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Catholic Teaching on Sexuality Gone Beserk

Kevin Kukla’s Klaptrap — Catholic Teaching on Sexuality Gone Beserk

by Aaron Milavec

Two years ago I discovered Kevin Kukla’s claptrap on his website, ProLife365.org.  At first, I was just annoyed.  Then I realized that Kevin represented an educated, upwardly mobile Catholic Fundamentalist who is intent upon upholding and defending the entire Vatican ideology regarding the sexual issues of our day.  Moreover, Kevin imagines himself to be a crusader bent upon bringing to young people the sure and unchanging truths of Catholic sexuality that even most priests are embarrassed to teach.  As a Catholic theologian who has trained future priests and lay ministers for 25 years, I have sought to fairly and systematically examine Kevin’s claims.  My findings are as follows. . . .

Review

Kevin Kukla’s Klaptrap — Catholic Teaching on Sexuality Gone Beserk

by Dr. Aaron Milavec

Two years ago I discovered Kevin Kukla’s claptrap on his website, ProLife365.org.  At first, I was just annoyed.  Then I realized that Kevin represented an educated, upwardly mobile Catholic Fundamentalist who is intent upon upholding and defending the entire Vatican ideology regarding the sexual issues of our day.  Moreover, Kevin imagines himself to be a crusader bent upon bringing to young people the sure and unchanging truths of Catholic sexuality that even most priests are embarrassed to teach.  As a Catholic theologian who has trained future priests and lay ministers for 25 years, I have sought to fairly and systematically examine Kevin’s claims.  My findings are as follows. . . .

kkkcover800

What has Glenda revealed to me?

When I finally get a true confession from someone, I will publish it on this page.  I urge you, the reader, not to go to this page too quickly without declaring your hunches here:  http://www.churchonfire.net/?p=1238

Sorry.  I have not yet received a true confession from anyone.  But I believe that, in the end, that the truth will come out. . . .

Detective Adam Rose

Who is the real Glenda Smith?

[My email #15] Dear Glenda,

For the past two months, I have been in communication with a woman that I have come to cherish.  She identifies herself as Glenda Sue Smith, a name you used during your first marriage.  Her words have melted my heart and brought tears of recognition to my eyes:

for a good relationship to grow we need to trust each other and be honest with each other to achieve what we want to achieve well i am seeking for master which will be the flesh to my flesh and also the bone to my bone, It’s true I have never seen you and we have never met, Never shaken Hands or even truly hugged and yet! I know for sure you care for me by the kindness that you give and our keyboards keep us together doesn’t matter where we live. So I am emailing you to put a smile on your face and to let you know in my heart you have a special place. The sun is always shining just above the cloudy haze, as we share love across an online maze.

I believe that this woman is you and that you are now 58 years old and living at 124 [not 24] Rosewood Drive.  If so, I am fully disposed to cherish you in the same way that my words have seemingly moved you.  As I have written:

It does not shock me if you are using your earlier name.  It does not turn me away if you have been an online thief.  Your sins only make you all the more precious in my eyes.  When we come together, the truth and the whole truth will finally come out as I cradle you in my arms and kiss you with an everlasting kiss and reveal to you just how precious you are. . . .

How do you suggest that we proceed from here? [I dare not say too much. My silence makes room for the real “Glenda” to speak to me within or without our earlier master-slave arrangement.  Who is the real “Glenda” who will arrive at my door in Cincinnati?]

ur admiring LuvDoctor Adam

So what might happen now?

  • Glenda might reaffirm that she has been and remains the 29-year-old sex slave pictured and described in her original ad in collarspace.com.
  • Glenda might tell me that she is the 33-year-old Holly Nicole Smith, daughter of Glenda Smith, and that she loves me and wants to be with me.
  • Or Glenda might tell me that she is the 58-year-old mother who uses a fictitious slave identity to pay the bills. This Glenda may want to know how the hell I was able to discover her true identity. She might also want to play out our master-slave fantasy where we left off.
  • Or Glenda might tell me that she is neither Holly nor her mother but a close friend of Glenda who accidently fell in love with me while pressing forward a scam that she designed by way of helping Glenda pay her enormous hospital bills following her recent car accident.
  • Or Glenda might tell me. . . .

