The Truth About Homosexuality; Part III

A True Pastoral Approach Clearly Teaches the Church’s
Position and Is Not Silent About It  . . .

by Father Michael Rodriguez

In the Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, dated October 1, 1986, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (headed by then-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI) wrote, “We encourage the Bishops to provide pastoral care in full accord with the teaching of the Church for homosexual persons of their dioceses. No authentic pastoral program will include organizations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homo-sexual activity is immoral. A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin. We wish to make it clear that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can  ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church’s position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.”0

The Catholic Church shows particular maternal solicitude towards homosexual persons. In other words, as a loving Mother, she cares more than anyone else about homosexuals. The above directive makes it clear that anyone who dissents from Church teaching or is silent about it, is neither loving nor showing care to homosexuals. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. If one neglects to preach the truth, one is committing a grave disservice, even injustice, to homosexual men and women, depriving them of “the care they need and deserve.”

Only what is true can ultimately be loving. Let’s review the truth about homosexuality.

(1) Homo-sexual acts are acts of grave depravity; they are mortal sins which cry to heaven for vengeance. Under no circumstances can they be approved;

(2) Homosexuality is an objective disorder;

(3) The Church gives no definitive teaching as to the origin or cause of homosexuality;

(4) Homo-sexual persons are to be treated with respect, compassion, and sensitivity;

(5) Homosexual persons are called to chastity and growth in virtue. Aided by sacramental grace and prayer, they are to strive for Christian perfection. (Catechism #2357-#2359)

Anyone, it does not matter who, anyone (e.g. whether Catholic or non-Catholic, whether family members or support-groups, whether academic institutions or civic associations, whether government agencies or the United Nations) who does not adhere to the above “summary” of Catholic Church teaching, is a foe of homosexuals, not a friend.

The Catholic Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, teaches that the greatest evil in the world is sin, “to the eyes of faith no evil is graver than sin and nothing has worse consequences for sinners themselves, for the Church, and for the whole world.” (Catechism #1488). Unfortunately, for those with little or no faith, it’s extremely difficult to realize and accept how terrible and destructive sin is. This however, doesn’t change the facts. Engaging in depraved and unnatural sexual acts will lead directly to the ruin of both the homosexual’s body and soul. If you love the person how can you possibly ie to them and tell them something different? Our very anatomy cries out against the lie that homosexual acts are “o.k.” Remember, only what is true can ultimately be loving.

Sin breeds sin, and the devastating consequences of personal sins spread to society, poison the world, and even stain Holy Mother Church. It’s downright shocking to find “Catholics” who are dissenting from Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality. This is an additional wound inflicted upon the Body of Christ, because now these “Catholics,” by rejecting the truth of Jesus Christ, have placed themselves outside of communion with the Church! It gets worse.

Reflect, first there are (a) individuals committing mortal sins of a homo-sexual nature; next, evil extends its tentacles to

(b) society as a whole accepting homosexuality and homo-sexual activity as “normal”; and finally, iniquity’s victory is all but sealed when

(c) laws are enacted which impose the putrid homosexual ideology on everyone, while those who, rightfully resist it, are ridiculed, attacked, and persecuted.

We are fast becoming a godless society. History does indeed repeat itself, another Sodom and Gomorrah.

Sancta Maria, Refugium peccatorum, ora pro nobis.

Fr. Michael Rodríguez is the parish priest at San Juan Bautista Catholic Church.

This was printed in the El Paso Times as a paid advertisement.

The Truth About Homosexuality

“We are to Show Love and Compassion Towards Homosexuals by Leading them to the Truth,
and Helping Them to Reject Sinful Homosexual Activity.”

by Father Michael Rodriguez;  This is a 4 part series that was published in the El Paso Times as a paid advertisement.

As our Savior hung from the Cross, His Precious Blood streamed forth to pay for all the crimes of a lost world. Who, after this, would continue in sin, and so renew the cruel crucifixion of the Son of God? After His death, Jesus Christ’s sacred side was pierced by a lance, “and immediately there came out blood and water.” (Jn 19:34) The Son of God, showing the depth and breadth of His love, shed His Precious Blood down to the last drop in order to redeem man from sin. What inexpressible love! The Most Precious Blood of our Savior is a testament to the immensity of God’s love. It is simultaneously a testament to the reality and horror of man’s sin.

