Tag Archives: Gay Marriage

Bishops — Non-Communion Means No Communion… Now!

In an op-ed Sunday in the New York Daily News, Nicholas DiMarzio, bishop of Brooklyn, called on members of his diocese “not to bestow or accept honors, nor to extend a platform of any kind to any state elected official, in all our parishes and churches for the foreseeable future.”

This we presume extends to Catholic lawmakers who made the shack-nasty marriage of same-sex couples the law of the land in New York.

And what greater bestowal or acceptance of honor can one give or receive than that of the presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar?

The only sound of reason I’ve found today on this subject is the voice of The American Papist, and his father.

The time for using “pastoral reasoning” as an excuse in failing to deny Holy Communion to sinful Catholic politicians has long past. As “fishers of men” you have a responsibility…

Fish, or cut bait.

END OF POST

Faith and Morals: My Response to the claim of bashing Muslims and Gays

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...
Image via Wikipedia

The following is a reply to a long-time friend on the baited-subject of bashing Muslims and Gays…

Dear Ron- There is no earth-bound moral argument from the left or the right that will suffice; all faith and moral arguments are predicated on attaining the spiritual truth about man, and thus, the will of God for him: his sanctification leading up into eternal life…

On Bashing Moslems: Faith

Before any debate on the subject of Bashing Muslims resumes, you should know the actual Church (Christian) position in its spiritual relationship with the Muslim religion…

As a convert to the Church not born of flesh and blood (that is, not evangelized by men) but of God, such conversion requires obedience and adherence to revealed truth placed within the soul and discovered within the Church; this comes by the Spirit, Who established and maintains the Church in the truth about God and man throughout the ages; that is, upon the foundation of Christ Jesus Who when in the flesh as God on earth said of Himself:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” [John 14]

So it is with the Church on all things pertaining to faith and morals (our subjects) according to the same Spirit of Truth. The Spirit teaches the truth about faith and morals through Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and through the Teaching Magisterium of the Church—The Pope and those Bishops united within him.

 With all that in mind Ron, this from the Catechism (the authoritative teaching) of the Catholic Church:

841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”[330]

842 The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:  All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .[331]

843 “The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as ‘a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.’

All this is my position according to the same obedience to the Spirit of God. God is spirit and we must worship in spirit and truth.

As for the Mosque near ground zero in New York, I do not oppose it as a constitutional right and freedom, or on religious grounds, I oppose it because it betrays the victims of 911 and their lost right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; rights which both victims and their surviving families alike were denied by Muslim extremists; Extremists, yes, to be sure Ron, but Muslim nonetheless. And for what little my opinion matters, it’s the wrong place and time for a Mosque. Period.

On Bashing Gays: Morals

The immoral sexual act(s) of homosexuality is an impure act against nature and natures God. Even the non-spiritualized soul recognizes the Natural Law found within our hearts, which tells us the act is wrong. (i.e. morally sinful). Which goes a long way to explaining why most every state and people continues to vote against Gay marriage; and also why homosexual activists must use the U.S. court system or international bodies to override the people’s natural God-given gift of telling right from wrong.

From a Catholic moral standpoint, the Church teaches within the Catechism:

 Chastity and homsexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Homosexuality has indeed taken on a great number of forms throughout the centuries, and Christianity has remained steadfast in warning and declaring the spiritual dangers involved with such behavior [CLICK HERE]. Remember Ron, the object and aim of Christianity is God’s love for all men and the salvation of their souls. It is an act of charity to inform the uninformed or sinful soul that their temporary immoral behavior on earth imperils their eternal happiness in Heaven…

END OF POST

Hog Heaven or Hell?: South Florida Archbishop Thomas Wenski on his new post and new Harley

[Click To Enlarge] 

Choose any of the links below documenting the history of corruption within South Florida under the episcopate of John C. Favalora of Miami and you’ll understand the job ahead for Archbishop Thomas Wenski. By this account the new Archbishop is holy and devout, so prospects look good for South Florida Catholics. Brick by brick as they say… The article follows, here’s the video.

