The not-so-accurately-named “Catholic Action Network for Social Justice” (CAN) has a not-so-accurately-named subgroup called the “Holy Families Committee”. The purpose of this committee is to challenge the Church’s teaching on the intrinsically-disordered nature of homosexual acts. Its beginnings are interesting to read. From the website:
How the Holy Families group came to be
On August 23, 2003, a group of approximately twenty-five people, mostly from St. Cronan’s parish, gathered to discuss the recently released statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.” This document categorizes same-sex relationships as disordered and states that adoption by same-sex couples “would actually mean doing violence to these children.”
As Catholics who disagree with this statement from the Vatican, many in the group expressed the opinion that this is an opportunity for a wide variety of responses: individual, communal (our parish and other parishes), and public (including the media). Many expressed an interest in having some program(s) for the children of the parish that demonstrates our commitment to honoring and blessing diverse families.
As a result, it was proposed that the Holy Families Committee would be established to address this issue in broad terms and to implement the ideas brought forth at the meeting. Assistance was also offered and was requested at that time from the Catholic Action Network.
Over the course of a year-and-a-half, the group engaged in correspondence with Archbishop Burke and met with Bishop Hermann about its position against Catholic teaching. CAN has made this correspondence public, no doubt considering it as proof of the justice of their position and the intransigence of the Archbishop. I invite readers to review this correspondence carefully.
One sees, when these letters are read through the lens of faith, the care and concern that the Archbishop has for the well-being of the souls of those who are afflicted with same-sex attraction. He is patient, and continues his efforts to engage those who are writing, but at all times does them the honor of holding steadfastly to the truths of the faith and the reality of the natural law.
CAN’s hosting of this correspondence on its site would seem to indicate, however, that people who read this would feel that the Archbishop was being uncharitable or perhaps, to use their idiom, unjust. I guess it all depends on your perspective.
What is striking is the dispute over His Grace’s description of homosexuals as “persons who suffer from same-sex attraction”. This description is both accurate and charitable. It acknowledges that these persons bear a very heavy cross, and it evokes the traditional Catholic image of bearing our crosses to “make up what is lacking in the sacrifice of Christ” as St. Paul says.
Needless to say, this descriptor does not please the Holy Families Committee.
This came to mind when I was writing to a reader about the St. Cronan’s situation, and I used the similar phrase “afflicted with same-sex attraction”. I invite that reader, and all readers, to review the Archbishop’s words as a more cogent response than I could write.
The decree on Sr. Lears will be made public soon, and the general situation at St. Cronan’s is unsettled. They deserve our prayers; pray for true, Catholic unity in the Archdiocese.