Jesus Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary and the shedding of His Most Precious Blood are made present daily on the altars of His Church! Holding the Precious Blood in her chalices, the Roman Catholic Church continues to teach the truth about God’s love. She shall do so until the end of time. She likewise continues to teach the truth about the gruesomeness of sin.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church presents the truth about homosexuality in three paragraph numbers, #2357-#2359. We can summarize this truth in five points:

(1) Homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity; they are mortal sins which cry to heaven for vengeance. Under no circumstances can they be approved;

(2) Homosexuality is an objective disorder;

(3) The Church gives no definitive teaching as to the origin or cause of homosexuality;

(4) Homo-sexual persons are to be treated with respect, compassion, and sensitivity;

(5) Homosexual persons are called to chastity and growth in virtue. Aided by sacramental grace and prayer, they are to strive for Christian perfection.

The shedding of our Savior’s Precious Blood witnesses to the unending love of God. Every baptized soul is a child of God. Without question, God loves all of His children, regardless of sexual “orientation.” We Catholics must show charity,respect , and understanding towards our homosexual brothers and sisters. As baptized Catholics, they too form part of the Mystical Body of Christ.

Above all, we are to show love and compassion towards homosexuals by leading them to the truth, and helping them to reject sinful homosexual activity. Remember, it’s about saving souls! We must be firm, yet humble, patient, and caring. Love and compassion means assisting the homosexual person to live chastely, form wholesome friendships, and grow in the virtues: peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, and modesty. (Gal 5:22) Happiness and self-fulfillment can never be gained through sinful relationships and disordered sexual activity. True and lasting happiness is found by following Christ, denying oneself, carrying one’s cross, and being faithful to God’s holy law. Jesus Christpromises, “For he that will save his life, shall lose it; and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall findit.” (Mt 16:25)

We practice charity towards homosexual persons by helping them strive for Christian perfection. We should be ready to kneel with them before the healing Cross of Christ, which is the source of supernatural grace: frequent attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and Confession, fervent Holy Communions, praying the Holy Rosary daily, abundant acts of penance and mortification, and a tender devotion to the most pure Mother of God. Never forget that it is she, conceived without sin, who is crushing the infernal serpent’s head.

Although the Church gives no definitive answer as to the cause of homosexuality, she does teach that it is objectively disordered. It follows logically, then, that someone’s sin (even society’s sins) plays a primary role in giving rise to the homosexual disorder, e.g. dysfunctional parent-childrelationships, divorce, absent fathers, and sexual abuse. It’s probable that many homosexuals don’t consciously “choose” their sexual “orientation.”  However, it’s a certainty that many have been profoundly wounded by the sins of others, even since the earliest years of their lives.
Fr. Michael Rodríguez is the parish priest at San Juan Bautista Catholic Church.

Diocese Distances Itself from Priest for Writing “The Truth About Homosexuality”

Vicar General Fails To Support Fr. Michael Rogriguez’s
Mission To Defend the Sanctity of Marriage

Diocese issues second rebuke of their own Priest for his heroic stance to defend the sanctity of marriage and reveal “the Truth about Homosexuality.” 

  • Here is the first rebuke by his bishop.
  • His 4 part article will be posted shortly

 

by Aaron Bracamontes \ El Paso Times – A recent series of advertisements attacking homosexuality has dragged the Catholic Diocese of El Paso into a citywide political recall debate.

Rev. Michael RodriguexThe advertisements, titled “The truth about homosexuality,” were written by the Rev. Michael Rodriguez of San Juan Bautista Catholic Church and published in four parts in four consecutive editions of the El Paso Times. The ads started running on Saturday and ended Tuesday. The advertisements were also on elpasotimes.com.

While Rodriguez maintains the ads represent the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, officials of the Diocese of El Paso said they do not.

“These paid advertisements are the personal views and opinions of Father Michael Rodriguez,” said the Rev. Anthony C. Celino, the vicar general and moderator of the curia for the diocese.

Celino said the Catholic Church is not taking and cannot take a side in the recall effort.

