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This piece, written by Fr. Roger Landry, appeared in The Anchor, the Diocese of Fall River’s diocesan newspaper. It says A LOT that Cardinal Sean O’Malley and his vitriolic spokesman, Terry Donilon, have neglected to say or have been incapable of saying. Everyone following the situation at St. Cecilia’s in Boston should read it and pass it around.  We’ll eagerly await the second installment next week.

Toward the True Pastoral Care of Those with Same-Sex Attractions
T
he Anchor
Editorial
July 1, 2011

The ongoing controversy at St. Cecilia’s Church in Boston over the scheduling, postponing and re-theming of a Mass originally planned to celebrate Boston’s gay “pride month” has brought to the surface issues that extend far beyond the boundaries of one parish or archdiocese. The controversy touches not only on the subject of the pastoral care of the Church toward those with same-sex attractions, but on the much larger matter of the purpose of the Church’s pastoral care to anyone and everyone: Whether the Church, her priests and parishes will faithfully, lovingly and courageously care for people with the fullness of the Gospel; or whether her ministers and ministries — perhaps out of too much fear to give offense, a lack of faith in the teachings of the Church, or a faint-hearted notion of what true love demands — will dilute the Gospel of its saving power by stripping it of the uncomfortable and countercultural teachings that some listeners most need.

The controversy in Boston — which has been covered extensively by both local and national media outlets —  began with the “Rainbow Ministry” at St. Cecilia’s advertising a June 19 Mass “in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month.” After Cardinal Sean O’Malley became aware of the Mass, he had it postponed until July 10, in the attempt to strip it from any connection to “gay pride.” Gay pride is an expression that embraces something far different than respect for all those with same-sex attractions. Rather it connotes: treating same-sex activity as a quasi-sacrament to be celebrated instead of a sin to be confessed; approval and advocacy of same-sex relationships, lifestyle, unions, and “marriages;” rejection and ridicule of Biblical and magisterial teaching on human sexuality; and acceptance of a deeply-flawed anthropology that totally marginalizes the meaning of God’s having made the human person in His image and likeness male and female (Gen 1:27). “The philosophical and political agenda of Gay Pride in relation to marriage and sexual morality,” Cardinal O’Malley wrote in a strong June 22 statement, “is incompatible with the Church’s teachings.” To have a Catholic Mass celebrating “gay pride” would be as objectively contradictory as offering the sacred liturgy for the members and benefactors of “Catholics for Free Choice” or in support of adultery advocacy or contraception crusades.

Cardinal O’Malley’s intentions to dissociate the Mass from “gay pride,” however, sadly haven’t succeeded, as many members of the parish and of the media have continued popularly to refer to the Mass as a gay pride Mass. Those who have ceased to draw explicit attention to the connection with gay pride have continued, however, to use coded language — “a welcoming Mass” — to communicate that supporters of the gay agenda do not have to worry about being made to feel uncomfortable at the Mass over the incompatibility of the gay agenda with Church teaching. The expression “welcoming Mass” now being employed to refer to the July 10 liturgy does not mean merely that people will be received with genuine Christian hospitality. Like the expression “welcoming parish” used in various places (such as the 200 “gay friendly” parishes promoted by pro-gay websites), it’s a euphemism that communicates to those who may be living in objective discordance with the teaching of Jesus and the Church —like those engaging in the gay lifestyle, living in irregular marriages, cohabitating, undergoing in-vitro fertilization, or actively supporting the practice of abortion, gay marriage or other practices contrary to the faith — that not only will they never have to hear a peep about any of these unpleasant topics, but very likely neither will they hear anything suggesting the necessity of concrete conversion, confession, and of being in doctrinal, sacramental and moral communion with Christ and his mystical Body the Church in order to receive Jesus worthily in Holy Communion.

Cardinal O’Malley is surely right to resist pressure from some to cancel the Mass. A Mass, for example, is not a speech, which however eloquent no one really needs for salvation. The Mass is supposed to be the source and the summit of Christian life and therefore no pastor worth his sacred oils is trigger-happy to eliminate the possibility for people to come into Christ’s presence. As the Cardinal wrote in his June 22 statement, “We want all baptized Catholics to come to Mass and be part of our community” and find there in the love of Christ “the courage and strength to embrace the cross that is part of the life of discipleship.”  The issue of discernment that remains for the whole Church, however, is whether “welcoming Masses” like the July 10 liturgy at St. Cecilia’s truly foster embracing Christ, the Cross and authentic Christian discipleship in the way the Cardinal describes or whether they encourage implicit or defiant rejection of Christ, the Church and the Cross to the extent that they are deemed incompatible with a fundamentalist adhesion to the gay agenda’s pseudo-gospel.

