Not in Good Standing With God
Thomas A. Droleskey
Having written extensively on the promotion of an atmosphere supportive of perversity within the official diocesan structures of the Church (see Corruption is Quite an Ignoble Legacy) a few days ago, there is no need for an extensive commentary on the following news story that was reported by Patricia Wen of the Boston Globe on October 22, 2005:
Despite Vatican teachings that allowing homosexuals to adopt children is ''gravely immoral," the social services agency of the Archdiocese of Boston has allowed 13 foster children to be adopted by same-sex couples in the past two decades, saying state regulations prohibit the agency from discriminating based on sexual orientation.
''If we could design the system ourselves, we would not participate in adoptions to gay couples, but we can't," said the Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, president of Catholic Charities in Boston. ''We have to balance various goods."
The 13 adoptions -- a tiny fraction of the 720 placed by Catholic Charities in that period -- took place as part of a contract with the state Department of Social Services. The children placed with the gay couples are among those most difficult to place, either because they have physical or emotional problems or they are older.
Hehir described Catholic Charities's decision to permit these adoptions as a legal accommodation in the name of a greater social good. He said if they did not comply with the state's nondiscrimination clause, they would not be able to do the state work that enables them to place hundreds of foster children in stable homes.
However, Hehir's view is not shared by everyone at Catholic Charities in Boston. Peter Meade, who is chairman of the board, said he believes that the agency should welcome same-sex couples to adopt, and not just because of a contractual requirement with DSS.
''What we do is facilitate adoptions to loving couples," he said. ''I see no evidence that any child is being harmed."
Catholic Charities's placement of children with gays and lesbians began in 1987, when the agency signed its state adoption contract, said Debbie Rambo, vice president of programs for Catholic Charities. She said the 13 adoptions were ''scattered" throughout the last 18 years, with the last one occurring this year. She said the 13 children placed with same-sex couples fared as well as those adopted by heterosexual couples.
Gays and lesbians who wish to adopt foster children can either approach DSS directly or work through one of the private agencies, such as Catholic Charities, that help the state with such placements. These agencies attempt to match prospective parents, who have gone through state-required training to prepare for adoption, with one of the hundreds of foster children ready for adoption through DSS.
Not all dioceses in Massachusetts work with gay couples. At Catholic Charities of Worcester, same-sex couples are referred to other adoption agencies, said executive director Catherine Loeffler.
DSS spokeswoman Denise Monteiro said yesterday she has never heard of any adoption agency, including Catholic Charities of Worcester Diocese, being permitted to circumvent the state's nondiscrimination policy. Monteiro said DSS would investigate the matter.
Catholic Charities organizations throughout the country run independently and are free to set their adoption rules based on the state laws that govern them, as well as the priorities of the archdiocese officials in their community.
Catholic Charities in Dallas, for instance, refers same-sex individuals seeking to adopt to other agencies, and there is no state policy that prohibits them from doing that, said its executive director, Sister Mary Ann Owens. But in San Francisco, Catholic Charities has placed a few children with same-sex couples because that proved to be the best match, said Brian Cahill, its executive director. Although California has an anti-discrimination law similar to Massachusetts, Cahill said that wasn't what influenced his agency to make the placements in gay households.
''It was in the best interests of the child, and that's the Christian Catholic operating principle to live by," he said.
He said that of the 104 children who were placed by his agency between 1999 and 2003, three were to gays or lesbians. He said he did not have more current statistics available.
Officials at several Catholic Charities offices across the country said the primary reason they have so few same-sex adoptions is because many gays and lesbians do not approach them, given the church's condemnation of homosexuality.
In recent years, adoption agencies with Jewish or Luthern affiliations have accepted applications from gays and lesbians at a far higher rate than Catholic or Methodist groups, said Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a research and advocacy group, which conducted a national study of same-sex adoptions in 2003.
Pertman said it makes sense that some Catholic agencies would be willing to compromise when it comes to placing foster children with special needs: both groups face a competitive disadvantage in the world of adoption -- same-sex couples may be passed over in favor of heterosexual ones, and older children who come with physical or emotional problems are often passed over in favor of healthy babies by prospective adoptive families.
Nonetheless, these matches are still in violation of the Catholic doctrines, said C. J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, a conservative Catholic organization that lobbies on political and social issues. The Vatican, on its website, says that allowing homosexual couples to adopt children does ''violence" to them.
Doyle said Catholic Charities in Boston ought to have the benefit of a ''conscience clause," exempting them from having to place foster children with any gay families.
''No religious organization ought to be forced to compromise its principle as a condition of its social services," he said.
Hehir said that to his knowledge, his agency has never sought an exemption from the nondiscrimination language.
