one bread, one body?

By Diogenes (articles | Oct 10, 2007

Most Holy Redeemer is a truculently gay parish in San Francisco's Castro distinct, a notorious center of counter-Catholic activism, and the subject of an enthusiastic book called Gays and Grays, by Jesuit Father Donal Godfrey.

Gerald Augustinus brings to our attention the fact that San Francisco's Archbishop Niederauer visited MHR earlier in the week, and gave communion to two gays garbed in in-yo-face nun drag (view the photos here, here and the video here) -- a gesture which is regrettable but, given the individuals involved, far from surprising.


MHR would have a justification for its existence if it served as a kind of halfway house for gays on a journey into the Church -- if, that is, its priests accepted and defended Church doctrine as true and if its parishioners embraced more of Catholicism's hard teachings at the end of their sojourn than at the beginning. In fact it serves no such purpose, but rather exists as a kind of fire support base for gay activists hostile to the Church and her teaching.

A further point. If there existed in reality gays who were faithful Catholics -- that is, if the expression "Gay Catholic" were not a contradiction in terms -- it wouldn't be the orthodox bloggers who were first and loudest to cry foul. Gays themselves -- I mean the ostensibly responsible gays like James Alison and Sean Michael Winters -- would pounce on Niederauer to demand he shut down MHR, banish its clergy, and toss out the twisted sisters with them. "Don't you see," they'd argue, "that this mock-jocular sacrilege and puerile exhibitionism plays right into the hands of our adversaries? That this is exactly the kind of sexually distorted rage that conservatives are always warning the Holy See about? That our claim to be mature, sober, and pious Catholics is blown out of the water by cross-dressing psychotics who can't switch off their act long enough to take communion? Can't you see that this harms our cause worse than anything the conservatives could say about us?" Well, the fact is that we haven't heard such protests, and we won't. And the reason is that the difference between the "presentable" gays and Sister Boom-Boom is one of tailoring rather than conviction. Skeptical? Find me a counter-example.

At least one of the drag queens in Niederauer's queue for communion put in an appearance at San Francisco's Walk For Life in 2006 (view the photos here and here). What is important to note is that he turned up as a counter-protester. He was opposed to the pro-life marchers and to their cause, and even carried a coat-hanger to drive home the point.


One can't expect Archbishop Niederauer to know which of the hundreds of persons who present themselves to him for communion would be pro-abortion activists and demonstrators. Yet if he did know, would it make any difference to him? A man kitted out in nun drag is making no secret of his disdain for the Church; at the very minimum his burlesque of their habit shows contempt for women religious, on which grounds alone a man with genuine (as opposed to feigned) respect for Catholic women would reject and rebuke the scoffer. But unquestionably Niederauer knows these "nuns" and knows MHR and knows there's much more going on here, much deeper and unambiguous antagonism to the Church. Pro-abortion and pro-gay passions are just the tip of the anti-Catholic iceberg.

So why does Niederauer knuckle under and give "Sister" communion, as if he were just another pious and good-willed Catholic? As so often in circumstances of unaccountable and scandalous capitulation to the Church's foes, the most optimistic explanation is that the bishop in question is a victim of blackmail. What is worse -- much worse -- is the possibility that he truly had a choice in the matter.

Richard Cross holds a doctorate in psychology, who has taught at the university level, including at Franciscan University. He is currently an educational researcher and consultant in the field of psychology and related disciplines.
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