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How Cardinal Burke handled the falling away and eventual return of a same-sex attraction afflicted Catholic November 3, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, Sacraments, sanctity, scandals, secularism, sexual depravity, Tradition, Virtue.

This is a great story from LifeSiteNews.  It demonstrates how true charity and true mercy – not the false, world- and elite- pleasing simulacrums of the same – can be put into practical action for the good of souls.

It seems there was a man afflicted by same-sex attraction that became a radicalized advocate for that lifestyle.  He left the Church in preference of his acting out his desires.  But, by the Grace of God, he eventually returned. Cardinal Burke played a role in that return and was the focus of the man’s anger and, you might even say, hatred of the Church, while he was lost in sin.  But like the prodigal son, he was welcomed home by a prelate who knows true charity from the false and self-serving modernist pretensions being paraded before the world by so many other Churchmen today.

There is so much in this post that I’m going to copy almost all of it, because it raises so many prescient points (I add emphasis and comments)

Former homosexual activist Eric Hess, writing three years ago in Celebrate Life magazine, broke with several cherished dogmas of militant homosexuality [they got the terminology right]  in recounting how he returned like the Prodigal Son and found a warm welcome from the man he once spurned.

Hess’ first heresy was to name the cause of his homosexuality—a dreadful relationship with an alcoholic father who frequently beat his mother “in addition to threatening me and my brother.” Hess writes how he reacted by looking for a substitute father in his teens and thought he had found one in a teacher until the latter took advantage of his vulnerability to seduce him[How many, Lord, have been similarly abused and converted into a life of sin and darkness?  I know from personal experience how incredibly a life lost in mortal sin can be, and yet millions are encouraged to fall into that sin even by those with major leadership roles in the Church.  How many of those who give such awful counsel are simply trying to justify their own sins is known only to God]

While this account dovetails with what psychology had concluded by the mid-20thcentury as an explanation for homosexuality and a basis for treatment, fierce lobbying by the homosexual lobby forced both the psychology and psychiatry professions into suppressing it in the mid-70s. Both groups now meekly toe the line dictated by the gay lobby, which preaches, without evidence, that homosexuality is innate, and therefore immutable and untreatable. [No small self-serving argument, there.  In how many other fields has “science” decayed from the pursuit of facts for the benefit of mankind to cooperation with the leftist agenda of certain self-anointed elites?]

But Hess goes further, ascribing to Pope Paul VI’s prediction that the Pill, by disconnecting sexuality from its Divine purpose, promoted not only homosexuality, but adultery, abortion, and embryonic stem cell use—all expressions of people reduced to “sexual objects.” [But what of the “gifts” those lost in sodomy bring to the Church?]

In 1995, after four years of trying to combine sporadic Catholic worship with fulltime homosexual cohabitation, Hess gave up, and melodramatically “boxed up all my crucifixes and Bibles and dropped them off at the office of the bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin with a letter renouncing the Catholic faith.” [Evidence of drama and attention-seeking?  Is this kind of over-dramatic behavior somehow explicable?]

That would be Bishop Raymond “Ivory Tower” Burke. To Hess’ surprise and chagrin, Bishop Burke responded kindly, saying he respected Hess’ decision but would pray for his return. A self-described “gay activist,” Hess was outraged at the bishop’s “arrogance,” and wrote back to accuse him of harassment and instruct him to never write again. But Bishop Burke did write again, one last, kind letter, promising to obey Hess’ dictate, but also promising, “if I should want to reconcile with the Church, he would welcome me back with open arms.”

Of course, Hess was having none of this, he thought, but when he told his lover three years later, after a short but intense period of prayer and discernment led by a parish priest, that he needed to return to the Church, the lover responded, “I knew all along that this day would come. Do what you need to do to be happy.”

Hess then describes the wonderful welcome he received. His parish priest heard his confession and found him a Catholic family to live with until he could find a new apartment. As for Bishop Burke, when Hess called at his office to reconcile, “he embraced me.” He also wondered if Hess remembered the package of Catholic objects he had left there in his anger, which, of course, Hess did. The bishop had kept them, in the belief that Hess would return, and now he gave them back.

Hess recounts how he then considered—and studied for—the priesthood but ultimately concluded his vocation was to “faithfully live the single life” in chastity. [Good discernment]

But some “apostate” priests (mostly in their 50s and 60s) still try to convince him, even from within the Confessional, that God wanted him to reactivate his homosexuality. These men were not helping him, he writes. “As someone who suffered in the state of mortal sin for many years, I assure you that there is no happiness outside of the moral order.” [Well this is just mortifying but is another data point confirming what many of us already know. So many priests are morally lost themselves and unable or unwilling to give direction to others in the right practice of virtue. How many of those priests who advised this man to return to his former life of sin are themselves lost in the same sin and give such counsel as a perverse means of assuaging their own consciences is again something known only to God, but the number is probably frightfully high.]

The man who has helped him was his bishop, who let him leave the Church so he could return to it. “While some malign Archbishop Burke for his fidelity to God, Church and all souls, I say that he is a true shepherd of the faithful and a present day Athanasius,” Hess wrote.

———–End Quote————

I do not have to imagine how devastating it can be to be trying to amend one’s life and to hear a priest tell you “Oh, that’s not a sin.  In fact, you need to do X and be yourself.”  Both my wife and I have experienced that directly, whether it be casting doubt on whether I was really an addict or telling my wife that 4 kids is enough and it would be fine to contracept – the latter without her even asking, she would never even consider such but the priest just volunteered it.  And that from one of the more ostensibly “orthodox” priests in our Diocese.

But this issue of whether to be active in sodomy or not is, I think, even worse, precisely because it has become so politicized and is such a cultural lightning rod.  So much ink is spilled on this matter of 1-2% of the population and their behavior it is just insane, but that is where we are at as a culture.  People are so deranged from right moral practice they have literally developed a reprobate sense and can no longer tell right from wrong.  And it is not just the politically liberal that are so afflicted, there are many proud Republicans that are thoroughly lost, morally.

Which is  just what satan wants.  He must be absolutely gleeful right now.  And who knows how many souls struggling to overcome some terrible affliction like sodomy or chemical addiction falls back into their sinful lifestyle based on the words of some possibly well-meaning but incredibly destructive priest?  I doubt the number is trivial.

Well, as much as these matters either edify or scandalize us, the only way to get out of this disastrous crisis is the personal practice of sanctity.  That must be the constant focus of all our efforts in this life of ours.  Begin every act with a prayer.  Constantly appeal to your guardian angel.  Pray the Rosary, stay close to Our Lady, and assist at the most reverent and traditional parish you can find.  Receive the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist as often as possible.  And pray without ceasing.  After that, do little acts of charity for those around you just for the sake of loving God and our fellow man, no matter how they may try us.

Dominus vobiscum!




1. Mitchell H. - November 4, 2014

That is a great story. I’ve seen some speculation on other blogs that this may explain the antagonism so many have toward Cardinal Burke – they hate him because he refuses to hate them back, and because the efficacy of his prayers suggests that their lifestyle is, in fact, a choice rather than something over which they have no control. Thoughts?

Baseballmom - November 4, 2014

You nailed it on the second part. When those suffering with ssa are able to overcome it through prayer, sacrifice and support the active sodomites get into a frenzied fury…. And when they do not overcome it but bear it patiently as a heavy Cross (living out their lives in holy purity) the frenzied roar continues….because in both instances the devil is denied…

2. TG - November 4, 2014

I read the story in Lifesite News also. Agree with your comments.

3. Brian E. Breslin - November 5, 2014

Good stuff, Tantum. Cardinal Burke is a quiet hero.

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