Thursday, January 06, 2011

Bishop Armando Ochoa: Catholic teaching regarding same-sex "marriage" constitutes mere opinion

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its document entitled Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, warns that even where homosexual unions have been legalized, "clear and emphatic opposition is a duty." (No. 5). This important document stresses that, "any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws" and even any "material cooperation on the level of their application" must be avoided. "In this area," states the document, "everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection."

Considerations makes it abundantly clear that, "The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to considerations of homosexual unions." (No. 11). In other words, there can be no doubt that all Catholics have a moral duty to oppose the homosexual agenda.

Unless of course your Bishop Armando Ochoa.  Referring in a column to one of his priests who has been actively opposing the homosexual agenda by advancing and defending the Church's teaching, Bishop Ochoa asserted that the priest was merely promoting his "personal opinion."  In a recent editorial to the El Paso Times, Fr. Michael Rodriguez wrote:

Catholics must stand against all attempts to redefine marriage

By Michael Rodriguez, Guest Columnist
El Paso Times, Dec 26, 2010. Opinion section, page 9B

"Jesus Christ’s praise of John the Baptist is without parallel, 'among those born of women, no one is greater than he' (Luke 7:28). Thus, in John the Baptist, a 'voice crying out in the desert,' we’re given the greatest prophet.

Well, how did he meet his end?

Faithful to God’s law, John the Baptist rebuked Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee, and told him he couldn’t take his brother’s wife as his own. As a result, Herod had John arrested, bound, imprisoned, and eventually beheaded (Matthew 14:3-12).

St. John the Baptist suffered martyrdom for crying out in defense of the institution of marriage!

Fifteen centuries later, in England, another saint and martyr, Sir Thomas More, was beheaded for witnessing to the truth about marriage.

Another political leader, this time King Henry VIII, sought to redefine marriage in order to suit his own particular agenda. The king wanted to obtain a 'legal divorce' from his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, in order to marry Anne Boleyn.

Thomas More, lord chancellor of England at the time, and second in rank and power only to the king himself, courageously opposed Henry’s sin. This cost More his life.

St. Thomas More was beheaded on July 6, 1535. He shed his blood out of love and fidelity to Christ, the Catholic Church, and the sacrament of marriage.

Today, in the year of our Lord, 2010, in El Paso, Texas, a number of our City Council members appear to be morally blind, if not depraved. They seem intent on abusing their political power and undermining the institution of marriage, all in the pursuit of an agenda which could, at best, be described as misguided.

If in the future, a majority of City Council members are adamant in seeking government recognition of same-sex unions under the cloak of 'toleration, fairness, and equal rights,' then every single Catholic must reject these machinations which are tantamount to a blatant corruption of public morality.

Catholics can never permit a 'non-discrimination amendment to the city charter' which intends, or will allow, gravely sinful relationships to be equated with the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony.

Rome has been very clear in mandating that all Catholics must oppose any and all government attempts to legalize same-sex unions.

The U.S. Catholic bishops, in their November 2009 pastoral letter on marriage, have written, “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.”

They teach further, “to promote and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman is itself a matter of justice.”

The Roman Catholic Church is categorically opposed to the legalization of same-sex unions, and with good reason.

This position has nothing to do with discrimination.

Discrimination is against persons; we Catholics are opposing sinful actions. It’s irresponsible and irrational to ignore the essential moral distinction between a person and his/her actions.

No one has a “civil right” to redefine the institution of marriage!

It’s an utter breakdown in basic logic to speak about “fairness and equality” without first settling the issue of right vs. wrong! The latter is the moral foundation of the former!

Dear Catholics, it’s in our blood to be voices crying out in the desert, witnessing to the truth with love!

St. John the Baptist, pray for us. St. Thomas More, pray for us."

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

Mere "personal opinion"?  God help Bishop Armando Ochoa!  For those of us who strive to be Catholic in more than just name, the Church is the "pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Timothy 3:15), and not the "pillar of opinion."  The Church's teaching comes from a more-than-human authority.  Vatican II, in Dei Verbum, No. 10, reminds us that, "..the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether in its written form or in that of Tradition, has been entrusted only to those charged with the Church's living Magisterium, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.."

Perhaps Bishop Ochoa should spend a little more time actually reading what Vatican II had to say?