The advertisements quote several Bible passages and denounce homosexuality and any encouragement of homosexuality. It also alluded to Mayor John Cook and city Reps. Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega, who are currently the target of a recall petition, organized by Word of Life Church Pastor Tom Brown.

“All Catholics have a moral obligation before God to oppose any government attempt to legalize same-sex unions,” Rodriguez wrote in part two of the series. “Here in El Paso, certain City Council members have remained obstinate in promoting public recognition and legitimization of homosexual unions. Whether

they realize it or not, their actions are objectively immoral and gravely harmful to marriage and the family. It should be obvious to all Catholics what our duty is with respect to these members of City Council.”

Rodriguez said he wrote the pieces but did not pay for the advertisements or submit the writings to the Times.

A couple from Plano, Texas, paid for the advertisements.

“I decided to write these articles primarily because it’s my duty as a Catholic priest to teach the truth when it comes to faith and morals,” Rodriguez said in a written statement to the Times. “My mission is to labor for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. That’s why I wrote the articles. The government has no right to undermine or redefine the institution of marriage. This is beyond the scope of their competence.”

Rodriguez said he also did not like the precedent the City Council is setting.

“Furthermore, the government has no right to undermine basic public morality,” Rodriguez said. “Unfortunately, members of El Paso’s City Council have made decisions that are immoral, irrational, and contrary to the common good of our city.”

Byrd said the advertisements are a political action because they alluded to the recall effort.

“To me, that is not the most terrible thing about the ad,” Byrd said. “What is, is the fact that he spent a lot of time and money to harm a group in our community.”

Ortega said he does not believe that religion should be mixed with government.

“I haven’t read his opinion pieces,” Ortega said. “I firmly believe in the principle of separation of church and state and therefore his opinions, as a priest, carry absolutely no weight with me as a public official.”

Brown said the advertisements came as a pleasant surprise.

“I think it’s wonderful. It is freedom of speech,” Brown said. “Ultimately, I agree with Rodriguez.”

Brown said the diocese should not remain silent on the recall because it goes against the Catholic faith.

“I think the Catholics should have an opinion,” he said.

Paul Landernan, an adviser for the El Paso chapter of the Stonewall Young Democrats, said that his organization — a youth-based organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the United States — is disappointed that Rodriguez is still stuck in the 19th century.

“He has official duties for the people of his parish,” Landernan said, “some of whom are parents of gay people, related to gay people or work with gay people every day.”

Rodriguez’s words can divide communities, Landernan said.

“Why would a person like this have that level of a violent reaction to the evolution of our society?” he asked. “He suddenly turned the clock back 40 to 50 years to a time when the Jim Crow-type of thinking was acceptable.”

In two weeks, recall petitions for Cook, Byrd and Ortega will be due at City Hall. Landernan said the advertisements’ timing was “curious.”

“It would have been a blip on the radar” if Rodriguez were not a priest, Landernan said. “And really, the church is almost a victim in this. He has almost used the name of the church without authorization.”

The controversy was not limited to the paid advertisements.

On Aug. 21, members of St. Raphael Catholic Church found fliers on their car windshields after church services.

The fliers said, “Éour popes and bishops have reminded us that we must oppose all government efforts to legitimize homosexual unions by attempting to equate them with marriage.”

The fliers also said, “Members of the City Council and the mayor have violated our rights and overturned our popular vote. We must hold our politicians accountable and insist that they truly serve our people.”

The church’s head priest, Monsignor Francis Smith, and the diocese said the fliers were not approved by or affiliated with the church.

“The diocese does not endorse or oppose candidates, political parties, or take actions that can be construed as endorsement or opposition,” Celino said. “Recall fliers claiming to be ‘Catholic’ were not authorized by the Diocese of El Paso.”

Smith said the people who distributed the fliers sneaked into the church’s parking lot during that Sunday’s two largest Masses.

“I always tell my people that if they stick it under your windshield, I did not authorize that,” Smith said. “If it is something worthwhile, then why be sneaky about it.”

The message on the fliers is not what Smith preaches at his church, he said.

“We have been asked several times to take their stance, and we will not,” Smith said. “I do not agree with that lifestyle (homosexuality), but I will help anyone who needs it.”

The fliers also list names and numbers of individuals who filed the intent to recall Cook, Byrd and Ortega.