So, now, I step back and address you, the reader:

What are your hunches?  What will Glenda tell me?
What evidence can you bring forward to support your hunches?

Please feel free to post your hunches below.

 

Free Sample Chapter

At first I was just going to give you a random chapter.  Now I’m thinking that you would be better served if I gave you a choice:

PaulVIChoice #1  If you are a history buff, I’d like to send you a blow by blow account of how Pope Paul VI blocked the bishops assembled during Vatican II from considering three key issues: priestly celibacy, the contraceptive pill, and indulgences.  After all the bishops went home, Paul VI then betrayed Vatican II by making his own prejudiced decisions based upon his faulty use of Scriptures and  upon his abysmal ignorance of church history.  He then used his papal authority to obstruct any further open discussion on these issues.   Click here to receive this story as a PDF file.     Or as an eBook chapter.

PlannedParenthoodChoice #2  If you are upset by the way that the abortion issue has divided the Church into two opposing camps, then I want to send you my personal history within the walls of Planned Parenthood.  I also want to show you step by step how and why the US bishops have sought to stop all abortions by relying on arguments that neither St. Augustine or  St. Thomas Aquinas could have ever endorsed.  Click here to receive this story as a PDF file.    Or as an eBook chapter.

coverlesbian420R400Choice #3  Key US Archbishops have undertaken a bloody program to entirely purge from our Catholic schools all teachers who are homosexual or who endorse same-sex marriages.   My latest book endeavors to show just how disastrous these purges have become and how our Catholic students have begun to fight these strong-arm tactics with nonviolent tactics that go back to the 1960s.  Click here to receive this story as a PDF file.    Or as an eBook chapter.

Five reasons the synod is doomed to fail

Five reasons the synod is doomed to fail

  • Pope Francis speaks with a cardinal as he arrives for a session of the Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 15. At right is Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops. (CNS/Paul Haring)
Faith and Justice
The synod on the family has created a lot of interest in the church and spilled a lot of ink (or electrons) in the media, but there are five reasons that it was doomed to fail before the bishops even gathered in Rome Oct. 4. Perhaps Pope Francis can perform a miracle and save it, but the odds are against him.First, the topic of the synod, “the family,” is too broad.

The family touches everything and is touched by everything. Anything bad in the world affects families, and any problems in families affect the societies in which they live.

Social and economic factors impact families: unemployment, housing, war, terrorism, climate change, interreligious differences, consumerism, social media, education, and on and on. Every problem in the world has an impact on families, from addictions to political corruption.

Scores of moral issues surround the family, everything from the sexual act itself to fidelity, abortion, contraception, surrogate mothers, homosexuality, divorce, gender equality, child abuse, spousal violence, and so on.

Families are the place where one learns or does not learn the Christian faith, to say nothing of simple moral habits and virtues.

And we have not even gotten to the theological and canonical issues surrounding families: marriage as a sacrament, annulments, liturgical ceremonies, the family in the church, etc.

It is simply too much to deal with in a three-week meeting.

Second, the membership of the synod makes dealing with the topic of the family difficult.

The 270 synodal fathers come from many different cultures and as a result have very different priorities and concerns, not to mention different cultural conceptions about family life.

Bishops in the Middle East and Africa see their families facing the constant threat of violence and death that forces them to become refugees fleeing their homes. How can you have a family under these circumstances?

Many bishops in the developed world are concerned about how to respond to high divorce rates. But outside the wealthy, industrialized nations, the issues may be human trafficking, arranged marriages, interreligious marriages, child brides, polygamy, female genital mutilation, and cultural customs where marriage is seen as taking place over time, not in the instant when the couple says their vows.

Can so many people from such varied backgrounds have any common understanding of the problems facing families and how to deal with them?

