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Gerald Augustinus whY?

Gerald Augustinus is a popular blogger who runs one of the best named blogs in the Catholic blogosphere, The Cafeteria is Closed. The title of his blog is a direct reference to Cafeteria Catholicism. Namely picking and choosing, like one would at a a cafeteria, which doctrines and teachings of the Church please the palette on any given day. Upon the election of Cardinal Ratzinger Pope as Pope Benedict XVI, Gerald cleverly quipped that the cafeteria was now closed. His blog has been on our blogroll since its inception. Now that will have to change.

Some weeks back Gerald posted his thoughts on the subject of homosexuality. His comments received quite a reaction from his readers, many of whom were not pleased. It was a rather long post, but some of the relevant excerpts follow. The post was written in response to a number of questions posed by a FR. RP. .

Gay people don't "rub in" their sexuality (except for the more flamboyant participants of pride rallies or weirdos like the "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence") any more than straight people do. The fact that they act like any other couple is not "rubbing it in" (assuming there is no public indecency) but simply not hiding part of their lives. Since this is a free country, people can, absent injury to others, live as they please. The same freedom that makes it possible for you to be Catholic makes it possible for others to be "openly" gay. Obviously, the Catholic Church has every right to ban "Dignity" from church property, but that is where it ends, just like Muslims can't ban others from the 'right' to eat pork in public. Tolerance doesn't mean embracing those with whom one disagrees but rather to let them be. Unfortunately, P.C. sometimes goes so far as to outlaw opinions differing from mainstream culture. I'm very much a libertarian when it comes to speech and actions that don't harm others.
...

Well, first of all, we're always 'in heat', unlike animals. Again, being in a committed gay is not the same as being 'enslaved' to sex, much like an unmarried straight couple that's not celibate isn't 'enslaved' to sex by necessity of not being married. Sex addiction is of course a problem for people, both gay and straight. Promiscuity is easier, obviously, when only men are involved. Lesbian sexual behavior is usually different. Frequently, lack of sex can become a problem in a relationship.
....
While a church - or the law, for that matter - cannot offer 'second' options - say, "Well if you steal, try to steal only a bit", a society certainly should be interested in a tolerant climate and committed gay relationships rather than guilt-ridden, marginalized, closeted individuals who once in a while go on a sex spree. And, once more, homosexuality is not about mere 'biological functions', just like heterosexuality isn't. It can be, certainly, and more so when there's only testosterone to go around.
This post garnered a very strong reaction from Gerald's readers prompting many of them to ask Gerald if the Cafeteria was now open again. I think it is obvious that Gerald's comments do not reflect Catholic thought. While Christians should treat all people with dignity and respect, I do not think that it is proper to encourage by word, deed, or legislative act sinful behavior. I certainly do not wish to people to be more committed to their intrinsically disordered acts ccc 2357.

In comment on the above post Karen Hall of Some Have Hats said the following which summed up well my sentiments at the time.
The ideal and the Truth are what are constantly being attacked -- they take a much more tougher whipping than any minority group, and constantly. And we almost never get to see anyone stand up for them. With the exception of the Pope, who you may remember, is the reason your blog got its name. I have to admit, I've read it for a long time and right now, I feel a bit duped.
At the time I endeavored to give Gerald the benefit of the doubt. I thought perhaps he had become too attached to a libertarian line of thinking and that this had clouded his judgment. I could relate to this as it is a stage of political thinking through which I briefly passed some decades ago but soon dismissed due to its obvious shortcomings. I also wondered if Gerald was perhaps trying to give a secular civics lesson on a Catholic blog and in doing so ignored some of the explicit teaching on the church on these matters. Anyway, like I said, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Truth be told, however, I have rarely read his blog since that time so I missed some follow up posts on related matters that may indicate that the slack I cut him at the time may have been unwarranted. CMR pal Red Cardigan at And Sometimes Tea alerted me to some recent comments by Gerald that are even more troubling.
Gender identity disorder is real - it usually starts before school age. While the operation and the entire process [Hormone treatments and sex change operation] is easier before puberty, it'd seem wiser to let the person make the decision as an adult. Of course, parents have the right to decide on medical treatment - within limits.
Gerald now says that it would be morally licit for prepubescent children to undergo sex change therapy. This statement does not just reflect an overactive libertarian tendency, but an outright rejection of the teaching of the church on the nature of sexuality. Red Cardigan wrote in response:
I can't even begin to express my sense of horror at the idea that children as young as ten might be give hormone treatments as part of a plan that includes the eventual mutilation of their sex organs as a way of treating what must be considered a deeply psychological problem.
I share her horror. It is because of the above that I am no longer assured that the Cafeteria is Closed will reflect Catholic teaching or can still rightly be called a Catholic blog. It is with regret that we feel that we must remove the Cafeteria from the CMR blogroll.

