Get Up, and Get Moving....

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Location: near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Friday, October 27, 2006

Is It An October Surprise? Or Not?

A Democratic Senate Candidate writes child porn?

That's not it....

A Hollywood Star underestimates American intelligence?

Nothing new in that....

A priest from Milwaukee sides with the Gay lobby against his own archbishop?

Getting warmer....

That same Archbishop will do absolutely nothing, let me write that again, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it!

But really, is that a surprise at all anymore?

Fr. Bryan "just say no" Massinmale reports of Archbishop Dolan that "In fact, he just spoke to me this afternoon (Thursday) and was talking about me speaking at some other engagements here in the archdiocese." How could that be? Either one of the two is lying, or one of them says one thing to good Catholics or when in front of other bishops, while saying something completely different to a culprit priest. You be the judge.

Educational reference for Fr. Massinmale:

Do you recall the Catechism of the Catholic Church? (Some Catholics have read it.) Paragraph #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, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." 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.

Next, let's move on to the intellectual brilliance of the renowned Fr. Dave "Women's Ordination" Cooper. With his normal incisive use of logic he writes:

I thought it important to share his [Fr. Massinmale's] opinion with all of you. Our Catholic Bishops share the opposite opinion and you will find clear statements of that in the inserts on "Political Responsibility" that are being inserted each week. Parishioners had asked if "we priests" were going to say anything about the controversy arising out of the November Referendum.

So, the bishops make "clear statements" but you still choose moral equivocation.
Controversy itself is caused by you.
People ask your opinion, and you are unable to form your own response.

All Fr. Cooper proves about himself is that either he has a motive that itself can't be expressed in clear statements, or he can be led astray by any foolish groupthink that comes along.

Speaking of foolish groupthink, that inevitably brings us to the Milwaukee Priest Alliance. They spout off about Massinmale's article this way: "We share his well-founded fear that the amendment may be construed to deny rights and services, including health care, not only to those in civil unions but many other citizens of Wisconsin as well, irrespective of their marital status."

First, where are the proofs for a "well-founded fear"? No such foundational proofs exist in his original column. So essentially the groupthinkers take a thin premise and call it "well-founded." That's brilliant, isn't it?

Second, it seems that if you want to speak to some issue, or issues, that are pressing "irrespective of their marital status" then a referendum about marriage itself is really not your concern is it? In fact, you even go so far as to say that "our pastoral experience tells us that the prospect of gay unions is not a chief cause of marital instability and family dissolution. Marriage and family are more at risk from more immediate challenges "problems that can and should be addressed by candidates."

So, if "gay unions" remain a cause, if only secondary, what really is your objection to at least this step. Isn't marriage so important that a step that eliminates even secondary causes is worth taking?

All in all, Frs. Massinmale, Cooper and the Groupthink Alliance all use false logic to argue against the referendum. So why make the argument at all? To protect concomitant rights like access to medical care, hospital visitation or inheritances? Sorry, Fr. Bryan, these can be, and are protected by other statutes.

So there must be some other motive behind all this false logic and false argumentation. So, is it an October surprise to many of us faithful Catholics that Frs. Massinmale, Cooper, and members of the Groupthink Alliance have some motivation about the issue of "gay marriage"? It seems to be a logical questions to ask. As the great poet once wrote....Thou Doth Protest Too Much!

So, is it not logical to assume that the letter about optional celibacy needs a second layer of rule/law changes to have direct impact on at least some portion of the priests of Milwaukee.

As I said at the top; you be the judge. That's plenty for today.

Mike

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just an attempt to be a more informed voter. Isn't the arguement against the marriage ban that there is the potential - should it go through - that the courts could interpret the law to deny those rights without the "marriage" label? Not that it would absolutely happen, but that the potential is still there?

Friday, October 27, 2006 7:47:00 PM  
Blogger Mike, the Faithful Catholic said...

Like the present misleading ads say, the day after the election nothing will really be different. Statute already gives everything that Fr. Massingale wants. Statute can always do that. That's what elected legislatures are elected to do. But, like we have learned in New Jersey just this week, courts can go beyond present statute, beyond present interpretation of law, beyond the will of the people. If today is alright, the November 8th will be fine...the only difference being that no courts can change things. What Fr. Massingale advocates is leaving open the possibility that what we have today could be changed.

