25 May 2013

SSA = Sodomy Seeks Attention

Believe me when I tell you that I resisted posting on the latest celebration du jour of immorality that is the self-outing of the so-called "gay" priest, Fr Gary Meier of St. Louis. Why? Because attention is what the pro-sodomy lobby wants. The story, sadly, is not news, is not new, and is really, really sad.

So, why do it now? Because this misguided person, ordained as a priest of God, has kicked up the hypocrisy meter so high, and because the response of the Archdiocese seems pretty flaccid. Let's take them one at a time:

1. Fr. Meier tries to front that his actions are not an attempt to harm the Church, yet he casts his lot with those who persecute her, and consorts with the local schismatic and heretical attention-seekers the Church has had to suffer in the past several years. He also causes scandal and spreads confusion among the weak-minded. From the STLToday story linked above:

“I have tried over the years to reconcile my silence as a gay priest with that of the Church’s increasingly anti-gay stance. I have been unsuccessful,” Meier writes in his book “Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest.” “I was hopeful that I could find a way to have integrity while remaining part of a hierarchy that is anti-gay — I was unsuccessful.”

Meier originally published the book anonymously in 2011. But last week, he republished it with his own name on the cover. The crowd of 80 or so supporters who turned out Tuesday afternoon at UMSL — where Meier is studying for a master’s degree in counseling — included former parishioners, other Catholic priests, former priests (the Rev. Marek Bozek, pastor of St. Stanislaus Church was in the audience) and members of gay-rights groups.

Since his public declaration of his sexual orientation, Meier said, he has received a lot of support on his Facebook page. One woman, though, scolded him for accusing the church of a “lack of love.”

“That’s not at all what I’m saying,” Meier told his audience. “But I am accusing the church of a lack of tolerance and acceptance.”

He also wrote this:

It has been difficult to remain part of a hierarchy that has been so hostile towards homosexuals in recent years. This is especially true considering nearly 30% of all successful teenage suicides are attributed to sexual identity issues. Our church once stood for and represented the radical nature of God's love for all people. That is not the true today - especially towards the LGBT community and therefore I feel compelled to stand in solidarity with those Catholic's who have lost their jobs, have been denied the sacraments, have been excommunicated or who have been made to feel 'less than' by their church leaders because of who they love.

Oh, thanks for clearing that up, Father. Maybe a different approach might have been better. May I suggest, confession, prayer, and seclusion as you sort this out? Why do you consider it a matter of "personal integrity" to publicly undermine Divine precepts and encourage contempt for Christ's Holy Church?

2. The posture of the local Church is noteworthy throughout. In an RFT story on Fr. Meier we read this nugget:

Meier celebrated the 15th anniversary of his ordination on Thursday. He said his sexuality had never been a secret to his family and friends. He said that when he was interviewed during the screening process at Kenrick Seminary, he answered truthfully to the six interviewers (of nine, total) who asked about his sexual orientation and history. When they asked him if he believed he could be celibate, he answered, “I think so.”

As late as 2010, Fr. Meier was appointed to lead the North City Deanery. After his self-"outing", the Archdiocese issued a press release, which I post in its entirety:

The Archdiocese of St. Louis just learned that Fr. Gary Meier authored the book "Hidden Voices, Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest" which was originally released anonymously in 2011. On May 22, 2013, Fr. Meier will release a 2nd edition of this book under his name.

Fr. Meier has been on leave for the past year for reasons of vocational discernment.

As a man who experiences same-sex attraction, Fr. Meier has before him an opportunity to be an example and mentor to Catholics in the archdiocese who struggle with the same feelings. Whether he will seize this opportunity to proclaim the Gospel of Life which offers the truth about the beauty and sanctity of human sexuality, is entirely within is his control.

The Church does not condemn individuals for having same-sex attraction. It teaches that all people are called to responsibility regarding sexuality -- whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, priest or lay person.

Our Catholic faith teaches that we are defined by something far deeper than sexual orientation; rather we are defined by our identity as children of God. We agree with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when he said, 'Every human being is loved by God the Father. No one need feel forgotten, for every name is written in the Lord's loving heart.' We encourage Catholics and all people of faith to pray for our culture.

Not exactly Regnans in Excelsis, is it?

But of course this isn't the same situation, and the Archdiocese's statement is obviously trying to walk the line between reaching out to this man and others who might have the same temptations while upholding the Divine and Natural Law. I get that. Unfortunately, it soft sells it so much that it says nothing at all.

-- Fr. Meier is on a leave of absence? So he can come back? On what conditions?