[Via Renew America

1. Attorney E-mails Pope, Defends Fired Priest
2. Archdiocese of Miami Sued
3. Archbishop’s “XStream” Investment
4. Attorney: Archbishop Is Friend of Pedophile
5. Whistleblower Priest’s Lawsuit Dismissed
6. Attorney: Vatican Upset with Miami Archdiocese
7. Attorney: Pope Aware of Miami Priest’s Case
8. Attorney: Gay Priest Gave Dog Communion
9. CPA, Priest’s Attorney Spar in Miami
10. Accusations at Fever Pitch in Miami Archdiocese
11. Priest Drops Lawsuit Against Miami Archdiocese
12. Miami Priest, Deacon Guilty of Embezzlement, Extortion?
13. Attorney: Priests Claim 70 Percent of U.S. Bishops Are Gay
14. Catholics Continue to Clash in Miami archdiocese
15. Grievance Filed Against Catholic Attorney, Lay Activist, and Columnist
16. Girl, Parents Sue Miami Archdiocese
17. Wikipedia User Wrongly Cites Priest as “Accused Molester”
18. Seminary Mag’s ‘Gay’ Ads Cause Stir
19. Miami Archdiocese Sued
20. Catholic University to Give Award to Goddess-Worshipping Theologian
21. Lambs to Slaughter: Again and Again, Local Claims of Abuse Point to One Priest, the Rev. Neil Doherty, and the Catholic Archdiocese that Protected Him
22. Speak No Evil: When a Margate Priest Misbehaved, the Archdiocese Punished His Secretary
23. “Gay-Friendly” Miami Archdiocese Features Goddess-Worshipping Nun at Diocesan University
24. Miami Archdiocese Sponsors Concert by Gay Men’s Chorus
25. Monsignor Defends ‘Gay Chorus’
26. ‘The Virtuous One’
27. “The Priest, the Stripper, and Their Baby”
28. Ex-Stripper: Miami Priest Fathered My Baby
29.. Along Came a Spider: What the Pope Doesn’t See
30. New Sex Abuse Claims Against Fmr. Miami Priest
31. 2 Men File Sex Abuse Suits Against Miami Archdiocese
32. Did Archbishop Favalora of Miami Knowingly Employ a Boy-Raping Priest?

Bishop Thomas Wenski leads the third annual “Bike With The Bishop” motorcycle run, beginning in east Orlando, to benefit Catholic Charities of Central Florida Inc, Sept. 26. (Credit: VALETA ORLANDO | FC).

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — South Florida’s newest archbishop talked in depth Thursday about his faith, the future of the Catholic Church and his Harley Davidson.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski will lead 1.3 million South Florida Catholics after being ordained on June 1.

Wenski said his heart for Haiti will be a big part of his leadership. “Geography has made the US and Haiti neighbors, but we have to be more than neighbors, we have to be brothers and sisters,” Wenski said.

The archbishop said he marvels at Haitian resolve, not only rebounding from hurricanes but earthquakes as well. Wenski said showing faith can spring from tragedy.

Tragedy is not far from the mind of the archbishop. He is keenly aware of the child sex scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church. He said child molestation is an atrocity, and it is painful for both the victim and the church. “The church has addressed that, and one of the signs that it has addressed that is the safe environment programs that are in place,” he revealed. “Today, the church is the safest place for a child to be.”

Wenski was quick to point out that closing Catholic schools and parishes is not the result of the sex scandal payouts, which topped tens of millions of dollars. “The cost we have had to payout has been in great measure covered by insurance,” Wenski said.

Earlier in the week, Wenski lead a mass for South Florida lawyers and judges. Afterward, he addressed Catholic support for fighting gay marriage in the political arena.

South Florida is known for its gay population. Wenski said the church is not an enemy of gay issues, but he held firm on Catholic belief on the matter. “I don’t believe the church does show hostility to that community or to any other community.” Wenski went on to say, “Children are hardwired to be raised by a father and a mother who are married to each other in a permanent relationship.”

The archbishop also spoke about light moments while being interviewed, a quality that perhaps will help reach declining numbers of young people. Wenski even commented on “American Idol.” He said, “I don’t know if I’ve sat through sessions of ‘American Idol.’ I think I might have stopped on it for a few minutes while channel surfing, but I did not linger too long.”

