Cardinal Schoenborn and Archbishop Dadeus Grings

In the last month or so, both Cardinal Schoenborn of Austria and Archbishop Dadeus Grings of Brazil have spoken on the topic of homosexuality. I found it really interesting how the comments made by each of these individuals varied from the current teachings of the Catholic Church. It is also interesting to note that not only did they vary from the teachings of the Church, but they were on opposite sides of the spectrum, one appears to be in favor of homosexual relationships and one completely against homosexuality.

Let’s start with what Cardinal Schoenborn stated:

“We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships, a stable relationship is certainly better than if someone simply indulges in promiscuity.”

This comment has generated a lot of buzz on the Internet and I’m sure in many other locations as well. I have read some articles that suggest that Cardinal Schoenborn is saying that he believes that homosexual relationships should be approved by the Church. I have read others that feel what Cardinal Schoenborn stated is completely wrong, because in what the Church teaches that a “normal” relationship cannot be formed between two people of the same gender. Others have tried to defend Cardinal Schoenborn by saying that what he really meant was that the degree of sin would be lessen (objective depravity) if it was within a stable relationship versus acting out with random sexual partners.

I would have to say I believe that what Cardinal Schoenborn was referring to would be the latter, that he was saying that he believes the degree of the sin, even though it would be a grave sin, that in some way it would be lessen because there was some substance to the relationship. I would have to say that I agree with Cardinal Schoenborn that a stable relationship is much better then meeting random guys and engaging in sexual acts with them.

I remember reading a blog entry by a fellow gay Catholic where he wrote about the Pope speaking on condom usage and why the Church is against it. There were many comments on this blog entry that were written so negatively against the Church and how people felt that the Pope was wrong for saying this. I had to leave a comment in some ways defending the Pope. I wrote something to the effect of “Wouldn’t you rather at the end of your life say to God that this person was the one that I loved versus saying to God, yeah, I slept with 100 people?”. To me, this is similar to what Cardinal Schoenborn was saying, that even if one believes that two people of the same gender engaging in sexual acts is a sin, that God would have mercy on those that based it on love, not self pleasure.

Second let’s look at what Archbishop Dadeus Grings said:

“We know that the adolescent is spontaneously homosexual. Boys play with boys, girls play with girls. If there is no proper guidance, this sticks. The question is — how are we going to educate our children to use a sexuality that is human and suitable?”

He went on to say in the same interview:

“When sexuality is trivialized, it’s clear that this is going to affect all cases. Homosexuality is such a case. Before, the homosexual wasn’t spoken of. He was discriminated against. When we begin to say they have rights, rights to demonstrate publicly, pretty soon, we’ll find the rights of pedophiles.”

I personally think that Archbishop Grings was out of place making comments like this. I think the problem here is Archbishop Grings doesn’t really understand the complexity of being gay and Catholic. I also find it troubling that he says that in the past homosexuality wasn’t spoken about, it was discriminated against. This completely goes against the Church’s teachings on having respect and compassion for those “dealing” with homosexuality. I believe comments like this do more harm to not only gay Catholics, but to the entire Church. Spreading messages of hate instead of love and help are not in line with what Jesus has taaught us.

I still think the Church has a long way to go, but I am glad that there are people like Cardinal Schoenborn who are not out there condemning individuals just because they are gay. I think it’s especially important for the leaders of our Church to understand that there are gay Catholics that attend Mass on a regular base, volunteer to help improve the community they live, and try to be the best person they can be. Having negative comments such as those by Archbishop Grings only hurts these people, the people that are trying their hardest to do what they know God is calling them to do.

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29 Responses to Cardinal Schoenborn and Archbishop Dadeus Grings

  1. Rick says:

    “I personally think that Archbishop Grings was out of place making comments like this. I think the problem here is Archbishop Grings doesn’t really understand the complexity of being gay and Catholic.”

    Archbishop Grings is completely RETARDED! it is FACT that the percentage of gay males compared to the percentage of straight male sex-offenders is less than HALF. Straight men are sexually aggressive 3 times more than the gay male. He can’t argue facts. http://www.pervertedjustice.org is an organization that fights online sex offenders, and many of those that are involved are gay males and females. This man is clearly a prejudice terd twisting the words of the Bible to fuel hatred. Which is an absolutely disgusting thing. How could he call gay males perverts when his male co-workers are abusing children? The pot calling the kettle black!

    What drives me so insane about all of this is that religion is COMPLETELY subjective. So many things need to be taken into consideration. What’s been changed? Lost in translation? Much of the bible the Catholic faith is based on has been changed and altered. How do you know what’s what? How do you interpret it? With the language of the Bible being basically…. outdated, how exactly does one know what it means? That’s why I do NOT respect ministers and preachers. They preach THEIR OWN PERSONAL interpretation! And that could be anything.

    God can not expect the human race to read his mind. God realizes much of the Bible has been altered, and it’s not our fault if we misunderstand it. The last verse of the bible is even a warning condemning ANYONE who dares to change it’s words, but do you really think it’s slowed anyone down? History repeats itself. It is a continuous never-ending plethora of ridiculously blind cycles, and in the past the Bible has been used as justification for discrimination and hatred. Which was starting to grow tired and stupid in the 17th century for god’s sake (no pun intended, lol.)

    I think these catholic priest skipped the chapter on “practicing what you preach” in reformatory school.
    A good example of this is a church in Hillsdale, MI. The preacher went off on a rant about how wealthy people are all “damned to hell.” and how the bible says it’s more likely to fit a cow into the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven.” yeah… ok. He was 250 pounds, and the house he lived in (funded by donations) was 2 stories, and included 3 bathrooms. For JUST him and his wife. But he criticizes those that are fortunate???????????? F**K HIM

    What I’ve never understood, Joe, is WHY your religion MUST be Catholic? There are hundreds of similar alternatives that aren’t so judgemental. I don’t mean to offend you, but I have absolutely NO respect for The Vatican, or the Pope. I think they are ALL twisted and are misleading millions of people with their lies. People starving throughout the world, and look at all the gems and jewelry that hangs off the pope as people pray to him and slave at his feet. Whilst the entire time they’re all involved in sex scandals? How many are revealed every year!? 2, 10, 100, 1000???

    Don’t accept something that doesn’t accept you, for accepting something that doesn’t accept you is completely unacceptable!!!!

    Try Episcopaleanism. It’s basically Catholicism without the hatred and trite blinded judgments. They accept everyone, whether or not they agree with their chosen lifestyle!! Which is what a TRUE church should do!!!

    Me =D

    • Joe says:

      Rick,

      Once again thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. It’s always great to hear your thoughts and opinions about what I write. Archbishop Grings was out of line when he made that comment. It is true that there are people with in the Church that are not living in accordance with the Church really teaches or what the Bible really says on a subject matter. There are those within the Church that are causing others pain, suffering and injustice. What I have come to realize is that people seem to focus on the negatives, pointing out the faults of the Church and of those that are in charge of it. Very little is ever mentioned about those within the Church doing what we are called to do, helping the poor, the suffering, and those in need. How often do you hear of Father Scott Donahue, who run the Mercy Home of Boys and Girls in Chicago, helping out homeless youth? How often to do you hear of Sister Michaela, the director of World Villages for Children, who’s mission it is to help children break free from a life of poverty in Asia? Not often enough. Sadly we focus on the negatives some leaders within the Catholic Church do or say, instead of understand that is only a small fraction of members and leadership of the Church.

