Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

8/2/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Because the signers of the letters are Catholic, they know that in a few years, like each of us, they will stand before this same Christ to give an account of their stewardship. Jesus is merciful, but he is not stupid; he knows the difference between right and wrong. Manipulating both immigrants and the Church for political advantage is wrong.

In other words, when it comes to marriage and family life, men and women are not interchangeable. The whole civilized world knows that. Those who signed the open letter in the Tribune proclaimed their adherence to the Catholic faith even as they cynically called upon others to reject the Church's bishops. The Church is no one's private club; she is the Body of Christ, who tells us he is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I, the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago, is one of the great churchmen of our age. His courage has been demonstrated throughout his service to the Church and the world in which she carries forward in time the redemptive mission of the Lord. He is a holy man, in love with the Lord and well aware of the challenges we face in this new missionary age.

Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I, the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago, is one of the great churchmen of our age. His courage has been demonstrated throughout his service to the Church and the world in which she carries forward in time the redemptive mission of the Lord. He is a holy man, in love with the Lord and well aware of the challenges we face in this new missionary age.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/2/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Cardinal George, marriage, heresy, dissent, open letter, CCHD, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHICAGO, ILL (Catholic Online) -  I have a pet peeve, to use an expression which my dear deceased mother used to use quite frequently. It is the haranguing of Catholic Bishops on cranky corners of the Catholic blogosphere and some Catholic media circles. I refer to it collectively as the Catholic circular firing squad. It impedes our mission, encourages sins against charity and fails to recognize our obligation in solidarity to one another. One of my antidotes to the malady is to call attention to the courageous Bishops standing firm in the ancient but ever new Catholic Christian faith.

These men are unafraid of engaging the collapsing culture in which we live with the liberating Good News of the Gospel. In my ecumenical work at the intersection of faith and culture, I am increasingly reminded by Christian friends in other faith communities of the impact of many of our Bishops upon them. I wish some cranky Catholic commentators could hear what I hear and stop their sniping.

Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I, the Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago, is one of the great churchmen of our age. His courage has been demonstrated throughout his service to the Church and the world in which she carries forward in time the redemptive mission of the Lord. He is a holy man, in love with the Lord and well aware of the challenges we face in this new missionary age.

The Cardinal's mettle was demonstrated by his heroic struggle against cancer. Not a complaint, but a witness of prophetic hope in a culture of despair. He is a prophetic leader, unapologetically committed to proclaiming and defending truth in an age of relativism, militant secularism, nihilism and hostility toward the Church, her message and mission.

He has long been an uncompromising defender of the fundamental human right to life of our first neighbors in the first home of the womb. He is a friend of the poor and a man of mercy.  This brave man has also stood firm against one of the greatest assaults against truth in our time, the assault on marriage and the family and society founded upon it.

He knows the implications of the struggle - and the ferocity of the opposition. Cardinal George reminds me of heroic Bishops throughout our history. Thank God their numbers are increasing in this urgent moment. We need them. They should inspire us all to take our place in the mission of the whole Church, no matter what our state in life or vocation. We must defend marriage as what it is, ontologically, a bond between one man and one woman, intended for life, and open to the gift of children.

Marriage is the preeminent social institution. It is a relationship defined by nature itself and revealed by the Natural Moral Law that binds all men and women. It finds its foundation in the order of creation. Civil institutions do not create marriage nor can they create a right to marry for those who are incapable of marriage. The institutions of government should, when acting properly, defend marriage against those who would redefine it.

Marriage and family have been inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of the universe. They are God's idea and not our own. Marriage is the first vital cell of society and creates the first society wherein children are to be raised, develop and flourish. Children have a right to a mother and a father. To limit marriage to heterosexual couples is not discriminatory now, nor has it ever been.

Homosexual couples cannot bring into existence what marriage intends by its very definition. To confer the benefits that have been conferred in the past only to stable married couples and families to homosexual paramours, whether by misguided legislation or ill founded judicial activism, is bad public policy and can never serve the common good.

This good Cardinal faces opposition from a fifth column of Catholics within his own Archdiocese. On Monday, July 29, 2013, eight Catholics, some of whom hold political and judicial office, published an open letter in the Chicago Sun Times accusing Cardinal George of not caring for the poor and immigrants and of using the poor and immigrants as pawns in his effort to defend marriage as between one man and one woman.

A group called the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) advocates for "same-sex marriage" in its political agenda. The Cardinal said that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) could not fund groups that support this goal. He was clear as to the reason, "Donors to the CCHD give to this anti-poverty organization with the understanding that their money will be passed on to organizations that respect the teachings of the Catholic faith."

These eight Catholics wrote an open letter to both Cardinal George and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development published in the newspaper. They began, "We write to you as loyal and proud Catholics to urge in the strongest possible terms that you rescind this threat. This action is not worthy of the church we know, love and respect." This kind of tactic is the worst form of propaganda. It is reminiscent of past fifth column actions throughout both secular and church history. 

The term fifth column refers to a group within a larger community which intentionally and covertly collaborates with an outside enemy so as to weaken that group from within and undermine its leadership and effectiveness. The expression originated with the Spanish Civil War but has been expanded to refer to a strategic use of covert activity and dissent within a State, or, as in this instance, within a Church.

I use the phrase fifth column in reference to people within our Church, fellow Catholics. These folks have rejected the teaching of the Church in an area of moral truth and, rather than honestly admit it and seek to change themselves so that they can properly inform their conscience and give a religious submission of intellect and will,(which is our obligation as faithful Catholics), they attempt to confuse the faithful. However, they go even further. They engage in covert operations intended to undermine the Church.