Rambo said Catholic Charities also has a separate DSS contract to conduct followup studies of all adoptions involving foster children in Eastern Massachusetts to observe the adjustments of children who are placed in same-sex families by other agencies as well.
This story indicates that many of those who work in the official structures of the Catholic Church in this country are absolutely bereft of the sensus Catholicus. A very brief point-by-point illustration of this fact will suffice to demonstrate that anyone who thinks that we must not openly and publicly resist the diocesan officials who make war upon the welfare of the souls for whom Our Lord shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross is not taking his obligations as a Catholic seriously.
1) God's love for us is an act of His divine will, the ultimate expression of which is the salvation of our immortal souls.
2) Our love for others must be premised on willing for them what God wills for us: their salvation.
3) We love no one authentically if we do or say anything, either by omission or commission, which reaffirms him in a life of unrepentant sin.
4) God hates sin. He wills the sinner to repent of his sins by cooperating with the graces He won for them on the wood of the Holy Cross.
5) One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to admonish the sinner. We have an obligation to admonish those who are in lives on unrepentant sin to turn away from their lives of sin and to strive to pursue the heights of sanctity.
6) God has compassion on all erring sinners, meaning each one of us. He understands our weakness. He exhorts us, as He exhorted the woman caught in adultery, to "Go, and commit this sin no more."
7) It is not an act of "love" for people to persist in unrepentant sins with others.
8) It is not an act of "judgmentalness" or "intolerance" to exhort people who are living lives of unrepentant sin to reform their lives lest their souls wind up in Hell for eternity.
9) Mortal sins cast out sanctifying grace from the soul. Those steeped in unrepentant mortal sin are the captives of the devil until they make a good and sincere Confession.
9) Certain sins cry out to Heaven for vengeance. Sodomy is one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance.
10) Those engaged in natural or unnatural acts against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments do not "love" the individuals with whom they are sinning. Authentic love cannot exist in a soul committed to a life against the Commandments of God and the eternal welfare of one's own soul, no less the souls of others.
11) Those engaged in natural or unnatural acts against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments are not fit to adopt children.
12) Those engaged in natural or unnatural acts against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments are not fit to adopt children because their very sinful lives put into jeopardy the eternal of the souls of the children they seek to adopt. It is not possible for people who are sinning unrepentantly to teach children to hate sin as God hates sin. They are immersed in sin. Pope Pius XI put it this way in Casti Connubii, 1930:
But Christian parents must also understand that they are destined not only to propagate and preserve the human race on earth, indeed not only to educate any kind of worshippers of the true God, but children who are to become members of the Church of Christ, to raise up fellow-citizens of the Saints, and members of God's household, that the worshippers of God and Our Savior may daily increase.
13) Those engaged in unnatural, perverse acts against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments are further unfit to adopt children because they have no right in the Divine positive law or the natural law to live together as a "couple." Once again, Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii:
Nor must We omit to remark, in fine, that since the duty entrusted to parents for the good of their children is of such high dignity and of such great importance, every use of the faculty given by God for the procreation of new life is the right and the privilege of the married state alone, by the law of God and of nature, and must be confined absolutely within the sacred limits of that state.
14) Those engaged in unnatural, perverse acts against the Sixth and Ninth Commandment have no right in the Divine positive law or the natural law to present a "model" of parenthood that is from the devil himself. The words that Saint Paul wrote about perversity in Rome in his own day are quite apropos of our own:
Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use against which is their nature.
And in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.
And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.
Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them. (Romans 1: 24-32)
15) Matrimony was elevated to a Sacrament by Our Lord at the wedding feast in Cana. The Holy Sacrament of Matrimony is entered into by one man and by one woman to achieve these ends: the procreation and education of children, the mutual good of the spouses, a remedy for concupiscence. Pope Pius XI noted this in Casti Connubii:
This conjugal faith, however, which is most aptly called by St. Augustine the "faith of chastity" blooms more freely, more beautifully and more nobly, when it is rooted in that more excellent soil, the love of husband and wife which pervades all the duties of married life and holds pride of place in Christian marriage. For matrimonial faith demands that husband and wife be joined in an especially holy and pure love, not as adulterers love each other, but as Christ loved the Church. This precept the Apostle laid down when he said: "Husbands, love your wives as Christ also loved the Church," that Church which of a truth He embraced with a boundless love not for the sake of His own advantage, but seeking only the good of His Spouse. The love, then, of which We are speaking is not that based on the passing lust of the moment nor does it consist in pleasing words only, but in the deep attachment of the heart which is expressed in action, since love is proved by deeds. This outward expression of love in the home demands not only mutual help but must go further; must have as its primary purpose that man and wife help each other day by day in forming and perfecting themselves in the interior life, so that through their partnership in life they may advance ever more and more in virtue, and above all that they may grow in true love toward God and their neighbor, on which indeed "dependeth the whole Law and the Prophets." For all men of every condition, in whatever honorable walk of life they may be, can and ought to imitate that most perfect example of holiness placed before man by God, namely Christ Our Lord, and by God's grace to arrive at the summit of perfection, as is proved by the example set us of many saints.