      To answer your question about why I will not leave the Church, I feel the Catholic Church is where I belong. For one, I don’t think I would feel at home within a Church of another denomination. Second, if I just walked away from the Church, nothing will change within the Church. How many countless others that are born Catholic and gay will have to go through the same nonsense we are going though if all those that are within the Catholic faith and are gay just walked away from the Church? By staying and showing that we are not the people of people Archbishop Grings mentioned, there can be change within the Catholic teach to actually follow the true teachings of the Church on how to treat others.

      Interesting fact though about the Episcopal Church. They do have a Saint that was openly gay. St. Aelred, their patron saint of Integrity. One of St. Aelred main focuses in life was building true loving friendships. If you want to find out more about him, check out St. Aelred, Saint of Integrity.

  2. Rick says:

    Joe

    That is because the negatives outweigh the positives. I am not attacking “Catholic people.” I am attacking Catholic leaders, who basically are the equivalent to garbage in the streets. It’s not “some,” reports show us it’s the “majority” of these leaders that abuse their power. I don’t trust Catholicism.

    It appears you are like… cemented into the word “Catholicism,” when there are so many better alternatives. Episcopaleanism is basically the exact same thing! Have you been to an Episcopal church?

    “I don’t think I would feel at home within a Church of another denomination”

    You don’t “think,” but you “dont” know. Open your mind! HOW could you feel at home in a church that looks down on you and thinks you are an abomination of god??? lol

    I understand your intentions with the Catholic church, but the thing is this: thousands of people have tried to change the ways of the Vatican for thousands of years. It’s not going to work. There’s a difference between being positive and down-right silly. They have to much power. Lies=power=politics. It’s all the same. I think the best thing for you would be to break away from this cycle. You’re a great person, absolutely. But the Catholic church does not deserve you, or others like you. Plain and simple.

    The episcopal church in my town has a gay bishop, and his husband does work there as well. If it wasn’t for that church (All be it, the building is run down) homeless people in this town would be starving to death in the streets.

  3. Rick says:

    “It is true that there are people with in the Church that are not living in accordance with the Church really teaches or what the Bible really says on a subject matter. There are those within the Church that are causing others pain, suffering and injustice. What I have come to realize is that people seem to focus on the negatives, pointing out the faults of the Church and of those that are in charge of it.”

    The thing is this: those within the Catholic church expect the world to overlook the injustices and abuse that take place within the church. (not all, of course) But it’s not going to happen. We aren’t looking at the past, we’re looking at the present. When an estimated 3/10 catholic priest have or will abuse children, something must be done NOW. We shouldn’t stop, and I won’t stop until THIS stops.

    I’m not referring to you by any means ( I know you well enough to know you are completely against this to) But in no way do I think that these facts should just be discarded.

    • Joe says:

      Rick,

      Thanks for replying to my reply. I do value your opinion on things, but it does seem like we are usually on different sides. I respect you for being the type of person not afraid to express yourself as well as accepting people that may not see things the same as you. These are both great qualities to have!

      At the beginning of this year, I went to a different local Catholic church then the ones I normally go to. The priest during the sermon told those in attendance that he was about to say somethings they would like and somethings that they may not like. One of the things he mentioned was about if a person there child came to them and told them that he/she was gay, not to turn their back on their child, but to show their child love and understanding. There are priest and parish members that do understand and express to others that treating gay people differently or abusing them is wrong and I think we will see more priest take a stand similar to this priest. I do not believe the change of how gay are treated within the Catholic faith will come from the Vatican, but from individual parishes and work it’s way up to the Diocese level.

      I once received an email from a lady who’s friend was having a very difficult time with dealing with his sexuality and being Catholic. I emailed the Diocese of the city he lived in and asked if they had any type of support groups for gay Catholics. I received a very kind email back for a worker at this Diocese that had a link to gay friendly churches in the area. He explained that he wasn’t aware of any gay Catholic support groups, but hoped that contacting one of the churches on this list would help.

      It’s very easy to over look the local level of the Catholic Church, they hardly get any publicity. But this really is where the real power is at. The priest of a parish has more interacting and more influence over the members of his church then the Pope does. If one really want to see what Catholicism is about, this is where a person should look, the local level, not to the Vatican.

      In regards to all the abuse that seems to be happening within the Catholic Church, I’m not sure 3/10 is an accurate number. That does seem high to me. But even if the number is 3/1000, that is still to high. There are people that are speaking up against the abuse though, like Cardinal Schoenborn and expressed his anger about certain cover ups other Church leaders have been involved in. The Church does need to make changes and it is, with leaders like Cardinal Schoenborn speaking up, things can change for the better.

  4. Rick says:

    Estimated 3/10.

    “The 2004 John Jay Report was based on a study of 10,667 allegations against 4,392 priests accused of engaging in sexual abuse of a minor between 1950 and 2002. The number 4,392 represents four percent of the 109,694 priests in active ministry during that time. Approximately:

    56 percent had one reported allegation against them; 27 percent had two or three allegations against them; nearly 14 percent had four to nine allegations against them; 3 percent (149 priests) had 10 or more allegations against them. These 149 priests were responsible for almost 3,000 victims, or 27 percent of the allegations.
    The allegations were substantiated for 1,872 priests and unsubstantiated for 824 priests. They were thought to be credible for 1,671 priests and not credible for 345 priests. 298 priests and deacons who had been completely exonerated are not included in the study.
    50 percent were 35 years of age or younger at the time of the first instance of alleged abuse.
    Almost 70 percent were ordained before 1970.
    Fewer than 7 percent were reported to have themselves been victims of physical, sexual or emotional abuse as children. Although 19 percent had alcohol or substance abuse problems, only 9 percent were reported to have been using drugs or alcohol during the instances of abuse.
    6 percent are pedophiles, 32 percent ephebophiles, 15 percent 11 & 12 year olds only (both male and female), 20 percent indiscriminate, and 27 percent mildly indiscriminate.
    There were approximately 10,667 reported minor victims of clergy sexual abuse during this period:

    Around 81 percent of these victims were male.
    22.6% were age 10 or younger, 51% were between the ages of 11 and 14, and 27% were between the ages to 15 to 17 years.
    A substantial number (almost 2000) of very young children were victimized by priests during this time period.
    9,281 victim surveys had information about an investigation. In 6,696 (72%) cases, an investigation of the allegation was carried out. Of these, 4,570 (80%) were substantiated; 1,028 (18%) were unsubstantiated; 83 (1.5%) were found to be false. In 56 cases, priests were reported to deny the allegations.
    More than 10 percent of these allegations were characterized as not substantiated. (This does not mean that the allegation was false; it means only that the diocese or order could not determine whether the alleged abuse actually took place.)
    For approximately 20 percent of the allegations, the priest was deceased or inactive at the time of the receipt of the allegation and typically no investigation was conducted in these circumstances.
    In 38.4% of allegations, the abuse is alleged to have occurred within a single year, in 21.8% the alleged abuse lasted more than a year but less than 2 years, in 28% between 2 and 4 years, in 10.2% between 5 and 9 years and, in under 1%, 10 or more years.
    Many of the reported acts of sexual abuse involved fondling or unspecified abuse. There was also a large number of allegations of more grave abuse, including acts of oral sex and intercourse. Detailed information on the nature of the abuse was not reported for 26.6% of the reported allegations. 27.3% of the allegations involved the cleric performing oral sex on the victim. 25.1% of the allegations involved penile penetration or attempted penetration.

