Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Lk 14:1-6 Let's Answer His Question

Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

On a Sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees...In front of him was a man suffering from dropsy.  Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees...asking, "Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath or not?"

Guess who continues to be one of the Pope's biggest fans?  Sir Elton John.  Recently, he said the following:  "He is compassionate, loving man who wants everybody included in the love of God...He is courageous and he is fearless, and that's what we need in the world today...Make this man a saint now, OK?" 

The heart of the matter.  Much has been said in the secular and religious world regarding the most recent Synod on the Family.  And most of it has centered on the original mid-term document (Relatio post disceptationem) regarding homosexual people.  Many secular and religious commentators were shocked and/or surprised by the honest and welcoming statements that came out from the Synod, namely paragraph 50: 

Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community. Are we capable of providing for these people, guaranteeing [...] them [...] a place of fellowship in our communities? Oftentimes, they want to encounter a Church which offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of this, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?

I must admit that after reading this, I, too, was somewhat surprised by it all, but I was not shocked.  I was somewhat relieved.  The Synod's Fathers asked a very honest question - a question that urgently needed to be asked:  Are we capable of providing for these people a place of fellowship in our communities? 

From the Gospel passages, it is evidently clear the Lord exercised His mission and ministry of welcoming, healing, forgiving and saving far from the homes of Pharisees and scribes and well outside the houses of worship (synagogues and Temple). 

People in need did not come to the Lord, at least not at first.  He went to them.  Pope Francis has picked up on this obvious fact.

Are people avoiding you? 
Are sinners afraid of you? 

Are you afraid of sinners? 
Are you avoiding people? 

Is our Church avoiding certain people, especially those in irregular situations?  Are young people avoiding the Church like the plague, and not just for confession but also for marriage???

The Church's problem may not be that her message isn't getting out into the world.  Her problem may actually be that her members are not getting out into the world! 

The Holy Father is not afraid to speak with those who disagree with him.  Twice he has accepted the invitation of a leading atheist to be interviewed.  The outcome?  The atheist asked him to bless his family.

Jorge Bergoglio is not afraid to engage in serious dialogue with the rough and tough of this world.  As Archbishop of Buenos Aries, he's had to negotiate with radical right-wingers, fanatical left-wingers, military assassins and political despots.  He's had to sit down with big shots!  But before I forget, he's never forgotten the poor or forgotten.  As Archbishop, he was routinely found mingling among the poor from the slums surrounding Buenos Aries.  Did Bergoglio ever imagine himself being in Rome?  Never.  That's probably why he is today the head of the Roman Catholic Church.  Blame it on God and on his prayer life, nothing else.

Was the Sabbath made for man?  Are we capable of providing for homosexual people a place of fellowship in our communities?  Great question! And Pope Francis is asking the leading figures of the Church to pray long and hard before answering his question.  In all honesty, it is similar to a question posed two thousand years ago by the Lord to the leading figures of the house of Israel:  "Who among you, if your son fell into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?"

Regrettably, we are told "they were unable to answer his question."

God forbid this happens again.

The critics of Christ thought He was throwing out the rules.  He wasn't.  He was simply following the Father's Golden Rule:  Never give up on anyone. 


  1. I am deeply troubled by this blog and the whole synod for that matter. When will our Catholic leaders be real men of Christ and defend the Truth?

    Why does the Catholic Church need to pander to groups of people who identify themselves by their sinful actions and who show “no intent to repent” and stop their sinful actions? What are we going to have, welcoming banners that say: “welcome all sodomites, welcome all child molesters, welcome all rapists, welcome all demons.”

    In John 6:56-67, Jesus said “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him……Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”……Jesus knew from the beginning, the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him……As a result, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him (Jesus).”

    Did Jesus run out after those who could not accept his teachings? No way. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus tested the faith of his disciples and many others. Christ spoke the Truth. Those who accepted it, repented and lived by it were saved. Not others!

    St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians, 6: 9-11. “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

    Matthew 7: 19-20, Jesus said “Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire (hell!!). So by their fruits you will know them.”

    Did Jesus go out of his way to save the “bad trees” or Judas or the Pharisees? No way. Matthew 10: 38, Jesus said “Whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.”

    It appears that Elton John is only a fan of this Pope because he somehow (wrongly) thinks that the Pope is condoning Elton’s sinful lifestyle. So why do you highlight a pop culture sodomite? This continues the devils deception in the media.

