Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Pinterest Connect on Google Plus Connect on LinkedIn

How to Talk to LGBTQ Supporters

June 29, AD2016

anger - woman

The terrain upon which a well-formed Catholic can comfortably discuss the LGBTQ issues in today’s intellectual and moral climate is almost non-existent. The faithful Catholic has a very narrow road upon which he can tread. To the left there is a deep valley of ideology comprised of inverted notions of freedom, rights, laws and love. To the right there is a valley of intolerant, legalistic and rigid moralism.

The seeking Catholic cannot find a middle ground or a compromise between the two valleys, but we must instead strive for the way that is above both vicious alternatives. We reject licentiousness and lawlessness. We also reject an uncharitable adherence to rigid rules. Our duty is to speak the truth with charity and in doing so we fulfill our commitment to love God and neighbor. Yet still, to covey the truth with charity is an ever more perilous proposition.

LGBTQ Issues and Church Teaching

Our job is to learn how to defend the Faith by defending the truth. We can’t do this if we don’t know Church teaching in the first place. Before one can initiate a dialogue with an opponent of the Faith, first one must know something about the different possibilities of possible positions.

Admittedly, there seem to be many possible positions on the issues swirling around gender and sexual morality. Those in and of the world would contend that there are as many positions as people, but this is absurd. As it adheres with the first principle of all reality, there are only two possibilities; either one possesses a correct understanding of the LGBTQ agenda or one does not. Those who embrace a false notion of the issues asserted by the agenda appear to have many different positions, however, they are unified by their error.

Both misguided groups to the left and the right of the properly formed Catholic mistakenly believe that a personal opinion qualifies as a proper position on an issue. This is simply a nod to the Dictatorship of Relativism and has no bearing on objective reality. Before a true dialogue can begin, let the truth-seeker know that there are ever only be two possibilities for any position: either one understands reality rightly, or one does not. Our opinions are meaningless unless they correspond to the principles of truth and reality. Ironically, even the ideologue who claims that every opinion is “valid” will disagree with Catholic Truth, thus contradicting his own claim. However, the ideologue never lets self-referential incoherence get in the way of his narrative.

Basic Prerequisites to Dialogue

Before any authentic dialogue can take place there are certain prerequisites without which a profitable discussion is impossible. First, we must make sure that our interlocutors are persons of good will. No real conversation can take place unless there are two participants willing to energetically engage in the dialogue.

To acquire an understanding requires great energy and focus.  Both participants must have as their primary goal, not victory in argument, but the acquisition of truth. In good faith, both participants must respect and take one another seriously as human persons. If an opponent does not have good will, is not willing to energetically engage in the pursuit of answers, is seeking victory instead of truth, or does not respect his opponent, then there is no hope of a fruitful dialogue.

Secondly, we must recognize the difference between the big questions and the small questions that come from those big questions. Unfortunately, in today’s halls of education, small questions usurp the place of big questions and infer assumptions about those questions.

Concerning the LGBTQ agenda, three big questions that are largely ignored are: What is justice? What is freedom? What is love? The big question of justice, which requires many small questions, is replaced with notions of equality, tolerance and fairness. The big question of freedom is replaced by notions of licentiousness. The big question of love is replace by lust and desire. If your interlocutor does not share an understanding of the nature of justice, freedom and love, this is the first order of business to clarify. If you cannot find common ground on at least these three issues, an authentic dialogue cannot take place.

Know your audience

There are at least three basic kinds of opponents: the youth, adults defending the LGBTQ agenda while not participating in it, and adults defending the LGBTQ while participating in it.

Concerning young people, that our youth have been inundated by propaganda flowing out of the cesspools we call the modern school, mass media, and pop-culture is a nearly universal phenomena. Our youth are bombarded with constant messages of sexual license, non-judgmentalism, equality, relativism, and subjectivism. They have been so thoroughly taught by external influences that the most strenuous efforts to elucidate Catholic teaching on the LGBT agenda is likely to be met with apathy at best and hostility at worst.

Adults who do not live out the LGBTQ lifestyle but yet vociferously defend it are an intractable and ossified version of our indoctrinated youth. The benefits to supporting others in their sin and subjectivism is a type of ignorant bliss concerning one’s own sins. A false sense of self-esteem flows into the darkened heart of the ideologue who pats himself on the back for his intolerance. A profitable conversation is rarely to be had with an ideologue who believes his support for vice is his greatest virtue; yet this group is the largest group of opponents to Catholic Teaching on sexual morality. They comprise the majority of secular society, and enjoy sizable numbers among nominal Catholics. What is most characteristic about this large group is that they do not acquire the necessary prerequisites for an honest dialogue; the most probable return from this stunted group is personal insults fueled by impotent rage.

