Sunday, June 28, 2015

Supreme Court Legalizes Sames Sex Marriage: Why Catholics Should Not Judge Or Condemn


"Why would a guy want to marry a guy?" When the scene from this 1959 movie, "Some Like It Hot", was first shown, audiences roared at this line. The idea of a guy marrying a guy was absurd and thinkable only in comedic farce.

However, 56 years after this movie was first shown, five Supreme Court justices made this absurd idea a reality for the entire United States.  Unfortunately, this is nothing to laugh at.  What are the real implications of this ruling?  In 2010, then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) spelled out the real meaning of same sex marriage and the dire consequences for society.  Cardinal Bergoglio wrote the following to the Carmelite Nuns of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires on June 22, 2010 when Argentina was preparing to legalize same sex marriage [HERE];
The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. A clear rejection of the law of God, engraved in our hearts, is in jeopardy.

I recall words of Saint Thérèse when she speaks of the infirmity of her childhood. She says that the envy of the Devil tried to extort her family after her older sister joined the Carmel. Here, the envy of the Devil, through which sin entered the world, is also present, and deceitfully intends to destroy the image of God: man and woman, who receive the mandate to grow, multiply, and conquer the earth. Let us not be naive: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a "move" of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.

Jesus tells us that, in order to defend us from this lying accuser, he will send us the Spirit of Truth. Today, the Nation [patria], before this situation, needs the special assistance of the Holy Ghost that may place the light of Truth amid the shadows of error; it needs this Advocate who may defend us from the enchantment of so many sophisms with which this bill is being justified, and which confuse and deceive even people of good will.

That is why I turn to you and ask from you prayer and sacrifice, the two invincible weapons which Saint Thérèse confessed to have. Cry out to the Lord that he may send his Spirit to the Senators who are to place their votes. That they may not do it moved by error or by circumstantial matters, but rather according to what the natural law and the law of God tell them. Pray for them, for their families; that the Lord may visit, strengthen, and console them. Pray that they may do great good for the Nation.
As you can see from this letter, Cardinal Bergoglio saw the legalization of same sex marriage as disastrous for his nation. He called it a tool of the devil to destroy the plan of God. Truly, this is not something that can be taken lightly. This is a direct assault on not only the family, but on the very Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We in the United States are now joined with Argentina and many other parts of the world in having to deal with this grave evil. This is going to affect our lives as Christians in a profound manner.  It is only a matter of time before anyone who opposes this law, even based on religious belief, will be officially labeled a bigot and a hater and be subject to criminal prosecution.  Churches will be forced to perform same sex marriages, or lose their status as a legitimate religious organization.  Our priests and bishops will be on the front lines of this assault.


The question is, how do we fight it? Do we judge and condemn, warning people that unless they repent of this evil, they are headed for hell? Certainly that is the method many have already chosen. Michael Voris, as always, has taken the lead in this matter. Since the Supreme Court vote, his website has been demonizing the Supreme Court justices. He has managed to extend his demonization of the Supreme Court justices to include the Church, the holy grail for Voris:
Writing the majority opinion in this case virtually enshrines Justice [Anthony] Kennedy — one of six Catholics on the Court — as the one single individual most responsible for the advancement of sodomy being institutionalized in the United States. In fact, the case could be made — owing to America's power and prestige — the one individual most responsible for the enshrining of homosexuality in history.
Kennedy represents, personifies all that has gone wrong in the Catholic Church in America these past decades.
Another justice, Sonia Sotomayor, is also a baptized Catholic, but she was seated on the bench by Obama and is largely rumored to be a lesbian, or at least extremely friendly to the cause. Kennedy, however, is a Reagan appointee and had been the hope of many solid Catholics back in the day to be the one to stop — or at least slow — the aggressive push in U.S. courts for immorality.
Is this the answer?  Do we call out those we feel are responsible and denounce them as evil?  Do we march and protest, confronting those who are promoting this evil?  Will that change people and help them see the danger in same sex marriage?  Do we attack people on social media, as Julie of Connecticut Catholic Corner did when, in response to the governor of her state flying a gay pride flag, she tweeted to him:  "You make me want to puke."  The only result she received from this was to be banned by Twitter so that she can no longer spread any kind of message, good or bad.

