Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Diocese of Bathurst, New Brunswick does a disservice to Canadian youth

In its 2003 document entitled Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, the CDF had this to say: "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to 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.'  Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts 'as a serious depravity...This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.'  This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries 'and is unanimously accepted by Catholic tradition.'" (No. 4).

Because so many within the Catholic Church today no longer accept this authoritative teaching of Holy Mother Church, Fr. Donat Gionet told Catholics in a homily that, "Today, it is we Catholics who are destroying our Catholic Church. We need only look at the number of abortions among Catholics, look at the homosexuals, and ourselves."

Fr. Gionet told a local newspaper, "That's when I pointed at my chest - through that action I wanted to say, we the priests) and I continued saying: 'We are destroying our Church ourselves.' And that's when I said that those were the words expressed by Pope John Paul II. At that point, in the St-LĂ©olin church only, I added: 'We can add to that the practice of watching gay parades, we are encouraging this evil' ... What would you think of someone who seeing what was happening on (Sept.) 11, 2001, the crumbling of the towers, had begun clapping? We must not encourage evil, whatever form it takes.'"

For this Fr. Gionet was suspended by the Diocese of Bathurst, New Brunswick.  Because he had the audacity to speak out against "Gay Pride" parades and to suggest that Catholics "must not encourage evil," he was denounced as "homophobic" by parishioners.

Father Gionet's suspension is not only unfortunate, but it cannot be reconciled with the teaching of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.  In a document entitled, "Pastoral Ministry to Young People with Same-Sex Attraction," the Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops had this to say:

"In the catechesis of young adults, it is imperative to present in a firm but charitable way the true nature and purpose of human sexuality in all its dimensions.  Encourage them in the practice of chastity, especially since society often misunderstands and scorns this virtueAvoidance of difficult questions or watering down the Church's teaching is always a disservice.  Such attitudes could lead young people into grave moral danger.  Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons." (No. 16).

Now Fr. Gionet was not engaging in "unjust discrimination" against homosexual persons.  In fact, later on in his homily he spoke on the Sacrament of  Reconciliation and how forgiveness is available to all within the Church.  He did not condemn homosexual persons.  But he did speak out against encouraging evil or celebrating vice.  If the Diocese of Bathurst condemns such an attitude as "pastorally insensitive," then it must also condemn the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as being "pastorally insensitive."

The Diocese of Bathurst will also have to condemn the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as being "pastorally insensitive."  For in the same 2003 document cited above, the CDF said that, "..the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil" and that even where homosexual unions have been legalized, "clear and emphatic opposition is a duty." (No. 5).

That's not "homophobia."  That's not insensitivity.  That's Catholic teaching.

1 comment:

Michael Cole said...

How many young people will walk away from this whole unfortunate fiasco believing that Fr. Donat did something wrong by speaking against encouraging evil. God help them!

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