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When Trumpets Give an Uncertain Sound

Lyle J. Arnold, Jr.
Book review of Setting the Table: Preparing Catholic Parishes to Welcome Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People and Their Families
James A. Schexnayder, 2011, 121 pp.
Setting the Table, Fr. Schexnayder
The Catholic Voice, the newspaper of the Oakland Diocese, recently carried an article promoting a new book titled Setting the Table: Preparing Parishes to Welcome Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People and Their Families. (1) It was written by Fr. James A. Schexnayder, who boasts “30+ years of ministry with LGBT folks” on the back cover.

The book avoids “being judgmental” and is strictly “pastoral.” During an interview Schexnayder stated, "While the book references Church teaching, there is nothing in it contrary to Church teaching.” (2) These jumbled words are like elevator music, they go nowhere. By stating that the book is not judgmental about a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance, I am led to suppose that the author did not take into consideration the myriads of “judgmental” references on sodomy in Sacred Scripture, from Genesis to the Apocalypse.

In fact, the only mention the author makes of Scripture in his book is an Old Testament reference to the captivity of the Israelites. The biblical exodus, he says, “is a fitting image” for groups like homosexuals who “have been denied their human dignity and right to participate in their community. … It is the story of gay and lesbian people, and bisexual and transgender people.” (pp. 16-17) This is historical revisionism bordering on the ludicrous.

Writing a non-judgmental book about sodomy is like writing a non-judgmental book about murder. By its omission about God’s teaching on the sin of sodomy, it impugns the known truth and, therefore, this pretension becomes a sin against the Holy Ghost. Likewise it is scandalous for its concealment of the words of Scriptures on this abominable vice, which makes it an accomplice to another's sin. Further, it violates the Spiritual Works of Mercy in that it fails to admonish the sinner and to counsel the doubtful.

This book, which aims to affirm homosexuals and transgenders in their sexual perversions, supports the “LGBT” community by accepting sin instead of condemning it. Therefore, it is not a help but a hindrance: "For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle." (1 Cor. 14: 8)

St Bernadette homosexual friendly parish

St. Bernadette Church (Severn, MD) a "model parish" for welcoming homosexuals
Fr. Schexnayder is a high profile gay activist in the Oakland and San Francisco area. In the Preface to his book, he acknowledges that the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have traveled a long way to “acknowledging homosexuals persons,” as well as emphasizing their “claim to dignity, respect, justice and inclusion.”

Schexnayder himself has also come a long way in his now wide-open ministry. In 1997, even though he was a recognized Dignity chaplain in San Francisco, he denied having ties to the organization. Today, as founder of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries (NACDLGM), he openly encourages parish priests to welcome homosexuals and preach on accepting them as they are.

What exactly does Schexnayder promote in his book Setting the Table? Here is a summary of his agenda:
  • Parishes should welcome homosexuals. Therefore, priests must educate parishioners to support the homosexual ministry through homilies and encourage workshops for homosexual parishioners. They should also invite homosexuals to share their stories with the communities.
  • Priests should increase parish awareness of gay issues by participating in celebrations. For example, by “celebrating” Solidarity Sunday on the first weekend of October, allowing homosexual parishioners to pass out rainbow ribbons and prayer cards before and after each Mass.
  • Parishes should open marriage and family support programs to homosexual “couples.”
  • Homosexuals should also become welcomed into ministries as lectors, Eucharistic ministers, music, RCIA, religious education leaders, and members of the liturgy planning and parish council.
His book is a primer for parishes to reach these goals.

Approved by Bishop Cordileone

Schexnayder's manuscript was edited by Oakland Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone "who made suggestions that were followed by the author."(3) How a Prince of the Church could put his lot in with Schexnayder's mob of homosexual collaborators is anybody's guess. I would say that both Cordilieone and Schexnayder are birds of the same feather; so no wonder they stick together. Although the Bishop is considered by some to be on the conservative side of the progressivist group, he nonetheless follows its general lines, albeit at a slower speed.

Bishop Cordileone

Bishop Cordileone read and approved the manuscript
There is a working theory behind this crass book, to which Bishop Cordileone has seen fit to lend the prestige of his office. In his book Revolution and Counter-Revolution, Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira postulated how the Revolution acts at three levels, the tendencies, the ideas and the facts. The Professor pointed out that the revolutionaries starts to infect the victim first in the tendencies, where "they begin by modifying mentalities, ways of being, artistic expressions and customs without immediately directly touching - at least habitually – ideas." He continues:

"In the beginning, they at times seek to find a modus vivendi with the old doctrines, expressing themselves in such a way as to maintain a semblance of harmony with the latter. Usually, however they do not delay long before breaking into a declared fight. This transformation of the ideas extends, in turn, to the terrain of facts. Here, by bloody or unbloody means, the institutions, laws and customs are transformed in the religious and temporal society. It is a third crisis, now totally in the order of facts." (4)

In a recent article it was demonstrated that the aim of Vatican II was to change "mentalities." The promotion of a book that seeks to ignore God's judgment on the sin of sodomy speaks for itself. By approving this book, Bishop Cordileone has moved from tendency to fact.

Despite which speed they take, these progressivists who work to further the homosexual agenda must confront head-on the words of Our Lord to St. Catherine of Siena:

"They (the homosexuals) not only fail from resisting the weakness (of fallen nature) ... but they do even worse when they commit the cursed sin against nature. Like the blind and stupid, having dimmed the light of their understanding, they do not recognize the disease and misery in which they find themselves. For this not only causes Me nausea, but is disgusting even to the devils themselves whom these depraved creatures have chosen as their lords." (6)

May Our Lady open the eyes of Catholics everywhere and bring them to understand into what a hideous moral abyss the heresy of Progressivism has fallen.
1. "New book aids parishes in ministering to gays," September 5, 2011, p. 7.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Chapter V, New Rochelle, NY, 1980.
5. "Homosexuals Cause Nausea to Our Lord and Are Despised Even by the Devil." Tradition in Action.

Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted October 3, 2011

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