Mike

Friday, October 27, 2006 8:31:00 PM  
Blogger Terrence Berres said...

Speaking of fully-informed voting, if the amendment is defeated, it will be argued that the people were aware of the Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Jersey supreme court decisions, and declined to take the issue out of the hands of the Wisconsin courts.

Saturday, October 28, 2006 6:54:00 AM  
Anonymous keith said...

The bishops' statement was not concerned with judicial activism, Mike. It was concerned with protecting the Sacrament of Marriage from any branch of government that would interfere. In a conservative state like Wisconsin, with a tradition of fairness, the more likely scenario would be lawmakers opening marriage to all people. The first sentence of the amendment is not meant to guard against judges so much as to guard against lawmakers.

The real fear of judicial activism is a fear if the amendment passes, Mike. It's based on the second sentence, which the bishops did not address. And this is the priests' point exactly.

As you note, couples currently can provide for each other, married or not, in various ways. As an attorney, you have probably been asked to draw up contracts for folks seeking to add some stability to their lives. Various other parties, too, help out in this way.

Employers give employees' families health insurance and other bennies.

Health clubs and country clubs and auto insurance companies give family rates, because stable families are customers that they want to win and to keep.

But, then comes this amendment!

And it's all about the second sentence.

The floodgates of confusion are opened by constitutionally invalidating anything that is SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR to something that married couples do.

Can you define "substantially?"

Can you define "similar?"

As an attorney, you stand to make a lot of money off of this amendment! Courts in Wisconsin will be asking those questions for years to come!

The good priests of this archdiocese, like the good Father Massingale, will be forced to pick up the pieces of the lives that could be broken by the lawsuits you encourage.

Will my employer be forced to knock off health insurance coverage?

Will I be able to visit my children in the hospital?

Will I lose my house if my partner dies?

Will we share a cemetary plot?

We are talking, Mike, about the CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY. The second sentence of this amendment frightens the priests, because attorneys will step in to prevent people from...

Visiting the sick and imprisoned.

Sheltering the homeless.

Feeding the hungry.

Burying the dead.

These are very real concerns of the gay and lesbian and other unmarried people under our priests' pastoral care.

Saturday, October 28, 2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Terrence Berres said...

The bishops' statement does address the "second sentence" when it says "an amendment to our state constitution is the prudent thing to do in light of judicial and legislative actions in other states." Those "judicial ... actions" include those of the supreme courts of Vermont and Massachusetts, and would have included that of a few days ago by the Massachusetts Supreme court. The "substantially similar" language is in the proposed amendment to prevent evading the effect of the first sentence.

If our courts are so unpredictable that it is a mystery how they might interpret words like "substantial" and "similar", that's hardly an argument to leave the parameters of marriage in their hands.

Saturday, October 28, 2006 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Christine said...

Have you ever met Father Massingale? He is a wonderful professor and man of God. I find it highly offensive that you have resorted to an ad hominem attack of a poor pun on his name. You may a problem with his position on his issue, but please don't insult an ordained man by using a childish pun.

Saturday, October 28, 2006 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous keith said...

To Christine:

Hear, hear! I've met Father Massingale, and I agree with you that he is quite a fine priest. That doesn't mean I agree with him on issues, necessarily, but he's always been faithful to his Church.

And, shame on you, Mike, if your pun was intentional. It's not even clever, and you should show respect of those like Massingale who deserve our respect.

To Terrence:

I re-iterate. The bishops didn't address the second sentence. The "judicial activism" about which they are concerned is the kind that would threaten marriage. That's the FIRST sentence.

The second sentence was designed by the folks at the Alliance Defense Fund, in order to allow them to profit off the misery of others.

I hope you are not implying that the bishops believe that the suffering caused by the second sentence is worth their endorsement!

Saturday, October 28, 2006 1:50:00 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Keith, it's been said time and again that there are Legislative remedies for the "benefits"--POA, hospital visitation, etc.--which do NOT require "Marriage."

