Transitioning from a liberal bishop to a conservative

Transitioning from a liberal bishop to a conservative

The changes being implemented in the Diocese of Richmond by Bishop Francis DiLorenzo are making the liberal Catholics who miss Bishop Walter Sullivan uneasy. And if this story is any indication, Sullivan is quietly giving succor to those who would prefer his liberal ways to DiLorenzo’s more conservative ways.

One of the issues is the use of pastoral administrators instead of pastors. (Why is it the administrators are always women, never laymen? That’s a rhetorical question.) Some people are afraid that DiLorenzo will end the practice, which is in itself worrying since they obviously place more value on a woman being given power in the Church than on having regular access to a priest as spiritual father.

  • While I’m not going to open up the whole “disordered” can of worms again, let’s go with the premise that it is a deviancy.  To consider it such, it would fit the criteria of a personality disorder and not a mood disorder.  In laymen’s terms(or administrator’s), this is the difference between a hardware issue vs a software issue.  Personality disorders are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to cure.  Maintenance is the best possible hope. 

    I will offer up a different analogy that I think is more appropriate. 

    2004-07-27 13:16:38
    2004-07-27 17:16:38
    Sorry but your example is just as silly. They’re physically disabled. “Health minority”, like “sexual minority” is a term of political correctness to describe someone as a victim.

    And I still go with the Church’s description of homosexuality as disordered. Whether you have it from birth or not, it is still a disorder, a deviancy from normal.

  • strong wind as the point is completely blown over

    What did I say?  Let’s work on the premise of the Church that its intrinsically disordered.  Clearly it isn’t anything that can be “cured” with an effective success rate.  So what do we do?  The Church requires that they remain celibate.  Many folks around these parts don’t want them in the priesthood.  Now we don’t even want to sponsor groups to help them deal with this simply because some find the term “minority” offensive? 

    Homosexuals in the Church have little to no voice (btw that is one of the working definitions of minority).  Why would we not offer ministry and support?  Why would we applaud the suspension of a church trying to do just that?

    Why would I, as a Catholic, advocate the elimination of a ministry to a group that has what its Church believes to be a lifelong afliction?

  • Dom—I believe the expectation is that if a married man were on the track to become a pastoral administrator he’d become a permanent deacon, and if single a priest.

    After seeing this article, I really doubt the wisdom of Bishop Sullivan appearing in any role that makes it unclear who’s calling the shots now.

  • Actually, J., your plea for “ministry” is silly.  The Church ministers to PEOPLE of all sorts, all day, all night, to the end of time.

    All PEOPLE have problems, whether intrinsic disorders, financial, family, whatever.  The ministry of the Church is first and foremost through the Sacraments (that includes Confession with its spiritual direction…) and then through other means, some of which are secular.

    Splitting the Church’s membership into designer-infirmities is to miss the point of Redemption—and Balkanize what should be a unity.

    BTW, most of these “ministries” were set up to provide Church stipends for busybodies who should be engaged in pure charity, not paid flapdoodlery.

  • Actually, I knew a few men who were “pastoral administrators” or whatchamacallem.  (My husband, for one). 

    I think the reason you see more women in these jobs than men is that it’s really too low-paying for most men.  I know some women who work for churches, and find it’s much easier to take their kids to work with them, if need be, or take care of stuff, if they work at a church vs. other employment.  I don’t see as many men making these kinds of considerations. 

    My husband did this for a while because he wanted a job, and our church really needed someone reliable.  He was there a lot longer than he wanted to be, and he was paid minimum wage, basically.  That parish merged with another one, with a better donation base, and I think have an easier time getting employees now.

  • Rich

    When you talk about the difference between ministry and affirmation, I get the sense that you are talking about supporting sinful behavior.  (I’m often wrong so feel free to correct me) If that’s the case, then you are right.  Ministry should never support sinful behavior. 

    But I’ve gone to the website for NACDLGM (side note:  sometimes the web trackers at my office must really wonder about me) and while its just been a cursory viewing, I haven’t seen anything that could be described in that light.  But like I said, I’ve just briefly been through their mission and agendas.


    When you say “helping them deal with this”  is this in regards to curing them?  Because what I’ve read so far (again, I’ve just started the reading)  what this group promotes in its mission statement is not any different than what Courage has for its five goals. 