The defenders of the LGBTQ agenda who embrace the lifestyle represent a different challenge altogether. The foundational assumptions they cling to directly oppose Church Teaching concerning human sexuality, freedom, justice, truth and the authentic end of the human person. Their means of attaining their assumptions is rationalistic not intellectual. Their approach to morality is the direct inverse of the faithful Catholic: they assume that it is right to allow attractions and desires dictate the norms of morality; while Catholics allow the objective principles of truth revealed by the Logos to moderate the appetites and desires.

Possible strategies for each type

We ought to engage our youth in more thoughtful debate. They are resistant to philosophical and moral inquiry because of their environment and conditioning. However, lying dormant deep inside is the unexercised reason perfectly capable of arriving at truth. When most youth say “it doesn’t bother me because it doesn’t affect me,” the door is open to examining whether or not it bothers and affects them, for surely it does both; this can be uncovered with the right line of questioning. If we begin at least to ask our youth questions about the big questions surrounding the LGBTQ agenda, at the very least we may inspire some thought-provoking debate which has the potential to awaken some to truth.

Dealing with adult defenders of the LGBTQ agenda is more difficult. This middle group tends to be more sensitive and prone to anger. It is worth the effort to ask this group the big questions about justice, love, freedom and human sexuality, but most helpful indeed to develop a thick skin as you prepare for an aggressive and personally attacking response. However, even if no common ground is found, at least you may have pricked a conscience or planted a seed of truth which may in the future have a chance to sprout.

This third group is by far the most problematic and most difficult to engage. It is advisable to leave this task to those who specialize in such things. The truth is that those caught up in the addictive lifestyle of the LGBTQ agenda have subordinate their intellect and will to their appetites. Reason and morality play little to no part in motivating their dialogue. This group’s most common response to Catholic Truth is projections of anger and hatred. This group cannot afford the exertion or the good will to search for truth, and has an interest only in victory.

Conclusion

The prerequisites for an honest dialogue and debate are almost non-existent in our institutions of learning, throughout the public square, and in our modern mass media. To learn, understand, and convey Church teaching on the LGBTQ agenda requires first that we ourselves acquire the truths She teaches by being persons of good will, open only to truth, energetic in our quest, and properly disposed intellectually and morally. After we are prepared and armed with the mind of Christ, we are then responsible for speaking to our families. After that, we may begin to approach our neighbors in an effort to expose them to truth as well.

Know well that it is our duty to speak the truth with charity, and there our obligation ends. How our interlocutors respond is out of our hands. The faithful Catholic speaks so that truth may be conveyed; how the listener responds depends on his openness to grace and truth. We are not to calculate or contrive arguments; we are simply called to love in word and deed. So arm yourself with the truths of Christ and let the breath of the Holy Spirit carry your words.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg is a Catholic convert, husband, father, Catholic writer and speaker on matters of Faith, culture, and education. He teaches, theology, philosophy and Church history at Holy Spirit Prep in Atlanta. Steven is a member of the Teacher Advisory Board and writer of curriculum at the Sophia Institute for Teachers, a contributor to the Integrated Catholic Life, Crisis Magazine, The Civilized Reader, The Standard Bearers, The Imaginative Conservative and Catholic Exchange.

If you enjoyed this essay, subscribe below to receive a daily digest of all our essays.

Thank you for supporting us!

  • NDaniels

    Why not tell those men and woman, who have developed a same-sex sexual attraction the truth? It is because we Love you, and respect your Dignity as a beloved son or daughter, that we cannot condone the engaging in or affirmation of any act, including any sexual act that demeans your inherent Dignity as a beloved son or daughter.The desire to engage in a demeaning act of any nature, does not change the nature of the act. We Love you, and because we Love you, we desire that you will always be treated with, and will always treat others with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public. We will not tolerate the engaging in or condoning of sexual behavior that does not reflect the upmost respect for the human person.