And by the way, the Bishops were addressing re-defining "marriage" by flavor-of-lust, which happens to be the case in MA. and NJ.

Massingale is disingenuous when he says that the Church's social teachings are endangered by the Amendment.

They aren't and he knows it. He just chose to spread a lot of foofoodust into the air to accomodate a SCOWI ruling that establishes 'marriage by flavor-of-lust.'

Saturday, October 28, 2006 2:42:00 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

And Mike--I, too, find it interesting that Massingale thinks (and the Archdiocesan flak confirms) that he can speak on this topic on Church property.

VERY interesting.

Saturday, October 28, 2006 2:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gees, Christine, lighten up!

Saturday, October 28, 2006 4:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I guess we are to believe because Fr Massingale is a PROFESSOR, he is so much smarter than all the bishops in Wisconsin, who have endorsed the Marriage Amendment. I am thrilled that the Amendment includes language that would not allow civil unions, as the whole issue with the gay community is to have their relationships seen as being on equal footing with marriage. When I think about the issue of family insurance coverage and death benefits for a spouse, my guess is that it probably got started because many years ago women didn't have a paying career--they instead opted for the important job of staying home and raising their children. I would venture a guess that most homosexuals in relationships don't have children and both probably have decent jobs of their own, so why would they need health insurance, death benefits, etc. from their significant other? The company my husband presently works for makes me pay a sizeable premium, if I m employed outside the home and also want to be covered under my husband's insurance policy. They make the premium so high to discourage this from happening.

A good lawyer can write a protection for everything. I don't believe this has anything to do with Massingale's Catholic conscience but rather his support for gay issues.

Saturday, October 28, 2006 5:17:00 PM  
Blogger Mike, the Faithful Catholic said...

Keith:

The corporal works of mercy are yours to do as a matter of faith. Law restricts some of this exercise regardless of marital or partner status. I can't just go and visit anyone in prison, or anyone in the hospital. But, I can feed or clothe anyone who comes to my door, shelter anyone in my house.

Your use or the corporal works of visitation is a straw man, meant (like Fr. Massingale's efforts) to deflect from the core issues. Home ownership is a fiduciary relationship that can, and is often, seperated from marital relationships. Feel free to feed and shelter whomever you want.

Thus, we are back to the original fear of mine, and many others, what is the ulterior motive?

BTW, you (maybe inadvertantly) bring a major part of the problem...in reality it my not even be just gay and lesbian couples, but also "other unmarried people." What in the world could that mean?

Mike

P.S. Keith, Be careful presuming about my profession.

P.P.S. Christine, ditto on the lighten up.

Saturday, October 28, 2006 6:51:00 PM  
Blogger Terrence Berres said...

Keith, got any evidence that the bishops are oblivious to the ongoing push to have courts mandating recognition marriage-equivalent relationships? Given the constraints of a one page letter, suitable for inserting in parish bulletins, their statement indicates to me that they are well aware of it.

Whether the bishops gave it much consideration or not, much of the legislative action has been driven by court decisions, like last week in New Jersey. What does "substantially similar" mean? It means the kinds of legal relationships for these court decisions have mandated legal recognition. And the court decisions are based on the state constitutions.

As for the priests' union's statement, I suggest taking a look back at the minutes of that group's first board meeting February 5, 2004. They see one of their roles as being a voice for "the voiceless" in the Church, including "Women's Ordination ... Gays ... pro-choice voices...". It's the priests of that faction who are pushing an agenda, and part of that push is their statement on the proposed amendment.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 7:53:00 AM  
Anonymous keith said...

Terrence and Mike:

Even though these priests generally hold views contrary to ours, it does not make them unfaithful Catholics. Nor does it make them dissenters, unless they openly preach and teach things contrary to the established dogma of the Church.

Sometimes I fear that they are, in fact, skirting heresy. But in those cases (e.g. women's ordination) they would need to be clear to distinguish between their personal beliefs and the teachings of the Church.

In the case of this crazy amendment, Father Massingale is merely making people aware of the Church's teaching, as it relates to THE SECOND SENTENCE of the ban.