I find it fascinating that in his quest to fight this terrible evil, Cardinal Bergolgio wrote to a group of cloistered nuns. These nuns live behind walls and never physically interact with the world. Yet, the Cardinal felt that they were his strongest weapon to fight the terrible evil of same sex marriage. As Cardinal Bergoglio wrote to these cloistered nuns:
That is why I turn to you and ask from you prayer and sacrifice, the two invincible weapons which Saint Thérèse confessed to have.
Credit:  www.freerepublic.com
Saint Thérèse, of course, was one of the most famous Carmelite nuns of all time. She entered the Carmelites at age 15 and died 9 years later at age 24. She never left her monastery, yet has been named not only a doctor of the Church, but patron saint of missionaries. As Cardinal Bergoglio says here, Saint Thérèse was a mighty spiritual warrior because she employed the two invincible weapons to which we all have access: prayer and sacrifice. She poured herself out in sacrifice for the world. And she touched the world in a way that few others have been able to do.

Cardinal Bergoglio, guided by the Holy Spirit, understood that the only way to combat great evil is through prayer and sacrifice.  Our human efforts all too often only alienate people and push them even further away from the loving message of Jesus Christ.  As human beings, we will never be able to change hearts.  It is only the Holy Spirit working through us that can bring about change.  The only way the Holy Spirit can work in us is if we open ourselves to Him through prayer and sacrifice.

Credit:  www.pinterest.com
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta once said that if enough people spend one hour per week in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we would end abortion.  When we kneel in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we are submitting ourselves to Christ, asking that He live His Life in us.  If we are willing to empty ourselves of our will, and allow Christ to live in us, we can defeat every evil.  How did Our Lord defeat evil? By submitting Himself to His Father's Will.  As Our Lord told us, the best way to fight evil is not by fighting back, but through love. "If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them." (Luke 6:29).

We need to remember the mission of Our Lord.  When he first started his ministry, he read out loud in temple the following passage from Isaiah 61 (from Luke 4):

18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Look at the key words here:  "proclaim good news to the poor, "proclaim freedom for the prisoners", "recovery of sight for the blind", "set the oppressed free", "proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."  There is nothing in here about preaching condemnation to the people.  Christ called his message the Good News of the Kingdom of God.  As Christ said in John 12:47:
If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
If you are a Christian, think about what brought you to Jesus Christ. Speaking for myself, I didn't come to Christ because I realized I was a great sinner in need of a Savior. I came to Christ because I first saw how much He loved me. I realized that He suffered and died on the cross because of His great love for me. It was only through understanding how much He loved me that I came to realize and accept that I had sinned against Him, that I was responsible for His terrible suffering and death.

If we preach a message of judgment and condemnation, that will obscure the message of Christ's love for the world. People will not see a God of love and mercy. They will only see a judge who condemns them. That is not the good news of the Kingdom.

Certainly no one has ever suffered more persecution and abuse than Jesus Christ did. And how did he respond? Did He tell them that they were all sinners? Did He condemn them and tell them they were evil? His response to those who persecuted Him was to love them. Our Lord willingly stretched our His Hands and Feet when they nailed Him to the Cross. Certainly no one has ever looked weaker and more thoroughly defeated than Christ did when He hung on the cross. Yet, this act defeated every evil in the world.

The letter from Cardinal Bergoglio to the Carmelite nuns leaves no question that he sees the danger and the evil in same sex marriage. Yet, as Holy Father, we seldom see him condemn this evil even as it has escalated around the world. Although the Vatican released a statement about the legalization of same sex marriage in Ireland, Pope Francis did not make any public statements. And it is almost certain that Pope Francis will not make any public statements about the legalization of same sex marriage in the United States, even when he comes here in the Fall.

Credit:  www.cuvantul-ortodox.ro
The greatest weapons we have been given in this battle against same sex marriage, against abortion, rampant immorality, and all the other evils in our world, are prayer and sacrifice.  Do you want to defeat evil?  Go and pray before the Blessed Sacrament.  Pray the Rosary.  Offer your pain and suffering for others.  Our Lady of Fatima did not tell the three children that the reason poor sinners go to hell is because no one protested, no one condemned the sinners, no one shouted in their faces, either on paper or in person.  She said poor sinners go to hell because they have no one to pray for them.

