The Catholic standard for discerning the viability and wisdom of when to assimilate to a culture, or when to resist assimilation, must be the Gospel of Jesus as handed down to us within the Church, and as celebrated in the Sacred Liturgy.
Since the universal call to holiness demands of all a share in the Cross of Christ, it is not surprising that persons with homosexual inclinations face difficulties of various sorts as they, like all other followers of Jesus, seek to love God with all their mind and heart, and to love their neighbor as themselves.
Do not see those with homosexual inclinations as problems but as persons, persons whom Jesus redeemed by His Cross, persons called to holiness, persons with an inviolable dignity and an eternal destiny bestowed on them by God, persons like you and me, persons who have a welcome place in our Church.
When the Church at Vatican II lifted high the universal call to holiness, it rightly received an enthusiastic response. For it is indeed good news for people of every time and place. How good to know that it is possible for us all to have a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ and even to become like Him.
Do not remain on the sidelines while the rest of us take a stand for religious liberty. It is more important than ever not to be ashamed to be identified with Christ and His Church in this historic test of our faith.
That the popular culture in America has changed dramatically in the past half century is news to no one. Nor should it be surprising that such a dramatic change in culture would greatly impact Catholics since we make up nearly a quarter of our nation’s population.
If you asked Catholics in the United States in the 1950s if it was possible to be fully Catholic and fully American, most would have answered with an enthusiastic YES! Today, many Catholics have at best ambivalent feelings about the relationship.
When Pope Francis greeted Pope Emeritus Benedict at their initial meeting following the Papal Conclave, his first words were, “We are brothers.”
Adult converts to the faith like my own father can often tell you an exact time when they heard God’s call to follow Him, and how it brought such wondrous changes for good.
With filial affection and deep gratitude, I greet you in my own name and the name of my Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares and all the clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Phoenix, and I assure you of our best wishes and prayers as you prepare for retirement from the duties of the Petrine ministry.