This mutual molding of husband and wife, this determined effort to perfect each other, can in a very real sense, as the Roman Catechism teaches, be said to be the chief reason and purpose of matrimony, provided matrimony be looked at not in the restricted sense as instituted for the proper conception and education of the child, but more widely as the blending of life as a whole and the mutual interchange and sharing thereof.
16) It is never permissible to put even one child into spiritual, if not physical, jeopardy by claiming that so many others would be helped if the Church did not cooperate with an unjust law. Our Lord said that it would be better for one to have a millstone thrown around his neck and thrown into a lake than to lead one of his little ones astray. He was not joking.
These simple truths thus put the lie to all of the phony rationalizations presented by Father J. Byran Hehir, who was a key figure in the formerly named National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference, and Peter Meade and Brian Cahill. To wit:
1) Father Hehir is wrong when he says that there must be a "balancing of goods" when cooperating with an unjust law. Pope Leo XIII put the lie to that claim in Sapientiae Christianae in 1890:
But, if the laws of the State are manifestly at variance with the divine law, containing enactments hurtful to the Church, or conveying injunctions adverse to the duties imposed by religion, or if they violate in the person of the supreme Pontiff the authority of Jesus Christ, then, truly, to resist becomes a positive duty, to obey, a crime; a crime, moreover, combined with misdemeanor against the State itself, inasmuch as every offense leveled against religion is also a sin against the State. Here anew it becomes evident how unjust is the reproach of sedition; for the obedience due to rulers and legislators is not refused, but there is a deviation from their will in those precepts only which they have no power to enjoin. Commands that are issued adversely to the honor due to God, and hence are beyond the scope of justice, must be looked upon as anything rather than laws. You are fully aware, venerable brothers, that this is the very contention of the Apostle St. Paul, who, in writing to Titus, after reminding Christians that they are "to be subject to princes and powers, and to obey at a word," at once adds: "And to be ready to every good work." Thereby he openly declares that, if laws of men contain injunctions contrary to the eternal law of God, it is right not to obey them. In like manner, the Prince of the Apostles gave this courageous and sublime answer to those who would have deprived him of the liberty of preaching the Gospel: "If it be just in the sight of God to hear you rather than God, judge ye, for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."
Wherefore, to love both countries, that of earth below and that of heaven above, yet in such mode that the love of our heavenly surpass the love of our earthly home, and that human laws be never set above the divine law, is the essential duty of Christians, and the fountainhead, so to say, from which all other duties spring. The Redeemer of mankind of Himself has said: "For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth." In like manner: "I am come to cast fire upon earth, and what will I but that it be kindled?'' In the knowledge of this truth, which constitutes the highest perfection of the mind; in divine charity which, in like manner, completes the will, all Christian life and liberty abide. This noble patrimony of truth and charity entrusted by Jesus Christ to the Church she defends and maintains ever with untiring endeavor and watchfulness.
But with what bitterness and in how many guises war has been waged against the Church it would be ill-timed now to urge. From the fact that it has been vouchsafed to human reason to snatch from nature, through the investigations of science, many of her treasured secrets and to apply them befittingly to the divers requirements of life, men have become possessed with so arrogant a sense of their own powers as already to consider themselves able to banish from social life the authority and empire of God. Led away by this delusion, they make over to human nature the dominion of which they think God has been despoiled; from nature, they maintain, we must seek the principle and rule of all truth; from nature, they aver, alone spring, and to it should be referred, all the duties that religious feeling prompts. Hence, they deny all revelation from on high, and all fealty due to the Christian teaching of morals as well as all obedience to the Church, and they go so far as to deny her power of making laws and exercising every other kind of right, even disallowing the Church any place among the civil institutions of the commonweal. These men aspire unjustly, and with their might strive, to gain control over public affairs and lay hands on the rudder of the State, in order that the legislation may the more easily be adapted to these principles, and the morals of the people influenced in accordance with them. Whence it comes to pass that in many countries Catholicism is either openly assailed or else secretly interfered with, full impunity being granted to the most pernicious doctrines, while the public profession of Christian truth is shackled oftentimes with manifold constraints.
