|Dissenting Sister Gramick|
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Bishop Paprocki Defends True Marriage... Again
I wrote about Bishop Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, here and here; it is certainly encouraging to see that he is consistently Catholic in his response to the issue of “gay marriage”.
I like logical statements, logical questions, and logical answers. Bishop Paprocki seems to me to have the ability to look at the issues surrounding homosexuality with a logical eye. In a recent article, the National Catholic
Fishwrap Reporter highlights this
fact, though probably with the intent to demean the bishop’s arguments, given
its dissenting views on gay marriage. The
event precipitating the story was the bishop’s participation in an event called
“Two Catholic Views of Gay Marriage” held in Phoenix, Arizona; also present to
discuss the “alternative view”, I suppose, was dissenting Sister Jeannine
Gramick of “New Ways
Here are some excerpts from the article, with my comments and emphases:
[Paprocki] said the "gay activist lobby" forced the issue on the church and put the church in a defensive position. Still, he said, the church has one position, and it does not change.
"This event was billed as 'Two Catholic Views of Gay Marriage,' " he said. "But there is only one view that is authentically Catholic. The other view is dissenting."
He quoted from Pope John Paul II's letters and teachings and added that marriage is defined by "the potential to bring forth human life."
As Paprocki was speaking, one audience member, Anne Gray of Scottsdale, Ariz., shouted, "That's insulting." Paprocki ignored her.
He said if same-sex marriage is allowed, sadomasochism or other practices should be, too.
“If there is no moral truth, only alternatives, then everything should be OK,” he said.
Just these few sentences illustrate some important points, I think. First, Bishop Paprocki knows what the Church teaches about homosexuality and homosexual behavior, and he is willing and able to explain and promote that teaching. Second, he also recognizes the political impact of the homosexualist agenda, but knows that the Church must resist it. Third, Bishop Paprocki is also able to look beyond the “feel good” perspective that says we have to make every person feel good about his own personal sinfulness. He sees the consequences of making “exceptions” for certain sins - the slippery slope is quite evident to him.
Paprocki said Gramick presented her case from an emotional position while he said the church's stance comes from the position of faith and reason.
"My position is not a question of anecdotal stories," he said.
Amen, Your Excellency! No, the Church’s teaching is never about anecdotal stories! The over-reliance on anecdotal stories to prove a point these days seems to me to stem from a modernist, personalist philosophical perspective. Those taking perspective, when confronted with the truth that “the emperor has no clothes” will often say, “Well, but…he feels like he does.” And they go no further. Feeling like you are clothed is not the same as actually having clothes covering your naked body.
In response to a question from Kaiser, Paprocki said the church would love to welcome gay people but is forced into a defensive position by "activists pushing an agenda." That set off Gray, who has a gay son, again.
"Here I am," she said. "The big scary gay agenda."
Incidentally, the NCR article notes that after Paprocki and Gramick presented their positions, all questions were addressed to Bishop Paprocki; none were addressed to Gramick; to me that suggests that this was an event attended primarily by homosexualist agenda supporters. Even in this short article, we find evidence that the liberal left's tactics are not civility and logic, but rudeness and emotionality. For instance there was that note in the above excerpt about the woman shouting “That’s insulting”. Really. Come on. And the same woman adds the comment above about being “the big scary gay agenda”. Well, yes, it is big and scary. But somehow I sense the sarcasm dripping from her words. She doesn’t understand – nor does she care to – the impact of the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle as valid.
Paprocki said he could accept some legal protections for same-sex couples, but that same-sex marriage is “inimical to the common good” and civil unions often are marriage masquerading under another name.
Gray, an attorney, finally got her chance to address Paprocki directly.
“It is all about anecdotal stories,” she said. “My son is a perfect human being. There is nothing intrinsically disordered about him. I know because I am his mother.”
She said if bishops wanted to argue for traditional marriage because the sexes are complementary, then the bishops ought to invite women to their deliberations.
“You need to listen to mothers,” she said.
An attorney?! Well, I guess attorneys must understand logical reasoning, but then again, they do rely upon emotional manipulation of jurors at times, don’t they? Look at her statement that her son is “perfect” and “there is nothing intrinsically disordered about him”. Upon what does she base her judgment? Why, the fact that she is his mother, of course! Sorry…most of us mothers know that we might be just a little biased when it comes to assessing our own children. And anyway, it’s an emotional response, not one driven at all by logic or any kind of critical thinking skills.
I submit that if a mother truly loves her children, she will seek to ensure their entrance into heaven. She will do all that she can to prevent them from entering into a life of sin. Of course, this isn’t what always happens. I, as much as any other mother, am guilty of having turned a blind eye at times to my children’s faults because I want them to be “happy”. But being happy here on earth doesn’t ensure eternal life in Heaven, and the true joy that results!
That is what we mothers need to realize. Contrary to Ms. Gray, I think mothers need t0 listen to the Church.
One of the youngest people in the room said she was a devout Catholic, but when her aunt and sister told her they were gay, she was put on the spot. She asked Paprocki if she could remain a good Catholic and still support her family members in their desires to form lifelong relationships.
"It is a struggle to be a good Catholic while supporting gay marriage," the bishop said. "It strains your relationship with the church."
This is where “personal anecdote” meets “logic”. Of course we can and should be sympathetic to the personal problems and issues that come up for people as they try to live faithfully according to Church teachings. Today’s society condones and even encourages behaviors that are quite contrary to the Church. The faithful need help in understanding why the Church teaches as she does; they need help in overcoming the emotional arguments the liberal modernist crowd uses to refute Church teaching; and they need to be reminded constantly that life here on earth is temporary, and our true home is in Heaven. When we remember that, it becomes clear that we must discipline ourselves and our loved ones in order to reach that Heavenly home.
[The bishop] said those who oppose the church on the issue should become Protestants. "They do a lot of good things too," he said.
Good for you, Bishop Paprocki! Yes, let those who are intent on maintaining their dissenting ways be honest enough to leave the Church.
Bishop Paprocki has my respect and admiration. He’s acting like a true shepherd!
Is it any wonder the state of Illinois failed to pass a bill approving "gay marriage"? I can't help but think Bishop Paprocki's efforts have been instrumental in that victory.