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Thread: Catholic boy denied confirmation over political facebook picture

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    That cheeky buggerer Maxinquaye's Avatar
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    Catholic boy denied confirmation over political facebook picture

    The sacraments are a huge deal for Catholics. If you believe as they do, not doing the sacraments is breaking the covenant with their deity, and you'll go to hell.

    One way the Catholic hierarchy controls the flock is to deny sacraments to erring parishoners. The most extreme example is excommunication, which is the denial of all sacraments.

    This boy had a political picture on his facebook page, and then the local priest called to boy in and told him that he would not be confirmed.

    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/11/c...facebook-post/
    BARNESVILLE, Minn. -- A Catholic priest in Minnesota has denied Confirmation to a 17-year-old student after seeing a picture on his Facebook page last month which the teen in which he expressed opposition to the state's failed anti-gay marriage amendment.

    Lennon Cihak was pictured in front an altered campaign sign which original read “Vote Yes” on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment -- which would have changed the state’s constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Lennon had scribbled out the “yes” and replaced it with “NO!”
    So, the priest is, if the dogma is to be believed, condemning the boy to hell for a political stance. Tax exemption, anyone?
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    Baby plot bunneh sniffs out a clue Snowstorm's Avatar
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    I don't agree with Catholicism, but for those who do and wish to be Catholic, they must adhere to its teachings and restrictions. My take: I don't think that the boy is not being confirmed for a political stance, but for his support of the gay marriage movement.

    As you state, Maxinquaye: "One way the Catholic hierarchy controls the flock ..." the bolded words are the key.


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    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
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    Very grey area for me as to whether this could/should interfere with tax exemption.

    Part of being confirmed is declaring that you "renounce all the works of darkness." And whatever the Catholic church has on thier laundry list for "the worls of darkness" is something no "good Catholic" should be engaging in.

    The boy can vote with his feet and attend church elsewhere in a non-Catholic arena of worship.

    FRankly, I wish the priest had just pretended he never saw the danged photo and confirmed the kid and then let the kid amble off to college where he could do whatever political grandstanding he wanted to.

    Meanwhile, there are millions of Catholics in America who feel the same way the same way as the boy but they are in no way shunned by their priests for it.
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    "Assume Good Intentions" SuperModerator Williebee's Avatar
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    Tricky thing. It is a moral stance, as well, isn't it?

    Personally, if the parish lets the priest get away with it, the kid needs a new church.

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    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowstorm View Post
    My take: I don't think that the boy is not being confirmed for a political stance, but for his support of the gay marriage movement.

    What's the difference?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williebee View Post
    Tricky thing. It is a moral stance, as well, isn't it?

    Personally, if the parish lets the priest get away with it, the kid needs a new church.
    Catholics are supposed to follow the doctrines of Rome. Choosing a new church (if you mean a new parish) shouldn't change anything - if the priest is supported in his stance, the boy will be denied the (putative) benefits of Catholicism. Or (and this would be my preferred choice) the priest should be dumped. Fairly aggressively.

    We're getting very tired of the Catholic Church. Which is a pity, because there are some good people working for it. Their leadership lets them down.
    Last edited by mccardey; 11-23-2012 at 11:21 PM.

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    "Assume Good Intentions" SuperModerator Williebee's Avatar
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    "Shouldn't", maybe. But that's like suggesting there could be no gay Catholics. It's not the real world.

    DignityUSA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Williebee View Post
    "Shouldn't", maybe. But that's like suggesting there could be no gay Catholics. It's not the real world.

    DignityUSA
    I guess my point is that Rome (read the Catholic Church) should change its antiquated, assinine, ignorant attitude and perhaps start listening to some of the good, caring people who work from inside it.

    Or - yanno - the Pope and his henchmen should just get totally out of the salvation business. Rather than that this child (or any child) should have to change religions.

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    "Assume Good Intentions" SuperModerator Williebee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    I guess my point is that Rome (read the Catholic Church) should change its antiquated, assinine, ignorant attitude (and perhaps start listening to some of the good, caring people who work from inside it).
    .
    Agreed, but then, I'm not Catholic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Williebee View Post
    Agreed, but then, I'm not Catholic.
    I was. I still often work with Catholics on some social issues - some of the nuns especially are particularly good and courageous in war-and-refugee situations. But the many of the higher-up priests and clergy killed my loyalty with their anti-gay, anti-women rhetoric.
    Last edited by mccardey; 11-23-2012 at 11:45 PM. Reason: prepositions. they matter.