Those with same-sex attractions deserve the full proclamation of the Catholic faith, the truth entrusted by Christ to the Church to make us truly free and lead us to salvation. It’s not enough merely to “welcome” those with same-sex attractions, if by welcome we mean simply to make them feel at ease. Faithful Catholics seek to welcome everyone with the warmth of a brother and sister but also to call everyone to conversion with the humility of a fellow prodigal. Jesus upbraided Simon the Pharisee for not offering him the hospitality of washing his feet upon entering his home (Lk 7:36 ff). Likewise for the Church genuinely to welcome anyone, we need humbly to seek to cleanse them of all their impurity so that they can enter into authentic communion with Christ and us. To do any less is a superficial welcome unworthy of the Church Christ founded.

It’s been said that the Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. “Those who are well do not need a doctor,” Jesus declared, “but the sick do” (Mk 2:17). The Church exists as a hospital for the spiritually sick to bring them the Divine Physician’s healing, to help them become well, and ultimately to minister them the medicine of Christ in such a way that they may live forever. When the Church fails to do this, it fails in its mission. If doctors and nurses at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute were aware that a patient was chain smoking cigars and out of a desire not to displease him said nothing, they would be guilty of unconscionable neglect. If the patient was flaunting his cigar-smoking and attempting to persuade others that, rather than harmful, cigar-smoking was a great practice deserving of celebration instead of censure, the destructive consequences of their reticence would be magnified. Similarly, pastors and parishes who are aware that parishioners are unabashedly engaging in practices contrary to the practice of the faith and who do not strive, with patient, tender and firm preaching and accompaniment, to help them eliminate whatever in them is leading them to sin, are culpable of the worst type of pastoral malpractice. Their behavior, no matter how they spin it, is inconsistent with genuine Christian love. St. Paul was emphatic that those who engage in same-sex activities were among those who will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9) and God promised through Ezekiel that if a “watchman” failed to warn someone that he would surely die through persistence in sinful conduct, then not only would the sinner die but He would hold that derelict sentinel responsible for the sinner’s death (Ez 3:18-20). There’s no way to blunt the unambiguous force and eschatologically-consequential significance of these words for both pastors and parishioners (short of exposing one’s lack of faith by attempting to deconstruct Sacred Scripture and dismissing its inspiration). Even if “out of season,” they constitute part of the Good News, just as much as stern warnings from a doctor, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can all constitute part of a cure.

Because the gay agenda, abetted by cultural elites and many in the secular media, has been somewhat successful in getting popular culture to anathamatize the Church’s teachings with regard to same-sex activity, it behooves all Catholics to ponder the Church’s teachings anew, more carefully and more prayerfully. Next week, we will continue our analysis of the larger issues suggested by the St. Cecilia’s controversy. We will investigate what the “acceptance” of those with same sex attractions should mean for those with the attractions as well as for all the faithful. We will examine the ubiquitous calumny — the blatant lie determined to damage another’s reputation —of “homophobia” or “anti-gay hatred” predicated of anyone who opposes any aspects of the gay agenda. We will also address the full pastoral care of those with same-sex attractions and whether a parish that specializes in this ministry can be carrying out true Catholic pastoral care without fostering groups like Courage that explicitly help those with same-sex attractions strive to live chastely according to the teaching of the faith.

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Today, I’d like to share an update on what’s happening with the Mass at St. Cecilia’s in Boston that started out as a Mass to  “commemorate” and “celebrate” Boston (Gay) Pride and which was postponed to next Sunday, July 10 at 11am.

So, the Mass is still on for July 10 at 11am with approval of the archdicoese.  Here’s how it’s listed in the St. Cecilia’s bulletin:

ALL ARE WELCOME!

PLEASE JOIN US FOR NEXT SUNDAY’S 11:00 LITURGY

Please join the entire Saint Cecilia Parish community for next Sunday’s eleven o’clock liturgy where we will reaffirm that Saint Cecilia is a place of welcome for all, including the LGBT community. This liturgy is in keeping with the parish’s Year of Celebration and Rededication and underscores the welcome we extend to all people.

In order to mark the occasion, Mass will be followed by a reception and a bountiful table. We are asking for your help to make the reception festive, so if you are able to bring a contribution for the feast, please contact Melon Regis-Civetta at XXX.

 There are a bunch of things still wrong with what’s happening there on July 10 and in general, but for now, let’s just talk about this July 10 “All Are Welcome” Mass.

On June 11, Terry Donilon was quoted in the Globe saying, “there would be a Mass in the future to welcome the community, but not specifically gays and lesbians” so why now is this Mass now specifically calling out the LGBT community? Even more of a cause for concern is the coded language  — “a welcoming Mass,” which the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Robert Hennessey, and Terry Donilon all tacitly are approving of.  

