Who Am I to Judge?

I had a rather nasty comment from a person who claims to be a priest with regard to my forthcoming marriage. It is a shame, really, that he would say what he said as a comment rather than as an email. I believe he has commented here before, never in a manner which is supportive but nearly constantly critical. I guess that this blog makes him feel a bit uncomfortable.

I found the image and quote to the left on Google and thought it might do this individual some good to read it once more. There is quite a lot of depth in Pope Francis's now famous quote. For a gay man, what does 'searching for the Lord' mean? Where could it lead him to in life? What is 'good will'? What avenues could searching for the Lord and 'good will' lead to?

I find it rather disconcerting that a priest should say my forthcoming marriage is not 'natural' but I wouldn't find this attitude disconcerting from say, an atheist. After all, there is nothing 'natural' about a man taking vows of celibacy in the Priesthood is there? It goes against man's natural inclination ordered towards woman and to raising a family. For a priest to be faithful to his vows is impossible without complete dependence on supernatural grace. There is, of course, the possibility that the priest in question either sees celibacy as the 'natural' state of man - which I doubt - or the alternative, that celibacy is impossible because it is not natural. What would that opinion mean for the vocation of the Priesthood were it to be widely held? Sacraments are not natural. They are supernatural.

As for 'grounds for annulment', I hear it said in some quarters that '50%' of all Catholic marriages have 'grounds for annulment', despite these couples having made vows before God and witnesses that they chose this state of life and glorious Sacrament freely and with total consent, aware of the gravity of the vows they were making at the time until they realise they were not later. There is, too, the possibility that the priest concerned believes that grace does not build upon nature, or that the perversities of our wounded human nature can never know Christ's healing touch, or that he believes that our human nature is completely depraved or corrupted, beyond redemption, that we are what we are and that is it and Our Lord is completely indifferent to our bodies, what we do with them, our souls and even to how we live out our sexuality.

We hear so much about the Church's 'pastoral care' of homosexuals. Does it end, for some priests, when the homosexual of good will who searches for the Lord gradually realises or accepts or discerns that his happiness, his vocation and salvation is best served by his marriage to a woman? At what point does a priest say, "Oh no, that is impossible", even though the 'natural state' of a man is ordered towards woman and the inclination towards same-sex attraction is instrinsically disordered, if not, by its own nature, necessarily sinful.

If that man and that woman live out their vocation to marriage in such manner that brings glory to Christ and His Church, is the said priest ever to congratulate the couple on their happy and fruitful marriage or does he continue to sit around at home carping at that which he cannot understand because despite having been a priest for years, he still doesn't believe in grace, or the power of love, let alone in 'miracles', which are but a blunt abbreviation for God's power at work in human life in such manner that defies natural expectation, human opinion and what we consider to be 'natural'?


Anonymous said…
Former temptations to sin such as by engaging in any kind of sexual relations (physical or otherwise) with a person of the same sex cannot be a bar to marriage if one has overcome such temptations by acknowledging the evil and working with the supernatural grace of the sacraments, including absolution for any actual sins committed (such as entertaining impure thoughts or adopting the sinful position of claiming that God gave one such unnatural desires). Any such desires will be overcome with the right will, and the practice of virtue and the Faith. The desire to do good and not do evil grows with the proper use of the will and reason and the cooperation with God's graces through the practice of the Faith and the moral life. Determining not to identify oneself with any past unnatural desires is of course necessary - this comes about when one adopts right reason and use of the will, and cooperates with God's graces through the practice of the Faith and a moral life.

When are you getting married, Laurence? Are you getting married at St Mary Magdalene's? Will you post some photographs of the wedding? May God guide and keep you and your intended. I pray you have a long and holy marriage. If Our Lord is at the centre of the marriage, you won't go far wrong.

viterbo said…
Mr England; don't you know you have broken the Cardinal Rule of Naturalistic Catholic Ethics? You have succumbed to the 'vice' of supernatural Grace; and, simply, without a ph********** pride parade, 'walked on in Christ'. This is a step in Grace. Keep going and share the gifts with your humble and not so humble, readers.
Tim said…
"A man is not complete until he is married - then he is finished."
Lepanto said…
The, totally unproven, liberal consensus is that homosexuals are 'born that way' (the undiscovered 'gay gene' being the cause) and therefore cannot change their orientation. The liberals have to cling to this notion because the alternative (the truth) would lead many more to seek to free themselves of their disoriented sexuality by the power of prayer. The 'naysayers' are working for Satan.
Dear Laurence, I have been offline for a while and haven't kept up with current events. Is this news true, or is your infamous penchant for irony and satire merely tantalising the world again???

If this is real, please accept my heartiest, warmest and most sincere congratulations to you both. May God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.

If you have any choice about marriage preparation courses you attend, try looking for the "Engaged - Preparing to live in love." course. It is v. Catholic.
Anonymous said…
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! VERY BEST WISHES!!! GREAT!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!! Be assured of my prayers. I can't even be bothered to deal with the mean comments of the confused priest. They're not worth my time. xx
What counts is GOOD, not inclination said…
We have to distinguish between what a person is inclined to do, and what is BENEFICIAL for that person. That is the key issue, and not whether the inclination is natural, innate, acquired, etc. This becomes clear in the dietary plane.

For many people, their inclination is to eat pizza, not vegetables, i.e. to load up with concentrated carbs. It does not matter whether that inclination is innate or culturally acquired. What matters is that following that inclination will lead to syndrome X (obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension), leading eventually to heart disease and/or type 2 diabetes.

So, no matter what the dietary inclination of a person is, and whether that inclination is innate or culturally acquired, what is BENEFICIAL for them is to eat a diet with plenty of vegetables and without concentrated, easily digestable carbs, i.e. bread, pasta and the like. (Unless you have walked 10 miles to hear Jesus and then will have to walk another 10 miles back to your home.) If the person, over time, develops an inclination to that kind of beneficial diet and actually likes it, better for them. But that is not what counts for the good of their health.

Matthaeus said…
If the Holy Spirit chooses to lead you along an unexpected path to grace, who am I to judge?

Congratulations, Laurence, and prayers and best wishes for your future happiness together.
Marietta said…
Prayers for you and congratulations to you and your best beloved. May the bones that have been crushed start to thrill.
Anonymous said…
Dear Laurence....this is a very happy surprise. I wish you all the best in your marriage. I have family members who are gay and I wished they ignored their feelings and married. But sadly no. It may be too late now. You are a wonderful example.

Also, many heterosexual couples marry because they love each other, but don't necessarily feel a lot of sexual attraction for each other (though they might have felt such an attraction for a completely unsuitable past boy/girlfriend etc.

God Bless...wonderful news.
viterbo said…
Perhaps your critic is a closet calvinist? and therefore, if he previously viewed you as an irredeemable reprobate, your messing with his weltanschauung. Just a thought.

G.K.Chesterton once wrote of the puritans/calvinists: "The Americans have established a Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the fact that the Pilgrim Fathers reached America. The English might very well establish another Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the happy fact that the Pilgrim Fathers left England."
Unknown said…
Bridesmaids? If so how many? White wedding dress? Can you post a pic? Colors? What kinda cake?
Bubbles, birdseed, butterflies or balloons at the end? Weddings---fun stuff!! Wish I could do it again!!

Btw--the year was 1987 for me, 2 bridesmaids and 2 groomsmen, colors peach and turquoise. Lace Victorian and off white gown. Birdseed shower. Granny read the NT reading and my Jewish piano teacher from high school did the OT reading. My roomate sang Come My Way My Truth My Life ---R.V. Williams. Champagne punch and kitty cat bride and groom figurines on top of cake. I could go on but I'll shut up.

Seattle Kim
September 9, 2014

Muller-Fellay Meeting: Cardinal Muller will not accept Vatican Council II without the irrational premise and he wants the SSPX, FFI to use the false premise with the Council and Catechism ?

Anonymous said…
Sorry to read that someone made mean comments on your forthcoming marriage.

Praerul good wishes
John Lamont said…
Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage, Mr. England. You might refer your uncharitable correspondent to 'Portrait of a Marriage', by Nigel Nicholson. In it Nicholson describes the marriage of his parents, Harold Nicholson - a homosexual - and Vita Sackville-West - a lesbian. They were horrible people in many ways but undoubtedly totally devoted to one another and very happy together (they did exert themselves to have a couple of children as well).

If I can offer some advice: don't use succulent plants as an exotic alternative to flowers at your wedding. I did this and they gave the priest a terrible allergic attack.
Supertradmum said…
Evil people think evil thoughts...God can heal any failings and imperfections through an excellent marriage. Please ignore these types of people, and I, for one, do not think that person who commented was a priest. And, as one who helped a priest in England with marriage irregularities with people coming into the Church, ss inclinations are not on the impediment list for annulments. The canonical list of impediments are on line.

I am sorry you met a bully-troll.