Bishops respond after Vice President Biden officiated a same-sex marriage

Making a point on same -sex marriage?

Three Catholic bishops took aim at Catholic political leaders who support same-sex marriage, just days after Vice President Joe Biden posted a photo of himself officiating a gay wedding ceremony.

“When a prominent Catholic politician publicly and voluntarily officiates at a ceremony to solemnize the relationship of two people of the same-sex, confusion arises regarding Catholic teaching on marriage and the corresponding moral obligations of Catholics,” said a blog post published on Aug. 5.

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The post was written by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, along with Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo.

“What we see is a counter witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth,” it continues.

In their blog post, the bishops invoked Pope Francis, who has won over many gay Catholics with his famous “Who am I to judge?” line, but who has also repeated many times the church’s views against same-sex marriage.

“Pope Francis has been very clear in affirming the truth and constant teaching of the Church that same-sex relationships cannot be considered ‘in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family,’” they wrote, quoting the pope’s recently published document on family life, “The Joy of Love.”

They wrote that Catholic political leaders should uphold church teaching when engaged in political activity.

“Faithful witness can be challenging—and it will only grow more challenging in the years to come—but it is also the joy and responsibility of all Catholics, especially those who have embraced positions of leadership and public service,” they said.

In recent weeks, debate about how Catholic politicians square personal beliefs with public policy has heated up with Hillary Clinton’s pick of Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate. Kaine, a lifelong Catholic with deep Jesuit connections, favors same-sex marriage and access to abortion.

RELATED: VP Pick Sen. Tim Kaine Seeks to Balance Catholic Faith with Democratic Politics

While the bishops did not appear to address Kaine in their Friday post, other Catholic leaders have weighed in.

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, a self-described Republican and frequent critic of liberal political stances, questioned Kaine’s commitment to his Catholic faith in a Facebook post last month.

“Senator Kaine has said, ‘My faith is central to everything I do,’” Tobin wrote. “But apparently, and unfortunately, his faith isn’t central to his public, political life.”

Biden posted a photo on his Twitter feed on Monday showing himself marrying a gay couple at the vice president’s residence in Washington, the first time the vice president officiated a wedding ceremony.

 

 

Biden, the nation’s first Catholic vice president, expressed his support for gay marriage in 2012, becoming the highest ranking elected official to come out in favor of legalizing gay unions. President Barack Obama followed suit a few days later.

RELATED: Vice President Biden on Pope Francis, Faith and Public Life

Polls show that most U.S. Catholics share Biden’s support for same sex marriage, but the Catholic Church remains vehemently opposed.

Biden speaks frequently about the importance of his Catholic faith and says he attends Mass regularly.

Michael O’Loughlinis the national correspondent for America. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeoloughlin.

