Haggard confesses

Haggard confesses

If confession is good for the soul, Ted Haggard is on the way to recovery. Haggard, who just resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, confessed to “sexual immorality”. In a letter read to his New Life Church in Colorado Springs, he said: “I am a deceiver and a liar. There’s a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life.”

First, my prayers go out to his wife and kids and family. This is a difficult burden to bear and a humiliation because he was so prominent. Haggard stepped down from his parish after a Denver gay prostitute accused Haggard of seeing him frequently and buying and using drugs.

Some have asked how Haggard could have been so stupid because as such a prominent figure (and keeping mind the fall of previous Evangelical leaders like Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker), he should have known he would be eventually found out. Those who say that just don’t understand the ways in which sin darkens the intellect, which is a nice way of saying that sin makes you stupid. Denial is a powerful tool that we use to pretend that our actions have no consequences.

There are also those who will call him a hypocrite for standing up against sexual immorality and gay marriage when he was himself guilty of sexual immorality. Sorry folks, but nearly every Christian is a hypocrite because we’re all sinners. Yes, we preach Christ crucified and we know that our sins are the cause of that crucifixion and yet we continue to sin. See “Denial” above.

I hope Haggard’s repentance is authentic and long-lasting. His days of public ministry are probably pretty much over, but he can spend a lot of time on his knees praying in reparation for the damage he has done to the Church and to the cause of maintaining Christian values. If only he were Catholic, he could experience the beauty of the sacrament of confession and receive absolution.

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  • Rhonda, I disagree.  The Church doesn’t make “gay men” live a life that’s a lie because no one is ontologically “gay.”  The Church knows that we are all fallen and that we all have different struggles and temptations.  We were created to be ordered towards a desire for that which we lack, to use Plato’s language, which is the opposite sex.  Because we are fallen, many feel temptations towards that which we have.  Christianity is about bearing one’s cross and suffering through the temptations.  For some, marriage is possible.  For others, it requires the single life.  With God, all things are possible.

  • This is what happens when the Church makes Gay men live a life that’s a lie.

    This is what happens when people continue to spread the lie that homosexuality is not immoral and refuse to listen to the Church, which Christ assured would have the guidance of the Holy Spirit on matters of faith and morality.

  • The man wasn’t honest with himself or with God, Rhonda.  Only He can heal us but sinc he denied he was sick, God could not heal him.

  • No, he didn’t do what he was supposed to do.  Where did the Church every say men who experience same sex attraction should marry to make the problem go away?  Look for it, but don’t hold your breath…

  • “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    There aren’t many people capable of living perfection and without sin. It’s why Christ died for our sins: so we could repent, convert, and try again.

  • Ah now I see: “Rhonda” is also “Rick O’Shea” and “Paul” and “Polly Wolly Doodle” and “Nicholas O’Brien” and “Sammy” and originally “Jesus Lover.”

    In other words, you are a dissenting Catholic who has posted quite frequently on this blog disagreeing with virtually everything: Latin in the Mass, my claim that I am not neoconservative, and so on, but most especially the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.

    Why the deception? Why not just use one name? What are you trying to hide?

  • The only (to my knowledge) aposolate to people with same-sex attraction approved by the Vatican (Pontifical Council to the Family) is courage.

    Read their website:

    Courage members are under no obligation to try to develop heterosexual attractions, because there is no guarantee that a person will always succeed in such an endeavour. Courage’s aim is to help persons with same-sex attractions develop a life of interior chastity in union with Christ. If any of our members wish to go to professionals to explore the possibility of heterosexual development, we will stand by them, by helping them to keep the deepening of their Catholic faith and obedience to Christ as their first priority.  Courage itself does not provide professional therapy.  Some of our members have found varying levels of heterosexual development to be a by-product of living a chaste life for a period of time; however, the goal and focus of Courage remains a life of interior chastity, humility, and holiness, which can be achieved by all, with God’s grace.

  • Rick, no one is ontologically homosexual and to experience same-sex attraction is not something “okay” any more than being an alcholic who doesn’t drink is “okay.”  It’s a disorder, an orientation towards sin.  That doesn’t mean the person who experiences ssa is a sinner, but then again, the people in Courage typically wouldn’t use the term homosexual.

  • It’s not a cop out. It’s a fact. Go back and read the proceeding of the APA meeting during which homosexuality was de-listed as a deviancy.

    And be careful of advocating that what occurs among animals is licit among humans. Many animals engage in cannibalism, promiscuity, and so on.

  • Rick, your quote proves what I said about Courage.  The quote says homosexual orientation and not homosexual person.  As their FAQ says, “We are even trying now to avoid using the term homosexual as a noun, or as an adjective directly describing the person (i.e. homosexual person). Although it takes more words, we prefer to speak of ‘persons with same-sex attractions’.”  A homosexual person is someone who is ontologically homosexual.  A homosexual orientation is an orientation that is homosexual, making no claims about the person.

    Liam, you are correct that the Magisterium has not said what I have said about homosexuality.  I am just offering my humble opinion, which I believe very firmly.

  • When you say, “This is what happens when people continue to spread the lie that homosexuality is not immoral . . . “ isn’t that a gross misstatement of Catholic teaching?

    No, it is not. The Church teaches that the homosexual is intrinsically disordered. I suppose I could have been more accurate by saying homosexual behavior, but in my view anyone who identifies himself as homosexual is different from someone who identifies as a person struggling with same-sex attraction.

    “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”—“Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons”, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1986.

    Also, the political act of 30 years ago is the foundation for what the medical associations believe today. Nevertheless, such views—while widely held—are not exclusively held and there are significant dissenting views. Just because a lot of people believe a wrong thing, doesn’t make it right. I recall a lot of people used to believe the world was flat.

    Finally, human beings are not merely advanced animals. We uniquely bear the image and likeness of God and alone among material beings are moral persons. If we can’t agree on this basic point, then the rest of the conversation is pointless.

  • The Holy Spirit blows where the Spirit wills and I won’t presume to state definitively what God will do, but doesn’t it make sense to use the means which God Himself gave us?

  • The Church tells us that we must go to confession once per year even if we have no mortal sins. What are we supposed to do there if not confess even our venial sins?

    Venial sins are still sins. They are not deadly in the sense that they break our relationship with God, but they are habits which left untended will lead to mortal sin.

    You can decide to only go to the doctor when you have a life-threatening illness or injury, but it’s much better to go for regular check-ups even when you have only minor ailments that need correction. Sure they may clear up on their own, but they might not.