Matt C. Abbott
May 25, 2010
Gay activists (thankfully) denied Communion in Chicago; Readers share thoughts on journalist's book, Corazon Aquino
By Matt C. Abbott

From a Rainbow Sash Movement news release:

    The Rainbow Sash Movement gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender Catholics and supporters entered Catholic cathedrals both nationally and internationally on Pentecost Sunday May 23, 2010. The focal part of the U.S. challenge on Pentecost was Holy Name Cathedral, the cathedral church of the president of the [USCCB], Cardinal Francis George.

    Cardinal George is at the heart of the storm surrounding not only gay civil rights, but the right of gay Catholic parents to send their children to Catholic schools. As the head of the [USCCB] he has remained strangely silent on the abusive measures taken by Archbishop Chaput of Denver and Cardinal O'Malley of Boston in supporting their local pastors' discrimination directed at the children of gay parents.

    Additionally, associated threats of violence from Catholic fundamentalist that were manufactured to stop our presence at cathedrals failed to materialize. The Rainbow Sash Movement faced down would be attackers with reasoned and disciplined dialogue.

    Members of the far right Catholic media must be held accountable for their failed attempts to incite violence against lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender Catholics in the name of faithfulness to the Catholic Faith.

Thankfully, the gay activist "Catholics" were denied the Holy Eucharist.

Said an orthodox Catholic (via e-mail) who was present at the Mass: "The rainbow sash people ... went up for Communion, were denied, then went back and stood in the pews in silent protest. A few of us engaged them in conversation after Mass. I tried calmly explaining Church doctrine to one guy to no avail.

"There was an older couple there who I think probably buckled under the pressure to affirm their son, who they said is gay. It's like there's this false choice between affirming your gay child or disowning them. Can't there be a middle ground there? I think the Church needs a massive, worldwide Theology of the Body campaign. Pope Benedict should call for it."

The sad thing is, gay activists hate the Church because she teaches that homosexual activity is sinful. Period. And it really doesn't matter how thoughtfully that teaching is presented; they still reject it. Now, I do have compassion for those who are striving to live a chaste life. Let's face it: It's an extremely difficult task in this sex-saturated society. (Those who suffer from same-sex attraction may find the group Courage to be of help.) But I don't have compassion for those who champion the so-called right to kill a child in the womb, or for those who champion a filthy, disease-ridden lifestyle that is contrary to the natural and divine law.

So there.



The following are two edited e-mails from readers.

Anne Archer:


"Your column regarding the book Journalism Is War, or, more specifically, the parts that have to do with the Catholic Church, causes me to feel a profound sense of grief. I guess I was hoping that following the supposed exposure of a few years ago that perhaps much of the problem had been addressed. The homosexual aspects have never been addressed directly in my opinion.

"The Church is the most wonderful institution to grace the face of the earth, and she will survive although in a greatly reduced form. I love my Church and by the grace of God will be with her to the end of my life, but certainly the truthful revelations are painful. When I was young (I'm 71 now) the concept of bringing 'scandal' on the Church was so entrenched that to even consider a priest behaving in an unseemly manner was to be immediately rejected from thought. Before the psychiatric proposal that sexual deviations were curable, the philosophy of not bringing scandal on the Church laid a very cushy groundwork for allowing such things to grow.

"When I lived in Europe in the 1950s and heard about some Italian priests having mistresses, I was shocked. I remember a priest telling me that the American church tried harder to be truly 'Catholic' while the church in Europe and other places was more lax in applying the requirements of celibacy. At that age I didn't even know what a homosexual was, and when someone told me, I didn't believe them. I grew up in the military and was exposed to a reasonable degree of the world not someone who lived in a small town and had been terribly sheltered. In talking to other people my age, I find that I was pretty average in that mentality.

"In earlier times, and certainly in major international events and moral causes, the Catholic Church was always consulted and quoted. The pope was certainly the strongest voice on the earth in such situations. His view might not have been agreed with, but it was certainly a major consideration. Now, when someone from the Evangelical community or some other representative of the Christian faith is quoted but not Rome, it shows how totally the Church has fallen from regard.

"I will proudly annouce my Catholicism until I die, by the grace of God, but will hang my head in shame as the failures of the humans within her ranks are extolled. Thank you, and others like you, for shining a glaring light on the persons involved in these scandals. It is painful, but so necessary."

Apollo F. Salle:

"I am the contact person for the Respect Life ministry of my parish of Christ the King here in Hillside, N.J., and am a new subscriber to RenewAmerica.com. I am also of Filipino descent, and, being one, I was greatly, greatly saddened over the passing in the summer of last year of who is perhaps the world's greatest icon of Christian democracy. I am talking about the former President of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino, who succumbed to colon cancer at the age of 76. She was laid to rest beside the tomb of her assassinated husband, Benigno, in a funeral procession that lasted 10 hours because of the many hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who jammed both sides of the streets of Manila to bid their beloved former president farewell.

"I don't know if you are fully familiar with the story of the now-deceased former Philippine President, but Mrs. Aquino, fondly called 'Cory' by everybody, was indeed a figure of classical Christian democracy and a model for Catholic heads-of-state worldwide. She died on the early morning hours of August 1, 2009 Manila time, and, in my opinion, the day of her death is replete with symbolisms. To start with, Aug. 1 fell on a first Saturday, which is the day in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Way, way back in 1985, the Filipino bishops consecrated the Philippines to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and declared March 25, 1985 to March 25, 1986 as the National Marian Year.