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William Rydberg
2 years ago
Mr VP Biden, Knows what he is doing. But what is that compared to his former job as a senator providing political cover in Washington for a State that is home to the largest number of Large Corporations and just so happens to have among the least corporate constraints and perhaps lowest taxes. My guess is that he is already aware that among the things screaming for vengeance from heaven is holding back wages of the worker for whatever reason. Although he is a Catholic, he seems to forget the Last things, and the fact that this life is a stop on the perpetual Journey. Just a guess and only an opinion. But let God be the Judge and pray for his soul and our own souls along with the rest of us... LORD HAVE MERCY ON US ALL! in Christ,
Crystal Watson
2 years ago
*** confusion arises regarding Catholic teaching on marriage and the corresponding moral obligations of Catholics *** I don't think there's any confusion about the teaching, it's just that most Catholics, including Biden, believe that teaching is wrong. Good on Biden.
Martin Meehan
2 years ago
Well said, Crystal!
Roberta Lavin
2 years ago
I also think most Americans respect the separation of church and state.
Michael Malak
2 years ago
When is a civil contract not a contract? I seem to remember a story in the Gospels about a face on a Roman coin, and who owed what to whom. If the church is so strained by lay Catholic politicians it might wish to allow the clergy to run for public office, once again. Father Robert Drinan, S.J., (D) MA, was good for the country but had to quit his seat in Congress when priests were told to leave politics. Until that ban is lifted, maybe, the bishops should follow the rules, too.
Roberta Lavin
2 years ago
Am I missing something or did Catholicism change and a civil ceremony is now a sacrament? One can and should support the right to equality for all and that should remain separate from our religious beliefs. No rational person can any longer justify discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters. The belief that same sex attraction is immoral or against the natural order is purely based in religious belief and not science. In my view he did not participate in sacrament of the Church nor did he attempt to carry this out in a Catholic Church, but rather officiated a civil ceremony which isn't even recognized for hetero or homosexual marriages. Who is causing the greatest scandal?
Chris Sullivan
2 years ago
With all due respect, I think the Bishops have lost the plot here. There is no Catholic doctrine against 2 men pledging to honor each other and live together faithfuly. That love is in fact an expression of the gospel message. There is no Catholic doctrine against any Catholic presiding at such a state ceremony which is not the sacrament of marriage as understood by the Church. The Church's opposition to the legalising gay marriage was merely a prudential judgment on a proposed civil law; it does NOT translate to any opposition to Catholic seeking or presiding at such state ceremonies. God Bless
Roberto Blum
2 years ago
John Boswell discovered that there was something similar to same sex marriage in ancient times, a catholic sacramental rite called "adelphopoiesis" or the "making of brothers." Although it was not called same sex marriage, it was a sacramental rite that the Church provided to those that for any reason would not enter into other sex marriage and wanted to share their lives with a significant other.
Beth Cioffoletti
2 years ago
It seems to me that the Catholic Church's insistence that marriage is between a man and a woman is based on the procreative aspect of that union. And what a miracle and blessing that is! The Church's paranoia surrounding same sex unions seems to be rooted in a fear that the marriage between a man and a woman will somehow lose its mystery and holiness if extended to the other members of humanity who are not falling into the usual sexual orientation. As far as I can tell, the "sacrament" of marriage is still reserved to "a man and a woman". The civil union of couples of other orientation is not an encroachment upon sacramental marriage. So what is the big deal?
Roberto Blum
2 years ago
Isn't a sacrament a sign that effectively operates (ex opere operato) if the form and matter are completed? Then, why would a same sex union between two baptized persons -- male or female -- who willingly and totally accept each other and have sex not be sacramental? The ministers are the partners, matter is the sexual union and the form is the will to a total commitment to each other.
joseph o'leary
2 years ago
I pretty clearly heard Pope Francis tell us we need to treat gays and lesbians with respect and dignity, and who better than a prominent politician to provide an example of how to live that out?
J Cabaniss
2 years ago
The highest ranking Catholic in the government publicly flouts Catholic teaching by "marrying" two men, and the bishops' response is...a blog post?? It is no wonder so many Catholics disagree with church doctrine in this area when it seems even her bishops give it only lip service. Why should the laity take her teachings seriously when her own bishops don't?
Tim O'Leary
2 years ago
The key quote is: “What we see is a counter witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth.” When it comes to abortion, gay marriage, and a host of other issues, Biden has always deferred to the "higher truth" of his Democratic party. He wears his Catholicism lightly - something he was born with, is sentimental about, but will only invoke it's teachings when they support his party's positions. But, he has a lot of company among many self-identifying or cultural Catholics. But, this is not new. As we saw from another recent article on racial prejudice in the last century, even among American clergy, who ignored the Vatican's opposition to slavery and later segregation, for over a century, many American Catholics prefer the dominant societal prejudice over their faith. Thank God, we have a Magisterium, protected by the Holy Spirit, and less easily beholding to political power, to teach the faith in all seasons.
Robert Lewis
1 year 12 months ago
You are exactly the same as Biden, because you will not threaten the Catholics who countenance and frequently support the serial monogamy of their friends. Your "morality" is highly selective, and it doesn't represent a mature faith that tries to UNDERSTAND, but which is, instead, narrow and condemnatory and basically supportive of your own blighted prejudices.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 12 months ago
