Wednesday, July 06, 2011

St. Cecilia's "Rainbow Ministry" is not faithful to the spirit and teaching of the Church

Vatican II, in its Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem), explains that, "The hierarchy should promote the apostolate of the laity, provide it with spiritual principles and support, direct the conduct of this apostolate to the common good of the Church, and attend to the preservation of doctrine and order.

Indeed, the lay apostolate admits of different types of relationships with the hierarchy in accordance with the various forms and objects of this apostolate. For in the Church there are many apostolic undertakings which are established by the free choice of the laity and regulated by their prudent judgment. The mission of the Church can be better accomplished in certain circumstances by undertakings of this kind, and therefore they are frequently praised or recommended by the hierarchy. No project, however, may claim the name 'Catholic' unless it has obtained the consent of the lawful Church authority.

Certain forms of the apostolate of the laity are given explicit recognition by the hierarchy, though in various ways.

Because of the demands of the common good of the Church, moreover, ecclesiastical authority can select and promote in a particular way some of the apostolic associations and projects which have an immediately spiritual purpose, thereby assuming in them a special responsibility. Thus, making various dispositions of the apostolate according to circumstances, the hierarchy joins some particular form of it more closely with its own apostolic function. Yet the proper nature and distinctiveness of each apostolate must be preserved, and the laity must not be deprived of the possibility of acting on their own accord. In various Church documents this procedure of the hierarchy is called a mandate.

Finally, the hierarchy entrusts to the laity certain functions which are more closely connected with pastoral duties, such as the teaching of Christian doctrine, certain liturgical actions, and the care of souls. By virtue of this mission, the laity are fully subject to higher ecclesiastical control in the performance of this work.

As regards works and institutions in the temporal order, the role of the ecclesiastical hierarchy is to teach and authentically interpret the moral principles to be followed in temporal affairs. Furthermore, they have the right to judge, after careful consideration of all related matters and consultation with experts, whether or not such works and institutions conform to moral principles and the right to decide what is required for the protection and promotion of values of the supernatural order." (No. 24).

And in No. 25, this same document says that, "Special care should be taken to select priests who are capable of promoting particular forms of the apostolate of the laity and are properly trained. Those who are engaged in this ministry represent the hierarchy in their pastoral activity by virtue of the mission they receive from the hierarchy. Always adhering faithfully to the spirit and teaching of the Church, they should promote proper relations between laity and hierarchy."

Always adhering faithfully to the spirit and teaching of the Church, they should promote proper relations between laity and hierarchy.  Is St. Cecilia's "rainbow ministry"  faithful to this charge?  The Blog for this apostolate links directly to another Blog which states that people, "..ought to question Rome’s faulty assumptions and, indeed, Rome’s own 'objective disorders' which more often resemble a severely dysfunctional family than the Body of Christ. For centuries, Catholics were also taught to fear left-handed people as 'servants of the devil,' and the left-handed were burned at the stake along with faggots and heretics. (The word faggot, literally “burning bundle,” derives from these church burnings of gay men).  Now we know that homosexuality is no more 'disordered' or 'sinful' than left-handedness. Medical and scientific research strongly point to sexual orientation as determined at birth; that it’s nature over nurture for most people. Therefore, homosexual orientation, like left-handedness, is a Divinely created, normal variation within natural law. As such, gay people face the same moral challenges as everyone else."

This is not the teaching of the Church.  This is not the mind of Christ.  Furthermore, such an attitude is highly disrespectful of the Church's hierarchy.  This is most unfortunate.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church, citing Canon 212 of the Code of Canon Law, says that, "In accord with the knowledge, competence, and preeminence which they possess, [lay people] have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons." (CCC, 907).

An apostolate which promotes homosexuality as a "Divinely created" normal variant of human sexuality is not demonstrating "due regard to the integrity of faith and morals."  An apostolate which promotes a website which refers to the Church's teaching as being imbued with "faulty assumptions" and which accuses the Teaching Church of "objective disorders" is not faithful to Catholic teaching and is not promoting proper relations between laity and hierarchy.

The "rainbow ministry" apostolate at St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston should be shut down immediately.


BostonCatholic2011 said...

An apostolate which promotes homosexuality and disrespect for the Church's Pastors is not authentically Catholic. But we hear only silence from Archdiocesan officials who apparently have no problem with such infidelity.

Anonymous said...

Paul, you have an unusual preoccupaton with homosexuality. know what they say. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Anonymous said...

You should all just leave John Kelly alone. He's a good and gentle man. You all could learn about being Christian from him.

Ellen Wironken said...

Paul, like you, I just do not trust these dissidents. Posts have been deleted at the rainbow ministry blog just as Fr. Emile Boutin was deleting posts. Likewise, certain bulletins of St. Cecilia's parish have disappeared. Which is why I also believe that "Kelly" and "Kelley" are one and the same. But this post explains why it really doesn't matter. As President of the St. Cecilia rainbow ministry, Mr. Kelly has been promoting ideas which contradict Catholic teaching and which constitute an assault against Rome. By promoting these ideas, members of the rainbow ministry are signaling their agreement with them.

Since the Boston Archdiocese won't deal with this scandal, I'm hoping and praying that Rome will.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Anonymous, the word is "preoccupation" not "preoccupaton." And the quotation you cite is taken from Hamlet, Act III, scene II, which actually reads, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" and not "Methinks the lady doth protest too much." But thank you for showing my readers that you are not really familar with Shakespeare.

By the way, the word "protest," as used in Hamlet, does not mean protest in the modern sense of the word but instead refers to affirmation or avowal.

You should know that I have undergone extensive psychological examinations for the United States Air Force and as part of the discernment process for religious life. I was told that I suffer from no psychopathologies including that of homosexuality.

Therefore, I am not suddenly challenged by your "astute" observations and shocked into silence or a state of intimidation.

Back to the drawing board huh?

MargaretfromBraintree said...

Does Father Unni view Rome as "objectively disordered" as well?

Anonymous said...

Paul, it is only a matter of time now and people like you will be written into history as the haters you are, then you will be ignored.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Anonymous, I hope you don't mind my saying a prayer that you'll be the first to ignore me.

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