  • MaryB435

    Speaking the Truth in Love is most important.
    .
    We are all sinners, and have all offended God in some way, yet He still loves each of us. Yes, God loves each of us AS we are, but He loves us too much to LEAVE us as we are! If my predominant faults are not of the same type as yours, that fact does not make me loved by God any more or less than He loves you. We ALL have some desires that are disordered; they are the temptations to fall into the same types of sins repeatedly. (And often, our specific WOUNDS direct us to specific SINS.) Whether it is the person who is tempted to laziness, and avoids work, or the person who’s tempted to gluttony, and eats too much, or those tempted to envy who steal and complain incessantly that others have it so much better than they do, ALL of us have SOMETHING in us to STRUGGLE AGAINST.
    .
    The major problem comes when we STOP struggling, and instead of embracing God and HIS WILL for our lives, we instead embrace TEMPTATION and give in to the sinful lifestyle itself. What is ANY addiction but a slavery to sin? No addict is truly free.
    .
    A big risk of our current culture is the fact that this particular sinful behavior is widely celebrated. For those who have those particular temptations, it DOES take courage to live a virtuous, God-centered life when everywhere you go, chastity is ridiculed and sexual sin is encouraged.
    .
    It is absolutely necessary to admit to ourselves that homosexual ACTIONS are sinful, and go against the will of God. The same-sex-attraction is merely a temptation. Denial of this fact leads to a downward spiral. We must foster virtue in our lives, and avoid the temptations and situations that lead us into the near occasion of sin. This applies no matter WHAT our particular temptations are. A good source for living a virtuous life in the midst of same-sex attraction is: couragerc.org

  • Jhawk77

    Excellent article, Steven. The church has a huge task ahead of it. I feel as if the church is like a person on the beach holding its hands out in front attempting to stop a looming cultural tsunami of sin. Truth will always win, but the prophets may punished in the mean time.

  • Stephen Adams

    I think it’s a straw man argument to refer to those on the so-called right who supposedly want to impose legalism on homosexuality issues. This is a feigned attempt to appear even-handed so that everyone will stay tuned in. The truth is the truth or it is not.

  • john

    Unfortunately, some of the language the author uses, such as “LGBTQ agenda,” could be construed as an underlying hatred and anger towards the LGBTQ community. It summarily dismisses the prejudice, bigotry, discrimination and outright violence the LGBTQ community has faced for centuries and the inherent yearning of all humans to be understood and treated fairly. What the LGBTQ community has fought for is the right to be who they are and treated equally. Summarizing such a natural response as a mere “agenda” shows contempt for the often severe suffering they have encountered. Likewise, there is no mention of the reality that those in the church who oppose LGTBQ strides for equality and safety must fight not only the LGBTQ community but also the mainstream medical, psychological and psychiatric communities who recognize such designations as a normal deviation of sexual expression (in fact, more normal and more common than celibacy, which is the rarest form of sexual expression). The question in the minds of most rational people is essentially framed as, “why is the understanding of human sexuality and the LGBTQ community by advocates of a conservative, Catholic agenda superior to that of the understanding held by mainstream medical professionals?” Much like the question of whether conservative Catholics of a bygone era understood astronomy better than Galileo, those who wish to persuade supporters of LGBTQ equality to reconsider need to come up with a convincing argument as to why their understanding of what it is to be a member of the LGBTQ community is superior to that of the medical experts who have worked closely with the LGBTQ community for several decades now. It’s a tall order, to say the least.

    • Stephen Adams

      A wordy injustice collector.

    • Steven Jonathan

      No John, this is not hateful, but Catholic teaching on sexual morality. There is no summary dismissal of prejudice against the LGBTQ community, that is not the thesis of the article. However you almost got the question right- it is Christ’s teaching on sexual morality, or the world’s medical profession- will you allow some of us to choose Christ without slandering us? Or does you tolerance end with those who agree with you?

  • wilypagan

    What a load of self-righteous drivel. As a lesbian who has been in a long term relationship for a decade I am appalled at the stereotypes propounded by the author. The earth is full up, not like the days when a dying Rome mixed the Mithras cult with a formerly gender egalitarian Christianity, to form the misogynist Catholic church. Perhaps in the future the “sinful” will be considered to be those who breed irresponsibly.

    Take a look at the Catholic priests. Most of them are gay. The author seems to be really driven to discuss LGBT issues which have nothing to so with him, but of in his bio makes a point to mention wife and children. Perhaps his need to discuss these issues stems from his own sexual insecurity. The greatest oppressors of gays and the greatest haters of women are repressed homosexual men.

