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Thursday, May 24, 2007


Ed Peters

Is a Eucharist stunt on Pentecost a "sin against the Holy Spirit"?

MMajor Fan

The sins against the Holy Ghost are:

Presumption upon God's mercy


Impugning the known truth

Envy of another's spiritual good

Obstinacy in sin

Final impenitence

I believe that the stunt falls under the sin of "envy of another's spiritual good" because they plan to turn the sacrifice of the Mass into a confrontation to discomforture the celebrants and participants of the Mass.

Nick Milne

I'd imagine Murray continues to be Catholic for the same reason any serious person does: because he thinks the Church is True and he wants his sins to be forgiven.

Murray differs from the rest, perhaps, in wanting nothing more than to keep committing those sins with wreckless, scandal-making impunity.

Anyway, there's nothing respectful about what's going on here. Suppose (but only suppose, I beg you) I were to walk up to the altar, pretty as you please, wearing a smart little sash embossed with the phrase, "I just masturbated." I would hold it to be well within the bishop's moral rights to punch me, quite apart from any question of receiving communion.

What a rainbow sash says - and all it says - is, "I engage in homosexual acts." It says nothing more; indeed, it can say nothing more. There's nothing apart from that to distinguish a homosexual from a heterosexual, from a Catholic perspective, and taken to the more abstract level of pure sin (if you'll pardon such an awkward phrase), even that is not much of a gulf.

Now, well, that's not entirely accurate. The rainbow sash says a bit more than "I engage in homosexual acts." It says - miserable gall! - "I engage in homosexual acts, and think this is important enough that all of you have to hear about it; nay, important enough that it can be justifiably brought up while receiving the Body and Blood of Christ."

Murray says "that individual conscience is paramount in guiding the individual to spirituality." This statement is disastrous.

- "Spirituality" is not the end of the road. I've known any number of people who were "spiritual," and some of their lives would make John Wilmot blush. God did not call us to be "spiritual." He called us to fear and love Him.

- Mr. Murray seems to conflate the perfectly true idea that the human conscience is in tune with the truths of the Catholic faith with the less defensible contention that the human consciece is superior, in some way, to the Catholic faith. In much the same way, a map of Vatican City is much better than the actual city itself because the map is so very convenient and portable.

- Bishops - not even American bishops, who have it very hard these days - are under no obligation whatever to permit the descration of the Body of Christ simply because those doing the descration think they ought to be allowed to do it. That Murray and his crew insist they are doing no such thing is not particularly reassuring; I'd trust the men with apostolic authority on this matter over those whose fellow travellers once brought the fulsome Wrath of God down upon Sodom. And of course, similarly, Lenny is quite insistent that he's not hurting the mice, or the bunnies, or the woman, and George was just being a Lennyphobe and betraying his own words about the Farm To Come when he shot Lenny in the back of the head.

- Finally, and most importantly (and most simply, to throw the rest of my bewildering production into sharp relief), the Church maintains the primacy of the well-informed conscience, but a conscience that disagrees with the Church is not well-informed.

It is very good to wish that all of the Children of God could be welcomed into Mother Church's embrace as Mr. Murray envisions, but one does not become one of the Children of God simply by saying it is so. Those who keep the law are what we're after, not those who just talk about it. Mr. Murray advises us to look to the scriptures to see if what he says is true, and we may indeed look to the words of Paul for the answer.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 would be a good place to start, maybe.

This post brought to you by Sinha Stout and staying up very late.


"Who did Jesus turn away?" he asks.

I do not understand these people who present Jesus as accepting sin. Have they READ the gospels? No, Jesus didn't deny anybody his forgiveness but they had to repent first and then go and "sin no more".

They preach 'hate the sin but love the sinner,' while pointing to the sins of others and ignoring their own.

In other words: "Our sins don't matter because other people sin too" - ? Talk about a non sequitur.

Jeff Miller

They also need a class in contradiction.

They can't know our heart, but we know their homophobes.

Conscience is king, but we don't respect the conscience of the person giving communion.


Oh, Jeff, you got it all wrong. MY conscience is king. Not yours, or the bishop's.


Here's a thought. A proactive bishop could really turn this into an opportunity. He could station several extra priests in confessionals during that Mass. During the homily, he could explain why the Church considers homosexual acts gravely sinful, and why people in a state of mrotal sin cannot receive communion. he then could say that the Church turns no sincere penitent away. As proof, he could say, all people wearing the rainbow sash may receive the sacrament of reconciliation and be subsequently admitted to communion. Upon which time they could either remove the sash, or be expected to be asked by the bishop whether they have received the sacrament of reconciliation.

I'm sure almost nobody would take him up on the offer, but it would turn the tables a bit, and provide a teaching opportunity for the cathedral parish.

Celestial SeraphiMan

There is one charge that must be addressed. What about soldiers who kill other human beings?

Carl Olson

There is one charge that must be addressed. What about soldiers who kill other human beings?

"All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war. However, 'as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed.'" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2308)

"The prohibition of murder does not abrogate the right to render an unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. Legitimate defense is a grave duty for whoever is responsible for the lives of others or the common good." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2321)

Celestial SeraphiMan

Thank you. Unfortunately, many people don't see the difference.

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