Pope Francis: A Jonah for Our Times?

Gustave Dore_Jonah preaching to the Ninevites

The world was transfixed in early 2013 as three meteors broke through the deceptive calm of outer space. Thanks to the media, for a few weeks, people were confronted with the remote, but unsettling, possibility that the ultimate horror might come true—a killing fire, raining down from the sky.

Actually, humanity has been confronted by such a horror, and it did come true. And it left far more in its wake than the selective damage of the 2013 event, which was terrible enough—wounding 1,100 people in the heart of Russia, the most significant meteor explosion to hit earth in 100 years.

But the earlier event, which happened several millennia ago, brought no less than complete annihilation.  Although details are sketchy by modern standards, it was a cataclysmic, epic-sized event that incinerated all human beings in its wake. Even in our history-challenged day, most people know something of this horror, which was recorded in Scripture as the day “the Lord rained brimstone and fire out of heaven.”

The epicenter took place in two ancient cities, recorded by name as Sodom and Gomorrah. Even thousands of years later, the names alone cause many 21st century inhabitants—including Catholics—to either smile indulgently or bristle in indignation. It’s not hard to see why. The account of that terrible day of fire and brimstone is understood by many as a myth or fairy tale rather than history, and it includes the kind of “judgmental” language that  is so offensive to modern sensibilities.

The details are obscured in the terse language of Scripture but the meaning has always been clear. When male strangers arrive in the dissolute city of Sodom, the Sodomites demanded that they be turned over to them for sexual pleasure. Lot, the just man, objects: “Do not commit this evil,” he implores.

A common sense reading of the passages, not to mention centuries of biblical exegesis—have been clear—the evil spoken of by Lot is homosexuality.

The rest of the story is familiar, even to us “moderns.” In brief, the ancient Sodomites and people from Gomorrah refused to turn away from their evil intentions. God, through angel messengers, warns Lot that, because of their persistent evil, devastation will befall the entire region. The angels tell Lot and his family to flee. Everyone else is destroyed.

According to the Bible, this catastrophe was witnessed by Abraham, our father in faith.  Genesis 19:28 tells us that, looking from afar, Abraham “saw the ashes rise up from the earth as the smoke of a furnace.”

It’s a grim scene. But it’s so central that, at least a thousand years after the event—and two millennia before our time—two epistle writers, including the first pope, refer to it.

Jude, in his epistle, reminds the first generation of Christians that the evil citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah have a role to play: “They are set before us to dissuade us as they undergo a punishment of eternal fire” (1:7). And the apostle Peter included a future warning about Sodom and Gomorrah, saying that God “condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah [to destruction], reducing them to ashes, making them an example for the godless [people] of what is coming” (2Pt.2:6).

However, and interesting to note, God dealt very differently with another biblical “sin city.” Nineveh was a dissolute city, too, but God sent the prophet Jonah to call people back from their depravity. Jonah did so, and the people of Nineveh heard him and repented, showing their sincerity by putting on sackcloth and ashes.

By contrast, Sodom and Gomorrah did not repent. The distinction is crucial.

Now we come to our own times. Once again, an aggressive homosexual movement is sweeping the world. We know that the United States is beset with legal pressures to accept homosexual marriage and the requirement that gay couples be accepted as adoptive parents. The threat is so real, that as of 2013 traditional Catholic adoption agencies across the country are preparing to shut down rather than be legally forced to place children in homes without a married mother and father.

But the aggression of the homosexual movement goes much further. In fact, so many nations have accepted, or are considering, expanding gay rights to include marriage (including France, once a cornerstone of western Christianity) that the countries have become too numerous to mention. Clearly, we are now surpassing the homosexuality of Sodom and Gomorrah.

But many may ask—why would God single out one sin for so much punishment? Why do we need a modern day Jonah?

Scripture is clear, and if we think about it, our own reason should tell us reasons why. Sins of lust strike at the heart of the inner person—called in Scripture “the temple of the Holy Spirit.” St Paul says, “You have been bought at a great price,” reminding us that the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross, his unspeakable suffering and death, is in effect mocked by those who corrupt and sully their inner being with lust (1 Cor.6:20).