The archbishop also spoke about his interest in motorcycles. “I used to have a Honda Shadow, and about a year ago I invested in a Harley Davidson street bike to take a motorcycle ride and clear the cobwebs of my mind.”

Cobwebs even in the mind of a man of God. He said, the matters of God are important in today’s complicated world.

With the newest numbers being 1.3 million Catholics, in South Florida, Wenski said, he’s going to need all the help and prayers he can get.

SOURCE

END OF POST

Bishops Call Charges Against USCCB Official False, Ridiculous — Read Charges Here

  “A systemic pattern of cooperation with evil…”

WASHINGTON (CNS)—Bishops who work closely with John Carr, who oversees the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, say new claims against him and the agency are false and “totally ridiculous.”

John Carr

Bishops William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., and Roger P. Morin of Biloxi, Miss., spoke with Catholic News Service Feb. 3 about recent allegations of “a systemic pattern of cooperation with evil” by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops because of Carr’s past involvement with the Center for Community Change.

“I’m concerned about these attacks on John Carr and I know they are false and I think they are even calumnious,” said Bishop Murphy, who chairs the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, by telephone to CNS. “I am taking this to be a very sad, sad commentary on the honesty of some people in these pressure groups.”

“Personally I think (the claims) are totally ridiculous,” said Bishop Morin, who chairs the USCCB subcommittee that oversees CCHD, the bishops’ domestic anti-poverty initiative, in a separate telephone interview.

A report released Feb. 1 by the Reform CCHD Now Coalition, a group that includes the American Life League, Human Life International and Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, said the Washington-based Center for Community Change “has lodged itself into the highest places of power in the USCCB while working to promote abortion and homosexuality.”

Carr, executive director of the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, said he stepped down as chairman of the center’s board in February 2005, and the board never addressed those issues during his tenure.

“My experience with CCC was that it focused on poverty, housing and immigration and had no involvement in issues involving abortion and homosexuality,” Carr said. “When I served, the board never discussed or acted on any position involving these matters, and if they had, I would have vigorously opposed any advocacy for access to abortion or gay marriage.”

Carr was interim CCHD executive director from 2007 to early 2008. With the USCCB restructuring in 2008, he took over a department that consolidated CCHD and the former Department of Social Development and World Peace.

Carr said the CCHD Web site had recommended the Center for Community Change for its anti-poverty work, but when the coalition’s report disclosed that the center supported abortion (“It was news to us,” he said), the recommendation was removed.

The American Life League and Human Life International are Virginia-based groups that oppose abortion and advocate on other pro-life issues. Bellarmine, based in Texas, describes itself as “a Catholic grass-roots organizing ministry dedicated to truth and action.”

The Center for Community Change says its mission is to “build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change their communities and public policies for the better.”

According to the Reform CCHD Now Coalition, 31 organizations that have received CCHD grants are among the more than 150 groups that have “partnered” with the Center for Community Change.

Carr said no one from American Life League or Bellarmine had contacted him or anyone else at the CCHD or USCCB before the report was issued.

“I have spent my personal and professional life defending human life and dignity and Catholic teaching, including current efforts to keep abortion funding out of health care reform,” he said.

“I regret that once again the failure to contact me or CCHD has led to unfair allegations in attempts to undermine the essential work of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development,” Carr added.

Bishop Morin said he also has been subject to attacks “almost from the time I became chairman” of the CCHD subcommittee.

“You can have one person with a Web site call you a left-wing radical, and my family is asking me, ‘What’s going on?'” he said. “We’re doing the same thing we’ve always been doing—what is right and good and just.”

Bishop Morin said that although Carr’s primary focus over the years has been on social justice issues, “that does not take away one bit from his commitment to the sacredness of human life.”

Carr also received support from Thomas Grenchik, executive director of the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

In a Feb. 2 letter to diocesan pro-life directors and state Catholic conference leaders, Grenchik called Carr “staunchly pro-life” and “a partner in USCCB pro-life efforts.”