    The Catholic Church should present its doctrines and “deposit of the Faith,” and not water down the Truth for sinners who are not repenting and, thereby, are not worthy of Christ. If gays or divorcees don’t like it, then they have 40,000 protestant choices to find watered teachings that fit their lifestyles.

    Signed, Saint Paul of Scriptures and Sword

  2. "Those who accepted it, repented and lived by it were saved. Not others!"

    Really? So we are saved because we are good or are we saved because God is good? When was the last time you sent to confession? So you've sinned since your baptism?

    Your numerous quotes from Scripture are a diversionary tactic. Fr. A never argued that gay marriage or gay activity is not sinful. But there are many good people who struggle with serious sin and participate in the life of the Church. I would even dare say there are many good gay people who love God and believe their lifestyle is not sinful. This is what the Pope (and Church) is dealing with.

    Did the Lord not touch sinners? Did he not reach out to sinners? Did they sometimes think they were right?

    "Did Jesus go out of his way to save the "bad trees" or Judas or the Pharisees? No way."

    I can't believe you wrote this! Apparently, you forgot about St. Paul and that he was a Pharisee and definitely a bad tree! Somehow you must have forgotten about all the other bad trees who converted and today are saints.

    THINK! JESUS went after the "bad trees" ALL THE TIME!

    "It appears that Elton John is only a fan of this Pope...."

    Key word: "appears." Now we are talking...And yes, appearances can be deceiving. That's why we leave the judging up to God and we stop playing God.
    You are putting your thoughts into other people's thoughts and your words into other people's words. You should stop assuming, which is never a good idea for a Christian.

    Everything that Elton John said about the Pope was in no way offensive, derogatory or inflaming. It wasn't even Anti-Catholic, anti-Christian, anti-clerical! It was kind and respectful. He was not always like that, which makes it even more interesting. Maybe he is having a St. Paul moment, and for you to say he is not is going too far. Watch out, you may find yourself among the Pharisees and scribes who were so confident in their opinion of others.

    Signed by, Amazing Grace

    Why do you highlight a pop culture sodomite? Because the Gospel is full of sodomites and transgressors that experienced the mercy and compassion and love of God and like Newton said, "we may be very well surprised to find in heaven."

    The Catholic Church should present its doctrines and "deposit of the Faith." It has. It has never watered down the faith. But it is in the business of saving souls, not sending them off to others.

    This is my take on your comment.

    Signed by Amazing Grace

  3. "St. Paul of Scripture and Sword" brings up some good points. My concern is not so much if the Church can "welcome" gay people. Rather, my concern is how to "welcome" gay couples and families. Is this even possible? Of course, reaching out to others is the mission of the Church. But after that? What happens next?

  4. continued...
    Jesus presented the Truth. If sinners accepted the Truth and repented for their sins, then they had a chance at salvation. Jesus did not go out of his way to try to save unrepentant sinners who continued dismissed His Truth. Perfect example was Jesus’ treatment of the 2 criminals next to him on the cross: Luke 23: 39-43, “Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”” So Jesus clearly had the opportunity to “save the other criminal dying on the cross next to him” but Jesus didn’t. Jesus could have said, “Look bad criminal guy, I really am the Son of God and you have about 60 seconds before you die to change what you said to me, repent for your sins, or else you will burn in Hell forever. Really, I’m not joking!” No Jesus didn’t do this even though Jesus had the opportunity at the critical moment right before the bad criminal’s death. Jesus presents the Truth and lets our free will determine the outcome.

    In his 1968 Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI wrote concerning contraception, but this also applies to gay relationships: “It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching. There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a "sign of contradiction." She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical. Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter. It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man. In preserving intact the whole moral law of marriage, the Church is convinced that she is contributing to the creation of a truly human civilization.”

    Elton John only likes the Pope because (it appears) Elton thinks the Pope is condoning gays’ sinful lifestyles. As reported by LifeSiteNews, Elton has shown zero tolerance toward religions that don’t endorse homosexuality, saying in 2006 that he would “ban religions completely.” Elton did not say he would starting repenting and not do sodomite sinning again. Catholics should not pander to Elton’s lifestyle--an evil example for our children—I don’t care how famous he is.

    In conclusion, the Gospels and our authentic Catholic Faith teach us that our lack of tolerance for gay sins has to made perfectly clear, so that gays don't try to claim that the Catholic Church is making an implicit endorsement of gay lifestyles as Elton John seems to believe. This is how we help to save their souls, not by just going along to get along. Celibate people with same sex attractions are always welcomed. Gays can come to our Holy Catholic Church (as they do today) only if they accept the Catholic teachings and repent of their sins, and not try to change our Catholic Church, nor pervert the teachings of Jesus Christ (that could result in all of us going to hell). If gays can’t do this, then they should remain outside the Catholic fellowship. And that’s the gospel truth.