Two of those individuals, Ben Mendoza and Nacho Padilla, said they had no prior knowledge of the fliers. Neither did Brown, he said.

“I personally would not authorize that,” Mendoza said. “I can see handing it out on the sidewalk, but not on cars.”

Mendoza said he is for the recall because the people’s vote was overthrown and he believes that should be the main issue.

Padilla said the fliers led to more individuals signing petitions.

“What they did has worked really positive,” Padilla said. “We have gotten a lot of signatures. We won’t deny that.”

Brown said he was proud that those who support the recall are acting on their own.

“It’s a free country, and people are free to promote however they want,” Brown said.

Brown said “we’d like to make more progress” as the deadline nears to turn in recall petitions.

“I’d like to say we can predict victory, but we are not there yet. We need to keep working.”

 

Discover more about our Courageous Priest

Warning: No Gov’t Has The Authority To Undermine Marriage

Fr. Michael Rodriguez Declares The Truth To The City Council

Catholics – Have An Absolute Moral Obligation to Oppose Same-Sex Unions

Father Michael Rodriguez: Any Catholic Who Supports Homosexual Acts…

 

Warning: No Gov’t Has The Authority To Undermine Marriage

Fr. Michael Rodriguez:  “Take the Necessary
Steps NOW To Defend Marriage!”

 

  • Fr. Rodriguez confesses that “there was so much that I wasn’t taught” in his priestly formation.
  • Challenges all Priests and laity to “know their Catholic Doctrine well.”

 

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ON
 THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE

Father Michael Rodriguez Interview by JMJHFPRODUCTIONS – “Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, died on the Cross to save mankind. By His suffering, death, and resurrection, the Son of God instituted the Seven Sacraments of Salvation, one of which is Matrimony. The Sacrament of Matrimony is essential to God’s Plan of Salvation, and ALL CATHOLICS MUST respect, defend and live by this great Sacrament of Christ’s love. No earthly power – no king, president, parliament, congress, judge,  no government – has the authority to change or undermine marriage. Related to defending marriage.

 

ALL CATHOLICS MUST oppose any government attempt to legalize homosexual unions. It is gravely unfortunate, but certain El Paso City Council members have been obstinate in imposing a homosexual agenda on our city. Insofar as it is in their power, they have been seeking to legalize homosexual unions.  Whether they realize it or not, their actions are objectively immoral and constitute a wicked attack upon marriage. It should be obvious to ALL CATHOLICS what our duty is with respect to these members of City Council. If you are a registered voter, make sure you fulfill your CATHOLIC DUTY. If you are a registered voter, make sure you take the necessary step NOW to defend marriage and oppose those elected officials who are pushing for the social acceptance of homosexual unions, something gravely harmful to the common good.”

 

Get to know Fr. Rodriquez:

You have to love a Guadalupe Priest!

Fr. Michael Rodriguez Declares The Truth To The City Council

The Roman Catholic Church Is Categorically
Opposed To Same Sex Unions

Fr. Michael Rodriguez addresses City Council to set the record straight on the official teaching of the Catholic Church. How refreshing it is to see a priest on the stand fighting for the Truth. I love it!

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Fr. Rodriguez has been in an ongoing battle with the City Council.  Here are some of the articles.

Catholics – Have An Absolute Moral Obligation to Oppose Same-Sex Unions

Fr. Michael Rodríguez – “My friends,
Don’t Be Deceived by the Mellifluous
Catchwords of Tolerance and Equality.”

Fr. Rodríguez first made headlines with an editorial in the El Pazo Times, which caught the attention of his bishop with a public reprimand.  Now, Father Rodríguez is doing it again.  Read the post below.

  • Father Michael Rodríguez: Any Catholic Who Supports Homosexual Acts Is Committing A Mortal Sin
  • Bishop Rebukes Priest
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by Fr. Michael Rodríguez, El Pazo, TX – On Jan. 18, City Council decided to reword its proposed “non-discrimination” amendment to the Charter of the City of El Paso.

Let City Council be forewarned. A majority of El Paso’s voters already rejected an agenda that seeks to equate same-sex unions with the venerable institution of marriage.

It is morally incumbent upon City Council to cease efforts to manipulate and define the term “non-discrimination” in such a way as to suit a misguided, if not pernicious, agenda.