I never spoke out for divorce or serial monogamy. It is a blight on our nation that I have many times commented on. You are judging without evidence (= prejudice).
Robert Lewis
1 year 12 months ago
You are certainly less outspoken on these threads about the serial monogamy that the majority practice than you are about "gay marriage," which seems to be something that really gets your goat, in a way that divorce doesn't.
Kevin Sharpe
2 years ago
It seems to me that certain bishops are confused, not Biden. If the bishops don't want the Church being told what to do by "Caesar", the bishops perhaps should not be meddling in "Caesar's" affairs, which is about upholding the law of the land by performing a civil union ceremony. In brief, it's not a Church concern. The bishops' confusion is what breeds more confusion among the laity and fuels discord, creating scandal out of misperceived fear. This is the real tragedy here. How would it be, instead, to be respectful as the CCC calls us to be? How would it be to take a breath or two and truly understand what is happening instead of reacting to misperception? How would it be to simply love and be thankful that two people have pledged to honor one another and support one another on this road of life?
Tim O'Leary
2 years ago
Kevin - are you really saying that the Catholic Church should never publicly challenge or oppose the government ("Caesar") on moral issues - treatment of the poor, abortion, capital punishment, war, etc., etc. Jesus said: "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." (Mark 12:17). But, the government does not own morality and is not above moral criticism, from individuals or institutions. It is even more important for Church leaders to speak out against self-identifying "proud-to-be" Catholics who proudly flaunt their faith (Biden "couldn't be happier") as they depart from it. As the bishops said "Faithful witness can be challenging—and it will only grow more challenging in the years to come."
Robert Lewis
1 year 12 months ago
Let the bishops "challenge the culture" by condemning the serial monogamy that the Protestants and the secularists call "marriage" and let them offer to excommunicate or otherwise chastise the Catholic public officials who "defy the Canon Law" of the Church by presiding over what the bishops must consider to be, from a theological standpoint, bogus marriage ceremonies--because not sacramental, and therefore dissoluble (and then countenance the officials' inevitable congratulations that must be uttered, somewhere, sometimes, of the couple and the couple's family) and THEN I'll reconsider my disrespect for their blatant interference in the "culture wars" of a nation that is and always has been fundamentally heretical, as far as orthodox Christianity is concerned. This is all ecclesiastical politics, with the Roman Catholic Church siding with that faction they consider to be "America on its knees"--namely, the most reactionary elements of the Republican Party. As others have stated, the Church is paying a terrible price for this, in terms of demographics, and will continue to pay that price, until she learns that "same-sex-attraction" is natural and God-given, and so is acting upon it, so long as "acts" represent self-sacrificial love.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 12 months ago
What??? Do you think the Church does not speak out against divorce? Where do you get these ideas? Re your statement that SSA is natural, see my response above to "seems pretty natural to me."
Robert Lewis
1 year 12 months ago
How disingenuous can you be, Mr. O'Leary!? You know perfectly well that the Catholic Church in America does not carry on a full-time campaign of propaganda against the serial monogamy that the secularists and the Protestants call "traditional marriage" in the same vein that she vociferously, outspokenly and relentlessly opposes "same sex marriage"--even when she is fully aware, as she must be, in this case, that what Vice President Biden presided over is NOT a "marriage" in any orthodox Christian sense, but is, rather, a civil union. You and the Right Wing bishops simply will not admit that you long ago ceased to have any "dog in this affair" when mainstream, conventional marriage in America ceased to be sacramental and became, instead, eminently dissoluble. I'll put it to you bluntly: Protestant and secular-majority marriages, made with one eye cocked over the shoulder, staring at the institution of divorce for reassurance, inevitably made "gay marriage" a "civil right" in America, and it's none of you Catholics' business to oppose it. YOUR marriages are not "theirs."
Vincent Gaglione
2 years ago
I was conflicted after reading the story of the Bishops’ response to Biden’s officiating at the marriage of a same sex couple. I understand the point. I just don’t understand the reason to be so public with it. Had I not read this story, I would never have known that Biden officiated at a same sex wedding. So, from the publicity and “scandal” issues in the Bishops’ concerns, they only made the issue more public and allegedly more “scandalous.” Was that their real purpose? And, if so, why? Would they not have been more effective in speaking to Biden personally? Maybe not, but certainly more civil and prudent from religious leaders to a member of their faith! Is every public figure to be chided always publicly? It smacks of hypocrisy to me. I also disagree with the attitude that public officials have the absolute right to refuse to perform public duties because they have religious objections. That is a dangerous position to take in a nation that has such diverse communities of believers and non-believers. If you want to be a public servant, then you fulfill all the responsibilities of the job whether or not your religious beliefs agree with those practices. If your objections are so strong, then don’t take the position. The nation thankfully is not a theocracy. I don’t have to go searching for a public servant who matches my personal beliefs. I don’t know how others perceive what Biden did but I do not necessarily believe that it represents all his personal beliefs but rather a fulfillment of duties that his office indicates that he can fulfill. Finally, I just find it amazing that these bishops saw the necessity and found the time to write about Biden. All at the same time when we have a major Presidential candidate referring to the Pope as “disgraceful,” to fellow Catholics as “rapists” and “criminals,” to unfettered gun possession, and to discrimination in immigration based on religion. What exactly do the Bishops themselves believe, I wonder? That not a single US Bishop publicly and roundly castigated Trump for characterizing the Pope as “disgraceful” remains to me the height of scandal in the US Church and reminds me of the pusillanimous behavior of some German bishops at the rise of Hitler!
