Cardinal Burke: Gay couples shouldn’t be invited to family gatherings if children are present

By leftprogressive | 11 October 2014
Daily Kos

‘That particular form of relationship should not be imposed upon family members, and especially upon impressionable children,’ said Cardinal Burke. (Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

If you had any hope that the Catholic Church’s “Synod on the Family” would do any good, this will probably dash it.

Cardinal Raymond Burke was giving an interview to the religious right extremist site Life Site News, when he was asked about an Australian couple who has asked the Synod how to respond to their gay son bringing his partner to a Christmas dinner. Burke replied:

This is a very delicate question, and it’s made even more delicate by the aggressiveness of the homosexual agenda. But one has to approach this in a very calm, serene, reasonable and faith-filled manner. If homosexual relations are intrinsically disordered, which indeed they are — reason teaches us that and also our faith — then, what would it mean to grandchildren to have present at a family gathering a family member who is living [in] a disordered relationship with another person? We wouldn’t, if it were another kind of relationship — something that was profoundly disordered and harmful — we wouldn’t expose our children to that relationship, to the direct experience of it. And neither should we do it in the context of a family member who not only suffers from same-sex attraction, but who has chosen to live out that attraction, to act upon it, committing acts which are always and everywhere wrong, evil.

And so, families have to find a way to stay close to a child in this situation — to a son or grandson, or whatever it may be — in order to try to draw the person away from a relationship which is disordered.

And we know that with time, these relationships leave the person profoundly unhappy. And so it’s important to stay [as] close as one can. But, that particular form of relationship should not be imposed upon family members, and especially upon impressionable children. And I urge parents or grandparents — whoever it may be — to be very, very prudent in this matter and not to scandalize their children or grandchildren.

There’s so much in our society today which is giving the message that any form of sexual relationship, if it somehow pleases you — or you’re attracted to it — is alright, is correct. And we don’t want our children to get that impression, by seeming to condone gravely sinful acts on the part of a family member.

It certainly is a source of great suffering, but striving to do what is right and good always involves suffering. And in this case, it surely will. But that suffering will indeed be redemptive in the end.

Now with regard to parishes, the situation is very similar because the parish is — I believe it was Saint John Paul II who once said — a ‘family of families.’ And so, if you have a parish member who is living in public sin in a homosexual relationship, well, the priest should try to stay close to that individual — or to both the individuals if they’re Catholic — and try to help them to leave the sinful relationship and to begin to lead a chaste life. The pastor [should] encourage them also to pray and to participate in Sunday Mass and other appropriate ways of trying to overcome grave sin in their lives.

Those people [who] are living in that way certainly cannot have any leadership role in the parish, because it would give the impression to parishioners that the way they are living is perfectly alright. Because, [when] we lead in a parish, in a certain way, we are giving witness to a coherent Catholic life. And people who are not coherent with their Catholic faith aren’t given leadership roles. They are not asked, for instance, to be a lector at the Holy Mass — or [to] assume some other leadership position — until they have rectified their situation and gone through a conversion of life and then are ready to give such leadership.

On the one hand, it certainly gives scandal to parishioners with regard to a very essential part of our life, our sexuality, [and] what it means. On the other hand, it’s not good for the two people involved in the disordered relationship because it also gives them the idea that the Church somehow approves of what they’re doing.

Hey, Cardinal Burke, listen here: The only “intrinsic disorder” here is your hatred and bigotry that belongs in the Dark Ages. The only thing that LGBT people suffer from is the efforts of people like you to condemn their lives at every turn, and to fight with every ounce of your strength their dignity, equality and civil rights. The only thing that makes them “profoundly unhappy” are your constant messages of hostility, animosity and condemnation for nothing else than who they are and who they love. Something that actually scandalizes children is the rape and sexual abuse of them, which has been perpetrated, defended and covered up by your church for decades.

Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. The beliefs that the Catholic Church holds about it is. The cure for this disorder is to challenge them, shun them, shame them, ridicule them, mock them, condemn them, and make anyone who is considering holding them too embarrassed to do so. And I’m tired of having the meaning of tolerance dictated to me by the right. Tolerance means that I don’t ban you from saying what you just said. That’s it. I do not owe your sick beliefs one iota of respect. In my mind, they should be shoved to the absolute fringe of society, away from where any half-decent person can give them any consideration at all. They should have no place in mainstream society, in the same category as racism, misogyny and religious prejudice, and they deserve nothing but profound disrespect.

It’s the only way you’ll learn.

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