The third problem facing the synod is the synodal process itself.

Synods are paper factories. They produce lots of speeches, recommendations and sometimes even a final document, but do they make a difference? In 1980, I covered an earlier synod on the family that faced almost every issue that this synod faces. Did it make any difference? If it did, I don’t see it.

The 1980 synod made many of the same recommendations that this synod will make: better marriage preparation, better formation of clergy so they can help families, better education programs, greater support from governments for families, less violence, more love.

New programs and ideas are not generated at synods. Bishops can only share what they bring. New programs are created by entrepreneurs who have an idea, experiment with it, and improve it through trial and error.

The fourth reason the synod is doomed to failure is that it is seriously divided on the question of what can and cannot change.

This clash is most obvious over the question of readmitting divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion.

One side sees only the law — the marriage contract is permanent and can be terminated only by death. The other side sees millions of people suffering from broken marriages that cannot be put back together.

One solution to this crisis is the annulment process, whereby the church declares that, even though there is a signed contract, the contract is not valid because of some failure at the time the wedding took place. There was much support at the 2014 synod for making the annulment process easier and faster, and Francis acted on this between synods.

The attitude of the bishops toward annulments is the greatest change since the 1980 synod on the family, when the American bishops were fiercely attacked by curial cardinals for making annulments too easy.

Francis has gone way beyond the American procedures by allowing bishops to declare a marriage annulled through an administrative process rather than a judicial process. Even canon lawyers are scratching their heads wondering how this will work.

But the fundamental problem faced by the synod is the same one faced by the Second Vatican Council: What can and cannot change in the church?

The pope and the bishops are constantly saying that the synod will not change church doctrine, but only pastoral practice. Bishops appear to even be afraid to talk about the development of doctrine, lest they be seen as wishy-washy on doctrine.

The conservatives see the readmission of divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion as violating a doctrine of the church — the indissolubility of marriage. To them, it would be an admission that the church was somehow wrong in its teaching in the past.

Any student of the Second Vatican Council recognizes that this was the same complaint of Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani and his conservative colleagues who fought changes in church teaching on ecumenism, religious liberty and other matters.

So for the bishops to allow divorced and remarried Catholics — who don’t have an annulment but are civilly married — to receive Communion, they must somehow explain it as only a change in pastoral practice and not a change in doctrine.

The fifth reason the synod is doomed is the absence of theologians at the synod.

One conservative curial cardinal complained of the “schoolboy theology” being presented in episcopal speeches. There is some truth in that complaint. There is little evidence in their talks that bishops consulted theologians in order to understand contemporary thinking in Scripture, ethics or doctrine.

The bishops would have been better off spending the first week listening to theologians do an exegesis of scriptural passages on marriage, explain the concept of the development of doctrine, recount the history of the church’s treatment of marriage, and propose resolutions to controversial questions.

The reason that Vatican II was successful was because an alliance was forged between the theological periti and the council fathers that was capable of defeating the Roman Curia’s intransigence. Tragically, this alliance was broken after Humanae Vitae, when theologians were cast into the outer darkness as dissidents whom the bishops were to avoid at all costs.

The result has been disastrous for the church. It is as if the management of a major corporation is not on speaking terms with its research and development division. Would you invest in such a company?

Is there hope for the synod? Yes. Francis has begun a process; he has opened the windows closed after Vatican II. It will take more than three weeks to move the church forward, but he is moving it in the right direction.

Perhaps the synod is not doomed to fail but simply to be unfinished.

[Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese is a senior analyst for NCR and author of Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church. His email address is treesesj@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @ThomasReeseSJ.]

Archbishop orders priests to deny Communion to dissenters

Archbishop orders priests to deny Communion to dissenters.
Is Francis’ message lost?

October 14, 2015

(Photo: AP/Riccardo De Luca)

Only weeks after Pope Francis spent his visit to the United States calling for a culture of dialogue on contentious issues, some American prelates are back to business as usual.

