My purpose in these posts is to bring a variety of Christian and other writers in a desire to share significant writings that in my estimation contribute to the common good and directly or indirectly give glory to God and extend the Lord's work of salvation to all of humanity. G.S.
A lot has been happening, has it not?
These days for members of the Roman Catholic Church - both laity and clergy - it is like going to the surgeon with an infected boil to have it lanced under the scalpel. It has been hurting for a long time, but for various reasons we found it difficult to have it taken care of, and now that we are "under the knife", it hurts a little more unless there is some anesthetic applied, and then all manner of awful looking and terrible smelling infectious material comes spurting out.... It's unpleasant but necessary. It's long overdue and it has to be done, it has to be done cleanly, and it has to be done thoroughly.
So too with any harm done to anyone in the past until this moment by any member of our Church... it certainly has to be done, done well, and as soon as possible. Meanwhile those who have suffered and are probably still suffering need proper attention and care; for our God fully intends for them to have life and have it in abundance as He does for all his human children. God also wants the guilty to be tried, properly judged, punished, and hopefully somehow redeemed. Jesus died for every human being without distinction; which is why Jesus commanded us to pray for our enemies and to do good to those who have harmed us. There is no other way to be true children of our Father in heaven, who causes his sun to shine and his rain to fall on the good and the bad alike.
So there is a lot of smoke in the air obscuring our vision of all that is going on. We hear rumors that some of our clergy, perhaps even some of our bishops, may have been "plants" planned long ago by the then U.S.S.R. with the intention that they enter seminary somewhere, get ordained priests, perhaps progress even into the ranks of the bishops, and from there wreak all kinds of havoc in the Church and in society as "agents of chaos". Such a scenario might explain at least in some cases how ordained priests or bishops could do some of the harm of which they are being found guilty.
Still, it wouldn't explain all of the cases of abuse or of neglect of proper and prompt leadership. There are undoubtedly perpetrators who were simply twisted, damaged, and perhaps themselves victims of abuse. There have undoubtedly been negligent bishops who were poorly advised or who didn't get sufficiently updated on the latest discoveries in psychology and psychiatry. What seemed like good leadership in the 1950's was no longer adequate in the 1970's and each subsequent decade brought rapid advances in those medical fields which radically changed our understanding of these behaviors, the seriousness of their consequences, and our knowledge of what constitutes proper and timely response and responsible leadership.
Much good has finally resulted from the firm, consistent, and unrelenting leadership of Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and now Pope Francis with regard to these pressing and vital issues. Our Church leadership is attending with increasing competence and timeliness to these problems with priority attention being given to any who have suffered abuse, and simultaneously stopping in their tracks any others who may be guilty of abuse; so that they can be prevented from hurting anyone else.
The speed with which these reforms are implemented varies with each diocese, in which the ultimate authority rests with the bishop. The Bishop of Rome is the "first among equal brothers" and exercises an authority of influence more than of judicial authority. He can suspend and even laicize a bishop, but the case must be justified and well documented, which is often difficult to do. That is why collaboration with secular authorities in society is now being such a help and support. We all need to see this being done expeditiously and well. The dignity of the human person demands it; the goodness and justice of God demands it; the truth and beauty of our faith demands it; the good of souls and the progress of the Gospel in the world and the building up of our Church demands it. We all demand it on behalf of the innocent and vulnerable and for our own peace of mind and heart.
And what of homophobia?
I don't know about you, dear reader, but I for one have had it with the way this term is brandied about as a club with which to beat into silence anyone who may disagree with the latest absurd demands being made by any fringe group of individuals trying to push some new agenda down the throats of everyone else in civil society. Well, to any who would accuse me of "homophobia", the only answer I have for them is "Homophobia Schmobophobia!" This term is for the most part as absurd as is the readiness of some to use it as a club to be applied to anyone or their reputation who disagrees with the latest declaration and demands of people who may identify with the latest edition of the "LGBTQ-5C-XKM--GU-K-FM-N-JGI-O-R8-6-84-57..." lobby.
I may not "like" or "savor" the specific sexual practices of those who self-identify as "homo" or any other related term. It is my right as a human being not to "like" or "savor" or "not to find delightful" such practices, but that doesn't mean that I'm afraid of them or of those people. I may find it unfortunate that some people choose to identify their whole existence only on the flimsy basis of what is being called "sexual orientation", even though there are psychiatrists and psychotherapists who find that such inclinations may actually change.
I don't like curry much, but that doesn't mean that I'm afraid of it. It's just that when I walk through a food court and the pungent smell of curry fills my nostrils, by body reacts in the direction of nausea which would make me sick were I to stay there for too much longer. So I don't especially like curry, but I'm not afraid of it. Nor do I like being stung by bees or wasps, but not being allergic, I don't live in fear of them either. I truly believe that there are very few people actually afraid of other people who self identify as "homo" something or other.
