Patrick Archbold was the sole speaker at the May Argument of the Month Club. Pat is a former writer for the National Catholic Register, and writes on Creative Minority Report along with his brother Matt. Matt generally writes about fun things like puppies, kittens, and babies. Pat writes about how they are all going to die.
Patrick’s talk was about the “gay marriage” debate. He explained that we shouldn’t hold any hope that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of traditional marriage because they have already struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. The plan has already been laid for them to rule that gays can get married and that the government will provide legal recognition of their “marriage”. Additionally, there will be punishment for those who refuse services to gays. Catholic schools will likely be sued out of existence. Churches will be sued and lose their tax-exempt status.
He pointed out that if you don’t think this is too far into the future, you can look around at what is going on today. Christian bakers and florists are being sued, shut down, and being imposed with criminal fines for denying services to homosexuals looking for goods for their “gay wedding”. Soon, Christians will be going to jail. Mobs will form and destroy businesses. There is already evidence of this with what happened to Memories Pizza in Indiana. The irony of it all? How many gay weddings are having pizza as their caterer of choice? Yet, they don’t care. If you aren’t with them, you are against them and must be destroyed.
This is only where we are at currently and this is only with one example. But really, there is a deeper issue that is the root of all of this. Pat thinks, and I happen to agree, that the reason we are losing the culture war is because its a spiritual battle, and we are losing ammunition. Simply put, Catholics and most Christians aren’t practicing their faith. Period.
The Catholic Church has not changed any doctrine. However, with the way she behaves by both her members and prelates, she acts as if she has. Many Catholics do not believe that the Catholic faith is necessary. Most Catholics believe you can practice whatever faith you choose whether it be Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, atheism, etc. They believe Hell is reserved for those who are Hitler, or worse. You can see this attitude not just within the laity, but within the hierarchy as well.
Why do so many Catholics not believe in the faith? Because the teachers have not taught the faith. These teachers haven’t passed on the catechism, or the dogmas, or the doctrines that the Catholic Church proclaims. Not only are the teachers at fault, but the religious, the priests, and the bishops have failed to proclaim the Truth, and lately the Church has failed to stand firm in these teachings when confronted by the world.
Shortly after the Second Vatican Council, contraception was accepted by most of the Cardinals. Even with Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae upholding the teaching that contraception was immoral and forbidden by Catholics to use, the prelates went against the teaching and told the laity that it was okay. The rest of the prelates stayed silent. The teachings of the Church didn’t change, but the behavior of the Church was as if she did.
Another example Pat gave was a homily given by his parish priest. The Gospel for that day was Luke 14:8-10, in which we are to take the lower seat, so that we can be given the higher seat. From this reading, his pastor came to the convoluted idea that we weren’t to look down upon other religions because they are just as equal to ours. After the Mass, Pat asked him to clarify, in which the priest stated “the Church abrogated the teaching on no salvation outside of the Church”. There are many stories similar to this one of priests giving false teachings right in the middle of their homilies. This has been going on for decades.
We as Catholics must stand for all Truth. Not this Truth or that Truth, but all of it.
A few months ago, Reinhard Cardinal Marx, the head of the German Episcopal Conference, threatened schism if the upcoming Synod of the Family did not allow the divorced, remarried, and active homosexuals to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Vincent Cardinal Nichols who is the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales celebrated a Mass honoring homosexuals. They aren’t trying to live their life according to the Church, but are those who want the Church to change her teachings. This came two weeks after he criticized a group of priests who petitioned the Vatican to uphold Catholic doctrine at the Synod of the Family.
And then we have Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York. In the infamous Meet the Press interview, when asked about incredibly poor, but fabulously gay football player Michael Sam, Cardinal Dolan said “Bravo, good for him!”
In the last election, “Catholic” Governor Andrew Cuomo had no opposition from the Cardinal. A few days before the election, Cardinal Dolan wrote a letter to the New York Times stating that Catholics need to vote in line with their faith. That’s it. In fact, Cardinal Dolan left town and went across the country during this time. His actions left the New York Times befuddled as to why the Church just shrunk away from the fight.
Additionally, Cardinal Dolan applauded openly gay groups marching in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, even though his predecessor Edward Cardinal Egan said there would be no way that they would ever be able to march on his watch.
Finally, this takes us to the Synod of the Family at the Vatican. The Bishops at the Synod voted to remove faulty language from the final relatio that would be published. Pope Francis overrode their decision and the relation was published with the faulty language. What language was so important that Pope Francis wanted it included? “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community”. How can you accept and value something that the Catechism of the Catholic Church labels as grave sin?
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. CCC 2357
So what do we do? How do we fix this? We can’t. But God can.
What we can do, is preach the Truth, the whole Truth to the world and restore traditional Catholic worship. We must believe all of it no matter what, and we will pay the price for our beliefs.
While this was not your usual argument with two sides going back and forth, it was great to see Pat present a good argument for his position. We do need to restore traditional worship. We need to believe everything the Church proclaims, and we must practice this faith. Until then, our efforts will be in vain.