking to follow the path of vocation laid down for him.


Gateacre chapel in Liverpool was the historic venue for this historic occasion and the atmosphere on the day was pervaded by what Bishop Terry called "A sense of rightness".

In his homily the Bishop referred to the frightening, indeed awesome, responsibility of the priesthood - a gift given for others and not for the receiver. A power given only for service.

A church full of Father Nick's relatives and friends attested to the spirit of family that drives the ECC and its sister churches. Families start small and steadily grow bigger and stronger as more come to share the bond of love that unites the parents.

Our family grew on 2nd October and God's wider family benefited from renewed flowing of grace as the Holy Spirit reached out to touch hearts.

- A touching of hearts that refreshed the need for sacraments and broke long standing fasts.
- A touching of hearts that reconciled and healed.
- A touching of hearts that brought many different and real responses - some that will take people on new paths and deeper into the heart of God.

We have many reasons to give thanks for 2nd of October

- For the spirit of love and unity that was manifestly present
- For the warm welcome of the Rev David Buckley and the Gateacre Community
- For Father Nick's giving of himself to God's will
- For Lorna's and Joanne's loving support of that gift
- For the blessing of reassurance that what we do is God's work and will.

And now the work of St Gabriel's Community Parish really begins. "May God who has begun the good work bring it to fulfilment!"