Friday, October 27, 2006

Some Questions Fr Massingale Didn't Answer

It has been said that "the news" is colored by what is and is not reported. It's also true that it is colored by what is and what is not answered.

The JSOnline noticed that Fr. Massingale seems to be taking a position directly opposed to the teaching of the competent authority (the Archbishop of Milwaukee) on the question of the Homosex "Marriage" amendment. Interesting that they noticed it only 4 weeks after Fr Massingale's manifesto was printed...

In any case, there are a couple of interesting little points which deserve some notice.

Father Bryan Massingale, an associate professor of moral theology at Marquette University, wrote a lengthy essay in which he struggled with the idea that "the amendment, read in its entirety, poses a dilemma for many faithful people."

Really? Fr. Massingale did not "struggle." In fact, he initiated the concept that " [it] poses a dilemma..."

"The amendment upholds certain beliefs about the uniqueness of marriage," he wrote in the Sept. 21 issue. "But it does so at a cost, namely, potentially damaging impacts upon the welfare of individuals and their children."

Those "certain beliefs" happen to be founded on natural law and enshrined by the Church as a sacrament, no less. On the other hand, "potential" damage is just that--potential.

"I do not see myself as a person in opposition to the bishops," Massingale said Thursday in a telephone interview.

Right. So long as 3 is equal to 5, there's no opposition here, Father.

When Massingale's scheduled appearance at St. John Vianney in Brookfield was abruptly postponed Tuesday, some parishioners worried that he was somehow being silenced by the church.

"I called the parish the previous week and expressed concerns that because this was a more public event than originally planned, it could easily become mischaracterized," Massingale said. "So the archdiocese had no part or no role in that decision at all."

A "more public event"? That parish printed an announcement of your appearance in more than 1000 bulletins which were distributed to most people who attended Mass over the weekend. That's pretty "public" all by itself. Only 150 people showed up--not exactly a Bradley Center-class event. But notice: Massingale does NOT tell you exactly why the event was "postponed."

"If [the Archbishop] had any concerns about anything I've written he would have expressed them to me directly and not done anything through any intermediary," he said.

Just a co-incidence that the Archbishop phoned in to a morning talk-show yesterday to specifically re-state his authoritative teaching on the amendment, eh Father?

In an Oct. 19 letter to the Catholic Herald, Massingale responded to some critics and concluded that "one can believe in what is called 'traditional' marriage - and even 'defend' it - without supporting this amendment. Indeed, we must not reinforce the institution of marriage through a measure which carries the risk of endangering human well-being."

Fr. Massingale conflates to deceive. First off, "the risk" of not having health-care is about zero, since Federal law requires hospitals and MD's to render care without regard for ability to pay. I know of NO doctors who refuse treatement due to monetary concerns--conversely, I know MANY doctors who voluntarily render treatment at no cost through Milwaukee-area 'free clinics.'

As I mentioned before, Fr. Massingale is also 'pulling a Bernardin,' by ignoring the heirarchy of moral values. It is impossible to make the case that supporting marriage is 'in opposition' to "human well-being." He is able to say that only by speculating that the Legislature and citizens of Wisconsin will deliberately act (or fail to act) to harm people.

That speculation is offensive on its face, and Fr. Massingale owes us an apology.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. I commented on an earlier post on how confused I was getting. Excuse me if I am naive. I have just recently starting to read and comment on your blog and Mike "the faithful catholics" blog. I find them both entertaining and informative.

I was so dissappointed after reading the piece Massingale wrote that was inserted in the bulletin at St. Al's in West Allis. I left the church before Thanksgiving last year because of the struggles I was having and have only been back there twice, including this past Saturday. I guess you could say I was "testing the waters" and this just DID not help in any way to encourage me to come back. I have to remember to keep an open mind; that this is NOT what everyone believes in the church. But I am angry and let down once again.


The Badgerland Conservative said...

This is a textbook case of media bias. A puff piece written by a reporter sympathetic to Massingale's cause.

Anonymous said...

Why are we all so afraid to address the likelihood that there is an ulterior motive in all of this?


Brother James said...

This whole Massengale thing's got me thinking more about gay marriage, and also about the Church in general.

KK, I left the Church 15 years ago, and came back a decade later, and then the sex-abuse/homosexual priest issues blew up. It's tempting, and natural, to conflate the sins of catholics into sins of the Church. It's discouraging to have to listen to these dissenters in the Church, wishing that the shepherds would quit greasing their crooks and start using them on the wolves among us.

Offer it up to Jesus. And pray for bishops with the courage to not only teach sound doctrine, but to remove those who don't.

Dave said...


If you need a good place to go for Mass, try the Tridentine Community at Maey Help of Christians, St. John the Evangelist in Greenfield, or he 10 am Mass at St. Anthony's on Mitchell Street, or you could head over to St. George's Melkite on 17th & State for an Eastern Rite Liturgy. Try any of those places, and you might feel at home again.