What’s more, in a deeply personal way, lust is the sin that destroys families—as well as the instinct to make families. It’s as simple as that. We all know it’s true—adultery, sex outside of marriage, pornography and perversions are cancers that tear at the heart of the family unit, that beautifully designed model of man, woman and child, designed by God to reflect the divine life itself. This assault on the most blessed of human pacts, the family, incites more than God’s displeasure—it incites his wrath: As Paul says in his epistle to the Ephesians (5:5-6) the sins of “fornicators” and “unclean and lustful persons” “bring down God’s wrath upon the disobedient.”

But we must go further. Homosexual acts are singled out in particular.  In Romans (1: 18, 26-27) Paul speaks about the “wrath of God” descending upon “women (who) exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and men (who) gave up natural intercourse with women and burned with lust for one another.”

Today, the Christian concern and alarm over homosexual sins is not some arbitrary singling out of a “lifestyle”—it’s the modern day aggressive homosexual movement which is calling attention to itself, by making demands on civilization that clearly reject everything that tradition, human reason, and God‘s laws have set in place. Homosexuality’s merciless demands that society publicly admire their sin, turn over the institution of marriage, and even bestow the right to raise children—is the modern equivalent of Sodom’s men trying to break down the door of Lot’s house to satisfy their own lustful pleasure.

Christians did not ask for this fight, but the times are clear. We must accept the unavoidable reality that, once again, gay rights are in full aggressive mode, as much, if not more so, than in Sodom and Gomorrah. St. Peter warns of “what is coming” and the context clearly indicates that another “reduction to ashes” is in store for depraved humanity. Clearly, we need another Jonah.

This spring, an event occurred which should give us reason to hope.

The event was the thoroughly unexpected arrival of Pope Francis—an event which our faith tells us was orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. Significantly, this pope has a track record of defending holy matrimony against the modern homosexual movement.

Three years ago, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, instructed his priests to bring the faithful to an upcoming protest against homosexual “marriage” as the nation of Argentina debated the expansion of homosexual rights. At the time, his message was widely noted, and also maligned, in secular Argentina (which ultimately became the first Latin American country to allow gay civil unions). However, the future Pope Francis continued, courageously, to speak out. As quoted by LifeSiteNews in March, 2013, he said:

“Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God,” wrote Cardinal Bergoglio in a letter sent to the monasteries of Buenos Aires. “We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

Since then, the United States and the rest of the world has slid even further down the path of indifference to grave sin. Even many Catholics have begun to shrug off the threat of gay marriage, suggesting that “maybe the time has come” to accept this eventuality. Few elected officials—if any—are standing up in public to forcefully denounce the appalling, strong arm legal tactics being used to inflict gay adoptions and marriage on religious institutions.

Many who want to follow God’s laws are asking, in near despair, what is to become of our country? What is to become of our world?

But now, take note that the relatively obscure prelate who fiercely stood up against the government in Argentina over the matter of homosexual marriage when others were silent is now our present Pope.

Could it be that God has provided us with a Jonah for our times?

Editor’s note: The illustration above by Gustave Dore is entitled “Jonah Preaching to the Ninevites.”

Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M. Cap

By

Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M.Cap., is spiritual director and chaplain for Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Missionaries of Charity in Denver, as well as being one of the spiritual directors for the Missionaries of Charity in the western United States. He was director of prison ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver, from 1999 to 2010; a chaplain for Missionaries of Charity at their now-closed AIDS hospice, Seton House, and at Gift of Mary homeless shelter for women in Denver from 1989 to 2008. His articles have been published in Homiletic & Pastoral Review, The Catholic Faith, Soul Magazine, Pastoral Life, and The Priest. He has also made three series for Mother Angelica's EWTN: “Crucial Questions,” “Catholic Answers,” and “What Did Vatican II Really Teach?”

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    In the prophecy of Ezekiel we read, “Behold this was the iniquity of Sodom thy sister, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance, and the idleness of her, and of her daughters: and they did not put forth their hand to the needy, and to the poor. And they were lifted up, and committed abominations before me: and I took them away as thou hast seen.” (16:49-50)

    • http://profiles.google.com/liamronan49 Liam Ronan

      On June 12 1973 Our Lady appeared to Sister Agnes Sasagawa in Akita Japan. After an ecclesiastical investigation, episcopal approval was given for authenticity of the apparition.

