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Bishop declares woman killed in homosexual hate crime a martyr

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 15th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Bishop Thomas Paprocki has proclaimed a former secretary as a martyr, following her brutal death suffered while witnessing to a young man. Mary Stachowicz was murdered in 2002.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mary Stachowicz was murdered in 2002 after a 19-year old coworker became enraged that she challenged him to stop pursuing a homosexual lifestyle. In 2002, Stachowicz engaged then 19-year-old Nicholas Guiterrez, suggesting that he change his gay lifestyle. According to Gutierrez's defense, Stachowicz triggered his anger by asking him, "Why do you sleep with boys?"

 Whatever the interaction between the two, Gutierrez was motivated to beat, stabbed, and strangle Stachowicz to death, stuffing her lifeless body into a bag and hiding her in a crawl space in his Chicago apartment. That apartment was above the funeral home where they worked. 

Bishop Paprocki was a parish priest at that time, pastor of the church where Stachowicz worked part-time as a secretary. Normally punctual, when she did not show up to work one day, he called the funeral home to ask if she was there. The funeral home staff reported her car, keys, and purse were there, but Stachowicz had disappeared.

Thus began the frantic search for the gentle Catholic witness whom so many people knew and loved. It took three days for authorities to discover her mutilated body stuffed into Gutierrez's crawl space.

Gutierrez is now spending life in prison for his heinous crime.

Meanwhile, Paprocki has described Stachowicz as a martyr, saying that she was "pure of heart and devoted to chastity" and that if it be God's will, "she will be glorified by the Church" as a saint.

Stachowicz died because she challenged someone who was living a deviant lifestyle to change their ways, and that person, for whatever underlying issues existed, chose to lash out violently.

Notably, the murder of Mary Stachowicz got very little media attention. Although her murder was motivated by hate -that of a practicing homosexual against a heterosexual, the crime was not broadcast as a hate crime.

Conversely, the Bishop pointed out the case of Matthew Shepherd, a homosexual who was brutally murdered in a hate crime in 1998, which was widely publicized.

Bishop Paprocki said, "Both murders were senseless and brutal, and I condemn them both unequivocally. However, the fact that there are over eleven-and-a-half million more Internet stories about Matthew Shepard than Mary Stachowicz indicates where popular sentiment lies today on the question of same-sex relationships.

"Shepard's story has received such widespread attention because his homosexuality was the chief motive for his murder.

"Mary's murder was widely ignored by the media, despite the fact that she died as a martyr for her faith."

The Bishop is correct. Our society has become so corrupt in its thinking, we abhor one murder, but react less vocally about another. Should not both cases garner equal attention as hate crimes?

While we are happy to see that justice ensures the murderers of Matthew Shepherd and Mary Stachowicz have been brought to justice, we suggest it would be appropriate to acknowledge that we have modern-day martyrs right now in the United States.

Current trends suggest we could see more.

As the Church falls under increasingly forceful and powerful attacks from the government, media, and extremists, it is only a matter of time before greater harm ensues. Yet we should not despair! The Church has seen such times before.

Two millennia ago, Catholics gathered in catacombs, whispering Mass to avoid capture and martyrdom. Once again, we see the religious in America being pushed into the catacombs. However, we remember what happened next. The Church of Christ emerged from those catacombs to conquer the Roman world and beyond.

It will happen again, because Truth cannot be long suppressed, and the lies of the Devil bear no lasting reward for those who dare to accept them.

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