May 23 2013

My thoughts on the BSA motion

Published by under Scouting

Today, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have seen a resolution pass that changes its membership policies and issued a press release.  Please read the link in the previous sentence if you have not read the resolution yet.  Please, do so, as the rest of this post will refer to it.

Shortly thereafter, as you can find elsewhere, people have decided to deride the decision as going too far or not far enough.  Among Catholics out on the internet, the lean seems to be nearly entering into hyperventilation that Scout units affiliated with Catholic parishes are going to go to Sodom and Gomorrah in a hatbox.

I took the survey.  I was one of a large majority who took the survey and who believe it unjust that a young man could not receive Eagle rank because of homosexual tendencies.  Go to paragraph five of this FAQ to find the justification that the BSA has to make this decision.  I made this choice because of what the Catholic Church teaches on homosexuality.  Only three paragraphs appear in the Catechism.  Do go and read them, as this post will refer to them.

I support this change because to do otherwise would, in my view, be unjust discrimination against Scouts who have homosexual tendencies.  Our Church openly challenges our culture regarding homosexuality.  She expects those with homosexual tendencies to live chastely, as per their state of life.  If severe, these people might never receive sacramental marriage (please note that this does not mean that all single people have strong homosexual attractions, but only that some may).  By forgoing marriage, they become eunuchs for the Lord.  I digress.

Some people have expressed concern regarding what this will mean to other Scouts, especially regarding child abuse.  The BSA has been at the forefront at striving to prevent child abuse, period.  It has learned much from when numerous cases of sexual abuse came to light.  Scouts and their leaders are trained in how to recognize signs of child abuse, how to avoid child abuse, and how to report it.  At least once every two years (it may be yearly), leaders are to be retrained in youth protection.  In the front of every handbook is a pamphlet that the Scout and his family are to read and sign regarding youth protection.  The BSA takes child abuse very seriously.

Another concern has been raised regarding the nature of units chartered to religious organizations.  The chartering organization determines ultimately who may or may not be a leader of the local unit.  The local Scout council might remove a leader if that person violates policies, but oftentimes will leave that decision to the chartering organization.  As such, if a church is a chartering organization, then the church leaders will determine who may or may not be leaders.  The chartering organization appoints a representative who signs the adult applications.  If the adult does not meet the standards of the organization (say, a church), then that person’s form will be incomplete.

As an Eagle Scout (1993), I am pleased with this decision.  As a Catholic, I am pleased with the decision.  I know many people are concerned about this decision.  I pray that this post assuages some of that concern.

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Mar 26 2013

From the navel-gazing crowd

Published by under Uncategorized

Over at GetReligion, a discussion is occurring regarding Easter and Passover.  No, not which is better, but more, who celebrates and how do they celebrate.  In effect, there are two groups: those who hear the stories (“Why is this night not like other nights? ” “Oh happy fault!”) and those who eat the meals (not Sacramental).  A good read.  It seems the meals crowd has won thusfar, but the Stories crowd is still significant.

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Aug 11 2012

Cool Photo from the Olympics

Published by under Uncategorized

From here.

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Aug 02 2012

How long, O Lord, how long?

Published by under Uncategorized

I am originally from Buffalo, which received a new bishop quite quickly after +Kmiec turned 75.  Erie waited at least a year for +Trautman to be replaced.  Rochester, which some would say is in bad shape, waits (im)patiently for its turn.

I write about this because one of its few remaining Catholic high schools, DeSales, which served the eastern parts of that diocese, announced that it was closing.  Rochester is a small diocese compared with Buffalo in terms of population.  Yet, for about half of its high schools to close in the span of one bishop is too much to bear. So, I join with those in Rochester who must feel like the title of this post is just right.

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Jul 26 2012

Scouting and Catholics

Published by under Uncategorized

So, I’ve been busy.  First I was at TeCaBoCa to cook for a family retreat program, then I helped at a youth leadership develop program whose aim is to train the students for leading small Christian communities.  After that I went on retreat and heard Ronald Rohlheiser.  I relaxed a few days before I went to see my family and then returned.  Shortly after my return, I went to a week of Scout camp offered through the archdiocesan Catholic committee on Scouting.  During that time, the Boy Scouts of America affirmed its policy to forbid those who have homosexual tendencies and act upon them from registered leadership positions within the organization.  By doing so, the Boy Scouts have said that certain activities are forbidden by its members.