"On February 25, 1986 (Feb. 25, by the way, is also the feast-day of Our Lady of Victory), the Marcos dictatorship was overthrown in a most incredibly peaceful manner (did you ever see the widely-circulated pictures of Filipino nuns, in full habits, kneeling in front of the armored personnel carriers while praying the rosary?) thereby elevating Cory as the first woman President of the Philippines (and the first woman president in Asia!). Exactly one month later was the last day of the National Marian Year, and that was believed by many Filipino Catholics, especially Marian devotees, that the nonviolent 'People Power' Revolution (where the so-called 'revolutionaries' who were out on the streets were carrying in their hands not rocks or clubs or knives but, rather, rosaries and statues or statuettes of Our Blessed Mother) was Divine Providence's response to the Filipino bishops' proclamation of that one year-period as the National Marian Year.

"Also, Aug. 1 is the feast-day of St. Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorists. Well, during the counting of the votes in the aftermath of the 1986 'snap' presidential election, more than a dozen computer technicians who were in charge of the computerized counting of the votes suddenly walked out to protest the vote tampering which they alleged was shamelessly taking place (one of them even implied that Cory was actually ahead of Ferdinand Marcos all that time but the vote tampering caused the reverse to happen), and having placed their lives in jeopardy by making that dangerous move, they sought refuge at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Manila, which is owned by the Filipino Redemptorists(!) and it was there that they got interviewed by the international media.

"By the way, while the 'People Power' Revolution was still underway, Cory sought refuge in the Discalced Carmelites convent in Manila where the nuns reportedly vowed to protect her to the death if need be (Cory was to say later that staying in that convent brought to her mind scenes from 'The Sound of Music'!).

"Early on in this e-mail, I referred to Cory as a model for Catholic heads-of-state worldwide. Cory, to start with, was a very, very devout and observant Catholic herself. But more so because, as president, she was totally unafraid to allow her Catholic values to influence her decision-making. During her tenure, for instance, a new Constitution was promulgated, and this new Philippine Constitution has an explicit ban on abortion and because of that, no Roe v. Wade kind of a decision, for example, will ever be made in the Philippines because the right to life of the unborn child is now an established constitutional right in that country.

"And because this Constitution also has in it provisions calling for the promotion and strengthening of the family as a basic social institution, it will be extremely, extremely difficult for, say, divorce to be legalized in the Philippines (divorce is still unrecognized in the Philippines to this day, by the way). Also, during the Marcos dictatorship, there were these different government-sponsored contraception programs that were being widely and vigorously propagated. Cory, upon becoming president, suspended all that. Cory was so very, very pro-life that she even proclaimed every second week of February as 'Respect And Care For Life Week' when she was president.

"As a result, religious organizations and pro-life groups gave her one recognition after another (one of which was that she got included in the 'Remarkable Pro-Life Women' list of Feminists for Life of America). In 1986, the late Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin, visited the Carmelite convent in Coimbra to see Sr. Lucia, who, as you know, was the last surviving Fatima visionary and who has since passed away herself. Cardinal Sin was surprised to find out that Sr. Lucia, a completely cloistered nun who had no access to television, radio, newspapers, and magazines, was fully familiar with the story of the Philippines' 'People Power' Revolution.

"But what surprised the Filipino cardinal even more was that Sr. Lucia pulled out from her pocket a rosary which she made herself (it has since been known after Sr. Lucia's death that Sr. Lucia made rosaries as her hobby) with instructions that that rosary be given to Cory (who was President of the Philippines at the time) because Sr. Lucia made that rosary especially for Cory. Now when Cory died, that rosary from Sr. Lucia was the one entwined around her hands. And she died while her friends and relatives around her bedside were praying the rosary. And according to daughter Maria Aurora, Cory passed away while they were in the Fifth Sorrowful Mystery which, as you know, is the Crucifixion; it is as if Cory joined Our Blessed Lord in saying 'Consummatum est.'

"(Shortly after her term expired as president, which was in 1992, Cory actually went on a pilgrimage to Marian shrines worldwide, apparently as thanksgiving that she successfully completed her term in office despite the instability that is normally present in a post-dictatorship democratic government like hers, and one such place she visited was the Carmelite convent in Coimbra where Sr. Lucia lived and, in fact, Sr. Lucia actually came out of her cloister to speak to Cory.)

"Mr. Abbott, the reason why I am sending you this e-mail is so that I can inform you that there is now a growing movement in the Philippines, comprising of both religious and laity alike, to promote the beatification of Cory. I for one sent e-mails to the Filipino bishops and Filipino newspapers urging that the cause for Cory's beatification be introduced once the mandatory five-year waiting period is over. It would be nice if you will ask your readers and subscribers join the clamor for Cory's beatification as it will add an 'international' flavor to what as of this time is a purely Filipino initiative. Besides, with Cory proclaimed as a saint, she can be also designated as the patron saint of Catholic heads-of-state and, what's more, she can also be set up as a model for Catholic public officials, especially here in the U.S. where there is this long-running controversy on how Catholic lawmakers should conduct themselves as 'Catholic' lawmakers!

"Thank you very, very much in advance for considering my request. May God and Our Lady of Guadalupe (the Patroness of the Unborn!) always be with you."

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.


(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback from readers. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails – complete with email addresses – that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if those emails are marked confidential. Also, please be aware that RenewAmerica is not my website; RA's president and editor is Stephen Stone, who can be reached here. I'm just one of RA's columnists, for which I'm very grateful. I don't speak for the other RA columnists, so please don't email me to complain about what someone else has written. Thank you and God bless!)

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