Theological Dilemma, Please Help!


#1

Hi everyone,

Over the past two months, I have become aware of some things that are going on in my parish. Just to let everyone know where I come from, I’m a recent convert from Reform Judaism. I’m currently in RCIA.

My main concern is the fact that we have a gay couple in our parish. This couple is sexually active, and very open about themselves. Furthermore, they are gay rights activists. They are very active in the “gay marriage” movement. This couple belongs to a gay men’s chorus (no affiliation with the church) and they had a performance a few weeks ago. Several members of the church choir went. I was asked if I wanted to buy a ticket, but I declined.

The choir director is fully aware of them, but allowed them on the choir anyway. She has made it clear that she disapproves of their relationship, but feels that she would be unloving if she didn’t allow them on the choir. The priest and RCIA director are also aware of them, as is the nun. This couple is allowed to receive Communion every Sunday, which I have been told by some devout acquaintances of mine is against the teachings of the Church.

In addition, one of these men is a lector, and appears before the congregation on a regular basis in this capacity. These two men constantly joke around in a vulgar, sexual manner, making all kinds of gay sex jokes. They do this all the time in front of the choir members, and have done it to me as well. Several times now they have made crude sexual jokes to me. One of them also has made it a bit obvious that he finds me attractive.

I have spoken to my choir director about this, and she became angry at me. She admitted that she knows what the Church teaches, but disagrees with it. She said that the fact that these men are not denied Communion shows that this parish is a loving parish, and not “traditional, hard-nosed, and cold-hearted.” Furthermore, it has come to my attention that she has been talking about me behind my back, in relation to this issue.

I have been told that this is a “Judas parish”, and that I should leave it. What is a “Judas parish?” I would also like to let everyone know that in spite of these experiences, I have met many devout, orthodox, loving Catholics at this parish, and have befriended them. I have to admit I feel torn. On one hand, I’m sick of this and want to leave. On the other, I don’t want to leave the good, devout friends I’ve met there.

There are also other issues that I’ve discovered at this parish. I have learned from a couple of devout acqaintances that my RCIA director ahs been teaching me things that contradict official Church doctrine. For example, she has taught me that everyone is saved, regardless of what their religion is (Buddhism, Shinto, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc). She said all that is required for salvation is that you follow your particular religion faithfully. Also, she has taught me that Hell does not exist. Only Heaven and Purgatory. There are other examples, but I’ll leave them out in the interest of space.

If I have posted this on the wrong forum, I apologize. The moderators can feel free to move this to whatever forum is appropriate.

By the way, I’ve been praying about this. Anyone who has any insight, please help. Thanks!


#2

I would write a letter to the Bishop about this one!!!

The only way that I think they could be recieving communion…and I have never heard of this situation, is if they are living together as brothers…no intimacy! But that is hard to believe.

As far as the nasty comments…I would let them no you do not appreciate them…be a prude…who cares what they think!

Personally…I’d leave…even if you wrote to the Bishop!!! I hope this doesn’t ruin your RCIA experience:(

:blessyou:


#3

[quote=Lillith]I would write a letter to the Bishop about this one!!!

The only way that I think they could be recieving communion…and I have never heard of this situation, is if they are living together as brothers…no intimacy! But that is hard to believe.

As far as the nasty comments…I would let them no you do not appreciate them…be a prude…who cares what they think!

Personally…I’d leave…even if you wrote to the Bishop!!! I hope this doesn’t ruin your RCIA experience:(

:blessyou:
[/quote]

Thank you. And they definitely are not living together as brothers. They’ve made that VERY clear to everyone.

If I write to the bishop, will it cause trouble for me, even if I move to another parish? I’m sorry if this sounds bad, but I’m concerned about it.


#4

[quote=Jew_Man_73]Thank you. And they definitely are not living together as brothers. They’ve made that VERY clear to everyone.