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    In the Catholic faith, priests do not have the power to condemn anyone to hell. Nor does a failure to be confirmed mean you are so condemned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priene View Post
    In the Catholic faith, priests do not have the power to condemn anyone to hell. Nor does a failure to be confirmed mean you are so condemned.
    Your first point is true.

    The second point is a little more problematic. Failure to be confirmed doesn't mean you are condemned to hell, but it does mean you have failed to attain the position of an adult accepting and affirming Christ as Saviour. Which means you have cut yourself off from your legitimate position with Christ in His Church.

    That wouldn't bother me, but it might well bother a person raised and still perceiving themselves as a full member of the Church. I don't think it should be up to some guy in a frock to deny it to a young man based on his beliefs about human love and identity. I think it's wrong and restrictive.

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    New kid...seven years ago! DancingMaenid's Avatar
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    The thing is, regardless of the official policy, this is going to depend a lot on the church and the individual priest. I have a really hard time imagining anything like this happening at my old church. Shoot, when I was confirmed, I don't even remember any emphasis on stuff like our political beliefs.

    So I don't see this sort of thing as par for the course. If this young man went to another church, there's a good chance there wouldn't be any problem.

    However, if the Church really does hold that you can't be confirmed if you have beliefs contrary to the teachings of the Church, maybe that means my confirmation is invalid? It'd be kind of nice if it was. I regret doing it.

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    It's a doggy dog world benbradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxinquaye View Post
    ...
    So, the priest is, if the dogma is to be believed, condemning the boy to hell for a political stance. Tax exemption, anyone?
    My understanding of the tax exemption thing for churches is that it gets taken away from a church that supports or opposes a specific candidate for office.

    Otherwise, a simple pulpit reading of, say, Leviticus 20:13 could be interpreted as a political stance (especially when and where a vote on gay marriage is on the ballot) and cause the church to lose its tax exempt status.
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowstorm View Post
    I don't agree with Catholicism, but for those who do and wish to be Catholic, they must adhere to its teachings and restrictions. My take: I don't think that the boy is not being confirmed for a political stance, but for his support of the gay marriage movement.
    It looks to me like it's because the boy took the WRONG political stance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post

    However, if the Church really does hold that you can't be confirmed if you have beliefs contrary to the teachings of the Church, maybe that means my confirmation is invalid? It'd be kind of nice if it was. I regret doing it.
    It may depend on when you were confirmed.... (And perhaps the rules of Rome don't apply in the US in which case, yanno, you're all going to Burn in Hell.... )

  16. #16
    You can't sit with us! missesdash's Avatar
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    Eh, I don't know. Join a 'club' with a very public position against gay marriage, publicly announce your support for gay marriage, get kicked out of the 'club'.

    Makes sense to me.

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    Baby plot bunneh sniffs out a clue Snowstorm's Avatar
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    Upthread I wrote: "My take: I don't think that the boy is not being confirmed for a political stance, but for his support of the gay marriage movement."

    Quote Originally Posted by Plot Device
    What's the difference?
    Exactly this:

    Quote Originally Posted by benbradley View Post
    It looks to me like it's because the boy took the WRONG political stance.
    A Catholic can take a political stance, but in this case the boy chose the wrong stance, according to the priest. Had the boy stood with a sign (still taking a political stance) against the bill, he wouldn't have a problem with his priest.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    The second point is a little more problematic. Failure to be confirmed doesn't mean you are condemned to hell, but it does mean you have failed to attain the position of an adult accepting and affirming Christ as Saviour. Which means you have cut yourself off from your legitimate position with Christ in His Church.
    That's nowhere near being condemned to hell. It may be habitual in certain Protestant sects to do such a thing, but Catholicism doesn't. Only God (if he happens to exist) gets to make that call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by missesdash View Post
    Eh, I don't know. Join a 'club' with a very public position against gay marriage, publicly announce your support for gay marriage, get kicked out of the 'club'.

