Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rainbow Sash Movement: Is it dialogue they want or merely surrender to their agenda?

In my last post, I noted how retired Lutheran Bishop Herbert W. Chilstrom has called on the Roman Catholic Bishops of Minnesota to jettison Catholic teaching in the name of "charity" and "dialogue" and to surrender to the radical homosexual agenda and its demands for same-sex "marriage." 

In his Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam Suam, Pope Paul VI told us that, "The Church must enter into dialogue with the world in which it lives. It has something to say, a message to give, a communication to make." (No. 65). The Holy Father goes on to say that, "Dialogue, therefore, is a recognized method of the apostolate. It is a way of making spiritual contact. It should however have the following characteristics:

1) Clarity before all else; the dialogue demands that what is said should be intelligible. We can think of it as a kind of thought transfusion. It is an invitation to the exercise and development of the highest spiritual and mental powers a man possesses. This fact alone would suffice to make such dialogue rank among the greatest manifestations of human activity and culture. In order to satisfy this first requirement, all of us who feel the spur of the apostolate should examine closely the kind of speech we use. Is it easy to understand? Can it be grasped by ordinary people? Is it current idiom?

2) Our dialogue must be accompanied by that meekness which Christ bade us learn from Himself: "Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart." It would indeed be a disgrace if our dialogue were marked by arrogance, the use of bared words or offensive bitterness. What gives it its authority is the fact that it affirms the truth, shares with others the gifts of charity, is itself an example of virtue, avoids peremptory language, makes no demands. It is peaceful, has no use for extreme methods, is patient under contradiction and inclines towards generosity.

3) Confidence is also necessary; confidence not only in the power of one's own words, but also in the good will of both parties to the dialogue. Hence dialogue promotes intimacy and friendship on both sides. It unites them in a mutual adherence to the Good, and thus excludes all self-seeking.

4) Finally, the prudence of a teacher who is most careful to make allowances for the psychological and moral circumstances of his hearer, particularly if he is a child, unprepared, suspicious or hostile. The person who speaks is always at pains to learn the sensitivities of his audience, and if reason demands it, he adapts himself and the manner of his presentation to the susceptibilities and the degree of intelligence of his hearers....In a dialogue conducted with this kind of foresight, truth is wedded to charity and understanding to love." (Nos. 81, 82).

As faithful Catholics, we must recognize and embrace these characteristics of authentic dialogue, even when our partners in dialogue refuse to accept these principles. For we will often encounter those who have succumbed to relativism or who do not possess a love of objective truth. For such people, the purpose of dialogue is not to attain truth but rather to achieve personal victory and to triumph at any cost.  For example, Joe Murray, Executive Director of the Rainbow Sash Movement in the United States, after hurling a litany of angry and calumnious accusations against Archbishop Timothy Dolan in particular and the Catholic Church in general, challenges the Archbishop to an open debate.  See here.

The Rainbow Sash Movement declares, "We recognize that our Executive Director’s call for such a public debate will most certainly be met with arrogance, and even dismissal. However, such a refusal will only focus the spotlight on a Catholic Archbishop who lacks the courage to stand up for what he claims to believe in and meet in a public setting for a debate on Gay Marriage. It is time to replace the feeding frenzy of homophobia with a mature exchange of ideas in the Church."

As Dr. Montague Brown explains in his wonderful book "The One-Minute Philosopher" (Sophia Institute Books): "An argument (emotional, not rational) is a disorderly confrontation based on an unwillingness to learn from one another. Desire for victory takes precedence over love of truth, with the result that agreement becomes impossible....in an argument, I simply want my position to be the right one and you to agree with me. I am, indeed, looking for agreement, but on my terms, not in terms of objective truth." (p. 33). An authentic dialogue (which such people are not really interested in) is, "..an orderly confrontation based on a mutual willingness to learn from one another. It involves the presentation of evidence by each party and then a good-faith attempt of the participants in the discussion to come to agreement...In a discussion [or dialogue], I do not primarily want to disagree: I want to know the truth.." (The One-Minute Philosopher, p. 32).

But herein lies the problem.  The radical homosexual activists of the "Rainbow Sash Movement" are not interested in objective truth or authentic dialogue.  They will not - they cannot - come to the table with good will.  And this because they care not for truth.  Only for "power" as they incorrectly perceive power.

The Rainbow Sash Movement is part of the broader Homosexual Hate Movement and has engaged in calumny against Pope Benedict XVI, accusing the Holy Father of having "a Nazi past."  At one point last year, this hate group announced its plans to violate federal law and to show contempt for the celebration of the Holy Mass across the United States on Pentecost Sunday by disrupting the Mass.  See here.

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