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A good priest needs your help January 5, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, foolishness, Latin Mass, scandals, sickness.

I’ve written before about the “debate” raging between the people of El Paso regarding the city providing benefits to gay partners  of city employees.   Recently, the people of El Paso voted to deny this kind of benefit.  The city council has determined to try to have that vote overturned in court – the favorite recourse of the marxist inspired left.  But sadder still, is the debate that has gone on within the Church, with one, lone, stalwart priest defending Church doctrine, and, it would seem, virtually the entirety of the diocese, including his bishop and brother priests, ranged against him (but, many of the laity are with him on this).  Many of these brother priests have “come out” in favor of gay marriage, ahem.  The priest in question is Fr. Michael Rodriguez, parish priest at San Juan Bautista Church.  He and his seeming nemesis, a Fr. Ed Roden-Lucero, have sparred again recently in the El Paso newspaper.  I present their respective op-eds courtesy culturewarnotes, with Fr. Ed’s first:

Grant health benefits, uphold will of God

By Ed Roden-Lucero, Guest Columnist

El Paso Times, Dec. 26, 2010. Opinion section, page 9B

      In a world of so much conflict and division, it is disturbing, even scandalous, that a group of Christian ministers have led a prejudiced campaign against the gay community of El Paso.
      The effort that has been made to deny health insurance benefits to same-sex partners amongst our city employees is both un-Christian and un-American.
      The framers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence did not qualify who has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are simply stated as being endowed upon every person by our Creator.
      We know from history that our country has not always lived up to the ideals enshrined in the Declaration and the Constitution. There have been times in our history when Americans, in the name of God, took positions favoring the exclusion of other groups in our society.
      Now, in our time and place, there are those who treat gay persons as if they are something less than human, undeserving of those rights that belong to every human being.
      Catholic Social Teaching states that every human being, regardless of any other circumstance, is entitled to a good reputation, fair employment, just wages, benefits, housing and a good education.
      In this teaching, the Church simply states that the dignity of every human person is God-given.
      Just as slavery and the extermination of Indians were grave social sins, so it is also to deny health benefits based on fundamentalist interpretations of isolated biblical passages.
      The ministers, Protestant or Catholic, who have driven the denial of health-benefits issue this year are the new mullahs of a Christian Taliban that are attempting to legislate and impose an extremist ideology that neither reflects the Gospel nor American values.
      This is an inhuman ideology that El Pasoans of all faiths should reject.
      In the Christmas narrative of Saint Luke’s gospel, it is said that shepherds were the first to receive the announcement of the Messiah’s birth. Shepherds were among the marginalized of their time; not considered clean or good people. Yet, to them, the angels sing, “Glory to God in the Highest. Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All.”
      Let traditional family values be based on goodwill to all.

Rev. Dr. Ed Roden-Lucero is a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of El Paso.

So, those opposed to the undermining of marriage and Catholic moral doctrine “are the new mullahs of a Christian Taliban that are attempting to legislate and impose an extremist ideology that neither reflects the Gospel nor American values.”  I’m glad Fr. Ed doesn’t  let his emotion get the better of him.  Wow, he certainly seems, ah….invested….. in this issue.

Now, Fr. Rodriguez:

Jesus Christ’s praise of John the Baptist is without parallel, “among those born of women, no one is greater than he” (Luke 7:28). Thus, in John the Baptist, a “voice crying out in the desert,” we’re given the greatest prophet.
      Well, how did he meet his end?
      Faithful to God’s law, John the Baptist rebuked Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee, and told him he couldn’t take his brother’s wife as his own. As a result, Herod had John arrested, bound, imprisoned, and eventually beheaded (Matthew 14:3-12).
      St. John the Baptist suffered martyrdom for crying out in defense of the institution of marriage!
      Fifteen centuries later, in England, another saint and martyr, Sir Thomas More, was beheaded for witnessing to the truth about marriage.
      Another political leader, this time King Henry VIII, sought to redefine marriage in order to suit his own particular agenda. The king wanted to obtain a “legal divorce” from his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, in order to marry Anne Boleyn.
      Thomas More, lord chancellor of England at the time, and second in rank and power only to the king himself, courageously opposed Henry’s sin. This cost More his life.
      St. Thomas More was beheaded on July 6, 1535.  He shed his blood out of love and fidelity to Christ, the Catholic Church, and the sacrament of marriage.
      Today, in the year of our Lord, 2010, in El Paso, Texas, a number of our City Council members appear to be morally blind, if not depraved. They seem intent on abusing their political power and undermining the institution of marriage, all in the pursuit of an agenda which could, at best, be described as misguided.
      If in the future, a majority of City Council members are adamant in seeking government recognition of same-sex unions under the cloak of “toleration, fairness, and equal rights,” then every single Catholic must reject these machinations which are tantamount to a blatant corruption of public morality.
      Catholics can never permit a “non-discrimination amendment to the city charter” which intends, or will allow, gravely sinful relationships to be equated with the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony.
      Rome has been very clear in mandating that all Catholics must oppose any and all government attempts to legalize same-sex unions.
      The U.S. Catholic bishops, in their November 2009 pastoral letter on marriage, have written, “One of the most troubling developments in contemporary culture is the proposition that persons of the same sex can ‘marry.’
      “This proposal attempts to redefine the nature of marriage and the family and, as a result, harms both the intrinsic dignity of every human person and the common good of society.”
      They teach further, “to promote and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman is itself a matter of justice.”
      The Roman Catholic Church is categorically opposed to the legalization of same-sex unions, and with good reason.
      This position has nothing to do with discrimination.
      Discrimination is against persons; we Catholics are opposing sinful actions. It’s irresponsible and irrational to ignore the essential moral distinction between a person and his/her actions.
      No one has a “civil right” to redefine the institution of marriage!
      It’s an utter breakdown in basic logic to speak about “fairness and equality” without first settling the issue of right vs. wrong! The latter is the moral foundation of the former!
      Dear Catholics, it’s in our blood to be voices crying out in the desert, witnessing to the truth with love!
      St. John the Baptist, pray for us. St. Thomas More, pray for us.

Hmmm…..one op-ed is full of appeals to emotion and straw men, the other uses Scripture, Church and USCCB documents, and sound reasoning to explain the issue in question.  Irrespective of the differing styles, Fr. Rodriguez makes some very salient points – in defending his views (and castigating others), Fr. Ed is not only defying numerous Scriptural prohibitions against gay sex (or trying to ‘normalize’ them, in this case), but also very plain, very clear, and repeated doctrinal guidance provided by the Vatican and by the USCCB. 

If you would like to contribute to the “conversation”, which I have read  is so critical these days, especially to those of a certain political bent, you can mail the bishop here, and send a copy to Fr. Rodriguez at the second address.  Please don’t call the bishop foul names or say he’s satan or anything like that, you can make your point without going over the top, and doing so hurts way more than it helps.  It is more important that you pray for Fr. Rodriguez and his continuing witness to Truth.  I have been remiss in doing so, but I will begin tonight.

His Excellency, Bishop Armando X. Ochoa
Catholic Diocese of El Paso
499 St. Matthews St.
El Paso, Texas 79907

Rev. Fr. Michael Rodriguez
San Juan Bautista Roman Catholic Church
5649 Dailey St.
El Paso, Texas 79905

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