Spring 1999 – News on the Line

Volume 2: Issue 2

President’s Corner

Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Catholic Education…


CPO has become increasingly concerned over the past year that our children are not receiving accurate Church teaching on homosexuality in most of our Catholic high schools. We’ve found the main emphasis is to teach our children that homosexuality is a lifestyle alternative equal to heterosexuality — and that teenagers who have same-sex attraction should accept their homosexuality as normal. Recent happenings:

  • Students and alumni at Catholic high schools “come out” as “gay”, “lesbian”,
    and “bisexual” during school assemblies. These students give presentations on
    acceptance of homosexual lifestyle.
  • Two “lesbian” students attended their Catholic high school prom
    and were officially introduced as a “couple” during the Grand March.
  • Catholic high school students are given “Rainbow Ribbons” to wear
    in support of “gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender” lifestyle.
  • At a recent High School Diversity Conference, planned and attended
    by Catholic school students, 2 boys of the Pentecostal faith spoke out to defend
    the Judeo-Christian beliefs on homosexuality — as several Catholic students
    presented a workshop promoting acceptance of homosexual lifestyle.

It’s no wonder students are becoming more confused on what is right and wrong!

Please keep in prayer the angry, hurting students and alumni from our Catholic high schools who have been emailing CPO with claims such as this:

There are GLBT people in all aspects of our society, and if you continue to teach the message ‘love the sinner, not the sin’ your children are going to receive a rude awakening in the real world when they find that most people don’t care what the Catholic Church teaches and also that most GLBT persons are not celibate (emphasis added). When I came out to the entirety of [his Catholic high school], I didn’t say I’m gay and celibate for one reason, I’m not celibate and I’m not going to lie about it. I think it is truly foolhardy to think that you can separate the sinner from the sin.

It is tragic that these students are being deceived into leading a lifestyle that may literally kill both their body and soul in the name of “love and support!”

The Great Divide

While there may be questions, CPO is aware of the fact there is great division over several issues in our Catholic Church, but until this past year I never actually realized how deeply divided some Catholics are on the issue of homosexuality.

Within the Catholic Church there seem to exist 3 groups of thought on the issue of homosexuality:

Group I:
Faithful to the Magisterium…
Catholics who are faithful to sacred Scripture and the Magisterium, believe that God created man and woman to live in monogamous relationships to compliment one another with their sexuality: masculine and feminine. Natural law also supports this basic principle of human sexuality: The body was not made for sodomy, which is a perversion of true human sexuality.

These Catholic people have a clear understanding of the Church’s authentic teaching on homosexuality: The Church makes a distinction between homosexual acts and homosexuality as a condition. The condition of homosexuality is not a sin, but the inclination to homogenital activity–called “homosexuality”—is intrinsically disordered. The Church teaches that homosexual acts are immoral.

These Catholics believe and understand that: “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is 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.” (Catechism #2358)
“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.” (Catechism #2359)

These Catholic people promote Courage, the Catholic support group for homosexuals which is approved by the Pontifical Council for the Family. Unfortunately, Courage has been the object of derision by many homosexual advocacy groups—inside and outside of the Church. They mainly object to its Founder, Fr. Harvey’s faithful adherence to the Church’s teaching on homosexuality—that the inclination is an objective disorder—and the group’s emphasis on chastity.

Group II:
People & Organizations, i.e. PFLAG, Dignity, New Ways Ministry, CPCSM, Friends & Families of GLBT…
Many of these people are dissident Catholics agitating for changes in the Church’s teaching on the issue. They maintain that homosexual acts are not immoral or sinful if a person prays before engaging in them and reaches the judgment that such acts are not sinful. They promote the acceptance of homosexual culture in the Church and schools. They promote same-sex marriage, undermine Biblical and religious objections to homosexual activity, promote “gay pride” and “homosexual lifestyle awareness” at schools, and organize youth groups for adolescents to encourage them to “accept” their orientation.

Sr. Jeannine Gramick and Fr. Robert Nugent founded the Catholic Parents Network (not to be confused with Catholic Parents OnLine) after they were ordered to separate themselves from New Ways Ministry by their religious superiors. At a recent meeting of Catholic Parents Network, Sr. Gramick spoke about the Document, Always Our Children and the process it went through before final release last October. She expressed her dissatisfaction that, “bishops were afraid to give the proper teaching on conscience. They only gave part of the teaching, leaving out the part of official Church teaching which says that a homosexual may follow his conscience after he has prayed with God about acting on his or her same-sex desires, even if the decision reached is not in accord with Church teaching on homosexual acts. The problem concerning Church teaching on conscience,” she continued, “is that the present Pope always emphasizes bringing your actions in line with Church teaching, and he is careful not to talk about the conscience part.”