In a memo sent to priests in his archdiocese this week, Archbishop John Myers of Newark issued strict guidelines for denying Communion to Catholics whose marriages are not recognized as valid by the church, and prohibiting the sacrament to those who support same-sex civil marriage. Parishes and other Catholic institutions, the archbishop decreed, should never host individuals or organizations that disagree with church teachings.

This is precisely the kind of fortress Catholicism — a church hunkered down behind imposing walls — that Pope Francis vigorously rejects.

Instead, the pope wants a church that acts like a “field hospital after battle.“ He insists that Communion is not “a prize for the perfect but powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” While the New Jersey archbishop sends a message that he is putting Catholic institutions on lockdown, Pope Francis recently welcomed Democratic U.S. mayors, including Bill de Blasio of New York City, and the pro-choice secular feminist Naomi Klein, to the Vatican for climate change talks. No one was carded at the door.

Before addressing Congress, Pope Francis warmly greeted Secretary of State John Kerry. The pro-choice Catholic became a lightening rod during the 2004 presidential campaign when a handful of conservative bishops publicly argued he should not receive Communion. In the wake of the pope’s visit, Vatican officials squashed efforts from Kim Davis and her lawyers to use the pope as a pawn in the culture wars. And when news broke that Pope Francis had held one private meeting in Washington, D.C., it turned out to be with a longtime friend from Argentina who has been in a same-sex relationship for nearly two decades.

A ‘Francis Effect’ in the U.S.?

Pope Francis left U.S. Catholics with plenty to think about and act on after his first whirlwind visit to this country. This refreshing and complicated papacy presents unique challenges and opportunities for the American church. The pope’s desire to find a “new balance” that recalibrates the Catholic conversation beyond the flash points of a few hot-button issues — along with his muscular focus on the root causes of structural injustice — should shake up the politics of the church and our values debates in American politics.

But any real “Francis effect” will depend on whether religious leaders, elected officials and those of us in the pews wake up to the pope’s bracing call for radical change.

A pope who describes economic inequality as the “root of social evil,” insists on the moral urgency to address climate change and wants a “poor church for the poor” is clear and consistent in his messages. Don’t underestimate this smiling reformer exuding gentleness and joy. The captain of this ancient and sometimes leaky ship known as the Catholic Church is charting a definitive course.

At the White House welcome ceremony on his first full day in town, Pope Francis smiled at the pageantry in his honor but wasted little time before challenging complacency.

“Mr. President, I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution,” he said. “Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation. When it comes to the care of our ‘common home,’ we are living at a critical moment of history.” Powerful American politicians, knee deep in oil- industry contributions, were not called out by name, of course, but plenty of conservative Catholics on Capitol Hill and Republican Catholics campaigning for the presidency don’t share the pope’s sense of urgency or even believe that human behavior contributes to the problem. The status quo is comfortable. It rewards the privileged. Francis knows the poor and most vulnerable already suffering from the impact of environmental degradation don’t have the luxury of indifference.

Pope Francis also offered a timely antidote to the resurgent nativism and xenophobia on the American right. Donald Trump rose in the polls by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists.” He stokes fear and resentment, the demagogue’s weapons of choice for centuries. In contrast, Francis introduced himself as “the son of immigrants” and reminded us of our American experience. “We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners,” he said during the first papal address to Congress in history.  (source)

Letter to the Pope

Letter to the Pope

Synod on the Family 2014

23 January 2014

Dear Father in Christ,

The proposed Synod on the Family holds great potential for the survival of faith and the spiritual well-being  of many of our faithful. On behalf of an international group of Catholic scholars I am sending you our Statement on Marriage and the Family with the scholars’s signatures which, we hope, will be of use to you in your planning of that Synod.

I realise that most preparatory information is being gathered through the medium of local Bishops’ Conferences. However, our Statement – on account of the international character of academic signatories – does not fall under any particular country, which is why I am addressing a copy directly to you.  I have, however, sent a complimentary copy to Archbishop Vince Nichols, Primate of England and Wales.

