Skip to comments.Roman Catholic Mass shows support for dozens of gays and lesbians
Posted on 01/08/2005 10:31:13 PM PST by Coleus
Mass shows support for dozens of gays, lesbians
'Let go of anger and hate,' pastor says
BY STEVE SCOTT
Responding to requests by families and friends of gays and lesbians, the Rev. John Clay celebrated a Mass of healing and support Thursday night at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in St. Paul.
Nearly 150 people at the church at West Seventh Street and Western Avenue heard Clay call for people to love "those who aren't like us."
He implored them to "listen to what it feels like to grow up in a society in which the majority is hostile" to the sexual-orientation minority.
About a half-dozen members of a group identifying themselves as orthodox Catholics scattered themselves about the church and said they prayed for those attending to remain faithful to church teaching.
"This cuts across the whole spectrum,'' said Clay, 78, a longtime pastor at St. Stanislaus. "It's got nothing to do with being liberal or conservative at all. I don't think liberals and conservatives will ever get together. I think we're called to a deeper way, which is love. We need to let go of anger and hate.''
Before Holy Communion, the first names of dozens of gay and lesbian people brought forward by families and friends were read aloud as part of a sung prayer.
Many attendees couldn't remember a similar Mass being held in St. Paul.
"As long as this is done in a loving, pastoral way in keeping with the teachings of the church, which this seems to be, there's no problem with it,'' archdiocese spokesman Dennis McGrath said earlier Thursday. "It's intended to be a welcoming, healing Mass."
McGrath reiterated previous archdiocese statements that Catholics "in a state of grace" are welcome to Communion, although church teaching would prohibit those who are in sexual relationships but unmarried.
A polite but spirited conversation followed the Mass between a woman who identified herself as a lesbian in a longtime relationship and two men who had protested the appearance of gay-rights supporters at the Cathedral of St. Paul last spring.
"You pick what you want to believe,'' said Bob Tatreau of Woodbury. "So do you,'' said the woman, a parishioner at St. Stanislaus.
As a lengthy dialogue about sexuality and church teaching drew to a close, Jack Peterfeso of St. Paul said, "I love you as a sister; I don't love your sin."
"I love you," she responded, "and I don't agree with you."
An Invitation from Father John Clay, Pastor
at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church:
Dear Family and Friends,
Please consider joining us for a special service for the FAMILY & FRIENDS of gays and lesbians at our church. The goal is to offer support for those of us who know, love, and/or sympathize with persons who are gay because we have come to celebrate these persons as full, precious, and valued children of God.
Come Out & Celebrate
Thursday, January 6th
St. Stanislaus Church
398 Superior Street
St. Paul, MN
(On Western Ave., 1/2 block north of W. 7th St.)
(See map & directions below)
Like many of you, we have family and friends, whom we dearly love and appreciate, who are gay and lesbian. We grew up in the Catholic tradition, and like many of you---whatever your religious affiliation or set of beliefs---are confused by messages from some of our Church leaders, suggesting that the teachings of Jesus render our gay brothers and sisters as objectively disordered, and intrinsically inclined towards evil.
In the spirit of Jesus teaching to Love one another, St. Stans Parish will open its loving arms to the family and friends supporting those in the sexual minority. It is one way to proactively reiterate and celebrate the inclusive teachings of Jesus. The name of the service is Come Out and Celebrate and it will be followed by coffee and fellowship in the Church.
Charlie and Marie Girsch
(On Behalf of Father John Clay
Pastor, Church of St. Stanislaus)
Directions to St. Stanislaus Church
St. Stan's Church is located south and west of Downtown St. Paul, on Western Ave. So., 1/2 block north of West 7th Street (which is about 2 blocks north of the intersection of West 7th St. and St.Clair Ave.). Turn north onto Western Ave. from W. 7th St. and proceed 1/2 block. If you are coming via I35E, take the St. Clair Ave or Randolph Ave Exit. Then proceed down the hill to West 7th St. (Click here for map. Look for the that marks the location of St. Stan's.)
Wrong denomination, Father, you need to exchange your cassock for a nice turtleneck and jumpsuit and go preach at the Unitarian "Church".
Not whether she agrees with him or not but whether she accepts the teaching of the Church. This is not like a political disagreement.
What next, Rainbow flags at the altar? Preists in dog collars?
"I love you," she responded, "and I don't agree with you."
It isn't a menu at a restaurant. You don't get to pick a main course and some sides (and avoid your green vegetables).
You can choose to reject Biblical teachings but you cannot change God's word.
We are all sinners. We don't hold that over you. Denying that it IS sin is a problem, however.