Tim O'Leary
2 years ago
Vincent - it was Biden who flaunted this, not the bishops (who didn't name him in their post). Biden not only took the unusual step of presiding at a wedding (which is not a VP job – and Biden never presided at a heterosexual wedding) but then “proudly” posted it to his 1.7M twitter followers, in effect promoting his departure from Catholic doctrine. So, they are fully justified in using Biden's stunt as a teaching moment, and it has nothing to do with the Caesar-Church distinction. Biden (and Kaine) push their public Catholicity so it is particularly important for the Bishops to make it clear when a "public" self-identifying Catholic acts contrary to the gospel, in order that other Catholics are not confused. The Bishops have already come out strong against Trump. Here are some links https://cruxnow.com/church/2015/08/03/us-catholic-bishops-take-on-donald-trump/ http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/160620 http://www.phillyvoice.com/chaput-scolds-trump-obama-immigration/ Some have also, appropriately, come out against Hillary. As I keep saying, this is a tough year for a faithful Catholic.
ed gleason
2 years ago
so you say Catholic judges, officials ship captains etc should all be censured for performing millions of civil marriages that do not conform to Catholic canon law? Too bad the Church abandoned Latin because some bishops and you seem to have never heard of 'reductio ad absurdum'
Tim O'Leary
2 years ago
Ed - your comment is a non sequitur. Biden is not a judge or a ship captain with an obligation for performing marriage ceremonies. It is not a VP obligation. So, Biden did it to make a political point (he would not have twittered otherwise) and to knowingly make a counter witness. Biden's duplicity on abortion is even more egregious, but at least there he pretends to be personally opposed because of his faith, and publicly for because of his public position (even though we all know this is a fraud). Why doesn't he take the position that gay marriage should be "safe, legal and rare" as he does with abortion?
Vincent Gaglione
2 years ago
In reply to Mr. O’Leary’s response to my original posting: I stand corrected on those pieces about which I was ignorant, e.g., I was not aware that the Bishops did not cite specifically Biden’s name for doing the ceremony. And on anything else on which I was factually incorrect! On the whole, however, my perspective hasn’t changed. I did take a look at your citations where Bishops and a priest differ with Trump on various issues that I had named. Just a few comments on those, if I may: I stopped reading New York’s "The Daily News" years ago when I retired. ( I no longer consider it the paper of the working class in New York City. ) So I missed Dolan’s commentary on immigration. Let me be frank. I’d prefer the Cardinal send out a letter to be read in every parish instead. The numbers of Catholics supporting anti-immigration / anti-refugee viewpoints is stunning! That’s a moral issue worth talking about in Church, with more effect than in a tabloid with diminished readership, don't you think? As for your other two citations, as I said, they are less than overwhelming from my viewpoint and to my original contention. There has been no comment, no outrage at all on Trump’s characterization of Pope Francis as “disgraceful.” I don’t read that even in your response. I don’t find a choice in the contest very difficult at all. That’s because I do not base my choice on a particular set of trees, rather on the whole forest. I already know quite clearly what the USA’s Bishops dispositions are on some of Clinton’s positions. They have been made forcefully and loudly over the past 20 years. I respect your viewpoint but I consider it somewhat narrow given what I think should have been the parallel concerted and joint response of the USA’s Bishops to some of Trump’s comments and positions.
Tim O'Leary
2 years ago
Vincent - the whole "un-Christian" and "disgraceful" episode moved too quickly for anyone to speak about it, since the Vatican and Trump pulled back from their initial statements in only 24 hours, both indicating they didn't mean what they said. So, it doesn't apply as much as the other more substantial criticisms of Trump. As to a letter to parishes, in our system the courts would take away charitable status if the Church made ad hominen attacks in political races. So, the Church sticks with specific positions they object to, such as clearly stating their pro-life, pro-marraige and pro-immigrant positions.
Tim O'Leary
2 years ago
This just in from Archbishop Chaput on the 2016 Presidential election. Good definition of a Catholic, and fair description of the Catholic voters' dilemma. http://catholicphilly.com/2016/08/think-tank/archbishop-chaput-column/some-personal-thoughts-on-the-months-ahead/. Some quotes: "2016 is a year in which two prominent Catholics – a sitting vice president, and the next vice presidential nominee of his party — both seem to publicly ignore or invent the content of their Catholic faith as they go along. And meanwhile, both candidates for the nation’s top residence, the White House, have astonishing flaws. "This is depressing and liberating at the same time. Depressing, because it’s proof of how polarized the nation has become. Liberating, because for the honest voter, it’s much easier this year to ignore the routine tribal loyalty chants of both the Democratic and Republican camps. I’ve been a registered independent for a long time and never more happily so than in this election season. Both major candidates are – what’s the right word? so problematic – that neither is clearly better than the other." "This year, a lot of good people will skip voting for president but vote for the “down ticket” names on their party’s ballot; or vote for a third party presidential candidate; or not vote at all; or find some mysterious calculus that will allow them to vote for one or the other of the major candidates. I don’t yet know which course I’ll personally choose. It’s a matter properly reserved for every citizen’s informed conscience."
Kevin Sharpe
2 years ago
Tim, thank you for asking your very clearly worded question. I absolutely agree with you that there are certain moral issues that the Church should speak out about -- issues that fall into the morally reprehensible category. The issues you cited in your question are good examples: (mis)treatment of the poor, abortion, capital punishment, and war. These involve murder and, one could argue, the taking away of a person's rights. A public official who is a Catholic and who officiates at a civil ceremony is upholding the law of the land and that law of the land is not condoning something morally reprehensible -- it is not legitimizing murder or the taking away of a person's rights. On the other hand, if the law of our land were to be like the law of the land is in some other countries where to be gay is a crime punishable by imprisonment or death, then if a Catholic public official were to be carrying out that version of the law of the land...by all means, the Church should speak out about it. However, thankfully that is not the law of the land here in the United States of America, and the Church should not be chastising Biden for upholding a law that exists to ensure that equal rights are extended to all citizens, even to those citizens whose rights have historically been denied.
Tim O'Leary
2 years ago
This boils down to your principle that the Church should speak out against what you deem morally wrong and keep quite on moral issues the Church deems wrong but you do not. Note the Church deems the blessing of homosexual sexual activity as morally reprehensible. Biden was not a public official who followed his public obligation (he had none in this case), but one who sought out an action in direct contradiction to his faith, and then boasted about it to 1.7 million people.
Reyanna Rice
2 years ago
Was Biden in any way "blessing homesexual sexual activity"?? It seems to me what he was doing was just standing as a witness while two people promised to care for one another in a loving relationship for the rest of their lives. You are making two assumptions. The first one is that Biden performed a blessing. What is your proof of that? To witness is one thing and to bless is something else. The second is that this couple is going to engage in homesexual sexual activity. That seems to me to be none of your business and so what if they do?? Is it going to harm you or yours in any way? Sorry, but I don't buy the "it will cause confusion or scandal among the faithful" bit. Survey after survey shows even a majority of Catholics have no issues with same sex relationships, marriage or unions. These folks are our family members, including our church family.
Tim O'Leary
2 years ago
Reyanna - to your hypothesis that Biden might be just a passive witness, here is what he tweeted: "Proud to marry Brian and Joe at my house. Couldn't be happier..." Buzzfeed reports Biden obtained a temporary licence from the District of Columbia to officiate their wedding. I think this might be the first ever marriage "officiated" by a VP, gay or straight. What a way to go down in history. And, I do mean "down." Your hypothesis that the guys might be entering into a celibate gay marriage might be a first, but hope springs eternal. Sounds like "a bunch of malarkey" to me, to use Biden's favorite phrase. Imagine the backlash they would get if they came out as celibate partners? It would be courageous, though. Regarding "survey after survey" and Catholic doctrine, I look to a higher authority than opinion polls of people who say they are Catholic on a telephone call.
Douglas Fang
2 years ago
According to Arch. Chaput - “…what’s the right word? so problematic – that neither is clearly better than the other…” This is an utter disgrace for Arch. Chaput to fail to recognize an almost obvious comparison between the two candidates purely because of his hard core ideology. For the majority of Americans, especially non white Americans, i.e 99% or African Americans, 75% of Asians, and 80% of Hispanics…., and for the rest of the western world, there is no comparison between Clinton and Trump. Trump is most dangerous candidate and most unqualified candidate ever in modern history. I’m so glad that I don’t live in his archdiocese.
Tim O'Leary
2 years ago
Douglas - WRT your racial comment, Archbishop Chaput is Native American (Potawatomi tribe). He is clearly right that both candidates are problematic. How would you define his "hard core ideology" - that he is Catholic Franciscan? Pro-life, anti-death penalty, more gun control, priority for the poor, anti-consumerism, not politically aligned. Where is the "hard-core" element, in your view? He also wrote this: "In a year when each Catholic voter must choose between deeply flawed options, prayer is essential. And prayer involves more than mumbling a Hail Mary before we pull the voting booth lever for someone we see as the lesser of two evils. Prayer is a conversation, an engagement of the soul with God. It involves listening for God’s voice and educating our consciences." Sound advice to me.
Douglas Fang
2 years ago
Tim - I faulted him because of his statement “neither is clearly better than the other”. It seems that Chaput does not have the humility and honesty to accept the truth like a lot of other prominent Republicans. I agree that Clinton has a lot negative baggage, more or less in the same ballpark as most other politicians. Except for her “pro-abortion” or “pro-gay-marriage” viewpoints, which by the way, I don’t see Trump is much different compared to hers , her viewpoints are more aligned with Chaput’s viewpoints. In addition to that, her economic, foreign, and social viewpoints and approaches are much more cohesive and well thought out compared to Trump, who continues to spew out a continuous series of empty minded, nonsense, and dangerous sound bites – just a few examples in LAST WEEK alone – “...people of 2nd amendment...,... the Election may be rigged...,... Obama is the founder of ISIS..., etc.”
Carlos Orozco
2 years ago