This is done in several ways. Sometimes it is through a kind of slow drip of dissent. Other times, through a concerted campaign which overtly opposes the Magisterium - the teaching office of the Catholic Church - though still containing its rebellion and opposition within the family of the Church. Still other times it goes beyond all propriety by overtly rejecting the clear teaching of the Church. Then, using a public forum, they intentionally try to hurt the Church and cause a scandal. It is to the last group that I now address this article.

The most egregious example concerns the infallible teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the dignity of every human person from conception to natural death. The truth taught by the Catholic Church concerning the fundamental human right to life and the dignity of every human person throughout the entire spectrum of life is the very ground of all Catholic Social Teaching. It cannot and will not ever be changed. It is written in the Natural Moral Law, confirmed by science and expounded upon in Revelation.

Yet, there is a fifth column of Catholics in open rebellion with this truth which opposes the fundamental Right to Life. They have strategically infiltrated the Church and use their identification and placement within to harm her. This group rejects this infallible teaching but seeks to draw others into their error. Finally, they have chosen to use the public forum to engage in a hostile campaign against the Catholic Church.

It is the same with the truth taught by the Catholic Church concerning the nature of marriage as between one man and one woman, for life, and open to children.That is what happened in Chicago. The sophistry of those who seek to reframe the debate by using terms such a "marriage equality" use the Orwellian newspeak of the Homosexual Equivalency movement. This is particularly egregious when it is engaged in by Catholics.

The Catholic Church cannot and will not ever change her position on marriage. She has no authority to do so. This open letter is an example of an overt operation against a a courageous Cardinal who is unafraid to contend in the public square for the truth about marriage and to defend against the wolves who seek to undermine marriage. Their open letter demanded such a courageous response. Here is his open response from the courageous Cardinal George:

AN OPEN RESPONSE TO AN OPEN LETTER JULY 29. 2013
Francis Cardinal George, OMI

On Monday, July 29, in the Chicago Tribune, a group of Catholics published an open letter addressed to me and to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). They accused the Church of turning her back on the poor. This accusation follows a decision by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to include support for "same-sex marriage" as part of their political agenda. The CCHD cannot fund groups that support this goal.

Donors to the CCHD give to this anti-poverty organization with the understanding that their money will be passed on to organizations that respect the teachings of the Catholic faith. Organizations that apply for funds do so agreeing to this condition. On May 23, the ICIRR board broke faith with its member organizations when it publicly supported so called "same-sex marriage." For its own political advantage, it introduced a matter extraneous to its own purpose and betrayed its own members, who were not consulted.

The CCHD had no choice but to respect the unilateral decision of the ICIRR board that effectively cut off funding from groups that remain affiliated with ICIRR. Without betraying its donors or the Catholic faith, the Catholic Church's long-standing work forimmigrant groups and for immigration reform remains intact. This record speaks for itself and is well known. It is carried locally by Priests for Justice for Immigrants and by Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants, in collaboration with the Archdiocesan Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education, led by Elena Segura with my complete support.

It is intellectually and morally dishonest to use the witness of the Church's concern for the poor as an excuse to attack the Church's teaching on the nature of marriage. Four weeks ago, Pope Francis wrote: "marriage should be a stable union of man and woman,this union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God's own love, and of the acknowledgement and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh and are enabled to give birth to a new life."

In other words, when it comes to marriage and family life, men and women are not interchangeable. The whole civilized world knows that. Those who signed the open letter in the Tribune proclaimed their adherence to the Catholic faith even as they cynically called upon others to reject the Church's bishops. The Church is no one's private club; she is the Body of Christ, who tells us he is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

Because the signers of the letters are Catholic, they know that in a few years, like each of us, they will stand before this same Christ to give an account of their stewardship. Jesus is merciful, but he is not stupid; he knows the difference between right and wrong. Manipulating both immigrants and the Church for political advantage is wrong.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Archbishop of Chicago

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... continue reading


Anarchy in Chicago! Weekend of crime tears city apart Watch

Image of The weekend of July 18 saw the death of five people and the wounding of 47 in Chicago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were 47 shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, five of which ended up being fatal, statistics from the Chicago Police Department report. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chicago officials met on July 21 to discuss the city's recent surge in gun ... continue reading


The Contraceptive New York Nanny, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The idea that the government is now in the business of arm-twisting women not to have more children - immediately after childbirth - is morally obnoxious and socially disturbing. It is so apt that this is happening in a city where its mayor lusts for abortion ... continue reading


Building a culture of life: Colorado clinic takes brave stand Watch

Image of Inspired to bring their mission home to Colorado, they decided to start a natural women's health clinic that would uphold the dignity of women and give them the care they deserve.

By CNA/EWTN News

A Colorado women's health clinic seeking to offer natural care that respects human dignity has drawn praise for helping to build up a culture of life. (CNA/EWTN News) - Authentic women's care "is essential to the pro-life movement," said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, ... continue reading


When more than 80 percent of California faces extreme drought -- the spigots remain open Watch

Image of At the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fountains are still operating. The one change is that they turn off at mid-morning, and haven't been running full-time since the spring.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Extremely dry conditions in the state of California has 80 percent of the so-called Golden State in extreme drought conditions. Many couldn't tell the difference in many urban areas: Sprinklers go full blast on many lawns, and lots of waters goes wasted by ... continue reading


IT'S ABOUT TIME: Rick Perry deploys national guard to halt southern invasion! Watch

Image of Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border, in an effort to stem the flood of illegals that have crossed over throughout 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an effort to stem the influx of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children that have been entering the United States illegally in 2014, Texas Governor Rick Perry will send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the southern border. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:1-9
1 That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Bridget of Sweden
July 23: Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Uppland’s Lagman, Birger ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter