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The New Evangelization At Work?

Assumption Church is in Barnesville, Minnesota, a town about 30 minutes southeast on I-94 from Fargo, North Dakota. Fr. Gary LaMoine is the pastor at Assumption who (apparently) has decided that supporting same-sex marriage is grounds for being denied the sacrament of confirmation."If you want to be a Catholic, you have to be 100 percent Catholic.Thats the lesson one family here learned after their 17-year-old son was denied confirmation after the priest at the Assumption Church here found a pro same-sex marriage post on the teens Facebook.The decision by the Rev. Gary LaMoine to deny the religious rite of passage for Lennon Cihak in mid-October shocked his mother, who said her son has gone to church every week and volunteered around the community in preparation for his confirmation this year.You kind of know the Catholic beliefs, but I never thought they would deny somebody confirmation because you werent 100 percent. I guess thats what shocks me, Shana Cihak said."

Well, that's one way to redouble the Church's support for the traditional legal definition of marriage.Although there's apparently a fine theological distinction at play here that escapes me. "Lennon said fellow students in his confirmation class liked the photo on Facebook, but they were still allowed to be confirmed. " Perhaps some of our more theologically informed readers could explain what the exact limit is for a faithful Catholic's opposition to a referendum question that the state bishops' conference supports. Is "liking" on Facebook okay, but posting isn't? Or is posting allowed, but not photographs? (And what does the Catechism have to say about this? Where do Catholics go to find out the rules?)For me the most amazing and inexplicably hopeful thing about the whole incident so far is that "...through it all, Lennon said his faith hasnt faltered. 'I dont want the church to be put down. I dont want the Catholic religion to be put down....

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Bruce wrote:Since marriage is instituted by God, it is impossible for the Church to change its terms: an indissoluble lifetime commitment. From the Churchs perspective, that also makes it impossible for any government to change the terms as wellShould I understand you to mean that the civil law should forbid all things that the Church holds to be sinful?Neither Augustine nor Aquinas believed that.

Should I understand you to mean that the civil law should forbid all things that the Church holds to be sinful?John Hayes,Your understanding is backward. In the case of gay marriage, we are talking about creating civil law that encourages sinfulness.

"That Christian marriage (i.e. marriage between baptized persons) is really a sacrament of the New Law in the strict sense of the word is for all Catholics an indubitable truth. According to the Council of Trent this dogma has always been taught by the Church, and is thus defined in canon i, Sess. XXIV: 'If any one shall say that matrimony is not truly and properly one of the Seven Sacraments of the Evangelical Law, instituted by Christ our Lord, but was invented in the Church by men, and does not confer grace, let him be anathema'" (http://newadvent.org/cathen/09707a.htm). So, "Christian marriage" i.e., "matrimony", is a "sacrament" within the Church of Rome. According to the encyclopedia writer, this teaching is a "dogma".Jesus, a Jew, is talking to an obviously Jewish audience in Mark 10 where he conveys God's prohibition of divorce and remarriage (http://www.usccb.org/bible/mk/10:11). Then we see Jesus distinguishing between the law of God and the law of Caesar in Mark 12:16-17 (http://www.usccb.org/bible/mark/12). Jesus tells his Jewish listeners to obey, as appropriate, one or the other law. Today in the U.S., a marriage license bears the "image and inscription" of Caesar, not of God. Such being the case in a pluralistic society, it is the law of Caesar that governs for people who are outside the Church of Rome or who are members of the Jewish faith. It would appear that Luke Hill's comment (5:38 pm) is pertinent here.

It should be noted that the Church of Rome will not witness a marriage without a state-issued marriage license, nor will the Church of Rome act on a petition for declaration of nullity without a state-issued divorce decree. In other words, the Church of Rome acknowledges the legitimacy of state-issued marriage and divorce documents presented by its members.

A new push for meatless Fridays? Sounds like pouring new wine into old wineskins!

My quote from New Advent notwithstanding, I'm not aware of the Church of Rome having officially promulgated any list of dogmas.

"In the case of gay marriage, we are talking about creating civil law that encourages sinfulness."But this is not what the Minnesota referendum was about. Gay marriage is not recognized in Minnesota; the point here was to further build the prohibition into the state constitution.