I am no fan of Donald Trump, but I find Hillary candidacy far more worrisome. She has blood on her hands, being a major player in the planned attack against two of the most important secular Arab countries: Libya and Syria, and voting in the Senate in favor of toppling another: Iraq. Why wouldn't the Islamic Wahhabi crazies love her? Along with Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Obama, she should be tried for organizing and planning wars of aggression for imperial purposes and treason against the American people and the Constitution. All those pyromaniacs belong in prison, not threatening war with Russia for bombing to hell their nihilist "freedom fighters" in Syria. I think that, despite the media blackout on Wikileaks, the French company "Lafarge" will be the biggest scandal the Clinton crime syndicate has ever faced. Wikileaks is finishing the verification of a devastating document cache. If you think arming "moderate" terrorists is bad enough, what would you thinking of actually profiting from ISIS-controlled territory business dealings? The depths of corruption Hillary swims in never ceases to surprise. She is like the Michael Phelps of the sewer.
Douglas Fang
2 years ago
Carlos – I don’t know anything about you or your credentials. I just shared with you a recent article about the letter signed by 50 Republican Security experts and I leave it to your own judgement. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/us/politics/national-security-gop-donald-trump.html?partner=msft_msn&_r=0 …Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald J. Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”Mr. Trump, the officials warn, “would be the most reckless president in American history.” … “He is unable or unwilling to separate truth from falsehood,” the letter says. “He does not encourage conflicting views. He lacks self-control and acts impetuously. He cannot tolerate personal criticism. He has alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behavior. All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be president and commander in chief, with command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.” …No wonder why Russia, China, and North Korea, some of our biggest enemies, love to see Trump win because they know that Trump is nothing but “a con, a fraud, and a phony” (according to Bloomberg and Romney)
Carlos Orozco
2 years ago
Yes, I agree, Trump is "a con, a fraud and a phony". But you don't need the pontificating of warmongering, neocon ideologues to know Trump is a crook. And there is more than one crook in the 2016 Presidential race. I don't know how a conscientious Catholic could vote for any of the two main candidates. However, Hillary Clinton is a war criminal and has blood on her hands, not so Trump. God knows how many Christians and moderate Muslims in the Middle East have lost their lives because of Obama/Hillary policy of weakening Bashar al-Assad through the covert support of Islamic murderers, under the cover of them being moderate actors in the Syrian/Iraq war. That is not a conspiracy theory, but public knowledge to any person willing to go search for truth outside the corporate mainstream media. It will be very interesting when those same presstitutes hide their heads in the sand when Wikileaks continues revealing the dealings and businesses of Hillary Clinton. There will be a point when even the daily punching of Trump just won't be enough of a distraction.
Jim McCrea
1 year 12 months ago
The Vice President of this country presided at the civil wedding of his two fellow White House staffers who had requested that he do so. Mr. Biden had never officiated a wedding before and got a special temporary certification from the District of Columbia to make it legal. Catholic civil servants preside regularly at secular, non-sacramental marriage services in civil license bureaus throughout the country. They are expected to carry out the requirements of their position and if they have moral objections then they usually apply for a transfer to a different form of civil position or resign. Are they to be excommunicated or excoriated for that? That Mr. Biden chose to do so should be of no surprise. As stated in your article: “In 2012, Biden said as a Catholic he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex couples marrying, adding they should get “the same exact rights” heterosexual married couples receive.” I doubt very seriously that he or the two men being married thought for one minute that there was a sacramental wedding taking place. Since the advent of Obgerfell V. Hodges in 2015, civil, secular marriages are legal. The Vice President is in full agreement with the results of this 5-4 Supreme Court decision and, in this case, chose to act as a civil servant, not a Catholic official, performing an action that is fully legal, and which he fully supports.
Kevin Sharpe
1 year 12 months ago
Tim, in your response to Reyanna, your tone started to shift from one of constructive dialogue in which we agree to respect the dignity of each other and each other's views to a tone of defensiveness and heatedness. Reyanna made very valid points. Also, as has been pointed out in these comments, this is not an issue about the sacrament of matrimony. It is a civil issue. It is an issue that fundamentally is about honoring the dignity of (in this particular case) gay persons making a commitment to each other and the state guaranteeing their rights (which are now thankfully guaranteed all peoples in our country). The CCC exhorts us all to honor the dignity of gay and lesbian persons. Here is an example of how civil rights are about upholding a person’s dignity. It’s a simple example and involves a right which had always been granted to heterosexual partners (or spouses). If one heterosexual partner was dying in a hospital, his or her partner was able to be legally admitted to the hospital room of the dying partner and was able to remain with and be present as the dying partner passed away. This was not, until at this particular point in our history, a reality — a right — for gays or lesbians in committed relationships / partnerships. (And it should be noted that gays and lesbians are quite capable of living committed relationships / partnerships.) My question to you is: Do you find this refusal to allow a gay or lesbian partner to be by his or her dying partner’s bedside in the hospital to be a morally acceptable action by the state? If you do, then maybe you've never personally known someone who has experienced this tragic situation. I have known people in this situation. In fact, I can witness to you that the anguish and pain and suffering this cold action caused was in no way morally acceptable. That is what my consciences screamed. That is what my heart screamed. It does not honor the dignity of the two people involved during this very intimate and tender time of transition. Therefore, what Biden chose to do was not confusing. To be honest, it was much bigger than simply a civil action. It was monumental. It was about honoring the dignity of those two young men. It was about upholding that part — that often overlooked part — of the CCC that calls us as Catholics to honor that dignity. What these two young men do in their life together is their choice. It is for each them to follow his own conscience and heart. After all, as Pope Francis declares in Amoris Laetitia, “We find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations.” So why not, as a Church, choose to focus on forming consciences, as Pope Frances continues to say, and not focus so much on replacing them.