    Although there were reported acts of sexual abuse of minors in every year, the incidence of reported abuse increased by several orders of magnitude in the 1960s and 1970s. There was, for example, a more than six-fold increase in the number of reported acts of abuse of males aged 11 to 17 between the 1950s and the 1970s. After peaking in the 1970s, the number of incidents decreased through the 1980s and 1990s even more sharply than the incidence rate had increased in the 1960s and 1970s.”

    Number of surveys 1872 824 1671 345
    Priest dead or inactive at time of allegation 206 (11%) 188 (22.8%) 47 (9%) 38 (19.9%)
    Priest suspended 852 (45.5%) 171 (20.8%) 241 (45.9%) 17 (8.9%)
    Priest resigned or retired 545 (29.1%) 115 (14%) 128 (24.4%) 12 (6.3%)
    Priest sought laicization 113 (6%) 16 (1.9%) 29 (5.5%)
    Priest removed from clergy 115 (6.1%) 14 (1.7%) 115 (6.1%) 2 (1%)
    Priest reprimanded and returned 172 (9.2%) 45 (5.5%) 60 (11.4%) 6 (3.1%)
    Priest referred for evaluation 918 (49%) 286 (34.7%) 273 (52%) 41 (21.5%)
    Priest given administrative leave 699 (37.3%) 195(23.7%) 179 (34.1%) 41 (21.5%)
    Priest sent to spiritual retreat 143 (7.6%) 53 (6.4%) 43 (8.2%) 5 (2.6%)
    Priest sent for treatment 998 (53.3%) 229 (27.8%) 286 (54.5%) 24 (12.6%)
    Priest given medical leave 162 (8.7%) 36 (4.4%) 45 (8.6%) 3 (1.6%)
    Priest returned to order, or superior notified 88 (4.7%) 41 (5%) 41 (7.8%) 9 (4.7%)
    Other action taken 444 (23.7%)) 226 (27.4%) 149 (28.4%) 52 (27.2%)
    No action taken 49 (2.6%) 130 (15.8%) 22 (4.2%) 53 (27.7%)

    EPISCOPAL CHURCH RESPONSE:

    United States

    In June 2002, the USCCB established the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People”, a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The charter includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. It also directs action in the following matters:

    Creating a safe environment for children and young people;
    Healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors;
    Making prompt and effective response to allegations;
    Zero tolerance policy on abusers: If a credible accusation is made against a cleric, they are permanently removed from ministry regardless of how long ago the offense occurred;[73]
    Cooperating with civil authorities;
    Disciplining offenders;
    Providing for means of accountability for the future to ensure the problem continues to be effectively dealt with through a national Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and a National Review Board.
    In other words, the US National Review Board now requires dioceses faced with an allegation to alert the authorities, conduct an investigation and remove the accused from duty.[74]

    The Board also approached John Jay College of Criminal Justice to conduct a descriptive study of the nature and scope of the problem of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The College assembled an experienced team of researchers with expertise in the areas of forensic psychology, criminology, and human behavior, and, working with the Board, formulated a methodology to address the study mandate. Data collection commenced in March 2003, and ended in February 2004.

    NEWS ARTICLES ON CHILD ABUSE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

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    ^ “Timeline – US Church sex scandal”. BBC News. 7 September 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3872499.stm. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
    ^ a b Bruni, p.336
    ^ Butt, Riazat; Asthana, Anushka (28 September 2009). “Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican (with examples from USA)”. The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/28/sex-abuse-religion-vatican. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
    ^ Vitello, Paul (June 4, 2009). “Bishop Avidly Opposes Bill Extending Time to File Child-Abuse Suits”. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/05/nyregion/05abuse.html?_r=4.
    ^ a b c d e Gallagher, Delia. “Vatican Study on Sex Abuse”. Zenit. http://www.zenit.org/article-9560?l=english.
    ^ Paulson, Michael (2002-04-08). “World doesn’t share US view of scandal”. http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories/040802_world.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
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    ^ http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/conferences/unhrc/twelfth/hrc090922pm2-eng.rm?start=01:28:49&end=01:31:56
    ^ “‘Mean Men: “The priesthood is being cast as the refuge of pederasts. In fact, priests seem to abuse children at the same rate as everyone else”. Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/id/236096. Retrieved 2010-04-11.
    ^ “When walls are too high: A penchant for conspiracy is no help to the Vatican’s image”. The Economist. April 8, 2010. http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15868530. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
    ^ a b c d e f g h Reese, Thomas J. (2004-03-22). “Facts, Myths and Questions”. America. https://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=3497. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
    ^ a b c “Draft survey: 4,450 priests accused of sex abuse”. CNN. February 17, 2004. http://edition.cnn.com/2004/US/02/16/church.abuse/.
    ^ a b c d “Executive Summary of “The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States””. John Jay College of Criminal Justice. http://www.usccb.org/nrb/johnjaystudy/exec.pdf.
    ^ Irons, Meghan (2009-12-28). “Connections between US, Irish priest abuse cases sought”. http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2009/12/connections_bet.html. Retrieved 2010-01-07. However, part of the article specifically addressing a group of 60-70 priests who had been identified refers to them as being men who were “either born in Ireland or are of Irish descent who came to the United States.”
    ^ “Independent survey of sexually abusive Roman Catholic priests”. http://www.religioustolerance.org/clergy_sex20.htm.
    ^ a b BBC: Panorama – Sex crimes and the Vatican
    ^ Doyle, Thomas, The 1962 Vatican Instruction Crimen Sollicitationis, promulgated March 16, 1962, 1 April 2008. (Accessed 2010-03-19). The full text of the study, distributed by Doyle himself in March 2010, can be found online on websites of organizations {http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2010/03_04/2010_03_12_Doyle_VeryImportant.htm a website “documenting the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church”] (Accessed 2010-04-02), and “supporting survivors of clergy sexual abuse and examining the cover up, causes, and effects of that abuse” . Retrieved 2010-04-02.
    ^ Doyle, Thomas (2008-01). “Thomas Doyle On Church Reform: VOTF AND REFORM OF THE GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH”. Voice of the Faithful – New Jersey. NJ VOTF. http://www.votfnj.org/page.cfm?Web_ID=142. Retrieved 2010-04-05.
    ^ a b c Allen, John L. (2006-10-06). “1962 document orders secrecy in sex cases: Many bishops unaware obscure missive was in their archives”. National Catholic Reporter. http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/update/bn080703.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
    ^ “A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States”. USCCB. http://www.usccb.org/nrb/nrbstudy/nrbreport.htm#johnjay. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
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    ^ Bono, Agostino. “John Jay Study Reveals Extent of Abuse Problem”. http://www.americancatholic.org/news/clergysexabuse/johnjaycns.asp.
    ^ John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deaconsin the United States: 4.3 Characteristics of children who alleged sexual abuse by Catholic priests. p. 69
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    ^ “What Percentage Of Priests Abuse, And Whom Do They Victimize?”. http://www.religioustolerance.org/clergy_sex8.htm.
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    ^ “Catholic Church in Ireland given immunity for child sexual abuse cover-up, report says”. The Daily Telegraph (London). 2009-11-26. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/6662086/Catholic-Church-in-Ireland-given-immunity-for-child-sexual-abuse-cover-up-report-says.html. Retrieved 2010-01-06.
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    ^ name=”vatdocord”
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    MY RESPONSE:

    Ok, right there is hundreds of news articles on child abuse within the catholic church. This is absolutely horrifying, and it is apparent to me why so many American Catholics are dis-owning Catholicism and finding equal (or almost identical) alternatives that aren’t as “structured.” The Catholic faith needs a revolution NOW!!! you may wonder why I care, and my answer is this: when more than 50% of my countries people identify as Catholic, I have no choice but to get involved. (I’m Agnostic, was raised Baptist/protistant, and I identify most with Episcopaleanism.)

    “It’s very easy to over look the local level of the Catholic Church, they hardly get any publicity. But this really is where the real power is at. The priest of a parish has more interacting and more influence over the members of his church then the Pope does. If one really want to see what Catholicism is about, this is where a person should look, the local level, not to the Vatican.”

    Ok, this is most-likely true. But the fact that the “roman Catholic” (most catholic americans are roman catholic, Hispanics are mostly Catholic as well) church is based around the Vatican and evil incarnate (The popes) forces me to discard Catholism as a kind and wholesom demonination. They aren’t worth fighting for.

    Check this out:

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – A staunch defender of Pope Benedict XVI in pedophile scandals now gripping the Vatican reassigned a US priest and alleged child molester in the 1990s without warning parishioners, court documents showed.
    In sworn testimony in 2006 about his time as Archbishop of Portland, Oregon (1986-1995), US Cardinal William Levada said he decided to reassign the offending priest after he underwent therapy.
    “The abuse in question had happened 20 years before, or so… the recommendation of the therapy was that he was not at risk for re-abusing and that it would be prudent to reassign him… and prudent also to put conditions that would make sure that he would not be overstressed to do some inappropriate behavior,” Levada testified.
    A transcript of Levada’s lengthy testimony on his decision in the mid-1990s was provided to AFP by a lawyer of the victims of pedophile priests in Oregon state.
    Levada now heads the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). He was chosen for the post by his predecessor and then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who as pope now has come under criticism for failing to act against priests accused of child abuse in his earlier position as chief Vatican enforcer of Catholic doctrine and morals.
    In the testimony, Levada was asked if he had warned parishioners about the Oregon priest’s past — inappropriate sexual behavior with teenagers in the 1970s. He answered that he had not.
    “I took what I believe to be the prudent step of giving complete information to the pastor of the parish… and assigning him as the supervisor to (the priest) who (would) have weekly or regular meetings with him and so forth,” the cardinal said.
    “I took the steps that were appropriate and warranted to make sure that my reassignment of (the priest) was entirely responsible,” he added in explaining his judgment at the time.
    Despite objections, Levada said he did not warn the parishioners about the priest’s past because it could have impacted the man’s work and caused him embarrassment.
    Much of the testimony presented at a Portland bankruptcy court came amid abuse accusations leveled against Roman Catholic priests in the United States and around the world.
    The Oregon church filed for bankruptcy the day the first child abuse trial was supposed to start in July 2004, said Erin Olson, a lawyer representing some 20 victims of child abuse seeking compensation.
    Similar court cases are also underway in Kentucky, Florida and Wisconsin, where Father Lawrence Murphy allegedly molested up to 200 boys at a school for the deaf in Milwaukee between 1950 and 1974, according to The New York Times.
    On Saturday, the Times said that even though Murphy was eventually found out, he continued abusing children until his death in 1998.
    Pope Benedict XVI has come under intense pressure amid allegations that, as archbishop of Munich and later as the head of CDF for 24 years, he failed to act against child abusing priests.
    Levada called the earlier Times article “deficient by any reasonable standard of fairness,” in a statement published on the Vatican Web site late Wednesday.
    And the head of the US Catholic Church, Chicago Archbishop Francis George, also defended the pope on Vatican Radio Thursday, saying that as CDF chief he “enabled us to keep the predators out of the priesthood permanently in ways that were not possible before and… encouraged us to reach out to victims.”
    “None of that would have been possible had it not been for the legal permission and pastoral impetus of Pope Benedict,” George said.
    A CBS News poll conducted released Friday found that Americans are losing faith in Pope Benedict XVI, with his unfavorable rating jumping to 24 percent, up from a mere four percent in 2006.”

    My point is this: you can’t change something as ubiquitous and overtly influencial as Catholicism until the dead-weight is eliminated. BUT, on the headline on the news today was this:

    Sex abuse crisis gives new momentum to dissidents
    (I’m not going to paste it, it’s basically about Catholic priest and women protesting for revolution. Many catholics was to allow women to be priest, and to completely eliminate celebecy. FINALLY! Where do I send a check? lol)

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/eu_vatican_priests

    I think this is wonderful news for the Catholic church. Yes, things are looking better-but all will not be better until these horrific problems are eliminated, starting with the dethroning of the pope)

    I have been to a few Catholic churches in my life, Joe; and I have to admit I don’t feel welcome in them at all. Many catholics are very bitter, and the majority of them have money. I don’t respect this, and I don’t respect people looking down their noses at others. Catholics seem like they are all for show. The average Catholic church, how much do you think it cost to make?-but then many of them look down at other churches for being run-down and dead ass broke. It isn’t right, and it isn’t fair. Gay, straight, black, or white-NOBODY has the right to look down at others. We are ALL different, and until they accept that, I will not accept them.

    By the way, How have you been!!!!???

    • Joe says:

      Rick,

      Good to hear from you again. I am doing well by the way. How about yourself?

      It is true that there has been too much abuse by priest within the Catholic Church. There is no denying this. But to hold the whole Church accountable for what some priest or bishops have done isn’t right either. I do not believe we should have gone to war with Iraq and I think George Bush made the wrong decision to go there. I believe there are many others in the world that feel the same way. But because the leader of the United States made a poor decision (in my opinion) make the people of the US bad people? I do not believe so. This is true with the Church. It isn’t the leaders that make the Church, it’s it people. The Church is there to help guide people through life. It’s leaders are suppose to help direct and lead us in a way that this world a little better for everyone.

      I do realize that this is not allows the case. Some Church leaders failed to take steps to end abuse even when it know it was going on. This was wrong of those leaders.