    • john

      Great point! I myself was suspicious of his apparently great need to identify as a “husband, father.” I was almost expecting to see following: “and heterosexual and definitely, definitely not gay nor have i ever experimented or contemplated whether I might be gay so please understand I am not, not, not gay.”

    • Steven Jonathan

      Classic John! Really, a “great need”? Is it possible that being a husband and father are the most important things about me? Followed by my vocation as Catholic and then a teacher? And yet, I only mentioned them in no more than two words while I spent over 100 more describing my writing activities? I would be much more accurate to assume that I am insecure about my writing and teaching based on word count, but to say you almost expected “and heterosexual and definitely, definitely not gay nor have i ever experimented or contemplated whether I might be gay so please understand I am not, not, not gay.” would be hilarious if you were not serious. However, I do understand why you said this, it is a common trope and confirms the thesis of my article. It wouldn’t matter if I were gay or not, the truth is the truth and I am a sinner just like everyone else. The glaring flaw in your conclusion is that you have yet to cite a hateful thing from my article.

    • smk629

      I do not know where you get your information on Catholic priests, nor how reliable it is. I find it hard to believe that, “… Catholic priests. Most of them are gay.” Please indicate your sources when you make such statements.

      Also, what is the problem with the author mentioning he is a husband and father? This is standard for Catholic and other spiritual authors, as well as secular authors. It is part of his God-given vocation. It is not an indication of “his own sexual insecurity.” Most people do not feel it is necessary nor relevant to publicly label their sexual inclinations, as you do when you label yourself, “a lesbian who has been in a long term relationship”.

      The Catholic Church was founded and formed by Jesus Christ Himself, not “the Mithras cult” nor “a formerly gender egalitarian Christianity.” The Catholic Church is clearly the original Christian Church. You sound very confused and angry.

      As a woman who has been a Catholic all my life, I have never felt oppressed, hated or repressed by anyone, particularly by Catholics and the clergy. I live my life joyfully, hopefully following where God leads me. And I do not blame my unhappiness or problems on anyone else.

      God bless you and give you peace.

    • wilypagan

      Actually, the Greek Orthodox Church predated the Catholics by many years. I am at peace, thank you very much.

    • smk629

      I am afraid you are incorrect. We were the church founded by Jesus. St. Peter is our first Pope. The Orthodox drifted away some time after the fall of Byzantium, now Istanbul. But we have great respect for all the Orthodox, and in fact, as Pope John Paul famously said, we consider them “the second lung of the Church.”

    • wilypagan
    • smk629

      The author you cite appears to be a respectable, intelligent Protestant. My information comes from the words of Jesus in the New Testament. Sorry, but I will take Jesus’s word on this.

    • wilypagan

      Highly unusual for a Catholic to do so.

    • smk629

      Not for this Catholic, nor any of the others I know.
      God bless you and give you His peace.

    • wilypagan

      What sexist swill.

    • smk629

      I am not sure what you are referring to. There is nothing sexist in my comments.

      I have answered your comments in a reasonable, polite manner, with the truth, and have cited my sources. I have not attacked you. I have defended my Faith.

      You seem to have a great prejudice against Catholics, particularly priests, and our Faith. You have made up your mind and closed it, and there is nothing I can do about it.

      You also sound as if you have been hurt and are angry. I sympathize with that – we have all been hurt sometime, by someone in our lives. But it is not right to attack and demean an entire Faith, its members, and its priests because of that. It is prejudice to blindly judge all of us and all our priests because of the actions of a few.

      We worship God, not mortals. That is why we remain. When you blindly attack our Church, you are attacking Our Lord and God Himself.

      Again, God bless you and give you His peace.

    • Shaune Scott

      Since you clearly consider yourself superior to Catholic believers, I am surprised that you would lower yourself to read articles on a Catholic website.

    • wilypagan

      I attended Catholic schools and know that the rank and file parishioners are superior to the church hierarchy in every way. I also have great respect for the nuns.

    • Stephen Adams

      So go to a nuns website and leave the rest of us alone

    • Stephen Adams

      Why are you wasting your valuable time on a site that you vehemently disagree with?

  • Toad

    “Ironically, even the ideologue who claims that every opinion is “valid” will disagree with Catholic Truth, thus contradicting his own claim.”
    Are you not a Catholic “ideologue,” Stephen? If not, why not?
    Anyway you are confusing “validity, ” here with “factuality.” The straw man “ideologue” you create and cite can say, “Yes, your Catholic Truth” is valid, as is any opinion – but unfortunately it’s untrue.” He may be right in his assessment or he may be wrong. But I doubt if you will grasp that.