      In respect of the topic at hand, you may all wish to know that on October 13th 1973 ( note the date) the Blessed Virgin Mary told Sister Agnes in part:

      “”As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.”

      “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres…churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

      “The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them”

      Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Fatima, Most Holy Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary, Queen of Martyrs pray for us.

      • Daniel Burns

        Sounds like this Mary is lacks historical knowledge. The work of the devil has alwasy infiltrated the Church, bishops have always opposed bishops (its how we decided correct doctrine), Churches have always been sacked, and the Church has always been full of those who accept compromise. Be careful that you do not believe in apparitions that are either 1) banal and repetitive, or 2) where Mary sets herself in opposition to Catholic doctrine. To be honest, this apparition sounds like the work of the Devil…it has happened before…it may be happening now in Medjugorie.

        • http://profiles.google.com/liamronan49 Liam Ronan

          Perhaps you might have a word with Bishop John Shojiro Ito, who in 1984 approved the authenticity of the apparitions at Akita.

        • http://profiles.google.com/liamronan49 Liam Ronan

          You may have read and will have reflected on the following explanation of Sister Lucia who, recounting a vision the 3 children had had at Fatima (disclosed at the direction of Pope John Paul II in the year 2000):

          “After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’.”

          The whole weight of the Church supports Fatima. The angel with his flaming sword may be relevant to the topic under discussion at the moment, i.e. the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Penance done by Nineveh.

          • Daniel Burns

            Fatima is still a private revelation. Listen, I do not dispute that the Church is at a serious cross-roads right now. I do not dispute that infernal legions are at work. I do not dispute that the time may be coming, sooner than we think, that good Catholics will die for the Gospel. My problem with your post is that you are using private apocalyptic revelation as though it were as authoritative as the teaching magisterium. It is not. Bringing up private revelation in this context makes us look like trailer-park fundamentalist Protestants instead of the reasonable, faithful, courageous, and obedient Catholics that we are called to be.

            • http://profiles.google.com/liamronan49 Liam Ronan

              Thank goodness for the people of Nineveh that they took Jonah’s private revelation to heart.
              As for the rest of your post, Daniel, I well understand the distinction you are drawing between private revelation and the magisterium but I don’t believe for a moment that Pope John Paul II felt or looked like a ‘trailer-park fundamentalist Protestant’ when he publicly referred to the message of Fatima in 2000 and many times earlier.
              At the risk of sounding too trailer-park I refer you to
              1 Thessalonians 5:20 “Do not treat prophecies with contempt.”
              God bless you, brother.

              • Daniel Burns

                The people of Nineveh did not have the benefit of a magisterium, Jonah’s prophecy was all they had. Rosaries, scapulars, First Fridays, and Miraculous Medals have all been taking up into the common practice of the Church for centuries…Obscure apocalyptic Japanese apparitions have not.

                I admit that the use of the phrase “trailer park” was more than a little uncharitable. I am sorry for that failure of love and discretion.

  • Allan Daniel

    If it is true that Pope Francis (as it now appears) suggested a compromise of legal unions for homosexuals in lieu of homosexual marriage, we may have a pope who doesn’t quite get exactly what the issue is,

    • Love More

      well mr. full of spirit, I guess now you are more Catholic than the pope… what are you, some kind of pope relativist…?

    • http://www.facebook.com/alex.marinjr Alex Marin

      Well, when the church allows gay men to become priests, you know something is a bit hazy… seems intellectual charisma is more attractive than holiness and meekness… Bring the flames down to Earth Lord, we need a BBQ!!!

  • Clement_W

    I have always thought that the whole Book of Jonah was the ‘Sign of Jonah’, especially the repentance of the Ninevites with the sack-cloth and ashes, that Jesus was talking about.

    Thank you Father Scanlon for this article. We certainly have the option of repentence to stem the tide towards the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Myers/100000450908565 Mary Myers

    Download “What same-sex ‘marriage’ has done to Massachussetts.”
    http://www.MassResistance.org

  • tedseeber

    The real issue raised by the gay marriage debate has nothing to do with homosexuality, and everything to do with moral relativism. Under religious liberty, how do you handle immoral people in society?

