He [Fr. Isaac Jogues] did not yet know the cause of his companion's [Rene Goupil] death; but the old man who had caused him to be slain having invited him, some days later, to his cabin, and giving him food, when the Father came to offer the blessing and express the sign of the Cross, that Barbarian said to him: "Do not do that; the Dutch tell us that that act is of no account. Know that I have had thy companion killed for having made it upon my grandson; the like shall be done to thee, if thou continue."Now fast forward about 360 years to the cozy confines of a formerly Catholic American university located about 300 miles from the spot where Fr. Jogues was brutally martyred for his devotion to the Catholic Faith:
The Father answered him that this sign was adorable; that it could not do anything but good to those who should use it; that he had no intention of giving it up. That man dissimulated, for the time, and the Father employed no reserve in this devotion,—asking nothing better than to die for having expressed the mark and sign of the Christian. [Taken from The Jesuit Relations]
Before a packed church of some 400 on the campus of the famed St. Joseph's University, Father Thomas J. Brennan announced that he is homosexual. During the Mass he spoke of his homosexuality as one of "the worst kept secrets" on campus....Fr. Brennan, S.J., is an Assistant Professor of English at the University, who on his website lists "lesbian and gay studies" under "general fields of professional interest". The announcement came at the 10pm Mass to a congregation of mostly students and a smattering of alumni. [Source: Lifesite]And now a brief historical note on how such an announcement might have been greeted in the past:
In that year [A.D. 528] some of the bishops from various provinces were accused of living immorally in matters of the flesh and of homosexual practices. Amongst them was Isaiah, bishop of Rhodes, an ex-praefectus vigilum at Constantinople, and likewise the bishop from Diospolis in Thrace, named Alexander. In accordance with a sacred ordinance they were brought to Constantinople and were examined and condemned by Victor, the city prefect, who punished them: he tortured Isaiah severely and exiled him and he amputated Alexander's genitals and paraded him around on a litter. The emperor [Justinian] immediately decreed that those detected in pederasty should have their genitals amputated. At that time, many homosexuals were arrested and died after having their genitals amputated. From then on there was fear amongst those afflicted with homosexual lust. [Source: Jeffreys, Elizabeth, Michael Jeffreys, and Roger Scott, trans. (1986) The Chronicle of John Malalas: A Translation. Australian Association for Byzantine Studies: Melbourne, p. 253.Now, I'm not saying that we should bring back the punishment of castration for priests who have a homosexual compulsion. But for Christ's sake (and I mean that quite literally), can not such men who proudly broadcast that compulsion and scandalize the faithful be removed from public ministry? Or at the very least, be removed from contact with young people?
Or have the last 40 years of outrage, abuse, and lawsuits taught us absolutely nothing?
Cardinal Rigali, call your office.