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 12 months ago
Kevin - there are several assumptions made in your comment that are not correct, in my opinion. As to the ability of a gay partner to be at the dying partner's bedside, I completely agree that they should be permitted to do so, and I would expand this right to other friends and relationships as well. While my conscience doesn't scream about it, it does align with an even more expansive definition of relationship than sexual. You say " state guaranteeing their rights (which are now thankfully guaranteed all peoples in our country)." I think it hyperbole to think that "all people's rights are now guaranteed". Human rights often are a trading of rights (taking from one to give to another). Religious rights have certainly taken a step back (as people of several religions have now to leave their former civil positions to live their consciences, or are compelled to participate in activities they find objectionable), children's rights have been weakened (an adopted child is less likely to be raised by a father and a mother, and even less by a religious couple, since religious adoption agencies are being pushed out of the system), the rights of poor countries are diminished (they are being coerced to accept the gay legal agenda on penalty of losing food and other economic aid, etc.). Even among sexual groups, marriage is still not legal for 1st degree relatives (the new so-called GSA - genetic sexual attraction condition), polyamourous relationships (there's even a TV show advocating for these "next rights") and there are age limits, etc. While you might agree with me that the right to marry should not be extended to these groups, the legal argument is certainly weaker today than before. Political campaigns for each of these groups are increasing. You are probably aware that the Catholic argument against gay marriage is not just a religious one, but involves natural law, a correct understanding of human anthropology, the care of children, and the general societal morality and culture and support of natural marriage. Most people in the West have long ago discarded the Christian idea of marriage and sexual activity (how many mainly practice contraceptive sex, have abortions, are unfaithful, or experimenting). There is a "amoral choice" attitude, seen as freedom from all moral constraints, an approval or at least acceptance of all manner of sexual activity, the mainstreaming of pornography and BDSM, even the legalization of prostitution, etc. The hypersexual culture is directly connected with a dramatic reduction in actual children and happiness. The idea of sexual fulfillment has replaced the idea of ordered love and duty to society, spouse and children. The orthodox Christian, Muslim and Jew all point out this turning away from the natural law and the good of mankind. The Catholic Church, with its great intellectual tradition in this area (including the recent Humanae Vitae, Evangelium Vitae, the JPII Theology of the Body, etc.), it's large size and great influence, is the greatest witness against this hypersexualized culture. The counter witness comes from every Catholic who does not understand this faith, and who by accident or intent, by conversation, advocacy, vote, and blog, and by their own personal activity and choices witnesses a different understanding. Biden, by his highly influential role and claims to Catholicity, is just a bigger counter witness than others. Hence, the bishops needed to speak out and call attention to the true Catholic witness.
Douglas Fang
1 year 12 months ago
A very relevant article in today’s WaPo – White Christian America is dying https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/08/15/white-christian-america-is-dying/“When PRRI surveys have asked religiously unaffiliated Americans who were raised religious why they left their childhood religion, respondents have given a variety of reasons — stopped believing in teachings, conflicts with science, lack of time, etc. — but one issue stands out, particularly for younger Americans. About 70 percent of millennials (ages 18-33) believe that religious groups are alienating young adults by being too judgmental about gay and lesbian issues. And 31 percent of millennials who were raised religious but now claim no religious affiliation report that negative teaching about or treatment of gay and lesbian people by religious organizations was a somewhat or very important factor in their leaving” Go figure it out...
Tim O'Leary
1 year 12 months ago
My interpretation of the data on millennials is that those who favor sexual liberation to Christianity have not been property catechized to the faith. My bet, as evidenced by the massive success of the world youth day events, etc. is that they will in time appreciate more the Church who is a counter witness to the secular hypersexualized culture than the progressive protestant denominations, the christian-lite folks, who go along to get along. The latter are already losing young people at a much faster rate than the Catholic Church.
Douglas Fang
1 year 12 months ago
