Amidst the backdrop of the circus of a Synod going on in the Vatican–where some of the highest ranking officials in the Catholic Church hierarchy are skating around Christ’s teachings on marriage and flagrantly ignoring the admonition of St. Paul to the Romans, “Do not conform yourselves to this age”–comments by Cardinal O’Malley to a staffer from New Ways Ministry about recognition for gay “married” couples after the recent Crux event in Boston merit a response and correction.
In this post, we mentioned how Cardinal O’Malley failed to articulate Catholic teachings in response to a question during the event about the firing of “gay Catholics” from Catholic institutions. But it got worse after the event when the New Ways Ministry staffer asked Cardinal O’Malley a follow-up question. Here is how it was reported by the National Catholic Reporter and New Ways Ministry (an organization that pushes the GLBT agenda):
Boston’s Cardinal O’Malley: LGBT Church Worker Firings “Need to be Rectified”
In a one-to-one conversation following a public speaking engagement, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley said that the firing of church workers because of LGBT issues is a situation that “needs to be rectified,” becoming the first prelate to speak against this trend.
Earlier in the evening, the cardinal publicly spoke positively of the need to include and minister to the LGBT community…
At the end of the event, after the crowd had dissipated, I had the opportunity to thank Cardinal O’Malley one-on-one for his compassionate remarks earlier about the LGBT community.
As we spoke, the cardinal told me that we must first convince people we love them before talking about the Ten Commandments. I pointed out that it has been hard to convince LGBT Catholics and their allies of this love when so many church workers have had LGBT-related employ-ment disputes with Catholic schools and parishes. Responding to my comment, Cardinal O’Malley said this trend was a situation that “needs to be rectified.”
O’Malley also indicated that not all church positions require a Catholic marriage. Most of the employment disputes involved same-sex couples legally marrying, announcing an intention to marry, or publicly acknowledging a long-term committed relationship.
Earlier, in a period when panelists answered audience questions, Cardinal O’Malley answered a question which I had submitted:
Given Pope Francis’ emphasis on mercy and welcome, can we expect improved pastoral care and inclusion for those who are LGBT, especially when almost 20 US church workers have been fired in 2014 for their sexual orientation, gender, or marital status?
The cardinal’s answer is below:
“I think the Holy Father’s notion of mercy and inclusion is going to make a big difference in the way that the church responds to and ministers to people of homosexual orientation…It is not necessarily that the church is going to change doctrine, but, as somebody said, the Holy Father hasn’t changed the lyrics, but he’s changed the melody. I think the context of love and mercy and community is the context in which all of the church’s teachings must be presented, including the more difficult ones.”
O’Malley himself was considered to be a papal candidate before Francis’ election, and one resigned Catholic priest listed Boston’s cardinal as the most gay-friendly of the candidates.
What struck me most last Thursday was the cardinal’s willing admission that terminating church workers due to their sexual orientation or marital status is indeed problematic..I hope Cardinal O’Malley will use his prominent position to help end situations where LGBT and ally church workers face discrimination and exclusion….Cardinal O’Malley is the first bishop to acknowledge that these employment actions are a problem. Let’s hope and pray that he will not be the last.
First off, if you change the melody, you change the song, so that argument is simply bogus. And it is fine to approach people with love and then preach the truth, but the impact of what Cardinal O’Malley is proposing here is scandalous. If the person in a “gay marriage” working for the Catholic Church does not end their irregular, disordered relationship when presented with the truth, there is only one possible consequence of “rectifying” the situation of their termination–leaving a “gay married” employee in their position in the Catholic Church and thereby giving tacit and direct recognition of the legitimacy of that “gay marriage.”
In December of 2005, Pope Benedict XVI blasted “dismal theories” on gays, saying that granting legal recognition to unwed couples was a threat to traditional marriage, which required a higher level of commitment. But he saved his strongest words for those who suggest gay couples should be put on the same level as a husband and wife.
“This tacitly accredits those dismal theories that strip all relevance from the masculinity and femininity of the human being as though it were a purely biological issue….Theories “according to which man should be able to decide autonomously what he is and what he isn’t,” end up with mankind destroying its own identity.
Cardinal O’Malley, that’s you–proposing to “rectify” a problem with a solution that would recognize and legitimize gay couples by putting them on the same level as a husband and wife, rather than preaching the truth to the gay couple and getting them help to solve the problem of their gravely sinful and disordered relationship.
The 7 spiritual acts of mercy call for nothing less than preaching the truth:
- To instruct the ignorant;
- To counsel the doubtful;
- To admonish sinners;
- To bear wrongs patiently;
- To forgive offences willingly;
- To comfort the afflicted;
- To pray for the living and the dead.
We are still waiting for you to preach the truth in-season and out-of-season as you said should be done back in 2005, when you said we must call people to embrace the cross of discipleship, live the commandments, and communicate “Because we love you, we cannot accept your behavior.
The ever-courageous Cardinal Burke made comments on a similar topic this week in response to a presentation at the Synod that talked about parents welcoming their and his homosexual partner for a family gathering with grandchildren:
“If homosexual relations are intrinsically disordered, which indeed they are — reason teaches us that and also our faith — then, what would it mean to grandchildren to have present at a family gathering a family member who is living [in] a disordered relationship with another person?” Burke added, “we don’t want our children” to get the “impression” that sexual relationships outside God’s plan are alright, “by seeming to condone gravely sinful acts..which are always and everywhere wrong, evil.”
Cardinal O’Malley, you have a black and white choice. Love and compassion requires speaking the truth. Will you preach the truth in-season and out-of-season that people must embrace the cross of discipleship and live the commandments, and that sinful behavior is unacceptable, or will you propose a different melody and give the message to all in society that sexual relationships outside of God’s plan are just fine? We hope and pray it’s the former rather than the latter.