Gerald Augustinus, we are praying for you.

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67 comments:

Rita S. said...

Patrick, You nailed it. And thank you! I read Gerald's blog for a long time and I would read these things and I'd excuse them. I'd actually think that he must be simply more nuanced than me. But finally, I figured it out. He's not nuanced at all. He's flagrantly opposing Church teaching. I'm done with him. Thank you for taking a stand.

Alex said...

CMR, you guys are doing the right thing!

He also dismisses anyone who disagrees with him a homphobes. I can't take him any more either.

Horatius said...

It's no longer "The Cafeteria is Closed" but now "We the People". While it saddens me to see a Catholic become secularized, and it causes me horror to think that he thinks that the founding fathers would have had anything to do with this, at least he isn't claiming that his ideas are in line with the Catholic Church.

Tolerance is a lot less than just letting people be. Tolerance is just not killing those who are sinful, subversive, or offensive because the cost to society of their existence is less than the cost of removing them would be. In other words, one chooses the common good over punishment. That doesn't mean that they can't be shamed because they are doing wrong. We have to enforce social norms somehow.

In personally, would love to go back to a time when gays were closeted. That way, I wouldn't have to see their disgusting sin advertised every time they walk by my office (I work near Dupont Circle, *shiver*), and I wouldn't even have to put the concept in my childrens heads when they ask why. St. Paul called it the unmentionable sin for a reason- it is insidious, and corrupts even those who do not have that inclination.

Anonymous said...

I believe that it was Maureen Dowd who came up with the phrase "the cafeteria is closed." It was in her column of April 20, 2005.

"The white smoke yesterday signaled that the Vatican thinks what it needs to bring it into modernity is the oldest pope since the 18th century: Joseph Ratzinger, a 78-year-old hidebound archconservative who ran the office that used to be called the Inquisition and who once belonged to Hitler Youth. For American Catholics - especially women and Democratic pro-choice Catholic pols - the cafeteria is officially closed. After all, Cardinal Ratzinger, nicknamed "God's Rottweiler" and "the Enforcer," helped deny Communion rights to John Kerry and other Catholic politicians in the 2004 election." Whatever else MoDo is (don't get me started) she is occasionally clever.
But I like Gerald's blog; I very often disagree with him (strongly), but he does manage to find some good material. BTW I totally disagree him over the pediatric gender identity matter. It's child abuse to mess with a kid in that way. Lest we forget, the first moral precept of the physician is "primum non nocere -first do no harm." Kit

Patrick Archbold said...

Thanks Kit. Although it was still clever for Gerald to use that even if he didn't coin it.

With that said, please don't mention that woman on this blog ever again. I have a very sensitive stomach.

Anonymous said...

Gerald's live and let live attitude shows complete disregard for the souls of those he purports to respect.

John Hetman said...

I noticed the subtle and not-so-subtle changes in Gerald's site for some time now, and his posts on sexuality really caused me to question his ability to live as a faithful Catholic. Whatever problems or phrase of life that he is going through, I will pray for him. I suspect that there are influences on him from close personal sources. However, I will not again comment on his blog--to do so lends credence to his rather nutty positions and stubborn refusal to follow his Church.

Patrick Archbold said...

Anon,
I think where Gerald misses the boat is on the nature of sin. He treats sin as merely a private matter with no community consequence unless "it hurts somebody"

Sin, by its very nature, wounds the individual and the community.

The catechism teaches that sin "It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity."

and that we sin by cooperation when we "by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;"

When a community praise or even just turns a blind eye to sin such as this, it sins itself.

Renee said...

I would read Gerald's blog daily, along with yours and Fr. Z. I have been very disappointed with the direction it has taken and find myself going there less and less. He is taking his libertarianism far too seriously. I pray that he gets himself back on the right track and in line with Church teachings.

Al Sharpton said...

Its A Outrage!

Anonymous said...

I too used to read his blog daily, until the post you share above.

Have found your blog and pewsitters.com to more than make up for his.

Thank you - hopefully more will remove him from their list.

Anonymous said...

What is he thinking? Sex changes for kids!!!

That doesn't just NOT reflect Catholic teaching, it doesn't reflect common sense or common decency!

