Saturday, 19 February 2022

Now this may seem trivial but...

 People just don't seem to know! Thousands of baptisms declared invalid in Arizona.

The article talks about baptism as a "rite of passage". NOPE. If it was just a rite of passage, there wouldn't be all this fuss. And I can't believe that a Roman Catholic priest would have made this error unknowingly. Come on!! So, maybe seminary training "ain't what it used to be"???

Now to be fair, I am sure that the reporter of this story looked up "baptism" (probably on Wikipedia? I haven't checked) and saw it was a rite of passage. Good enough? If we were talking about the United Church of Canada or the Reformed tradition Protestant churches, that would have been good enough. In those Protestant denominations, for example, baptism welcomes the infants or adults into the Christian community. Baptists perform adult and child baptism so that the decision is one made by the individual. (NOTE: if you are in one of the Calvinist traditions, there is nothing that can be done about original sin - you are born with it and you die with it)

 However, in Roman Catholicism and even the Lutheran church, infant baptism is performed to remove the stain of Original Sin. If the stain of original sin is not removed then there is no possibility of redemption - hell is awaiting after you die. And the rite must be done correctly. The purpose of baptism is to take away original sin - the community cannot do that. Only God can do that. Did no one learn about the Donatists - the priests may not have to be free from sin, but, by God, the rite MUST be done correctly. The mess that is occurring in Arizona has been caused by a lack of understanding that Augustine supported the holy war against the Donatists. It is the sacrament that takes away original sin, and the sacrament MUST be performed correctly (redundancy sometimes works to get a point across).

I can only hope that Pope Francis is going to find some way to introduce retroactive measures into this parish.

The things that I learned after I began to study religion as an academic discipline. I was raised in the UCC; needless to say that original sin wasn't even on the radar! 

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Uploading my CV

 This is because the academic website at my university haven't been updated in forever. The new "academia.edu" site doesn't have a place for a CV. Neither, it seems does Researchgate.net.

SHEILA A. REDMOND PHD

E-MAIL: sheila.redmond@algomau.ca; sheila.a.redmond@gmail.com

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS

University Education

1993: Doctorate, Department of Religious Studies/Sciences Religieuse, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

Area of Specialisation: Social Scientific Study of Religion

Dissertation Title: The Father God and Traditional Christian Interpretations of Suffering, Guilt, Anger and Forgiveness as Impediments to Recovery from Father-Daughter Incest. Available at https://www.academia.edu/45566335/The_Father_God_and_Traditional_Christian_Interpretations_of_suffering_guilt_anger_and_forgiveness_as_impediments_to_recovery_from_father_daughter_incest_PDF

1985: Master of Arts, Department of Religious Studies/Sciences Religieuse, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON

Area of Specialisation: History of Intertestamental Judaism and Christianity

Major Research Paper: The Date and Provenance of the Fourth Sibylline Oracle. Available at http://people.auc.ca/redmond/Documents%20to%20upload/Redmond_Sheila_MA.pdf

1982: Bachelor of Arts, (Honours cum laude), Department of Religious Studies/Sciences Religieuse, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON

Area of Specialisation: History of Religions

Continuing Education

2019 Portfolio-Based Language Assessment Certificate – Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks, Government of Canada

2019 Canadian Language Benchmarks Bootcamp Certificate – Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks, Government of Canada

2019 OnTESOL Certificate, Trinity Cambridge Canada

2000 Quantitative Methods I, Algonquin Community College, Ottawa ON

1997 Effective Web Design and Development, Institute of Technical Editors, Ottawa ON

1995 Financial Accounting I, Algonquin Community College, Ottawa ON

1992 Management Principles, Algonquin Community College, Ottawa ON

ACADEMIC AWARDS

1986-89 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Graduate Fellowship

1985-88 University of Ottawa Doctoral Entrance Scholarship and Supplementary Merit Scholarships

1986 The “Joachim Jeremias Graduate Essay Prize for New Testament,” Canadian Society of Biblical Studies

1982-84 Ontario Graduate Scholarships

1982-83 University of Ottawa Master’s Entrance Scholarship

1982 Honourable Mention: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Special MA Scholarship

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Algoma District School Board, Sault Ste. Marie ON

2019-2022 English as a Second Language Teacher, Northland Adult Learning Centre, Sault Ste. Marie ON

Algoma University, Sault Ste. Marie ON

2004-2021 Department of History and Philosophy

▪ Film/History: Reel History: Film and the Historical Record (3 credits)

▪ Film/History: Film and Modern History (3 credits)

▪ History of Religion (3 credit)

▪ History of Ideas of the Modern World/Philosophy of Ideas of the Modern World (3 credit)

▪ History of the Ancient Near East (3 credit)

▪ History of Greece and Rome (3 credit)

▪ Military History of the Ancient Mediterranean (3 credits)

▪ War and Society in Global Perspective (3 credits)