Is there any question that language is to tell supporters of the gay agenda they won’t have to worry about being taught that the gay agenda is incompatible with Church teaching?  As you’ll see in the next post, the expression “welcoming Mass” now being used to describe the July 10 Mass doesn’t just mean people will be received with genuine Christian hospitality–it means people who might be living in objective discord with Catholic Church teachings won’t hear a word about that unpleasantry or anything suggesting the need for repentance, conversion, confession, or living in doctrinal, sacramental and moral communion with Christ in order to receive Jesus worthily in Holy Communion. 

How do I know this and why am I judging the situation this way?  They sponsor speakers talking at St. Cecilia’s in support of gay marriage. They organized a Mass to celebrate Gay Pride.  Members of their Rainbow Ministry publicly state that teens should “come out” to get “new energy and life.”  They think a Gay Pride Mass is equivalent to a Mass for shutins and elderly.  It’s all documented. Look at what Fr. Unni said in his June 19 homily, as quoted in The Rainbow Times:

“We here at St. Cecilia’s have an agenda…I have an agenda. Our agenda is the Jesus agenda…Jesus loved people. He accepted people. He ate with people, those who were the marginalized and ostracized sinners of his day. And by that compassion and interacting as Jesus did at this [communion] table by loving in a good way, people are strengthened, people are healed, people are reminded of their dignity, their beauty, goodness and worth — ready, ready — as they are! The last part of ‘Jesus agenda’  and I dare say the cardinal’s agenda is to be “supportive of all…You are welcome here, gay or straight, rich or poor, young or old, black or white..Here, you all can say, ‘I can worship the God who made me as I am'”

So, Fr. Unni is purposefully skipping the part of the “Jesus Agenda” that involves conversion, repentance, and turning from sin. To those who are criticizing this blog, show me one shred of published evidence Fr. John Unni is talking about that–or that there’s some plan to on July 10. There’s a need and responsibility for Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Hennessey, and St. Cecilia’s to lead their parishioners to holiness, conversion and a path to salvation that’s being neglected. That’s the problem we will ask the Vatican to have addressed immediately.

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NOTE: Someone asked in a comment why this blog, “Bryan Hehir Exposed,” keeps dwelling on the Gay Pride Mass at St. Cecilia’s and their Rainbow Ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons.  Well, in case people don’t know it, Fr. Bryan Hehir is the most senior, trusted advisor to Cardinal Sean O’Malley and he’s demonstrated through his actions and public statements a tendency to undermine  and obfuscate Catholic Church teachings on sexual morality, including homosexuality.  See these posts for more details:

  • Greatest danger to Church is internal pollution: Fr. Hehir honored Mayor Tom Menino at a 2005 Catholic Charities fundraiser even though Menino had public record that included marchng in Gay Pride parades, supporting “gay marriage,” sponsoring a gay prom for teenagers at Boston’s City Hall, and flying the gay rainbow flag over City Hall
  • Fr. Bryan Hehir on Panel with Lesbian Feminist Theologian“:  Fr. Hehir on panel at Regis College along with long-time friend a “Catholic” lesbian feminist theologian said, “…in twentieth-century Catholicism, teachings on sexuality have been “a chronically afflicted area,” and “there are issues that need to be examined and re-examined…dissent is an expected part of the theological tradition of which we are a part.”
  • Archdiocesan official Fr. Bryan Hehir keynoting conference with “gay priests” advocate: Fr. Hehir spoke at a April 30-May 1, 2010 conference along with a proponent of gay priests who wants everyone to “stretch the imagination” by watching gay-themed movies, like Brokeback Mountain, and reading gay novels
  • Gay-friendly church, Fr. Bryan Hehir, and gay sex activist: Fr. Hehir was featured in a series at the gay-friendly Paulist Center  (that participates in the Gay Pride parade) along with a gay activist whose organization published and distributed a graphic guide to safe gay sex. 

As trusted advisor to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, his role involves matters like this, even if he’s behind the scenes and his name isn’t on any of the statements. You can count on him to never be heard publicly supporting the Church’s teachings on sexual morality–his public comments only undermine and question them.

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After seeing the latest drivel that came out from the Archdiocese of Boston last week about the Mass to celebrate Gay Pride at St. Cecilia’s in Boston,  I feel Catholics need to just call it as it is.  The Boston Archdiocese is still in public denial over the reason for the original Mass at St. Cecilia’s which was promoted to celebrate Boston (Gay) Pride and over the state of the Rainbow Ministry at St. Cecilia.  It’s like they’re consulting with former Rep. Anthony Weiner for expertise on PR, honesty, and damage control.