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  • hombre111

    Let’s stop reading our own conclusions into the Bible. Fr. Regis is some kind of biblical fundamentalist, who do such things often. People who understand the culture of ancient Mediterranean people, like John Pilch, tell us that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because they violated the ancient obligation to offer hospitality to foreign visitors. This custom was one of the only things that allowed people to travel safely in that ancient world. Lot had followed the custom, extending hospitality to the three mysterious strangers. This means that he asked the people in town to respect them as temporary members of his own family. They refused to do this. The fact that they were intent on homosexual rape was a terrible crime, but refusing to respect the men as members of Lot’s family was worse, so bad that Lot proposed the rape of his own daughters as an alternative.
    This, of course, has its modern repercussions in our nasty attitude toward immigrants.

    • patricia m.

      Illegal immigrants are not travelers.

      • hombre111

        The Torah has an interesting passage about respecting the stranger in your midst, because you were also strangers in a strange land.

    • Rock St. Elvis

      I guess St. Paul was an ignorant fundamentalist, too. Too bad you weren’t around to set the record straight 2,000 years ago. It is naive and absurd to say that Lot’s offering the Sodomites his daughters was intended to give those men an alternative to “inhospitality” rather than an alternative to homosexual sex.

      • hombre111

        In our individualistic culture, we cannot imagine the evil of inhospitality. But in the culture of the ancient Jews, it was a horror worse than Sodomy. To call Paul a fundamentalist would be to use a modern thought category to describe an ancient Jew. But one thing was certain, he thought that Jesus was going to return in his lifetime.

        • Rock St. Elvis

          So since St. Paul thought Jesus would be back in a flash, he was wrong about sodomy (and why has it been called sodomy for centuries?) and his epistles are not inspired. Brilliant analysis. Give up the day job, hombre. Please.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        In Ezekiel, God includes among the sins of Sodom that “they did not put forth their hand to the needy, and to the poor,” and specifies pride, idleness, excessive diet and contempt for the poor, before mentioning “committed abominations before me.”

        • Rock St. Elvis

          So sodomy wasn’t their only sin, big deal. They were certainly inhospitable in demanding sodomy, but to say that the Sodomites were destroyed only because of inhospitality is ridiculous, as the passage you quote illustrates by mentioning other sins and capping off the list with abominations (and we all know what that means) as among the reasons for Sodom’s destruction. And homosexual acts are condemned elsewhere in the Old and New Testaments. They cannot now be favored because of the endless repetition of some masters of public relations, and political pressure.

          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            Yes, we know what “abominations” means. Just look at the list in Deuteronomy 14, starting with “Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.”

    • Bono95

      How do you know that Mr. Pilch isn’t a fundamentalist? Or, perhaps a better question is, DO you know if Mr. Pilch, whatever else he is, is faithfully Catholic?

      And I fail to see how anyone, let alone God himself, would find a lack of hospitality more offensive and evil the sodomy in general and homosexual rape in particular.

      • hombre111

        In order to understand anything that is written, we have to know somethng about the people to whom the written word was addressed. This means we have to understand their history and their culture. A Fundamentalist is someone who does not bother with such things, depending on the Holy Spirit and his blind take on the passage, which is often nothing more than a projection of his own world view into the biblical text. What a surprise! The Lord agrees with me!
        It is only in the lastl thirty years or so that people have really tried to understand the culture and the thought-world of the ancient Semitics and the rest of the Mediterranean world. John Pilch is an expert on this subject. I use his commentaries as I prepare my sermons. A short book that would give you an idea is “Cultural Tools for Interpreting the Good News.” Look in Amazon for his other books.

    • kremmiz

      “Let’s stop reading our own conclusions into the Bible.” You are doing this all the time.

