The cost of the cards were covered by the same gentleman who, at Christmas, is kind enough to give the altar servers QuickTrip gift cards. I believe he would rather remain anonymous but I know who you are!! Thank you so very much Mr. Anonymous...you are in our prayers.
+ Fr. Carney of Wellington's St. Anthony/ St. Rose Parish is now celebrating mass in the Extraordinary Form at 12:30 on Sundays. If you can make it please attend and support this good and holy priest.
Last month, the Washington, D.C.-based Catholic Campaign for Human Development decided to discontinue grant funding to Compañeros, a Durango-based resource center for immigrants, due to its involvement in political promotion of same-sex marriage.
Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter criticized the CCHD for requiring that its grant recipients adhere to the disciplinary and doctrinal norms of the Catholic Church, remarking that the church's commitment to poor was in danger of "being compromised in pursuit of a divisive, conservative political agenda."
Other Coloradans have joined Ritter in the criticism, and many activist groups have committed to providing grant funds to Compañeros.
Compañeros has done very good work to assist immigrants in difficult situations, and this is precisely the reason CCHD funded it to begin with. But Compañeros has also been involved in organizations which actively flaunt the Catholic Church's beliefs about human sexuality, about family, and about justice.
Compañeros is a founding supporter of the Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition, a group that has partnered with OneColorado, the leading gay-rights organization in the state. Compañeros administrators help direct the CIRC, and have aided its promotion of a political agenda that runs counter to foundational principles of Catholic doctrine.
Let's be clear: The church's belief that marriage is between one man and one woman does not make it anti-gay or bigoted. Homosexuality is a reality, and many good, holy, and virtuous people are inclined toward same-sex attraction. That all people, regardless of sexual inclination, have the dignity that comes with being made in God's image should never be in question. However, the church has an understanding of marriage which is rooted in natural law and in the consistent intellectual history of Western culture, which is more universal than the specific doctrines of Christianity.
In this case, the church's viewpoints on marriage are not really the question. It is obvious that the definition of marriage has become an open social question which continues to be publicly debated. But it is also obvious that the church has a clear viewpoint on the question — and Compañeros does not share that viewpoint.
It's natural to fund work we believe in. The Catholic Church believes in assisting immigrants and has been proud to support Compañeros in its work on that front. But Compañeros chose to partner with organizations that pursue a decidedly non-Catholic agenda and, logically, the Catholic Church chose to stop footing the bill.
This is not the consequence of conservative pressure being put on the church or some kind of an internecine culture war. This is the consequence of the basic integrity of Catholic doctrine: We can't claim to work for our beliefs and at the same time work against them.
Ritter, a Catholic and longtime friend of the Archdiocese of Denver for whom I have great respect, seems to expect the Catholic Church to abandon its beliefs in the face of public opinion. Whether the opinion is popular or not, the Catholic Church believes that marriage is an institution that is written into our very being. To Catholics, redefining marriage is an impossibility, like redefining a color or a mathematical equation. It simply can't be done.
Earlier this year, the Catholic Church opposed an Obama administration requirement that employers fund the contraceptive care of their employees, another moral impossibility for Catholics. In response, the administration floated statistics suggesting that most Americans don't agree with the church's position on contraception.
But true principles are not forged in the furnace of popularity. This is the consequence of conviction.
Coloradans don't all agree on the issue of same-sex marriage. That much is clear. But Coloradans all believe in common sense. No one pays for things they don't believe in. No one funds advocacy they oppose.
Men of principle and conviction, like Bill Ritter, probably know that already.
The Most Rev. James D. Conley, S.T.L., is apostolic administrator of the archdiocese of Denver.