Credit:  www.pinterest.com
We must realize that those who support same sex marriage are spiritually blind. Just as we cannot by our words cure physical blindness, so we, with our human efforts, cannot cure spiritual blindness. We have now lost a major battle against same sex marriage, and we face many more battles ahead of us. But we must remember that our goal is not to just be "right" and prove that those who oppose us are wrong. Our goal is not to demonize people. Our goal is to bring them to Jesus Christ. As Christians, we bring people to Christ by submitting our wills to Him and allowing Him to work in us.

We are in a war for souls.  We will not win them by confrontation, by judging and condemning.  We will win them by following Jesus Christ and the path of Love.

Credit:  www.pinterest.com

23 comments:

  1. I just don't know what to feel right now. I certainly think we should treat gay people with compassion, invite them to Mass, etc. but I also think that we need to resist what has happened. Those who support same-sex marriage are using rhetoric to convince us who are against it to redirect our energy elsewhere. We should not make homosexuality a graver evil than other sins, but gay marriage is not just a tragedy because homosexuality is wrong; it is a tragedy because marriage is a public statement and has consequences on all aspects of society. How will gay marriage affect what our children are taught in school? And I thought education in this country couldn't get any worse! I went to an all-girls school for 4 years and had to write countless essays in defense of issues I don't even support so that I would not be labeled a bigot or worse.I fear for my children. We must love our enemies but we can't love the sin. Pope Francis is the head of the whole Church and must not single out one particular sin in the world because every country faces different challenges. The bishops in the U.S. are responsible for American Catholics, so they are the ones who should teach what marriage really is. Preaching the truth is not hating others. That's the job of the priest and bishop. Of course, they should do it with respect for everyone and not like the internet evangelists, but the truth should be taught nonetheless, and publicly (because gay marriage affects everyone).

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    1. Nowhere am I suggesting that we should ignore this issue. Same sex marriage is an assault on everything that is right and moral. Nor should we pretend in any way that we agree with it. It is a matter of HOW we get our message across.

      What I am saying is that our #1 weapon against this grave evil is prayer and sacrifice, as told to us by Cardinal Bergoglio. We have to submit our will to God and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in our actions. We have to show the evil of homosexuality and same sex marriage without demoniziing individuals. This may come down to sacrificing our lives either spritiually or even physically just as Jesus Christ did.

      Our Lord told us to love our enemies. "But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." We need to take these words to heart.

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    2. Hello IncarnationalCatholic,

      "That's the job of the priest and bishop."

      Absolutely, unless (so it seems) it happens to be a priest or bishop of whom the blog hostess disapproves of. It is permissible for Cardinall Dolan to do so, but not for Cardinal Burke or Cardinal Pell who, alas, stand accused of being seduced by crypto-Lefebvrists.

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    3. Do yoy disagree that Cardinals Pell and Burke are supporting a radical traditionalist who rejects Vatican II and the Ordinary Form of the Mass? That is not my opinion, that is a fact, and it is a very troublesome fact. That has nothing to do with my personal opinions of these or any other Church authorities.

      In what way has Cardinal Dolan ever spoken against church teaching? And don't tell me the "bravo" comment. When asked about someone who announced his homosexuality, Cardinal Dolan refused to condemn that person. But Cardinal Dolan has always stood up for Church teaching on homosexuality. He is a member of the Board of Courage which helps homosexuals live chaste lives, and Cardinal Dolan has publicly spoken about this ministry many times.

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    4. I mean no snark or disrespect and I apologize if you've covered this before. I'm an infrequent visitor. Do you have a link to Cardinal Dolans statements on homosexuality and gay marriage? Thanks.

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    5. Here is a link to an article I wrote defending Cardinal Dolan against spurious attacks from Michael Voris including Cardinal Dolan's stand on same sex marriage:

      http://catholicinbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2013/04/michael-voris-declares-war-on-timothy.html

      Also an article from another source in which Cardinal Dolan talks about the evil of same sex marriage:

      http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/archbishop-calls-gay-marriage-bill-an-ominous-threat/
      
      From the article:

