Search Now:

Currently Reading
Seeds of Deception
Seeds Of Deception:
Planting Destruction
Of America's Children


Product image for ASIN: 074324785X
The Question of God:
C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud
Debate God, Love, Sex,
and the Meaning of Life


Intended for Pleasure
Intended for Pleasure:
Sex Technique and
Sexual Fulfillment
in Christian Marriage


Product image for ASIN: 1576737160
The Ragamuffin Gospel





Google
QUESTIONS??? AND ANSWERS!!!

[Previous entry: "What Jeb Bush Auta Do"] [Main Index] [Next entry: "Memories of Easter Looking back Looking forward"]

03/24/2005: "Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner"

KARL KEATING'S E-LETTER
March 22, 2005

TOPIC:
"INTOLERANT BISHOP"

Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:

That was the title of the lead editorial in Saturday's edition of "The San
Diego Union-Tribune." Here is the chief part of the text:

"Whatever happened to the age-old Christian precept, 'Hate the sin and love the
sinner?'

"San Diego Bishop Robert Brom apparently rejects this maxim of charity and
tolerance. His highly rare decision to deny a Catholic burial to a gay businessman
who owned a gay-oriented nightclub sends a message that is the sheer antithesis
of charity and tolerance.

"To the bishop, a Catholic funeral for John McCusker, who died Sunday of
congestive heart failure, would be a 'public scandal' because the business he owned,
Club Montage, was 'inconsistent with Catholic moral teaching.'
"In our view, the real scandal is Bishop Brom's narrow-minded ostracism of
McCusker after the family arranged for a funeral at the Immaculata Catholic Church
at the University of San Diego, which McCusker had attended. Brom rescinded the
arrangement and decreed that McCusker's funeral could not be held at any of the
98 Catholic churches in the diocese of San Diego and Imperial counties.

"To our knowledge, McCusker never has been accused of doing anything illegal.
If Bishop Brom has information to the contrary, he should step forward with it.
..."

THE BACKGROUND

Before I explain what is behind the vitriol of the editorial, let me explain
the facts of the case.

John McCusker, 31, died while vacationing with his male "partner" in the
mountain resort community of Mammoth, California. He owned at least two bars in San
Diego, one that catered to heterosexuals on Fridays and to homosexuals on
Saturdays and another bar that had an exclusively gay clientele. A porn video had
been filmed at the first club, and the second club advertised "gay porn stars."

McCusker was someone of note in the "gay community." He served on the boards of
several gay organizations and was active in a get-out-the-vote campaign
targeted at young homosexuals. Although he had attended the University of San Diego, a
nominally Catholic school, nothing in the local reportage indicates that he was
a Mass-going Catholic.

In an official statement, the chancellor of the Diocese of San Diego, Rodrigo
Valdivia, said that, "in order to avoid public scandal, John McCusker was denied
a funeral in a Catholic church or chapel in the Diocese of San Diego because of
his business activities, which were contrary to Sacred Scripture and the moral
teaching of the Church. The Bishop acted as he did so that the faithful would
not be misled and erroneously conclude that the Church condones activities such
as those included in the businesses of Mr. McCusker."

Valdivia ended by saying, "It is a mistake to interpret this pastoral action as
a condemnation of Mr. McCusker. He should be in our prayers for the blessing of
eternal life."

McCusker's funeral was held in an Episcopal church after McCusker's family
phoned San Diego City Councilwoman Toni Atkins, a prominent lesbian, who suggested
St. Paul's Cathedral.

BEHIND THE NEWSPAPER COVERAGE

The "Union-Tribune" published two lengthy stories about the incident on Friday
and Saturday, and Saturday's letters to the editor began with a full-page
headline: "The Catholic Church, homosexuality and funeral rites." Six letters
followed, four of them condemning the diocese. The editorial titled "Intolerant
bishop" rounded out the day's coverage.

I wasn't too surprised at the paper's attitude because the "Union-Tribune" is
in many respects a gay newspaper.

Once upon a time, when run by the present publisher's father, the paper was
considered to be one of the most conservative in the country. Now it is very
liberal. The editor of "The Reader," a San Diego weekly, noted that the
"Union-Tribune" has become "more anti-family, pro-abortion, and pro-homosexual" in recent
years.

While it still endorses some Republican candidates for office, it favors
"moderate" Republicans who are pro-abortion and pro-gay, such as Arnold
Schwarzenegger. The paper's move to the left--especially in terms of social issues--has been
evident for years.

I remember when it used to run a weekly statistics box on deaths from AIDS. The
numbers were presented in several ways: male vs. female, self-described
heterosexual vs. self-described homosexual, intravenous drug user vs. non-user, and so
forth.

The intention apparently was to show that AIDS was not a "homosexual disease,"
but the numbers indicated otherwise. A little math showed that no fewer than 92
percent of the listed deaths were of homosexuals. At some point this must have
been realized by the editors, because, after running for many weeks, the
statistics box one day disappeared without comment.

What has not disappeared is the "Union-Tribune's" inordinate attention to gay
events and people. The annual gay pride parade always gets several prominent
articles, and the local section of the paper plays up anything that has a gay
connection, such as a charity event, a business, a concert, or a play.