David L Alexander said...

So, now everybody's surprised that the golden boy from Vienna made a big goof, and all the good Catholic boys and girls have to take him off their blogroll.

Here's my surprise: the rest of you shouldn't be surprised.

There was a time in the early Church, when a "neophyte" would retain his status as a novice to the faith for a few years, and the mysteries of that Faith were continuing to be unfolded to him. (They have "novitiates" in religious life. Ever wonder why?) Unfortunately, our quest for "Catholic celebrity" makes us prop up the Next Big Thing who says all the right things, while they're barely out of their baptismal robes. He's not the only one either. There's another one on the East Coast, and at the rate they're going, you'll learn about them soon enough.

You'll find a lot of off-the-wall stuff on my blog. But you will never, NEVER, read anything that challenges the Faith. Even opinions about the "annulment crisis" that diverge from the rest of the "more Catholic than the Pope" crowd, you can't touch it. It's all straight up, no chaser, as Catholic AS the Pope. My parents gave me the gift of my Faith as an infant, so I've had fifty years to get used to the idea, which includes knowing just how much need I have for the Divine Mercy. But we don't give that chance to people like Gerald. We can't wait to see them trotted out in print and on television. They will never get a chance to go through life as an anonymous Catholic, to GROW IN THE FAITH without the glare of publicity. No, we need to make a golden calf of them, and we need it now. But are they ready for it?

Haven't we just seen the results of someone who is not?

There is more to orthodoxy than the ability to talk a good game. Some of the new luminaries in the Catholic blogosphere have forgotten that. Some of us who have been watching them have forgotten as well. Is the attention we get for the glory of God? The answer is in what it does to our own soul. In all humility, when I had a crisis of faith several years ago, I announced that the blog was shutting down for forty days. I went "into the desert" so to speak. I didn't just sit around; it was a genuine "poustinia," within the confines of holding down a job every day. It was the smartest thing I could have done at the time.

I should say here and now, before somebody reading this (invariably) gets the wrong idea, that Gerald has definitely missed the boat on this issue. It's not the only instance, either, and it does give on pause. Personally, I blame it on living in southern California, although I admit it doesn't affect everyone in that way. In any case, Gerald's is a soul worth saving, especially since it's not so much lost, as it is confused. Most of us reading this, if we're truly honest with ourselves, have to look in the mirror and say the same. Maybe if he's brought down a notch, God will prove to us all who's really in charge. Then we can all give him our Good Housekeeping seal again.

As far as this "man in the black hat" is concerned, Gerald is still a good egg. But first, he has to lose the pedestal we put him on. And while we're at it, we may want to have second thoughts about our own.

just me said...

I also read his blog religiously (so to speak) until his post on homosexual behavior. But now I, too, am done. I do have something to thank him for, though, since I'm pretty sure I found your blog and Fr. Z's through his.

Patrick Archbold said...

DL,
Why should be surprised...you are always one step ahead of the rest of us ;-)

I want to be clear also that I am not writing off Gerald as a person or a Catholic. It is just that for now I cannot link to his blog in good conscience.

I am truly praying for him and would be happy to link him again if he comes to his senses. After a DLA prescribed waiting period, of course!

Jay Anderson said...

David,

Lest any converts feign "offense" at your neophyte comment, let me speak up on your behalf.

As a fairly recent convert (4 years ago) I must say that I agree with your comment. I had the exact same thought as I read this post about Gerald's transformation, and contemplated that perhaps those of us who are recent arrivals to the Faith ought to spend some time taking it all in before we decide to spout our opinions off to everyone.

It occurs to me that my starting a blog on Catholic, family, and church-state matters barely a year into my new-found Faith was probably an act of particular arrogance on my part.

David L Alexander said...

Jay:

The zeal of a convert is a powerful thing. One scales new heights in personal growth, and climbing too quickly increases the danger of falling. It happens to the best of us.

Anonymous said...

The CiC post in question was a red flag to me that something was wrong...

...when he started linking to Rod Dreher a few weeks later, I knew all I needed to know.

Gerald, I DELETE you from my Favorites!

Anonymous said...

I just love it when you Catholics turn on your own. Step out of line and you are banished to the 7th ring of hell.

I guess you forgot about the other teachings of Jesus about judging lest not you be judged.

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. He's been on my blogroll for quite some time, but I've always thought his blog was overrated, and I've only rarely checked it out lately.

David L Alexander said...