If I write to the bishop, will it cause trouble for me, even if I move to another parish? I’m sorry if this sounds bad, but I’m concerned about it.
[/quote]

It really shouldn’t…who is your Bishop?

It is the Bishops job to keep his parishes in tow…I would imagine that there are other members of your parish equally bothered…make it a group project, and you can’t be singled out as a trouble maker!!

I just can not believe this!!! I am so sorry! I promise this is not typical…:frowning:


#5

That is not incense smoke you smell in your church but smoke straight from hell. Find another parish.


#6

[quote=tom.wineman]That is not incense smoke you smell in your church but smoke straight from hell. Find another parish.
[/quote]

I agree…but try to take it down also:thumbsup:


#7

[quote=Lillith]It really shouldn’t…who is your Bishop?

It is the Bishops job to keep his parishes in tow…I would imagine that there are other members of your parish equally bothered…make it a group project, and you can’t be singled out as a trouble maker!!

I just can not believe this!!! I am so sorry! I promise this is not typical…:frowning:
[/quote]

I have no idea who the bishop is. I’ll have to research it. I do know that I am in the Diocese of Raleigh, though. I guess I can type that into a search engine and look around.

My roommate is also converting to Catholicism, and he’s just as upset as I am. This gay couple has started going around telling people they know in the parish that we are actually a gay couple too!

I don’t know who in particular at the parish would be bothered enough to write a letter, though, except my roommate. I guess I can figure out a way to discreetly ask.


#8

[quote=tom.wineman]That is not incense smoke you smell in your church but smoke straight from hell. Find another parish.
[/quote]

Thank you. They don’t use incense, though.


#9

By the way, I live in a small town in a predominantly rural part of NC. There are only two parishes in this area.


#10

I agree with everybody here. I would find a new parish though only after all other problem solving stuff is used like going to the bishop.


#11

[quote=Jew_Man_73]There are only two parishes in this area.
[/quote]

Then go to the other one. Document everything you’ve got and without being condemning or emotional, write that letter to the bishop.

Penitent


#12

Diocese of Raleigh
Most Reverend F. Joseph Gossman
715 Nazareth Street
Raleigh, NC 27606
dioceseofraleigh.org/home/

You are in my prayers.


#13

[quote=Jew_Man_73]I have no idea who the bishop is. I’ll have to research it. I do know that I am in the Diocese of Raleigh, though. I guess I can type that into a search engine and look around.

My roommate is also converting to Catholicism, and he’s just as upset as I am. This gay couple has started going around telling people they know in the parish that we are actually a gay couple too!

I don’t know who in particular at the parish would be bothered enough to write a letter, though, except my roommate. I guess I can figure out a way to discreetly ask.
[/quote]

You spoke about meeting good devout friends there…they would I’m sure be interested…

Please post this on the ask an apologist…Or call them…someone can help…this is just disgusting and it makes me so sad. It is slander, and illegal, not to mention sinful, to spread lies like the ones they are telling…I would be so angry.

I have never heard of such a thing!!!


#14

[quote=Ann Cheryl]Diocese of Raleigh
Most Reverend F. Joseph Gossman
715 Nazareth Street
Raleigh, NC 27606
dioceseofraleigh.org/home/

You are in my prayers.
[/quote]

Ann Cheryl…you are brilliant!!!:thumbsup:


#15

Evil is everywhere. I will pray for you.

I don’t believe you should leave the parish. I believe you should hold strong and recieve your sacraments at this parish. The sacraments are real…even though your are amongst individuals you aren’t really Catholic.

After you take your sacraments…make an effort to get the word out that this parish is in great turmoil. …and don’t give up.

God Bless You.


#16

dioceseofraleigh.org/where/parishes/I

I am posting a link to the parishes in the Diocese of Raleigh. Much to my surprise I found that this is the same diocese in which my son lives. He is a Marine at Cherry Point and attends mass on base.