In most papers, most deceased people get a one-inch obituary, with long-text
treatments being reserved for people of note. That was true at the
"Union-Tribune" too, but with an addendum: If you were a homosexual, and especially if you
died of AIDS, you got the long-text obituary, even if you otherwise were an
unknown.

A particular day's obituary page might include longer reminiscences of
recently-departed entertainers, literary figures, and politicians--but getting equal
weight was the obituary for the owner of a hair salon, the fellow just happening
to have died of AIDS. That kind of thing.

This imbalance was so prevalent that the newspaper eventually reformed the
obituary page, but the bias that had been there seemed to flow into other sections
of the paper, particularly the society section and the local news section.

THE EDITORIAL

The unnamed writer of the editorial said that Bishop Brom "apparently rejects"
the maxim "Hate the sin and love the sinner." That is a broad charge, one given
with no evidence whatsoever, other than the mere facts of the McCusker case. It
is the kind of comment made by someone who is incapable of seeing sin in
certain kinds of situations.

The real problem, said the editorial, is that Brom is "narrow-minded"--after
all, McCusker "never has been accused of doing anything illegal." That is a
non-sequitur.

Maybe it is true that McCusker never was accused of a crime, but so what? In
today's society, most immoral acts are not crimes, and the Church ought to
operate at a higher level than does the Criminal Code. Moral theology is not
determined by studying the laws passed by the California legislature.

VOLTE-FACE

That is the way things stood yesterday, with the paper saying representatives
of gay organizations were going to meet last night to figure out how to protest
the bishop's decision and how to phrase their demand that he reverse it. Their
meeting never got that far because McCusker's mother read aloud a statement
from the bishop.

The gist of it was given in the headline on the first page of this morning's
paper: "S.D. bishop apologizes for denying funeral rite."

"In a stunning twist to the controversy that has created an uproar in San
Diego's gay and Catholic communities, Bishop Robert Brom also promised to preside at
a Mass in memory of McCusker at Immaculata Catholic Church," reported the
paper.

The bishop said he would "not be available for any further public statements on
this matter."

No doubt the "Union-Tribune" will have a further public statement. I await its
follow-up editorial.

Until next time,

Karl

********************

If you have a comment about anything appearing in this E-Letter, please do not
hit your Reply button. Instead, go to Catholic Answers' new discussion forums
at http://forums.catholic.com, where you may post your comment in the forum
dedicated to the E-Letter. You will find a thread devoted to this issue of the
E-Letter. Feel free to add your comment in the form of a reply to that thread.

********************

To subscribe to Karl Keating's E-Letter, send an e-mail to eletter@catholic.com
and write "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line or go to
http://www.catholic.com/newsletters.asp.

********************

If you do not wish to receive Karl Keating's E-Letter, send an e-mail to
eletter@catholic.com and write "CANCEL" in the subject line.

********************

To change your e-mail address, send an e-mail to eletter@catholic.com and write
"ADDRESS CHANGE" in the subject line. Important: In the body of the message, be
sure to give both your old and new e-mail addresses.

********************

To learn more about the Catholic faith and about Catholic Answers, visit us at
http://www.catholic.com.

********************

The content of this E-Letter is copyright 2005 by Karl Keating.

XML Feed
Powered by
RSSgenr8

Product image for ASIN: 078521187X
Blog
Hugh Hewitt
Purpose

RECENT SERIES:
Voice From the Cross
Study of James
Catholics and Evangelicals

NAVAGATION:
home
archives
email

LINKS:
NEWS:
Conservative
World Net Daily
World Magazine
Washington Times
Weekly Standard
National Review

Liberal
The New Republic
Salon
LA Times
Washington Post
New York Times

Other
Jerusalem Post

TALK:
The Patriot
Hugh Hewitt
Dennis Prager
Bill Bennett
870 KRLA

FAITH:
980 KKMS
Bible Gateway
Francis Schaeffer
C. S. Lewis
G. K. Chesterton
My Church

THINK TANKS:
American Enterprise Institute
Heritage Foundation

WHOLE HEALTH:
Marriage Builders
Health Begins in Him

Blog Roll:
Northers Alliance:
Captain's Quarters
Fraters Libertas
Lileks
Powerline
SCSU Scholars
Shot in the Dark
Spitbull

La Shawn Barber's Corner
Between Two Worlds
Joshua Claybourn
Blogdom of God
Blogs4God
Brothers Judd
Broken Masterpieces
E-Involved
Evangelical Outpost
Frankly Speaking
In the Agora
It Takes A Church
Jolly Blogger
Le Sabot Post-Moderne
Mind & Media
Al Mohler
Parablemania
Patriot Paradox
John Mark Reynolds
Mark Roberts
Smart Christian
Abide in the Word
Religion News Blog
Stones Cry Out
Austin Bay
Prolife blogs
Ethos

ART:
Deborah Woodall

Military:
IRAQ The Model
Major K
Other Links:
Wayne Moran Main Page
Our Sponsors
The Weblog Review


light

<xBlogxPhilesx>


Copyright, 2004 Wayne Moran
Wayne Moran
Powered by Greymatter