    Defending authentic Catholicism,
    St. Paul of Scriptures & Sword

  5. (please place above my last comment)

    Mr./Ms. “Amazing Grace” (which is a Protestant hymn, by the way):

    Your reply shows a lack of Catholic knowledge, so your responses are distorting authentic Catholic teachings. Jesus did not go out of his way to try to save sinners who subsequently dismissed His Truths and remained unrepentant. Jesus went out of his way to present the Truth, but then let people’s eternal lives get determined by their choices. All the people Jesus saved were repentant and fearing of God. St. Paul was repentant and changed his sinful ways from that Damascus moment forward; St. Paul didn’t say “God, I’ll gradually reduce the killing of Christians to a minimum. But thanks for accepting me as I am.”

    You seem to have a view that the Catholic Church should change to become more protestant (as your name implies). As I said, the world already has 40,000 versions of protestant churches and doesn’t need another one. What the world needs is a true/clear/constant/strong voice of the New Testament as taught by the Catholic Church for 2,000 years. Not a fashionable church that make up rules to fit a self-centered world of today. Look how the Catholic Church is thriving in Africa: the Catholic Truth works when people learn the authentic Catholic Faith. There were likely many more sodomites and divorcees at the time of Christ (for the Roman Empire was a very pagan place as the U.S. is becoming), so Jesus could have pandered to such unrepentant sinners if He so desired. He didn’t. The Catholic Church already offers extreme Mercy to anyone who goes to confession and is truly repentant; nothing else is necessary except for Bishops and Priests to be true to Catholic doctrine. Look at how the New York Dioceses are pandering to immoral lifestyles (the Bishop allowing gay organizations to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade)…and its only resulting in 100s of closed Churches/Schools. We don’t need that in Texas!

    John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.” Hence, what we need from the Catholic Church is to guide us about how to obey God in a very troubled world. Period. Catholics are taught we are not saved by God’s goodness alone, but also by our faith, works, sacraments and lack of mortal sin on our souls when we die, etc. Many protestants believe we are saved by faith alone and God’s goodness. So on this point, your response is not Catholic. (Yes, I strive to go to confession every time I get my haircut…and my hair currently quite short).

    You say that “many good gay people who love God and believe their lifestyle is not sinful.” Well, then these people are sinning as relativists, not Catholics, and this by definition makes them not “good.” It is our job as Catholics to teach them that the sodomite lifestyle is sinful, but many may not want to hear this and call us “haters” instead. Protestants call everyone “good.” According to whom and what standard. Recall Matthew 19:16-17--Now someone approached Jesus and said, “Good teacher, what must I do to gain eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? There is only One who is good (God). [Jesus said] If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

    Your point about “judging” also sounds straight out of the protestant handbook. Catholics have the spiritual works of mercy, which includes Fraternal Correction, that came straight from the Bible: Matthew 18: 15-17, “If your brother sins, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church. If he refuses to listen even to the Church, then set him outside the fellowship of the Church.”

    to be continued...
    St. Paul of Scriptures & Sword

    1. "Your reply shows a lack of Catholic knowledge, so your responses are distorting authentic Catholic teachings."

      Really? Interesting thought...But regardless of your baseless claim, let me be a bit more logical than you, for it is YOU who are distorting Catholic teaching since it is YOU who have the problem with the Synod (and maybe even with our Pope), which means YOU have a problem with Catholicism, which means YOU have a problem with our Church. If anyone sounds rebellious or constipated (Protestant), then it is you.

      Oh, and by the way...yes, Amazing Grace is a Protestant hymn. But it is also our Catholic theology - that Grace is amazing! There's even a Catholic book called "Amazed by Grace."

      How superficial and ridiculous you sound! Honestly.
      How obnoxious and assuming, as well.

      Do you really think that people don't know the hymn? Thanks for nothing.

      Your biblical quotes also show a complete distortion of Sacred Scripture. You quote and you do not understand what you quote. You take verses and use them only to back up your own biased and unintelligible position. Again, must I remind you that Scripture comes from the Church, and the Church is the mother of our Scriptures and that the Scriptures are a product of the Church (and Holy Spirit). Hence, EVERY QUOTE THAT YOU REPORT DOES NOT IN ANY WAY GO AGAINST THE TEACHINGS OF THE SYNOD, for either the Synod Fathers are wrong or YOU are wrong in interpreting Scripture. wish to imply sublime understanding of Scripture. Which, of course, would be a typical Protestant mentality, where Scripture needs no interpretation or magisterial interpretation.