“He worked diligently to keep abortion out of the many recent health care reform efforts,” Grenchik added. “Were it not for his efforts and those of others, our country would now be funding abortion and health plans that provide abortion, on a massive scale. …

“This challenge is far from over, and John remains steadfast in his effort to advocate for health care reform that protects human life,” he said.

THE CHARGES FOLLOW

AMERICAN LIFE LEAGUE REPORT:

Sleeping with the Enemy: Conference of Catholic Bishops cooperation with pro-abortion organizations
by Michael Hichborn
Released January 31, 2010

The intelligence community has a saying, “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and three times is enemy action.”  Since August, American Life League has been working with a coalition of Catholic and pro-life organizations, researching groups being granted money by the now infamous Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  During this time, the coalition, Reform CCHD Now, has revealed no less than 50 organizations (one fifth of all CCHD grantees from 2009) that are in some capacity engaged in pro-abortion or pro-homosexual causes. The sad thing, however, is that these recent revelations manifest a pattern of cooperation stretching back for decades.

Throughout the national campaign this past November, which called on Catholics to withhold donations to the CCHD, the CCHD ran damage control, deflecting or dismissing the charges made against its grantees.  Oddly enough, however, the CCHD never responded to the charges concerning the 31 grantees found to be partners with the pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Center for Community Change.  Among the initial findings regarding this organization are the following:

  • CCC received $75,000 in 2007 from the Arcus Foundation specifically for homosexual activism
    • Funds donated for the project Generation Change, an initiative to recruit, support and train the next generation of community organizers and emerging social justice leaders through paid internships, fellowships and mentorships for activists from communities of color and from the GLBT community.

  • CCC held training seminar for homosexual groups
  • From the introduction to CCC’s Movement Vision Project, which embraces “abortion rights” and “reproductive freedom”
    • “abortion rights and reproductive freedom intersect with criminal justice. Our solutions must intersect as well” — Introduction to the Movement Vision Project of The Center for Community Change 

  • CCC produced a Tool Kit celebrating homosexual lifestyles with the following quotes:
    • “This conservative strategy also fostered hostility toward those struggling for equal opportunity—people of color, women, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and poor people. Individualism, in this context, has meant ignoring and refusing to recognize that barriers to opportunity still exist. It then demonized those of us who would tear down those barriers.”
       
    • “But the old days in the form of 1950’s America was also home to racism, segregation, limited opportunity for women, and hostile to gays and lesbians.”
       
    • Calendar of Community Values News Hooks contains the following:
      • “Use this 2008 calendar as a planning tool. It can help you identify opportunities to get out your message about community values. Connecting your press release or op-ed to a holiday or notable/historic date in a unique way can help it get better coverage.”
      • May 20, 1996: Romer v. Evans decided by the Supreme Court, ruling against an amendment to the Colorado Constitution that allowed discrimination against gays and lesbians
      • June: Gay Pride Month
      • June 28, 1969: Stonewall Rebellion helps to spark the gay rights movement
      • October 11: National Coming Out Day, commemorating 2nd March on Washington for LGBT Rights
         
  • CCC’s resource library endorses a book supporting so-called “abortion rights”
    • Reproductive Justice Briefing Book: A Primer on Reproductive Justice and Social Change” by SisterSong is an activists’ guide to promoting abortion rights
       
    • The CCC summary for the book says:
      • “Need a one-stop shop for information on reproductive justice? Well, SisterSong has got the right tool for you. This series of articles documents the struggle for reproductive justice and bridges this struggle with other issues within the social justice movement such as immigration and queer rights. Additionally, the series touches upon the future of the women’s movement in relation to reproductive justice.”
         
  • The Bellarmine Veritas Ministry reveals even more shocking information on the CCC in its latest report, including CCC support for abortion funding in health care reform legislation.

There can be no doubt that the Center for Community Change’s goals are antithetical to those of the Church, which is why it is strange that the CCHD has yet to address findings regarding the 31 grantees intimately connected with this organization.  Even allowing for the possibility that these partnerships with the CCC were mere happenstance, in attempting to understand the CCHD’s silence the coalition took a closer look at the CCC.  With great shock, the coalition discovered that the CCHD currently endorses the CCC on its web site, calling it worthy of support.

