Sunday, May 13, 2012

Homily on Homosesxuality

68 comments:

  1. Father John,
    Gutsy words and so, so needed in todays world and in todays Catholic Church. I don't know how many really paid attention to your Homily this afternoon, but what you said needed saying. I am a happily married straight guy, but I will pray for those afflicted with the confusion of homosexuality.

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  2. My husband, Rich, said this homily was one of the best he has ever heard. I agree. Perhaps you could email your homilies every week to all the priests and they can just read your sermon to their parishioners because your homilies are ALWAYS excellent. You not only have the knowledge but the needed courage to address topics and inform us of what the church teaches. I thank God everyday for you. Thank you for becoming a priest. I am praying for the priest that is going to follow you at Ritter. He has big shoes to fill.

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  3. Father, thank you for this Homily. I am in my forties, male. I live in Manila Philippines, and I battle homosexual tendencies. You are right about nobody talking about this issue, and nobody actually knows what the church teaches about this. It took me literally a LIFETIME to find out by reading books on doctrine that we are not judged by our tendencies, but by what we do. (Since we all have a tendency to sin as a result of original sin, we would all be damned if God judges us by our tendencies.) I cried buckets when I found out that The Church does not discriminate at what kind of people She allows to take in. I felt like I was no longer an outcast, but one with the communion of those still struggling to reach God for whom we were made for.

    Your homily brought me to tears like the first time I realized I wasn't damned by something I did not choose. (Probably because your homily was a reinforcement of what I know.) I hope this homily gets viewed by those who need to hear it. I will pray that your work reaches more people, in whatever situation, specially those who feel there is no hope.

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  4. Excellent homily and it just occured to me that Voice 1 and Voice 2 are like the North and South Pole--a world apart, but very similar dead and deadening landscapes. Would you say that Voice 1, the fundamentalists that say SSA is a sin in itself, is a kind of ultracalvinism? That is, SSA as a sign of unelection so to speak? The funny thing is. one could make the argument that Voice 2, those who think since SSA is genetic destiny one has no choice but to act on it, is also a form of ultracalvinism. So, when you step back from the picture, what you get is a nation that is really a 21st-century Puritan theocracy and the only difference is whether one prefers a theocracy with a God in a traditional sense, or a God in a vague and unpeakable sense summed up best when I heard a progressive say in all seriousness, "MY holy book is the U.S. Constitution." (Interestingly enough, a somewhat nutty atheist monarchist came to the same conclusion.) Both of them are creepy. Both of them ultimately hopeless. You did an excellent job making a case for the 3rd way.

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    1. Scott, I would agree with everything you said absolutely. I think that was really the point that both authors were making, and to keep the Protestant analogy going, the irony in this example (and in others) is that the Catholic Church is, in a real sense, the "via media", although, then again, one can't be in between two things that are, in actuality, both a form of predestination. Perhaps we should say the Church is the "via media" between two world views that SEEM to be polar opposites.

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  5. Thank you Father

    I am a catholic and thought I had fully understand the church's stance on homosexuality but was wrong. Thank you for clearing it up

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  6. Thank you, Father, for your continued fervor and courage in addressing the challenging topics and for being so real. You have a wonderful gift for sharing the Truth and beauty of Catholicism. Hearing your homilies and reading your blog make me more excited about my faith - EVERY time!! You are in my prayers.

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  7. Is it so egregious to believe that homosexual marriage can work? It is legal in Norway for example. Norway has a top notch quality of life rating by the UN. They are not being overwhelmed by all the atrocities you claim would happen like multiple partner marriages. They are not marrying their dogs or any thing terrible. Nope, instead they are proving that society can flourish with same-sex marriage. It is not that hard to define marriage as a union between Person & Person. Period, full stop, end of story. I think its time you realize that you are fighting a war that cannot be won.

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  8. Fr. Hollowell,

    Gotta disagree with you on a few points:
    1) "the left" does not equal the media and TV
    2) the left doesn't think that people gay people HAVE/are going to act on their attractions. We just think it is ok if they do...or if they don't.

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  9. Anonymous, not so very long ago people would have said, "It is not that hard to define marriage as a union between Man & Woman. Period, full stop, end of story." But what you are calling for is turning that "full stop" into a comma in an indefinite series.

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    1. Nope just changing man & woman to one person & one person. Blacks were not allowed to be married in this country at one time. After years of civil right movements they were. In twenty years we will be saying the same for homosexual couples.