    Overall I will voice an opinion that the Sacraments are “enough” of a ministry.  The Sacrements are the most powerful instruments in our Faith.  I believe that completely.  It is the strength that we receive from the Sacraments that helps us to minister to others.  We live fully in the Sacraments, then we go out and feed, clothe and care. 

    Faith without works kinda thing

  • “Another issue is DiLorenzo8221;

    Then why focus on them?  Why not focus on Courage or The Same Sex Attraction Morality League?  I agree with Jamie. “Groups like COURAGE have done a fine job carrying out this sort of ministry, and in line with the teachings of the Church.”

    I would rather promote than discourage.  So, I find more merit in promoting Fr. Harvey than bitching about Sr. Janine Grammick.  If you catch my drift.


  • If that is the case, then why oh why is there a reference to CCC 2333 in CCC 2357. people afflicted with SSA, Courage being one of them. The rest are afflicted with the “spirit of the age.” I’m not going to convince you. You’ll have to see the evidence for yourself someday.

  • Horse hockey.  The Church needs to preach the Catholic Faith, not pander to minorities. 

    This is confusing church with politics, which is ridiculous.

    People who are not in good standing with the Church—ie. specifically meaning, out of mortal sin and in obedience with standard Catholic teaching according to the Vatican—have no business standing up to offer ministry in the Church.  They need to go to confession first and get their crap together.

    You can’t give what you haven’t GOT.

  • “Some would say any voice at all is too much.”

    It all comes down to what the voice is saying, Jamie. 

  • Mich

    The people who don’t have their crap together should be the first in line to receive ministry.  If you have your “crap” together, you don’t need any extraordinary ministry to begin with. 

    It is patently ridiculous to say “You’re not gonna get ministered to until you get your act together”.  We are not an exclusive club.  The Church was born to help heal the broken.  That includes homosexuals whether you like them or not.

  • Jaime,

    That is a great point.  “The Church was born to help heal the broken.  That includes homosexuals whether you like them or not.”

    It’s a good thing that Jesus didn’t forsake the lepers, huh?  And the funny thing….while only one came back to thank the Lord, he still healed all 10.  The great thing about the other 9; they were still healed.  The other great thing….the one who came back knew how and why.  (Lk 17:11-19)

    Now for a little speculation…..Do you think that when this healed one ran into the other nine, he kept the how and why to himself?  I would bet not!!!  I bet he ministered to them and forwarded the Lord’s cause.

    Why wouldn’t we do the same thing….when it comes to homosexuals?  And why wouldn’t “cured” homosexuals do the same thing?

    michigancatholic….before we go around slamming the snot out of our sinful brothers and sisters, maybe we should apply the Life of Christ to our thoughts and actions and do what the Church commands.  Strive to be Christ-like….by sharing in his royal priesthood.


  • The point that you all seemed to miss in your tortured efforts to backslap yourselves for your great charity is that something called the “Sexual Minorities Commission” is not about helping cure people of a moral deficiency, but is designed to seek acceptance of it.

    Calling gays a minority is supposed to evoke the idea of racial minorities. But the last I saw, being black isn’t a moral condition, whereas being gay is.

    I’ll repeat myself: a ministry to help gays overcome their SSA is just fine. A “ministry” that tells that whatever they’re doing is okay is not.

  • Jaime, the problem is that you are NOT supposed to go to Holy Communion if you have an unconfessed mortal sin on your soul.  Period.

    So getting your crap together means precisely that a person is repentant and no longer engaging in their pet sin at least since they last confessed. 

    This is the point.  If you want to claim that every gay (including the militants from Act UP)  confesses and repents immediately after each and every sex act, you can do that, but it doesn’t mean I have to believe you.

  • Mr. Bettinelli,

    I think that I have stated that it is a moral condition.  Hence the statements about self-mastery.

    Here is what you miss though.  In order for one to gain self-mastery, one must accept his sexual identity.  The Church teaches as much. 

    Acceptance is not necessarily to condone.  An example.  I can accept that my brother is married outside the Church, but I don’t condone the action.  Just as I can accept that one is homosexual, but not condone the homosexual action.

    My role is to minister to them and help them find self-mastery of the homosexuality, but condemn the homosexual acts in which they may partake.