"I guess you forgot about the other teachings of Jesus about judging lest not you be judged."

Speak for yourself. You just made a judgment about this audience. Besides, the line is more accurately translated thus: "As you judge others, so shall you also be judged."

Jay Anderson said...

"I guess you forgot about the other teachings of Jesus about judging lest not you be judged."

No one here judged the state of anyone's soul, which is what Jesus was talking about. Rather, people have made exactly the sorts of judgments responsible people are supposed to make: moral judgments about the stated sentiments of a Catholic blogger that objectively and directly conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church. I wasn't aware that Jesus said we weren't supposed to make judgments about right and wrong.

But thanks. I always get a kick out of having one of the three favorite Bible verses of the moral relativist thrown in my face as if that's supposed to close off all debate on the matter.

By the way the other two are "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" and "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone".

Anonymous said...

I am glad Gerald picked up and carried the phrase TCIC too: it's too good to the waste on the NY Times alone. I am also grateful to Gerald for the work he is doing on his blog. It gets a positive image of the traditional faith out there where a lot of traditional and less traditional Catholics can see it and hopefully be influenced and inspired by it. He does a beautiful job with it overall. I don't expect to agree with everything everyone says all the time and don't hold these differences of opinion against anyone. It keeps things interesting. I hope Gerald and the Archbolds all keep up the good work. Thanks. Kit.

Anonymous said...

Addendum: I just checked Gerald's blog and his archives go back to March of 2005 - so he may actually have originated the phrase TCIC. If so I apologize - should have checked facts before publishing. Kit.

Carl F. said...

Kit, this is not about a difference of opinion. Gerald has an opinion which opposes what the Magisterium teaches. This is not about the Creative Minority Archbold's vs. Gerald. This is about Gerald vs. the Church.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking a stand against Gerald's blog. I have read his extraordinary opinions about homosexuality and have even commented on his blog along with about 150 other folks who have tried to get him to understand the Church's position. He just seems to thumb his nose at us. When it comes to sexuality, Gerald subscribes to the Moral Relativist church. After a good try, I gave up on him a while ago.I am glad to see that you have seenthe same problems and are actually doing something about it in the blogosphere! Thanks guys.
--Laura

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking a stand against Gerald's blog. I have read his extraordinary opinions about homosexuality and have even commented on his blog along with about 150 other folks who have tried to get him to understand the Church's position. He just seems to thumb his nose at us. When it comes to sexuality, Gerald subscribes to the Moral Relativist church. After a good try, I gave up on him a while ago.I am glad to see that you have seenthe same problems and are actually doing something about it in the blogosphere! Thanks guys.
--Laura

Patrick Archbold said...

Kit,
Echoing Carl, it isn't about us. It is not simply about differences of opinion. There are a number of Catholic bloggers on our blogroll with whom we disagree often. But none of them, as far as we know, espouse their own thoughts on grave matters as superior to that of the Church.

In the big tent of the Church there are plenty of things that we can legitimately disagree upon. Sex change therapy for children is not one of them.

If you hold that opinion, you can no longer be considered a Catholic blogger. Perhaps Gerald understands this and that is why he changed the name of his blog.

I pray that Gerald submits and comes to understand the Church's clear teaching about human sexuality. Until then...

Kimberly said...

Patrick:

I'd like to thank you for your concise assessment of the problem with CiC. I had kept Gerald on my sidebar for awhile, even after a couple blog friends had begun to express concern over some of his opinions. But that's all they were at the time...opinions. He has now slipped into the realm of heresy and that is a real problem. It matters not that he is a convert/neophyte, etc. Heresy is heresy. It is an act of charity and not judgment to try to steer a brother back in the right direction. I don't believe any of us are rejoicing in Gerald's "fall from grace..." Let's keep him in prayer and remember that we all have the same potential to slip...may God preserve us!

David L Alexander said...

"It matters not that he is a convert/neophyte, etc."

For the reasons I gave, which do not conflict with your point, you completely missed mine.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to belabor this or pick a fight. I read Cafeteria often. Not as much as I used to because he just links a lot to other sites that I can just go to on my own. But I still go there.
I'm not sure I understand the problem here. What I think you folks are failing to understand is that Gerald was likely just talking about freedom in a secularist country such as ours. Surely, he said, parents have the right to do such things. And they do without a doubt.
However, he is not saying it's the right thing to do. He's just saying it's allowed.
And he's also saying that gender identity issues are real. And they most certainly are.
Gerald is not saying that it's right or wrong.
I think you folks are mistaking a sociological statement for a religious one. I believe that is your error.