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  10. Not so long ago, SOME people would have said marriage is between a woman and a man, but not all people. Not so long ago, marriage was between and man and women for Mormons. In the Bible, marriage was between a man and women. Not so long ago, in this country, marriage was between a white man and a white woman or a black woman and a black man. Christians might have always seen marriage as between a man and a woman, but not society. I am fine with Catholics denying gays the right to marry in the church, but civil marriages should not be bound to the laws of Catholicism. Anytime your justification for a law starts out with "God says..." that shouldn't be a civil law.

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    1. My justification doesn't start with "God says"

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    2. Actaully, when I consider laws with something other than "God says, I find it difficult to come up with one with a basis that isn't a) arbitrary b) subjectivist to the point of absurdity or c) reliant on premises requiring every bit as much faith as "God says". Maybe basing it on "c" is acceptable, but one ought to stop pretending it is the neutral position.

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    3. Homosexual marriage will be legal in this country by 2020 in half of our states. If the Church refuses to do them, than at worse they will lose their tax exemption if they still have one. May I add that as a progressive, I would never expect the Church to marry homosexual persons. 90% of homosexual couples would never dare try and get married in the Catholic Church.

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    4. We are already seeing things other than merely losing tax-exempt status. We've seen people lose their jobs, seen one high-school student hauled before an assistant principle and berated and threatened for hours on end, seen a mother having to flee the country with her child to get away from her former lesbian lover, children forced into education programs teaching same-sex marriage as normal with no choice to opt out. How far it can go is anyone's guess, but in the end, defenders of homosex will be unable to leave faithful Catholics unmolested because as long as the very idea that someone is out there believing their acts are evil (which they are) is around, they are going to find ways to threaten them.

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  11. Fr. Hollowell, do you believe that chaste homosexuals should be allowed to teach? Does the Catholic church having a teaching on this? Should they be allowed in the military? Why or why not? Thanks.

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    1. Sure, I think those who struggle with same sex attraction, if they are living chastely, should be allowed to teach.

      Of course the tricky situation you get into here is how to monitor/enforce "chastity"

      That's why I'm in favor of making employees in schools and parishes take an "oath of fidelity" as part of the hire: something like "I will abide by and actively live out the core teachings of the Church, not cause scandal by my way of life...etc." Maybe you'd have to list the types of things that would be considered violations of core teachings? That would certainly have made the IVF case in Fort Wayne a lot easier if they had had such a document. I'm not sure if they did or not.

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  12. Do you believe that gays should be allowed in the military? What does the church teach on it?

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    1. I don't believe that active homosexuals should be allowed in the military, nor does the Church, as someone pointed out in the document cited below.

      A person who is struggling with same sex attraction but isn't acting on it should be able to serve.

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    2. you honestly disgust me.

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  13. In last weekends Gospel narrative Jesus said: "This is my commandment: love one another as I love you."
    How many ways as a nation do we have the opportunity to love one another and we choose not to? Do we love one another when we ignore or marginalize the poor that we encounter in our daily life? Do we love one another when we allow or even advocate for affordable healthcare to remain a privledge and not a right for all our citizenry? Do we love one another when we ignore income and education inequalities and the lack of opportunities? Do we love one another while we allow bigotry, racism, misogny, and abuse to stalk our streets, our homes, our churches, our schools and our public squares? Do we love one another when we advocate for war and tolerate oppression? Do we love one another while our prisons are full and the executioner never wants for work but corporate greed and corruption has laid waste to so many citizens lives by denying them the opportunity of honest labor for a just wage?
    "This I command you: love one another."

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  14. Should non-celibate gays be allowed to teach in the public schools, in your opinion?

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    1. No I don't, but given where our country is at, we sure have a long way to go before that is a discussion we're having. When the way marriage has always been understood is under attack, I'm not going to waste a lot of energy on stuff like that.

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  15. from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

    10. “Sexual orientation” does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder (cf. Letter, no. 3) and evokes moral concern.



    11. There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment.

    Is this the true teaching of the church? How does it square with what you have been saying?

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  16. from the same document:

    "As in every moral disorder, homosexual ACTIVITY prevents one's own fulfillment and happiness by acting contrary to the creative wisdom of God." (capital letter are my addition)

    The Church, when talking about homosexuality, is often referring to ACTIVE homosexuality, and not those who are experiencing same-sex attraction. The Church only considers same-sex attraction as "disordered" (not properly oriented) as opposed to being an active homosexual.

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  17. Oh! Thanks for clearing up that when they say "homosexual" they mean a person who engages in homosexual activity, not just someone with ssa. Though, I do think that is strange, it makes it seem like they assume that all homosexuals are active.