    Makes sense to me.
    And if you're born in to the club, educated in it, acculturalised within it and then find yourself seventeen and questioning an aspect of its teachings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priene View Post
    That's nowhere near being condemned to hell. It may be habitual in certain Protestant sects to do such a thing, but Catholicism doesn't. Only God (if he happens to exist) gets to make that call.
    I don't know what the Proddies do, but I also don't understand your statement here. Obviously only god (according to the teachings) can condemn a person to hell - should such a place exist. But the teachings as espoused by this priest seem to be that certain behaviours will force god to make that condemnation. So - yeah - only god can do it. But (according to this priest) if you're gay, he will. So you can't be confirmed.

    I think I'd be happier if god spoke for himself, quite frankly. To each kid. Privately.

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    You can't sit with us! missesdash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    And if you're born in to the club, educated in it, acculturalised within it and then find yourself seventeen and questioning an aspect of its teachings?
    Then you either ignore that voice telling you 'something isn't right' and renew your membership or you join a new club more in line with your values.

    I understand the desire to change the church but dogma is a lot less wavering than a personal opinion. Dogma is the foundation of the ideology. When you question it, you threaten it, and if it begins to come apart, the entire thing collapses. See schism.

    So alternately, make a new club.

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    Quote Originally Posted by missesdash View Post
    Then you either ignore that voice telling you 'something isn't right' and renew your membership or you join a new club more in line with your values.

    I understand the desire to change the church but dogma is a lot less wavering than a personal opinion. Dogma is the foundation of the ideology. When you question it, you threaten it, and if it begins to come apart, the entire thing collapses. See schism.

    So alternately, make a new club.
    At seventeen? You're asking a lot. But, yeah - some kids will do that. Some gay kids will try to be straight, some straight and gay kids will try to support the Church's teachings on straightness. A few kids will kill themselves.

    I guess most will just go quietly into the middle ground of mouthing the words and ignoring intent.

    I'm not sure I can see any benefits though...

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    You can't sit with us! missesdash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    At seventeen? You're asking a lot. But, yeah - some kids will do that. Some gay kids will try to be straight, some straight and gay kids will try to support the Church's teachings on straightness. A few kids will kill themselves.

    I guess most will just go quietly into the middle ground of mouthing the words and ignoring intent.

    I'm not sure I can see any benefits though...
    I don't really mean to say it's a reasonable expectation, exactly. But it's also unreasonable to ask the church to change their position because anyone who doesn't like the position is free to leave the church.

    They might not feel free to leave the church, but the fact is that they are indeed free to leave the church.

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    Quote Originally Posted by missesdash View Post
    I don't really mean to say it's a reasonable expectation, exactly. But it's also unreasonable to ask the church to change their position because anyone who doesn't like the position is free to leave the church.

    They might not feel free to leave the church, but the fact is that they are indeed free to leave the church.
    I think you're underestimating the level of acculturalisation that comes from being born and raised into a church and having your identity to a large extent shaped by it. By twenty-five, thirty, perhaps, you'd have enough of a sense of yourself to be able to stand up and say "Now, wait - I know for the first fifteen years, you told me <insert sin here> was evil, but I'm beginning to see it differently. And I don't think that makes me a lesser person." But indoctrination can be hard to shake off, and in the case, for instance, of a child who knows herself to be gay and is taught that homosexuality is evil - and whose family are probably also deeply entrenched in the dogmas - well, I think it's a difficult ask. I think the first defense should be found in the culture that she was born into. Her time for creating or finding a new culture will be some years away.

    And I for one wouldn't want to make those years any harder for her. I'd like to take every chance I could to strengthen her bonds and faith in herself and in the love of the people around her. I'd feel that was my first duty, as a priest or a teacher or parent. Then if god wants to roar down on a cloud of fire and start hurling curses around, I'd like to think that our argument would be with him, not with the child he made.

    If I believed in that god.

    (My own little god and I, as it happens are on quite good terms. The catholic church and me, not so much...)

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    Lane Pryce maxmordon's Avatar
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    As Williebee pointed out, can't they look up another Catholic priest and end with it? My grandfather was brought up without religion and my grandmother Catholic, so they had to dig around ti find a Catholic priest to marry them since grandma wanted to be married by the Church as well by law.

    Though there's a reason I haven't done my confirmation yet and have been quiet about it.
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