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BY The Editors
Relative to "Boy Scouts Lift Ban on Homosexual Youth" (page one, June 16 issue):
The decision to allow homosexual youth in scouting is a travesty. I’d rather see Boy Scouts disbanded. Any child who thinks he is homosexual has been recruited and/or molested by adults. This is not a naturally occurring epiphany. Even the politically liberal American Psychiatric Association finally admitted there is no "gay" gene, after saturating the public mind with the lie for 25 years.
While sympathizing with the plight of anyone with any disorder or addiction, we should never grant special status, privileges or protections based merely on a chosen behavior, as though it were an immutable characteristic like skin color — particularly when that behavior is gravely immoral, unnatural and destructive of persons, families and societies.
Despite the tremendous success the homosexual lobby has had in sanitizing its image for public consumption, it is a disordered sexual appetite that should never be encouraged.
I am gravely disappointed that the bishops and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops did not fiercely object to this decision. No wonder polls are appearing to show more Catholics in favor of same-sex "marriage" — they are getting mixed messages, at best, from the Church.
It is ludicrous to promote this sterile, dark and deadly lifestyle.
I stopped buying Girl Scout cookies years ago because of their feminist connections. Now, sadly, I will no longer support the Boy Scouts financially or even buy their popcorn.
Pertinent to "Lourdes: A Sign of Contradiction" (June 2 issue):
Since the end of World War II, veterans have made pilgrimages to Lourdes, France, asking the intercession of Our Lady for reconciliation, peace and healing.
In 1958, the 100th anniversary of the heavenly appearance of the Mother of God to St. Bernadette Soubirous, the first International Military Pilgrimage (IMP) was formally organized to assemble military troops worldwide.
This year, the 55th IMP drew more than 25,000 veterans from 40 countries.
On Memorial Day, I had the privilege to serve U.S. veterans with North-American Lourdes volunteers.
There are many memories I’ll remember from this pilgrimage, but the ones I’ll treasure most are the life-changing moments of the men and women in uniform who selflessly sacrificed their lives for citizens they will never know personally.
As Catholics, we are called to see Christ in one another.
In meeting these wounded warriors, no effort was needed to see the face of Jesus in each one of these humble American heroes.
I saw the face of Jesus in the Marine who suffered multiple wounds in desert deployments, returning home with post-traumatic stress disorder. He awoke in Lourdes one morning to a voice telling him, "Climb the hill."
He interpreted this to mean: Ascend the Way of the Cross perched high above the sanctuaries. When he approached the station of Christ upon the cross, he heard the voice inside him say, "Leave it here," and so he prayed at the foot of the cross and left there the emotional wounds he had been carrying for so long.
He testified that, the moment he entrusted his trauma to Christ, he was changed. He felt an enormous weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
He encouraged his fellow wounded warriors and all of us to do the same: "Leave it all at the foot of the cross."
Jesus’ suffering was in the presence of one female service member burdened from multiple deployments and recovering from a recent gunshot wound.
Her faith was strengthened by the quiet prayer time in the grotto, and her faithfulness was inspiring to her fellow women warriors.
Most of us know someone who serves our country in the military, putting his or her life in harm’s way for our safety and freedom. Some may know about Lourdes, of the cures and miracles that have taken place there through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother. However, few of us are aware of the annual gathering of soldiers from around the world in Lourdes each May.
These warriors, who once knelt to fire a weapon at an enemy, now kneel in prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes, asking her maternal intercession for reconciliation, healing and peace.
Reading the articles in the June 16 edition, we find a very disturbing common thread: There seems to be confusion, inaction, political double speak and appeasement running rampant in our Church leadership.
Regarding the Boy Scouts, how can we compromise with evil?
Regarding religious freedom, we are protesting now, but not too vocally, after the moment for political action — the presidential election — has passed.
We are cooperating with the same government that wants to take away our rights to religious freedom using the heretical "Nuns on the Bus" to promote an unworkable immigration-reform bill.
Cardinals are speaking about recognizing rights to civil unions, confusing the Catholic truth of sacramental Christian marriage.
The loss of the battles being fought right now will result in the persecution of Catholic believers in the near-term future in the United States and the end of the freest nation the world has known in the long term.
There are laypeople ready to take up the fight, but where are the cardinals, bishops and priests to lead us?
We need leaders to speak clearly our Catholic truths, to separate us from the evil around us, to call out those participating in evil and not to compromise with or appease evil.
We pray that more of our Catholic clergy will join the brave minority of Catholic bishops and priests who are speaking clearly and forcefully. Please lead and unite Catholics in the fight against the forces of evil in our country and in our world.
Michael and Lou Ann Kilmer
In "Protectors of the Holy Land" (June 16 issue), the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem’s headquarters is
Palazzo Dela Rovere, not Palazzo San Onofrio.
The Register regrets this error.