He is not questioning the bishops' notes about the first sentence. He is not questioning the teaching of the Church on family life.

It is his right and duty as a priest to do this. And I think that Archbishop Dolan is thankful for this.

The Archbishop, like all bishops and many Protestant leaders as well, have made something of a bargain with the Devil in an effort to get progress on the abortion issue. The Devil in this case is the political machine.

The amendment is part of that agenda, to get out the vote for Green and Gard. The bishops HAD TO issue a recommendation of YES, in order to pay the piper.

When you read their statement, it clearly is faithful to Church teaching. But they do it by addressing the first sentence only.

They have taken the wise tactic of leaving it to their pastors to remind the Faithful of the Church's teaching on the SECOND SENTENCE.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 12:54:00 PM  
Anonymous keith said...

More on sentences one and two, to address some thoughts raised by all of you...

It's all about risk.

With FAILURE of the amendment, there is a risk that the Wisconsin Supreme Court would find some way of going beyond their call of duty and strike down all of family law, legal precident, and lots of folks' consciences. That's what the first sentence is supposed to guard against.

WIth PASSAGE of the amendment, there is risk that attorneys will descend on Wisconsin's "non traditional" families and start suing people. This is what the second sentence is all about.

(Recall that the second sentence was added at the insistence of the Alliance Defense Fund, the same folks who have sued to take away people's health insurance in Michigan and to invalidate domestic violence laws in Ohio. The are fixing to do the same in Wisconsin, it seems.)

In my mind, and in my Catholic conscience, the risk of PASSAGE of the amendment is far greater than the risk involved with FAILURE. Not only in probability, but in magnitude.

Probability? Pretty slim chance of elected judges in Wisconsin interpreting "husband and wife" to mean "two girls." But pretty big chance that folks like Alliance Defense will go after whatever they can get.

Magnitude? If Wisconsin legalized marriage for two girls, there is harm done to our egos as Catholics. The Church teaches that two girls sharing a household are better of as celibate vowed religious than raising children together. But the magnitude of the problems that would occur if the amendment passes are more than bruised egos. It's lives ruined.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 1:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mike, the Faithful Catholic said...

Keith:

Even if one were to take all of your basics concerns into account, I would assert that the question of "magnitude" is actually resolved in the reverse of what you suppose.

The two potential outcomes being seen, and feared, are: Your fear - litigants rushing the courts with not-so-veiled efforts at anti-gay lawsuits; and my fear - the courts imposing a contrary view of marriage on the entire populave.

But I ask, who in each case actually holds the power? The courts still do. With a yes vote the worst we are left with seems to be the my fear is assuaged, and your fear could be, or would be, assuaged by a court forcing the state legislature to better define "substantially similar". That would parallel the way that the New Jersey supreme court just acted, but with the parameter that actually protects marriage (something we all seem to say we agree on).

That hypothesis being offered, you could well be right that there are persons or groups out there that have hidden, ulterior motives in the language of the amendment. But please do not try drift too close to the false indignation of some posters and say that one side should not presuppose ulterior motives, when you are equally motivated by fear of such hidden motives.

Mike

Sunday, October 29, 2006 1:26:00 PM  
Blogger Terrence Berres said...

The bishops conference deals with the "second sentence" issue in some detail in One Man, One Woman, One Unionj[2 pp. pdf].

Sunday, October 29, 2006 1:42:00 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Keith, your credibility is evaporating.

Nor does it make them dissenters, unless they openly preach and teach things contrary to the established dogma of the Church.

Regrets, Keith: when Massingale & Co. decided to contradict the teaching of THE Authority in this Archdiocese, they became dissenters.

If Wisconsin legalized marriage for two girls, there is harm done to our egos as Catholics.

That statement is indefensible on two counts. First, you state that "egos" would be "harmed." That's interesting, because no one on this thread (nor on Shark's) has EVER mentioned their "ego."

YOU are the only one to mention "ego," which is telling.

Secondly, you would have us believe that a derogation of "marriage" to "lust-affirmation" is harmless in and of itself.

You may believe that, Keith. But that only makes clear that you have a very poor understanding of first things.

Are you old enough to vote?