  • TomD

    The Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, issued 30 years ago in 1986, provides the Church’s teachings for those who wish to genuinely explore a broader sense of what the Church teaches with regards to this issue. It can be found here:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html

    It is a good place to start a truly honest and open dialogue.

    • wilypagan

      As a gay person, I can say definitively that we do not need the Church’s pastoral care. We are neither sheep or children. I think the Church should concentrate on getting its repressed priests laid so they will leave the children alone.

    • smk629

      Do you speak for all your homosexual brothers and sisters when you “say definitively that we do not need the Church’s pastoral care”? If you do not, why do you read a blog entitled “Catholic Stand”? If you reject the Church and its teaching, it is unfortunate. You are always welcome to approach us. But do not belittle homosexuals who want and need us, nor our efforts to reach out.

      As for your petty, ignorant, last sentence, it illuminates your prejudices against the Church and its members.

    • wilypagan

      I came from a Catholic background and appreciate the humanity of the rank and file parishioners and the nuns, while recoiling in horror at the greedy pedophile priests and bishops who live in luxury on the dime of the working people. Your ad hominem attack on me illustrates you cannot win the argument on the facts. Repressed homosexual priests are completely unqualified to counsel straight married couples or normal out of the closet gay couples. They should stick to diddling one another in the rectory.

    • smk629

      I have re-read my comments and I do not see anything attacking you. I was respectful and tactful. I am sorry you saw it differently – please forgive me if I sounded that way. I simply stated that perhaps you should remember that you do not speak for all homosexual people.

      I am aware of very few priests and bishops who “live in luxury on the dime of the working people.” The Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, for example, has sold the Archbishop’s residence provided by the Archdiocese. Pope Francis lives in quarters with other priests, and has refused his own residence.

      My own pastor and parochial vicar live in a decrepit, Victorian-era rectory, with peeling paint, damaged plaster, a leaking roof, and carpet that is easily 40 or 50 years old. They fight mice and cockroaches and try to live with dignity. Parishioners have offered to renovate and modernize their living quarters, but we were told it was more important to relieve the suffering of the poor who come to our doors daily, and are fed.

      So, do you want the Church to rid itself of homosexuals? Your last two comments seem to indicate this.

      I also do not see the logic of “homosexual priests are completely unqualified to counsel straight married couples or out of the closet gay couples.” Would you refuse to consult a physician who has not experienced your illness? Are cancer patients only attended to by doctors who have cancer?

      Your own comments seem to me to be an “ad hominem attack” on the priesthood, lumping thousands of fine, decent, moral men with those who have failed God and the Church by being pedophiles and homosexuals.

      I am friends with a homosexual man who is a parishioner of my parish. He sits alongside my family every Sunday. He is most welcome in the Catholic Church.

      You seem angry and bitter, and I am sorry you have been hurt. Again, I wish you peace.

    • wilypagan

      Thank you for you reasoned response. My girlfriend used to work as a teacher for a Catholic school so I got a first hand look at the priests who went in and out of the parish and all but one appeared to me to be gay (I have pretty good “gaydar”). They were also very greedy and grasping. One priest received a leather jacket for his birthday and the other priest became so ugly and jealous about it that the parishioners also felt they had to buy a new jacket for him, even though it wasn’t his birthday. The head priest demanded that the nuns (who lived in a convent on the premises) give up their dining table and he moved it to the rectory so the priests could eat at a table while the nuns ate on boxes. This same priest would interrupt the confessions of the children to take phone calls regarding his dinner plans, or he would run through the confessions of thirty children, in public, in less than 10 minutes. Very different from the priests I had when I was in Catholic school.

      When my gf first started working there, the school was run by a wonderful nun and had over 600 students. The head priest did not like the nun since she was a loving and popular person (nor did he like the little girls as altar servers which a prior priest had allowed), so he pulled strings to get rid of her. Then, when many parents complained to the diocese, he bragged that he had barred their kids from attending the school in the future. He appointed an idiot as principal, whose only qualification, apparently, was that he was male. Under his stewardship the current enrollment of the school dropped from over 600 to around 200 student in just a couple of years. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

      I find your comparison of being gay to having cancer highly offensive. Being gay is not “normal” but it is a natural variation within the human species. My concern with having closeted priests counsel either gays or straights is that people who are not comfortable with their own sexuality or have repressed sexual desires are mentally unstable. It is well known that the most homophobic people are repressed homosexuals, trying to cover up what they see as a failing. Also, people who have taken a vow of celibacy have repressed their desires (gay or straight) and I think this contributes to the rampant child abuse that has been proven against the Church. The coverups were at the Bishop level.

