Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What is truth? What is compassion and love?

The "What is truth?" line was made famous by Pontius Pilate in his confrontation with Jesus the day before His crucifixion. That continues to be the issue confronting all of us and particularly in present day America.

That comes to mind when I saw the protest by homosexuals against Catholic Co-Adjudicator Archbishop Nienstedt who is being castigated for simply restating the Catholic view of homosexual behavior.

So many in our post-modern society believe we decide what is true when in fact we have no such luxury. It's laughable really. Like saying we can legislate a change in the law of gravity.

The same thing applies to the issue of compassion and love. Nick Coleman doesn't see a lot of compassion in the Archbishop's comments. In fact the exact opposite is true. Compassion involves desiring the best for other people and if people are doing something which will harm them now and for eternity, it's the compassionate, loving thing to warn the people that what they are doing is putting their lives at risk. That's exactly what the Archbishop Nienstedt is doing as he states in his response to Coleman's column.

Here's the Archbishop's response to Coleman's charges:

In a Nov. 28 column, Nick Coleman accuses me of not being compassionate toward friends and relatives of persons with same-sex attractions. I vigorously deny the charge. For 13 years I prepared priesthood candidates for celebrating the Sacrament of Penance by counseling them to welcome persons with warmth, compassion and understanding. Anyone who has celebrated that same sacrament with me knows I follow my own advice.

What Coleman wants is for the church I represent to be accepting and compassionate toward homosexual acts and lifestyles. And that can never be.

Coleman further claims the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not say that homosexual acts are a "grave evil." What it does say is the following: "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (Genesis 19: 1-29, Romans 1: 24-27, 1 Corinthians 6: 10, 1 Timothy 1:10), tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' ... Under no circumstances can they be approved."

As a priest and bishop, I have the responsibility before God and in the name of Jesus Christ to call all men and women to conversion, the first step of which is recognizing sinful activity for what it is. Sometimes that is not a comfortable thing to do, but it is always the compassionate thing to do.




Way to go, Coadjutor Archbishop Nienstedt.


Troy said...

I wish they felt as strongly about divorce and adultery...but then again, why work about the plank in your own eye...

Anonymous said...

Yes. And what about domestic physical and sexual abuse? I wish we fought these from every pulpit and Christian publication. Something that hurts "the least of these" against their will. But that issue is too scary, too close to home.

And would they have us "love" people to the right by rejecting them from our families and friendships?

How will they ever know we are Christians? By our love? By our emphasis on all the wrong issues?