Oct 10, 2008

Church bulletin goes off the tracks

Click on this post's title to read a recent (Oct. 5) bulletin blurb in which Claretian Father Steve Niskanen, the pastor of San Gabriel Mission, says he cannot unequivocally support Prop 8, the defense of marriage initiative.

(Thanks to an anonymous commenter-tipster for the news about this bulletin blurb.)

Fr. Niskanen quotes from the California bishops' endorsement of Prop 8. But then he writes:

"I deeply respect and submit to the authority of our bishops and the force of traditional Catholic teaching limiting sexual relations to the love and life-giving commitment of heterosexual marriage. But I cannot in conscience unequivocally support Proposition 8 because I cannot in my heart of hearts say with certainty, at this time, that God would not call His gay and lesbian children into a faithful and lifelong covenant with each other."

A bit later, Fr. Niskanen writes:

"My belief is that gay persons, as gay, are good, and part of God's diverse creation. Their expression of love, though different from the majority, does, I believe, participate in both the weakness and selfishness of sin and the generosity and kindness of God's love. They, like the rest of us, are called to chastity; that is, sexual self-control and loving respect for the other in conformity with one's calling in life."

Um, according to that, are "His gay and lesbian children" supposed to have "a faithful and lifelong covenant with each other" with or without committing the sin of sodomy?

There is no "calling in life," and no Sacrament of Marriage, for homosexual "covenants."

Let's pray for this padre and hope he can clear up his thinking through prayer and the counsel of his brother priests and his superiors.

3 Comments:

Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Scandal is the only word I can use. You're allowed to have opinions in private, but never in the public, from the pulpit, bulliten, or whatever are you to ever express an opinion that is contrary to the Churchs' teaching.

Let us pray for Fr. he was just appointed there recently.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

From the San Gabriel Mission Weekly Bulletin, dated October 19, 2008...

Dear Parishioners of San Gabriel Mission:

The Peace of Christ be with you!

Two weeks ago, I presented in a bulletin letter an overview of the three Propositions (4, 6 and 8) on which our California Bishops’ Conference has taken an official position. I presented these positions in summary, but then added my own personal opinion regarding Proposition 8, framing it as a matter of my conscience. I regret and apologize for placing my opinions on the same level as our Bishops, “the authentic teachers of the faith.” I fully respect and support our Bishops’ position that Proposition 8 does not intend to infringe on the human and legal rights of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters; rather it seeks to preserve the restriction of the term “marriage” to the complementary, life-long partnership of the whole of life, open to the gift of children, between one man and one woman.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Steve Niskanen, CMF, Pastor.

3:16 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Tom,

Thank you very much for providing this material. Maybe you've seen by now that, thanks to you, I've included it in a post.

Please keep checking in here and commenting!

9:10 PM  

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