    Though, I do still question why Catholics fight against homosexuals being in the military, when not all homosexuals are active. The military doesn't make that distinction.

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    1. It is probably something the Church can be more clear on in its language, although perhaps they are trying to use the same language the media uses. The media (and our larger society) hardly ever makes that distinction anymore (i.e. we don't hear of "persons with same sex attraction who choose to live chastely" even though there are certainly many in that category).

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  18. Hmm. When I say "homosexual", I mean a person with ssa. If they are celibate or not, isn't really any of my business so I don't worry about the distinction. I don't think people in general society use "homosexual" to imply anything other than someone with ssa.

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    1. Fr. Hollowell,

      If you could please, define "Active Homosexual" and "Gay Agenda" for me. I hear these terms quite often and I have yet to find an official Catholic definition for them.

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    2. "active homosexual" is a person who struggles with same sex attraction who is having sex with someone of the same sex.

      "gay agenda" is not something the Church defines or uses. When you hear it used by commentators/bloggers they typically are referring to all of the attempts in the media industry to make it seem like acting on same sex attraction is normal and/or acceptable, but again that is never a phrase that I suspect you'll ever hear from the Vatican.

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    3. The liberal media complex also happened to be very keen on putting the inter racial couples on television, and Hollywood made movies like "Guess who's coming to dinner." Those dirty, immoral liberals.

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  19. Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us, who are sinners.

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  20. So, when you say "heterosexual" does that mean someone who is sexually active with a person/s of the opposite sex?

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    1. no, which is why I don't call people homosexuals, but people with same sex attraction.

      The larger society seems to assume that if you have same sex attraction you are acting on it and if you are heterosexual you are acting on those attractions (or, if you are one of the weirdos not acting on it, then you are certainly repressed and doing damage to yourself psychologically). The Church is the one that makes the distinction (for "heterosexuals" and "those experiencing same sex attraction") between the attraction itself and acting on that attraction. The Church seems to be the one institution reminding the world that not everyone acts on their attractions.

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    2. What do you mean by "acting on their attractions"? Do you mean that those who act on their attractions are having sex? Lets say there is two guys who are dating each other but they refuse to have sex with each other. Would that be considered acting on their attractions? That certainly wouldn't fit the definition of an active homosexual. People love to judge homosexual persons and the church can be just as guilty. Good example would be this scenario: Adam and Steve walk into church Sunday morning holding hands. Many people see it including the priest. They sit down together in the pew. Little does everybody know that Adam and Steve, while they feel a strong bond between each other, flat out refuse to have sex with each other and even live apart. Now when it comes time to receive communion, Adam and Steve walk up the line to where the same priest is giving communion. Adam reaches the priest....but what do you suppose is gonna happen? You know and I know, Adam will be DENIED communion and so will Steve. Why? Because the priest, along with the other congregants have it in their minds that the two of them are active homosexuals. All because they held hands coming into church.

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    3. yes, "acting on their attractions" = having sex

      As for your Adam and Steve scenario how do you know that will happen? Has that happened in a situation that you've been in? I certainly wouldn't refuse Communion in that instance what so ever. The only time I'd refuse Communion would be to someone who came and told me before Mass "I'm living in mortal sin and I'm going to be taking Communion" other than that, I can't refuse Communion, nor would I.

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    4. Canon 915 would require you to bar Adam and Steve from communion. The church would say that the two of them are 1) committing a grave sin. 2) It is manifest as everybody within the church can see with their own eyes that the two of them are homosexuals. 3) They are obstinately preserved in this sin as they are seen every Sunday coming into church holding hands and sitting together. I guarantee you that the other church members will scream bloody murder to you or your bishop about the "scandal" that is going on with Adam and Steve when they are allowed communion.

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    5. In a case like this I would simply defer to the bishop as I am simply his representative. "Bishop, two guys are holding hands coming in to Mass, how would you have me proceed?" That's it. It is a gray area, and so I would seek clarification. Case closed.

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    6. If I were one of the gay guys I guess I would tell people to mind their own business. There would be no refusing me communion; especially if there has never been any sexual contact. Right is right. Even if I had to grab a host out of the bowl myself if the priest refuses to place one in my hand.

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    7. I had a similar question: if two people with ssa found each other, fell in love with each other, and committed to spend their lives together while also choosing not to engage in sex, how would the church respond to this? If they also decided to live together, what would the church say? Also at what point does the church begin to stop accepting love between to people of the same gender- is it at the point of penetration or before? These questions may seem argumentative, but they are sincere.

