Anastasia writes “Unbelievable!” in referring me to this story about a Cambridge Catholic parish where supporting Church teaching is unwelcome. Specifically, we’re told that St. Paul’s Parish in the People’s Republic of Cambridge, next to Harvard, is inhospitable to people who say that gay marriage is a bad thing. When two men tried to hand out fliers reiterating the Church’s teachings, they had their fliers thrown out, people protesting them, one person writing an open letter about the “injustice” of having to be confronted about the Truth and what his Church actually teaches while worshipping there.
Of course, what this says is that every Sunday these people are not being presented with the Catholic faith. For all intents and purposes, St. Paul’s has ceased to be a Catholic church, if in fact heresy is taught and tolerated there. I do not say that lightly either. That the parish is smack in the middle of the most liberal part of Massachusetts (that’s saying something) and in the middle of Harvard says something as Father James Heft of the University of Dayton points out:
…in university communities, “academic freedom is sometimes freedom for those who think what academics do, and not necessarily a real freedom of thought.”
In other words, it’s not that people are opposed to dogma, but what they prefer is their own liberal, pansexual dogma, rather than the Church’s doctrine that frees man from slavery to carnal pleasures.
But the priests at St. Paul have been noticeably silent on the topic, failing to bring it up in sermons, according to several parishioners. Every year, the pastor gives an opening homily welcoming everyone, regardless of their past, their race, profession, or sexual orientation, said parishioner Bevil Conway. This approach has essentially kept the peace, making the politically liberal feel at home even as they disagree with many Catholic teachings.
Ah yes, peace at any cost, the tactic of many dysfunctional families. What does it benefit a man to please all men and lose their souls? As Jesus tells us, “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” (Luke 12:51) It is not our job, and especially not that of a pastor of souls, to curry favor with people at the expense of their eternal lives.
And when someone was so “mean” as to actually present the Truth, opponents responded in their typically “tolerant” and “diverse” way. One guy stomped up and down the aisle removing fliers, tearing down signs, and throwing stuff out. He and a friend just won’t have it in “their” church:
But Manjapra and Conway insist that such a thing has no place in their Harvard Square church. “The priests have a responsibility to make sure that information distributed on tables adheres to the spirit of the community,” Conway said. “That space should be for selling apple pies to make money for the boys’ choir.”
That’s almost too easy to make fun of. Did two gays actually say it would be better to raise money for a boys’ choir than to support the Church’s teaching on homosexuality?
What these people need is not someone to “affirm them in their okayness,” but to confront them with the sometimes difficult and painful truth. If they had cancer, their doctor wouldn’t tell them they have a cold. We’re not doing any favors telling them there’s nothing wrong with their beliefs.