Under such evil circumstances therefore, each one is bound in conscience to watch over himself, taking all means possible to preserve the faith inviolate in the depths of his soul, avoiding all risks, and arming himself on all occasions, especially against the various specious sophisms rife among non-believers. In order to safeguard this virtue of faith in its integrity, We declare it to be very profitable and consistent with the requirements of the time, that each one, according to the measure of his capacity and intelligence, should make a deep study of Christian doctrine, and imbue his mind with as perfect a knowledge as may be of those matters that are interwoven with religion and lie within the range of reason. And as it is necessary that faith should not only abide untarnished in the soul, but should grow with ever painstaking increase, the suppliant and humble entreaty of the apostles ought constantly to be addressed to God: "Increase our faith.''
2) Mr. Peter Meade of Catholic Charities in Boston is wrong when he stated, ''What we do is facilitate adoptions to loving couples. I see no evidence that any child is being harmed." Demons abound in situations of unrepentant sin. Does Mr. Meade deny this? Do not the demons want the children placed in the dwellings of perverted "couples" to follow the same path to Hell as those perverts? Or does Mr. Meade believe that unnatural acts against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments are indeed "loving" and that teaching that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man in Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself, has entrusted to His true Church in this regard is no longer reliable?
3) Mr. Brian Cahill is thus wrong when stating,
''It was in the best interests of the child, and that's the Christian Catholic operating principle to live by." It is never in the "best interests" of a child to place him in an environment that is opposed to his salvation and leads him into thinking that perversity is natural, normal, virtuous, and loving.
We are face to face here, ladies and gentlemen, with yet another example of the perversity of diocesan officials such as Father Bryan Hehir and Peter Meade and Brian Cahill all being in canonical "good standing" while the priests and the laity of the Society of Saint Pius X (and of those independent chapels that are not affiliated with sedevacantism) are said to be dangerous "schismatics" who hate the pope and are possessed of the Protestant spirit of rebellion and disobedience. My friends, the ones who are schismatic and disobedient and possessed of the Protestant spirit hold ecclesiastical power in this country and in Rome itself in many instances.
Saint Nicholas of Flue, Switzerland, lived in the Fifteenth Century. A married man with ten children, Saint Nicholas had a divine revelation to live as a hermit, receiving permission from his wife and children to do so. His hermitic life began in 1467. He spent the last twenty years of his life in prayer. He lived for nineteen and one-half of those twenty years on the Eucharist alone!
As a book about his life, Saint Nicholas of Flue: Patron and Protector of Switzerland: 1417-1487, published by the Monastery of the Magnificat of the Mother of God, notes:
One day a veil of deep worry hung over his features, and a gloomy look clouded his face. God had not doubt revealed some great woes to him, painful defections that threatened the Church, as he commented sadly, "An unfortunate time of revolt and dissension in the Church of Jesus Christ is on the way. O my children, do not let yourselves be misled by any innovations! Stay together and hold fast. Stay on the same way, the same paths as your pious ancestors. That is how you will resist the attacks, tempests and storms that are going to rise up with violence." Shortly afterwards it was understood that he had caught a glimpse of the troubled dawn of Protestantism and the wars of religion.
God also showed him the general apostasy of the latter times: "The Church will be punished," he prophesied, "for the majority of its members, great and small, will become very perverted. The Church will sink deeper and deeper until it finally seems to have been destroyed, and the Succession of Peter and the other Apostles seemed to have ended. But after that, it will be triumphantly exalted in the sight of all doubters."
The Church in her human elements is indeed being punished. Can it be doubted that the perversion prophesied by Saint Nicholas of Flue is upon us at present? Actions such as those countenanced by the Archdiocese of Boston and the Diocese of Albany and the Archdiocese of San Francisco, where, if memory serves me correctly, is the location from whence the current Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith came, are perverted beyond words. They put into jeopardy the salvation of the souls of children. They render unto Caesar that which belongs to God alone: the eternal welfare of souls. The people who countenance such actions are so bold as to dare to use such words as "loving" to describe unnatural, perverted actions that were--along with each one of our sins--responsible for the sufferings Our Lord endured during his fearful Passion and Death. These people are not be obeyed and their actions must be denounced with all of the vigor that we can muster. They may be in good standing canonically. They are not in good standing with God.
Each of us must be assiduous about rooting out the smallest venial sins from our own lives by cooperating with the graces sent to us by Our Lady and by making a good Confession on a weekly basis. The fact that we are sinners, however, can never deter us from denouncing the acceptance of sinful lifestyles as compatible with responsible parenthood. Indeed, we have a positive obligation to defend the souls of children who are placed so needlessly into jeopardy.
Entrusting all to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, may we keep ourselves unspotted by the world--and unsullied by the horrors fomented upon the Church Militant by diocesan officials.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Chrysanthus and Daria, pray for us.
Saint Nicholas of Flue, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.