Tag Archives: Ireland

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

For the Devoured

Shepherds who abuse sheep consume them; they devour their dignity, trust, and faith. Scripture makes this clear in Ezekiel 34 when God through the prophet rails against pastors who ‘eat the curds, clothe themselves with the wool, and slaughter the choice sheep’ (v. 3).

No better description of the impact of clerical abuse: demonized consumers-in-collars who gobble up the innocent and leave them with gaping wounds and parts missing.

Abusers usher their prey into ‘the day of clouds and darkness’ (v. 12) where they become ‘food for all the wild animals’ (v. 5). Anyone abused by predatory priests becomes vulnerable to a host of moral, spiritual, and relational compromises. Other predators smell blood and discern the disorientation of those weakened by abuse. No wonder that a disproportionate number of adults who identify as LGBT+ have experienced sexual abuse as children. And now resist the Church as a healing community.

We as Christians must take seriously how clerical abuse and its cover-up have fueled alternate communities that celebrate sins against chastity. Their exotic sins sprout from our toxic soil. Look at Ireland—once the pride of European Catholicism. The recent exposure of the Irish Church’s grotesque, long concealed abuses have scattered the sheep there and empowered them in the last two years to vote in a ‘gay’ prime minister, ‘gay’ marriage, and abortion rights.

Unless and until we confess and renounce our self-protection (rather than victim protection), we limit our authority to call sinners to repentance. How can we champion chastity when our shepherds eat sheep and we fail to rout them on behalf of the consumed?

Ezekiel nails decisive action toward the shepherds and their collaborators. To those who knew and minimized the devastation, the prophet rebukes: ‘Woe to those shepherds who only take care of themselves! Should not the shepherds take care of the flock?’ (v.2)

Shepherds at the highest levels of the Catholic hierarchy need to do just what Ezekiel declared: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says, ‘I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I WILL REMOVE THEM FROM TENDING TO MY FLOCK SO THAT THE SHEPHERDS CAN NO LONGER FEED THEMSELVES. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them’ “(v. 10).

The application is obvious. Starting at the top with Pope Francis, a sword needs to be wielded that severs from the Church all priests who abused any person sexually, as well as any overseer (cardinals, archbishops, bishops and so on) who knew that sheep were being consumed and looked away. The faithful should tolerate nothing less. The scattering of sheep and rise of wickedness in our land demand nothing less.

The devoured can only be restored when the Church acknowledges her complicity with predators. The abused cannot heal while disintegrated shepherds roam the Church undisciplined! Inaction speaks louder than sweet apologies; it minimizes victim suffering and sustains an unsafe environment for all. We need to let go decisively in order to take up our mandate to bind up the wounded.

Only then will Ezekiel’s promise of restoration for the devoured be fulfilled. As members of Good Shepherd Jesus, we shall “search for the lost and bring back the strays; we shall bind up the injured, shepherding the flock with justice…No longer will wild animals devour them; they will live in safety and no one will make them afraid…they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nation. ‘You my sheep, the sheep of My pasture, are people, and I am Your God’, declares the Sovereign Lord” (vs.16, 28-31).

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Fighting Fathers

‘Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint.’ (PR 29:18)

Without vision from spiritual parents, God’s children wither. And wander. An entire generation is now subject to ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner and ‘gay marriage,’ and the scandalizing of persons who aspire to chastity.

Christian leaders who respond to the chaos by using the soft language of ‘love’ (words like mercy, grace, and inclusion) without telling the truth of the Father’s claim upon our sexual and gender selves contribute to the problem. These ‘fathers’ and ‘mothers’ are actually more like toothless grandparents who placate the empowered and leave the weak to fend for themselves. In altering the boundary lines to accommodate ‘culture,’ these shepherds allow wild animals to plunder God’s flock.

Two same-sex strugglers from England disclosed to me the demoralizing impact of Ireland’s ‘gay marriage’ victory upon them. The first is a man greatly helped by Courage and a devout Catholic; he struggled with Pope Francis saying nothing about Ireland redefining marriage and by London’s Cardinal saying Mass for the GLBT group in London while sidelining the Courage group altogether.

He confessed: “I don’t know what to do. I feel bereft and genuinely unprotected and not shepherded well. Perhaps this springs from some contributors to my SSA , namely, abandonment by and mistrust of male authority. But part of my concern is real and not just about my ‘issues.’ “

A woman whom Jesus called out of lesbianism said: ‘The Irish vote shocked and unnerved me. As the world celebrates same-sex relationships, it gets tougher and tougher… Just recently, starting in dreams, I have been experiencing some strong attractions to a woman I know. I feel as if the Lord is saying that I should be prepared to follow Him into the wilderness and face temptation as He did.’

Will we as mothers and fathers of the Church stand with these faithful ones in the desert of today’s moral landscape? Will our vision pierce through the world’s fractured solutions and grant us true sight for God’s children? Will we fight for their chastity? Will our love for persons originate in the Father’s heart and vision?

Our answer to these questions will help determine the fruitfulness of a generation.

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Papa Do Preach

‘All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to say nothing.’

For a Pope quick to quip about any number of thorny issues, Frances was strangely silent about the 62% of Ireland who legalized ‘gay marriage’ last month.

OK, OK, a Vatican official did declare the redefinition a ‘defeat for humanity.’ But for a Pope who insists on a merciful tone when addressing ‘gay’ issues, his omission here is nothing short of cruel.

Papa, preach on the beauty of man for woman and woman for man, and the dead-end of trying to make same-gender friends sexual complements.

Papa, preach on why the Catholic Church upholds marriage as a sacrament—a wellspring of grace to all every person who encounters a man and woman committed to lifelong unity.

Preach on why ‘gay marriage’ messes with kids by omitting 50% of what they need to become whole men and women themselves.

Papa, preach for the ones who have no voice.

Papa, on behalf of Christian families being torn apart by ‘gay’-identified members, preach on the beauty of repentance to chastity, and the thousands of faithful ministers who will walk with repentant ones to wholeness. Highlight Courage and the huge strides this most courageous apostolate has made in extending mercy to all persons impacted by SSA.

Papa, preach against the lie that ‘gays’ are an oppressed minority. Papa, preach the truth that the Irish were hoodwinked by a billion dollar gay organization from America that poured millions into Ireland and fueled a campaign based not on truth but emotional myths like all who are against ‘gay marriage’ decry human rights, economic recovery, and most of all, ‘love.’

Papa, preach on Jesus’ real love, the love that cleansed Mary Magdalene of her 7 demons and persuaded the Samaritan woman that mercy was better than sexual disorder. Preach on the splendor of mercy to supplant pagan counterfeits.

Papa, preach now on real mercy, and real marriage. Your silence is deadly.

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Fractured In The Fight

‘A house divided against itself will fall.’ (LK 11:17)

Newsreels of the 1960’s and 70’s depict Belfast Ireland as a war-zone; as a child growing up in front of TV, I recall coils of barbed wire separating Protestant and Catholic zones, over which both sides lobbed bombs at each other, often shattering innocent lives. Read more »

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