Fr. Michael Rodriguez

If City Council is obstinate in pursuing its course of action and dragging the city through another election, this will be a glaring display of arrogance, fiscal irresponsibility and disrespect toward the Nov. 2 vote of the majority of El Paso’s citizens.

Even more importantly, it will be morally wrong. Why?

It’s morally reprehensible to misconstrue “non-discrimination” in such ways as to give public sanction to “lifestyles” that are gravely sinful and harmful to the common good of our city.

My friends, don’t be deceived by the mellifluous catchwords of “tolerance” and “equality.” In truth, we’re facing a deliberate attempt on the part of our local government to initiate the legalization of same-sex unions.

Can We Tolerate Same-Sex Union Legalization?

This is completely immoral. No Catholic nor person of goodwill can accept this assault on the institution of marriage.

As Roman Catholics, there’s no question that it’s our sacred duty before Almighty God to vote against any amendment to the City Charter that undermines marriage. Every single Catholic has an absolute moral obligation to oppose sexual immorality and defend the Sacrament of Matrimony, instituted by Jesus Christ Himself.

Moreover, there is now a group calling itself “El Pasoans for Equality” whose homosexual agenda is in direct conflict with the truth and the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Holy Church. No Catholic may participate in or support this group. Doing so would mean placing oneself outside of communion with the Catholic Church.

What Does The Homosexual Agenda Violate

In summary, the maleficent agenda which lurks behind the actions of City Council and has given rise to the group “El Pasoans for Equality” is an affront to God, our Catholic religion, human reason, marriage and the family.
This homosexual agenda is in direct violation of: (1) the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, (2) the infallible moral teachings of the Catholic Church (Catechism #2357), (3) natural law and the most rudimentary moral code, (4) recent pronouncements by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Dec. 29, 1975; Oct. 1, 1986; July 23, 1992; June 3, 2003), and (5) the 2009 pastoral letter on marriage by our nation’s Catholic bishops.

Jesus Christ’s greatest gift to the world is Himself, inseparably united to His Holy Catholic Church. His infinite love becomes incarnate in the sacramental life of the Church.

Love The Sinner

Holy Mother Church has a great, wondrous and tender love for all her children, regardless of “sexual orientation.” She is committed to treating all persons with love, dignity, and respect. However, the Church is also categorically opposed to sinful actions.

What Is True Charity?

Jesus Christ’s truth radiates forth in the teachings of His Church. If any person is engaging in sinful sexual activity, we Catholics are called to practice love and compassion, above all, by leading the person to the truth, and helping the sinner to renounce sinful behavior.

Remember, the supreme law of the Church is the salvation of souls!
In His love for poor sinners, Jesus always called them to turn away from sin and embrace God’s law. “Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love.” (John 15:10)

Father Michael Rodríguez is the parish priest at San Juan Bautista Catholic Church.

___________

So, what do you think?  Will the good bishop admonish him again? Should Fr. Rodríguez handled this situation different?

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Bishop Rebukes Priest

Fr. Michael Rodriguez whose column from the El Paso Times we posted earlier, gets rebuked by his Bishop.  This is a difficult situation for us at Courageous Priest, because we will not attack our priests.  However, we will post when a priest calls out a fellow priest for legitimate doctrinal or theological errors.   Read this as you will quickly see our dilemma, where Fr. Rodriguez gets rebuked by his bishop.

  • Thankfully Fr. Z did his usual commentary with his emphases and comments.

Bishop Armando X. Ochoa: Catholic Church advocates compassion
By Bishop Armando X. Ochoa Guest columnist
Posted: 08/22/2010 12:00:00 AM MDT

As Bishop of the Diocese of El Paso and chief teacher of our local church,[Which means, rightly, that Fr. R is not…] I would like to share some pastoralreflections [NB “pastoral”] on certain issues that are important for the well-being of all God’s people.

First of all, I would like to state that previous columns claiming to speak for Catholic Doctrine were the personal opinions of individuals and do not necessarily express the belief of the Catholic Church[Right.  The opinions of Fr. R do not, of necessity, express the belief of the Catholic Church.  But, do Fr. R’s view by chance coincide with the Church’s teaching?  Let’s review.  Abortion is murder of an unborn human being.  CHECK.  Homosexual actsare objectively sinful. CHECK.]