Some would say this is intolerant, that this decision violates Scouting’s principles.  I say it is truly enlightened.  It says that I am not my actions.  It also says that some behaviors can disqualify me from certain activities.  We see this in many places.  For example, being in a state of current marriage prevents one from joining a Catholic religious order.  Being convicted of a felony prevents one from voting.

The enlightenment, though, is the first point that can easily be thrown away.  I am not my actions.  Another major group is getting flak for saying the same message: the Catholic Church.  This large group consistently tells us that we are called to overcome our sinful habits because we are not bound by them.  In other words, I am not my sins.  I have concupiscience, but I also have knowledge, wisdom, and reason.  I am called to use those to better my relationship with God, people, and myself.  Do I succeed at the challenge the Catholic Church issues?  No.  When I participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I find myself reciting the same sins I did before.  The challenge is worthwhile for the the rewards are greater than the instant gratification I get from sin.

So to can I say about the Boy Scouts of America.  I am an Eagle Scout.  The values instilled in me include being brave.  I find that the BSA is sticking to this value (bravery) by affirming its policies out of concern for children.  It had numerous lawsuits filed against it because pedophiles had entered its ranks.  These acts were homosexual in nature.  The BSA is not equating all those with homosexual tendencies as pedophiles and is not saying that all pedophiles are homosexual in orientation.  What this decision does is minimize the risk of children becoming victims of pedophilia.  Is it perfect?  No.  We can still find recent news stories of pedophiles preying upon children in the Boy Scouts at various Scouting functions.

To those who disagree with the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to affirm its policies, why do you disagree?  Is it to be kind?  To share concern is an act of kindness, and so you are doing so by expressing your concern.  The Boy Scouts is also kind because it expresses its concern about active homosexual practitioners in its ranks.  Its kindness is to the children because it is borne out of a desire to keep them safe from pedophiles.  (This obviously does not mean that all people with homosexual tendencies are pedophiles or vice versa.)

We hear that the Boy Scouts is forcing its morality (or that of others) unto its membership.  Well, no.  Membership is voluntary, thus when I send my dues to the Boy Scouts of America, I place myself under that group’s authority.  I give myself.  The Boy Scouts cannot take who I am away when I give myself freely.  Thus, I am called to agree with the Boy Scouts’ understanding of “do[ing] my duty to God and my country.”  I am also called to agree with their policies regarding homosexual practice among its leaders.

Peculiarly, this is similar to when I underwent my conversion.  I gave my life to the Catholic Church freely.  I am called to support her in her mission.  I am called to agree with her teachings.  They are readily accessible, so if I am ignorant, then I can rectify the situation.  In other words, the Catholic Church did not force me to accept her teachings.  Instead, I gave myself to her and put myself under her authority.

As an Eagle Scout, I learned much about leadership.  I also learned that if I am to be an effective leader, I also must be an effective follower.  By placing myself under authority, I can learn what it means to be in authority.  The Boy Scouts of America taught me much, and I give it the kudos it deserves for its bravery to make what appears to be an unpopular decision.

As Albus Dumbledore said in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, “It takes courage to stand up to ones friends.”  I may be taking an unpopular view with this blog post, but it is where I stand.  I did not need to write this; but the bravery instilled in me by my journey to Eagle forces me to do so.

Other links:
Tip Of The Hat to “Boy Scouts Of America”

Thoughts of a Simple Citizen: I am an Eagle Scout

The Boy Scouts Stand and Deliver

And as only Elizabeth Scalia could put it: Big Gay Al on the Boy Scouts and Homosexuality (In other words, don’t be a fascist!)