Until they come out of denial and stop maligning bloggers like me and others and acknowledge what’s going on there, we’re going to keep seeking the truth to lead people to salvation. As I have said before, the problem is not the bloggers, it’s the Archdicoese.

On Friday, yet another statement was issued by Cardinal Sean O’Malley and the archdiocese. He said:

The philosophical and political agenda of Gay Pride in relation to marriage and sexual morality is incompatible with the Church’s teachings.”

That part’s very good! But then it went in the wrong direction.

“For that reason, Father Unni rescheduled a Mass of welcome for all his parishioners to a time that would not associate the Mass with the Gay Pride agenda.

Problem here is that the original Mass wasn’t a “Mass of welcome for all his parishioners” at all.  First off, why would we ever need a special Mass of welcome for all parishioners?  Isn’t that already happening every Sunday?  Has everyone been wrong all these years to be going to Mass because we now need a special Mass of welcome for everyone?   It’s plain silly.

Even worse is that the supposed “Mass of welcome for all parishioners” was promoted as follows:

Liturgy to commemorate Boston Pride 2011
The Rainbow Ministry of Saint Cecilia Parish invites all friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month.

It invited friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month. As worded in the original notice, the Mass was not actually welcoming all parishioners–it specifically invited and welcomed friends and supporters of the LGBT community to celebrate Boston’s Pride Month. If you were not a friend or supporter of the LGBT community who wanted to celebrate Boston’s Pride Month, then according to the bulletin notice, you were not among the people invited to the Mass whose theme was supposedly “All are Welcome.”

The Rainbow Times said the leaders of the group assumed it was a Mass for Gay Pride. “Iandoli also explained the need for a Mass, “specifically to celebrate Gay Pride, because it is difficult to be proud unless you are both loved and supported,” he said.

The Boston Globe said the Rainbow Ministry started planning 6-8 weeks ago: Members of the Rainbow Ministry first suggested the Mass to Unni six to eight weeks ago, he said, and he told them yes, “not knowing what would happen,’’ he said.

The Boston Globe caught Terry Donilon in the lie:
“Donilon declined to answer questions about the apparent contradiction of the church’s bulletin and his statement. He said, however, that there would be a Mass in the future to welcome the community.”

If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck,  it’s probably a duck.

I have emailed Terry Donilon multiple times with these questions: “If the June 19 Mass was not intended to celebrate Gay Pride, then what exactly WAS it intended to celebrate?  When will you and the archdicoese stop deceiving people about what’s going on there? Even the Globe reporter caught you in the lie.”

The archdicoese made it a point to say in the statement issued a week ago today that the previous Mass (which was promoted to commemorate Boston Pride 2011 and which invited all friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month) was not cancelled, but merely rescheduled. Why?  If a Mass promoted to celebrate Gay Pride was wrong in June, why is it somehow OK  in July?  Had they not specifically made it a point in the Sunday night statement to say that the previous Mass (promoted to commemorate and celebrate Boston Gay Pride) was being rescheduled, then the media and others would not have used that statement as the basis for their headlines and their belief that the archdiocese was supportive of a rescheduled Mass to celebrate Gay Pride. THE ARCHDIOCESE created the problem with THEIR statements, not the bloggers.

Even Cardinal O’Malley’s latest statement published Friday did little to address the same problem. He maintained the previous Mass was rescheduled.

To Terry and Cardinal O’Malley ,I’ll say it yet again:

The problem isn’t the bloggers. The problem is what’s being allowed to happen with the Rainbow Ministry at St. Cecilia’s and what YOU’RE saying about it. Do you recognize this and just don’t want to say so publicly?

If the Mass promoted to celebrate and commemorate Gay Pride that specifically invited supporters of the GLBT community was in your opinion not being held to honor/recognize/celebrate Gay Pride, then can you please tell me and others what it WAS being held for?  If the bulletin was wrong, then what WAS it intended to say and promote?  They said they were planning it for 6-8 weeks and got Unni’s permission. They said they wanted and needed a Gay Pride Mass. Do you expect people to believe the bulletin had just a minor typographical error?  Even the Globe saw through it, and you wouldn’t answer them.

St. Cecilia’s promotes gay marriage. They tell gay teens to come out to get new life and energy.  They think a Gay Pride Mass is no different than a Mass for shut-ins. It’s all documented in black-and-white. There’s a Rainbow Ministry at the church that’s promoting views contrary to the teachings of the Church on sexual morality leading people to sin instead of salvation.. Do you and the Cardinal agree?  Yes or no?  You seem like you’re in denial that’s going on. If no, then what else do you need to see to understand what’s going on?  If yes, then what are you guys doing about it besides publicly pretending there’s not a problem?