[But here is new information…] I continue to pray for peace along our region and offer my condolences to the families on both sides of the border who have lost loved ones to the ongoing unrest[There is a lot of tension in El Paso.] I am also concerned for the families who have had to leave everything behind to escape the violence in Ciudad Juárez. It is my ongoing prayer that our two border cities can work closer to build a more peace-filled community. [So, the bishop is situating Fr. R’s comments in the context of the region’s tension.  Fr. R’s comments were addressed to all Catholics, and therefore most of the Latio community.  The bishops implication is that Fr. R’s comments have made that tension worse.  I don’t know whether that is the case or not, but it is clearly the bishop’s concern.]


The Church has been unmistakable about its consistent defense of the unborn. It continues to call every Catholic and person of good will [Fr. R also addressed all Catholics but he did not speak explicitly about non-Catholics who are people of good will.] to understand the Church’s teaching on the death penalty and other end-of-life issues. Every child has a right to life.

Likewise, the Church is a supporter of the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. These teachings come from a tradition that wants to promote the good of society. [Not just “from a tradition”.  If I am not mistaken, they come from God, and from God to us through both tradition and reason in light of the natural law. But pay attention…] My concern in writing this reflection is not to change these teachings[quod Deus avertat]but to offer a more pastoral understanding in dealing with them. [There is that “pastoral” again.]

When we talk about abortion and homosexuality, we are talking about human beings dealing with all kinds of concerns and unresolved challenges. Our Church does not want to simply judge and condemn, but first to offer Christ’s love and compassion. God’s first and primary law is love and how love of others is at the same time our love for God.  [Okay.  This is so.  At the same time, when Jesus saved and then forgave the woman caught in adultery, He admonished her to sin no more.  It is also a work of mercy, a dimension of compassion, both to admonish the sinner and instruct the ignorant.  It may be – and this is just supposition on my part – that many Catholic and non-Catholic alike, have never heard some of the things Fr. R wrote expressed with that sort of stark clarity.  Is it possible that stark clarity can also be a tool of the compassion His Excellency affirms?]


As Church we want to journey with everyone as they search for meaning in their lives[This is the language most people are used to hearing and reading.] We believe that Christ offers this meaning. The use [wait for it…] ofharsh words of condemnation is not the approach Christ invites us to havetoward one anotherIntolerance closes the door to learning and deeper understanding of each other.  [Let’s pick this fine and correct statement up and turn it about and examine it from all sides.  What popped into my mind as I read this were the Lord’s harsh words in Matthew 23.  Surely the Lord was not lacking in compassion even as he verbally thrashed the Pharisees with the truth.  St. Paul, invoking the meekness of Christ, in 2 Cor 10-13 doesn’t mince words about those who have sinned and have been admonished more than once.  Was it a lack of compassion that drove virtually every single Father of the Church to use scathing invective when defending the Regula Fidei and Tradition?  Have Popes who issued stern condemnations and anathemas throughout the Church’s entire history been without compassion?  Was there a dearth of compassion at the Second Vatican Council when the Council Fathers stated in Lumen gentium 14 that people who reject the Church, knowing that it is the Church Christ founded,cannot be saved, or when they taught in Gaudium et spes 51 that abortion is an unspeakable crime? In every one of these examples, there were high tensions in the community.  I am not disagreeing with His Excellency, mind you.  I am musing to myself about what constitutes “pastoral” and “compassion”.  At the same time I am thanking God that I am not now nor ever will be a bishop, who actually has to make decisions about this dilemma.]


Furthermore, it leads to divisiveness within the body of Christ[cf. Matthew 10:34.] It is time for us to learn how to work with each other, even when and if we disagree. Too many people have suffered because of a profound lack of compassion and a perceived arrogant intolerance.

Recently, in our scriptural readings, we have seen that when the Israelites entered the Promised Land after the exodus, they encountered the Canaanites, whom they considered to be a sinful race which was to be exterminated. This mind-set persisted until the time of Christ[But Christ and the Apostles, and the Fathers, and Popes down through history somehow kept using hard language.  Did they fail to understand something about being “pastoral”?   Pope John XXIII at the time of the Council said that he wanted the Church to shift her style of teaching.  Fine.  But see my examples of the Council’s teaching, above.  There were still moments for blunt language.]

