exceptionally inclusive of me

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 12, 2006

Cardinal Mahony popped into St. Victor's in West Hollywood last Saturday to remind the assembly of the "importance of the broader church to be inclusive to all people." Think he was giving voice to his concern at the paucity of millwrights and welders on St. Victor's parish council? Neither do I.

The present-day uniqueness of St. Victor's, said Msgr. Jeremiah Murphy, who is 69 and has been pastor at the church since 2000, is traceable in part to the congregation's sizable contingent of entertainment industry hopefuls and gays.

St. Victor's uniqueness, curiously enough, is a uniqueness duplicated by half-a-dozen boutique parishes in every major city, with an identical mission to marginalized entertainment industry hopefuls. Not surprisingly, Msgr. Murphy is keen on outreach:

Catholic doctrine forbidding gay marriage and Pope Benedict XVI's declaration that men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies should not be allowed to enroll in seminaries have fed the widespread perception that the church and gays are adversaries. The perception, Murphy said, is a false one.

"I find the gay community takes religion seriously and are very faithful to religious exercise -- saying the rosary, doing meditation, going to church," he said. "That may be the reason they're hurt more when the church is portrayed as against them."

Doubtless. You're a shrewd observer there, Murph.

Sexual orientation is irrelevant to religious belief, said church member John Aiello, a 46-year-old former casting director. Aiello is chairman of the church's finance committee and life partner of 52-year-old Bryan Smith, a lawyer and recent Catholic convert who sings bass in the choir.

Can't help thinking there's a problem here somewhere. Doesn't religious belief include acquiescence in the moral doctrine proposed by the religion in question? Though he may strengthen the choir, basso Bryan weakens his roommate's claim to good faith. Five years from now, when polygamist rights are the hot topic and the LA Times is interviewing a Catholic advocate for change on the subject, the innovator may well declare "sexual avidity is irrelevant to religious belief." When his eight wives all nod their agreement, however, some of us may feel he doth protest too much.

H/T to L.A. Catholic.

"Homophobia drives you CRAZY!" protests a University of Paris theologian (and entertainment industry hopeful) -- or, more idiomatically rendered, "Sexual orientation is irrelevant to religious belief."

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  • Posted by: - Sep. 15, 2006 11:52 PM ET USA

    I'd love to know what shoes one might wear with an ensemble like this....

  • Posted by: - Sep. 14, 2006 1:06 PM ET USA


  • Posted by: - Sep. 13, 2006 5:46 PM ET USA

    Sexual orientation indeed is irrelevant to religious belief. Let's not attack where he's right. Sexual BEHAVIOR is very relevant to religious belief. Who one finds attractive may be normal or abnormal, but it is not a moral matter per se. Who one sleeps with is indeed a moral matter. Now, on the picture... Diogenes, sometimes I read these things at work and that photo is not appropriate for work. Plus it is just simply immodest and as such not suitable for this site. Prudence, please!

  • Posted by: - Sep. 13, 2006 1:28 PM ET USA

    That picture's so gross I can't even remember what I was going to comment on.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 13, 2006 1:13 PM ET USA

    "Our faith is our faith," he said. Well, actually, no. Its a sacred deposit that has been handed to you on the condition that you hand it on to others. You are also supposed to preserve the sacred deposit. That is the meaning of the word "entrust". Now, about that saggy brassiere...

  • Posted by: - Sep. 13, 2006 12:57 PM ET USA

    "Our faith is our faith," he said. "It's spiritual. It's not political. It's not an orientation thing." With rigorous thinking like this, the 46 year-old former casting director undoubtedly has a future as a priest of the LA archdiocese, assuming he can hold a note.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 12, 2006 11:20 PM ET USA

    One more request from one who reads this blog: as I'm scrolling down, could you please warn me when I am about to encounter a picture as unbelievably disgusting as the one accompanying this story? I would think even the most limp-wristed homosexual would be scared straight at the sight of that!

  • Posted by: Italiana - Sep. 12, 2006 8:12 PM ET USA

    Is that a picture of the Devil wearing Prada?

  • Posted by: - Sep. 12, 2006 6:39 PM ET USA

    Okay, how about today's Mass readings from St. Paul. For 40 years I have wasted my life being faithful to one man. All this time I could have been having "fun". Those darn vows.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 12, 2006 6:31 PM ET USA

    What all of us who read this blog have to do is demand -- as winsomely as possible -- that our clergy actually promote chastity FROM THE PULPIT. It's huge thing to ask. It may never have been done because in the past the norms of purity were pretty generally accepted. It's no longer true and the Church has to start all over again teaching us to do His holy will and our disordered wills to kill.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 12, 2006 5:57 PM ET USA

    Add'l excerpt from article: Gay church members include those who have committed themselves to chastity — a requirement for receiving the Eucharist — as well as those who are sexually active. "We try to shepherd them toward the ideal," Murphy said, "but we also accept them as they are and honor their contributions to the church and to society." It is good to see the first paragraph. Be interesting to see how they "shepherd toward the ideal" without noses getting bent out of shape...

  • Posted by: Fatimabeliever - Sep. 12, 2006 5:09 PM ET USA

    How can they be faithful if they are not faithful to God's commandments?? The horrible thing is that many have given up trying and want to change the commandments to fit their lifestyle. Mary's many visit to earth tell us to stop sinning because God is already too much offended. Now why isn't the Catholic Heirarchy asking them: "Do you want to continue in your sin or do you want to stop? The answer is: SAY THE ROSARY for being a good mother like she is, she will help you!"

  • Posted by: - Sep. 12, 2006 5:04 PM ET USA

    From Ask-A-Catholic (shortened) Monsignor: bestowed on a priest either because of a position of prominence in the diocese, OR because of years of faithful and esteemed service in a diocese. In and of itself, it carries no extra power with it. It is simply a title of honor. Good thing the 'OR' is in that definition - eliminates the need for the priest to be a faithful and esteemed servant. Though in Mahony-wood one can be a faithful & esteemed servant, AND dissent against Church teaching

  • Posted by: - Sep. 12, 2006 4:49 PM ET USA

    How about closing this parish and forcing these Catholics (sic) to drive 25-miles one way to attend Mass or go to confession (that’s how far I have to travel to get to an indult Traditional Latin Mass site). Then let’s see how seriously these folks take their religion and how faithful they are to religious exercise.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 12, 2006 3:35 PM ET USA

    Mahony ceases to surprise. That group does have money! Religious belief is Step 1; putting belief into practice is Step 2. How about getting a cardinal/archbishop into the area who preaches Church doctrine and stops skirting the issue of homosexual violations of doctrine. The story of Lot revisited!

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Sep. 12, 2006 3:24 PM ET USA

    My wife and I happened to go to a Saturday evening mass there (because it's a block from Spago, where we were going to dinner) just before Fr. Parnassus retired, on our last trip to LA. The choir and organ were nothing short of spectacular---though at the time I didn't do the obvious addition: West Hollywood=.... But the homily was also outstanding. Thoroughly orthodox; well organized. Top notch. When we got home I wrote to Fr. P to say I hoped his replacement would be as good.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 12, 2006 2:44 PM ET USA