This is heresy!

Fr. Nugent said he didn’t agree with the pastoral advice: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” “Chastity,” Nugent explained, “does not mean celibacy; it means living in your proper state. Gays must always act according to their conscience.” “Immoral,” he said, “does not mean sinful. Sinful depends on the situation.”
This is heresy!
Group III:
Catholics who are not informed on the issue and Church teachings…
This includes those who know and understand but are apathetic, or perhaps fearful that they will be labeled “homophobic!”

Please! Join CPO in our efforts to keep our Catholic schools faithful to the Magisterium. Find out what is happening in your child/grandchild’s school, ask questions, speak up, write letters, make phone calls, encourage the positives, join the school CPO Parent/Alumni group (contact CPO for more information) and above all PRAY!

Tolerance & Compassion Run Amok

Reprinted from an article by Reverend Thomas W. Dufner in the Holy Family Catholic Church bulletin. It is reprinted here with permission.

Must a Good Catholic be tolerant?

Webster’s Dictionary defines tolerance as accepting of “views, beliefs, or practices different from ones own.” It is being pushed into every phase of our lives. Government is enforcing tolerance today as though that was the answer to all of today’s problems.

Compassion is the companion of tolerance today. It seems we must have sympathy and therefore tolerance for every depravity. Yet as one scholar noted: “compassion taken alone kills morality.”

What should be our Catholic view of tolerance? For the most part, tolerance is a good thing. Yet tolerance must be understood within the norms of Christian Morality. The Church teaches that we must discriminate in moral matters. We cannot allow persons who publicly engage in immoral behavior to hold certain types of positions, most notably that of teacher. In other words, tolerance has limits. It is not an absolute.

It should be noted that Jesus couldn’t tolerate the Pharisees. He did something better: he loved them. He didn’t want them to be damned because of their sins, so he called them to repent. He offered “tough love.” If Jesus was intolerant, might not a good Christian parent be intolerant of evil? Can a good parent be tolerant of bad behavior in his or her children? No. Can a good parent be tolerant of teachers or programs that model immorality for their children? No. Tolerance has limits. Compassion must be rightly applied. Those who turn these into absolutes have another agenda that directly undermines the Faith in our children.

Analyzing the Violence Prevalent Now

Sue Widemark, Cheese Whiz BBS on the web

Analysts are buzzing back and forth, trying to figure out why our children are killing each other, scratching their heads as they study the latest tragedy in Colorado.

There seem to be many areas where the bravest analysts don’t wish to trod in seeking answers – areas where those answers are likely to be found.

They don’t want to talk about the violence happening daily in abortion clinics or how by encouraging our children to not com-plete a pregnancy, that we are telling them that the life of a child is really not worth much.

They don’t want to talk about the possibility that when you separate sex from its main purpose i.e. to express the deepest love which results in the creation of new human life, then sex becomes meaningless and opens the door for violence between men and women.

Christians will cry out in pain for things like the Colorado massacre but turn their heads from what really might be causing this type of senseless violence in our chil-dren. At this rate, it will not only continue – it will get worse.

Alan Keyes, in a newspaper article wrote the following: “One of the stories coming out of Colorado shows us the way. Several of the students at Columbine High have told of being with a girl when a gunman demanded of the group whether any of them believed in Jesus Christ. The girl hesitated a minute, and then said “yes.” The gunman said “for what?” — and killed her. ”

“Satan may have been in that room, but he wasn’t able to prevent one of the most incredible witnesses of faith that I have heard of in a long time. That child is a true martyr, and let us praise God for her soul, her courage, and her faith in the Lord. ”

“We should say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for such a soul, for although the forces of evil are indeed at work in the world, we need to remember from time to time that what they threaten us with in physical death is not the worst fate that we can suf-fer. The worst fate that we can suffer is to be separated from our God.”

“Especially moving to me in the description of the death of this girl is not her “yes,” but the moment of hesitation that preceded it. It means that she went into her heart and searched herself for the truth, and she came out with her witness before God in the face of death. If we understand its importance, such witness of faith can be-come an inspiration not only to us and to our children, but to our country as well.” “The martyrdom of the young lady presents to us the truth about what we should be doing to counteract this cowardice. Many guns are pointed at us, and we need to imitate her courage in facing them down. Over here, a preacher won’t speak out because he is afraid of losing his 501(c)3 status. Over there, a politician won’t speak out because he is afraid that the Washington Post will call him a right-wing religious nut. Someone else won’t bear witness in the family because he is afraid he will be considered unsophisti-cated, which is why another young person won’t bear witness in the school, because then he won’t be part of the “in” crowd. In so many ways we are afraid to bear healing witness to our neighbor because we are threatened with the death of mere things that we care for, much less our physical life. The threat to kill our 501(c) money, or our political careers, or just to laugh at us, is enough to make us ashamed to bear witness to God in this world.”