      The Church within the US has taken action to help ensure this type of behavior doesn’t happen again. That is something the Church should be commended for. Yes, it took a great deal of pressure from many people, but they finally realize the importance of making proper changes to ensure the safety of all members of the faith and really anyone that attend a Catholic Church.

      I am sorry that when you attended a Catholic Church you didn’t feel welcomed. Every Catholic Church should try to make every person that attends a Mass, whether they are Catholic or not feel welcomed there.

      I do not think the Church will change its teachings priest being celebrant, nor do I see the Church allowing women to become priest. The teaching of these things are far to rooted in tradition that they will not change, even if a few people protest for them. This does not mean that women do not play an important part within the Church or that there are not positions in the Church where they may not have been hired in the past that now they will be considered. I just do not believe that the Church will ever endorse women priest or change its position on celebrant priest.

  5. R says:

    Well, for one thing, if priest were allowed to have sex the sexual abuse level would drastically drop. It would also if women were replaced. I can’t support a religion founded on hate, war, and violence. What makes something shapes what it is, and you can’t deny that things have changed within the Catholic church. I have no doubt there are good catholics out there, I’ve met a few myself. But they are usually wealthy (lol)

    I can’t support a religion that states men are better than women. Because truth is, they are NOT better than women.

    • Joe says:

      Rick,

      I do not believe that there would have been less sexual abuse if priest would be allowed to marry. I think one of the issues that lead to some of the abuse was that there were men entering the priesthood to escape there feeling (those feelings being attracted to men). Because these priest tried so hard to avoid dealing with these feeling, suppressing them, they ended up coming out in a manner that was not right. By avoiding dealing with whom they were sexually attracted too, it resulted in this area of their lives coming out in a manner that hurt many people.

      There were also many other issues within the Church that lead to so many being abused. The Church, at least in the US has been making progress to solve this problem. The rest of the Church I’m sure will start to take action to help keep people from being abuse, especially within the Church.

      The Catholic religion is not based on war, hatred, or violence. Has all this taken place in by the Church, the unfortunate answer to that question is yes. But that is not what the Catholic Church is about. Look at Mother Theresa, she showed the world nothing but love, compassion and respect. She has just as much influence as any bishop in the Church and was just as much loved by Catholics as Pope John Paul II.

      Within the Church there are many females that hold very important jobs. It is true that they are not allowed to be priest and preform a Mass, but that doesn’t mean that within the Church women are second class citizens. Look at the influence Mother Teresa had on so many people. Was she able to preform a Mass or offer confession? No. But yet she had more power to influence others within and outside of the Church.

      Within the Catholic faith there is one woman that trumps all. The only person that is placed above her that has walked on this earth is Jesus. That lady being Mary, The Blessed Virgin. There is no saint the Church teaches was closer to Jesus then Mary and that it will be Mary that destroys the Satan.

      If you look at the history of the Catholic Church, you will see that there are many female saints. There is no greater honor within the Church then to be named a saint. The Catholic Church does recognizes the work woman have done to help others, spread love, feed the hungry, clothes the naked, and so much more.

  6. Rick says:

    But men are still more important. Did you watch the film “Doubt?” Check it out.

    “I do not believe that there would have been less sexual abuse if priest would be allowed to marry. I think one of the issues that lead to some of the abuse was that there were men entering the priesthood to escape there feeling (those feelings being attracted to men). Because these priest tried so hard to avoid dealing with these feeling, suppressing them, they ended up coming out in a manner that was not right. By avoiding dealing with whom they were sexually attracted too, it resulted in this area of their lives coming out in a manner that hurt many people.”

    I strongly disagree with you here. I myself am a gay male, and if I was to abstain it would never result in me abusing children. Pedophiles are usually born that way (many are also created by years of systematic abuse themselves) How could one discard the possibility that many of these priest join the priesthood solely for the purpose of sexual assault? Access to these children is private, so their asses would be covered.

    “The Catholic religion is not based on war, hatred, or violence.”

    Yes it is. Search “The Templar Knights.” All throughout history Christians have been slaughtering one another because they can’t accept each others differences. It’s absolutely hideous, and the hatred has to stop!!!

    Mother Teresa is one in a billion. There never has been, and NEVER will be another woman like her. But she was still oppressed in the Catholic church solely because she was female. That is WRONG.

    Whats so bad about a female Catholic priest?

    Oppression is oppression, plain and simple. :)

    • Joe says:

      Rick,

      You have accepted the fact that you are gay, this is something I do not believe some of those involved with the sex abuse within the Church accepted. Without accepting the fact that you are gay, one really only can suppress these feelings. These feeling do seem to come out though and it seems that in most cases the seem to come out in ways that are not appropriate. I am not saying this is the case for most of these priest, nor am I saying it’s the case for the majority of them. But I do believe that it is a case for some of them.

      I also do not believe that the priest involved with the sexual abuse scandal that have pedophilia tendencies joined to have easy access to children. Some may have, but I do not believe the major did. I think what may have happened was these priest had these feelings, saw the Church as a way to avoid dealing with them, especially with the idea of living a celibate lifestyle. The problem again is not dealing with the feeling one has. We also have to remember that when most of these priest joined the priesthood, the mental health system was nowhere near where it is today. I’m not sure if a person back in the 50s or 60s whom expressed that they had these inappropriate feelings for children would have received any type of help. What I do believe is that there were a lot of people that joined the priesthood in order to avoid dealing with something which resulted in whatever they were trying to avoid coming out in a manner that was inappropriate.

      Mother Teresa said “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” She understood that it wasn’t the leaders that had the power, it is the people. I do not believe that she would have wanted to be a priest, bishop or a pope. She understood her role her on Earth, that being to help as many people as she could and then a few more. She wasn’t about power, she was focused on living a humble life. I think she would have been perfectly happy living a life where the spotlight wasn’t on her. But she understood that that spotlight was placed there by God and that she used it not for her own advantage, but to help out even more people. She was not afraid to speak her mind to world leaders, to let them know they were wrong on issues like war, abortions, not caring for the poor. I do not see how anyone could have oppressed Mother Teresa. She spoke up for so many people even in places where leaders of the Church may have been afraid too.

      Mother Teresa was invited to a dinner with President Bill Clinton, Hillary, Vice President Al Gore and Tipper, and nearly 3,000 other people. At that dinner she said to President Clinton and all the other people there “If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill each other? . . . Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.” She went on to say “Many people are very, very concerned with children in India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today – abortion, which brings people to such blindness.” A person that is oppressed would not have the ability to speak so freely to one of the world’s most powerful leaders. Mother Teresa was not oppressed by anyone nor was she intimated to speak the truth when she was giving the chance.

      The Church is not based on hate, nor is it based on the The Templar Knights. It isn’t based on the Josephites or the Paulist. Nor is it based on the Dominicans nor the Good Shepherd Sisters. It is based on the teachings of Jesus and is built on St. Peter. “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). The Catholic Church is really about the faith, not who is the leaders (pope, bishop, priest) it of. Even at times when the Church was involved with war and abuse, the Church seemed (and still is) growing. Why? Because of the faith, not because of who leads it. Do not mistake the deeds of some leaders of the Church for the teachings of the Church. Man has used the name of the Church in ways it should not have, but the Church teachings are based of what Jesus taught. What The Templar Knights or the priest involved with the current abuse scandal do not represent the Church’s teachings, they represent man’s acting in ways that are not true teachings of the Church.