      • hombre111

        Sorry. I have spent a very long lifetime studying the Bible from the contextual point of view recommended by Pius XII and the Vatican Council. The original books were not addressed to you or me. They were addressed to people who lived thousands of years ago. That was the place where the revelation occurred. Therefore, our first task is to try to understand what that original message meant to them.. This means we have to understand the culture, history, and literature of that time. This becomes the bottom line. Then, guided by the Holy Spirit and the Magisterium, we can try to ponder a wider and wider understanding of the original message which might not have occured to the first person to hear or read the message. This effects our understanding of prophecy, for instance, where later generations saw a deeper meaning. The Messiah prophecies would be a good example. St. Paul is doing this when he calls the Exodus journey a “type” signifying Christ.

        • Rock St. Elvis

          Last I checked, the Magesterium condemned sodomy.

          • hombre111

            I never said sodomy had not been condemned by the Church. I did say that to reduce the story of Sodom and Gamorrah to a moral tale about sodomy is to miss what the ancient people considered a greater sin: To refuse to give hospitality to a stranger.

            • http://twitter.com/Desertsunart Desert Sun Art

              But the Church does not say that, hombre. While hospitality is important, the Church does condemn sodomy more rigorously.

              • Daniel Burns

                the Church condemns lack of charity far more vociferously than she condemns sodomy.

                • Bono95

                  Isn’t sodomy a blatant lack of charity?

                  • Daniel Burns

                    To the extent that every single sin imaginable constitutes a lack of charity, yes.

            • Bono95

              No one here denied that inhospitality is bad and impolite, but it is still not as evil as sodomy, even if Semitics and other cultures didn’t see it that way. We’re supposed to be guided by God’s laws and morals, not those of men, ancient or modern, unless they are in accord with God’s.

              And I just thought of this, if inhospitality was so very evil, why didn’t God rain fire and brimstone down on Bethlehem?

              • hombre111

                Remember, the original inspired text was not addressed to you or me, but to people within their own cultural and historical reality, thousands of years ago. We are free to draw our own conclusions, but we still have to get into the mindset of those original people if we really want to understand. The Church has asked biblical scholars to do this. Inhospitality was not just bad and impolite. It was a matter of life and death. Strangers were looked upon with great suspicion and, when they entered a village, their lives were in danger. The only thing that saved them was hospitality–the decision by an important man in the village to accept the stranger as a temporary family member. People knew that they might one day be strangers somewhere, and they would need hospitality to stay alive. Hospitality was the only reason Jesus was able to send his disciples two by two across the land of Israel and then on to other lands. Paul would not have survived without hospitality.
                As for Bethlehem? The story of Jesus is the story of how the Son of God made human flesh entered all our dark places and changed them by his life. This was the first example, and it has been a lifegiving story ever since.

        • musicacre

          I’m glad to hear you follow the Magisterium; have you read all the encyclicals that JPII and Benedict XVI wrote? There is a treasury…and both of them, POST Vatican II!!

          • hombre111

            There is a world of difference between what Pope John Paul wrote and what Pope Benedict wrote. Pope Benedict is, at his core, a good teacher. And he writes with great clarity. Pope John Paul? Always a pretty tough read.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jean.spearing.1 Jean Spearing

      I think what you are saying in nonsense. I think the story of Lot’s daughters was included to illustrate without question that the punishable error was homosexual intent to rape.

      • hombre111

        Homosexual rape is worse than female rape? Ask your wife and daughters.

        • http://twitter.com/Desertsunart Desert Sun Art

          As a woman myself, I would have to say yes. At least it sure appears to be the case. Perhaps, as bad as rape is, male on female rape vs. male on male rape, the latter is doubly evil perhaps in the eyes of God. Just a thought, I do not claim to know. That is the way I always took that passage in scripture. And do you know for sure that Jean is a male?

          • hombre111

            Great comment! I really needed to hear things from a woman’s perspective. And you got me on the Jean bit. :.)

          • Clare

            As a fellow woman, I’m a bit offended by this. Where in the catechism does it say that raping me, a woman, is less important than homosexual rape? What papal encyclical says this? Where does the Church teach that I’m less important ? Where?? Save the opinion, show me the evidence.

        • Bono95

          I’m not qualified to answer which is worse, and I’m not sure that even matters, because it is plenty clear that rape in any form is a disgusting abomination and blatant violation of the human person.

    • http://wasteyourtime.mtgames.org/ Scaevola

      The way people have been tearing into you, it’s like you claimed that the citizens of Sodom were in no way set on homosexual rape. I had to go back and reread your comment before I realized that you had already answered the objections before they were even made.