Do find another parish

Ann Cheryl…you are brilliant!!!:thumbsup:

:o


#17

Perhaps you should specifically ask your RCIA director to address issues of sexual morality so that everyone will know exactly what the Church teaches. If the RCIA does not teach what the Church teaches, then this would be a good opportunity to bring this to the attention of the pastor first, and then the bishop.


#18

[quote=Jew_Man_73]Hi everyone,

Over the past two months, I have become aware of some things that are going on in my parish. Just to let everyone know where I come from, I’m a recent convert from Reform Judaism. I’m currently in RCIA.

My main concern is the fact that we have a gay couple in our parish. This couple is sexually active, and very open about themselves. Furthermore, they are gay rights activists. They are very active in the “gay marriage” movement. This couple belongs to a gay men’s chorus (no affiliation with the church) and they had a performance a few weeks ago. Several members of the church choir went. I was asked if I wanted to buy a ticket, but I declined.

The choir director is fully aware of them, but allowed them on the choir anyway. She has made it clear that she disapproves of their relationship, but feels that she would be unloving if she didn’t allow them on the choir. The priest and RCIA director are also aware of them, as is the nun. This couple is allowed to receive Communion every Sunday, which I have been told by some devout acquaintances of mine is against the teachings of the Church.

In addition, one of these men is a lector, and appears before the congregation on a regular basis in this capacity. These two men constantly joke around in a vulgar, sexual manner, making all kinds of gay sex jokes. They do this all the time in front of the choir members, and have done it to me as well. Several times now they have made crude sexual jokes to me. One of them also has made it a bit obvious that he finds me attractive.

I have spoken to my choir director about this, and she became angry at me. She admitted that she knows what the Church teaches, but disagrees with it. She said that the fact that these men are not denied Communion shows that this parish is a loving parish, and not “traditional, hard-nosed, and cold-hearted.” Furthermore, it has come to my attention that she has been talking about me behind my back, in relation to this issue.

I have been told that this is a “Judas parish”, and that I should leave it. What is a “Judas parish?” I would also like to let everyone know that in spite of these experiences, I have met many devout, orthodox, loving Catholics at this parish, and have befriended them. I have to admit I feel torn. On one hand, I’m sick of this and want to leave. On the other, I don’t want to leave the good, devout friends I’ve met there.

There are also other issues that I’ve discovered at this parish. I have learned from a couple of devout acqaintances that my RCIA director ahs been teaching me things that contradict official Church doctrine. For example, she has taught me that everyone is saved, regardless of what their religion is (Buddhism, Shinto, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc). She said all that is required for salvation is that you follow your particular religion faithfully. Also, she has taught me that Hell does not exist. Only Heaven and Purgatory. There are other examples, but I’ll leave them out in the interest of space.

If I have posted this on the wrong forum, I apologize. The moderators can feel free to move this to whatever forum is appropriate.

By the way, I’ve been praying about this. Anyone who has any insight, please help. Thanks!
[/quote]

I think you should write to your Bishop also…and I am so sorry your Parish has gone kind of , well, goofy:whacky: . What helps me is to read the Catechism and then ask questions from that source. For instance, the Church does teach that salvation for those who are ignorant of Jesus is possible, and leaves that up to God to determine. The question (for us creatures) is what constitutes ignorance and is it willful.
As for the gay couple, I also think you are being bullied into accepting something that is against Church teachings. Stand fast, my brother. We will all keep you in our prayers. I will also pray for the gay men who do not want to be obedient sons of the Holy Mother Church. That appears to me to be an example of willful rejection of the teachings of Christ and the Church, but again I leave the judgement of their souls to Christ.


#19

I would ask already-received communicants to fight this battle. Definitely do not take up this issue on your own; do it as a team. Bishops don’t like bad news, and they especially don’t like bad news from one person acting on his own. But 6 people . . . they might have a chance. Technically, you’re not even in the building yet. And if possible, I WOULD find another parish.