Could the grantee partnerships with CCC and the CCHD’s endorsements be coincidental?  This shameless promotion of an organization whose aims cannot possibly be in line with Church teaching was jarring enough.  But more distressing than that is the discovery that the USCCB’s Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development served and chaired the board of the CCC.  John Carr, who oversees the entire CCHD, served in both top executive positions at the same time.

Carr, whose work with the CCC goes back at least as far as 1983, was hired by the USCCB in 1987 as the next secretary for social development and world peace.  Annual reports from the CCC reveal that Carr was on the CCC’s board of directors in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, serving on the executive committee from 1999-2001.  Given his cozy relationship with the CCC, it’s no wonder the CCHD never responded to our concern over grantee membership with this radical group.

But the findings don’t end there.  In 2000, while Carr was serving both organizations, the CCHD funneled $150,000 to the CCC.  In 2001, the CCHD hosted the Executive Director from the CCC for a presentation at a three day conference and, in 2006, when Carr left the CCC’s board of directors, he was replaced by Tom Chabolla, who worked for Carr as associate director of programs for the CCHD until 2008.  In December of 2008, the CCC co-sponsored an event called the “Realizing the Promise Forum,” rallying around the election of Barack Obama.  Ralph McCloud, the current Director of the CCHD joined the celebration, proclaiming that “very soon we will see a New Jerusalem.”

The most peculiar aspect of this investigation, however, is the mysterious omission of Carr’s membership and chairmanship of the CCC’s board on his USCCB bio.  With great consistency, several brochures, event announcements, forums, and bios for other organizations he is involved with give nearly word-for-word copies of his USCCB bio, with the exception that they mention his involvement with CCC, and the USCCB bio does not.  Figuring that perhaps his USCCB bio maintained only current positions, coalition members searched the internet archives going back to 2004, and found that his bio has NEVER mentioned the CCC.  The omission is odd and, given the new information, quite suspicious.

Happenstance and coincidence are no longer possible explanations.  As a primary researcher for the coalition, what I have discovered is full-blown Catholic cooperation with a pro-abortion and pro-homosexual organization at the highest levels of the CCHD.  While John Carr and those he works with in the CCHD may profess to be pro-life, and we aren’t questioning this, the fact of the matter is that whatever justification may be offered for this kind of cooperation is nothing short of the flaccid excuses pro-abortion “Catholics” in public office toss out when they profess to be “personally pro-life, but …”

Regardless of what Carr’s reasons may be, what we would like to know is how the USCCB can justify this explicit cooperation, or if it was even known to them.  If the USCCB did NOT know about these unethical relationships and the CCC’s history of anti-life and pro-homosexual activism, why not?  Jesus told His disciples “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”  As I have repeated since we began our investigation, CCHD staff and leadership are either incompetent or they are complicit.  Whatever the case may be, there can be no doubt that the CCHD has completely failed its mission by sleeping with the enemy.

Michael Hichborn is American Life League’s lead researcher on the CCHD and host of the American Life League Report.

Fratres Daily Catholic News 12.22.09

Shooter: 35-year-old David E. Crable

SEATTLE AGAIN: 2 OFFICER’S DOWN — CRITICAL CONDITION…

Two Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were in critical condition early today after they were “ambushed” while responding to a domestic-violence call, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The shooting suspect, identified as 35-year-old David E. Crable, was shot and killed in the Monday night shootout, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. 

ACORN qualifies under heath care bill 

Carter apology to Jews: ‘I offer an Al Het’ 

Why Did God Become Man? 

Global warming, or just hot air?

Mexico City Marriage: the free uniting of two people’  

Detroit in ruins 

Irish Theologian: Faithful should elect their bishop 

Anglicanorum coetibus no solution?

Winter Solstice: Pagans and Druids at Stonehedge

END OF POST 

(Full Text) White House remarks by the President at LGBT Pride Month Reception – East Room June 29, 2009

“Because it was considered obscene and illegal to be gay…”

gene Robinson

4:35 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Hello, hello, hello.  (Applause.)  Hey!  Good to see you.  (Applause.)  I’m waiting for FLOTUS here.  FLOTUS always politics more than POTUS.