David L Alexander said...

"I think you folks are mistaking a sociological statement for a religious one. I believe that is your error."

Right. A social phenomenon is acceptable, as long as it doesn't fall under a "religious" heading. That doesn't leave room for much definition in the way of our, uh, social conduct, now, does it?

I can behave any way I want, as long as it's not while I'm in church on Sunday.

It's so clear to me now...

Geoffrey said...

I suspected this was coming for quite some time. Studying the case of Robert Sungenis as well, I think I may have identified a general pattern of apostasy.

1) Polemicism: The initial phase. One launches extremely bitter attacks against doctrines contrary to the Faith. Cynicism and suspiscion set in.

2) The Issue: The would-be apostate begins to obsess about something, focusing an excessive amount of attention on it to the exclusion or extreme reduction of other things.

3) Gnosis: The person in question comes to believe that he has secret knowledge about "The Issue," and that his fellow believers are out of the loop.

4) Disillusionment: Slowly, the would-be apostate looks upon those in his camp with scorn, and mainly embarrasment.

5) Self-realization: The person makes their move, trying to change the opinions of their companions to match their own. Pride increases dramatically, and a meta-narrative, with the future apostate in the center, begins to form.

6) Heresy: The person officially proclaims their dissent, giving up on their former camp.

7) Apostasy: Knowledge about "The Issue" initiates the whole process again, this time on other aspects of the faith. The logical conclusion of this course is complete repudiation of the Faith.

Anonymous said...

Dear Carl and Patrick - You got me. I did get confused between a "sociologic" and a religious statement. It's so easy to fall into that trap. This is clearly both sociologic and religious, as if there could be a distinction. The fact is that I am so horrified by this story purely on societal terms (what are these people thinking? - this is child abuse, and a disgrace to decency and the medical profession) that I failed to recognize it as sinful. So, yes, Gerald is straying off the reservation as well as differing from my opinion. I still like his blog, but I understand why you don't want to link to TCIC as a Catholic site. Kit

Tito Edwards said...

Patrick,

Excellent analysis.

Jay,

You're very humble about your opinions of yourself.

I enjoy reading both of your blogs and I pray that Gerald comes around to the Truth.

A Simple Sinner said...

" just love it when you Catholics turn on your own. Step out of line and you are banished to the 7th ring of hell."

The glee in this comment is palpable - and disgusting.

Catholicism is not a good ole boys club wherein we all just huddle together and give accolades based on consensus. If and when people do step off the reservation - straying from what the Church teaches - you don't get a pass just because we dig you and mostly agree most of the time.

That is the built in "imprimatur" of sorts that the blogosphere has. If you are a nobody with a blog doing nothing, you can say crazy things - who is paying attention. If and when you become smarter than the Church, and you have readers, it is going to get talked about.

Anonymous said...

I too have drifted away from TCIC in recent months. I was kind of put off by the "for hire nationwide" right under the changed masthead. Nevertheless, we should not stoop to the sin of judging our brother but pray for his soul instead. Only the Lord knows what is inside the soul of a sinner.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the original blog-posters that initially confronted Augustinus the Apostate with his wickedness,and when that failed to move him his militant leftist and homosexual toads attacked me and others that refused to let him scrape by with his deceitful statements.Real Catholics are unwelcome at his site,as they will invariably find something to be horrified at,and thus will react in a normal human fashion at such filth.
You will be vilified and mocked ,if you fail to assent to any of their perverted proclamations of social engineering,such as gay marriage,sex changes for children,etc.
You will be accused of lack of charity and being non-Christian if You show th slightest hint of rage at their perversions.
Augustinus is a modern-day Apostate,and he deserves the official sanctions of Rome aligned against him.
Read for yourselves at his blog in his own words;and in the words of so-called ''fellow Catholics'' that joined him in mocking myself and at least 2 other persons that were enraged and betrayed by this Judas.



Dominic.

David L Alexander said...

"Real Catholics are unwelcome at his site,as they will invariably find something to be horrified at,and thus will react in a normal human fashion at such filth."

Hey, Dom, the only "toads" I've met on his site, are the type with nothing better to do all day than put their two cents worth in at every post their hero puts up. A few of them are pretty sharp, but most of them couldn't last in a real argument. I have yet to meet the variety to which you refer.

Obviously I'VE got better things to do all day.

This is good, n'est ce pas?

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I will keep GA in my prayers.

As I like to say to ignore error is to partcipate in it. Very good of you at CMR to take a stand against the error.

