Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification. The Catholic Church is very clear on what a sacrament is. No matter what you or I may claim to be as a “sacrament,” it is the Catholic Church definition of “sacrament” that makes something a sacrament. If you do not believe this, you should not become a Catholic. If you are a priest who disagrees with it, you should not be preaching. Any priest who tells his parish that same-sex “marriage” is a sacrament is leading his flock away from Jesus, not toward Him. So it is, in my humble opinion, with Father Richard T. Lawrence of St. Vincent de Paul parish in the Archbishop of Baltimore, if a report at National Catholic Reporter on a homily delivered by him is to be believed as an accurate account.
Quote given from the homily:
And I will continue to stand in genuine awe of all those couples — straight, gay and lesbian — whose day-to-day, year-to-year, and decade-to-decade faithfulness to each other is to me a sacrament, a believable embodied sign, of the absolute faithfulness of God to us all.
To Fr. Lawrence, same-sex “marriage’ may very well subjectively seem to him to be a “sacrament.” If so, it seems quite possible that his thoughts on the passions, in general, may be distorted. In that case, he would pose a real danger to his flock in areas not limited to human sexuality but to all sorts of things that can lead to the ruin of souls. This is not to mention the threat to the freedom of the Church that would exist if Maryland legalizes same-sex “marriage.” I hope that Archbishop Lori will take Father Lawrence aside and discuss with him his understanding of the Passion of our Lord in general, not just this one error, even though the error is a major one.
Providentially, a reader sent me the link to the above article at National Catholic Reporter while I was listening to my friend Daniel Mattson on Catholic Answers Live speak about dealing with same-sex attraction. Daniel is involved with the Courage Apostolate and he understands the Passion much as I do, since I also live with a disorder of the mind, both Bipolar Disorder and Asperger Syndrome. Listen to Daniel Mattson, not to Father Lawrence.
Daniel’s blog: Letters to Christopher.