  7. Rick says:

    So….. basically what you’re saying is that the Priesthood is a sanction and last resort for child molesters?

    Yes she was. Mother Theresa broke away from the Catholic mold. Her life wasn’t always like what you described.

    And what is the “church” based on? Where’d it come from? Those that praised Hitler, are they not wicked as well?

    Here’s some quotes I found.

    “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as manservant’s do. (Exodus 21:7)

    Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. I came not to send peace, but a sword. … A man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:34)

    For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law (10:35)

    And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (10:36)

    He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (10:37)

    The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:8-10) (“wow, this one makes sense, especially after god destroyed an argumentative leader and set all of his people on fire and laughed as he watched them all burn alive.” Deuteronomy)

    Here are some more offensive bible quotes that demonstrate just how horrible the god of the Old Testament is. My commentary, including a suggestion as to what to do about this malevalent diety, follows each biblical excerpt. These come from the King James version of the Bible.

    Numbers 15: 32 – 36

    And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.

    And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.

    And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.

    And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.

    And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

    Offensive bible quotes like this not only show the violence and hatefulness of the god of The Old Testament, but also the potential evil it promotes. According to the story, the people actually stoned the poor man to death for collecting firewood on the wrong day. Fortunately, most who believe these are the words of God are no longer willing to follow his words – but some still do.

    Leviticus 21: 16 – 18

    And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

    Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.

    For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous…

    God goes on to say that dwarfs, as well as those who are hunchbacked, or with crippled feet or hands or other physical handicaps, should not be allowed in church, “that he profane not my sanctuaries,” as the good father in the sky says.

    Joshua 6: 2-3

    And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

    And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

    God goes on to describe how they are to destroy the city, and that is what they do, but not out of self defense or anything like that. In fact, verse 21 says, “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.” Somehow, I suspect that whatever complaint they had against some in Jericho, the children – and most others – were entirely innocent.

    What can we say about the god of the Old Testament? The list of offensive bible quotes like these could go on for many pages, and they paint a picture of a being that desires to do great evil. If such a god were to exist, good men would seek to kill him.

    Exodus 22: 18

    Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (This quote is BULL SHIT! And has been proven to have been altered by King James, a FILTHY herretic! This quote being changed from “Thou shalt not suffer FOR WHICH to live, but to have everlasting life” resulted in the torture of THOUSANDS of females throughout history. Being burned alive as everyone watches and orgasms as they scream in agony, what fun!)

    Untold numbers of women who were considered unusual have been murdered throughout the ages by good Christians, using this passage as their justification. Some modern day Christians, while no longer willing to do God’s work for him, still applauded when Haiti suffered from a huge earthquake in 2010, saying it was punishment for the witchcraft present in their culture.

    Exodus 31: 15

    Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

    It is fortunate that those who believe the bible is the word of God cannot bring themselves to actually obey his word. Stonings for working on the Sabbath are rare these days. Then again, I recall that a few years ago those car dealers who dared to open on Sundays in some cities of the Eastern United States had rocks thrown through their windows.

    Leviticus 20: 13

    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    Sadly, there are some who do follow what is suggested by evil bible quotes like these. Homosexuals are the target of many “loving” Christians, who sometimes even kill them.

    Leviticus 20: 15

    And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.

    Now, not many people – Christian or otherwise – are in favor of having sex with animals, but I have to suspect that when it happens the animal is not a consenting partner. It seems strange and unfair that the poor animal should have to be killed because it has been raped by a man.

    Leviticus 24: 16

    And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him…

    Well Goddamn that is evil! Apparently this god has never heard the children’s rhyme, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

    Need I say more? lol. Christianity is wicked, plain and simple!

  8. Rick says:

    http://pewforum.org/Faith-in-Flux(3).aspx Rates of people changing/leaving religion. =)

    • Joe says:

      Rick,

      It is true that the rate of people staying within the Catholic Church is decreasing within the US. Worldwide it’s a different story. The Church is growing in places like Asia, Africa and South America.

      The sad thing is if one looks for hatred in the Bible, they can find it. There are many that have used the words in the Bible for proposes they were never meant to be used for. There are many that read something and interrupt what the story or passage is about incorrectly and use it to hurt others. It’s very easy to just look at a verse or a short passage and say “Yeah, it says I can stone someone to death for this or that” and go out and do it.

      The good thing though is that Jesus said that he was the New Covenant and changed many of the rules. Stoning someone to death was no longer acceptable to Jesus. Jesus said the two most important commandments that we all need to follow are: “You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40). Where is the hate in what Jesus teaches? This is what Christianity is suppose to be based on.

      The Catholic Church is not a cult. It never has been nor will it ever be. There are many things on report that are outdated and do not fully express the true teachings of the Church.

      I am not saying the Priesthood is a last resort or any resort for child molester. What I am saying is that I do not believe that those priest involved with the sex abuse joined the priesthood in order to molest children. I think there could have been an internal conflict within these priest and they saw the priesthood as a way to avoid dealing with these feelings. I do believe that these individuals had a strong faith when they joined the priesthood. Having a strong faith and believe that one can avoid these feelings could have lead to these priest joining the priesthood when the priesthood wasn’t the best job for them.

      Relating the Church to Hitler is not right. Pope Pius XII lead the Church in a way that saved many lives during Hitler’s ruin, many of whom where not Catholic or even Christians. Pope Pius XII issued many false papers stating that many Jews had been baptized and/or confirmed in a Catholic Church. By doing so, he helped spare Jewish people form evilness Hitler was raging against them. The Church lead by Pope Pius XII looked to saves lives, while Hitler looked to end lives.

  9. Evelyn says:

    Hi Joe!

    I happened upon your site today, and I enjoyed reading this post. I am currently experiencing a sort of crises of faith, and reading your opinion has helped me immensely. While I am not gay- I do have a REAL problem with the Gay community being rejected, and most of the time persecuted, by religion- ESPECIALLY my CHURCH- The Roman Catholic Church. I have sat in mass with Gay singles, and same sex couples, and wondered why they put up with this crap! Then I wonder why I can continue to put my faith (and hard earned money) into the Church. My friend, and fellow parishioner, Mark, who has been with his partner for 20+ years, told me to accept the Church on my own terms. I have just have had hard time doing so, and I don’t want to leave the Church. I see many who openly commit adultery, lie, cheat, and steal- all while spouting words of bigotry and hate towards the Gay community.

    I most defiantly don’t know what it is like to walk in your shoes, but I am on your side. I do not see being Gay as a sin, and promiscuity is not exclusive to any sexual orientation! A elderly parishioner told me that if adherence to Catholic dogma 100% was necessary to attend mass- the Church would be empty- even she wouldn’t be there! (lol!)

    I’m glad that the abuse issues are being addressed. I don’t feel excluding gay men from being priest is the answer. There is a BIG difference between a Gay man and a Pedophile!! Abuse is also not exclusive to the Catholic faith.