This sort of thing is widespread. Priests are squeamish and get the weird idea that if they ask guys like this to do the right thing, the guys will leave the Church – as if they haven’t already left! All that remains is the bodies. If they are publicly espousing the gay marriage cause, publicly affirming their non-continent lifestyle, then they are a public scandal, and the PASTOR really should look into it and correct the situation. Your gang of six should approach the pastor before going to the bishop. Maybe even give him a bit of a deadline: We think this is an open scandal, demoralizing to the faithful, a misplaced sense of false charity which refuses to correct the sinner . . . We hope this will be corrected by Labor Day.

The guys should NOT serve as readers. People serving in the Sanctuary are required to be Catholics in good standing – baptized, confirmed, marriages in order, no unmarried cohabiting individuals . . . These ministers must affirm the magisterium of the Church. Bring that to the pastor’s attention . . .


#20

Hi JM,

I’ve been wondering how things have been going for you. I’m so sorry that you’ve encountered such difficulties in your parish. God never promised us it would be easy and we know that the weeds grow alongside the wheat, to be sorted in the end.

Sounds like you have the challenge of hanging around some weeds! Be salt to the world, hold firm to the truth you know in your heart and do not let the evil one win through these distractions.

I’m not fond of the idea of jumping ship whenever things get bad, for that merely leaves a parish devoid of it’s faithful parishoners. I’m of the old school mentality that suggests we attend the parish that covers where we live. If we’re lucky, it’s marvelously faithful and we have the bliss of attending unadulterated Mass with a community of other Faithful Catholics. However, when we find ourselves with a challenging priest, or off target teachings within the community, we allow satan to win if we immediately turn and run.

So, what would I suggest you do? You haven’t mentioned whether you have spoken to the priest about what you’ve encountered, especially with regards to the male couple. You can ask him for clarification of the teachings of the church regarding homosexuality, it be a grave disorder and the importance of approaching the Eucharist in the state of grace. See if he defends them on grounds that he knows their state of grace through his role as Priest and Pastor (who knows, perhaps they confess every Saturday, attend Mass and then go right back to their evil ways, not that I suspect this to be the case, but we are not to be their judge).

If on the other hand, he defends their way of life, be a light. With the greatest charity possible, and charity here will be the absolute necessary key, state that you have learned quite clearly that the Church as definitive teachings on the importance of Chastity and protecting the temple of the Holy Spirit. That it is a grave scandal allow this couple to occupy such a visible position in the Parish while they flaunt their sinful lifestyle, with not only no apparent repentance, but with an air of lust and debauchary that the bring to Church with them.

It is first the Pastor’s responsibility to teach the ways of the Church to his parishoners. If he is unwilling or unable to do so, then you approach the Bishop, with as much specific information as possible, detailing specific occurances. This should be presented with a very brief cover letter outlining the reasons for your concerns and how you believe it impacts the Parish community.

As for what the DRE has been teaching you … well, some of what she’s teaching is close to correct, and some is absolutely wrong. There is a Hell, we have that directly from Christ. We know that the road to Hell is well traveled, so her ideas that nearly everyone is going to Heaven are a bit optimistic and can mislead souls. Yes, those who are not Catholic can be saved, even if they don’t know Christ by name. But this requires that they seriously intend to serve God as they know him. That they listen to their conscience and do good, as opposed to evil.

As Catholics, we have been given much by way of the graces of the sacraments, and so of us, much is expected. Our seperated Christian bretheren, absent from the graces of the sacraments, do not have the requirements. However, if and when they come to know that the Church is the one Church established by Christ, to not enter it, and follow her precepts becomes a grave sin.

The same is true of our non-Christian brothers and sisters in the world. God will lead them to a path for their salvation if they seek it with sincerity. We trust that God makes this available to all men, each in his own way.

God Bless you and good luck with your trials,

CARose


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.