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By Deacon Keith Fournier

12/2/2009 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Get ready.The faithful Catholics in St. Louis who made their way through the protestors to the Altar of the Lord may show us the future.

(Archbishop Robert Carlson) The faithful Catholics in St. Louis who made their way through the protesters to the Altar of the Lord show us the way forward. The leadership of this good Bishop is an inspiration. He is to be commended.

(Archbishop Robert Carlson) The faithful Catholics in St. Louis who made their way through the protesters to the Altar of the Lord show us the way forward. The leadership of this good Bishop is an inspiration. He is to be commended.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/2/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Catholic Online) - On Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, the "Vital Voice newspaper", which claims to "provide a diverse and independent voice for the St. Louis Community", ran a story by Colin Murphy entitled "Hundreds Protest Outside of St. Louis' Cathedral Basilica." The story was an example of fringe homosexual advocacy that has as its goal a Cultural Revolution. It began with these words:

"Grey skies framed the Neo-Byzantine dome of St. Louis' Cathedral Basilica on Nov. 29 as hundreds of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) and allied supporters protested the archdiocese's donation of $10,000 to the successful effort to reverse marriage equality in Maine. The protest, which took place on the public portion of sidewalk in front of the New Cathedral, was organized by St. Louis based GLBT rights organization, Show Me No Hate. A smaller contingent of protesters was on hand for morning mass and the organization plans to rally outside the iconic edifice each Sunday throughout Advent -- the period of preparation and waiting for Christmas."

What occurred on the first Sunday in Advent in front of that Church will continue throughout Advent and perhaps beyond. It may become a regular experience for those who want to go to Mass to have to walk around protest signs. It may also spread beyond St. Louis. However, the Church cannot and will not change the truth about marriage. Thus, the protestors have absolutely no chance of achieving what they would call "success".

The article quoted Ed Reggi, the founder of a group called "Show me No Hate", who said "No longer will we tolerate the religious funding of hate... The Archbishop showed no mercy for the poor, sick and homeless in St. Louis. The $10,000 Carlson wired to Maine could have helped the empty food pantries and local toy drives this Christmas season." Hmmm... "the money could have been given to the poor..." where have I heard that before? What the homosexual (or bi-sexual, or transgender...) cultural revolutionaries are really upset about is the perfectly legal and morally commendable contribution which Archbishop Carlson made to the defense of true marriage in Maine.

The participants are a part of a small, strident and increasingly vocal group within the homosexual community who want the positive law of this Nation to enforce a legal equivalency between homosexual relationships and real marriage. They call support for true marriage and promoting the authentic love which it fosters "hate". They want to force the Nation to call what can never be a marriage a marriage and then use the police power of the State to enforce their Cultural Revolution. Because they view anyone who opposes them engaging in "hate" they carry signs such as "Separation of Church and hate".

The article continued: "Reggi was quick to point out that theirs was not a protest against the Catholic faith, but rather the actions of Archbishop Carlson and 45 Catholic Bishops across the United States who sent a combined $180,000 to Maine's "YES ON 1 Campaign," that organized the people's veto of Governor Baldacci earlier this month.... In addition to Show Me No Hate, the protest was co-sponsored by The Catholic Action Network, Catholics for Marriage Equality and Holy Families Committee and was attended by Catholics and Non-Catholics alike. Organizers were heartened by the large crowds given the holiday weekend and the threat of bad weather".

