US bishop promotes ‘celebration of Pride’ with prayer card, rainbow crucifix
Fri Jun 28, 2019 – 12:31 pm EST. LifeSiteNews.
June 28, 2019, (LifeSiteNews) – A U.S. bishop has issued a “prayer” card that celebrates homosexual “pride” and includes an image of a crucifix with rainbow colors coming from it. The card, to be distributed this weekend at pro-homosexual events, was released via social media on Friday, the feast day on which Catholics celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Pro-homosexual Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, issued the card to commemorate the “celebration of Pride.” The prayer card features a San Damiano Cross on the front, and on the back is a brief letter issued to those who celebrate “Pride.”
“Dear sisters and Brothers, I greet you warmly and offer you my prayers on your behalf during this celebration of Pride,” wrote Stowe on the back of the card, which includes a rainbow flag with the words “You are God’s beloved” imposed on top of the flag.
The remainder of the card suggests that God creates people to be homosexual and transgendered, etc., and that God looks at such “works” as “wonderful.”
Psalm 139, a prayer attributed to King David, celebrates God’s intimate knowledge and deep love of each son and daughter he has made in his image and likeness.
In part, the psalm reads, “you formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!” (Psalm 139:13-14) New American Bible)
My prayer is that each of us can celebrate that glorious discovery of how we are made and loved by God who knows us intimately and who calls us to a deeper relationship with Himself.
When we acknowledge this in ourselves, we have to be able to see this beauty in each other. There are so many things which can divide us, let’s all come together in the recognition that we are wonderfully made and we are made to reflect the glory of God.
Peace and all good,
Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv.
Catholic Diocese of Lexington
“With Lexington Pride underway, I am grateful for the presence of people of faith reaching out to those who have been turned away or felt rejected by the Church. Our arms are open to all who seek the Lord with good will!” the bishop commented on Twitter.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” since they are “contrary to the natural law” and they “close the sexual act to the gift of life.”
“Under no circumstances can they be approved,” states the Catechism of the Catholic Church (para. 2357).
The Church also teaches that same-sex attraction itself is “objectively disordered” since God created sexual attraction to be between a male and female for the sake of procreation. The Church teaches that God does not make people homosexual.
“Two persons of the same sex sin gravely when they seek venereal pleasure from each other (see Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13; Rom 1:24-28; 1 Cor 6:9-10; 1 Tim 1:10; Jude 7),” states the “Declaration of Truths” recently released by some cardinals and bishops in the Catholic Church.
“Hence, the opinion is contrary to natural law and Divine Revelation that says that, as God the Creator has given to some humans a natural disposition to feel sexual desire for persons of the opposite sex, so also He has given to others a natural disposition to feel sexual desire for persons of the same sex, and that God intends that the latter disposition be acted on in some circumstances,” they add.
The Church teaches that everybody, including those with a disordered sexuality — often expressing itself in lust, masturbation, fornication, pornography, homosexuality — are called to chastity, that is to the moral virtue of a rightly ordered sexuality integrated within the person. The Christian faith holds that homosexual acts, along with murdering the innocent, depriving a laborer of his wages, and oppressing the poor, are one of the four sins that cry to heaven for justice.
Pro-homosexual priest Fr. James Martin promoted the card on social media, noting that the bishop “marks #PrideMonth in his Diocese” by means of the card.
The late Pope Saint John Paul II in 2000 spoke strongly against a pro-homosexual “pride” parade that marched through the streets of Rome, calling it an “offense” to Christian values.
”In the name of the Church of Rome I can only express my deep sadness at the affront to the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 and the offence to the Christian values of a city that is so dear to the hearts of Catholics throughout the world,” he told pilgrims in a Sunday July 9 message one day after thousands had marched in the event. The Pope then went on to reaffirm Church teaching on homosexuality, stating that the Church “cannot be silent about the truth, because she would fail in her fidelity to God the Creator and would not help to distinguish good from evil.”
Stowe famously dissents from Church teaching on homosexuality, has a record of collaborating with a group that rejects Catholic moral teaching, and has indicated that individual parishes in his diocese may decide if they want to promote the homosexual cause.
Stowe is one of five bishops who endorsed Fr. James Martin, SJ’s book, “Building a Bridge,” and was also a featured speaker not long ago at a conference for New Ways Ministry. The gathering was titled “Justice and Mercy Shall Kiss: LGBT Catholics in the Age of Pope Francis.”
New Ways Ministry was condemned in 2010 by then-president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, and in 2011 by Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, USCCB chairman of the Committee on Doctrine. Additionally, in 1999 the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “permanently prohibited” the group’s co-founders, Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent, “from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons,” after ruling that their teaching was “erroneous and dangerous” and “doctrinally unacceptable.”
10 Things Jesus Had to Say about the Sexual Sin Debate
Shane Idleman | Contributor to ChristianHeadlines.com.
