Saturday, March 11, 2006

Fr. Faucher of Boise is "not particularly wise" ... that much I agree with

I just read an Idaho Statesman article by Fr. W. Thomas Faucher, pastor at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Boise, Idaho...

Stable Marriages, even gay ones, are what society needs
by Fr. W. Thomas Faucher, February 25, 2006

Fr. Faucher states that "For a Roman Catholic priest to address anything to do with homosexuality at this point in American history is probably not a wise move....But I have not always been particularly wise." He goes on to assert, "allowing same-gender legal unions would strengthen marriage and family life."

One thing Fr. Faucher ought to consider is what is happening in countries where gay marriages are legal. Did the foundation of society--the family--become strengthened or weakened? Observe,

The End of Marriage in Scandinavia
The "conservative case" for same-sex marriage collapses
by Stanley Kurtz
02/02/2004, Volume 009, Issue 20

The article begins,
"MARRIAGE IS SLOWLY DYING IN SCANDINAVIA. A majority of children in Sweden and Norway are born out of wedlock. Sixty percent of first-born children in Denmark have unmarried parents. Not coincidentally, these countries have had something close to full gay marriage for a decade or more. Same-sex marriage has locked in and reinforced an existing Scandinavian trend toward the separation of marriage and parenthood. The Nordic family pattern--including gay marriage--is spreading across Europe. And by looking closely at it we can answer the key empirical question underlying the gay marriage debate. Will same-sex marriage undermine the institution of marriage? It already has."
The statistical indicators discussed in the above article are difficult to discount. One ought to also consider this woman's experience ...

Aug. 26, 2005

The article states,
"Stefanowicz, who cared deeply for her father, noted that growing up in a gay household exposed her to 'bathhouse sex, cross-dressing, sodomy, pornography, gay nudity, lesbianism, bisexuality, minor recruitment, voyeurism, and exhibitionism.'”
Fr. Faucher simply assumes that gay marriages will strengthen family life, yet he doesn't provide any evidence for his thesis. It appears from the statistics in countries that have legalized gay marriage, his thesis has already failed miserably.

Furthermore, supporting gay unions is supporting grave sin, something every pastor of souls will be held accountable for. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law... Under no circumstances can they be approved" (CCC 2357). The Church is clear on the matter, despite Fr. Faucher's scandalous dissent. The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith's conclusion on the matter, approved and promulgated by Pope John Paul II, and signed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger stated:
"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."
So what does Fr. Fauncher's article represent? Does it represent obedience to his superiors or public dissent? Whatever Fr. Faucher's personal views, a person reading his article sees in his 'gay union' advocacy, a Catholic priest publically supporting grave sin contrary to Catholic doctrine and the express will of the Roman Pontiff. This is scandalous and does injury to the body of Christ on earth. It deserves nothing less than public censure from ecclesial authorities.

Obedience used to be a virtue in Catholicism. It's astonishing that Catholic priests expect it of those they pastor to, while at the same time not giving it to their own superiors. St. Catherine of Sienna affirmed correctly, "Divine obedience never prevents us from obedience to the Holy Father: nay, the more perfect the one, the more perfect is the other. And we ought always to be subject to his commands and obedient unto death. However indiscreet obedience to him might seem, and however it should deprive us of mental peace and consolation, we ought to obey; and I consider that to do the opposite is a great imperfection, and deceit of the devil." (St. Catherine, Letter to Brother Antonio of Nizza). Fr. Fauncher could learn a thing or two from St. Catherine.

Fr. Faucher wrote that the issue involves two main arguments: 1) homosexual acitivity is immoral, and 2) legalized gay unions would "weaken the existing institutions of marriage and family."

Fr. Faucher's rebuttal against the first argument is that those in Idaho have "strong opposing positions" on what is moral or immoral. Why is that relevant? How about the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations Church within northern Idaho? Remember them? They have "strong opposing positions" regarding many number of things. Is it true that "strong opposing positions" equate to a "hands off" policy for Idaho lawmakers? That's an absurd conclusion.

Fr. Fauncher writes, "It is not the right nor the responsibility of the Legislature to decide moral issues. While all lawmaking is to some extent legislating morality, the basis for laws is not personal theology but what is best for society." The point that seems to have eluded Fr. Fauncher's grasp is that it is the contention of those--including the magisterium of Catholic Church--who advocate for laws against gay marriage, that it is precisely because it is "best for society."

Fr. Fauncher asserts, "homosexual activity is legal in Idaho." Really? Not according to the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, to which I am bound to obey as a military member, even when resident in Idaho. Article 125, UCMJ, states that “[a]ny person . . . who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.” See United States vs. Marcum (2004) for the decision upholding this law as constitutional in light of the United States vs. Lawrence (2003) decision.

Furthermore, Idaho Statutes still in force states:

18-6605. Crime Against Nature -- Punishment

Every person who is guilty of the infamous crime against nature, committed with mankind or with any animal, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not less than five (5) years.

18-6606. Crime Against Nature -- Penetration

Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime against nature.

Given the decision of United States vs. Marcum (2004), I don't find evidence that the above Idaho state sodomy law is necessarily unconstitutional.

Fr. Fauncher affirms, "allowing same-gender legal unions would strengthen marriage and family life." Yet, Fr. Fauncher doesn't bother to explain how. One need only read the article above about the Scandanavian breakdown of marriage and family to convince themselves of the contrary.

Fr. Fauncher states, "What weakens marriage and family life are people who live together, have children together, without any legally recognized commitment." Yep. That does weaken marriage, and if what has happened in the Scandinavian countries is an indication, legalized gay marriage will only increase this trend. Why? Because it affirms that "matrimony" need have nothing to do with its primary purpose, which is "procreation." Such a message is linguistic subterfuge, however, since the very word "matrimony" comes from the Latin mater, which means "mother."

Matrimony or marriage is a covenant "by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love" and "has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children." (CCC 1660).

Fr. Fauncher supposes that homosexuals in legal union will somehow strengthens matrimony, when it does nothing but send the message that sexual unions are morally OK even though they are contrary to the intrinsic purpose of marriage.

I'm not sure what Fr. Fauncher thinks is so strengthening about legal recognition of gay unions. For example, let's presume that Idaho changes its state Constitution and statutes so as to legalize polygamy and sodomy, because those in Idaho have "strong opposing positions." After all, it is "not the right nor the responsibility of the Legislature to decide moral issues."

Does legal recognition of the marriage between a man and say five women "strengthen marriage and family life?" How about a women and five men? If so, how? Add legal gay marriage to the mix and one can imagine the absurdity of 50 men and women all getting married by a minister dressed as Elvis, all legal under Idaho state law. How would that "strenghten marriage and family life?" Of course, it wouldn't. When one simply re-defines immoral licentious behavior to be "legal marriage," it doesn't mean "marriage and family life" is strengthened by it.

Extending Fr. Fauncher's reasoning to it's logical conclusion, 10, 20, or 30 men and women should be able to legally "marry" in Fr. Faucher's worldview and still society is strengthened by it. Yet, that's simply an absurd conclusion for any Idaho resident.

Yet, I'm not as concerned about Idaho law, although it is still my home of record. I'm more concerned about the scandal inflicted upon the Catholic Church by Catholic priests who publically dissent with their superiors.

I've officially added Fr. W. Thomas Faucher to the Catholic "hall of shame." St. Catherine of Sienna, pray for us.

God bless,

"Lord, in my zeal for the love of truth, let me not forget the truth about love"
-- St. Thomas Aquinas