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St. Andrew's Parish...Portland, Oregon

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St. Andrew's Parish...Portland, Oregon

Post  Roguejim on Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:03 am

A Catholic friend of mine drew my attention to St. Andrew's Parish in Portland, Oregon. This parish is pretty much in Archbishop Vlazny's back yard. Am I reading something into this, or is this not a scandal?

From their home page, you will find this:
Welcome
St. Andrew is a faith community baptized into one body, which honors and celebrates diversity. We welcome and include persons of every color, language, ethnicity, origin, ability, sexual orientation, gender expression, marital status, and life situation.

http://www.standrewchurch.com/

If you go to their Ministries and Community page, you will find this:

Welcoming the Whole Family Committee

Formed in 1997, the purpose of the Welcoming the Whole Family Committee is to make St. Andrew a welcoming place for gay and lesbian individuals and their families. The committee has offered workshops, discussions and adult forums, joined the Community of Welcoming Congregations and participated in Gay Pride as a church community. Currently members of the committee are working with the Catholic Coalition of Welcoming Parishes to encourage more parishes to address this issue.

Contact: Joy Wallace, 503-284-2613 joy.wallace@comcast.net or Jerry Deas, 503-319-1326, jdeas@aol.com

Resource links:

click here for a history of the St. Andrew Welcoming the Whole Family Committee

ALWAYS OUR CHILDREN: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers - A Statement of the Bishops Committee on Marriage and Family National Conference of Catholic Bishops http://www.usao.edu/~facshaferi/catholic/always.htm

New Ways Ministry http://mysite.verizon.net/~vze43yrc/

Catholic Rainbow Parents www.cpcsm.org/catholicrainbowparents.htm

Catholic Lesbians http://cclonline.org/

National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries http://www.nacdlgm.org/

http://www.standrewchurch.com/community/


And finally, if you go to the Photos page, you can see this:
(June 18, 2006) The St. Andrew contingent at the Portland Gay Pride Parade. Photo by John Rau.

http://www.standrewchurch.com/photos/

Roguejim

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Re: St. Andrew's Parish...Portland, Oregon

Post  MRyan on Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:22 pm

Roguejim wrote:A Catholic friend of mine drew my attention to St. Andrew's Parish in Portland, Oregon. This parish is pretty much in Archbishop Vlazny's back yard. Am I reading something into this, or is this not a scandal?

[SNIP]
Scandal? Is that a multiple choice question?

It's not only a scandal, it's anything but Catholic.

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Re: St. Andrew's Parish...Portland, Oregon

Post  Roguejim on Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:31 pm

I've decided that I'm going to email "Joy", and perhaps their pastor who is from my area. In effect, I want to ask whether they are advocating the homosexual lifestyle as acceptable and good, or something to that effect. Any help as to how I can best word this question so as to remove any chance of equivocation on Joy's part? I know she's a liberal, practiced in the art of double-speak, but I really want to pigeonhole her as much as possible. Suggestions? Oh yeah, I'll definitely post her response.

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Re: St. Andrew's Parish...Portland, Oregon

Post  MRyan on Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:56 pm

Just follow these published links:

http://www.cpcsm.org/catholicrainbowparents.htm
http://www.dignityusa.org/faq.html#top

Q: How could someone do what (the Church says) is wrong and not be living in sin?

According to Catholic teaching, wrong and sin are not the same thing. Wrong is harm, disorder, destruction; it is in the objective or external world. Sin is self-distancing from God; it is in the heart. Sin is more a general attitude than any particular action. We sin when we deliberately do what we believe is wrong. Then in our hearts we opt for evil. Then we move away from goodness and from God, who is good.

It may well be that what you do is not wrong at all. But if you think it is and you do it anyway, well, you are corrupt. That’s sin! Or what you do may really be wrong. But if you don’t honestly think so and you do it, well, your heart is not really amiss. You may be uninformed, naive, or stupid, and even dangerous, but unless you neglected to inform yourself, you are not sinful.

The Church teaches right and wrong but never says who is a sinner. Only God knows our hearts. Many homosexual people simply cannot believe that gay sex is wrong. So they do what for them is “the best they can do,” [b]though Church teaching says that homogenital acts are wrong. Still, according to the same Church’s teaching on conscience, they do not sin in their hearts or before God. Then they need not confess what is not sin, and they may participate in the Sacraments of the Church.
This is no different than saying that an abortionist [just fill in the blank] does not sin because he beleives he does not sin.

Simply quote the Catechism about objectively evil acts always being intrinsically evil, and ask her to reconcile the official teaching of the Church with one’s obligation to conform one’s “conscience” to the same. Homosexuals who profess to be Catholic have no excuse for not knowing what the Church teaches. This is pure situation ethics garbage, and that’s all it is.

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Re: St. Andrew's Parish...Portland, Oregon

Post  Roguejim on Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:13 pm

MRyan wrote:Just follow these published links:

http://www.cpcsm.org/catholicrainbowparents.htm
http://www.dignityusa.org/faq.html#top

Q: How could someone do what (the Church says) is wrong and not be living in sin?