    “If you want to claim that every gay (including the militants from Act UP) confesses and repents immediately after each and every sex act, you can do that, but it doesnrue ends, i.e., real goods as the ends of our actions, and of finding and showing to others the ways to realize them.”

    Now, if it were only a moral issue, then that would be then end.  It is not.  The moral issue is a means to realize the true end.  It also is a way to show others the ways to realize them.  Realize what?  If morality is the end, then there would be nothing more to show.  But that is not the case.  There is accepting what the person is.  His identity.  This is taken to be several things, male or female; heterosexual or homosexual; Catholic or not.

    St. Thomas Aquinas suggested a triple-tiered set of human goods, which, when grasped by practical reason, function as first principles of intelligent human activity. The first set includes being itself, a good that human persons share with all other entities, and since the being (esse) of living things is life itself (vivere), the key good at issue here is human life itself, which human persons seek to protect and nourish and defend. The second set includes the union of male and female in order to transmit the good of life to progeny, who need education and care if they are to flourish, and this is a set of goods that human persons share with other animals, but, of course, in their own unique way. The third set includes those goods that are unique to human persons, for instance the goods of truth and knowledge and of living in harmony with others in society, (goods that we could term the goods of justice and peace and friendship).

    Notice that the normative action is the union of male to female.  Conversely, there is an action that is not normative and that is homosexual.  Nevertheless, it is still an action and that takes it out of the morality realm and makes it something of a true end.

    What is the basic normative principle in morality (as distinguished from the set of first premoral principles such as good is to be done and pursued, life is a good to be protected and its opposite is to be avoided, etc.)? Vatican Council II suggested a basic normative principle for human choices and actions. After noting that human activity is important not only for its results but also and even more importantly because it develops human persons and gives to them, because it is self-determining and free, their identity as moral beings.  Vatican II states, “Hence, the norm of human activity is this: that in accord with the divine plan and will, it should harmonize with the genuine good of the human race, and allow men as individuals and as members of society to pursue their total vocation and fulfill it (Gaudium et Spes, 35).

    It is within this context that the understanding of the human person as irreplaceably precious and as a being that ought always to be wanted and of our summons to choose in such a way that we give ourselves the added dignity of persons whose hearts are open to the goods of human existence and of persons that the Church’s teaching on sexual morality is presented.


  • All that’s standing between anyone and knowing their sexual identity is about 2 inches of elastic, sweetie.  Look down and that’s what there is to know.  wink

    Some people want to fight with God over EVERYTHING.

    Are there a few odd cases of physical ambiguity, yes.  There are also little kids with cancer, people with six fingers and people born blind.  And yes, there’s crazy and confused people.

    This stuff happens in an imperfect world.  God knows it and it’s not impossible to go to heaven for anyone, but the situations have to be worked through in obedience, NOT defiance. 

    Defiance gets a person nowhere but hell, and that includes defiance of the person with the problem and ALSO the would-be-helper of the person with the problem. 

    One does troubled people only damage by teaching them to defy the Church and mock God.

  • Cam, I can’t say any simpler. You’re wrong. You are reading into Aquinas and JPII. They do not think of homosexuality as an identity as you posit it. Homosexuality is not an identity itself, but the perversion of the sexual identity of male or female. It’s like saying that being unable to walk creates two identities: those who walk and those who can’t. Yes, there are people who can’t walk, but that’s not an identity, meaning an inborn characteristic that functions to define who they are as a moral being. (Although there are those in the “disability” movement who want to define themselves as disabled.) In fact, that’s a good point: Bill Cosby was recently in the news denouncing the victim mentality of the black community. Their identity has become locked into a perversion, a non-normative idea of victimhood for so long that many blacks actually look down upon middle-class blacks as sellouts.)

    All your talk about Gaudium et Spes and free will is irrelevant to the point I’m making. (In fact, I don’t see what all that verbiage has to do with sexual identity. How we make moral choices is a separate issue.)

  • “All your talk about Gaudium et Spes and free will is irrelevant to the point Ithe Church, but I don:post_date>2004-07-27 10:46:44
    2004-07-27 14:46:44

    2004-07-27 13:56:48
    2004-07-27 17:56:48
    Hey Dom,
    The site that popped up is not the one you said to go to. It pops up as JobJab.
    Can you give us the correct site??