      • Daniel Burns

        You are right, hombre111 is a voice of obedient and magisterial reason. Many of his interlocutors are either 1) just spoiling for a fight, or 2) are fundamentalist protestants wrapped in Catholic clothing.

  • http://twitter.com/quark1912 Michael Shaw

    I read a considered opinion of a distinguished lawyer in Canada that because marriage is no longer just between a man and a woman but between two persons, and since a corporation is deemed in law to be a person, it is possible to create a corporation and the enter into a marriage with that corporation. Imagine such a corporation being a surviving “spouse.” It could receive surviving spouse pension benefits forever because a corporation is immortal.

  • Veritas

    What I’m not seeing in this discussion is mercy and love. The truth is that most active homosexuals are like anyone else. They want to be loved and respected. Unfortunately we have two extremes in the Church, The ones who only preach fire and brim stone upon them and those who are so accepting that they are willing to celebrate the gay lifestyle as healthy and morally neutral. The reality is we haven’t, as a Church, significantly reached out to those who feel same-sex attraction but rightly try to live a chaste life. There are many such men in the priesthood and in ministry in general. Many have a good heart because they know what it is to feel marginalized and weak. Some are tempted to disobey Church teaching but many live justly with the most minimal of support and love from fellow parishioners. We need to provide support for those who want to live a chaste life. It is extremely difficult.

    • Bono95

      Indeed, Veritas, and that’s what Catholic outreaches like Courage are for. Unfortunately, these outreach programs and compassion on the part of individuals is hampered not just by Catholic extremists (fire & brimstone and liberality), but also by more numerous and more vocal non-Catholic extremists. I believe it is now illegal in California for anyone with SSA to try to change their orientation or for anyone to help them do that. Now that’s bigotry.

      • Clare

        It’s illegal in California if the person is under 18 yrs. old.

    • Clare

      Veritas, I agree with you. I have three acquaintances with same sex attraction and all three are serious Catholics. Courage is brought up more than any other group but Courage seems to be east coast. Where are the Courage groups on the west coast of the U.S.A? There are other groups that are faithful to the Magisterium but my acquaintances still receive such little support. They’re looked down upon with pity by the homosexual community but, then, looked upon with suspicion by their fellow Catholics as if they’re staying chaste is all that matters and all there is to them. What I mean is, there’s a lot of talk about the homosexual community identifying themselves according to their sexuality and we point out that that’s just one aspect of the whole person. Yet, when it comes to serious Catholics with same sex attraction, all we see is their sexuality and we keep a close eye to be sure they’re staying chaste. How can they possibly feel comfortable and welcomed when they’re being “watched” all the time and thrown into a box?

      I respect my acquaintances more than I respect other Catholics because of what they’re up against without and within the Church. They’re so strong! God’s given them tremendous grace because how else could they stay faithful under such social conditions?

      • Bono95

        I think there’s few or no Courage-like groups on the West Coast because in CA it’s illegal for gays to try to change their orientation even they want to (see my comment below).

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  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.petek.9 Michael Petek

    May I throw this one in for discussion?

    The consequences for a nation which legalises same-sex marriage are analogous to the consequences for an individual who dies in mortal sin.

    • Paul

      As a nation haven’t we already been dead in mortal sin since Roe v. Wade? Certainly the viscosity of the slope and the velocity at which we slide increases.

  • Mark

    Great article, but we’ve had several great Popes who have been Jonahs in this regard and the depravity continues. There is no reason to think the marginalization of the message won’t continue as well. Incidentally, lest anyone consider parts of this article hyperbole, consider: the very large multinational corporation I work for has an entire department, blog area, focus group and series of training seminars we all must take to help us “include and celebrate” the homosexual. Yes, the rot has gone that far. The question remains for me whether, after having said my part in defense of the truth and been ignored, to look for an exit or try to remain and either suffer in silent, disagreeing witness or continue to speak into the shouting masses with their hands clasped over their ears, as Stephen’s stoning mob did.