    I hope you are correct in that the Church is changing. I just hope they do it quick! Until then- I will continue to look for guidance in my journey to where I need to be.

    Thanks — Ev.

    • Joe says:

      Hey Everlyn,

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog. It is always great to hear from other Catholics! I am glad to hear that you have gained something from reading what I write. :) I do have to agree with you, that if the only people that attended Church were those that followed the Catholic dogma 100% of the time, the Church would be empty and even includes the priest that would suppose to be conducting the Mass.

      I think what is important to remember that the Church is ran by man. We know that man is not perfect. I have stated several times on my website that I do believe that the Catholic Church teaches the closes thing to the truth when it comes to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Heaven, the Angels, Saints, Purgatory, etc… but I do think there are some areas that need to reexamined and take into account what we know today. If we look at the Church’s past, at one time they refused to marry a person that was white to another that was black. After many years and reexamining the Church’s position on this issue, it eventually changed to allow a person that is white to marry a person that is black. At one time the Church told the world was flat and even after it was discovered the Earth was round, the Church still taught it was flat. But eventually the Church gained a greater insight and agreed with science that the world is round. It now teaches that the Earth is round.

      When it comes to gays within the Church, I do think these are improving, but I am sure for many it isn’t fast enough. I have attend Masses where the priest speaks of gay people, using the word gay which for many Church leaders is not a proper way to describe a person attracted to the same gender. I do think things are starting to change at the local levels and will eventually works there way up the ladder. I do not know if the Church will ever accept gay couples, but I do think that one day the Church will stop referring to homosexuality as a disorder. This is something that will not happen under the current Pope, but I do think it could become an issue that the next Pope may have to deal with.

      I have been asked several times why I stay Catholic, even when it seems that the Church isn’t very friendly to the gay population. One, I do believe that the Church many of the Church’s teaching are correct. I believe in the Saints and I believe Purgatory. I often dedicate any good deeds I do during a day to the poor souls in Purgatory in hopes that God find favor on these deeds and applies the merits of these deeds to granting souls in Purgatory entrance into Heaven. I believe praying the Rosary is important as well. There are just so many Catholic traditions and believes that I feel are right that to leave the Church would result in an emptiness in my life.

      Another reason I stay with the Church is I feel comfortable there. I do feel God’s presences when I enter a Catholic Church.

      The third reason is a hope that the Church will see what it is doing to the gay community and how it is distancing itself from so many that want to be a part of it. To me, I think it’s important to be an example for other gays, meaning that by attending Church and having others know that I am gay may make it easier for others to live their lives with a stronger belief in God. I think there are just too many religious leaders that condemn someone just for being gay. This results in people turning away from their faith and more importantly away from God. By staying in the Church, I hope that I can make a differences in showing that one can be gay and still have a strong belief in God. I think it is much harder for someone to preach hated towards gays if those in the pews know of someone that is gay and is living a life full of faith.

      I do want to encourage you to continue your journey and I do wish you the best of luck. The Catholic Church isn’t perfect, but we shouldn’t give up on it. :)

  10. Mikey says:

    I’m not perfect, I’ve made mistakes, I had a very very difficult life (dealing with loneliness, deafness, gay, anxiety, depression, poverty) and I’m a practicing Roman Catholic, by that I mean that I attend Mass. When we receive Communion it is Jesus that we receive, His Body and Blood, so that we have the strength to carry our cross.

    The Catholic Church is fine, I’m happy with the Sacraments that I receive, but I’m careful with the kind of priest that I have to talk with sometimes. It is important that you find a priest that is understanding and compassionate.

    On a personal level, the Catholic Church doesn’t regulate the kind of friends we make in life, so it’s our responsibility to make sure that our friends are fine.

    If someone say something stupid, just ignore it, forgive and forget, life is too short to focus on negative feedback. Also, we just have to look at how society is, to realize that people need to pray a lot. Always hope and keep the faith, and keep your friends.

    Joe I pray for you as usual :)

    • Joe says:

      Thanks Mikey for the comment.

      I am not perfect either, I know I am far from it. I agree that Catholic Church is fine and that receiving the Sacraments is a very good thing. It is something we all should focus and yearn for. I also agree that it is important to talk to priest you are comfortable talking too. Just because someone is a priest, it doesn’t mean that they will understand the things one is struggling with. One of the advantages of being Catholic is that in most towns and cities there is more then one Catholic priest to talk too. :)

      I pray for you often too Mikey. 😀

  11. Rick says:

    Most die-hard jews absolutely DESPISE Catholics.

    But I’m afraid you didn’t answer my question.

    What’s so bad about a female priest?

  12. Rick says:

    Technically speaking: any, and all religions, practices, and faiths are in fact a cult in one way or another.

    The reason religion is supposedly on-the-rise in foreign countries is because of missionaries. “If you want me to give you food, sit down and read this bible.” =(

    I find it so sad that what would be a genuine, and beautiful act of kindness is blatantly reversed by alterior motives. “If you want food, you must be like us.” That’s how Baptist missionaries are (I’ve met HUNDREDS of them, as I was raised strict Protestant) but I don’t feel any of them are much different from other denominations.

    Evelyn:

    You are an angel, and the Catholic church should consider themselves very blessed to have such a positive, and open-minded person in their congregation! If this country had more people with your outlook, it would be a lot better. Stay wonderful, and if you oppose the actions of the church, try and change it. If you can’t-WALK AWAY! =)

  13. Mikey says:

    Lately, there’s a lots that has happened and I will put a new website.

    My reply to all the previous posts is that people should keep their faith strong, stay Roman Catholic, despite that sometimes – which is normal – that some priests but mostly parishioners are more likely to show less sympathy for those that are gays and Catholics. But life is what it is. We can help people to better understand, but we can’t change people. If someone doesn’t like you, then it’s best to forgive and move on.

    The bigger picture of the life of a person, is that even if others hurt us sometimes, the rate of healing largely depend on us. And this is perhaps a poor example of what I want to explain, but it’s like a guy who want muscles, that’s cool, but he has to workout for it. Nobody will make it for him. So that guy can’t blame others for his own shortcoming when he skip the gym and eat a diet rich of junk foods. My thinking is that people often think it’s a race against each others, but it was never like that. The race is long, but at the end, it’s between us and Jesus. It’s not about how a priest treated you, it’s not about your travels, your clothes, and how many friends you have. It’s about us and Jesus.

    We have to understand that friends come and go in life, but for the few precious few we should hold on.

    The BIG reason and the BIGGEST gift that Jesus gave to the Catholic Church is HIMSELF in the EUCHARIST.

    Jesus will make you happy, but understand that life on earth is about us and Jesus. The quality of relationship we have with Jesus, certainly affect the quality of relationship we have with others.

    Try not to generalize the Catholic Church too much, because there’s a lots of great people that are Roman Catholics and are really cool people. It’s important to not generalize.

    Take care JOE! :)

  14. Mikey says:

    With respect to the content of the discussion in this forum (gay people), I do want to add something that will surprise many of you, it even surprised myself. Currently, I am taking the course “Perspectives on Disability” and it doesn’t just talk about people who are able-bodied and disabled, but also about gay people.