Does the archdiocese still deny there’s a problem with the Rainbow Ministry and what Fr. Unni is allowing to happen there? I originally suggested that the archdiocese should have a priest from Courage Ministry celebrate the 11am Mass on July 10 and give the homily but reader, Chris had a better suggestion:

I think Cardinal O’Malley should attend and give the homily, a strongly worded and firm statement on the church’s views, while staring straight at Fr. Unni. Bishop Hennessy should join in with some words as well. Then the two prelates should stay after and answer questions from the Rainbow Ministry members and the press directly. They helped make this mess. They should clean it up. And Donilon should make sure the TV cameras are on hand to record everything, so there is no possible “spin” on what happened and why.

Beyond that, they should also announce that the Rainbow Ministry is disbanded and replaced with a chapter of Courage and publish a one-pager in the bulletin that discusses the Church’s teachings on sexual morality including chastity for homosexuals.

Otherwise, let Fr. Unni, Bishop Robert Hennessey, Terry Donilon, and Cardinal O’Malley keep following the lead of Rep. Anthony Weiner and see if they might not all end up in the same place eventually.

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This is my second of two posts for today.The first had pictures and commentary of what actually happened during 2011 Boston Gay Pride week.

The Globe has an article today talking about Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s blog post last night with his response to the uproar over the parish’s Rainbow Ministry Gay Pride Mass planned at St. Cecilia’s in Boston and then canceled/postponed and replaced with a prayer service.

Here’s the good part of the Cardinal’s blog post: He repeated the Church’s teachings on two things–both marriage between a man and woman, and sex outside of marriage (which includes homosexual sex).  Here’s the text of part of his 2004 letter on this topic republished on his blog last night:

During the heat of the debate on same-sex marriage in Massachusetts I wrote a letter to explain the Church’s position and would like to share that letter with you again today.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Church’s efforts to defend the institution of marriage has been interpreted by some as an indication of the Church’s hostility toward homosexual persons. The way that the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts framed the issue is unfavorable to Catholics or others who do not oppose anyone, but rather support an institution which is the cornerstone of society.

Right from the beginning of this controversy I have called on all Catholics to rally behind the cause of marriage. It is encouraging that a number of Catholics who are homosexuals have expressed to me their conviction that marriage between a man and a woman is important for children and therefore for society.

The Church’s position is not based on an animus against people with a homosexual orientation. Each and every member of the Church is called to holiness regardless of their sexual orientation. The Church has often warned against defining people by their sexual orientation in a way that diminishes their humanity.

The extreme individualism of our age is undermining the common good and fractionalizing the community. The Church wishes to call people to unity based on mutual respect and a commitment to the common good. We do not want Catholics who have a homosexual orientation to feel unwelcomed in the Catholic Church. We remind them that they are bound to us by their baptism and are called to live a life of holiness. Many homosexual persons in our Church lead holy lives and make an outstanding contribution to the life of the Church by their service, generosity and the sharing of their spiritual gifts.

We must strive to eradicate prejudices against people with a homosexual orientation. At the same time the Church must minister to all people by challenging them to obey God’s commands, the roadmap for a meaningful human life that allows us to draw near to God and to one another.

In the Gospel when the self-righteous Pharisees bring the adulteress to be stoned, Jesus says let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Then to make sure they got the point Jesus wrote their sins on the ground. The stones fell from their hands and they fled. Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn you”, but He added, “Go and sin no more.”

If we tell people that sex outside of marriage is not a sin, we are deceiving people. If they believe this untruth, a life of virtue becomes all but impossible. Jesus teaches that discipleship implies taking up the cross each day and following Him with love and courage. [my emphasis]

It is never easy to deliver a message that calls people to make sacrifices or to do difficult things. Sometimes people want to punish the messenger. For this reason we priests at times find it difficult to articulate the Church’s teaching on sexual morality. We must never deliver the message in a self-righteous way, but rather with compassion and humility. It is important to express the moral teachings of the Church with clarity and fidelity. The Church must be Church. We must teach the truths of the Gospel in season and out of season. These recent times seem to us like it is “out of season,” but for that very reason it is even more urgent to teach the hard words of the Gospel today.

We know that friends and relatives of homosexual Catholics sometimes feel torn between their allegiance to Christ and their concern for their loved ones. I assure them that these goals are not incompatible. As Catholics we profess a firm belief in the dignity of each person and in the eternal destiny to which God calls us. Calling people to embrace the cross of discipleship, to live the commandments and at the same time assuring them that we love them as brothers and sisters can be difficult. Sometimes we are told: “If you do not accept my behavior, you do not love me.” In reality we must communicate the exact opposite: “Because we love you, we cannot accept your behavior.”