Thank you for bringing light to a situation...I will follow in doing the same for my blog since I don't want to answer to God for leading people to heresy.

Christopher said...

Gerald Augustinus, circa. 2006, taking issue with Fr. Richard McBrien's support of homosexual adoptions: "Hey Padre, ever heard of Roma locuta, causa finita?"

Gerald Augustinus, circa April 2008:

"I took the Cafeteria tag out of my logo, btw, so spare me the umpteenth dig re: that. When I put it up, I a) meant it as a bon mot and b) had no idea that bishops would, eg, actively campaign against civil unions for homosexuals. Since I came out in favor of that and defended gay adoption (based on my wife’s prior work in the field and from the example of friends), too, my position as a 'Cafeteria Catholic' is firmly established and need not be brought up at every turn, as if it were a new insight. I freely admit it. The far-right and whatever you could be described as are correct in saying so."

IMHO, if you find yourself butting heads with the formal teaching of the Magisterium, take that as a good indication to step back in humility and check your spiritual compass, even if it means going on a hiatus from blogging.

Anonymous said...

This man is an open Heretic,and that demands immediate censure from all loyal Catholics.
His excommunication has already been accomplished when he dared mouth the filth he posted at his cesspool of a blog.
All that remains is the formality of Rome making that separation official.

Christopher said...

Frankly, anonymous, it's talk like yours that generates "more heat than light."

I think the cessation of links and endorsements is an appropriate form of action for a blogger that persists in embracing positions in open contradiction with the Church, but IMHO -- give me less "burn at the stake" mob mentality ranting, more rational rebuttal. All the latter does is add fuel to the fire of resentment and dissent.

Warren said...

Wow - where have I been? I read TCiC and blogged there a few times but never realized the extent of the host's problems. Having read these posts I have a better idea - TCiC is not Catholic. When the masthead disappeared, I wondered if the cafeteria was again open (in the host's mind). It appears so. People drift - they often misuse their intellectual gifts to reinforce a misguided agenda. O sin of pride, O pride of sin! Let's hope and pray that GA gets the message when familiar bloggers at his site leave for more Catholic oriented sites.

Anonymous said...

Maybe so Christopher,
but some apostates and heretics NEED a fire lit under them.
This one in particular.



Dominic.
Yes,THAT Dominic.

Tony said...

"The Cafeteria is Closed" was touted as a Catholic blog, and that is where I have it listed in my blogroll. And the implication of a closed cafeteria led me to believe that Gerald was going to be discussing authentic Catholic doctrine.

Sadly this is not the case any more. It looks like the Cafeteria is indeed open.

To our cowardly anonymous friend talking about "you Catholics turning on each other", Gerald has turned away from the teaching of the Catholic church. The nice part about being a Catholic (as opposed to being a Protestant) is that there is no ambiguity about what we, as Catholics, are expected to believe.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

that is a joy that you either believe what the Church teaches or you don't, no grey area..

I've taken an attempt to help bring light to the term tolerance on my blog

Anonymous said...

Gerald's comments may very well be a result of the ambiguous comments on homosexual deviancy contained in the "Catholic Catechism."

David L Alexander said...

That's "ambiguous" as in your identity, right? (It's always the anonymous ones, I'm tellin' ya...)

Anonymous said...

That is an ad hominem argument, David (whoever you are). My identity may be "unknown," but there is nothing ambiguous about it. I simply do not desire that the truth of my words be clouded by who I am. So, you are also abusing the English language. It is clear that the language of the CC is problematic:

Catholic Catechism.

"2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition."


The above words have created many problems, especially in the United States. The issue, for one thing is what constitutes unjust discrimination? I would say that it is denying them basic necessities. The American Bishops, like Sheehan in Santa Fe, have used this language to justify being neutral on legislation that chips away at the sanctity of marriage by extending certain rights to homosexuals that should only be confined to married couples. Also, how can anyone know the truth of the first 2 sentences of the paragraph? Anyways, what is a homosexual? They act as if it is a separate species of man. A homosexual is simply a man or woman with sexually deviant tendencies, i.e. an intrinsically-disordered person.

A Nony Mouse

Gerald Augustinus said...

Excuse me while I pluck the feathers out of the tar. The sex-change 'accusation' is complete crap. I never endorsed such procedures. I guess I failed to include derogatory condemnation or somesuch. The gay-friendly 'accusation', however, is largely accurate. One can thank the rabid homophobes who sometimes surface in comment boxes for my stance.