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    8. If they were living chastely, then there is no problem. Where is the line of it becoming problematic...I'd say any activity that has, as its end, sexual intercourse. Kissing (barring a peck on the cheek from a relative or something simply fraternal) is an activity that has, as its end, intercourse, so that's what I'd say - anything that is on the path to intercourse should be refrained from.

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  21. I disagree with you. I think when you say "heterosexual" or "homosexual", in general society, people take it to mean someone who has attraction to one sex or the other, with no thought to whether they are sexually active.

    The larger society doesn't assume that if you have ssa that you are acting on it. If you ask around, I think you would find that most people would agree with me.

    I think your students would be surprised to learn that they aren't "heterosexuals". Just people with osa (opposite sex attraction).

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    1. some of my students have same sex attraction

      some of my students have opposite sex attraction and don't act on it

      some of my students have opposite sex attraction and act on it

      Because opposite sex attraction is properly ordered, I don't (nor do I know anyone who does) refer to people as "those who experience opposite sex attraction"

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  22. I misread your earlier post...actually, I think it might contain a typo.

    it seems to indicate you define:

    homosexual: someone who engages in sex with a persons of the same gender

    heterosexual: someone attracted to people of the opposite gender

    Is that what you intended?

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    1. Which earlier post? Everything I've seen on here has been pretty clear

      Call it what you want but there are people who
      1) have same sex attraction and act on it
      2) have same sex attraction and don't act on it
      3) have opposite sex attraction and act on it
      4) have opposite sex attraction and don't act on it.

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  23. I don't understand why the Church's position on sex and marriage is so complicated for people. Correct me if I'm wong Father, but:
    1. The Church finds any sexual relations outside of marriage a Mortal Sin; and
    2. The Church defines marriage as a contract between one man, one woman and God; it is a Sacrament.

    One may disagree with some of it or all of it, but those are the tenents of the Catholic Faith in regards marriage and sex. If you don't like it, there are plenty of Protestant churches which would be more than happy to have you attend their services on Sunday. And any interference from the government (such as the threat of removing the Church's tax exempted status as suggested by one self-proclaimed "progressive") is in direct violation of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

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  24. yep, those are the 4 main groups (of course there are others!). Now, you'd refer to #1 as homosexuals. #2 as individuals with ssa.

    What would you call those in group #3? How about #4? in regards to sexual orientation?

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    1. What are the other groups besides the four?

      As for what I call 3 and 4, I'd say
      3) fornicators
      4) people living chastely

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  25. 10. “Sexual orientation” does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder (cf. Letter, no. 3) and evokes moral concern.

    11. There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment.

    I am going to have to disagree with Fr. Hollowell that the CC means sexually active homosexuals here. It says "sexual orientation" is a basis for discrimination. It calls it an "objective disorder" which is what ssa is called, not homosexual activity which is a mortal sin.

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  26. When, in the same letter, the Church says

    "As in every moral disorder, homosexual activity..." and doesn't say "as in every moral disorder, homosexual ATTRACTION". One would think the Church would refer to the broadest instance of what it is talking about, but yet it says only ACTIVITY. This quote is found in paragraph 3, the paragraph that is referenced in the two you cited.

    Look, can the Church clean up its language on this issue - absolutely - just like I think it is safe to say we all can do that. When teaching on it for an hour and a half, I still found myself using one word when it wasn't actually the best, having to correct myself to find the best and most appropriate term before moving on. The Church has work to do in this department, but I am quite sure that the Church doesn't think of same-sex attraction as a disorder (and certainly not in the way Americans use the word disorder).

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  27. Keep up the good fight Fr. John. We need more voices like yours!

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  28. Hey Fr. John,

    You should watch this video.

    http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/featured/prime-time/867432237001/selective-criticism/1660511121001

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    1. I found the video very helpful. I was on Michael's show not too long ago - he is doing good work up there in Canada!

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    2. Also check this one out..

      sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/featured/prime-time/867432237001/freedom-unless-your-a-catholic/1661889179001

      This is the craziness happening in CANADA. Please keep up your good work Father!

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    3. http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/featured/prime-time/867432237001/freedom-unless-your-a-catholic/1661889179001

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  29. You sure do love to get in the middle of drama, seems you love to stir the pot,
    Almost seems like you are obsessed with the gay people, and Homosexuality. You like the attention it gives you? makes you feel important? or are you secretly in the closet yourself? by looks alone? YOU sure fit the stereotype.