With his arrival, he indicated that this outlook was no longer to be held by his followers. Jesus’ own response to the marginalized was always one of love. He constantly preached that love is not exclusively for those who are dear to us. He proclaimed that we must love our enemies and pray for our persecutors. [To the marginalized, yes!  Look how he treated the lepers and the blind and lame and diseased and widows and Samaritans and some public sinners.  He was gentleness itself with some public sinners.  But not all public sinners.  I cite: “”Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” ]

Our love for others is to be like his own, all inclusive.  Every individual is made in the image and likeness of God and for this reason all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

God is the judge of our lives, and we are called to spread his Gospel of compassion and justice[Were Fr. R’s comments in his op-ed unjust?] While it is important to offer a teaching on human sexuality which may not be popular in modern society, the Church, nonetheless, upholds that each person be treated with dignity and respect[QUERY: Does that mean that we never say that a sin is a sin?]


I urge all of our pastoral agents to reach out to individuals with a homosexual orientation and their families with compassion. This can be done without compromising Church teaching in any way because our pastoral care demands no less from us.

The Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, D.D., is Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso

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Father Michael Rodriguez: Any Catholic Who Supports Homosexual Acts…

Is Committing A Mortal Sin And Places Themselves Outside Of Communion With the Roman Catholic Church

Father Michael Rodriguez-I sincerely hope and pray that all El Paso Catholics will take to heart the precious and infallible teachings of Holy Mother Church in the moral sphere, particularly those most relevant to our city at this critical juncture.

Remember: Every single Catholic, out of fidelity to charity and truth, has the absolute duty to oppose (1) the murder of unborn babies, and (2) any and all government attempts to legalize homosexual unions.

Any Catholic who supports homosexual acts is, by definition, committing a mortal sin, and placing himself/herself outside of communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Furthermore, a Catholic would be guilty of a most grievous sin of omission if he/she neglected to actively oppose the homosexual agenda, which thrives on deception and conceals its wicked horns under the guises of “equal rights,” “tolerance,” “who am I to judge?,” etc.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published a pastoral letter on marriage in November 2009, which is endorsed by our own local bishop, his Excellency, Most Rev. Armando X. Ochoa.

This pastoral letter states the following:

“Among the many blessings that God has showered upon us in Christ is the blessing of marriage, a gift bestowed by the Creator from the creation of the human race.

“The Church has taught throughout the ages that marriage is an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman.

“One of the most troubling developments in contemporary culture is the proposition that persons
of the same sex can ‘marry.’ This proposal attempts to redefine the nature of marriage and the family and, as a result, harms both the intrinsic dignity of every human person and the common good of society.

“It is not unjust to oppose legal recognition of same-sex unions, because marriage and same-sex unions are essentially different realities. The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it.”

I urge all of the Catholic faithful to treat homosexuals with love, understanding, and respect. At the same time, never forget that genuine love demands that we seek, above all, the salvation of souls. Homosexual acts lead to the damnation of souls.

Recently, a couple of letter writers claimed that in a democracy, it’s up to the majority to decide between right and wrong. This form of reasoning is not only false, it’s ludicrous!

While it’s true that a majority of the citizens in a democracy has the political power to impose its “morality” on society, this juridical reality has no bearing whatsoever on the intrinsic moral value of actions.

That which makes something right or wrong is the objective moral order established by God, which can also be grasped and appreciated through the use of human reason. In philosophy, this is known as natural law.

Even the ancient Greeks had a basic respect for the principles of natural law.

To simplify: One would have to be ghastly morally decrepit to think that if 51 percent of Americans opine that rape is OK, then rape becomes, in effect, all right. Sure, the majority is politically capable of such a vote, but this could never make rape morally right.

There is such a thing as a corrupt democracy, you know!

Abortion and homosexual acts are unequivocally intrinsic moral evils. And friends, this objective truth doesn’t depend on the opinion of the majority. Frighteningly, if the majority chooses to deny the objective moral order, then we will all suffer the pestiferous consequences.

Fr. Michael Rodríguez is the parish priest at San Juan Bautista Catholic Church.