God made us to be happy forever. That true and lasting happiness is accessible only by a path of conversion. Each of us has our own struggles in responding to the call to discipleship and holiness. We are not alone. Christ promised to be with us and has given us His Church and Sacraments to help us on the road.

Devotedly yours in Christ,

Seán P. O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston

Here’s the confusing part of the blog post.  C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League said in the Globe article “while O’Malley was correct in writing that bigotry against homosexuals is wrong, the cardinal may give too much credence to the notion that hatred of the gay community is widespread in the Catholic Church.”

I’ve been falsely accused of “hate” by Fr. John Unni and by others commenting on this blog. Terry Donilon of the archdiocese said I was “neither Christian nor civil.” I and others merely complained about a Mass promoted to celebrate and commemorate Gay Pride. The Holy Mass celebrates and commemorates Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary. Then, the archdiocese agreed it would be wrong to have a Mass that looked like it was celebrating Gay Pride (whether it was intentional or not) so it was canceled.

Where’d all the hate come from?  C.J. Doyle said “It needs to be said that much of the bigotry and the malice here is coming from the [pro-gay rights] side. We’re told [by gay activists] that we’re bigots and haters and homophobes.”  As far as I’m concerned, some of the hate has also come from Terry Donilon and Fr. John Unni, who complained about us in his homily last Sunday and in this weekend’s bulletin. (“snarky blogs…cause serious harm…Take a look at any opinionated religious blog, on the right and the left, and you’ll see all manner of terrible name-calling”).

Fr. Unni needs to grow up and accept that he caused this problem himself. He’s allowed speakers in his parish who support “gay marriage” and he put his Catholic parish name and personal name on a Mass sponsored by his parish’s Rainbow Ministry to “celebrate” and “commemorate” Boston Pride. That’s the cause of the problem, not the “hateful” “snarky” blog.  I complained about the Gay Pride Mass and the accompaning Gay Pride agenda, not about the people it was inviting.

Before all the pro-gay rights people start posting comments again about our being hateful, re-read the Cardinal’s message. If you’ve still got an issue with me and this blog for complaining about the Mass and associated agenda, fine, post it. If you’ve got an issue with Catholic Church teachings about marriage and sexual morality or with the archdiocese for putting the “ixnay” on the Gay Pride Mass, then take it to the archbishop and try posting it Cardinal Sean’s blog.

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This is the first of two posts today. In this first one, we’ll talk about what actually happened during the 2011 Gay Pride Week. In the next post we’ll talk about Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s statement on his blog last night and Terry Donilon’s pathetic comments to the Globe about the whole thing.

Fr. John Unni, pastor at St. Cecilia’s in Boston said last Sunday when he criticized us and other orthodox Catholics:

“In the past week, folks have talked about the Gay Pride agenda. I confess to almighty God and my brothers and sisters that I don’t know what that group is. I apologize for my stupidity and ignorance.”

Listen yourself below between about 0:20 and 0:50.

For Fr. Unni’s benefit and others following this scandal, here’s an overview of Boston’s Gay Pride Week.  I can’t take credit for what you are about to read.  The following passage comes straight from Mass Resistance:

‘Gay Pride Week’ in Boston: In-your-face depravity, vulgarity, blasphemy —   sponsored by major politicians & corporate America

POSTED: June 16, 2011

There is no worse time to be in Boston than during “Gay Pride”   week. More than once this past week people on the street from out of town asked   us, “What is going on here?” and we had to explain . . .

This was the scene on Charles Street in downtown   Boston on Friday evening. [Mass-Resistance   photo]

Gay Pride Week in Boston was officially ten days (June 3-12) of  public events, block parties, festivals, and parades celebrating every kind of   homosexual activity imaginable. As in recent years transgenderism and  cross-dressing have been taking a more prominent role, as well as BDSM   (bondage, sadomasochism, “leather culture”). There is also a big dose of  anti-religious (particularly anti-Catholic) fervor. Besides homosexual Catholic   groups, the offensive and blasphemous “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” — a   group of homosexual men dressed up as nuns to mock the Church — marched in the   Gay Pride Parade this year.

Men dressed as twisted versions of nuns, calling   themselves “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgance,” marched in the Gay Pride Parade in   Boston to mock the Catholic Church.  [MassResistance   photo]

Also in marching the Gay Pride Parade were the Governor and public  officials, from constitutional officers to candidates for US Senate to  Boston City Council, and many contingents of major corporations and area  hospitals, as well as (sadly) more children than we recall in prior years. The list of major corporations (and government agencies) sponsoring the week’s events was impressive and scary.