“What we really need is the spirit that that young lady found, enabling her to look for the truth in herself, find it, and bear witness to it. We need to look for the truth in our-selves, and then in the face of every threat we need to stand for that truth until our nation is healed.”

(Alan Keyes in WorldNetDaily, Friday, April 23, 1999)

CPO LISTENS AND LEARNS — Both Sides of the Issue!

It is a difficult task to confront others as a parent, a friend or a member in the Church, the community, the classroom, or a committee. Fr. Donald Timone of COURAGE (New York) recently told his Minnesota audience that “confrontation is the most difficult part of love” and “good parenting troubles the child.”

With that in mind, CPO reports on a recent school conference entitled “Diversity is More than Skin Deep”, the Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF) student-orientated, student designed all-day conference held at one of our Archdiocesan high schools. Not wishing to divide the people of God, CPO remains obligated to share what parents need to know.

CPO has received reports from some parents who were concerned with parts of the conference. One report was very disheartening. During a session, “Hear My Voice” students were left without any adult leadership for over 2 hours to discuss one of the most controversial topics of the day — diversity. When adults are having trouble getting a handle on the issue, what are the young people (possibly) telling themselves?

CPO agrees that this is an issue of trust, and of Catholic school’s input into young adult’s faith formation. Parents are aware of the power of the peer group, and how parental rights have faded around the nation in the last ten years.

Another parent sent CPO an example of one of the inserts in the folder given to every participant at the conference. It was a Reading: MY MOTHER TOLD ME which implies how foolish, ill-prepared, ignorant and WRONG the mother and father are as parents. Twenty three examples were on the list. i.e., “My mother told me rich people are pigs. My father told me it only takes one black family to ruin an entire neighborhood. My mother told me Asian people are taking all the opportunities away from the rest of us. My father told me Puerto Ricans don’t do anything but dance. My father told me all women really want is babies. My mother told me to stay in my own race. My mother told me to go out and get a white boy. My mother told me please don’t have sex. But if you do, please use birth control.” Wrapped into such nonsense is this: “My mother told me if you ever need help, you can come to me.” After such ignorance and prejudice in the mother’s point of view, what does that say to the young adult? CPO asks, is there any adult leadership in conferences like this? According to leaders in the St. Paul and Mpls. Archdiocese: “To the extent that they (Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities, or its related entity of “Families and Friends of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Persons in Catholic Education”) advocate changes in the moral and sacramental-theological traditions of our Church, particularly in promoting recognition of same-sex unions and the genital expression of affection between persons of the same gender, they most certainly do not enjoy the support of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.” Some say, the “GLBT” people were not present? Why were the initials used if this group’s philosophy was not represented? Anything beyond the full teachings of the Catholic Church is not welcomed by Catholic parents. Another parent took concern with a hand-out given to every participant entitled, “Looking At Gay and Lesbian Life.” It listed names of historical figures who practice/d the “gay” lifestyle. The conference remains questionable and will have to prove itself to be endorsed by most Catholic parents in this Archdiocese.
The St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese Office of Marriage and Family Life recently hosted a presentation by Fr. Donald Timone from Courage, an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church in New York. He has spent 20 years working with Fr. John Harvey, Co-founder and Director of Courage, in New York. Courage is a Catholic support group for men and women struggling with same-sex attraction. He outlined the goals of Courage and Faith in Action our own diocesan program:
1. To live a chaste life.
2. To dedicate one’s life to Christ.
3. To foster a spirit of fellowship so no one is alone as they find their way in returning fully to the gender of their birth.
4. To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in celibate Christian life, and sustaining them is encouraged.
5. To live a life that may serve as a good example to others who struggle with homosexuality, a life that will be filled with rewards in the victory to “be all that you are.”

Fr. Timone emphasized that goals are processes and that time alone will provide the stretch space to shift thoughts to think different, feel different and live different. Those questioning their sexuality, along with their family and friends, will get the grace to grow and to pardon each other when they just want it and do it. Grace will be received, grace being the presence of the living Christ. Fr. Timone continued to assure his listeners how forgiveness demands a lot, but without a lot of words. The smallest of loving gestures can open a broken heart to receive fellowship and respect.

Even joy is available, he said. “Joy is not the absence of struggles, but there is meaning in the struggle.” Fr. Timone’s words reflected a heart of compassion. He encouraged everyone involved to uphold human dignity, power and appreciation, approval, acceptance and affection. Truly, the “Church is the miracle.”

Help Spread the True Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality. Do you someone struggling with same-sex attraction, a concerned family member, a teacher, youth minister, or anyone — who would like to learn more… Check out the excellent information at: Courage, an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church