      An example on repressed priests counseling others – the head priest I referred to earlier gives his homilies to children as young as five and rails on about “adultery” and other matters which I believe are inappropriate for children of that age. There is no way to take him out absent Vatican intervention. The parents have tried going to the diocese and as I explained above, it was to no avail.

      Of course I am angry about this state of affairs. The Church has driven away many good people because its “princes” refuse to behave in a Christian manner. I am glad it is different at the church you attend and glad you are getting to know gay people. Whatever the position of the Church, we have families too and are productive, taxpaying members of society, who have had enough of disrespect, and yes, I think I speak for most gays with that statement.

    • Stephen Adams

      Google “injustice collector.”

    • wilypagan

      Google “injustice perpetrator”. Jesus weeps.

    • smk629

      The examples you cite are of one parish, one pastor, and associate priests. It is unfair and inaccurate to assume all other priests, thousands of men, are of the same caliber, and possess the same flawed judgment. I, too, have dealt with unpleasant, greedy priests, but the vast majority I have also known are holy, loyal, caring priests who routinely give up their own comfort and what little spare time they have to their parishioners.

      If you read my comments again, I did not compare homosexuality to cancer. I took issue with your accusation that homosexual priests are unfit to counsel married couples and homosexuals. Doctors also advise and heal, and they can do so without having been afflicted with the same illness their patients suffer. Again, you do not cite the sources that form your opinions.
      I am sorry you have been hurt by your parish and priests. But please do not assume all other priests are unfit and unworthy.

    • wilypagan

      Good points.

    • Jim Brooks

      Ms Wilypagan,

      From reading your comments I have tried to put a time line to when the events you describe may have occurred. You mention female altar servers, a very recent thing, and having been in a relationship for the last ten years. From that information you have to be talking about a time frame from 2006-2016. If that is the case you and your girlfriend live in some kind of mythical parish. I can’t think of any parish in the country that has 3 priests assigned to it, in my diocese of 350 parishes only 3 of them have 2 priests, and and the majority have none at all but share one priest for 2-3 parishes. It is called merging. Yes around the early 2000’s female altar services started appearing, but I only know of one parish in the country that stopped that and that would be our Lady of the Sea parish in California in 2014. I know that because it made national headlines. I haven’t known nuns living in convents on parish grounds for decades. Again in my diocese there are no religious currently teaching in our grade schools and haven’t been in decades, certainly not principals.. The school you describe having 600 students would be huge, that would consist of two classes of 30 kids each from pre-school through 8th grade. That school maybe out there but it would be very rare. Catholic families for decades haven’t been sending their kids to Catholic schools because either they don’t have the money or they don’t even have the kids (birth control), or they home school. You are describing a parish from the 1970’s not from the 21st century. I am 54 years old and have witness these changes. So if we can’t trust the words of your own personal experiences, how can we trust anything you say at all?

    • wilypagan

      Those are the facts. I don’t care whether you believe me or not.

    • Therese

      wilypagan, I find your diatribe difficult to believe, also.

    • wilypagan

      Just the fact you call it a diatribe shows your bias.

    • Jim Brooks

      And your claim to authority is “I came from a Catholic background” and “I attended Catholic schools” and yet you refer to the Pastor as the “head priest”. Only some ignorant of parish life would use those words. Ms Wilypagan your story has so many holes in it you can drive the Pope mobile through it. I will pray for you.

    • wilypagan

      Do your own research if you really care. I have no desire to name names since the powers that be are quite vindictive. I have a feeling that if I provided sworn affidavits from the parties involved, you would still attempt to discredit me. What the hell. It is your church. If you like it being run this way, enjoy.

    • Jim Brooks

      Do the math, what you have been describing hasn’t existed for a very long time. And as for “the powers that be are quite vindictive”, what in the wide of sports are you talking about?

    • wilypagan

      Re-read my original comment where I mentioned the priest had bragged about banning families who complained about his actions to the diocese to no avail.