(Put another way, I am relying on R.L. Burke regarding can. 915, Periodica Canonica 96:3 [2007], which is clearly conservative in approach. IANACL, or any other kind. I nonetheless have no idea how the parents are legally reachable in this case. "[T]he discipline requires the minister of Holy Communion to forbid the Sacrament to those who are publicly unworthy. Such action must not be precipitous." The action seems frankly penal.)

OK, I have to retract in part, as I failed to re-view the image, which goes beyond mere opposition to the referendum in question. "To remain silent is to permit serious confusion regarding a fundamental truth of the moral law. Confusion, of course, is one of the most insidious fruits of scandalous behavior." (Burke again.)

Lennon Cihak discusses his refused confirmation on Twitter (along with a lot of unrelated discussion of music, etc)https://mobile.twitter.com/LennonCihak/tweetsSomeone else has started an "i support Lennon Cihak" page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Support-Lennon-Cihak/305735312869261?fr..., there is a Tumblr page which opposes a number of other teachings of the Church on sexuality which claims to be from Lennon Cihak. If it is his, he has been pushed to a public position that isn't apparent in the initial news reports. It ends with "IM GLAD IM DONE WITH THAT CHURCH AND AM PROUD OF MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR SO MUCH SUPPORT AND STANDING UP FOR ME AND SUPPORTING MY BELIEFS BECAUSEAPPARENTLYTHE CHURCH CANT."http://lennoncihak.tumblr.com/post/35318877422/right-or-wrong-you-tell-meIs this the best we can do?

Bruce wrote:Your understanding is backward. In the case of gay marriage, we are talking about creating civil law that encourages sinfulness.i would describe it as removing laws that prohibit sinfulness. As we have removed laws that prohibited adultery.

Boonesville, Minn (Pop. 2300) may have exhausted its newsworthiness. Fr. LaMoine's letter to his parish explains it all. A second student also not confirmed is reported. Fr. LaMoine explains that the choice was Lennon's, although he wouldn't have confirmed him in any case. (Reminiscent of "I am not telling you how to vote, but ") He apologizes for the actions of the family. http://www.kfgo.com/on-air-details.php?ID=1498 http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/380685/group/News/ According to tomorrow's parish bulletin, a Sunday collection is about 100 envelopes and adult contributions are down almost 3% for the month. He may not care to be too scrupulous about going after others in the parish who may have agreed with the kids on the referendum and actually voted. http://www.catholicweb.com/bulletins/73402/Nov-18-2012.pdf

LaMoine's understanding of Confirmation is faulty.The sacrament does NOT make its recipients "full members" of the Church. They are full members already, thanks to Baptism. It does NOT bring them "into full communion with the Catholic community." They are part of the Catholic community already, thanks to Baptism. For this priest to talk about "defacing" a political sign and to misrepresent the effects of a sacrament is . . . http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04215b.htm (Confirmation in the Catholic Encyc.)

^ "it is"

Boris,Marriage laws must actively be changed to permit 'gay marriage'. At the present time, Minnesota says that only opposite-sex partners can marry; it is silent on gay marriage. But you are correct that the state wont issue a marriage license, however that is fundamentally different criminalizing the behavior. On the other hand, Jacks comment about adultery laws is not similar because the law was changed from criminalizing adultery to the current situation which neither permits nor criminalizes that behavior.

About half of the states have removed adultery from their laws. From a quick look, Minnesota hasn't. It also has a law on fornication.Which raises the interesting question of whether the Church would oppose a referendum to remove adultery and fornication from the Minnesota laws - and would it refuse to confirm people who supported the referendum?

This pastor and bishops of Minnesota say that voting/advocating NO on a constitutional amendment to add a prohibition on SSM is Catholic doctrine???? No State Constitution or the US Constitution has an explicit ban on SSM. To say a NO vote on thowing mud into the state Constitution is against Catholic teaching is and was a big loser. Because it's moronic and ugly. People don't like ugly in their constitutions.

This whole mess should be dismissed as a comedy except for the unconscionable treatment of two Catholic kids and their families by the Roman Catholic Church as they experienced it where they lived. LaMoine will disappear, but he leaves scars on Catholic lives. This might be another vote for married priests. Anyone who holds a 17-year old kid to his firmest convictions and expects to find them the same a year - much less a lifetime - later doesn't understand what he is doing. No comment now or any other time on adultery laws. Bruce misses his target.