My hope is that readers will read the entire article before drawing conclusions. I have nothing but compassion for those trapped in sexual sin. Those who strongly believe in the Bible and God’s will regarding sexual behavior also strongly believe in unconditional love and forgiveness. To say that authentic Christians hate or fear those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the Christian faith. To “confront in love” simply comes from a desire to honor God and to truly love and care for others. The ability to relate to people on their level, show genuine concern, and love them regardless of their lifestyle is the mark of true Christianity.
In case you don’t continue reading, let me offer some encouragement: if you’re hopeless, depressed, and confused, look to the One who created you. He has the answers. No matter what you have done, you have the ability to turn to Christ and start anew: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
1. WE NEED A REVIVAL OF THE TRUTH.
It’s no surprise that the church, and our nation, desperately need to hear “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” to awaken, convict, and restore. It was not so long ago that we were concerned about “the fall of America.” America cannot fall because she has already fallen. We are now picking up the pieces of a broken nation reflected in our laws, lives, families, and children. America’s moral heartbeat has ceased because we cut off the source of life. We need resuscitation, renewal, and revival of the truth.
2. WE MUST SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE.
When people, groups, denominations, or movements depart from absolute truth, and thus, quench and grieve the Spirit of God, they become mechanical in their approach to Christianity and lose the ability to guide. The Word of God is not in their hearts “like a burning fire” (Jeremiah 20:9), but relative, powerless, and debatable. This is what we see today.
Unfortunately, those who are sounding the alarm are often categorized as irrational, judgmental, bigoted, and intolerant. But how can we warn if we won’t confront, correct if we won’t challenge, and and contend if we won’t question? We must speak the truth in love…the Bible is crystal clear on sexual sin, including homosexuality.
3. PRAYER IS ESSENTIAL.
Why is there a lack of conviction today? The reason may not be in the pew, but in the pulpit. Much depends on the prayer life of the preacher. Pastors, preachers, and teachers must spend extended time in prayer to be truly effective—God prepares the messenger before we prepare the message. Luther’s motto, “He that has prayed well has studied well,” rings true.
4. WE NEED REPENTENCE.
I’m convinced that the majority of the churches in America are seeking to please the masses rather than convict. Judgment is never mentioned; repentance is rarely sought; and sin is often excused. We want to build a church rather than break a heart; be politically correct rather than biblically correct; coddle and comfort rather than stir and convict. This leaves people confused and deceived because we teach and live a form of Christianity void of repentance…void of truth.
5. BIBLICAL STANDARDS OF MORALITY ARE STILL VALID TODAY.
The “moral” laws in the Old Testament such as killing, stealing, lying, adultery, sexual immorality, and so on are all valid today. Jesus referred often to the Old Testament, and said that He didn’t come to abolish it, but to fulfill it. Although many of the ceremonial and dietary laws of the Old Testament do not apply today, the moral laws do. They are as significant today as they have been throughout history. For example, Leviticus 20:13 states, “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination….” To suggest that this verse is invalid today is to advocate the dangerous practice of redefining or deleting what God has said. Jesus referred to the Old Testament often in regard to moral behavior.
The consequences of wrong actions may have changed, but the moral implications remain the same. For instance, even though we no longer stone to death those who commit adultery, this does not mean that adultery is acceptable or any less dangerous. Adultery is wrong even though there aren’t legal consequences.
6. WE ARE ALL BORN SINFUL.
Jesus condemned “all” sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and woman when He said, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications…these defile a man” (Matthew 15:19). Jesus was implying that all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is harmful and immoral. The word “fornication” in the Greek is porneia; where the word “pornography” comes from. We cannot say, “But I was born this way,” because we were all born to lie, cheat, lust, and deceive, but this doesn’t make it right…it makes us sinful and in need of a Savior.
7. SILENCE DOES NOT EQUAL APPROVAL.
An argument cannot be based solely on silence. To suggest that Jesus approved of homosexuality simply because He did not use the term “homosexual,” is to imply that He approved of necrophilia, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality. But, of course, we know better.
8. PEOPLE HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM GOD AND FROM DOING GOOD.
Other passage in the New Testament are clear on this issue as well. Romans 1:18-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-20 are good places to start. In short, mankind did not see fit to acknowledge God and they suppressed the truth; therefore, God gave them over to a depraved mind—to do those things which are not proper. Homosexual behavior, and sexual sin in general, is comparable with dishonoring the body and turning from God. “The sexual disordering of the human race is a judgment of God for exchanging Him for the creature” (John Piper).
9. MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN.
Jesus said that since the beginning of creation, God created them male and female in order that they would be joined together and become one flesh. He adds, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9). Marriage between a man and a woman is God’s plan since creation. No matter how many laws are passed in favor of gay-marriage, it will not change God’s mind. Man often rebels against God; this is nothing new.
10. JESUS OFFERS ABUNDANT LOVE AND FORGIVENESS.
In closing, Jesus would often speak out against sin, but His love and mercy also reached out to those who regretted and hated their condition. Forgiveness is a mark of genuine faith. We should have compassion for those who struggle with same-sex attraction because we all struggle with sin, but at the same time, we should not condone or excuse this type of sin any more than we condone or excuse any other sin.