"Blessed Are You When..."

Is this meant to be the Holy Spirit,  Hell or Purgatory?
Regular blog readers will be aware that Fr Ray Blake has received some astonishing emails from Anglicans involved in the 'LGBT' movement in Brighton for his commentary on the 'Illiberality of a Hove MP' who wants to see Churches that do not allow gay 'weddings' suffer absurdly severe penalties from the State.

Fr Blake's post, which really was quite mild, pointed out that the stance of Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove, was anti-liberal as well as being offensive not just to Christians, but to Muslims and to Jews as well. We all know that several Christian denominations have, let's say, softened their stance on the issue of homosexuality and on homosexual relationships. Those denominations not built on rock, but on sand, have, in the storm-tossed times of the 21st century, updated their view on this 'burning issue' of the day.

Fr Blake then received an email, among other emails, from someone called Richard Ashby and also Nigel Nash of the Brighton and Hove Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement.  In the comments section of that post, Keith Sharpe, author of the 'provocative', and to say the least, 'controversial', Gay Gospels book made numerous and varied defenses of his belief that God thinks homosexual acts are just fine and dandy, just as he does, also, in his tawdry book. I did hear him give an interview on Radio Sussex recently about his book and I have to say that he received more than one phone call on the radio dismissing his ideas entirely. The presenter didn't sound particularly convinced either.

Now, Anglicans believe what Anglicans believe and despite the Anglican Communion's long historical opposition to homosexual acts, as well as its current one, depending on which Anglican with which you talk, some Anglicans (in addition to liberal pick n' mix Catholics) are always going to believe that Sacred Scripture backs them up 100% even if an Evangelical Southern Baptist and a Catholic can both agree that Scripture is pretty clear on this one. The only difference is that the Catholic would say that while God condemns as wicked the act of homosexuality, God does not 'hate fags', but rather, loves sinners. The Catholic might add that while the 'curing' of homosexuality is unlikely, as Catholics we pray 'only say the word, and I shall be healed'. Chastity is, of course, the goal. We are all sinners in the Catholic Church and it is our sins which we desire to be washed away and our souls to be healed through daily prayer and the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Like many Christians, it is perhaps the homosexual's daily prayer to make his heart more like unto His Heart and through conforming his life to Christ, he may rightly hope for Heaven. Furthermore, some, a small minority perhaps, of homosexuals find after years that they meet someone of the opposite sex who they love, who they marry and with whom they have children. You don't hear much of that from the LGBT lobby, but it is well-known that it does happen and the LGBT community should get over it.

Fr Blake's patron's lips were padlocked

Quite why Anglicans who are homosexual and promote homosexuality in Brighton are furious with Fr Blake, a Catholic Priest, for defending Catholic teaching, as well as Islamic and Judaic teaching is still a great mystery. Did he do it in an over-arching, offensive or mocking tone? No, he most certainly did not.  Indeed, many of Fr Blake's posts which I have read have displayed a great pastoral care, sympathy and compassion for those struggling with the Cross of homosexuality. However, in this area, like so many others, unlike various prelates and priests in Holy Mother Church, Fr Blake both online and offline in the Pulpit always points to the Cross of Our Saviour and reflects in his blog Catholic teaching. What on earth else is a blogging or indeed any Catholic priest, supposed to do, but that?

One does not require a huge imagination to realise that as a Catholic priest in Brighton, Fr Blake is priest and confessor to a not insignificant number of his own flock who carry the Cross of homosexuality and who, like all men carrying Crosses, fall under its weight. From my own experience as a man who has fallen under that weight, I can tell you that Fr Blake is a gentle and merciful confessor to his people. Even the penances he gives are small and I believe he takes much more upon himself. What Fr Blake does not do is lead people into error or into sin by preaching some 'other kind of Gospel' to 'itching ears' like Keith Sharpe (I'm sure Keith can source the Scriptural references) appears to be doing. With those of his congregation who do suffer same sex attraction, Fr Blake is, I believe, on jolly good terms. He is always very joyful, kind and rather humourous company, regardless of the sexual orientation of his parishioners. He treats us all like the children of God that we are.
Sadly, this is not a photoshopped image...

Regardless of this, his commentary on the Hove MP and the comments he received in support of his piece upset the leadership of the Brighton and Hove Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement and one can relatively safely assume, Changing Attitudes Sussex, led by Gay Gospels author, Keith Sharpe. The mysterious Richard Ashby emailed Fr Blake with this...

I need to tell you that your comments have caused widespread offence to members of the Christian Gay Community, and many of the comments made by other members of your blog, allowed publicity by you, are nothing less than inflammatory and inciting of hatred about members of the gay community.

It is an offence in this country to incite hatred against any group of people, and that is exactly what you are doing by allowing and promoting the kind of bigotry you are condoning. The comments are also causing grave offence to Catholics, many of whom I know are appalled by what you and fellow members of your congregation write.

Dear Nigel Nash, quite probably Keith Sharpe and Richard Ashby, whoever on Earth you are, I need to tell you that your intimidation and threatening actions against Fr Ray Blake have caused widespread offense to members of the Catholic community. Many of the comments you have made on Fr Blake's blog and not to mention your emails are nothing less than inflammatory and inciting of hatred about members of the Catholic community. There are plenty of homosexuals in Brighton who believe what Fr Blake believes. What on Earth gives you the idea that you speak on behalf of all gay men, nevermind all gay, Christian, men and most especially all gay, Catholic, men? It is an offense in this country to incite hated against any group of people and that is exactly what you are doing by promoting the kind of bigotry you are condoning. You and your Brighton 'LGBT' Anglican friends are incredibly bigoted against the Catholic Church and Her loyal Priests who hold fast to the Teachings handed on by the Lord Jesus Christ to St Peter and the Apostles and to his and their Successors today.  The Reverend Ian Paisley's more chilled out about the Catholic Faith than you lot and he's more honest about his prejudices!