MRS. OBAMA:  No, you move too slow.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  It is great to see everybody here today and they’re just — I’ve got a lot of friends in the room, but there are some people I want to especially acknowledge.  First of all, somebody who helped ensure that we are in the White House, Steve Hildebrand.  Please give Steve a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  Where’s Steve?  He’s around here somewhere.  (Applause.)

The new chair of the Export-Import Bank, Fred Hochberg.  (Applause.)  Where’s Fred?  There’s Fred.  Good to see you, Fred.  Our Director of the Institute of Education Sciences at DOE, John Easton.  Where’s John?  (Applause.)  A couple of special friends — Bishop Gene Robinson.  Where’s Gene?  (Applause.)  Hey, Gene.  Ambassador Michael Guest is here.  (Applause.)  Ambassador Jim Hormel is here.  (Applause.)  Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown is here.  (Applause.)

All of you are here.  (Laughter and applause.)  Welcome to your White House.  (Applause.)  So —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Somebody asked from the Lincoln Bedroom here.  (Laughter.)  You knew I was from Chicago too.  (Laughter.)

It’s good to see so many friends and familiar faces, and I deeply appreciate the support I’ve received from so many of you.  Michelle appreciates it and I want you to know that you have our support, as well.  (Applause.)  And you have my thanks for the work you do every day in pursuit of equality on behalf of the millions of people in this country who work hard and care about their communities — and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.  (Applause.)

Now this struggle, I don’t need to tell you, is incredibly difficult, although I think it’s important to consider the extraordinary progress that we have made.  There are unjust laws to overturn and unfair practices to stop.  And though we’ve made progress, there are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones, who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted.  And I know this is painful and I know it can be heartbreaking.

And yet all of you continue, leading by the force of the arguments you make but also by the power of the example that you set in your own lives — as parents and friends, as PTA members and leaders in the community.  And that’s important, and I’m glad that so many LGBT families could join us today.  (Applause.)  For we know that progress depends not only on changing laws but also changing hearts.  And that real, transformative change never begins in Washington.

(Cell phone “quacks.”)

Whose duck is back there?  (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA:  It’s a duck.

THE PRESIDENT:  There’s a duck quacking in there somewhere.  (Laughter.)  Where do you guys get these ring tones, by the way?  (Laughter.)  I’m just curious.  (Laughter.)

Indeed, that’s the story of the movement for fairness and equality — not just for those who are gay, but for all those in our history who’ve been denied the rights and responsibilities of citizenship; who’ve been told that the full blessings and opportunities of this country were closed to them.  It’s the story of progress sought by those who started off with little influence or power; by men and women who brought about change through quiet, personal acts of compassion and courage and sometimes defiance wherever and whenever they could.

That’s the story of a civil rights pioneer who’s here today, Frank Kameny, who was fired — (applause.)  Frank was fired from his job as an astronomer for the federal government simply because he was gay.  And in 1965, he led a protest outside the White House, which was at the time both an act of conscience but also an act of extraordinary courage.  And so we are proud of you, Frank, and we are grateful to you for your leadership.  (Applause.)

It’s the story of the Stonewall protests, which took place 40 years ago this week, when a group of citizens — with few options, and fewer supporters — decided they’d had enough and refused to accept a policy of wanton discrimination.  And two men who were at those protests are here today.  Imagine the journey that they’ve travelled.

It’s the story of an epidemic that decimated a community — and the gay men and women who came to support one another and save one another; and who continue to fight this scourge; and who demonstrated before the world that different kinds of families can show the same compassion and support in a time of need — that we all share the capacity to love.

So this story, this struggle, continues today — for even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot — and will not — put aside issues of basic equality.  (Applause.)  We seek an America in which no one feels the pain of discrimination based on who you are or who you love.

And I know that many in this room don’t believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that.  It’s not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half century ago.

But I say this:  We have made progress and we will make more.  And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I’ve made, but by the promises that my administration keeps.  And by the time you receive — (applause.)  We’ve been in office six months now.  I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration.  (Applause.)