-- "All people are called to responsibility regarding sexuality," says the statement. Could someone please state what that means, especially in the context of a press release that clearly states that the Church does not condemn people with "same-sex attraction"? Pardon my language, I do not mean to be flippant. But if the reader did not already know what the Church's teaching on sodomy was, this could mean lots of things: monogamy in a "gay" relationship, or maybe using prophylactics. Maybe something like the Church loves him so much she worries for his soul and for the souls of those his book could mislead?

-- Also, why would the Archdiocese give so much information about the book itself? I half expected the statement to give the ISBN number and a link to Amazon.

One final note. The problem of priests living out their vows of celibacy is maybe as old as the vow itself. We are all weak. And we pray that after the many troubles of the last 15 years that the vetting processes at the seminaries are more effective.

Like I said, the whole story is sad, and all the more so for failing to surprise.


Long-Skirts said...


Our leaders don't lead anymore
Our heroes aren't valiant anymore
Our fathers aren't home anymore
Our mothers won't birthe anymore

Our churches don't awe anymore
Our futures aren't safe anymore
Our past no roots anymore
Our present not ours anymore

The truth glossed o’er anymore
But hang a cross anymore
They'll all appear anymore
Outraged at faith anymore

They share their lusts and explore
They're seasoned whores to the core
They're salt of the earth they implore
These Sodomed - souls at Hell’s door

Aged parent said...

There's that "same sex attraction" red herring again from the Archdiocese. As long as they accept that falsity as some kind of genuine notion, no sense will ever be had again from these men.

I've written something on it here:

Thanks for posting this important, if depressing, story.

Jane Chantal said...

However often these repulsive episodes of acting-out occur, and no matter how many people they're able to con with their histrionics, characters like Meier will not succeed in making humanity over in their disordered image. They will not succeed in overturning Natural Law. In their hearts they know this, and it torments and infuriates them and they lash out.

Rather than carry their cross, they hope to beat society over the head with it until it is in so many fragments it will no longer be recognizable as a cross. And until society is in so many fragments it will no longer be recognizable as society.

TradDadof4 said...

You didn't even address the most insidious part of this article. It is that father Meyer said that the church needs to "own" the suicide of gay teens. This is the opening through which they are going to drive our persecution, and it's being spearheaded by none other than a Catholic Priest. By "own" they mean "responsibility". If our doctrines are causing someone to be more inclined to suicide, they will eventually throw Catholics in jail for speaking our doctrines.

Blindfella said...

How does a stated position of being against homosexual sex square, as it were, with Pope Francis' -- as Cdl. Bergoglio -- advocacy of civil unions v. gay marriage? (Add alos, Abp Piero Marini, Cdl Theodore "Uncle Ted" McCarrick, etc)

Are those in a "civil union" celibate and living together as "brother and brother" under state recognition? (rhetorical question)

This is a mess

Anonymous said...

Why does it even surprise? +1 to the comments above and especially READ READ READ the article posted by Aged Parent.

In a similar vein, look at the Archdiocese's position on the recent pro-sodomy stance of the Boy Scouts. It is a ‘teachable moment’ according to the Jennifer Brinker article in the St. Louis Review (http://stlouisreview.com/article/2013-05-24/boy-scouts-policy). Who is teaching whom? Leadership in the local Church must be more courageous and less ambiguous on this matter, especially as it involves young boys. If nothing else, you’d think the painful lessons of the past 10 years might itself be teachable moment.

Hopefully a blog post from Saint Louis Catholic is being considered to treat this very dangerous direction of the local Church and any continued corroboration with the BSA ... there are Catholic alternatives.


X said...

"You can live a lie until you die
One thing you can't hide
Is when you're crippled inside."

Time to hop off the gravy train father and get a job. Good luck with that.

Timbro said...

X quoting Lennon? Apocalypse is nigh!

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Fr. Meier has taken a pretty big plunge here, and one would expect a lot of comments. Some thoughts, for what they are worth:

1) Yes, Fr. Meier is wrong and seriously contravening Church teaching; he does at least exhibit acceptance of the fact that he will not be functioning as a priest much longer. However, it seems (and maybe I am reading things wrong) that whenever someone makes a pronouncement of liberal dissent against Church teaching, we assume they know it's evil but, from the depths of their insincere hearts, they decide they want to fall in league with the Devil anyway.
In short, it seems like we assume they are insincere, that they are knowingly leading people down the path of perdition. Actually, Fr. Meier and other such dissidents speak as they do out of a sincere conviction that what they are advancing is good, and we have to enter the discussion understanding that. The vast majority of wrong in the world is accomplished by folks who think they are doing right. Let's acknowledge that Fr. Meier is sincere and believes his stance will help, and then calmly make the case for Church teaching.

