Friday, April 03, 2009

The Newman Center at Fitchburg State College: faithful to the Church's teaching regarding homosexuality?

The Newman Center at Fitchburg State College has published a series of lectures given by Fr. Bruce Williams, O.P., at its website. One of these lectures deals specifically with the Church's teaching regarding homosexuality and same-sex "marriage." In this lecture, the full text of which may be found here, Fr. Williams presents the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church as "evolving," and adds, "Support for gay and lesbian rights legislation and (or) municipal ordinances is well within the parameters of Catholic moral teaching..."

Really? The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would beg to differ. In its document entitled, "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, which was published on July 31, 2003 and signed by the Congregation's Prefect Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the CDF explains that marriage "is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose." This important document continues:

"There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts '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.'" (No. 4).

Considerations refutes the objection often raised by those within the homosexual movement (or by those who are sympathetic toward its agenda) that laws permitting homosexual unions would not harm the common good since they do not impose anything:

"In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behavior as a private phenomenon and the same behavior as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure. This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more wide-reaching and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good. Civil laws are structuring principles of man's life in society, for good or for ill. They 'play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior.' Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation's perception and evaluation of forms of behavior. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage." (No. 10).

Considerations points out the grave consequences to society if homosexual unions were to be legalized:

"The inevitable consequence of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children. If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good. By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties." (No. 8). Which is precisely what I argued here.

Fr. Williams doesn't see it that way. He concludes his lecture by saying, "speaking for myself as a Catholic and as a priest who has served the church for 33 years, in my prayers I try to imagine the church some day (probably after my lifetime) having a very different impact on the social status of gay and lesbian people than the impact it has had historically and still continues to have to some degree. Instead of being an influence for social homophobia and discrimination, as has been the case, could the church not become a force for society’s affirmation and inclusion of gays and lesbians – precisely by modelling such affirmation and inclusion in its own life? In moving to this point, could the church not benefit from the example of other faith communities that have already progressed further along the way.." Like the Episcopalians maybe? Better yet, let's not travel down that particular road of infidelity and self-destruction.

It is noteworthy that Fr. Williams has served on the Advisory Board of "Other Sheep," an organization which promotes the radical homosexual agenda. Sister Jeannine Gramick has also served on this Advisory Board. See here. Remember Sister Gramick? Here's what Archbishop Charles Chaput had to say about this dissident religious and the Holy See's Notification regarding her:

July 13, 1999

"Ministry to homosexual persons is important to Catholics. It will remain so. Common sense requires, however, that people ordained or consecrated for Church service should teach what the Church teaches. Unfortunately, on issues pertaining to homosexuality, Sister Gramick and Father Nugent do not, as evidenced by the body of their work.

The Holy See's action regarding Sister Gramick and Father Nugent concludes more than 15 years of study, explanation and discussion of their views on homosexuality and the nature of their pastoral work with homosexual persons. It is guided by the Holy See's commitment to teach God's truth about the dignity of the human person, and by a respect for the rights of all involved — the rights of the everyday faithful, as well as the rights of Sister Gramick and Father Nugent."

Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver

The full text of the Holy See's Notification may be found here.

Small wonder that Fr. Williams would view the Church's teaching on homosexuality as "evolving" and would accuse the Church of promoting "homophobia." After all, Other Sheep has the following Mission Statement:

"Other Sheep - Multicultural Ministries with Sexual Minorities is the only worldwide ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to empowering sexual minorities throughout the world with the Good News of God's unconditional love for all and salvation through God's Son, Jesus Christ. With other LGBT activists throughout the world, we recognize that ideological fundamentalism in various religions, especially Christianity, Judaism and Islam, constitutes the major obstacle to justice for our people. Consequently, within the International Lesbian and Gay Association, Other Sheep pioneered the establishment of the ILGA Working Party on Homophobia, Ideology and Religion."

Does the Newman Center at Fitchburg State College also view the Church's teaching regarding homosexual acts and same-sex "marriage" as nothing but "ideological fundamentalism"? If not, why would the Center publish a lecture which accuses the Church of "being an influence for social homophobia and discrimination"?

Where does Deacon Ben Nogueira of FSC's Newman Center (who also serves at St. Camillus de Lellis Parish in Fitchburg) stand with regard to the Church's teaching? Does he view the Magisterial teaching of Christ's Church as "ideological fundamentalism"? Does he view the Church as having been "an influence for social homophobia and discrimination"?

Is Bishop Robert McManus aware that FSC's Newman Center has published this lecture at its website?


Anonymous said...

Honestly, what is going on with the Church in and around Fitchburg? People are bailing from parishes, we've had a Catholic priest (Lewandowski) who promoted homosexual marriage, priests accused credibly of sexual abuse, and now this?

I get the impression that the faith is coming unglued in this town.

Michael Cole said...

Deacon Nogueira served under Father Richard Lewandowski who was removed from his priestly duties because of his promotion of same-sex marriage. What a moral tragedy.

JenniferfromFitchburg said...

FSC has its own Gay Straight Alliance called 1 in 10 and friends. Link here:

With a name like that, you can be certain that typical homosexual agitprop is the order of the day at FSC. The 1 in 10 notion is a complete myth created by radical homosexual activists in their misguided attempt to legitimize their deviant lifestyle.

I wonder if Deacon Ben is involved with this Gay Straight Alliance. Or the Newman Center?

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

The ten percent myth was based on research done by Alfred C. Kinsey and published in his 1948 study entitled, "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" which is commonly known as the Kinsey Report.

The Kinsey Report has been proven to be flawed. As A.Dean Byrd and Stony Olsen showed in "Homosexuality: Innate and Immutable?" (Regent University Law Review, Vol. 14: 513, p. 546), Kinsey's sample of 5,300 men "included several hundred prostitutes, 1,200 convicted sex offenders, high numbers of pedophiles and exhibitionists, and a quarter of his sample were prison inmates, who are disproportionately homosexual."

What a shame that students at Fitchburg State College have committed themselves toward perpetuating this shattered myth.

Amanda said...

Fitchburg State College 1 in 10 and friends website:

This site mocks religious beliefs regarding homosexuality.

Meredith said...

I'm not surprised that Deacon Nogueira would publish a lecture accusing the Catholic Church of promoting "social homophobia" and "discrimination" against homosexuals. He is cited affectionately at a Blog called "transdada: poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions." See here:

Ellen Wironken said...

Here is the Blog article from Transdada:

Area Catholics sign letter urging tolerance for same-sex couples
By Lisa Guerriero

Some area leaders and about 100 Catholics from across the state urged residents Friday to act respectfully toward same-sex couples.

Fitchburg Police Chief Edward Cronin, FSC President Robert V. Antonucci, Rev. Richard Lewandowski and Deacon Benjamin A. Nogueira of Fitchburg's St. Camillus Parish and Rev. Robert D. Bruso of Fitchburg's Saint Anthony di Padua Church are some of the area Catholics who signed a letter asking for compassion in light of same-sex couples gaining marriage rights Monday.

"It's a very sensitive time," Lewandowski said. "For us to not be proactive would be to lessen our responsibility as leaders in the Commonwealth."

The letter asks residents to treat same sex-couples and their families with respect and defend the "fundamental human rights of homosexuals" despite the heated debate over marriage rights.

posted by kari @ 4:16 PM 0 comments links to this post

This Deacon [Nogueira] signed a letter which describes same-sex "marriage" as a "fundamental human right."

What is he doing serving as a Deacon in a Catholic parish? This is utterly disgusting. The Diocese should remove him. Especially in light of this lecture he published at the Newman Center's website.

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