About two weeks ago more the 100 Catholic “leaders” (which is laughable) signed a petition to Pope Francis for the removal of Archbishop Salvator Cordileone because of his “intolerant” views. Full Article Here
First off let me state that Cordileone’s teaching is NOT intolerance and is fully in line with Catholic Teaching.
The petition was a reaction to the “hard-line” stance the Archbishop takes with regards to Catholic Teaching. Among these complaints are the banning of altar girls by appointed priests, a pamphlet put out by an elementary school that talks about the moral evils of masturbation and sodomy, and the condemnation of homosexual acts. Let me break each part down for those who don’t understand the teaching.
First of let me say that the use of girls instead of boys for altar service does not violate Church doctrine, it is however a change from tradition. Furthermore, that tradition of only male altar servers did have a purpose. Prior to the installment of Seminaries (where men go to study for the Priesthood) altar service was the means to becoming a priest. They would become an apprentice to the priest and learn how to give out the sacraments and learn other knowledge of the faith. When he was ready he would be presented to the Bishop for acceptance into the priesthood. This, however, is no longer the case because of Seminaries. The tradition of boys only however is a positive tradition and allows boys to discern the vocation of Priesthood and find out if it is their calling or not. So you see there is a purpose behind this tradition. The use of girls on the altar does not cause any damage but leads no where. Women cannot become priests (a topic for another time) and therefore the alter service is not as fruitful. The banning of alter girls is not “sexist” or out of spite, it is a tradition that has served a purpose for a long time. The utilization of alter girls does not violate any rules, but ultimately does not serve the same purpose as boys. It is no more then a petty complaint used as a tactic by the left to damage the Church. In all honesty if not being able to serve at the alter causes you to leave your faith then you have more problems to work out then just that. If this answer is not satisfactory to you I advise you move on over to EWTN or Catholic.com and do a search. You will find not only the same explanation I have given but also a much deeper meaning. I advise you read Rev. Peter R. Pilsners sermon on the matter, which is actually where I got much of my information on the topic. (Here) He goes into detail about the relationship of altar servers and priests and the benefit both parties can get out of it.
Masturbation and Sodomy are sinful. That is taught in almost every denomination of Christianity. If you have an issue with a Catholic school teaching Christian doctrine then I don’t know how to help you. Here are 31 Bible Versus on the matter. Furthermore, the pamphlet that was used was the normal examination of conscience that is used before confession. The children were preparing their first confession and the teachers did not show them out to examine their conscience so they were given the normal one. When realized that it talked of sodomy and such it was quickly changed to more age appropriate ones.
Don’t like the Catholic Churches stance on homosexual relations? Feel free to join the Anglican Church and bask in its’ liberal heresy. In all seriousness though there is a deep misunderstanding on what the Church teaches about homosexuality. The main claims are we are “intolerant”, “bigots”, “hate filled”, or “tyrants trying to take away freedom.” For those of you who read my posts on Relativism and Tolerance this shouldn’t be surprising to you. In the Christian worldview marriage is designed for a man and a women for the purpose of having children, in the most basic sense (another topic for another time). The problem is that people in the west think that love is based on emotional intensity toward another, or sexual desire. Neither are true. Not only does this alone eliminate the reasoning for homosexual marriage in the Christian sense but the raw natural fact that homosexual relationships are unfruitful and do not produce anything except a mutual pleasure for the partners. Can homosexuals truly love each other? I have no doubt, but it still doesn’t change the circumstances. Just because you have a desire for the same-sex does not mean it is okay to follow through with. It doesn’t negate the sin. Furthermore, love in its self does not constitute the right of marriage. I love my family members, my roommates, and a multitude of other people, but should I be able to marry a family member or anyone just because I love them? The answer is no. If you put it like that then the only other attempt to justify it is by emotional intensity or physical attraction which also does not constitute a marriage. If I were to base my marriage requirements off emotional intensity or sexual desire I would have a list of people to marry, but because I believe that marriages’ main purpose is procreation, and growing in your faith with your wife/husband it changes the dynamic. I still hope to be sexually attracted to my wife and feel deep emotions for her but they are not the main reason to marry, they just aid in its fruitfulness. As Vatican II puts it,
Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents.
Or the Catechism of the Council of Trent,
Marriage is the natural, indissoluble union, perfected by the Sacrament, between one man and one woman directed towards the purpose of preserving the human race by generating and raising children. Marriage is also ordered to the mutual help of spouses and the remedy for sexual desire. This definition of marriage as a natural institution can be arrived at by common sense. Nature implants in men and women an instinct that impels them to seek the companionship of marriage and in this companionship, husband and wife are able to hope for help and an easing of their physical discomforts as they get older.
Homosexual relations/marriage is a controversial topic and is something I plan on going deeper into at a different time, but the main point here is that the open letter to the Pope about Archbishop Cordileone’s view on homosexual actions is no different then the Popes view. Condemnation of homosexual relations does not mean we hate homosexuals, it is actually out of love and concern for the eternal destination of others souls that the Church teaches such things.
In conclusion we can see that this petition is completely unchristian and any “Catholic leader” who signed it needs to seriously reevaluate their faith. The Church is not some Non-Government Organization or Interest Group that is subject to change with the world around it. No, it is based on scripture and the word of God, and that teaching is absolute. If you have a problem with one of these teachings then you are taking up issue with God himself. We did not make these rules, God did.