"At the present time, Minnesota says that only opposite-sex partners can marry; it is silent on gay marriage."This is a tortured interpretation, to say the least."On the other hand, Jacks comment about adultery laws is not similar because the law was changed from criminalizing adultery to the current situation which neither permits nor criminalizes that behavior."I don't think you reach "not similar," but if the payload is that analogy is not isomorphism, OK. I fail to see the utility in such an observation all the same. The threshold question (which now departs from Mr. Cihak entirely) would seem to be whether it is permissible to oppose an escalation of secular legislation on grounds of principle even if the goal of that escalation is in accord with Church doctrine.

Minnesota also hAs a law against prostitution. Regarding that Aquinas said (quoting Augustine)

although God is all-powerful and supremely good, nevertheless He allows certain evils to take place in the universe, which He might prevent, lest, without them, greater goods might be forfeited, or greater evils ensue. Accordingly in human government also, those who are in authority, rightly tolerate certain evils, lest certain goods be lost, or certain greater evils be incurred: thus Augustine says (De Ordine ii, 4): "If you do away with harlots, the world will be convulsed with lust."AndAgain it must be observed that the end of human law is different from the end of Divine law. For the end of human law is the temporal tranquillity of the state, which end law effects by directing external actions, as regards those evils which might disturb the peaceful condition of the state. On the other hand, the end of the Divine law is to bring man to that end which is everlasting happiness

Personally, i am in favor of having a law against prostitution, particularly against forced prostitution. But that is a prudential decision, not a matter of doctrine. If someone promoted the abolition of the law, i would not see that as rejecting Catholic doctrine.

Ode to Fr. LaMoine, with apologies to Ms. Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas:Fellow Catholics, I am proudly standing here to humbly see.I assure you, and I mean it- Now, who says I don't speak out as plain as day?And, fellow Catholics, I'm for tradition and the cross- long may it stand. I'm a poor boy, come to greatness. So, it follows that I cannot tell a lie.Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don't-I've come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,cut a little swathe and lead the people on.Now my good friends, it behooves me to be solemn and declare,I'm for goodness and for marriage and for living clean and saying daily prayer. And now, my good friends, you can sleep nights, I'll continue to stand tall.You can trust me, for I promise, I shall keep a watchful eye upon ya'll...Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don't-I've come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,cut a little swathe and lead the people on.Now, Lennon Cihak, I don't know him, though I've heard his claim, oh yes. But, of course I've no close contact, so what he is doing I can only guess. And now, Lennon Cihak, he's a blemish on the face of our good church. I am taking certain steps here, someone somewhere's gonna have to close him down.Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don't-I've come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,cut a little swathe and lead the people on.Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep...And, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step...Cut a little swathe and lead the people on.

Because its moronic and uglyI actually find in moronic and ugly to encourage the use of alimentary canal orifices for sex.

Whoa, Bruce, do you really want to go down that path? Wouldn't kissing (using of a part of the alimentary canal) as a prelude to sexual stimulation be ugly and moronic, then? Or would you just draw the line at soul kissing? And what about the penis, a dual function organ for elimination of waste water from the bladder as well as sperm? Wouldn't that, loosely speaking, be part of the alimentary system?Please, rhetorical questions only meant to point out that much of our anatomy is multi-functional. Certainly NO ON should force you (and I don't think anyone here is even encouraging you) to have sex in ways you find morally and physically repugnant. But your blanket condemnation and the shame it attempts to inflict on others is one reason I often find the Good Catholic attitude moronic and ugly sometimes. It isn't so much what you condemn as how you do it with such certitude and pomposity.

"I actually find in moronic and ugly to encourage the use of alimentary canal orifices for sex."Does this mean it's time for a theological discussion of the Ligament of Treitz?

Bruce: you really need to check out what Your Kind of People practice in the privacy of their bedrooms. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/06/anal-sex-heterosexual-couples-r...'s a bit hubristic for you to be quite that shocked.

Regarding the earlier dscussion of the death penalty, it's interesting that Cardinal Dolan regrets that Californians didn't follow the recommendations of their bishops - but doesn't suggest that they have sinned in doing so."The death penalty is another issue of concern to those who believe that the promotion of the dignity of the human person and the protection of human life is the normative guide in our voting. Here again the results were not positive. The electorate in California had the chance to reject this lethal and unjust penalty. The Church in California did its best to preach the Gospel of Life, but apparently was less than effective. The referendum lost."http://cny.org/stories/Looking-Back-at-Election-Day,8444?content_source=...

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