San Diego Auxiliary Bishop delivers homily at St. John the Evangelist parish on anniversary of “Always Our Children”

San Diego Auxiliary Bishop delivers homily at St. John the Evangelist parish on anniversary of “Always Our Children”

Bishop John Dolan: “These words offered by the U.S. bishops [sic; actually, a committee not the full conference] 20 years ago are my sentiments exactly”

[A comment from the Cal-Catholic Daily combox serving as a foreword]

You know the leftists are grasping at straws when they celebrate an old, irrelevant, non-authoritative document whose first version was required by Rome to be revised because it didn’t accord with Catholic faith. It was drafted and released by a committee, not by the conference of bishops. The homophiles on that committee tried to get away with obscuring Catholic doctrine, but Rome said, “No way,” and required corrections to the document. The Left will try, but it won’t succeed in normalizing the abnormality and immorality of homosexuality. – Covfefe


San Diego Catholic Diocese Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan delivered the following Homily during the Mass today at St. John the Evangelist parish to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the “Always Our Children” message from the U.S. Bishops [sic; actually, a committee not the full conference]:

Parents and family members of LGBT children – God’s children – and to all of you gathered today:

It is a joy to be with you this morning as we commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishop’s document, “Always Our Children.” This document was written then as “an outstretched hand of the bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family to parents and other family members” of LGBT children.

On this Day, we also celebrate the Catholic Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Here, we beg Mary, who is a mother and parent herself, to accompany with her prayers parents of children in the LGBT community and all of us gathered here as we seek to find a welcoming place for all within the Body of Christ, the Church.

Now, as we prepare to celebrate this Eucharist, let us turn to Mary’s Son, Jesus our Savior and Advocate. As we do so, let us call to mind our sins and ask our Lord for pardon and peace.

Today we recall a document written by the U.S. Bishops [sic; actually, a committee not the full conference] and presented 20 years ago to the parents of LGBT children. “Always Our Children” was written at a time when good and faithful church-going Catholics were witnessing society quickly change before their eyes and the Church seemed – in their eyes – to stand still. At that time, some parents who were faced with their children “coming out,” courageously reached out to religious leaders – including Catholic priests – for guidance. Though courageous, the sense of guilt and shame – coupled with tears – was a part of their conversation.

Other parents preferred to not talk about it with their pastors, while others would even dismiss their children in order to avoid conflict with other members of their faith. In many of these encounters with pastors, parents were met with love and compassion as they discussed their children’s “new way of life,” while – sadly – others were met with words of condemnation; even if the hard words of their pastors were meant to express truths regarding their children.

Today, we also celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Admittedly, this Feast Day is very important to me and the Rosary itself is my favorite form of prayer. (It doesn’t look like it, but I walk nearly every day and pray two rosaries out and two rosaries back. This way, I can take care of both my physical and spiritual exercises at the same time. I recommend it. It’s good for the body and the soul.)

As we consider this Feast Day, I am reminded of St. Pope John Paul II’s Pastoral Letter in 2002 on the Holy Rosary. In his letter, Saint John Paul urged Catholics to see the rosary as “a treasure to be rediscovered” in our lives. He reminded us to approach the Rosary as a way of going to the “School of Mary” in order to discover the mysteries of Jesus her Son. By meditating on the five Joyful mysteries of Jesus’ birth and childhood, or the five Luminous mysteries of the Lord’s Ministry on earth, the five Sorrowful mysteries of Jesus’ passion and death, and finally the five Glorious mysteries of His resurrection and the bright promise that awaits us all, we were encouraged to assimilate the mysteries of Christ as we discovered the mystery of our own being.

As I re-read his pastoral letter on the Rosary, I was struck by these words: “The mysteries of Christ are also in some sense the mysteries of his Mother, even when they do not involve her directly, for she lives from him and through him.”
These words, in light of our purpose here today, are particularly helpful as I speak to you parents. They need repeating: “Even when they do not involve her directly,” the “mysteries of Christ are the mysteries of His mother.” This is made perfectly clear in the annunciation account found in our Gospel today. Here, the Son of God becomes the Son of Mary. The mysteries of Christ are now incarnate within the Mother of the Lord.

Later, we read that Mary pondered these things in her heart. What parent doesn’t ponder the mystery of their child within their heart? What parent is not indirectly involved in the mystery of his or her child?

Returning to my earlier comments on those courageous parents who reached out to their pastors or faith leaders 20 years ago, and those who continue to seek guidance today, it is obvious to me that the words pastors choose to use when speaking of God’s children have an effect on their parents as well; even if indirectly. Again, the mysteries of Christ found in each child are the mysteries found in their parents.
This is why, in part, the pastoral letter, “Always Our Children,” was written for parents. For example, the bishops went to great lengths to include in the letter the following words for parents whose children were dying during the height of the AIDS epidemic: “Though HIV/AIDS is an epidemic affecting the whole human race, not just homosexual persons, it has had a devastating effect upon them and has brought great sorrow to many parents, families, and friends.”

And, while some faith leaders, politicians, and celebrities were linking God’s wrath to this terrible disease, the bishops stated emphatically, “We reject the idea that HIV/AIDS is a direct punishment from God.” In some way, I hope these words offered some comfort to parents of those with HIV or who died from AIDS at the time. This is just one of the reasons for the pastoral letter.

It is true that “Always Our Children” was not warmly received by many Catholics in the U.S. It was too left-leaning for some; even though the bishops then made it clear that the letter was not breaking any new ground on sexual morality, chastity, and mature sexual development according to Sacred Scripture and Tradition.

The document was also too right-leaning for others; especially as the language used in the document regarding homosexuality seemed stilted and even offensive to many in the gay community. However, recall that the letter was “an outstretched hand of the bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family to parents and other family members.” And, for this reason alone, it was a start. It became an opening for more fruitful dialogue and civil discourse.

Twenty years later, the dialogue and discourse continues, but it isn’t always fruitful or civil. The unshaking ideologies of people from those without and within the LGBT community are daily blogged, tweeted, and Facebooked in ad hominem, yellow-journalistic, fake-news style where now the Mysteries of Christ and the Good News are lost and good people are directly or indirectly hurt. Such rhetoric has to stop! It is for this reason that, while the Church’s teachings and truths are still defined, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) wrote:

“It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.”

[In the same official Vatican document (On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons), His then-Eminence (as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Faith) also said: “But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behaviour to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.” – AQ moderator Tom

More recently, Fr. James Martin, SJ, shared the same challenge for members within the LGBT community. In his book, Building a Bridge, Fr. Martin laid out the number of times LGBT members had spewed violent malice in speech. He argued that taking such a hurtful road is only “a perpetuation of a cycle of hatred.” Fr. Martin offered the alternative road: “Being respectful of people with whom you disagree is at the heart of the Christian way.”

Ad hominem attacks and lies about those with whom we disagree must always be avoided. As our Catechism states, “If a lie in itself only constitutes a venial sin, it becomes mortal when it does grave injury to the virtues of justice and charity.” Civil discourse and fruitful dialogue cannot be forfeited by those who uphold the teachings of the Church and/or by those who struggle to incorporate our teachings within their personal lives.

The opposite of uttering falsehoods and deplorable verbal attacks is the Gospel of Truth. The Truth that begins with the Joyful Mystery of the Angel who spoke unto Mary. This Truth, the Son of God, became incarnate and now became Mary’s Son.
We read later that Mary pondered all of these things – the mysteries of Her Son – in her heart. And, like a good parent, she pondered these things as she accompanied her Son throughout his life; from the Joyful events of his childhood, throughout his mission to the sick, the sinners, and ultimately to the cross at Calvary. But, as we hear Jesus on the cross give Mary to the Beloved Disciple – the Church – we see that Mary accompanies us all. She stands by us all.

This is why, in our First Reading, we see Mary in the Upper Room with the apostles. And when the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, rushed upon Mary, he rushed upon her sons. Although many of these sons previously ran from the Lord and even denied Him, they were still her sons. Indeed, we will always be her sons and daughters, as well as brothers and sisters, of the Lord. There is no denying this.

And, to you parents, there is no denying your own sons and daughters, whatever their walk in life. You, like Mary, stand in the middle of your own domestic church and within the wider Church. This is your vocation. And for this, I thank you.
Like Mary, we stand with all members of the Church. With those who live in the heart of Christ, or in his bosom, and even in the peripheries. It is for this reason, the U.S. bishops 20 years ago, offered these final words in their pastoral letter, directing them specifically to our children:

“This message has been an outstretched hand to your parents and families inviting them to accept God’s grace present in their lives now and to trust in the unfailing mercy of Jesus our Lord. Now we stretch out our hands and invite you to do the same. We are called to become one body, one spirit in Christ. We need one another if we are to . . . grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love” (Eph 4:15-16).

Though at times you may feel discouraged, hurt, or angry, do not walk away from your families, from the Christian community, from all those who love you. In you God’s love is revealed. You are always our children.”

My brothers and sisters, these words offered by the U.S. bishops 20 years ago are my sentiments exactly. Be assured of my prayers for you. The Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries of Christ abide in you. With Mary, with all the Saints, with Pope Francis, Bishop McElroy, our priests, your parents and families, and all who love you, we will accompany you. And as we do, we will ponder the mysteries of Christ within you.

[Another comment from the Cal-Catholic Daily combox serving as a postscript]

As a mother, I would be irresponsible to encourage our children to behave in ways that are self destructive, could harm them, and bring about illness and death (HIV, STDs, AIDS, Hepatitis etc.). Love offers correction At the risk of being rejected. It seems to me, the greatest gift we can offer another is the “Truth”. Jesus himself was rejected.