You cannot bear to hear the truth of the Gospel! It is your ears, not his, which are burning and you cannot bear it when the Gospel is preached in its entirety! In what sense are you Christians?! Because you say that you love?! How can you say that you love?! You despise the truth that comes from God and you persecute those who proclaim it even mildly, gently and, yes, even those who work tirelessly for Christ and His Gospel, ministering to homosexuals with great compassion and with the tender love that comes from God! You want us to believe what you believe, but you say nothing that is new - you just spread your sin around and then you have the audacity to call it virtue and write books about great it is, even blaspheming the Holy Name of Our Blessed Lord, only to express surprise and shock when people, religious or not, tell you that that is not Christianity!

Were you to lead others and, indeed, us, you would lead them and us to our own Oblivion - that, that is how loving you are! To you, love is something that takes place when a man gets physical with a man or when a man condones it or promotes it and the only 'woe' to you is toward those who disagree with it or suggest that it is in any way sinful. That is not love! Love is about self-sacrifice, self-denial and the desiring only of the spiritual and temporal good of another!

For Heaven's sake, get a grip of yourselves, grow up and please accept and respect that even the Office for National Statistics revealed recently that most certainly not all people believe what you believe and that some people are Catholic. Some, like me, are Catholic and carry the Cross of homosexuality. Get over it and most of all get over yourselves! You can call me a bitter old queen if you wish, but believe me when I say that I have nothing, absolutely nothing on you!

If you must pick on someone, pick on me, or are you really like the devils who enjoy concentrating on Catholic Priests?! If you want to get to Fr Blake, because it is obvious from your email that you want his Bishop to close his blog down because you are just 'so offended' (pass me the sick bag), then believe me when I say you will have to get through an army of us, to whom Fr Ray Blake is a holy confessor, confidant in times of need and perennial teacher of the Most Holy Faith. I've seen at least one gay man other than myself crying on Fr Blake's shoulder, so before you try and drag his name through the mud because he said something that 'offended' you, remember that his supporters are plenty and plenty of them are homosexuals.

'The Gay Gospels', indeed! What a joke! There's more 'Gospel' in this blogpost than there is in your entire book, Keith. Just who are these charlatans who imagine, for a second, that the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton is going to listen to their tiresome 'hate speech' fairytale, rather than defend a popular Priest loyal to the Pope, the Magisterium and to the Heart of Jesus!? LGBT surveys?! On your bike, lads! No Catholic Bishop worth his salt would countenance such a thing! Sling your hooks! We're Catholics and we tend to all love one another at Christ's command despite our varied weaknesses and sins! We don't need to hold a sodding 'LGBT forum' just to prove to men that we endeavour to carry out Christ's command of holy charity. It is obvious to us that it is you who are lacking in love, not us and most assuredly not Fr Ray Blake!

Anyway, we're usually too busy discussing the Faith with Fr Ray after Mass at a nearby pub for all that LGBT nonsense. If you want to spout your gay lifestyle-affirmation agenda, it is a free country and you may do so, at your own spiritual and indeed, eternal peril, but please, for Heaven's sake, leave the Body of Christ - the Catholic Church - and Her loyal priests, alone, until the day, God willing, that you repent of your heresies and join the rest of us sinners in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I'm done...Oh, and by the way, why have you left the transgendered and bisexual communities out of your organisation's name, 'Brighton and Hove Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement'? They must feel terribly excluded and 'deeply hurt and offended'. And more than that, whatever will become of Portslade and Peacehaven? What shall become of those towns without you?

Amateurs! Moreover, losers! Take it away, Freddie!


Well done for defending a good Catholic priest.
Excellent post.

Well done!
AndrewWS said…
Expressed with your customary eloquence.

Well done.

These people really are not a good advertisement for their cause, so there is hope that even fewer of the bewildered will be tempted to believe in it.
Tim Travis said…
You took the words right out of my mouth.
John Kearney said…
The attack on Fr Blake was inexcusable but what we have to do is try and understand their hatred. You will know what I am trying to say. A young man has a same sex attraction. He is afraid to speak of it. Then peole come along and tell him it is quite normal after all - come and join us. It must be a great relief to him and all he has to do is persuade everone else that it really is OK. Then just when he is reasonably happy he hears that the Catholic Church disagrees with him and stands against all that he now believes. Surely in most cases the result will be hatred. How dare they? So "wonder not that the world should hate you". The sad fact is that if they listened to the Church they would be much happier - their very aggression shows their discontent. But no, all oppostion or should I say `opposers` must be `exterminated`. Having siad this, I must correct myself. Not all gays are promiscuous, not all gays go off seeking sex here there and everywhere. I heard of two gays in a solid relatiohship who have adopted two young boys with learning difficulties. I very much admired them. Like many gays they do not like the promiscuity going on and recognise that they have a responsibility to these young men. We are so busy listening to the `bad` guys that sometimes we forget there are also the `good` ones.
Ttony said…
What an excellent defence of Fr B - well done!
Laurance Man, You and all Catholics who struggle with this Cross but actually try to be chaste and defend the Church's teaching are COOL!!!
Toby said…
I'd like to say like Tim Travis that you took the words right out of mouth (is it bad that Meatloaf is coming into my head now in a duet with Bonnie Tyler), but the honest truth is that you took the sentiment out of my head, and then put it far more eloquently and forcefully than I ever could have.

Great post and as Michael Voris said, you who carry your Cross and do not shirk it are REAL HEROES!