It is really surprise to see someone like you failed to read and interpret the data clearly presented in this article. Based on the data, how can you make this blatantly misleading statement “…counter witness to the secular hypersexualized culture than the progressive protestant denominations, the christian-lite folks, who go along to get along…” Did you not see the following statistics? “For example, 45 percent of young evangelicals (ages 18-29) and 43 percent of young Mormons favor same-sex marriage, compared to only 19 percent of white evangelical seniors and 18 percent of Mormon seniors. Most notably, the data show that young Republicans have passed the tipping point: 53 percent of young Republicans now support same-sex marriage” As this article is about White Christians, it does not include the number from Catholics. However, if I’m not mistaken, the percentage of Catholics support same-sex marriages is even higher. So, do you consider these young evangelicals, Mormons, and Catholics as part of the progressive protestant denominations??? Honesty is the best policy – Don’t try to sugar-coat the ugly truth as everything will be revealed. I can share with you 2 personal anecdotes and it is up to you to understand and interpret them. 1. Of my five brothers and sisters, all of us born and raised in a devout old style Catholic tradition, my children are the only ones who received Confirmation so far. All of my young adult nieces and nephews don’t even receive first confession or have their first and also last confession… I still “force” my children to go to Church with me every Sunday and pray together almost every night. My son is a software engineer and my daughter is a junior at a major university, i.e. educated young adults. They told me that in their closed circle of friends, who are all non-Catholic, the first thing came to their mind when they thought about Catholicism was the pedophile priests!!!! 2. During a breakfast for fund raising at my parish hall, I had a conversation with 2 white ladies who were religious educators at my parish. One of them taught my children in the Confirmation class about Theology of the Body from St John Paul II. I “complained” with them about the strict position of the Church about contraception. They looked at me and then quietly told me that no one could tell them how many children they could have. Period! It seems that for most Catholic, even well learned ones, and non-Catholic, the Church hierarchy has lost most, if not all, the authority to discuss about human sexuality.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 12 months ago
Douglas - Your two examples surely do not give me confidence they know the faith, if all they can do is equate Catholicism with pedophile priests (less common than in public schools, and 80% of which is same-sex abuse of teenagers). That is exactly the kind of evidence that they do not know the faith. It is the exact same response a non-Catholic might give. A denial of any clear teaching of the faith does not vouch for someone's understanding of the reasons for the faith. To use your favorite line - can the young people handle the truth - the teaching of the Church? In any case, I'm not sure if your point is that Church doctrine should change to follow the polls of young people? Or, if it should throw out it's teaching on natural traditional marriage based on polls? You keep saying that people like me, or Abp Chaput or other bloggers are dishonest or lack humility if they prefer the Church teaching to your positions, but why wouldn't it be more likely that young people follow the baby-boomers in departing from the faith. The last generation departed on contraception, divorce and abortion. The new generation depart on gay sex, bi-curious experimentation and sex outside marriage. How does any of that change the truth of the Catholic faith? There have been large defections in the past - think of the Arian, the Albigensian, the Lutheran, the Calvinist heresies, or the communist movement - all swayed millions of people. And all were wrong. Catholic truth cannot be determined by popularity.
Martin Meehan
1 year 12 months ago
I would argue that not only millennials but many Catholics, including this senior citizen, disagree with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. Thank goodness many of us have not been sufficiently “catechized” to believe that our gay and lesbian family members are “intrinsically disordered.” Indeed, natural law is in effect: gays and lesbians are responding to inborn tendencies (i.e.natural) of sexual attraction and are looking for a loving, committed relationship. Sounds pretty natural to me.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 12 months ago
Martin - would I be wrong that your disagreement with the Church goes beyond homosexual sex, and might include papal authority, abortion, contraception, divorce, sex before marriage, scriptural authority, etc. etc.? "sounds pretty natural to me" doesn't quite meet the bar of natural law. I'm sure racist ideologies sounded pretty natural to those who had them in the past as well. I'm sure honor killings seem natural to those who pursue them. You probably accept that not all innate sexual compulsions are ipso facto moral. Not all inborn tendencies point to correct moral behavior.
J Cosgrove
1 year 12 months ago
The question that no one asks and answers is "Who is allowed to engage in a sexual act?" The only reasonable answer to this question is that it is only allowed within marriage. Any deviation from this restriction is that anyone is allowed to have sex whenever they want it including small children. There is no demarcation line outside of marriage especially one based on age. If one can come up with one then they will have changed the world.
Robert Lewis
1 year 12 months ago
Tell me something, Mr. O'Leary, will you condemn or call for the excommunication of a Catholic magistrate or justice of the peace who presides over, "witnesses" or otherwise legalizes the "marriage" (i.e. civil union, properly speaking) of a couple, one or the other of whom, or both, have been divorced? You must know that this is a much more common occurrence in America than than the solemnizing of "gay" unions, and you must also know that it has invariably happened that such officials have often congratulated themselves publicly after doing so, particularly if the couple were friends. The contortions that you and other "conservative" Catholics weave for yourselves to justify (with false, hypocritical crocodile tears and expressions of "love the sinner, but hate the sin") your persecutions of the "same-sex-attracted" are found by almost all young people, and others with common sense in this day and age, to be absolutely risible!
J Cosgrove
1 year 12 months ago
Maybe you can answer the question of who is allowed to have sex?

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