Lifestyles running contrary to the commandments are to be corrected. Jesus made it clear that He did not come to “abolish” the Law but to fulfill it, to breath the Spirit into it, LIFE.

Our Blessed Mother points the Way to her Son, Life. I can’t imagine her pointing the way to any life that rejects the commandments her Father, Our Father has given to us. – Jeannie McCullough Stiles

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One comment on “San Diego Auxiliary Bishop delivers homily at St. John the Evangelist parish on anniversary of “Always Our Children”

  1. [More about this sacrilegious travesty]

    San Diego Diocese Using Mass to Push LBGT Agenda

    by Rodney Pelletier • ChurchMilitant • October 9, 2017

    The illusion is given, perhaps deliberately and carried forth by the media, to the effect that this [i.e., the 1997 USCCCP document “Always Our Children”] is something the U.S. bishops [rather than a small committee] published

    SAN DIEGO – The diocese of San Diego is celebrating the 20th anniversary of a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) document that soft-pedals homosexuality.

    John Dolan, San Diego auxiliary bishop, presided at a Mass at St. John the Evangelist parish to commemorate the 1997 USCCB document “Always Our Children,” including 16 other concelebrating clergy, as well as pro-homosexual San Diego Abp. Robert McElroy.

    Aaron Bianco, leader of the LGBT outreach ministry at the parish and young adult ministry leader, is openly homosexual. He is also associated with Call to Action, a self-described Catholic activist group that openly dissents against Catholic Church teaching on human sexuality.

    Also present was openly-homosexual state assembly member Todd Gloria, transvestite Nicole Murray-Ramirez, various other low-level sodomy activist politicians and members of the Palm Springs LGBT Catholic community.

    Allyson Smith and other members of Ecclesia Militans San Diego, a group of concerned Catholics, are telling Church Militant nearly 80 police officers, including SWAT personnel, were present due to alleged “threats of violence” over social media.

    After Holy Communion, transvestite Murray-Ramirez announced from the lectern that McElroy and Dolan had “spoken out for equality and civil rights” and that his “prayers were answered” after living in San Diego for 50 years. Both Dolan and McElroy were also presented with humanitarian awards.

    In his homily, Dolan spoke about the necessity of civility on both sides of the conversation, regarding so-called LGBT Catholics. He quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), noting that a lie can be a mortal sin “when it does grave injury to the virtues of justice and charity.”

    He went on to condemn “the unshaking ideologies of people from those without and within the LGBT community [that] are daily blogged, tweeted and Facebooked in ad hominem, yellow-journalistic, fake-news style where now the Mysteries of Christ and the Good News are lost and good people are directly or indirectly hurt.”

    He did not comment on the CCC’s condemnation of same-sex genital acts as “intrinsically disordered,” and there was no support for ministries like Courage, which supports people with same-sex attraction.

    Smith tells Church Militant, “Bishop Dolan’s homily was that it was a total capitulation to the homosexual activist agenda.” She noted there were “no calls for homosexuals to repent and convert included in his homily,” adding that he took “a veiled swipe at Catholic news sites, like ChurchMilitant that resist modernism.”

    In 1997, Bp. Fabian Bruskewitz, then bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, slammed the document when it was released, calling it “very flawed and defective” and asserting it was “founded on bad advice, mistaken theology, erroneous science and skewed sociology.”

    He added, “The illusion is given, perhaps deliberately and carried forth by the media, to the effect that this is something the U.S. bishops have published,” noting that it was “composed without any input from the majority of the American Catholic bishops, who were given no opportunity whatever to comment on its pastoral usefulness or on its contents.”

    Dolan commented Saturday that the document “was not warmly received” but countered, “the bishops then made it clear that the letter was not breaking any new ground on sexual morality, chastity and mature sexual development according to Sacred Scripture and Tradition.”

    The Vatican, however, disagreed and less than a year after “Always our Children” was released, demanded strong revisions because of several troublesome passages.

    Bruskewitz noted that the document “is pastorally helpful in no perceptible way” and asked, “Does this committee intend to issue documents to parents of drug addicts, promiscuous teenagers, adult children involved in canonically invalid marriages and the like?”

    He contended, “These are far more numerous than parents of homosexuals. The occasion and the motivation for this document’s birth remain hidden in the murky arrangements which brought it forth.”

    Archbishop McElroy commented in the liberal-progressive Jesuit publication America magazine that although “Chastity is a very important virtue of the Christian moral life,” he added it is “not the central virtue in the Christian moral life.”

    He went on to say, “Many times, our discussions in the life of the Church suggest that chastity has a singularly powerful role in determining our moral character or our relationship with God. It does not.” He went further to charge, “Those who emphasize the incompatibility of gay men or lesbian women living meaningfully within the church are ignoring the multidimensional nature of the Christian life of virtue or the sinfulness of us all or both.”

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