▪ Selected Senior Seminar Topics in History I: Film, Theatre, and Critical Theory in the History of Censorship and Resistance in Germany: 1919-1945 (3 credit)

▪ History of Early Medieval Europe (3 credit)

▪ History of the European Reformations (3 credit)

▪ Introduction to Western Civilization; From Late Medieval to the French Revolution (3 credit)

▪ Introduction to Western Civilization; From the French Revolution to the Present (3 credit)

▪ History of Women to the Pre-industrial Era (3 credit)

▪ History of Women and the Women’s Movement in Modern Times (3 credit)

▪ History of Women in Canada (3 credit)

▪ History of 19th Century Germany (3 credit)

▪ History of 20th Century Germany (3 credit)

▪ History of the Canadian Family from Colonial Times to the Present (3credit)

▪ Current Issues in Women’s History (3 credit)

▪ Origins of Western Philosophy (6 credit)

▪ Thesis Supervision (6 credits)

2004-2013 Department of Sociology and Social Welfare/Social Work (& Anthropology)

▪ Sociology:

• Understanding Society I: Principles and Processes (3 credit)

• Understanding Society II: Institutions and Issues (3 credit)

• Sociology of Gender (3 credit)

• Emergence of Sociological Theories (3 credit)

• Modern Sociological Theories (3 credit)

▪ Anthropology:

• Introduction to Physical Anthropology (3 credit)

• Ethnology of Native North America (6 credit)

• Introduction to Anthropology – Understanding Humankind (6 credit)

Lake Superior State University, Sault Ste. Marie MI

2005-2006: Department of Sociology and Human Sciences,

▪ Sociology of Women (3 credit)

▪ Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3 credit)

Carleton University, Ottawa ON

1994-1998: College of Humanities (Religion)

▪ Introduction to the Literature and History of the New Testament,

▪ Enrichment mini-course for high school students, “From Genesis to Apocalypse: Visions of the End and Society in Twentieth Century Comic Books.”

▪ Introduction to the Literature of the Hebrew Bible

▪ Death and Afterlife, on campus and Instructional Television

▪ Introduction to the Hebrew Bible

University of Ottawa: Ottawa ON

1985-1987: Department of Religious Studies

▪ Religion and Morality

▪ Interpretation of the New Testament

▪ Beginnings of Christianity

PUBLICATIONS

Chapters in edited books

2010 Nadeau, J.-G. et Redmond, S. « Le Dieu des victimes reconsidéré à partir des victimes d’abus sexuels durant l’enfance. », dans Pierre Noël, dir., Mondialisation, violence et religion, (Montréal: Fides, 2010) pp. 113-130.

1993 “Remember the Good, Forget the Bad: Denial and Family Violence in the Christian Worship Service” in J. Walton and M. Procter-Smith, eds., Women at Worship: Interpretations of North American Diversity (Philadelphia: Westminster/John Knox Press), pp. 71-82. Available at https://www.academia.edu/45566461/Remember_the_Good_Forget_the_Bad_Denial_and_Family_Violence_in_a_Christian_Worship_Service

1989 “Christian Virtues and Recovery from Child Sexual Abuse” in J.C. Brown and C. Bohn, eds., Christianity, Patriarchy and Abuse: A Feminist Critique (New York: Pilgrim Press), pp. 70-88. Available at

Articles in refereed journals

1996 “God Died and Nobody Gave a Funeral.” Pastoral Psychology 48:1, pp. 41-48.

1989 "The Date of the Fourth Sibylline Oracle" The Second Century: A Journal of Early Christian Studies 7:3, pp. 129-49

Book reviews in scholarly journals

1997 Book Note: Review of Michael St. Clair. 1994. Human Relationships and the Experience of God: Object Relations and Religion. Paulist Press. Religious Studies Review 22:1, p. 46

Articles in refereed conference proceedings

2012 “Fear and Denial at the Crossroads. Where is the history of the “child sexual abuse scandal” within the Roman Catholic Church?” in Historical Papers 2012: Canadian Society of Church History, pp. 141-156. Available at: https://www.academia.edu/30114045/Fear_and_Denial_at_the_Crossroads_Where_is_the_history_of_the_child_abuse_scandal_within_the_Roman_Catholic_Church

2005 “The Sins of the Father Gods: Sacrificing the Believer to the System”. Proceedings of the Montreal International Workshop for a Multifactoral Approach of Sexual Abuse Impacts on Religious Beliefs May 25-26, 2006. Université du Montréal QC. To be published in French and English.