Sunday, October 29, 2006 3:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Here's a question...
Let's pretend this amendment was about legalizing gay marriage (which it's not), and somehow, sometime after defeat of the amendment our ELECTED Supreme Court judges ignored State statute and legalized gay marriage.

So what?

So it means more people are covered under health insurance, our uninsured population goes down, and so do our premiums.
So it means the state encourages commited, monogomous relationships.
So it means children of gay families are now protected by law.
So it means churches still don't have to marry anyone they don't want to, because the state can't regulate that.
So it means wedding businesses thrive, lawsuits disappear, and the overall divorce rate goes down like it did in Massachusetts.
So it means polygamy, incest, and all those other "slippery slope" products of gay marriage will still be illegal because they have nothing to do with gay marriage.

And somehow all this threatens marriage?

Sunday, October 29, 2006 6:05:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

How short-term our memories are...

People were certain that back in the days of WWII if women went to work it would be the demise of the traditional family.

People were convinced in the 50s that allowing blacks and whites to marry would deface the good name of marriage.

Those "threats to marriage" were much ado about nothing...any chance this one is too?

Sunday, October 29, 2006 6:08:00 PM  
Blogger Terrence Berres said...

And let's not forget that cassandra Patrick Moynihan and his 1965 report claiming the decline of marriage in the black community would lead to further deterioration of conditions in our inner cities.

Monday, October 30, 2006 4:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the need for separation of Church and state, but in the past, with major issues of persecution and suffering, and even war, the lay faithful have demanded the Church's involvement.

Now, no one here has mentioned this separation. I bring it up because of a conversation I recently enjoyed, but which led me to ask you all this question:

At what point does the matter of morality intersect with the state? I agree that by no means can I demand that in the political arena, we determine lawfully that marriage be between a man and woman only. BUT, at what point can morality trump law?

I recall Martin Luther King's letter from the Birmingham jail.

We comment on how so many goods will come socially if this amendment is cast down. I reply to Jenn with this website, which I HIGHLY recommend you read: www.catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/se0002.html I ask you to do so because the author replies to the predictions made in the 60's regarding allowances made by our government, and uses ONLY logical, non-faith-based responses and assessments.

Finally, we have all seen the influence of divorce upon society. Divorce between two married individuals, one of which is a male, one of which is a female. And this reality is highly disturbing: check out Newseek and Time in the last 3 years to see multiple articles.

Why? BECAUSE IT REVEALS HOW MUCH THE CIVIL UNION INFLUENCES OUR SOCIETY. To say simply that it is the allocation of rights that will still remain separated from our churchs is... well... foolish.

Finally, this amendment is ALSO very much about the union of two people who are not homosexual. Apparently, their rights are being threatened. I ask only this: why should rights be awarded to those who have the opportunity to wed and still choose not to?

At what point does marriage get to be something DIFFERENT from roomates in the matter of Law?

Monday, October 30, 2006 2:18:00 PM  
Blogger Mike, the Faithful Catholic said...

Jenn, Jenn, Jenn... Your profile lists your industry as "education", I hope that you are a student, that means that there is still hope.

Some points for your research:

In truth, more people insured drives up costs. Look at the fiasco of Medicare.

"Encourages committed monogomous relationships". It is a classic dilemma, should the state regulate us to monogamy, or encourage it if it exists? This would be a more teneble discussion if commitment and monogamy were hallmarks of the gay community. Nothing prevent any couple from being committed and monogomous to one another.

Children of a non-mariage relationship by definition must have the involvement of a legal adoption process. Thus, the rghts questions are enshrined in law.

Like Keith's assertions about the corporal works of mercy, the Church, by definition, has the right and responsibility to take an interest in marriage.

Study up on your statistics textbook. Divorce, because of the legal steps to be taken, is an indicator that lags far more than the two years between the Massachusets ruling and the latest data. No correlation can yet be made on this point.

"Polygamy, incest, and all those other "slippery slope" products ... have nothing to do with gay marriage." Actually, they might have everything to do with the absence of a definition of terms in these matters. Just saying otherwise does not, in this case, make it so.

Mike

Monday, October 30, 2006 7:26:00 PM  

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