Very interesting to see the new update to the Archdiocese of Kingston website under new Archbishop Mulhall.
You will remember how Mulhall hung the Picton priest out to dry for posting an anti-Gay Pride in his bulletin.
Perhaps, the whole disagreement is that the Priest should have done the same message only in a homily with more background and context as parishioners are so poorly catechized. If so, the Archbishop should clarify this with the local “catholic” school board and local Catholic faithful.
Here is the new link prominently displayed on the main website:
(the website seems to be up and down a bit, but trust us, this is the new homepage)
Some pertinent quotes from The Human Person, Love and Sexuality:
Understanding gender as a mere social construct, thus, proves deeply incomplete and dissatisfying. It is imprecise and misleading, and does not express accurately how the various dimensions of the human person are integrated in the work of human growth. In a Catholic vision of the person, sexual and gender expression is deeply connected to the meaning of the human body – for we are inherently a union of body, mind, and spirit.
As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith firmly and rightly notes: “Departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral.” Continuing, the Letter
acknowledges the fundamental importance of this guiding vision: “Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral.” In essence, these are but the words of Christ himself, who said: “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).
And so we make this appeal to all involved in the education and pastoral care of students navigating questions of sexual identity: know and strive to understand the vision of the human person and sexuality taught by the Church. Understand how it is that the Catholic faith always offers a welcome acceptance to persons – an unconditional “yes” – even as the vision and promise says “no” to certain actions and behaviours. This is the way of Jesus Christ. This is the way of all human growth and formation. Always remember that it is the conviction of the Catholic faith and the lived experiences of countless Christians both throughout history and living today that this vision, though demanding, is the path that leads to abundant life and joy, that alone responds to the deepest longings of the human heart. Teaching the whole truth, however, does not mean indiscriminately presenting information with no concern for how the message is communicated, in what order and quantity, and at what time. This is not the way of human formation, pedagogy, or the model given by Christ himself. Christ’s encounter with the Woman at the Well in John 4 offers us something of a model. Beginning from a simple interaction and conversation, Jesus gradually speaks to her of God, and then of grace, only finally indicating the moral dimensions of her life, which she is then able to see in light of her encounter with Christ. The skill and discernment of educators and those who provide pastoral care is to know how to gradually unfold the Church’s vision of life and love to individuals in their concrete circumstances. To meet them in whatever circumstances they find themselves and then lead them toward Christ’s vision of the
fullness of life.
Terminology: Finding an Appropriate Language for Speaking of Sexual Identity
As we have acknowledged, questions of sexual identity require serious reflection. They touch closely the meaning and expression of human love, which lies at the core of human life. This need for serious reflection is true even for questions of terminology. The Catholic faith sees all human beings as persons whose fundamental identity lies in God – our Creator. Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.
This passage could also be applied to gender terminology such as transgender and cisgender. In her pastoral care, the Church encounters people – individuals – not labels and categories. Individuals are more complex than labels can reflect. This is always true, and is even more acutely true in the period of adolescence. As the bishops of Canada recently expressed: The terms “gay” and “lesbian” are not used to define people in the Church’s official teachings and documents. Although these words are common terms in current speech, and many people use them to describe themselves, they do not describe persons with the fullness and richness that the Church recognizes and respects in every man or woman. Instead, “gay” and “lesbian” are often cultural definitions for people and movements that have accepted homosexual acts and behaviours as morally good.
Ultimately, we speak of persons experiencing a same-sex attraction, or persons who are navigating questions of gender or sexual identity. In the developmental stage of adolescence in particular, these experiences may be episodic or transient. They may also persist past adolescence. Speaking of “sexual orientation” or founding a person’s identity in labels such as transgender in the adolescent stage of development is therefore particularly problematic and should be avoided. Not only does it fail to reflect the possibility of episodic or transient same-sex feelings or gender confusion that can accompany this period of human development, but, more generally, it tends, in a manner similar to all labels and categories, to reduce the human person to one exclusive characteristic.
For those involved in pastoral care, however, it is important to have access to reliable information about the general affective and psychological
development and maturing of the human person through the adolescent stage, as well as the characteristics of same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria and their development in adolescence. One should be attentive that not all materials in this area will consider the human person from the holistic and unified perspective of the Catholic faith. Seeking out professionals in the field of psychology, sociology, and social work who are guided by a Christian vision of the person and sexuality can help one integrate this information into the broader vision of the faith.
As we have noted, the path of gradual growth always and of necessity requires first a decisive break with sin. For sin, by its very nature, is an act that turns us away from the path to God. In the pastoral care of students experiencing same-sex attractions, we must be clear that acting on such attractions, engaging in sexual activity, pornography, and masturbation are never acceptable actions.
Ensure that professional counsellors or psychologists who see young people are distinguished by their sound human and spiritual maturity. They must be committed to the Christian vision of the human person and sexuality, as well as the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and chastity
In contrast, here is the blog post of the ALCDSB chair. He quotes James Martin and cherry-picks Church documents to the extreme. You can see how he left out important quotes like the ones from above!! For example: As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith firmly and rightly notes: “Departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral.”
Such cherry-picking is evil and should be called out.