2) Yes, Cardinal Bergoglio's reported acceptance of civil unions caught my attention, too. Since he referred to gay marriage as "destroying God's plan", here's a guess - and a guess only - at what he was doing. Realizing that the Church was likely to lose the same-sex marriage fight in Argentina, the then-Cardinal might have been trying to advance a compromise that (a) was not called "marriage", thus heading off lawsuits against churches that would refuse to conduct same-sex marriages and (b) would not create a legal requirement to allow gay adoption. Again, that is a guess.

3) Yes, the assertion that the Church must "own a bit" of the tragic suicide phenomenon among gay teens is altogether too sweeping. It is just a variant of a much bigger notion of recent times, one that says you are not just responsible for what you say or mean, you are responsible for how I react to it.

4) Again, I have to note a bit of irony that we always criticize the Archdiocese for insufficient courage in these disputes... and render those critiques via anonymous blog postings. Write directly to the archbishop - he's never failed to write me back. Write a letter to the editor to the Post, because I can guarantee the other side will; just keep in mind that the majority of readership will not buy an argument that something is wrong without understanding the "why" first.

But enough of my preaching. These constant mini-crises are the culmination of shifting mores over decades. There's no doubt plenty of blame to spread among both clergy and laity for that. Let's just concentrate on where we go from here and how we engage the culture in a way that it will be open to hearing. And let's ask for plenty of blessings from God and prayers from the saints in the process.

Bryan Kirchoff
St. Louis

Long-Skirts said...

Bryan said:

"Let's just concentrate on where we go from here and how we engage the culture"


The Holy Mass, that cannot die
Was said amidst the oaks
While pin-oak leaves came floating down
Around the simple folks

Who knelt upon the acorn floor
All dotted nutty brown
The acorns cracked and old knees snapped
Yet still there was no sound...

But the tinkling of the golden bells
As the White Host Son rose high
On priestly limbs like mighty oaks
They branched up to the sky

And in that wood I laughed with joy
Amongst the souls bowed down
For the mighty oak was once a nut
That merely held it's ground.

So Christian souls like acorn nuts
Must burrow all around
And be the seed that sprouts new oaks
On consecrated ground...

Where the Holy Mass, that cannot die
Is said around the oaks
While pin-oak leaves come floating down
Amidst the mighty folks!

jac said...

"I am accusing the church of a lack of tolerance and acceptance.”
This poor priest doesn't know that "few are saved" because the door to salvation is narrow and its lane is steep and hard to climb.
That means that everyone is free to follow the highway to perdition through the broad and easy gate. On that road, there are many sins that our perverted times no longer want to be labelled as sins. The sodomy has been described by the Bible since long as one of the 4 sins that cries out for Divine vengeance, which this priest feigns to be unaware of.
Will the Church censure the Bible every time it is not gay friendly in order to please this priest and all the world's sodomites with the aim to increase the number of those who will be saved?
Of course, the Bible much lacks of tolerance... All complaints have to be meant for God.
Anyways Christ warned us that nobody is allowed to add or to remove ONE word from the Scripture under the risk of eternal punishment...
But everyone is free to comply, or not to comply.

doughboy said...

and not a word from the archdiocese about our *courage* apostolate?!

missed opportunity.

Jane Chantal said...

Thank you, doughboy -- your point is well-taken. A missed opportunity indeed. May God bless your efforts and those of everyone involved with Courage.

Cbalducc said...

Father Meier claimed the Catholic Church has only recently turned "anti-gay". As far as I know, the Church has always condemned homosexual behavior.
To the extent the Church has spoken out more about homosexual behavior, it has been in response to the increasing vocality of the "gay rights" lobby.

Athelstane said...

"Father Meier claimed the Catholic Church has only recently turned "anti-gay". As far as I know, the Church has always condemned homosexual behavior."

Of course it has.

I suspect what he means to refer to are the glory days of the Spirit of Vatican II (1965-1990's), when all manner of Church teachings on sexual morality were, in many dioceses, either soft-pedaled, ignored, or flat out contradicted with promises that these would soon be "updated." In St. Louis, these were, for the most part, the Carberry/May years.

But Fr. Meier still works too hard to suggest a rupture where there is none. If the Church really is pushing young gay men to suicide with its mild recollections of its sexual teachings, how brutal must the suicide rate have been before 1965? It is farcical to suggest that the Catholic Church, increasingly marginalized in a secular culture which is rapidly embracing gay rights in law and culture, could have such an impact.

Cbalducc said...

I could be wrong, but it seems to me that dissident priests don't get as much of as following in "red America" as they do in "blue" areas like St. Louis.

Cbalducc said...

Congrats to Brian Kirchoff for his calm defense of orthodox teaching in the midst of some disgusting comments on St. Louis Review's website regarding Father Meier.