    I bet the Indianapolis archdioceses, can't wait for you to be placed in a tiny community, where you might cause less upset and hurt feelings.

    I think we have not heard the last of your "Issues" with the Gay people . This is Gay Pride week? Maybe you should meet some of these people face to face...

    (You are just a few Tattoo's away from fitting right in.) LOL

    Perhaps you need to search your own soul, and ask yourself why YOU are so Obsessed with this whole Homosexuality business?

    Perhaps you have feelings and Attractions????

    You need not publish this. this is a one on one comment, (s)

    What would Jesus say about all of this?

    Love, it comes in all shapes and sizes and it may not make you comfortable, or others,

    But it exists , Live and let Live?


    Just let it go...

    The Homosexuals are not going to bother you nor are they going to take over the world,

    There are plenty of screwed up straight married folks out there.. why not go fix them, and leave the Gays alone. after all, the 10 commandments have most of them in mind. and? SOME of You Priests seem to have the Corner on being perverts? ask the Bishop out East who is in Hot water right now??

    Do as I Say? Not as I do??????

    Enjoy the Boonies, I think if you keep stirring the pot?
    You might end up even further in the backwoods... They might not have internet or Blogs.

    Bishops need Donations and $ talks....
    Enjoy Your new assignments

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  30. You spend a lot of Time Fr. On Homosexuality.
    Why?

    There are other Commandments you could be working on with the flock.

    Keep the Sabbath Holy? I don't see ya having a Homily on Wal mart. or the Local Grocery store , or Gas station, or jumping on a neighbor down the road cutting grass, or painting his house. I bet You have done a bit of work yourself on Sunday.

    Not an Important Commandment?

    Ok how about Don't Covet thy neighbors wife or whatever?...

    I bet there are a few Parishioners busting this one... ya check the Court news and divorce sections of the paper?

    I bet a few squirm on this Topic!!

    Hey, lets Talk Adultery? How many of those good Parishioners are not sneaking around on their wives ? or how many who have been married in white, have had that kid Umm in less than 9 months? or are living together in Sin... Oh thats ok, they are straight....

    Taking the Lords name in vain? I'm betting that one is Shattered!!! on the old Golf course alone....

    How about them prostitutes Downtown?

    You sort of have your priorities a bit a skewed? Don't you think?

    a Couple of Guys who are in Love? or a couple of Women? They want to make it legal, and have a Family? hey, why not adoption? How many children need good homes?
    Gays cannot be Good Moral Parents?

    Really? Many will prove you WRONG!

    Maybe this is Gods way of saying? Hey, I need to take care of my unwanted children, the ones that STRAIGHT people have abandoned or tossed away, or have been beaten and abused... and can give them a second chance with a Couple of loving SOULS!

    SOULS are not male or Female

    WE all belong to GOD! we are his CHILDREN !

    Who are YOU to decide what makes up a Family?

    Church Teachings? Same church with such a colorful History?

    Priests who are child Molesters?

    Who was it that Gave Christ up to be Crucified?

    They sure got their Moneys worth for 30 Pieces of Silver.

    The CHURCH teachings were on their side right?


    Now we have FR. Hollowell , a 3 year Priest, who knows it all,

    You are a Good Church Soldier, Preaching to save the gay souls.

    Strange, the Homosexuals never threw any stones at you? why do you find it so URGENT to save their Souls??? YOU are throwing the most stones...

    WHY?????

    so many Commandments being broken, so many abortions, and Wives and Husbands cheating, and so many other Commandments being busted all around you?

    YOU have decided the poor Homosexuals are going to Ruin the world and everyone's Lives if they choose to marry...

    the whole world will Crumble Society will Fall...

    yeah right...

    How about all those Dead babies? Abortion? SOULS MURDERED? (Oh yeah, a Woman's Choice)

    yet a man marrying a man is all You can get fired up over?



    I can only wonder if YOU are a Closet case, maybe you have some feelings going? Perhaps another Priest? or someone in the Parish?

    You wouldn't be the First Priest
    who might be repressing those feelings...

    seems strange how you chose to Obsess over homosexuality.....

    Well? You might want to look at other Commandments as well, or others might be thinking the same thing as I have...

    Methinks he Doth Protest too Much...

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  31. I address the issue because it is the one everyone is asking about. Of course we've talked about Sunday, about hetero-sex and adultery and lust and other things - search the blog. In fact, you mentioned Wal Mart, and I did a specific post within the year talking about Wal Mart and the Catholic Social Teaching of subsidiarity. Homosexuality is what is in the news, so this is what I've talked about in several places recently.

