Catholic Culture Podcasts
Catholic Culture Podcasts

I can only hope we are at the bottom of the slippery slope

By Leila Marie Lawler ( articles ) | Oct 22, 2005

Diogenes dear, in May 2004 when the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that homosexual couples could marry, a thought sprang to my mind, a parallel if you will.

I thought that 30 years ago if someone had shown us a vision of what we would be facing today in life issues we probably would have laughed. Killing all-but-born babies and cloning embryos – those were the bogeys the other side used to make us feel ridiculously hysterical. Now those very items top our agenda. Plain old garden variety first-trimester abortion is as worn and shabby in our sensibility as in vitro fertilization. So the first idea that pounded into me after the same-sex marriage ruling was this: what will our society look like 30 years down this road? What unimaginable situations will we be forced to live with as common occurrences then?

What about in a year?

The depression I experienced upon having this idea was mainly brought about by the certain knowledge that our Church leadership would do nothing – nay, would cooperate – to bring about whatever nightmare scenario looms. Nothing said by Bishop Reilly of Worcester, speaking for Massachusetts bishops (including the Archbishop) allayed my fears. On the contrary, Reilly was heard loud and clear by homosexuals in the state to endorse benefits for gays, and nothing in the subsequent attempts to align his comments (imprecisely stated as they were) with Church teachings changed that impression.

Actually, we’ve all gotten pretty used to the idea that Church teachings and Church doings are two completely different spheres. Years of well documented stories of Catholic hospitals hiring abortionists for their ob/gyn departments, dispensing contraceptives, and even performing abortions; mandated child abuse masked as sex education; and promotion of homosexual events in parish bulletins (at the very least of activities carried on in the parish) are pretty convincing that we don’t have to do as we say.

So today’s story in the Globe that Catholic Charities places children with gay couples can’t really cause surprise. Fr. Bryan Hehir, president, suggests that the intricate interplay between law and need renders the placements a necessity. I can’t recall ever hearing a plea from the pulpit for good Catholic families to step up to rescue children who might face the alternative of gay adoption. Nevertheless, Hehir seems convinced that the alternatives are gay adoption or nothing for these kids.

According to the Globe, the chairman of the board of Catholic Charities, Peter Meade, goes further: he thinks Catholic Charities should welcome same-sex couples for placement.

Here’s what the Vatican document Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons says:

Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.

Every once in a while my nightmare is replaced by a dream in which the Archbishop bravely takes a stand, rejects his place of honor in a system that corrupts, and calls upon the faithful to back him up with an abundance of Christian charity.

In this dream he affirms all those struggling families in his dioceses by praising their witness to the truth about life and marriage through all these long decades and shows his trust in them by allowing them to help him run hospitals, schools, and charitable agencies according to authentic Catholic principles. As he does all this, he is astounded at how the state reacts, cringing with fear lest the archdiocese leave the care of all those orphans, sick people, and schoolchildren in the hands of the taxpayer.

Officials beg him to reconsider, and offer to allow him to implement his policies as he sees fit, without reference to laws that run counter to Church teachings. In fact, the witness of this brave man and his humble followers inspires even unbelievers to embrace the Lord.

I say a little prayer, and then I wake up.

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