UPDATE I

Catholic News Agency

LifeSiteNews.com

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May 30 2012

The HHS Suits map

Published by under Uncategorized

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May 30 2012

Buffalo’s new bishop

Published by under The Homefront

English: Most Reverend Richard J. Malone

English: Most Reverend Richard J. Malone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Buffalo has a new bishop: Richard J Malone of Portland, Maine, USA.  I don’t know much about him, but I do know this is the second in an unusual pattern, that Buffalo is getting out-of-state bishops.  Bishop Kmiec is originally from New Jersey, and Bishop Malone is from Massachusetts.  In the past, Buffalo received bishops from within New York.  I now suspect that Rochester’s upcoming bishop will likewise be from out-of-state.  As of now, Rochester has 47 more days of Bishop Clark.

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May 13 2012

Happy Mothers’ Day

Published by under Uncategorized

jkklglh

jkklglh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An article that features five generations of mothers.  A great pro-life article without intending to be one.

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May 13 2012

A great short

Published by under Uncategorized

Watch here.

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May 11 2012

I wonder

Published by under Uncategorized

Is Barack Obama, who only two days ago said he was pro-same-sex marriage [sic], a bigot before or not. A warning: the “before” link has a language warning from your host.

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May 06 2012

In your mercy…

Published by under Acts of Mercy

Pray for my uncle.

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Apr 29 2012

True, true

Published by under Uncategorized

May we all grow in love as our Good Shepherd teaches us.

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Apr 28 2012

Good Shepherd Sunday

Published by under Uncategorized

Today is the Vigil for Good Shepherd Sunday.  It is also the day the Church prays for vocations to religious life.  Today, my order celebrated the lives of five brothers who together have been in religious life for 230 years.  (Five is not the number of jubiliarians we in total are celebrating; it is the number in St Louis who we celebrated here.)  One brother was 70 yrs, 60 yrs, 50 yrs, and 2 at 25 yrs.  Thank you, gentlemen, for your faithfulness.

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Apr 26 2012

Mr Paul Goes to Washington

Georgetown University, to be more specific, in order to give the Whittington Lecture.  Apparently, some professors did not like the fact that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) would be addressing a crowd at the fine institution, so they drafted a letter and sent him Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26:  Protesters hang a ...

Now, Georgetown University, a Catholic University, the first one in the US, recently hosted another speaker, Ms. Sandra Fluke, to speak on why women should have unfettered access to contraceptive and abortifacient services on the grounds of a university that proclaims itself to be Catholic.  Since some professors are concerned about the catechesis of speakers who address their students, I must wonder if they gave her a copy of Humane Vitae.  Surely, they did, for they would not want to cause scandal

I crack me up.

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Apr 25 2012

Conversion Rate!

Published by under Uncategorized

USD 750 = ?

Answer: 30 pieces of silver.

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Apr 23 2012

A cool picture from the snowstorm near my parents’

Published by under Uncategorized

Look here!

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Apr 21 2012

St Albert the Great, pray for us.

Published by under Uncategorized

From here

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Apr 13 2012

What I think it truly is about

Published by under Uncategorized

So, I haven’t posted much about the HHS mandate. I have found the focus on violation of conscience, while important, not enough. I think this is about the relationship of the State and the Church, namely, that the State can tell the Church what She may consider works integral to Her mission. The HHS mandate wants to do just that. This is part and parcel with the case that saw the State, in the guise of EEOC, fight the Church, in the guise of the Hosanna-Tabor School of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to determine who may or may not be a minister. This current administration within the executive branch strives to tell the Church who She may name a minister and what She may name ministries. These actions remind me of what occurred in Hungary immediately after World War II.  In particular, I am reminded of Mindszenty‘s memoirs and what the Communist government did.  So, the trail can only lead to one place: eminent domain.  The State will force the Church to abandon Her schools, universities, hospitals, and other institutions that fulfill works of mercy.  Yes, I can even see the Church forced to abandon her graveyards.  Then after the Church has given up all save Her houses of worship, the buildings, etc., will be stolen from her by the State.  I thought I was thinking unusual thoughts, but it appears I am not the only one thinking these.  I know now what I am voting for, and what I am voting against.

UPDATE: From Bishop Jenky of Peoria

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Apr 12 2012

Says it all, eh?

Published by under Uncategorized

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Apr 08 2012

Christos Anesti!

Published by under Uncategorized

Alithos Anesti!

Christ is Risen!
Indeed, He is Risen!
Our faith is not vain!

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