      Regardless, your elementary interpretation of scripture can be easily refuted, as it is being refuted as we speak, especially by our Holy Father. Let me give one gentle example of your childish understanding.

      The thief.

      Did Christ condemn the thief? Did he tell him that he was going to hell? For all your explanations and long winded commentary, you interpolate that the Lord, indeed, did condemn the man.But that's an immature, bogus and pitiful interpretation.

      Are you trying to tell everyone that Christ gives up on people???? Is that what you are trying to tell everyone? I think so. Did he give up on the rich young man? No. He let him reflect on his words.

      Same with the thief. The Lord did not say anything to the man. Hence, he did not condemn him. He didn't even condemn the wicked people who put him to DEATH!!!! Do you see how erroneous and childish your interpretation of Scripture is. HE DIDN'T EVEN CONDEMN THOSE WHO PUT HIM TO DEATH...yet, you are telling us he condemned the poor savage nailed to the Cross next to him????? How stupid can you be!!!

      Why didn't the Lord condemn the thief? Because he knows people's backgrounds. He knows how people were brought up; what they were taught; what their psychology is, etc... And he takes all that into consideration. "Father, forgive them, for they no not what they do."

      This is the reason for the wording in the Synod's statement. Now are you going to tell us that homosexuals DO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING? Then you might as well tell us that Christ did not know people very well, especially the Pharisees and the scribes.


      Let me ask you a question: Do you really believe that all gay people who live in a homosexual relationship will burn in Hell?

      Now, you can write a 2000 word essay to answer this simple question, and reference a ton of scriptural passages, but if the Catholic Church says it is possible for active homosexuals to get to heaven, dear may be the one who is lost...and you don't even know it.

    2. And by the way....

      To use the words of Elton John back in 2006 shows your lack of human nature. People change their minds. People convert. People say stupid things when they are younger and, hopefully, wiser things as they get older.

      You demonstrated nothing. You proved nothing, except your grasping for straws.

      Do you think the same way you did ten years ago, twenty years ago, thirty years ago?

      You do not know human nature. You're comments sound robotic and struggled. The first thing I learned when I went to school is to think.

  6. Please also publish my last comment which should be included with the comment just published. Thanks.

  7. Amazing Grace,
    I find your style condescending and overly dramatic, and downright sinful when you say “how stupid can you be.” (not constructive debating style, unless you’re trying to bully people) I’m not sure why Father Alfonse allows you to continue to be on this site if you personally attack people, but perhaps he trying to motivate an active dialogue to highlight poor catechesis (or maybe its just my penance for my sins :). I’m trying to arrive at the Truth to save souls, both gay and straight. I quote from Scripture and the Catholic Catechism to support these positions. I live by the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church that don’t support the view that God is one big huggable Barney who grants Heaven to everyone regardless of what they do; such a view is especially an insult to all the people martyred for their faith. I agree that God may extend mercy to everyone, but only if they are repentant as described below. On Judgment Day, God will adjudicate souls in a way that only He knows, and perhaps you are correct salvation will be universal. But such a view is not consistent with those expressed historically by numerous Popes, Doctors of the Church, Sacred Scriptures, the Catholic Catechism, etc. who say that a person can be damned to Hell for not repenting for only 1 mortal sin. I leave this discussion with language taken verbatim out of the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding Hell from
    IV. Hell
    1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: “He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him forever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”

    1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna,” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.

    1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

    1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
    Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth.”

    1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance

    1. Saint Paul of the Sword - Where on earth did you come from, blasting Father's blog with scriputure quotes and full length passages from the Catechism? Speak of evangelistic overkill and a tad bit fanatical in your approach. Amazing Grace doesn't deserve your judgment and sarcastic insults. If I was considering becoming a Catholic, I'd be turned off by your demeanor. Consider it a gift that Father Alfonse allows you to post comments. He can decide to erase your posts at any time.

    2. St. Paul of the Sword. I find your comments condescending. This is Amazing Grace.

      First, I was a Protestant. Second, I was ignorant of Catholic doctrine. Why not admit one thing: You jump to conclusions. And you fall flat on your face.

      Debate? What debate??? You enjoy debating yourself. You must read as well as you listen: poorly. You're debating against yourself.

