Matt C. Abbott
Good priest responds to misguided priest on same-sex 'marriage'
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By Matt C. Abbott
October 15, 2015

Please pray for the priests of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, who suffered a devastating fire Oct. 7 at their Chicago church. Click here for more information.



On Oct. 5, The Catholic Voice, a publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, published the text of a homily by Father Dan Danielson, who all but endorses same-sex "marriage." Click here to read it (if you can stomach it).

I asked Father John Trigilio Jr., author, EWTN personality, and president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, to respond to Father Danielson's assertions.

Father Trigilio's excellent response is as follows (slightly edited):
    Mother Angelica often spoke about misplaced or misguided compassion. It is when someone wrongly tolerates or permits an immoral act out of a desire not to offend the sinner. The intention not to offend is good, but it can never contradict the truth. It has no power to alter reality. An evil act is not good merely because a good person does it. It is of a higher priority that our love of neighbor sometimes requires fraternal correction as called for in Sacred Scripture.

    Fear of offending must yield to admonishing the sinner if they're in spiritual danger. Some souls are perilously moving toward eternal damnation. It would be criminal negligence were we to remain silent or, worse, to tolerate and condone the dangerous behavior.

    Imagine persons with serious drug addictions being given money from family and friends so they can buy their dope. That's misguided compassion. You're not helping even though you're avoiding offending or upsetting the addict. Yet, if I truly love him, should I not risk rejection and tell him the truth? Am I not morally obligated to refuse material cooperation in evil even though I already have refused formal cooperation?

    What about giving a pregnant mother a ride to the abortion clinic rather than have her get upset when I refuse? Love sometimes requires us to say no. It may not be enough to just not say yes. Expressing refusal of bad behavior is not judgmental.

    Father Danielson is guilty of misguided or misplaced compassion. It is laudable that he wants to show compassion and mercy to those who suffer from same-sex attraction. Whether or not the homosexual orientation or inclination is biological, psychological or sociological is not the issue.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear, as has been the magisterium. The orientation or inclination itself is disordered, while homosexual activity is immoral and sinful. Any and all sex outside of marriage is immoral and sinful. The sixth commandment is applicable to all human beings regardless of their sexual disposition.

    Father Danielson is grossly mistaken when he asserts, 'So while the Church's teaching is certainly in general correct, it does not work out that way in many instances.' This is doctrinally erroneous and morally incorrect.

    The natural moral law and the divine positive law are not arbitrary. They exist to promote and protect the common good. Doing what is sinful is not just unlawful; it is injurious. Sin and moral evil are lethal threats to the life of grace. They endanger the soul. Just as there are unhealthy habits one needs to eliminate and avoid in order to stay alive, so, too, in the spiritual life.

    Fornication, adultery, sodomy, artificial contraception, pornography, masturbation, et al. are sinful because they are dangerous to the immortal soul, just as poison is to the physical body.

    Compassion for the homosexual means accepting and treating them as a child of God. It also means warning them about dangerous behavior such as engaging in immoral sexual activity. Marriage is the keystone and cornerstone of the family. It is of divine origin and it is between a man and a woman. Pretending or acting as if gay marriage was an alternative or viable option is dangerous as well as erroneous.

    Two people in love are not de facto candidates for parenthood merely because of their mutual affection. Parenthood is biological, emotional and spiritual. It is built on marriage. Hence, the best mother and father are a husband and his wife. Marriage alone is not the only factor, but it is an integral one nonetheless. Children deserve a mom and dad who are married to each other. Separated or broken families should be the exception, not the norm nor an alternative.

    Two men or two women cannot become spouses any more than a brother and sister. It violates nature. It doesn't mean both do not love each other. Father Danielson muddies the water at best and creates a moral cloud at worst. Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery and thus prevented her being stoned to death. But He also told her to go and 'sin no more,' so she avoided spiritual death (mortal sin) – much worse than physical death.

    Human persons can have a homosexual orientation or a heterosexual orientation. Their sexuality does not define them, however. A human person is a corporal body and immortal soul, endowed with an intellect and will, made in the image and likeness of God. It is unjust to reduce a person to one aspect or component of their entire being.

    Therefore, Holy Mother Church rightfully teaches that all men and women are called to live moral lives of goodness and seek to become holy by doing the will of God. Condoning or tolerating that which is immoral, sinful and evil is itself an evil, i.e., a privation of good.

    What we should do is not give a wink and a nod, nor a blind eye and deaf ear, but a loving, compassionate and correct word of salvific truth. Sinful acts can kill the life of grace and may endanger a person's soul for all eternity. To hide or ignore that is not love; it is a culpable sin of omission.
© 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.


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