John Hetman said...

"The gay-friendly 'accusation', however, is largely accurate. One can thank the rabid homophobes who sometimes surface in comment boxes for my stance."

As opposed to what often seems to be the San Francisco gay men's chorus that also often resides on your blog.

Be kind enough, Gerald, to be truly manly and don't blame the dogs for the poop on your shoes. You stepped into it, yourself.

Patrick Archbold said...

Gerald,
With all due respect the "tar and feather" remark is an attempt at demagoguery. I am not trying to tar and feather you or anyone. I think that your stance on these issues is not catholic so we could not link you AS a Catholic blog. Hardly tar and feathers. Heck, you probably never even realized we had you linked in the first place.

As for the sex change accusation being crap, we are certainly open to a clarification. Your original comments however seemed to indicate that the decision about the operation for a minor is a prudential one left to the doctors and the parents. There is no legitimate reason to do that to a child regardless of the opinions of the parent or a million doctors.

Now while that may not be what you intended to say, the words as stated speak for themselves.

We are not out to condemn you or anyone. I have truly enjoyed your blog for quite some time. This post was intended as a brotherly nudge, nothing more. I am praying for you.

While we may not realize it or even like sometimes, the Church is right on these issues. If you come around on this issue, there is no issue.

David L Alexander said...

"That is an ad hominem argument, David (whoever you are). My identity may be 'unknown,' but there is nothing ambiguous about it. I simply do not desire that the truth of my words be clouded by who I am. So, you are also abusing the English language."

Okay, okay, you got me. On the other hand, I'm not "abusing" the Catechism of the Catholic Church by calling it "ambiguous." True or false, that's a serious accusation. It says something about someone who can't put their true identity behind such a claim.

And none of the "whoever you are" stuff. You know who I am. I use my full name, which means I'm not afraid to stand behind my convictions. So get off your high horse already.

Michael Maedoc said...

Gerald,

Your rhetoric is not helping you. If you use the sophistic methods of the left wing such as the "tar and feather" or "homophobes" comments then you will lose the trust of many who have supported you.

It does appear that you are objecting to the mistreatment and poor language. I object to the use of "sodomite." and other language that treat a person as of they are nothing more than their sinful action. Many conservative Catholics object to this, as I have witnessed while at Steubenville. However, approval of civil gay marriage, civil unions and adoption without a reasoned consideration of natural law raises a new concern beyond mistreatment.

The church has gone to great lengths to speak on how issues of marriage and sexuality are not exclusively theological issues but can be understood through the light of reason. Why do you not address natural law and treat the catholic view as if its some theological view that has no place in the laws of a pluralist culture? These are the same assumptions made by pro-choice movement.

Too many contemporary thinkers can't get past pluralism to discuss the real substance of the issues. I'd like to see Catholic bloggers at least try.

Michael Maedoc said...

California Supreme Court imposes Gay Marriage: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_9269719?source=most_emailed

I suppose this explains why Gerald's new view is due to his new understanding" of the constitution. At a time like this we need to rally politically not back down.

John Hetman said...

Does Gerald photograph so-called "gay" marriages in California and what's that little Eastern state? or does he "homophobically" limit himself to marriages between men and women?

A Nony Mouse said...

David:

Whether I know your name or not, I do not know who you are, or whether you can really play the guitar or not.

The language of the Catechism which is problematic:

"The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial."

These statements of opinion or alleged fact have no place in a Catechism of universal truths.

And the most problematic of all:

"Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."

What is "unjust discrimination?" What is a "sign" of unjust discrimination? I agree that the shouldn't be strung up from the nearest tree, but should they be given rights that traditionally belong only to truly married couples. The Catechism gives no guidance, and hence, certain American Bishops, such as Sheehan in Santa Fe, see fit to be neutral on legislation that derogates the sacredness of marriage, and scandalizes the faithful. And what do these neutral positions lead to? - one need only look at California's Supreme Court to see where the Bishops' lack of leadership has gotten us. It is unfortunate that this area of the Catechism was apparently politicized, so as not to hurt the feelings of so-called homosexuals too much.

Ambiguity, does not necessarily mean false. It may mean that something could have been worded better. Many Catholics of good reputation, not extremists, have also agreed that passages in the Vatican II documents are also ambiguous at best, but that is another issue.

Look at the truth or falsity of my words, not at who is or who is not saying it. Ad hominem is a fallacy also.

David L Alexander said...