The original draft of the Statement was drawn up by Professor Joseph Selling, emeritus moral theologian of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. It has been subsequently discussed and signed by 74 Catholic experts in many fields: dogmatic theology, ethics, psychology, medicine, moral theology, sacred scripture, and so on. Their views are representative of the considered opinion of the majority of Catholic scholars world wide.

In recent decades, genuine freedom of expression has been suppressed in Church circles.  Many theologians, priests and lay people realise that a number of so-called Church ‘teachings’ do not stand up to scrutiny. This is very damaging to the Church. It undermines the credibility of authority and shakes the confidence of the faithful. That is why we are expressing our views frankly, conscious of the fact that our “freedom of research, freedom of thought and freedom of expression” acknowledged by Vatican II (Gaudium et Spes § 62), is not only a right but also a duty. “Over the Pope as the expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority there still stands one’s own conscience, which must be obeyed before all else. It must be obeyed if necessary even against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. Conscience confronts us with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim even of the official Church” [Joseph Ratzinger, Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II, ed. Vorgrimler, 1968, part 1, chapter 1].

We feel that the time has come for the Church to adjust its official position on a number of regulations affecting sexual ethics. These regulations are neither revealed doctrine, nor unchangeable traditions. Rather they often derive from Greek philosophy and scientific perceptions of the Middle Ages. It is imperative that the Church’s guidance on the morality of married life reflects the theology, science and understanding of our own time.

We wish God’s blessings on the important process of consultation and decision making that will be made possible through this Synod.

With respectful greetings in Christ,

John Wijngaards

_____

 

Petition to Widen the Circle of Consultants at the 2015 Family Synod

Widen the Circle of Consultants at the 2015 Family Synod

Petition to Cardinal Baldisseri and the Bishops of the World

Widen the Circle at the 2015 Family Synod
5,124
of 6,000 signatures


Campaign created by Deborah Rose-Milavec


As faithful Catholics, we are deeply concerned that the perspective and experience of a large number of Catholics will not be represented at the upcoming Synod. Therefore, we are writing to urge you to widen the circle of people invited to participate in the upcoming Family Synod 2015.

We know our Church would benefit from listening to representatives of the many constituencies present in the church community and from engaging in the dialogue Pope Francis has been calling for since the beginning of his papacy. The Lineamenta points out, “In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis advocates for engaging in pastoral activity characterized by a ‘culture of encounter’ and capable of recognizing the Lord’s gratuitous work, even outside customary models.”

We urge the Vatican Synod office to make every effort to include a wide diversity of Catholics, especially those from the constituencies being discussed including divorced and remarried people, cohabitating couples, interfaith families, impoverished families, single parents, families with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members, same-sex couples, and families torn by the violence of war and abuse. These women and men can share their lives and stories in a way that creates greater understanding among the bishops who will, in the end, make critical recommendations about the Church’s priorities and pastoral practices for years to come.

We ask that Synod planners reach out to those on “life’s periphery” (Evangelii Gaudium), those who have not felt welcome in our church. Their invaluable perspectives will greatly enrich and enlighten discussion at the Ordinary Synod on the Family in October.

As stated in Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church (2014): “The baptized….are endowed as members of the body of the Lord with gifts and charisms for the renewal and building up of the Church….Not only do they have the right to be heard, but their reaction to what is proposed as belonging to the faith must be taken very seriously. . . “ (#74).

We assure you that the mission of the Family Synod is in our prayers.

Click here to sign this Petition.

Why is this important?