Related reading: Homosexuality and false compassion.

Related reading: The Catholic Free Press [Diocese of Worcester, Mass] and homosexual agitprop


Derek said...

What else would Bishop Ochoa consider as "opinion"? That the Eucharist is truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? That the Ten Commandments are still binding? That abortion is murder?

God help the Catholic Church in the United States.

Stewart said...

This confused Bishop also promotes the writings of dissident priest Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI.

See here:

Search Father Rolheiser and Paula D'arcy at this Blog.

Michelle said...

Fr. Rodriguez has written, "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."

It's the last part that Bishop Ochoa apparently has a problem with.

Steve said...

"the damnation of souls"

Now you know why Fatima, with its vision of Hell, had to be relegated to the past.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Not to mention the very idea of evil:


Anonymous said...

Wow--this priest reminds me of so many of my fellow seminarians (I left before ordination) who are so anti-gay because they themselves have not come to terms with their sexuality. Spare me the "love the sinner, hate the sin" argument. It represents a pedestrian understanding of Thomistic theology and couldn't be more off base on this issue. Once the church admits that more than 50% of its priests are gay, healing can begin. Let gays (and gay priests) marry. Jesus would have.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

It's a good thing that you left before ordination. Because you are obviously not intellectually (and even more importantly), morally equipped to be a priest.

Pope Saint Pius X, in his 1910 Catechism, teaches us that sodomy ranks second in gravity to voluntary homicide, among the sins that 'cry out to God for vengeance.' According to this Catechism, these sins 'are said to cry out to God because the Holy Spirit says so and because their iniquity is so grave and manifest that it provokes God to punish with more severe chastisements.'

The Catechism of the Catholic Church published by the Vatican in 1994 teaches clearly that homosexuality is contrary to nature and that homosexual acts are among the 'sins gravely contrary to chastity.' (CCC, 2396). This Catechism teaches that homosexual acts are 'intrinsically disordered,' 'contrary to the natural law,' and that 'under no circumstances can they be approved.' (CCC, 2357)....Now while it is true that everything must be done to help sinners, this cannot include helping them to sin or to remain in sin. Because of human frailty, every sinner deserves both pity and compassion. However, vice and sin must be excluded from this compassion. This because sin can never be the proper object of compassion. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 1).

It is a false compassion which supplies the sinner with the means to remain attached to sin. Such 'compassion' provides an assistance (whether material or moral) which actually enables the sinner to remain firmly attached to his evil ways. By contrast, true compassion leads the sinner away from vice and back to virtue. As Thomas Aquinas explains:

"We love sinners out of charity, not so as to will what they will, or to rejoice in what gives them joy, but so as to make them will what we will, and rejoice in what rejoices us. Hence it is written: 'They shall be turned to thee, and thou shalt not be turned to them.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.6, ad 4, citing Jeremiah 15:19).

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that the sentiment of compassion only becomes a virtue when it is guided by reason, since "it is essential to human virtue that the movements of the soul should be regulated by reason." (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, c.3). Without such regulation, compassion is merely a passion. A false compassion is a compassion not regulated and tempered by reason and is, therefore, a potentially dangerous inclination. This because it is subject to favoring not only that which is good but also that which is evil (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.1, ad 3).

An authentic compassion always stems from charity. True compassion is an effect of charity (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 30, a.3, ad 3). But it must be remembered that the object of this virtue is God, whose love extends to His creatures. (Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 25, a.3). Therefore, the virtue of compassion seeks to bring God to the one who suffers so that he may thereby participate in the infinite love of God. As St. Augustine explains:

"'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' Now, you love yourself suitably when you love God better than yourself. What, then, you aim at in yourself you must aim at in your neighbor, namely, that he may love God with a perfect affection." (St. Augustine, Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, No. 49).

Since you obviously do not accept - or for that matter understand - the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality, your comments will simply be deleted in the future. I suggest that you find another forum to spew your anti-Catholic bile.

ek said...

Thank you, Paul Anthony for your excellent response to the ex-seminarian. God bless you. May we all have the strength to remain faithful to Holy Mother Church, especially now, when Satan is attacking with so many deceived followers.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Thanks for your kind not EK. And God bless you too for remaining faithful to Holy Mother Church!

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