However, I do believe that no one likes being bullied or forced into accepting anything against their will. You want to eat curry, fine. Just don't try to force me to eat it or like it. To each his own. It would be normal for people to have an aversion for and in time even a fear of anyone who behaves as a bully. Nor do I like to see adults pushing a self-serving agenda who then try to indoctrinate children or youth or to apply labels to them and convince them that they are "locked in" to a particular lifestyle or "way of being human". Such tactics are nothing more than abuse of the innocence of the young.
What is a human being, a human person?
This is especially true of anyone who is not yet fully in adulthood. Classic psychology has firmly established through observation and clinical analysis that human beings are not fully developed until sometime between 18 and mid-twenties. We spend the rest of our lives developing, but once we are adults, we basically have all we need for life. Before then, especially in adolescence, we are still developing our physical limbs and organs, our psyche and all its faculties, our mind and the brain itself, not to mention the pulling of it all together in the emerging personality and character. It is harmful to apply any labels to human beings at any time, but especially in childhood and youth, when all our human attributes are in flux and development and not yet "set" firmly.
The so-called "gay lobby" started out almost a half century ago as a "liberation movement", riding the coat tails of the black freedom movement in the USA at the time. Any sensible person would agree that it is not right, that is is unjust and at times even a crime for anyone to harass, persecute, or in any way harm another simply because they are "different". In that sense, many gains were made by and for those who self identify as "homo" or any other related term. They can walk about, chat, and live their lives as freely as anyone else in society, and that is as it should be.
Where this whole "gay lobby" goes off the rails, it seems, is where certain members or agencies within this minority want to turn society upside down in such a way that "their way" becomes the norm or accepted as the normal way of being human, and the way of everyone else would be treated as the minority or as the optional or alternative way. Now that is really going too far, and the "gay lobby" is beginning to experience "push back" from the rest of society.
The bullies won't want to treat with anyone about the issues or about their behavior because they simply want what they want just because they want it, and they don't want anyone to be allowed to want anything different from what they want. They want to have the prominence and they don't want anyone else to have a different view or in any way to deprive them of the prominence they seek. That's pretty much what happened in Nazi Germany in the early 1930's. Anyone who expressed a view different from the one being "pushed" by the brown shirts was beaten with a club, literally. That's how it started, but then the people succumbed to their fears and elected to remain silent.
So this is simply a declaration from one obscure individual to the "gay lobby": "Homophobia Schmobophobia!" I'm not afraid of you... I just don't like your sexual practices, but instead I acknowledge as beautiful what the Creator designed when He created human beings as "male and female" intending them to be a couple to bring forth children together. Apparently we don't all see beauty in the same places, but that is also what it means to be human. We are different.
Whatever your situation may be, may you and your loved ones be at peace in the knowledge that God loves each and every human being He has created. You are beautiful and you have great dignity simply because you are a human being, not because of any label you may have been convinced to apply to yourself. Whatever feelings you may have from time to time, whatever may be your experience of human sexuality or of sexual inclinations or feelings, these do not define who you are.
What is our origin and our destiny as human beings?
What defines who you are is that you are human and one to whom the Creator has given life to live in abundance now and to continue this life in eternity. God loves you so that you might know within yourself directly from God - by his Holy Spirit - that God loves you, and that you may be filled with his love and come to love Him in return; for only then will your heart be filled to satisfaction, once you close the circle and make a return of love to the One who has loved you first in giving you life. The model of this new paradigm of human existence is Jesus of Nazareth, known as the Christ, the Anointed One, the One who died and rose again from the dead, the One who will come at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, the One sent by the Father to the Earth to reveal to humanity that our origin and our destiny are both in God our Creator, the first One we will meet at the very instant that our soul, our spirit, leaves this body behind temporarily and enters into the awesome presence of God.
Although this coming into the radiant presence and life-giving love of God seems so attractive and desirable, it is not a good idea to "hasten the day" by seeking a premature end to our mortal existence on this Earth. Why is that? It is because the radiance of who God is as the Source of all life and love is so bright and intense, that it will be impossible to endure that full intensity unless we are already "perfectly in sync" with the reality of God Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is a single divine Being but a Trinity of divine Persons living in such intense communion of love that this love is the "fountain" from which flows all that exists in the Universe.
God knows that we are not ready yet to "face Him", and in his kindness, mercy, and patience, gives us "lots of room" in this mortal life on Earth to "find our way" and to allow Him to make use of all the trials, troubles, temptations, joys, and sorrows of this life to "purify" the intentions of our heart, to strengthen our will, and to bring us willingly and generously into living a life that is kind, patient, forgiving, merciful, and indulgent; just as God is with us. God alone knows when will be the opportune moment for us to leave this life and pass into eternity. We need to trust in God's wisdom and love and do our best to know and to do his will, to follow his guidance along the paths of life, and to live in peace and love with all our fellow human beings.
May God's peace be with you and your loved ones now and forever....
© 2004-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal QC
© 2004-2021 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC
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