A Matter of Public Scandal

Posted by Censor Librorum on Jul 19, 2009 | Categories: Bishops, Faith, Lesbians & Gays, Scandals

While researching conservative/ultradox Catholic sites for comments on the recent papal encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, I came across this news item on American Papist:

“Jim Corcoran, the owner of one of Canada’s largest and most lavish spas, has launched a human rights complaint against the Bishop of Peterborough Ontario for refusing him permission to continue to serve as an altar server. jim

Corcoran admits that he is homosexual and lives with another homosexual man, but says that he follows the Church’s teaching and lives a chaste lifestyle. According to the Catholic Register, Bishop Nicola De Angelis asked Corcoran to accept his decision that he not serve on the altar based upon the bishops’ desire to avoid public scandal.

Corcoran is seeking monetary damages of $25,000 from the bishop and $20,000 each from 12 parishioners who complained to the bishop about Corcoran and his roommate having been invited by the local priest to serve on the altar at Masses.”

Here’s what the American Papist blogger, Thomas Peters, had to say about the issue:

“The matter is tricky because Corcoran claims to be living chastely with his live-in boyfriend.

If that previous sentence didn’t quite make sense to you, you’re on to something. Corcoran would be an object of scandal if he was a heterosexual man claiming to be living a “chaste lifestyle” with his live-in girlfriend. The fact that he is an open homosexual exacerbates the problem.

As I’ve said before, the homosexual agenda cannot be reconciled to biblical Christianity, and the two movements cannot co-exist peacefully in society (they certainly do not appear to be co-existing well now). This episode, to my mind, is one more case which proves the truth of that claim.”

Another Catholic blogger, Terry Nelson of Abbey Roads, had this to say:

“Corcoran says that he follows the teaching of the Church regarding homosexuality and that he lives a chaste life with his friend:
“I’m a chaste homosexual and practise my faith,” he said. While Corcoran does live with another gay man, they are devout Catholics who refrain from sexual activity in accordance with church teaching, he said.

Nothing wrong with that and besides, that is all the Church asks – aside from requiring same-sex attracted people to refrain from promoting the homosexual lifestyle. Which may explain further why the bishop felt it necessary to intervene – I trust the men themselves had no intention of doing that – flaunting their orientation or promoting it – however other parishioners may have understood it differently.

This issue is not a matter of housing or job discrimination, but doctrine and the spiritual care of souls – scandal can drive people away from the Church, as this case may have already done.”

I agree with both these men—scandal has certainly driven many good people away from the Church.

– the scandal of hypocritical  bishops and priests, who promise to treat with dignity and respect lesbian and gay Catholics who live in accordance with Church teaching.   That is a lie. What they really mean is that homosexuals must live alone and stay in the closet.   Otherwise, they are “flaunting” their lifestyle  by acknowledging their sexual orientation.

-the scandal of bishops who moved  pedophile priests around from parish to parish  like a street con man doing a three card monty.   Too bad about the kids.   A pervert priest is better than a woman priest or married priest.

-the scandal of Pope John Paul II, who should have publicly  knocked the biretta off the head of Bernard Cardinal Law to show the whole world he would not tolerate clerical sexual improprieties and abuse…did no such thing.   Instead, he expressed his “sadness,” got Law out of the country and protected by Vatican immunity  so he wouldn’t be invited to testify at any of the 450+ lawsuits against the Archdiocese.   Cardinal Law is now the Archpriest of the Papal Basilica di Santa Marie Maggiore.. JPII was also a big fan of Legionaries of Christ founder, Father Marcial Maciel. Obviously, his interest in comely seminarians and hunky priests didn’t bother the pope.   The money and men he brought in cancelled out any whisper of scandal. law-pope

Finally, the scandal of the 12 parishioners of St. Michael’s parish who petitioned the bishop to remove a gay man as an altar server because of who he is.   In their mean-spiritedness they did not give him the benefit of doubt when he said he lived in accord with church teaching. I guess expressions like “Christ’s love” and “God’s love” and “remove the log in your own eye” bounce off their righteousness like flies off a screen door.

I will remember Mr. Corcoran in my prayers.   And I hope he wins his lawsuits. Better still, I hope he is reinstated as an Eucharistic Minister with apologies from all concerned starting with the bishop.

Read Mr. Corcoran’s account of what happened  here.

Read a letter from another parishioner to Mr. Corcoran here.

Read William F. Buckley’s famous  article on Bernard Cardinal Law – “Lawless in Boston”  here.