A Nony Mouse, you wrote:

"'The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.' These statements of opinion or alleged fact have no place in a Catechism of universal truths."

Why not? They do not refute any traditional teaching. They simply concede the challenge raised by following it. The Church leaves open the possibility that this disorder may be involuntary, which provides some clarity in discussing the challenge it presents.

"And the most problematic of all: "Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.'"

There are parts of the world where they could be stoned to death simply for having such inclinations. This is not essential to their salvation.

Perhaps I could understand better what you are driving at, if I knew where in the Catechism you believe the teaching is stated incorrectly. Forget the preliminary remarks; what is at the heart of the text?

Diane K said...

Gerald is in my prayers.

On the one hand he seems to be apologetic while on the other still at odds with Catholic teaching.

While I checked in on his blog periodically since it's beginning, and initially had him on my blogroll, I removed him from my blogroll in 2006 due to vulgarities and other things. I shared some of the same sentiments on issues, but could not accept the use of vulgar language especially since I have a young audience out of my parish who follow my blog and links.

Ditto with the personal attacks. It's ok to attack someone's position, including the worst of dissenters. But each and every human being is entitled to their dignity. Pope Benedict would never address the worst of offenders with name-calling or digs in the way we see them presented on some blogs, and at least in the early going, in Geralds. I hadn't been there in a while so I don't know whether it is still bad in that regard. This is the other reason I had to let go of his link.

Now that time has gone by, he now sees that using condescending names for people with SSA is not appropriate. He could step up and be a leader in this regard and encourage people to be respectful. Jesus didn't teach with a bat, but ever mindful of the dignity of others.

One can hold the Church's position on same-sex unions 100% without being cruel or insensitive to people who suffer same-sex attraction. It is not an either-or thing, with regards to Church position and charity. Often times the most charitable thing to offer is truth, with love and care - the way that Pope Benedict exemplified in each of his addresses here in the US.

Unfortunately, from what I have read, it seems Gerald has fallen into relativism. Just like abortion is right or wrong for everyone everywhere, so are homosexual acts, and anything that would put people with SSA in the near occassion of sin. This includes encouraging them in same-sex unions.

I pray he will take some time away from the blog and spend it with solid Catholic priests sorting through his philosophy and catechetics. Most of all, any time we find ourselves recognizing we are at odds with Church teaching, it is time to let go of every last bit of noise in our lives so that we can hear the voice of God. Fellow bloggers know that blogging itself can become a form of noise. There is the temptation to respond to popular opinion, to be so active that prayer and careful study & reflection gets neglected.

I pray he assents to Church teaching as an act of faith as he privately pursues truth - quietly and offline - with a good spiritual director.

He can make a choice to step back away from the attention while he sorts all of this out. For this, we should all pray.

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Patrick Archbold said...

Note***
Personal attacks and vendettas are not allowed in the combox, The previous comments were highly inappropriate and were deleted as such.

Jeff said...

Well, I've always believed in ad hominem arguments as part of general discussion. They aren't "morally wrong". They are just logical fallicies and have no place in formal debate.

But the thing is: many times I have been met with ad hominem argument and rejected it hotly, only to decide later that it was true.

So: it seems likely to me from various comments Gerald has made about his wife's experience with gay adoptions and his marriage softening him on some things that he fell in love with someone who looked at things such as homosexuality in a way that doesn't fit with Catholicism.

Few new spouses who love and esteem their opposite numbers will be able to remain free from influence. In this case, the influence seems to be malignant.

What I CANNOT explain logically is Gerald's total unwillingness to even ENTERTAIN the idea that homosexuality might be a real psycho-spiritual disorder which does terrible harm to those who suffer from it. Add to the mix his use of silly cant words like "homophobic" and one is driven to seek something other than mere "new ideas" as an explanation.

Gerald hardly seems even to want to TRY to explain his change of view on this matter...it's just stuff like "you guys are too uptight on sexual stuff", blah, blah, blah. Is that an argument?

It's as if he suddenly turned on a dime and started telling us that it was ridiculous to object to clam-shaped tabernacles made of hammered aluminum in ancient churches but never accounted for his change of vision. Or so any real need to do so beyond a proclamation of the ridiculousness of the ideas he had so recently shared himself.

No, I feel sorry for Gerald. I can't stretch quite far enough to call him a "good egg". I think he's someone who's swallowed a piece of dangerous nonsense under alien influence and it's going to lead him right out of the Church if he's not extremely careful.

Anonymous said...

His last name is not actually Augustinus. That is his "given" name.

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