      Who is questioning the existence of Hell? Who is questioning who goes to Hell? Who said that God is a Barney like character? Only you.

      When I comment, I take a quote from you. I don't create my own quotes for you. Notice the difference.

      You know how to quote the CCC and Scripture. Good for you. You're like a parrot. Since you clearly do not know what we are debating and therefore are attempting to smother the debate with material that is not being debated. Poor choice.

      You weren't able to answer the question. Funny, that's the title of this meditation. You're a Pharisee that cannot see beyond the Law. You're a scribe that can only repeat or regurgitate Scripture...and you can see how well the scribes did in identifying the person of Jesus Christ.

      Do you see any similarities? Aren't they obvious!

      But read carefully what comes from the Catechism of the Church:

      "Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren." [NOTICE THE WORDING...the POOR and the LITTLE ONES]. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him forever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”

      For mortal sin to exist, there are three conditions that must be met. You assume just because someone commits a mortal sin that they are destined to hell. WRONG! And you should know that by now.

      Again, you knowledge of Scripture is amateurish. You're knowledge of Catholicism is pitiful. You read but you do not understand. You speak but you do not listen.

      The Pharisees and Scribes knew the law exceptionally well. You don't know the law of Christ.

      Pope Francis said something that was remarkable: "The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules...Ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all."

      This is our Pope. This is our Supreme Pontiff.

      You got some work to do to know and love the Catholic Faith. Get to work, please, and stop wasting our time with long comments that are one sided monologues.

      - Amazing Grace (Catholic theology 101)

  8. Regarding how to welcome homosexual persons, you welcome them like one would welcome any other sinner. If in the state of grace, in full communion. If not in the state of grace, with the invitation to live a life of true freedom in Christ. Practically speaking for homosexuals in particular, the Church has Courage ( , a support group for those with same sex attraction seeking to live faithfully.

  9. Separately, regarding the facts of the synod, it needs to be clarified that the "welcoming" language in the Relatio Post Disceptationem has not been endorsed by the Church or even the synod. The language did not survive in the final report, Relatio Synodi, ( It did not because the language was deeply flawed. What in the world does it mean when it suggests church communities need to learn to value homosexual's "sexual orientation" ? Church doctrine has always been clear - you love the sinner, not the sin. You welcome the sinner but invite them to turn away from their life of slavery in sin and into a new freedom in love. You don't value stealing, lying, fornication, contraceptive sex, etc., nor the tendency to engage in them. The RPD document was rushed to publication without being voted on by the synod, and most likely, reflected the intentional manipulation of a handful of cardinals and bishops to lobby the rest of the synod through the news media. It did great damage to clarity on the Church's moral teaching and continues to cause much confusion despite the fact that the paragraph was in fact replaced in the synod's final document, Relatio Synodi, with paragraph 55, which itself did not even garner the necessary 2/3 vote required for acceptance:

    55. Some families have members who have a homosexual tendency. In this regard, the synod fathers asked themselves what pastoral attention might be appropriate for them in accordance with the Church’s teaching: “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family.”Nevertheless, men and women with a homosexual tendency ought to be received with respect and sensitivity. “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” )Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, 4."

    This paragraph is clear that it is not the tendency that is valued, but the homosexual person. BUT even this paragraph was not approved by the synod as it failed the required 2/3 vote even though it essentially just quotes existing church teaching.

    See this article for the breakdown of the votes for the various controversial paragraphs:

    Some additional breakdown:

    This article for some of the politics behind the mid-term report:

    And this radio interview with Janet Smith (starts at around 14 minutes) regarding the internal politics and the handling or mishandling of the communication from the synod:

    and Cardinal Pell and others post-synod discussion:

    and interview with Dr. Eduardo Echeverria regarding problems in the synod process: (about 11 minutes in)

    The homosexual tendency should be heroically struggled against with virtue nourished by the grace available through the Church. The homosexual is not alone in this struggle to live by Christ's teaching to live a pure life. It is shared in by singles and religious who must struggle to be celibate in a world that is sometimes lonely and always filled with the temptations of pornography and easy sex, and married couples who have committed themselves to a lifetime of monogamy and who must be open to children in every sexual embrace (a teaching that most self-professed Catholics routinely disregard because of its difficulty).

    1. "Separately, regarding the facts of the synod, it needs to be clarified that the "welcoming" language in the Relatio Post Disceptationem has not been endorsed by the Church or even the synod."

      Wrong! The Italian version maintains the original language. It is only the English version that was modified. And, for your information, the official language of the Synod was not English, but Italian.

