Francis Cardinal George: … a mistake is not a cover up.

mistake

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This January, as was announced a month ago in a press conference by a plaintiff’s lawyer, documents relating to the sexual misconduct of 30 priests of the archdiocese will be released as part of settlement agreements over the past years. All these incidents were reported over the years to the civil authorities and claims have been mediated civilly. Almost all of the incidents happened decades ago, perpetrated by priests whom neither I nor many younger clergy have ever met or talked to, because the priests were either dead or out of ministry before I came to Chicago as archbishop.

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Editor’s note: Shortly after things came to light, we had a chance to ask the Cardinal what happened in the Daniel McCormack affair.  It seems that Cardinal George was away at the Vatican when local  supervision of McCormack proved insufficient. Obviously, mistakes were made.

Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons

Given at Rome, 1 October 1986.

…It is within this context, then, that it can be clearly seen that the phenomenon of homosexuality, complex as it is, and with its many consequences for society and ecclesial life, is a proper focus for the Church’s pastoral care. It thus requires of her ministers attentive study, active concern and honest, theologically well-balanced counsel.

3. Explicit treatment of the problem was given in this Congregation’s “Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics” of December 29, 1975. That document stressed the duty of trying to understand the homosexual condition and noted that culpability for homosexual acts should only be judged with prudence. At the same time the Congregation took note of the distinction commonly drawn between the homosexual condition or tendency and individual homosexual actions. These were described as deprived of their essential and indispensable finality, as being “intrinsically disordered”, and able in no case to be approved of (cf. n. 8, $4).

In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.

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Bishop Tobin’s letter to Catholics on the Approval of “Same-Sex Marriage” in Rhode Island

ribishop

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Since the legislative approval of “same-sex marriage” in Rhode Island, a number of people have requested that I offer some guidance on this development. It is for that purpose that I write at this time. In particular I wish to invite members of the Catholic Church in Rhode Island to a moment of prayer and reflection as we respond to this new challenge of the post-Christian era into which, clearly, we have now entered.

First, like many others, I am profoundly disappointed that Rhode Island has approved legislation that seeks to legitimize “same-sex marriage.” The Catholic Church has fought very hard to oppose this immoral and unnecessary proposition, and we are most grateful to all those who have courageously joined us in this effort. When all is said and done, however, we know that God will be the final judge of our actions.

As I have emphasized consistently in the past, the Catholic Church has respect, love and pastoral concern for our brothers and sisters who have same-sex attraction. I sincerely pray for God’s blessings upon them, that they will enjoy much health, happiness and peace. We also offer our prayerful support to families, especially parents, who often struggle with this issue when it occurs in their own homes.

Our respect and pastoral care, however, does not mean that we are free to endorse or ignore immoral or destructive behavior, whenever or however it occurs. Indeed, as St. Paul urges us, we are required to “speak the truth in love.” (Eph 4:15)

At this moment of cultural change, it is important to affirm the teaching of the Church, based on God’s word, that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2357) and always sinful. And because “same-sex marriages” are clearly contrary to God’s plan for the human family, and therefore objectively sinful, Catholics should examine their consciences very carefully before deciding whether or not to endorse same-sex relationships or attend same-sex ceremonies, realizing that to do so might harm their relationship with God and cause significant scandal to others.

Despite this serious regression in the public morality of our state we need to recognize that there are other major issues that demand our attention. We must continue to engage our culture, remembering that Jesus called us to be “the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” (Mt 5:13-14) Be assured, therefore, that the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Providence will continue its mission of preaching the Gospel, advocating for what is right and just, and serving the needs of our community to the very best of our ability.

Without a doubt this is a time of challenge, even disappointment for many of us, but it is also an opportunity to be steadfast and courageous, and to renew our commitment to Christ and His Church. As our Lord Jesus Christ told us, “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (Jn 16:33)

Dear brothers and sisters, through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, may God be with you as you continue your journey of faith, and may He bless you and your families with His finest gifts, now and always.

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Catholic bishops pastoral letter on homosexuality, abortion

We acknowledge the difficulties and challenges of living a moral life that is based on the truth about humanity and, with St. Paul, in humility, we confess: “We are aware that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of flesh and blood, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand my own behavior; I do not act as I mean to, but I do things that I hate” (Romans 7:14-15).

Yet even with such admission of human weakness and the complexity of the moral decisions facing humankind, the last thing one wants to do is to remove the parameters that enable us to determine objectively between right and wrong, righteous and sinful.

It is in this context that we remind Catholics and all people of good will that a lot can be done in the present climate: by defending the dignity and role of marriage, by practical acts of support to those struggling to accept an unborn child, by insistence upon the right to conscientious objection without discrimination for health-care workers, and by commitment to a legal and moral framework which will respect life.

Society needs to rediscover a concern for the common good, respect for life and the dignity of the human for, at present, we seem to be incapable of making ourselves into the kind of people God wants us to be.

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San Jose bishop comes out for gun control, advocates changing the Bill of Rights.

When the framers of the Constitution included the “right to bear arms” among the freedoms enjoyed by the citizens of the United States, this nation was rural.  It was truly a different time.  Twenty-First Century American society does not resemble 1789. Perhaps it is time to consider curtailing this right.  Individual freedom should be subject to the common good.  If this were not the case, there would be no speed limits on our roads and highways, no crosswalks.

It is time to admit that the free availability of guns and ammunition poses a threat to the welfare of our people and that a “culture of violence” has eclipsed “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as enduring values of this nation.

I join my fellow bishops in calling on film producers and video game creators to recognize the extent of violence in movies, television programs and video games, which have desensitized all of us.   We must also address the pervasive role of addiction and mental illness in crime.

It is time to change, to increase regulation, even to ban the possession of certain weapons.  I echo the words of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice, that it is necessary “to impose a strict control on the sale of handguns and small arms.  Limiting the purchase of such arms would certainly not infringe on the rights of anyone” (The International Arms Trade, 2006).

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Editor’s note: To prove his point, the good bishop need only enumerate all the wonderful improvements made to the Catholic Church since the liberal innovations of Vatican II were implemented. And for the record … limiting the purchase of such arms would most certainly infringe on MY rights, under the Constitution of the United States of America. (Doug Lawrence, January 2, 2013)

Cardinal George: “Civil laws that establish ‘same-sex marriage’ create a legal fiction.”

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George and his six auxiliary bishops officially entered Illinois’ gay marriage fray Tuesday, issuing a letter that urges parishioners to contact state legislators and voice opposition to a legalization bill that could face a vote this week.

Link to story

Full text of letter

New Obama policy galvanizing national opposition to his contraceptive mandate.

by Doug Lawrence

The new Obamacare contraceptive mandate is serving to effectively unify various factions within the American Catholic Church in a way we haven’t seen in quite a while. The bishops are stepping up and the laity is backing them, virtually one hundred percent.

We have Barack Obama, the Abortion President, and his chief hatchet woman, Kathleen Sebelius, to thank for this very promising turn of events!

God certainly does work in mysterious ways. I doubt if anyone in the Obama administration could have imagined this type of response … probably because they are a bunch of shameless, godless, Marxist ideologues. But I digress…

Here’s the text of one pastoral letter, versions of which were read at Catholic churches across the nation, this past Sunday:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just been dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience, to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Obama Administration’s decision.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+Alexander K. Sample

Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample

Bishop of Marquette

If a similar letter hasn’t yet been read at your parish, there’s no need to wait. The time to get behind our Catholic bishops is now. You know the issue. You know the right thing to do. We can’t let these corrupt, tin horn politicians trample on our constitutional rights!

Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Official website