      Archbishop Dolan, speaking on Fredric U. Dicker’s radio program on WGDJ-AM (1300), repeatedly made it clear that he strongly opposed gay marriage, which he called “unjust and immoral,” “detrimental for the common good” and “a violation of what we consider the natural law that’s embedded in every man and woman.”
      Acknowledging that supporters of same-sex marriage need just one more vote to prevail in the Senate, Archbishop Dolan said that “we are still working for the defeat of this bill,” but that “we’re realistic to know the forces pushing this are very strong, they’re well oiled, they’re well financed.” However, he said: “It’s not a done deal. There is a good chance that this is not going to pass this year.”
      Archbishop Dolan argued that the passage of same-sex marriage in other states and countries had at times led to problems for clergy and religious organizations who remained in opposition. “You’ve got couples now in England who are now told they can’t adopt children because they’re not open to same-sex marriage,” he said.
      Archbishop Dolan also rued what he called “the presumptive omnipotence of the state” in considering allowing gays to marry, and decried a “new religion of secularism that feels it’s going to come to a theocracy and impose its values on society.”

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  2. Greetings from Germany to Brooklyn!
    http://rosenkranzbeten.info/rosenkranzbeten/catholic-in-brooklyn/
    God bless you!

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    1. Thank you! And welcome to "Brooklyn"! I did a Google translation of your web page, and thank you very much for your kind comments. I sometimes wonder myself about the changes I have gone through.. I can only attribute it to the Holy Spirit. And a lot of it started happening when I began the practice of praying the Rosary several times a day. The Rosary truly is one of the most powerful spiritual weapons we have ever been given. Our Blessed Mother holds onto us tightly if we but just turn to her.

      God bless you as well, and keep you safe in these turbulent times. There are so many voices out there. My advice is to always just stay close to the Holy Father. Where the Pope is, there is the Church, and there is Christ.

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  3. Please, please stop.

    You don't know what you're talking about.

    "Look at the key words here: "proclaim good news to the poor, "proclaim freedom for the prisoners", "recovery of sight for the blind", "set the oppressed free", "proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." There is nothing in here about preaching condemnation to the people."

    Yes, IN THAT PASSAGE there is nothing about preaching condemnation, but remember that Christ also preached judgment:

    "But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you devour the houses of widows, praying long prayers. For this you shall receive the greater judgment."

    "Did He tell them that they were all sinners? Did He condemn them and tell them they were evil?"

    Yes, yes, he did. See above.

    "His response to those who persecuted Him was to love them."

    This is true, but not in the way you think it is. Love includes calling sinners to repentance, which Jesus did. This is why the first of the spiritual works of mercy is "to admonish the sinner".

    Can this be done badly, sure, but so can lots of good things. Just because a surgeon can do a botched up job of cutting out a tumor doesn't mean we give up on cancer surgery.

    You give the example of Mother Theresa:

    "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta once said that if enough people spend one hour per week in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we would end abortion."

    That may be true. But Mother Theresa also stood on the stage in front of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Al and Tipper Gore and called legalized abortion, the policy they supported, "murder" to their faces. She didn't retire to a convent and prayer only. She was most certainly confronting them.

    You are setting up a false dichotomy between truth and love that is anti-Christian. God is both love and truth and God is in both love loved and truth proclaimed.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. Did you notice who Christ was directing his comments to in your quote from the Gospels? He was talking to the religious leaders of his time, those who claimed to know the Will of God, and yet instead of leading the people to God, they were only burdening the people and making life even harder for them. And yes, Our Lord did not hold back at all. He gave it to them with both barrels.

      But you will never find Our Lord talking that way to anyone else. Think of the Samaritan woman at the well, married five times and then living with a man not her husband. She was completely rejected by society because of her immoral life. Yet, Christ had no harsh words for her. The worst he said to her was "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true." Our Lord stated a fact, but there is no condemnation here. In fact, He does just the opposite, and offers her eternal salvation. Then there is the woman taken in the act of adultery. Again, the worst our Lord said to her was, "Neither do I judge you. Go and sin no more."

      Of course the Church - as the Mystical Body of Christ - must teach about sin. And she does that. I personally think the bishops have been wonderful in their reactions to the Supreme Court decision in that they have candidly stated that the Church can never accept same sex marriage and the homosexual lifestyle. But that is quite different from rejecting homosexuals as human beings.

      Yes, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta did speak out against abortion when she accepted the Nobel Peace prize. And those who gave her the award knew exactly where she stood on that issue and so were not the least surprised or even angered at what she said, even though they disagreed. Why? Because Blessed Teresa had proven that although she rejected sin, she loved every single human being no matter what they believed. They accepted her "scolding" because they knew that she loved and accepted them as human beings.

