Brush With Sanctity
I enjoyed your article “Sanctity in the USA” (page one, June 23 issue). I did not realize there were so many saints recognized for their God-filled lives.
However, I was surprised that Venerable Stanley Rother (1935-1981), born in Oklahoma City and martyred in Guatemala, will be beatified this month.
I had the privilege of staying at his rectory in Santiago d’Attilan and concelebrating Mass with two dozen American priests and deacons when I went on a pilgrimage, “In the Footsteps of the Martyrs of the 20th Century,” with Maryknoll a few years ago. We also celebrated Mass at the altar where Blessed Oscar Romero was shot when he was celebrating Mass in San Salvador.
Msgr. Charles E. Des Ruisseaux
Manchester, New Hampshire
Evading the Truth
Regarding “Priest’s ‘LGBT’ Approach Sparks Concerns” (page one, July 9 issue): Your story sparked my concern, too. The priest, Father James Martin, avoids stating what the Catholic Church teaches on the subject of homosexuality. In his new book, Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity, Father Martin urges Catholics to “respond with charity if they disagreed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling,” which redefined marriage to include same-sex “marriage.” The article states that Father Martin does not advocate any change on Church teaching on homosexuality in his book.
However, he insists that Catholics with same-sex attraction be called “LGBT,” which contradicts Catholic documents on ministry. The Church sees everyone as having the same identity: We are all children of God.
Father Martin states that “LGBT” Catholics and the hierarchy should “meet in the middle of the bridge” since we are all part of the one body in St. Paul’s letters. He does not mention Courage International, which reaches out to Catholics with same-sex attraction. Father Martin seems to endorse the “gay” lifestyle instead of emphasizing living an obedient, chaste lifestyle.
Father Martin in his book does not challenge people with same-sex attraction to live chastely because he says it’s divisive. He wants to build a bridge over possible common ground. It seems to me his bridge-building disregards God’s truth.
The institution of marriage was defined by God when he created man and woman. Father Martin purposely evades this truth in his book. He is correct in saying we must respond with charity to those with same-sex attraction. However, the charity he fails to mention is the love and compassion we have for them to live holy lives and to accept celibacy out of obedience to God.