Mr. Reggi, the protestors, by attacking true marriage, are attacking the Catholic Church. The Bishops were promoting the truth which the Catholic Church proclaims to the whole world concerning the nature of real marriage as revealed in the Natural Law, confirmed by revelation and affirmed by experience. The Archbishop of St. Louis released the following response to the Press:

Statement Regarding Protest Outside Cathedral Basilica from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis

"In June of this year, Archbishop Richard Malone of Portland, Maine sent a letter to all U.S. bishops asking for financial support for issues the church considers moral issues. I approved a donation for $10,000 which was charged to the special needs fund. This fund has traditionally been the Archbishop's for discretionary spending, not for formal operations, and is funded by private gifts. These funds were already available when I arrived in St. Louis. Archbishops of St. Louis have made donations in the past to help other dioceses around the world for various causes ranging from disaster relief to pro-life issues. The ballot measure asked voters if they wanted to reject the new law that allows same sex marriages and allows religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages. The voters in Maine supported this measure despite the fact that, according to the state of Maine, groups who believe in same sex marriage raised more than $5.2 million to defeat the amendment, while those who believe in the sanctity of marriage raised about $3.3 million.

"The Catholic Church always tries to follow the teachings of Jesus in welcoming all people. The Church does not believe in discrimination. The Church was in the forefront of the Civil Rights movement in this country which sought to end racial discrimination. In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, we are currently the largest private funder of Doorways (www.doorwaysmo.org) an organization the late Archbishop John May help found in the 1980's. Doorways provides affordable, secure housing and related supportive services to people living with HIV/AIDS. Another example of our support is the Courage/Encourage ministry, which is a worldwide ministry that has a chapter in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and is made known to Catholics every week in the Archdiocesan publication, the St. Louis Review. This ministry works with homosexuals and their families.

"Supporting homosexuals does not mean we can change Christ's teaching on the nature of marriage. As recorded in the Bible, Jesus says a marriage is between a man and a woman. As Catholics, we believe marriage is a Sacrament, given to us by Christ and witnessed by a priest. We do not have the ability to change the Sacrament of marriage.
That being said, we do have the obligation as Catholics to carry out Christ's teachings, whether in the privacy of our own home or in the public square. Separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor a particular faith. It does not mean that faith-filled people lose their right to speak out publicly and engage in the political process. In fact, the Catholic Church was in the forefront of the civil rights movement, and that was a political issue as well.

"Following Christ's teaching on marriage does not mean we neglect the poor. In fact, no other private institution in the world does as much for the sick and the poor as the Catholic Church. In the state of Missouri, Catholic Charities is the largest private provider for social services. In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, we spend millions of dollars helping the homeless through Catholic Charities (St. Patrick Center and Catholic Charities Housing Resource Center) and Father Dempsey's Charities. It's not an either/or choice when it comes to Christ's teachings. As Catholics, we are called to teach and live them all."

*****

Many observers thought it would be hard to fill the shoes of the former Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond Burke who is now serving as the equivalent of the Chief Justice of the Roman Rota. His fidelity, courage, and pastoral wisdom were admired throughout the world. However, the Holy Spirit blessed the faithful of St. Louis with a worthy successor in Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. We need to pray for him. This hostile opposition from a fringe group within the homosexual community will require great courage. The St. Louis protest may signal the next phase in the growing assault on the Catholic Church from the radical opponents of Marriage.

Catholic Christians insist that the truth concerning marriage - and the family and society founded upon it - is rooted in the Natural Law which can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason. This Natural Law is "present in the heart of each man and established by reason" and "is universal in its precepts and its authority extends to all men. It expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties." (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1956)

There is a Cultural Revolution underway in the West with two conflicting visions of the human person, human freedom, marriage, the family and the nature of a just society. We need to remember that the early Christians were persecuted in ancient Rome for "hatred of the human race." Yet, they held to the truth and helped to build just and free societies for all. They triumphed over the old paganism which promised liberation and led to license.

We will triumph over this new paganism that threatens freedom itself. We are called to build a culture of life and a civilization of love. We will never support the efforts to give promiscuous heterosexual or homosexual relationships the same legal status as monogamous marriage. So, let's get ready for the struggle. The faithful Catholics in St. Louis who made their way through the protestors to the Altar of the Lord show us the way forward. The leadership of this good Bishop is an inspiration. He is to be commended.

---


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