Now, while there is much more work to do, we can point to important changes we’ve already put in place since coming into office.  I’ve signed a memorandum requiring all agencies to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as current law allows.  And these are benefits that will make a real difference for federal employees and Foreign Service Officers, who are so often treated as if their families don’t exist.  And I’d like to note that one of the key voices in helping us develop this policy is John Berry, our director of the Office of Personnel Management, who is here today.  And I want to thank John Berry.  (Applause.)

I’ve called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination — (applause) — to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country.  Now, I want to add we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides.  And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law.  I’ve made that clear.

I’m also urging Congress to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, which will guarantee the full range of benefits, including health care, to LGBT couples and their children.  (Applause.)  My administration is also working hard to pass an employee non-discrimination bill and hate crimes bill, and we’re making progress on both fronts.  (Applause.)  Judy and Dennis Shepard, as well as their son Logan, are here today.  I met with Judy in the Oval Office in May — (applause) — and I assured her and I assured all of you that we are going to pass an inclusive hate crimes bill into law, a bill named for their son Matthew.  (Applause.)

In addition, my administration is committed to rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status.  (Applause.)  The Office of Management and Budget just concluded a review of a proposal to repeal this entry ban, which is a first and very big step towards ending this policy.  And we all know that HIV/AIDS continues to be a public health threat in many communities, including right here in the District of Columbia.  And that’s why this past Saturday, on National HIV Testing Day, I was proud once again to encourage all Americans to know their status and get tested the way Michelle and I know our status and got tested.  (Applause.)

And finally, I want to say a word about “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  As I said before — I’ll say it again — I believe “don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t contribute to our national security.  (Applause.)  In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security.  (Applause.)

Now, my administration is already working with the Pentagon and members of the House and the Senate on how we’ll go about ending this policy, which will require an act of Congress.

Someday, I’m confident, we’ll look back at this transition and ask why it generated such angst, but as Commander-in-Chief, in a time of war, I do have a responsibility to see that this change is administered in a practical way and a way that takes over the long term.  That’s why I’ve asked the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a plan for how to thoroughly implement a repeal.

I know that every day that passes without a resolution is a deep disappointment to those men and women who continue to be discharged under this policy — patriots who often possess critical language skills and years of training and who’ve served this country well.  But what I hope is that these cases underscore the urgency of reversing this policy not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is essential for our national security.

Now, even as we take these steps, we must recognize that real progress depends not only on the laws we change but, as I said before, on the hearts we open.  For if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that there are good and decent people in this country who don’t yet fully embrace their gay brothers and sisters — not yet.

That’s why I’ve spoken about these issues not just in front of you, but in front of unlikely audiences — in front of African American church members, in front of other audiences that have traditionally resisted these changes.  And that’s what I’ll continue to do so.  That’s how we’ll shift attitudes.  That’s how we’ll honor the legacy of leaders like Frank and many others who have refused to accept anything less than full and equal citizenship.

Now, 40 years ago, in the heart of New York City at a place called the Stonewall Inn, a group of citizens, including a few who are here today, as I said, defied an unjust policy and awakened a nascent movement.

It was the middle of the night.  The police stormed the bar, which was known for being one of the few spots where it was safe to be gay in New York.  Now, raids like this were entirely ordinary.  Because it was considered obscene and illegal to be gay, no establishments for gays and lesbians could get licenses to operate.  The nature of these businesses, combined with the vulnerability of the gay community itself, meant places like Stonewall, and the patrons inside, were often the victims of corruption and blackmail.

Now, ordinarily, the raid would come and the customers would disperse.  But on this night, something was different.  There are many accounts of what happened, and much has been lost to history, but what we do know is this:  People didn’t leave.  They stood their ground.  And over the course of several nights they declared that they had seen enough injustice in their time.  This was an outpouring against not just what they experienced that night, but what they had experienced their whole lives.  And as with so many movements, it was also something more:  It was at this defining moment that these folks who had been marginalized rose up to challenge not just how the world saw them, but also how they saw themselves.