The synod would benefit from listening to Catholic representatives from diverse constituencies and from engaging in the dialogue Pope Francis has promoted throughout his papacy. We believe widening the circle will create greater understanding among the synod fathers whose final recommendations to Pope Francis may impact our Church’s pastoral practice for years to come. This petition is sponsored by:

Aggiornomento, Australia (ACCCR)
American Catholic Council
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
Australian Catholic Coalition for Church Renewal (ACCCR)
Australian Reforming Catholics ARC (ACCCR)
Call to Action
Catholic Church Reform International
Catholics for ministry CfM, Australia (ACCCR)
Catholics for Renewal, Austraiia (ACCCR)
Catholic Network for Women’s Equality, Canada
CORPUS
The Cyber Community, Australia (ACCCR)
DignityUSA
Federation of Christian Ministries/Roman Catholic Faith Community Council
Fortunate Families
The Friendship Group WA, Australia (ACCCR)
FutureChurch
Inclusive Catholics, Australia (ACCCR)
International Movement of We Are Church
Loretto Women’s Network
National Coalition of American Nuns
New Ways Ministry
Noi Siamo Chiesa (Italian section of IMWAC)
Pfarrei-Initiative, Schweiz
Pfarrer-Initiative Austria
Parrish Initiative Switzerland
RAPPORT
Roman Catholic Womenpriests RCWP-USA
Sisters of Providence Peace With Justice Committee, St. Mary-of-the-Woods
Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference
Vision of Faithful People (Netherlands)
Voice of the Faithful
We are All Church, South Africa (WAACSA)
Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual
Women and the Australian Church WATAC (ACCCR)
Women’s Ordination Conference
Women’s Ordination Worldwide

How it will be delivered

On March 4, 2015, we will deliver the signatures by email and mail to all the English speaking bishops and to Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops in Rome. We will also hand deliver the petition to Cardinal Baldisseri at the Synod of Bishops in Rome.

Archbishop: School that fired gay teacher showed ‘character’

Archbishop: School that fired gay teacher showed ‘character’

By MARYCLAIRE DALE July 13, 2015 4:07 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Roman Catholic school officials who fired a married gay teacher are not seeking controversy but showed “character and common sense” by following church teachings, Philadelphia’s archbishop said Monday.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, in a statement, thanked Waldron Mercy Academy leaders “for taking the steps to ensure that the Catholic faith is presented … in accord with the teaching of the church. They’ve shown character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon.”

The church opposes gay marriage. Of homosexuals, Pope Francis has said: “Who am I to judge?”

Teacher Margie Winters recently told a newspaper that she lost her job last month as religious instruction director even though she had told the school about her same-sex marriage when she was hired in 2007. She was told she could be open about her marriage with faculty but not with parents at the school, Winters told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“So that’s what I’ve done,” Winters said. “I’ve never been open. And that’s been hard.”

Nonetheless, she said, a few parents found out and complained to the school or the archdiocese. She was fired after she refused a request to resign, Winters said.

“In the Mercy spirit, many of us accept life choices that contradict current church teachings,” Principal Nell Stetser said in a letter to parents obtained by the Inquirer, “but to continue as a Catholic school, Waldron Mercy must comply with those teachings.”

Many parents are upset by the dismissal, and Philadelphia’s Democratic nominee for mayor, Jim Kenney, a Catholic-school graduate, has criticized the firing.

Spokesman Ken Gavin said last week that the archdiocese “did not influence” Waldron’s decision at the nondiocesan elementary school.

However, Chaput on Monday weighed in with his statement.

“Schools describing themselves as Catholic take on the responsibility of teaching and witnessing the Catholic faith in a manner true to Catholic belief,” he wrote. “There’s nothing complicated or controversial in this. It’s a simple a matter of honesty.”

As archbishop of Denver in 2010, Chaput supported a diocesan Catholic school in Boulder that refused to let two young children of lesbians re-enroll. Chaput, in his weekly column, called it “a painful situation and said the church “never looks for reasons to turn anyone away from a Catholic education.”

However, he said parents choose Catholic schools for their children so they can see their religious beliefs “fully taught and practiced.”

“That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents,” said Chaput, who described people with different viewpoints on marriage as “often people of sincerity and good will.”

Chaput said children of single and divorced parents are welcome in diocesan schools as long as their parents support the Catholic mission.

Chaput is scheduled to host the pope’s two-day visit to Philadelphia in September for the World Meeting of Families.