    In my selected reading, I was reading about a University teacher who became quadriplegic; this smart man’s world changed overnight, from being used at having students taking note when he gave lecture, to being ridiculized with a chuckle from people he met at disability center. This was a big hurt to his academic knowledge, he had lost his professional identity as a teacher. At hospital, they even put him in a room with 3 others women, ignoring the classification of gender between men and women. His world was mess up. He also lost many of his friends, he was not needed anymore in society and was now alone. Sometimes, childrens would look at him and try to understand why he was quadriplegic, their parents would say “Don’t look”, as if this disease could happen to them, as if this condition was so terrible that having people around him would be a threat. The friends he had when he was able-bodied, didn’t know what to say to him, and most of them left.

    Having found himself in a new social status (disabled), this professor decided to overcome this challenge by hanging out with others disabled people, he said that at hospital, patients are the lowest in society because they’re not “needed”, and so it didn’t matter if a patient was once a CEO of a company, another one a dentist, a teacher, a cook and so on, all of a sudden, the “wall” that separated these people in society was gone. Patients would chat with each others and not care of who they were before they came at the hospital. They were all patients and equal. Discrimination, social barriers were gone.

    The same can be applied with respect with gay people. They often feel that the world doesn’t understand them, they feel alone sometimes, they feel that they need affection and there’s nothing wrong with affection, everyone need that. That warm hug, that close confidant friend that like to hang out, and so it is not surprising that gay men that have faith, will often look for an association, a club, to socialize with other gay men, it does make them feel better and this is much needed. This is why life in a small town would be very difficult for a gay man. But there’s a danger in looking for gay friendship too. For a friendship to develop it take some time, but values and faith have to be shared too.

  15. Rick says:

    Mikey:

    Why should someone claim something that wants absolutely nothing to do with them? It’s like staying over at a friends house when they’ve repeatedly asked you to leave. If you aren’t going to be treated with FULL respect, like everyone else in the congregation is, then it is best to LEAVE-after all, it’s their loss, NOT yours. There are plenty of other churches more than happy to accept you and treat you with love and respect. My point is that this is very hard to find for a gay male in the Catholic community, so why stick around? There are other alternatives that are far better for gay people (and basically identical to Catholicism) It seems to me that for you and Joe it’s all about the label. You instantly assume that if it isn’t labeled “catholic” that it isn’t for you. But why?

    Anyone that would actually discard a disabled person as “unecessary, or worthless” is nothing more than a heartless, cold-blooded POS. That is so SICK. I have disabled people in my family, and I love them with all of my heart. They are no different than I-anyone who feels differently is emotionally disabled.

    I’ve lived in a small town my entire life, most know I’m gay, but others don’t. I’ve been treated like absolute crap my entire life-but I’ve learned to fight back. To show them I am stronger than they are. I am very privelaged to be gay, because the battle has benefited me. I see it so much, gay people wining because they’re discriminated against, because people won’t accept them blah blah blah boo hoo hoo. GET OVER IT! Why care? If they don’t accept you, then MOVE ON! That’s my perspective.

    I identify as Agnostic, I have my own personal beliefs-but they don’t revolve around Christianity. I am a very blessed, and extremely LUCKY person to have what I have. I’m happier now with these realizations than I have ever been in my entire life. Love everyone-yes. But if someone treats you poorly because you are gay, they they do NOT deserve you in their lives.

  16. Mikey says:

    Nobody will make me run out of town (as in saying that nobody will intimidate me);

    And we should not try to convince others that they should like us. Doing that is pathetic, because some of them will pick on it, and then use us for favors, and not because they like us.

    And we should never ask the permission from others to enjoy our life. [every human beings are born free and equal in dignity and human rights]

    I have disabled people in my family too.

    “A research indicates that people who harbor hostility toward the disabled are statistically more likely to be prejudiced toward minorities. There is an element of plain nastiness in all this; bigotry observes no boundaries.”

    That’s why my friends are like Joe, they don’t discriminate, and mind you, it’s not just because Joe is gay and Catholic. I know a lots of gays that have prejudices against a disabled person (even for just having an hearing impairment), and on top of that I am gay.

    And the reason why gay in general suffer from anxiety more than any other groups, is because anxiety always start with a 1) threat (you’re not welcome at a house party because they found out you’re gay, and you’ve lost friends) –> 2) fear (it’s a threat to your well-being and –> 3) uncertainty which lead to –> 4) cognitive dissonance (mind is racing, thinking how these guys will treat you next week, are you still safe when you go out for a walk, will they gossip and make your life worse)

    The more confident we are, the less oppressed we’ll be by that kind of disgusting people. Who need them? Not me. Not you. Not Joe.

  17. Rick says:

    Good for you, buddy! That is a very intelligent, and very noble perspective you have-but when it comes to religion, i’m sorry, but anyone that tells me I’m an “abomination of god” can SUCK IT. And 99.999 percent of churches have stated just that. So screw them. I love the Episcopal faith (very similar to Catholicism), because they don’t judge, and they love and accept everyone. But others, such as Baptism and Catholicism can sit and spin as far as I’m concerned. =)

  18. Michael B. says:

    ## I wonder if Archbishop Grings is being treated fairly (I’m homosexual, Catholic, & I don’t think I have Stockholm Sydrome !). ISTM that when he said: “Before, the homosexual wasn’t spoken of. He was discriminated against,” that is a good description of the position homosexuals were in until rather recently. It is descriptive, & does not indicate what the speaker’s position is; it’s value-free. I don’t see how that is “troubling”. Was he saying that homosexuals trivialise sexuality ? Maybe some do, but it makes no sense to claim all do, as this is false.

    “Troubling” is a good word for his last sentence. In his defence, I think one can say that as that sort of reasoning is not uncommon among less exalted Catholics, it is not really surprising if the “high-ups” in the Church speak in the same way at times. It is a great pity that they do so, when they do – but such things happen. Cardinals are after all made of the same stuff as as the rest of us.

    Having read different opinions on the subject, I’m completely baffled as to what Cardinal Schoenborn meant. Cardinals seem to lack the ability to speak plainly.

    • Joe says:

      Thanks Michael for your comment. I think one of the biggest issues we have when reading these comments online, in a newspaper or in a magazine is that we don’t get the full interview or conversation. We end up with 1 or 2 liners that get us to react in a manner that we may not when we fully understand the entire interview or conversation. I do fully agree that Cardinals are human and are prone to make mistakes like the rest of us. I also agree that Cardinals need to speak in a more direct and easy to understand manner.

      Thanks again for commenting and pointing out a few errors when I wrote this. I can now see that the statement made by Archbishop Grings relating to how homosexuals where treated in the past is not suggesting that they are treated in the same manner today.

  19. Steve says:

    Joe, I do love the way you have highlighted this specific matter in additon it does indeed give me a lot of fodder for study. However, because of everything that I have witnessed, I simply just trust when the following opinions pile on that individuals stay on point and don’t start upon a tirade involving some other news of the day. All the same, thank you for your outstanding piece and while I can not necessarily go along with your comments in totality, I value the opinion.

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