      We, as a Church and followers of Jesus Christ, are entering into our "Passion." Our society and most of the Western world has rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ, just as He was rejected by his society 2000 years ago. Although the Church must keep preaching the message of the Gospel, we have to realize that our words are going to fall on deaf ears for the most part.

      Our Lord told the apostles that some demons can be cast out only by fasting and prayer. Satan has a firm grip on our world now. Condemning people and pointing out their sin will not work for the most part. Now is the time to sacrifice for them just as Christ sacrificed for us.

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    2. "But you will never find Our Lord talking that way to anyone else."

      Christ did, actually - even to the chief of his apostles. For example:

      "But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance[a] to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.”" (Matt 16:23)

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    3. "But you will never find Our Lord talking that way to anyone else."

      Christ did, actually - even to the chief of his apostles. For example:

      "But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance[a] to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.”" (Matt 16:23)

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    4. And again, these words are said to a religious leader, not to the average sinner on the street. Christ never uses these words or anything like them to someone who is not "religious." For the rest of of the world he shows only compassion and forgiveness.

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    5. But St. Peter wasn't a leader of *anything* yet at that point. Christ had promised to build His Church on him shortly before, but that was a promise yet to be fulfilled. Peter was still, at that point, just one disciple among several, if perhaps one of a few on unusually intimate terms with Jesus. He had not yet, according to Scripture, exercised any teaching authority - and neither had any of the other Apostles (who also came in for sharp rebukes from Christ at various points).

      Other examples could be cited. The money changers chased out of the Temple were *not* religious leaders either, just lay Jews buying and selling the animals necessary for Temple sacrifice, as had been done for generations. In short it is not accurate to say that "For the rest of of the world he shows only compassion and forgiveness" - especially since we know that some of the souls in that world would be judged among the damned.

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    6. It was in Matthew 16:23 that Christ rebuked Peter by saying, "Get behind me Satan." However, just a few short verses before that, Matthew 16:18, Christ said to Peter, "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." So, no, Peter was not just "one disciple among several."

      Also, again, Jesus showed his anger at those who were involved in the Temple (the money changers) and were cheating the people, who were obtaining Temple sacrifices. You can look all through the gospels, but you will never find one time that he showed anger towards a prostitute, thief, tax collector, murderer, etc.

      I understand why you feel it is necessary to condemn sinners. But my point is that you will only drive them further away by doing so. Why are you a Christian? Why have you given your life to Christ? For me it's because I have experienced Christ's great love and mercy in my life. Remember what Christ said about the woman who washed his feet with her hair and precious ointment: "I tell you, her sins--and they are many--have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love."

      Why were sinners so attracted to Christ, to the point that the Pharisees accused him of socializing with them? Sinners were attracted to Christ because they knew that He looked beyond their sins and loved them, Mary Magdalene being one of the greatest examples. She left a life of sin because she experienced Christ's great love and forgiveness. The reason the religious leaders of Christ's time rejected Him is because they felt totally self sufficient and had no need for Christ's love and forgiveness.

      If we want to bring people to Christ, we must expose them to His love and forgiveness, not to condemnation. It is the love and mercy of Christ that gives us the courage we need to face our sin and seek the repentance we need. Meditate on Christ's statement about the woman who washed his feet: "I tell you, her sins -- and they are many -- have been forgiven, so [for this reason] she has shown me much love."

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  4. The example of Papa (then-Cardinal) Bergoglio writing to cloistered nuns to pray and sacrifice against the evil of same sex marriage is instructive yet also a problematic example, because - as cloistered nuns - this was, quite literally, the only avenue open to these women. That was their vocation.