According to Catholic teaching, wrong and sin are not the same thing. Wrong is harm, disorder, destruction; it is in the objective or external world. Sin is self-distancing from God; it is in the heart. Sin is more a general attitude than any particular action. We sin when we deliberately do what we believe is wrong. Then in our hearts we opt for evil. Then we move away from goodness and from God, who is good.

It may well be that what you do is not wrong at all. But if you think it is and you do it anyway, well, you are corrupt. That’s sin! Or what you do may really be wrong. But if you don’t honestly think so and you do it, well, your heart is not really amiss. You may be uninformed, naive, or stupid, and even dangerous, but unless you neglected to inform yourself, you are not sinful.

The Church teaches right and wrong but never says who is a sinner. Only God knows our hearts. Many homosexual people simply cannot believe that gay sex is wrong. So they do what for them is “the best they can do,” [b]though Church teaching says that homogenital acts are wrong. Still, according to the same Church’s teaching on conscience, they do not sin in their hearts or before God. Then they need not confess what is not sin, and they may participate in the Sacraments of the Church.
This is no different than saying that an abortionist [just fill in the blank] does not sin because he beleives he does not sin.

Simply quote the Catechism about objectively evil acts always being intrinsically evil, and ask her to reconcile the official teaching of the Church with one’s obligation to conform one’s “conscience” to the same. Homosexuals who profess to be Catholic have no excuse for not knowing what the Church teaches. This is pure situation ethics garbage, and that’s all it is.

Thanks. I'm afraid if I use the that particular Q/A from the cited link, "Joy" at St. Andrews could simply say that "not all material from the links provided necessarily reflect the beliefs of Catholics, yet, there is still valuable info at these sites..." or something like that. What do you think of this as a rough draft:

Dear XX,

On the St. Andrews Ministries and Community webpage are links to various dissident groups in open dissent of Catholic moral teaching, groups which unambiguously promote the homosexual lifestyle as normal and good. I trust I do not need to provide these links from your own website. Can you tell me the justification for a purportedly Catholic website providing links of this type? Also, do the erroneous beliefs espoused by these aforementioned dissident groups reflect your own personal beliefs, with regards to the homosexual lifestyle? And finally, nowhere on your website have I found the Catholic Church's authoritative teaching on homosexuality, per the Universal Catechism. For a parish which places such importance on ministering to this particular group of God's children, it strikes me as odd that you wouldn't want them to know the truth. Why is this?

In Jesus and Mary,
Jim O'Conner


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:


Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

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Re: St. Andrew's Parish...Portland, Oregon

Post  MRyan on Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:59 pm

Roguejim,

That’s fine, but I would still ask if it is their position that “The Church teaches right and wrong but never says who is a sinner. Only God knows our hearts. Many homosexual people simply cannot believe that gay sex is wrong. So they do what for them is “the best they can do,” though Church teaching says that homogenital acts are wrong. Still, according to the same Church’s teaching on conscience, they do not sin in their hearts or before God. Then they need not confess what is not sin, and they may participate in the Sacraments of the Church.”

Since it is their link to dignity USA that contains this, I would suggest that it is not enough to make a general disclaimer stating they do not necessarily support everything dignity USA proposes; on such a crucial matter that goes right to the heart of their ministry, they need to be clear and unambiguous about what the Church actually teaches.

Question: Isn’t every Catholic obliged to educate himself with respect to the moral law, and to form his conscience with authoritative Church teaching?

Does St. Andrews support the following teaching; and if so, where is it spelled out on their website:

While respecting the dictates of conscience, the Church also teaches Catholics have a duty to form their conscience with authoritative Church teaching. The Catholic Catechism:

1783 “Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.”
Furthermore, in 2003, the CDF was quite specific in confirming traditional Church teaching:

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS:

4. There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts “close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”.

Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity... (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”. This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.

Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”. They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity. The homosexual inclination is however “objectively disordered” and homosexual practices are “sins gravely contrary to chastity”.
VCII, Gaudium et Spes states that one’s conscience can be injured by ignorance or deadened by sin:

“Yet it often happens that conscience goes astray through ignorance which it is unable to avoid, without thereby losing its dignity. This cannot be said of the man who takes the trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.”
Again, isn’t every Catholic obliged to educate himself with respect to the moral law, and to form his conscience with authoritative Church teaching?

An isn't St. Andrews obliged to educate those they minster to?

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Re: St. Andrew's Parish...Portland, Oregon

Post  Roguejim on Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:09 pm

Thanks for the ammo. I know you have a stockpile!

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St. Andrew's Parish Portland, Oregon

Post  George Brenner on Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:34 pm

My readings tell me that two angels were sent by God to visit Sodom in human form. Some how I find it hard to believe that their report back to God was that although there were rampant acts of immorality and unspeakable things done with and to each other, many of the folks were doing the best they could and many did not think it was wrong.

So what happened to Sodom and Gemmorah ?

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Re: St. Andrew's Parish...Portland, Oregon

Post  Roguejim on Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:00 pm

Good point, George.

Mryan, I've included your two pointed questions in my letter, minus the citations. No doubt this will not be just a "two email" exchange. I'll save your citations for later rounds. Why do I keep hearing the late pro boxing referee Mills Lane's voice yelling "Let's get it on!"?

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Re: St. Andrew's Parish...Portland, Oregon

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