    • Jim Brooks

      And read my words. Only one parish in the country has taken female servers off the
      altar.

    • wilypagan

      Perhaps you need to re-read my comment. I did not say the priest had taken female altar servers “off the altar”, but that he had pulled strings to get rid of a nun who had supported having girls as altar servers in the first place.
      You seem intent on proving me wrong, even to the point of twisting my words. The comments I made are true, yet you have expressed nothing which indicates you care about the mistreatment of staff, nuns and parishioners which I described. Why is that?

    • Jim Brooks

      Because more than likely it never occurred. The description of a parish you gave hasn’t existed in 40 years. May I suggest you look at my own parish and learn what parish life is really like today. https://www.facebook.com/stlambertsiouxfalls

      I hope you are not shocked by what you see. You may even find it attractive. Let me know if you do maybe it can help you come home to Christ, God Bless you.

    • wilypagan

      I don’t appreciate being called a liar. I have no axe to grind in the matter. If you don’t care about and want to deflect on what actually happened in the Church, that is on you. If you ever wonder why Church attendance has dropped dramatically, look in the mirror.

    • Steven Jonathan

      I don’t think he is calling you a liar, he is simply pointing out that you don’t know what you are talking about, there is a big difference- I found this to be the case with the content of most of your comments. What you say is merely subjective angry opinions based on constructs you have invented in your head driven by ideology . It is the most common thing in the world, but that doesn’t make what you say true, for it is not. A wonderful case in point, the fact that church attendance has dropped is true, but for Jim to look in the mirror for answers is absurd, it is not so simple as that.

    • Stephen Adams

      You suffer as well with inner rage that has nothing to do with the Church. Therapy might help but I’d stay away from the “homosecual-friendly” ones because they will just mirror back the hackneyed ideas you express.

    • Stephen Adams

      There is no such thing as a “gay person.” God created them male and female. So you must mean either males or females who struggle with same sex attraction.

    • wilypagan

      I’ve never struggled with my own inner nature. Stop projecting.

  • adam aquinas

    If a dialogue is to be genuine and not a proselytization, we should follow the simple directive of P Francis in his conversation on the plane from Armenia a few days ago….the entire text is in the National Catholic Register….dialogue begins with apology and a request for forgiveness. Here is the cogent pat which you never alluded to:

    “Cindy Wooden, CNS: Holiness, within the past few days Cardinal Marx, the German, speaking at a large conference in Dublin which is very important on the Church in the modern world, said that the Catholic Church must ask forgiveness to the gay community for having marginalized these people. In the days following the shooting in Orlando, many have said that the Christian community had something to do with this hate toward these people. What do you think?

    Pope Francis: I will repeat what I said on my first trip. I repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that they must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally. One can condemn, but not for theological reasons, but for reasons of political behavior … Certain manifestations are a bit too offensive for others, no? … But these are things that have nothing to do with the problem. The problem is a person that has a condition, that has good will and who seeks God, who are we to judge? And we must accompany them well … this is what the catechism says, a clear catechism. Then there are traditions in some countries, in some cultures that have a different mentality on this problem. I think that the Church must not only ask forgiveness — like that “Marxist Cardinal” said (laughs) — must not only ask forgiveness to the gay person who is offended…”

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/full-text-pope-francis-in-flight-press-conference-from-armenia/#ixzz4CxdOp112

    • Steven Jonathan

      Dear Adam, I am sorry you are so confused about Catholic Teaching. Can you ever forgive me for being so direct? I am proud of you that your are willing to admit that you are wrong in this dialogue, that is a very promising start. Keep up the good work,

    • adam aquinas

      Sarcasm is truly the initiation of dialogue when you have nothing of value to say…do you have a problem with P. Francis and his direction that I quoted? 95% of my comment was the Pope’s words directly?

    • john

      Isn’t it a great irony that the author who complains that his “third group” is likely to respond with “projections of anger and hatred” would respond in such a snarky manner, betraying his own anger and hatred? Thank God people like him are an ever shrinking minority.

    • Steven Jonathan

      John,

      You are right that my reply to Adam is snarky, but not hateful and full of anger- I have written pages to Adam with no fruitful end- he is not here for dialogue- the last time we wrote he called my a “nasty primate” so with that context in mind maybe you can understand why I didn’t help him understand his misunderstanding.

    • Stephen Adams

      Many of us no longer even listen to Francis. He is a footnote in the history of the papacy.