    When we talk about subtle sins out of the spotlight people say "be relevant." When we're relevant people say "you don't talk about other sins." We can't win with some people...nor do we expect to. Jesus asked us to preach the Truth with love, he didn't say keep everybody happy.

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  32. This is a beautiful message: your oppressor has open arms; join us.

    Seriously, Father, I would expect more intellectual rigor from a priest. Please enlighten us to the specific commandment Jesus made about homosexuals.

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  33. The Catechism says gays should be accepted with love and respect, but that the orientation is disordered (saying that gay feelings are not sinful but same sex relationships are).

    When it comes to marriage laws, the Church is the first to jump in angry defense over the gays trying to "impose their lifestyle" but when parents kick their kids out of their homes for simply being gay, when kids in schools get called names or need emotional help, the Church is NOWHERE to be found.

    The church does sooo very little to help gay people. They funnel so much money to organizations to put a stop to gay marriage(to effectively rub it in gay people's faces that they aren't allowed to marry) and zippo to anything that will actually help the suffering gay people who choose to live the lifestyle the church wants them to. DISGUSTING.

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    1. You have NO IDEA what type of work I have done (let alone the Church) to work with and offer compassion to those wrestling with their same sex attractions. I can't believe you'd commit the one mortal sin of today - you JUDGED me.

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  34. For starters, I did not judge you. I was referring to the Church as a whole not doing as much as they should or ought to be doing. I never said you didn't do anything! HUGE difference. It's true that the Church does very little. Why do I know that? Because I am homosexual and struggle with this DAILY. There are NO Courage groups in my area and the closest one is 45 miles away from me to which I can't attend. There is NOTHING for me.
    Now, as far as my committing mortal sin; in this case, my posting this comment, I had no idea that was a mortal sin, so one of the essential elements is missing in the three part clause. BUT, even if I knew it was, and the Church considered that a mortal sin which essentially is equal to my putting a gun up to somebody's head and pulling the trigger, thus blowing that person's brains out and killing them, then this isn't a church I really need to belong to. By the way -- didn't you judge ME by saying I committed a mortal sin? Which, in it's very essence, says that Jesus will very likely SET ME ON FIRE forever in HELL.
    Lastly, I would like to ask you this. What can you do to help me with my heartbreaking struggle with same sex attraction? What can the Church do to help me(besides Courage)? What are they doing to help people like me(besides Courage as there are only a little over 100 Courage groups in the USA; some states have none)? A non-reply to all of this will signify that what I said in the post is true and correct.

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    1. It is not considering "judging" when you point out to someone the gravity of their actions. It is actual considered a spiritual work of mercy to let someone know that they are endangering their soul through a given course of action.

      As for SSA have you talked to a priest who you know is going to truly help you? Have you sought help from a Catholic counselor who shares your understanding and the Church's on the issue of same sex attraction? Some dioceses even have counseling for people with any sort of need to talk about any subject at their diocesan center - have you pursued that? I'm throwing out some options here, you'll have to let me know if you have pursued any of these already.

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  35. There is only 1 priest who I can talk to but he is an hour away from me and I can only get there maybe once every couple months. He is the only priest who has a Courage group(which due to work scheduling I can't attend) in the state; There is another Courage group that is over an hour away and but it's run by a deacon. There are no Catholic counselors in my state(I looked one time) and the archdiocese has nothing of that nature. This is clearly not even close to being enough for somebody like me and I guarantee you I am not alone. That's why I say the Church(not you in particular) does very little for those with SSA and it's so disappointing and hurtful at the same time.

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    1. If a priest is an hour away, and this is something you really want to work on, I can't imagine how you could only get there once every few months.

      I know of some people in Haiti who walk 6 hours one way every Sunday to fulfill their obligation to attend Sunday Mass.

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  36. Fr. Hollowell,

    I'm not a Haitian case here....Maybe they should relocate so they don't have to walk umpteen miles to church every Sunday. In any event, I have a professional job that demands my attention during regular working days. The priest who is nearly an hour away from me is limited on his time as well. The priest in my diocese is a fruit loop now as he had brain surgery a couple years back and has never been the same since, so I steer clear of him. But I have to make a decision here. My sanity or my freedom. The church is literally driving me to insanity. If I cut ties with it, I will be free. If I stay then I will go insane. Neither is a good choice; in fact, both situations are a recipe for disaster, aka going to HELL. Thanks for what you could do here. I have to mull this one over pretty good before I make a decision.

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