Ridiculous. This is just another attempt to soften and entangle the word of God. IF your approve of PFLAG as one of your associates..then I think you are way of base. If you choose what you want to believe, paraphrasing the lesbian woman, Jesus cannot be picked and whored. Either take all of the Bible or take non at all. If you choose and pick, you are stating that the Word of God is inconsistant, contradictory and have errors. You will have said that the Bible is not God inspired.
Would the pope bless me if I announced and paraded that sex with minors or murder was a life style and that I believe that people that commit them should be respected and allowed to worship in the churches? NO. The same analogy/conept works with being a proud lesbian, homosexual, transexual, beastiality, etc.... Sounds more like they just want to get along with everyone at the risk of following the word of God. Homosexuality is no special sin...why make it a big deal...because they are hammering at the castle door with the judges, law, media etc...
ummm the "objectively disordered" line isn't a message from "some church leaders" instead it's the official line of the Church, found in the catechism. This priest is seriously misleading his flock and it's an outrage.
Also, how come we never hear of special Masses in support of homosexuals who are struggling to live chastely? Why do some sectors of the Church fall all over themselves to accomodate sodomites, but do nothing for those true heros who fight every day to stay true to the Gospel?
Here are some answers to questions that Courage gets asked frequently. If you have questions you would like answered, feel free to send them to the webmaster at webmaster@CourageRC.net
We would be glad to answer your questions and they may end up on this page too.
A. Courage discourages persons with same-sex attractions from labeling themselves "gay" and "lesbian" for the following reasons:
1) The secular world usually uses those terms to refer to someone who is either actively homosexual or intends to be. When a person decides to "come out" and say "I am gay" or "I am lesbian", the person usually means "this is who I am - I was born this way and I intend to live this way. I have a right to find a same-sex partner with whom to have a romantic sexual relationship." To "come out" as being "gay" or "lesbian" doesn't usually mean "I have homosexual attractions and I have a deep commitment to living a chaste life".
2) By labeling someone, we discourage those who may wish to try and move beyond homosexual attractions. Some people, especially young people, are able to further their psychosexual development with spiritual and psychological aid. If we labeled them "gay" and "lesbian", they might think there's no possibility of moving beyond these attractions.
3) There is more to a person than one's sexual attractions. Even if one experienced same-sex attractions for most of one's life, he or she is first and foremost a child of God created in His image. To refer to that person as "gay" or "lesbian" is a reductionist way of speaking about someone. We are even trying now to avoid using the term homosexual as a noun, or as an adjective directly describing the person (i.e. homosexual person). Although it takes more words, we prefer to speak of "persons with same-sex attractions". Fr. Harvey has said that, if he could, he would rename his first book "The Homosexual Person" to something else like "The Person With Homosexual Attractions".
There are people within the Catholic Church who might argue that those who label themselves "gay" or "lesbian" aren't necessarily living unchastely. That's true, but the implications of the terms in today's society don't commonly connote chaste living. Furthermore, they are limiting their own possibilities of growth by such self-labeling, and reducing their whole identity by defining themselves according to their sexual attractions. At Courage, we choose not to label people according to an inclination which, although psychologically understandable, is still objectively disordered.
A. The term "objective disorder" is a philosophical term. It is used to describe homosexual attractions because such attractions can never lead to a morally good sexual act. It is objected that if a man lusts for a woman or vice versa, this too is an objective disorder. This latter example is not an objective disorder, because, if the man or woman controls this natural attraction, and wills to express it in the natural state of marriage, it is a good thing.
The term "objective disorder" may strike some of us with same-sex attractions as being harsh, because we feel that we never asked to have homosexual attractions and we fear that this term is in some way condemnatory or derogatory. It is important to remember that "objective disorder" is a philosophical term which describes a particular inclination - it does not diminish our value and worth in the eyes of God.
It is psychologically understandable that certain people struggle with homosexual attractions. The Church recognizes this and does not condemn people for simply having these attractions; however, the Church also teaches that homosexual acts are always immoral, and therefore, one must also accept that the inclination to engage in such acts is, philosophically speaking, objectively disordered.
Above all, we must keep in mind that homosexual inclinations do not make up our true identity as rational or Christian persons. We are first and foremost men and women created in the image of God - we are exceedingly precious in God's sight and we have been given the gifts of intelligence and free-will. We can live a life of union with Christ, through prayer, and we can know the peace of interior chastity. This is God's desire for us, and He continually gives us the grace to live it.