As we’ve seen so many times in history, once that spirit takes hold there is little that can stand in its way.  (Applause.)  And the riots at Stonewall gave way to protests, and protests gave way to a movement, and the movement gave way to a transformation that continues to this day.  It continues when a partner fights for her right to sit at the hospital bedside of a woman she loves.  It continues when a teenager is called a name for being different and says, “So what if I am?”  It continues in your work and in your activism, in your fight to freely live your lives to the fullest.

In one year after the protests, a few hundred gays and lesbians and their supporters gathered at the Stonewall Inn to lead a historic march for equality.  But when they reached Central Park, the few hundred that began the march had swelled to 5,000.  Something had changed, and it would never change back.

The truth is when these folks protested at Stonewall 40 years ago no one could have imagined that you — or, for that matter, I — (laughter) — would be standing here today.  (Applause.)  So we are all witnesses to monumental changes in this country.  That should give us hope, but we cannot rest.  We must continue to do our part to make progress — step by step, law by law, mind by changing mind.  And I want you to know that in this task I will not only be your friend, I will continue to be an ally and a champion and a President who fights with you and for you.

Thanks very much, everybody.  God bless you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  It’s a little stuffed in here.  We’re going to open — we opened up that door.  We’re going to walk this way, and then we’re going to come around and we’ll see some of you over there, all right?  (Laughter.)  But out there.  (Laughter.)

But thank you very much, all, for being here.  Enjoy the White House.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

END                4:53 P.M. EDT

Fr. Steve Niskanen (Full Text): Another California Priest Comes Out Against Prop. 8 in California

Shipwrecked Faith
Shipwrecked Faith

Tragic, yet true, the Church and society continue to suffer the infiltration of those opposed to the King of Heaven and Earth. Unless they repent they risk paying a heavy price both on earth and within the eternal fires of hell without chance of heaven… The Sixth Commandment includes:

What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.
 
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth commandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality.” (Meaning: The act of homosexuality falls under and violates the same command–despite gay marriage support and pronoucements to the contrary).
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Let us pray for these, that they come to their senses. Or rather, a clear realization of the supernatural value of the faith they are so easily endangering. To him whom much has been given, much will be required still applies…

Fr. Steve Niskanen, CMF, Pastor San Gabriel Mission

Proposition 8:

Known as the “Protect Marriage Act”, this Proposition would amend California law to stipulate that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Proponents of Proposition 8, including the California Bishops’ Conference, argue that the California Supreme Court’s decision extending the definition of marriage to include same-sex partnerships devalues marriage and does not insure the well-being of children: “We need to recall that marriage mirrors God’s relationship with us-and that marriage completes, enriches, and perpetuates humanity. When men and women consummate their marriage they offer themselves to God as co-creators of a new human being. Any other pairing-while possibly offering security and companionship to the individuals involved-is not marriage. We must support traditional marriage as the source of our civilization, the foundation for a society that can be a home to all human beings, and the reflection of our relationship with God” (California Bishops’ Statement).

I deeply respect and submit to the authority of our bishops and the force of traditional Catholic teaching limiting sexual relations to the love and life-giving commitment of heterosexual marriage. But I cannot in conscience unequivocally support Proposition 8 because I cannot in my heart of hearts say with certainty, at this time, that God would not call His gay and lesbian children into a faithful and life-long covenant with one another. Some members of our families and of our parish family are gay and lesbian. Studies estimate that between 5-10% of the human race, across cultures, has a predominantly same-sex orientation. I believe that we as a Church need to learn from their stories of rejection and alienation, of faith, hope, and love, so as to better discern with them God’s will for their and our lives. My belief is that gay persons, as gay, are good, and part of God’s diverse creation. Their expression of love, though different from the majority, does, I believe, participate in both the weakness and selfishness of sin and the generosity and kindness of God’s love. They, like all of us, are called to chastity; that is, sexual self-control and loving respect of the other in conformity with one’s calling in life. In the pastoral statement, Always our Children, the US Bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family concludes with a consoling word to our gay brothers and sisters, “Though at time you may feel discouraged, hurt, or angry, do not walk away from your families, from the Christian community, from all those who love you. In you God’s love is revealed. You are always our children.”

Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Steve Niskanen, CMF, Pastor