    For laypeople, while these weapons are important - indeed, essential - they are not the only ones. The Church has been consistent in emphasizing this. Leo XIII in his encyclical on Christian Democracy urged a vocal role by the laity to ensure that democracy is in fact Christian, rather than social : "The condition of things at present proclaims, and proclaims vehemently, that there is need for a union of brave minds with all the resources they can command." (GRAVES DE COMMUNI RE 21)

    Vatican II put it fairly clearly in its Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity: "Since, in our own times, new problems are arising and very serious errors are circulating which tend to undermine the foundations of religion, the moral order, and human society itself, this sacred synod earnestly exhorts laymen-each according to his own gifts of intelligence and learning-to be more diligent in doing what they can to explain, defend, and properly apply Christian principles to the problems of our era in accordance with the mind of the Church." (APOSTOLICAM ACTUOSITATEM 6)

    In saying all of this, I am under no illusions about how formidable the resistance is, and how hostile many of those opposed to the faith have become - or how unwilling many will be to listen. It is fair to ask whether this state (which far more resembles now the social democracy warned of by Leo XIII rather than a Christian democracy) and the society which form it are realistically salvageable. But to fail to speak up clearly on these questions will only hasten the erosion of the rights and freedom of the Church and its members.

    And that speaking up includes, at times, the language of condemnation, which as Mr. Howard points out above, was frequently used by Christ during his earthly ministry, as well as by his Apostles.

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    1. Other than Christ's condemnation of the religious leaders of his time, at what other time did he "condemn" sinners? As I said in my comment to Samuel Howard, there is no other time. In fact, Christ said, "I came not to judge the world but to save it." Part of the Church's mission is to point out sin. But that is a far cry from condemning people.

      Sin has overtaken our world. Sin is now considered normal, and those who oppose it are considered abnormal and extreme. Those who follow Christ no longer even talk the same language as much of the world. Our words mean nothing to them. As I said in my comment to Samuel Howard, as Christ told us, some demons can be expelled only through fasting and prayer. That is true of abortion, and it is now true of same sex marriage. The Church will, of course, continue to speak out against this, and when we are given opportunities, as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta was given, we should as well.

      Cardinal Bergoglio went to cloistered nuns in the war against evil because contemplative prayer is the most powerful weapon any of us have. As St. Jean Vianney said: "Man has a noble task, that of prayer and love. To pray and love, that is the happiness of man on earth." St. Jean Vianney also said: "What souls we can convert by our prayers. The one who saves a soul from hell saves this soul and his own as well."

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    2. It's odd to hear St. Jean-Marie Vianney cited as an example against the act of condemnation . . . given how zealous was his campaign to stamp out many of the most brazen forms of evil behaviors in his parish, often in quite harsh terms. Even village dances came in for attack, and parents who permitted them direct criticism:

      “There is not a commandment of God which dancing does not cause men to break… Mothers may indeed say: ‘Oh, I keep an eye on their dress; you cannot keep guard over their heart. Go, you wicked parents, go down to Hell where the wrath of God awaits you, because of your conduct when you gave free scope to your children; go! It will not be long before they join you, seeing that you have shown them the way so well… Then you will see whether your pastor was right in forbidding those Hellish amusements.’” (Abbé Francis Trocu, The Curé D’Ars, St. Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney, p. 146)

      No one can deny the power of prayer and sacrifice. These are essential weapons against the devil. But the truth must be preached at times, too. Thus spoke St. Peter to his first converts: "And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”" (Acts 2:40) He did not confine himself solely to prayer and fasting to achieve changes of heart.

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    3. But what do you do when people have closed theiir ears to the truth? What good does it do then? I stand outside an abortion clinic every week. I do not preach at the people as they come in. I offer them literature. I offer them rosaries. Mostly I pray. Our Lady of Fatima did not say poor sinners go to hell because they have no one to preach at them. She said poor sinners go to hell because they have no one to PRAY for them.

      The Church must and will continue to preach against sin. But our strongest weapon is prayer. Spend one hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament and you will do far more for sinners than standing on a street corner telling them they are headed for hell.

      Here is a link to an excellent article on the power of prayer and suffering.

      http://www.religious-vocation.com/redemptive_suffering.html#.VZuDABj3arU

      This article quotes Jesus Christ's words to St. Faustina: "You will save more souls through prayer and suffering than will a missionary through his teachings and sermons alone."

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  5. Thank you for this blog site Catholic In Brooklyn. You make perfect sense!

    God Bless You.

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    1. Thank you! The whole point of my blog is to point people to Christ and His Church. If I'm not doing that, then it's time to shut down.

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  6. Catholic in Brooklyn, I wonder what you think about what Bishop Robert Barron says about gay "marriage" in a certain video. Check out the following link:

    https://youtu.be/OYWBNMOCrlo?t=13m33s

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