Bank of America, the “Bank of Opportunity,” was one   of the many major corporations marching in (and sponsoring) the Gay Pride   Parade. [MassResistance photo]

Some of it was pretty mind-numbing. At the “festival” on City Hall Plaza   following the Gay Pride Parade, Walgreen’s Drug Stores had a booth giving  out packets of lubricant for homosexual sex. Not far away was the New England  Leather Alliance booth giving out sado-masochism literature, and the polyamory and witchcraft groups.

The major homosexual public events during the week were: (1) the rainbow flag raising at Boston City Hall,   featuring Boston elected officials; (2) the Dyke March through downtown streets  of lesbians holding depraved signs and screaming angry chants; (3) the Gay Pride  Parade; and (4) the gay “festival” at City Hall Plaza right after the Parade. There was a lot more, but how much can anyone take?

It’s really about power over us

One didn’t have to be there very long to get a sense of  what these kinds of events are really all about. They’re about staging a huge  in-your-face gesture of power over anyone with traditional values. Thus, they  know they can do anything they want — whether kids or anyone else are watching   or not — and we can’t do anything but meekly watch.

In your face. During the Gay Pride Parade,   just about anywhere you looked there was something like this riding by in an   official float. [MassResistance photo]

For the homosexual movement and their supporters in politics and in  corporate boardrooms, this is a public display of the dominance of their  movement over traditional society and any individual who still supports  traditional values. They know that no one would dare interrupt or criticize them  without fear of swift and unflinching reprisal. They also know (and they know  that WE know) that if we ever attempted to do any pro-family events downtown on  that scale, the homosexual (or other mind-numbed leftist) activists could freely  disrupt and harass us without any fear.

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Whether people reading this blog hate me (along with other orthodox Catholics), or agree with us, I hope you will agree that Fr. Unni owes everyone a better explanation than what he’s given.  What’s the truth–was he in reality “stupid” and “ignorant” of the above yet still planned to personally celebrate a Mass to celebrate Boston Pride, or was he lying “before almighty God” and his parishioners when he said he didn’t know what it was?  If a priest and the archdiocese are going to falsely accuse people of “hate” when all we’re doing is defending the teachings and truths of the Catholic Church, then we don’t think it’s too much to ask that they come out and acknowledge if they’re telling the truth or lying. That includes Terry Donilon, who accused us of being neither Christian nor civil.

The Catholic Mass “commemorates”the Sacrifice on Calvary. As a commenter said in another blog, “the Holy Mass has only ONE theme: Jesus and his sacrifice through the Mystery of his Eucharist.”   It’s not about homosexuals, cohabitation and pre-marital sex, abortions, anything else. Every Catholic should be insulted that a Catholic Mass was planned and promoted to celebrate “Boston Pride.” Why? Because it’s objectively wrong to misappropriate the purpose and focus of a Mass for anything other than a focus on Jesus’ sacrifice  on the cross AND it was intended to celebrate a group of people’s homosexuality, with no sense of repentance for their homosexual sins and homosexual pride.

Next up, Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s response…

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Joe Fitzgerald, a columnist at the Boston Herald, had a great column in yesterday’s paper. This is the only column I’ve seen in the mainstream media that says it like it really is, and it deserves a wide reading audience.

Incidentally, for those who tried calling the Apostolic Nuncio and got a response that you need to write to them, you can send email to his office at nuntiususa(at)nuntiususa.org.  The appropriate salutation is Most Reverend Pietro Sambi. Please do sent him an email. You can even copy and paste one of these blog posts or use the email link at the end of the post to forward to him.

Without further ado, here’s Joe Fitzgerald’s column.

Church refuses to sacrifice principles

Celebrity comes pretty cheaply these days, especially in the Catholic Church, where all a priest has to do to achieve public acclaim is appear to repudiate elements of the Gospel he was called to uphold.

Nowhere is this truer than in the incendiary issue of homosexuality, which this culture wants us to believe is no big deal to the Creator.

Thankfully, there are those, beleaguered clergy among them, who continue to dig in their heels, steadfast in the gales of trendy mores, adamant in their conviction that the commandments of God are not negotiable.

Today they’re called haters.

“I have a theory,” Father Frank Garrity, the long retired pastor of St. Bartholomew Church in Needham, said a few years ago. “Kids don’t like to be told no. Well, neither do adults, and the Catholic Church is one of the few voices we hear today saying, ‘No, this is wrong.’ And you see the reaction we get.”