    • Paul

      Mark, I wholeheartedly agree, great article providing a true boost in hope and courage. Thanks for sharing your situation at work. I was struck and truly humbled by your question as to stay or go, of which of course, I can’t answer. However, I will say that the thought of you staying gave me great comfort. I couldn’t help but wonder how this situation might redound to your benefit by presenting you a great opportunity for the increase in and exercise of heroic humility, patience and perseverance in the face of great adversity. Whatever you decide, may God bless you and keep you always.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gpgpalacios Gonzalo Palacios

    RE: “When male strangers arrive in the dissolute city of Sodom, the Sodomites demanded that they be turned over to them for sexual pleasure. Lot, the just man, objects: “Do not commit this evil,” he implores.
    A common sense reading of the passages, not to mention centuries of biblical exegesis—have been clear—the evil spoken of by Lot is homosexuality.”
    1) There may be some passages in the Old Testament whose meaning and message can be deduced from “a common sense reading:” Genesis 19; 1-16 is not one of those. Biblical studies have allowed for the interpretation that Lot was protecting God’s envoys: “But as for the men (God’s messengers), do nothing to them, for THEY HAVE COME UNDER THE SHADOW OF MY ROOF.”
    2) “Centuries of biblical exegesis” have NOT been as clear as we would like it. Biblical exegesis and interpretations have been known to change their findings from culture to culture through the centuries. The sexual content of Genesis 19; 1-16, is presented within a male dominated society (“)Listen, I have two daughters who are virgins. I am ready to send them out to you…”) which continues to be the case in A.D. 2013, according to Fr. Scanlon’s article (“is the modern equivalent of Sodom’s men trying to break down the door of Lot’s house to satisfy their own lustful pleasure.”). PLEASE! TURN THE PAGE AND LET US ACCEPT THE VIRGIN MARY’S REVOLUTION WHEREBY LOVE IS THE NEW LAW, THE NEW COVENANT. Gonzalo T. Palacios, Ph.D., C.U.A. 1970

    • http://www.facebook.com/gpgpalacios Gonzalo Palacios

      Dr. Gonzalo T. Palacios is the author of THE VIRGIN MARY’S REVOLUTION, OR LOVE AND DO WHAT YOU WILL (St. Augustine’s phrase) found in amazon.com,

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Esolen/1184164082 Tony Esolen

    The Book of Genesis is a coherent whole, regardless of whether an editor sewed together material from three or more sources. The original sin is made manifest immediately in the corruption of man’s most intimate participation in God’s creative power: procreation. Genesis casts a cool eye upon politics, but most of the book is not about kings and marauders, but about strife in the body — betrayals, incest, adulteries, sodomy. It all fits together: Cain and Abel, the first bigamist Lamech, the shameless exposure of Noah by his son Ham, the unnatural lusts of the men of Sodom, the incest of ex-Sodom-dweller Lot and his daughters (from whose deeds spring, if I recall, the Moabites and Amorites), the concubinage of Hagar, the cheat practiced by Laban on Jacob, the marriage of Esau with Hittite women, the seduction of Jacob’s concubine by his son Reuben, the rape of Dinah, the abuse of circumcision by the vindictive Simeon and Levi, the betrayal of Joseph by his brothers, the false cry of rape by Potiphar’s wife …. It all fits; it all returns us to the time before the Fall, as does what Jesus has to say about the union of man and woman in marriage: divorce “was not so in the beginning.” Dante is closer to the author of Genesis than we care to admit, when he characterizes sodomy as a sin of violence against nature, akin to blasphemy. That doesn’t mean that individual sinners deserve the sulfur from heaven; but the sin itself is catastrophically dangerous for a society to countenance. Its implication is that there is no nature, and thus no God.

    • Steve

      That is an excellent response to the silliness of the “inhospitality” canard. It staggars the mind to see how easily we are lured into misusing our minds.

  • Bill Robberson

    Fr.Regis is “right on”. Many of the posting here are rather disrespectful of his humility, service, education and holiness. To those who have done so, please don’t display disrespect to a faithful man of God.

  • JoeMyGodNYC

    Argentina has FULL marriage equality, not civil unions as this article mistakenly claims. Same-sex marriage is also now legal in Uruguay and Brazil, with Colombia to follow shortly.

  • Michael P. Mc Crory

    I like this Pope too.

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