A. Courage members are under no obligation to try to develop heterosexual attractions, because there is no guarantee that a person will always succeed in such an endeavour. Courage's aim is to help persons with same-sex attractions develop a life of interior chastity in union with Christ. If any of our members wish to go to professionals to explore the possibility of heterosexual development, we will stand by them, by helping them to keep the deepening of their Catholic faith and obedience to Christ as their first priority. Courage itself does not provide professional therapy. Some of our members have found varying levels of heterosexual development to be a by-product of living a chaste life for a period of time; however, the goal and focus of Courage remains a life of interior chastity, humility, and holiness, which can be achieved by all, with God's grace.
Q. Is Courage an Ex-Gay Ministry?
A. Courage does not consider itself an Ex-Gay ministry for the following reason: Many Courage members have never labelled themselves "gay" prior to coming to Courage. This does not mean that they were unaware of their experience of same-sex attractions - it simply means that they had never chosen to label themselves "gay" in the first place, either because of a dislike of the reductionist nature of the term "gay", or because they kept their struggle with homosexuality private. Courage prefers to think of itself as a "Pro-Chastity" ministry.
Copyright (C) 2000 Courage
BTW, Father Harvey's support group "Courage" comes up first when "courage" is googled!
God help us.....product of Vatican ll.
Don't wonder why , the world is being struck with earthquakes, frost, hurricanes, tusnamis, drought, floods, the article is only ONE reason.
What next, Rainbow flags at the altar? >>
I bet it's happening already.
the article is only ONE reason.
abortion is the other.
It seems a "Rainbow Sash" mass took place last November in St. Paul.
"Minnesota parish defies Vatican on gay activism
Minneapolis, Nov. 12, 2004 (CWNews.com) - A Minneapolis parish is continuing to provide a forum for homosexual activists despite orders from the Vatican, the Wanderer newspaper is reporting.
St. Joan of Arc parish is offering a series of lectures by homosexual and lesbian couples, under the auspices of a group known as the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM). The group is advertising a November 13 event that will feature "a Catholic gay male couple and a Catholic lesbian couple discussing their respective relationships and their sense of connection to the Church."
Writing in the Wanderer, Paul Likoudis reports that in October, two auxiliary bishops of the St. Paul archdiocese were sent to St. Joan of Arc parish to convey instructions from the Vatican, demanding an end to some of the homosexual advocacy undertaken at the parish. Likoudis said that the Vatican specifically called for the removal of pictures on the parish web site that showed the parish participation in an annual "Gay Pride" parade.
The CPCSM, which sponsors events at the parish describes itself as "a grass-roots, self-supporting, and independent coalition dedicated to promoting ministry to, with, and on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) persons-- primarily of a Roman Catholic background-- and their families and friends." The group's promotional material condemns "heterosexism," saying that the "prejudice and injustice" against homosexuals had made them "the marginalized persons whom the Gospel challenges us all to love." Homosexual activists have been particularly aggressive within the Catholic Church in the St. Paul area. On November 7, gay-rights militants associated with the Rainbow Sash movement attended Mass at the city's cathedral, wearing distinctive sashes to protest what they called the Church's "spiritual violence" against homosexuals. Archbishop Harry Flynn announced before the Mass that he would not deny Communion to the protesters who wore the rainbow sashes.
The Wanderer, which is based in the St. Paul archdiocese, has demanded for a change in the archbishop's policies. In a stiffly worded editorial that will appear in the November 18 issue, publisher Al Matt writes:
The only public explanation given by Archbishop Flynn for allowing the rainbow sashers to receive Holy Communion is that he does not want the Eucharist to become the focal point of contentiousness and battle. But does yielding to aggressive groups who are willing to commit sacrilege constitute too dear a price to pay for "peace"?
Matt urges readers to write to Vatican officials, protesting Archbishop Flynn's decision. The only alternative to a clear reversal of the archbishop's policy, he said is to "allow this situation to continue its anarchical drift.""\
Just great, guys!
Yes, abortion , you are right..God said ,NO in that matter too.
They call it a Roman Catholic Mass, but in reality it is an outrage and God will not put up with it much longer.Product of Vatican II. Woe to these clergy!
Ah yes, let's celebrate sodomy! But, what about adultery, abortion, pornography, fornication, etc.? How can we claim to be inclusive and leave those out?
I think that I would skip this event. I'd be a little afraid of what the 'fellowship' would include.
Thanks for posting that!
'Let go of anger and hate,' pastor says
Didn't Lot try pleading with the Sodomites and with God? If I remember correctly, God got a wee bit angry with the sodomites who would not "let go" of their sins. Now we mock Him again by parading queers in front of His Real Presence!
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