Indeed, so when an articulate young priest such as the Rev. John Unni appears to distance himself from the teachings of the Church, which got him a standing ovation at St. Cecilia’s last Sunday, he immediately becomes the darling of anarchists and malcontents who want the Church to shut up and butt out, allowing them to reshape their faith so that it will accommodate every whim and wayward desire.

“As a Catholic, my only agenda — just like Jesus — is to love and accept one another,” Father John reasoned, assuring his politically correct congregation that all walks of life were welcome to worship there.

True enough, but the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would have said, was that He also reminded them of what they were, ending His conversations with a reassuring, “Go, and sin no more.”

In other words, He made it clear that unconditional love does not mean anything goes.

But that’s what our culture wants us to believe, presenting a great challenge to people of faith today.

Can you remain true to what you believe even while the world is mocking those beliefs? Can you stand up for what you believe, even when it feels as if you’re standing all alone?

Father John missed an opportunity to declare with equal fervor that it is not hateful to be unfashionable, especially when you know there is no hate in your heart.

The priest who tinkers with the Gospel he vowed to preach is not unlike the judge who tinkers with the law he or she vowed to uphold.

In both cases, we are poorly served.

“I have wondered,” Ronald Reagan once mused, “what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.”

They probably would have sounded like what we’re hearing from too many pulpits today.

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Our headline comes from the Huffington Post article on this same topic. In the latest developments, here’s a video of Fr. John Unni preaching at this past Sunday’s Mass. Listen at between the 0:20 to 0:50 time period to hear how Fr. Unni says he has no idea what the Gay Pride agenda means:

He says, “In the past week, folks have talked about the Gay Pride agenda.  I confess to almighty God and my brothers and sisters that I don’t know what that group is. I apologize for my stupidity and ignorance.  We put ads in the bulletin saying all are welcome.”

Fr. Unni, if it’s a matter of “stupidity and ignorance,” that’s about equally bad as knowing what it is and still promoting it.  Once again, this is, at least in part, what Gay Pride is about:

This year’s theme was “equality”–which means “marriage equality,” which means in part, legalization of “same-sex marriage.”

He said, “We put ads in the bulletin saying all are welcome.”  No, they put ads in the bulletin saying, “Liturgy to Commemorate Boston Pride 2011” and “in celebration of Boston’s Pride Month.

Google Boston Pride 2011 and this is what you get:

Is Fr. Unni really ignorant that this is what he and his parish were promoting?

Fr. Unni called this blog and Catholics who believe what the Church teaches on sexual morality as “hurtful” and espousing “hate” for saying the Catholic Church should be not be celebrating Boston Pride, and for exercising our rights and duties under the Code of Canon Law to voice our needs to our pastors:

Can. 211 All the Christian faithful have the duty and right to work so that the divine message of salvation more and more reaches all people in every age and in every land.

§2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals…

All are welcome!  But we do not need a special Mass or now a special prayer service to celebrate one particular sin and lifestyle.  Every week and every day the sacrifice of the Mass is offered to welcome sinners.  Jesus Christ welcomed all sinners and called them to conversion.  We need to continue doing the same.

We are all on board with the “all are welcome.”  Where’s the call to conversion by Fr. Unni?  

Someone needs to do something about this situation.

Take Action to address this scandal by calling the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi at 202-333-7121. Leave a message saying that you need the Nuncio’s intervention to get Cardinal O’Malley to do the following:

  1. issue a written statement clearly stating Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality and homosexual activity
  2. insist that Fr. John Unni publicly acknowledge those teachings on sexual morality
  3. either cancel the June 19 GLBT prayer service (still being held at the same time & date as the previously promoted event celebrating Boston Pride) or replace the theme and speakers with a talk by a priest representing the Courage ministry, talking and praying about how people with same-sex attractions can live a life of holiness and chastity consistent with the Gospel and Word of God.

If you’ve got time for more than one phone call, you can also try calling Cardinal O’Malley at 617-782-2544 and Bishop Robert Hennessey at 617-269-4001.

We’ve said it before and will say it again, Cardinal O’Malley said in 2006,

“It is important to express the moral teachings of the Church with clarity and fidelity. The Church must be Church. We must teach the truths of the Gospel in season and out of season.Calling people to embrace the cross of discipleship, to live the commandments and at the same time assuring them that we love them as brothers and sisters can be difficult. Sometimes we are told: “If you do not accept my behavior, you do not love me.” In reality we must communicate the exact opposite: “Because we love you, we cannot accept your behavior.”

Your Eminence, which season is now, “in season” or “out of season”?  Are you going to teach the truths of the Gospel and insist that your bishop, spokesman, and pastors do the same, or will we continue being “out of season” with you sitting silently by, letting your spokesman and Fr. Unni muddy the message of the truths of the Gospel?

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