      It is also remarkable how the Holy Father insisted that the original English Relatio be maintained on the Vatican's website. It's still there.

  10. Just to respond to “Anonymous” directly.

    I think it’s a sign of the poor state of Catholicism when “Catholics” say they are turned off by the quotes from the Bible and the Catholic Catechism. These are our main sources of the Truth for learning about Jesus Christ, not just what self-centered feelings and protestant style opinions lead us to believe. If Father Alfonse doesn’t like my John the Baptist strong “voice of one crying out in the desert” then he can cut off my head! And God will reward me for it. However, even King Herod liked to listen secretly to John when he was imprisoned.

    The Catholic Church is the Bride of Christ and so we should behave like it is, not just some social club where people go along to get along. It’s time for Catholics to be strong voices to defend our Faith and help our priests proclaim the Fullness of the Truth in order to save souls. Hell is for real, people: shouldn’t Truth be enough motivation for someone looking to join a Church, not just one where the music is more sappy or the sins are more readily dismissed? The Catholic Church has always taught both sides of the equation for salvation: Heaven and Hell. Joy and Wrath. God’s mercy and a person’s free will of repentance. “Whoever is not with me (said Jesus) is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (Matthew 12:30). The big huggable "always merciful without repentance" Barney God is a creation of modern mis-guided man.

    The appearance of “truth” and discipline in ISIS is what is motivating blinded young people to join it, not how big the smiles of the ISIS members are or the fashion forward styles of the their robes.

    What I consider a gift is my Catholic Faith and my freedom to “shout it from the mountain top” to reach out and “baptize all nations!”

    You are correct that Amazing Grace does not deserve my judgment for only God will judge on Judgment Day. But AG does deserve my Catholic fraternal correction when AG distorts half-baked Catholic catechesis and does so in a self-centered style resembling that of a spoiled rotten teenage girl.

    Defending authentic Catholicism,
    St. Paul of Scriptures & Sword

    1. "I think it’s a sign of the poor state of Catholicism when “Catholics” say they are turned off by the quotes from the Bible and the Catholic Catechism."

      Again, just to make it clearer: The problem is not with you quoting Scripture or the CCC. The problem is how it does not answer your own concerns regarding the Synod and the Pope and how the Church should deal with gay people.

      You quote from both these two sources and can't seem to wrap the Synod and Church around your head. Reason? Because you don't know the primary sources: The Church, the Pope, and the Magisterium.

      The Bible and the CCC both come from the Church.

      - Amazing Grace

      Maybe you should consider Protestantism.

  11. We need to pray and offer a Mass to our friends and family members who struggle with homosexual tendencies. They carry a very heavy cross in this oversexualized society. Also too, we need to pray & fast for our Priests who are bombarded with temptations by the Evil one, afterall, they are on the front lines of the spiritual war. And, pray for the women and young girls who choose to lure priests into these temptations, allowing the devil to operate through them to ensare , to poison and potentially erode their priestly vocation.

    St Anthony, St Michael and St Joseph, pray for us!

  12. The Holy Spirit has revealed the truth! This website is not run by Father Alfonse, but is run by the teenage girl calling herself "Amazing Grace." This site is a fraud and Father Alfonse should be ashamed for attaching his name to it. The devil works in mysterious ways......

    1. Okay, Saint Paul or whoever you're true identity. You are way out of line!! Take a long look at your last few comments. Very offensive and rude! You are taking your “authentic Catholicism” to a fanatical extreme which is not appealing to this audience. Keep in mind Catholics are **not** turned off by quote in the bible or the Catholic Catechism. However, they are turned off when the Truth’s “message” is delivered in a sarcastic, overly critical, and hostile fashion. Please stop personally attacking Amazing Grace and others because they don’t live up to your “standards” of how the Catholic faith should be practiced.

      Pope Francis wrote in “Evangelium Gaudium” - “It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but “by attraction”. I do not find your comments at all attractive. Catholics are called to evangelize to others in a loving and compassionate way, not “proselytize” in demeaning ways.

      This website is not a fraud. Father Alfonse is the sole owner of this blog. He graciously allows like-minded individuals to post on his behalf when he feels is necessary. He is not at all ashamed of the content. He expresses his opinions in ways that are faithful to the Magisterium, doctrine, and Holy scripture!

  13. You're funny!

    - Amazing Grace (teenage girl...for the moment)

    Got to get back to school :)

  14. LOL! Let's see what this BAD girl thinks up next.


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