Two related stories catching my eye today.
First up, the following video, which contains objectionable material (to say the least) showing feminists in Argentina attacking a Cathedral and the Catholic men who were surrounding the Church attempting to protect it from vandalism. Many of the men are praying the Rosary:
The other is an opinion piece written by Cardinal Timothy Dolan that needs no introduction:
Pope Francis famously made headlines over the summer when he said in an interview, "If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?" His words made me grateful for the church's ministry, called Courage, which assists and supports people with a same-sex attraction to live virtuous lives, and EnCourage, dedicated to the spiritual needs of parents and relatives of those with same sex attraction.
Here we have a loving, welcoming, community, dedicated to helping those who strive to live as Jesus calls us to live. This is what our gay Catholics have long sought: a home, a welcome, a sense of inclusion in the church they love.
Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I learned of the cancellation of a talk by a retired priest of the archdiocese (a remarkably gentle and holy man, by the way), active in Courage, that was to be given, at their request, to parents of Catholic high school students, intended to help and support those parents whose children may sense a same-sex attraction.
The reaction to the planned lecture at Cardinal Spellman High School is a shame — one that distorts the very meaning of “tolerance.”
It seems that no one can talk of virtue anymore without, at the very least, being labeled out of touch with reality, and in this case, accused of far worse — spreading hatred. But didn't Jesus promise, "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God." (Mt 5:8) A pure heart is a chaste heart, a heart that loves others for who they are and not simply for what they can do or how they can satisfy me.
Is this not the way each of us wishes to be appreciated and desired by another? At the same time, however, we know our hearts are restless, unfulfilled, even in the best of love stories. Some of that restlessness is good — it attracts us to God and to Heaven — but some of it is dangerous, and can make us self-centered, promiscuous, irresponsible and inconsiderate of the good of others.
A pure heart leads to generosity, peace and fulfillment. We are all called to chastity — to keep God's gift of sexual love within marriage — and for married couples to live in faithful fidelity to one another, all in keeping with God's plan. Yes, sex is a beautiful gift from God, but we see the effects of the misuse of this gift all around us, don't we?
The epidemic of pornography, adultery, sky-high divorce rates, human trafficking, treating others as objects and not as people made in the image and likeness of God, all can be traced back to the lack of virtue and purity in our lives.
Which is part of what makes the intolerance of those who seek to drown out the church’s beautiful teaching so alarming. For individuals and groups to bully, to threaten, to protest, when a priest seeks to explain this timeless and timely message to parents who invited him to do so, is a scary precedent. We have gone from the days when the plea from some activists was “all we want is to live our lives in peace” to “you shall not have the right to present your teaching.”
Who is being intolerant here?
Let's not kid each other.
When you hear someone imploring that you be more tolerant, understand that in reality, they're asking you to shut the hell up.
It's that simple.
Coexist my rear-end.