1993 “It Can't Be True and If It Is, It's Not Our Fault: An Examination of Roman Catholic Institutional Response to Priestly Paedophilia in the Ottawa Valley” in HISTORICAL PAPERS 1993: Canadian Society of Church History, pp. 229-45. Available at https://www.academia.edu/45566429/It_Cant_Be_True_and_If_It_Is_Its_Not_Our_Fault_An_Examination_of_Roman_Catholic_Institutional_Response_to_Priestly_Paedophilia_in_the_Ottawa_Valley

Books Edited

2018 Dan Weissenberger, The Obsessive’s Guide Criminal Minds: Season 1 Reviews.

1994 Sheila A. Redmond, PhD and Bruce Mills, PhD, eds., AIDS: THE CHANGING CHALLENGE. Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Spring REACH Conference (Ottawa: REACH)

Miscellaneous Publications and Articles in Non-Refereed Journals

2005 “Woedepsalm tegen een patriarchale god” translation of “Psalm of Anger to a Patriarchal god” in Ruard Ganzevoort. “Als de grondslagen vernield zijn: Over trauma, religie en pastoraat” Praktische Theologie 32/3, 344-361.

2000 “Psalm of Anger to a Patriarchal god” Théologiques Vol. 8/2 pp. 33-4: http://www.erudit.org/revue/theologi/2000/v8/n2/005024ar.pdf

1997-98 Editor and Publisher of The Ottawa Spout, an Ottawa arts and culture zine

1997 Book Review: Lori Allen and Dan Voss. 1997. Ethics in Technical Communication: Shades of Gray John Wiley and Sons. In ITE Newsletter. May 1997 : 4

1991 “Psaume de colère á un Dieu patriarchal” trans. Jean-Guy Nadeau, Prêtre et pasteur: revue des agents de pastorale 94:5, pp. 287-8. Translation of “Confrontation Between the Christian God and an Abused Child: twenty-five years later” in Church Council on Justice and Corrections, ed., Family Violence in a Patriarchal Culture: A Challenge to our Way of Living (Ottawa: Canadian Council on Social Development and Health and Welfare Canada, 1989)

1988 Church Council on Justice and Corrections, eds., Family Violence in a Patriarchal Culture: A Challenge to Our Way of Living (Ottawa: Canadian Council on Social Development and Health and Welfare Canada), pp. 13, 85, 118, 127

ACADEMIC PRESENTATIONS

Presentations at Professional Societies and Conferences

2012 “What else did you expect? Or have we forgotten just how radical feminist exegesis can be?” Paper presented to the International Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, July 26th, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam NL. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280717829_The_Personal_is_Still_Political_What_else_did_you_expect_or_have_we_forgotten_just_how_radical_feminist_exegesis_can_be

2012 “Fear and Denial at the Crossroads. Where is the history of the “child sexual abuse scandal” within the Roman Catholic Church?” Paper presented to the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Church History, May 29th, University of Waterloo, Waterloo ON. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280717951_Fear_and_Denial_at_the_Crossroads_Where_is_the_history_of_the_child_abuse_scandal_within_the_Roman_Catholic_Church

2006 “The Sins of the Father God”, Part II: The Sacrifice of the Believer to the System” Montreal International Workshop for A Multifactoral Approach of Sexual Abuse Impacts On Religious Beliefs May 25-26. Université du Montréal, Montreal QC. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319377154_The_Sins_of_the_Father_God_Creating_a_Multifactoral_Approach_for_research_and_therapeutic_practice_with_child_sexual_assault_survivors_within_Christian_Environments

2006 « Les péchés du Papa dieu, Première partie : La culpabilisation de la victime -- Rizzuto et le développement de l'image de dieu » ACFAS May 18, Montreal QC. English Title: “The Sins of the Father God, Part I: Blaming the Victim – Rizzuto and the Development of the God Image”.

2004 “Accountability in Trauma Therapy with Adult Survivors Raised in the Christian Belief System: The Birth of an Anthropologian” Paper presented to the Joint Annual Meeting of the Religious Research Association and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, October 22-24, Kansas City MI. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319377319_Accountability_in_Trauma_Therapy_with_Adult_Survivors_Raised_in_the_Christian_Belief_System

2002 « Dynamiques spirituelles et religieuses des abus sexuels en milieu chrétien : le “Dieu des victimes” remis en question ». Présentée en collaboration avec Jean Guy Nadeau au congrès de la Société canadienne de théologie à Québec le 26 octobre 2002.

2002 “God Isn’t Really Like That! – Or is he? The Child, the Bible and the Patriarchal God” Paper presented to the American Academy of Religion – Eastern International Region Annual Meeting. Ottawa ON Available at https://www.academia.edu/40768071/God_Isnt_Really_Like_That_Or_is_he_The_Child_the_Bible_and_the_Patriarchal_God

1994 “God Died and No One Gave a Funeral” Paper presented to the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL

1993 “It Can't Be True and if it is, it's not our fault: An examination of Roman Catholic institutional response to priestly paedophilia in the Ottawa Valley” Paper presented to the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Church History, Carleton University, Ottawa ON

1988 “The Making of a Heroine: The Child Sexual Abuse Victim as Saint”. Paper presented to the Conference on Heroic Women in Politics, Religion, Literature and Society, Nov. 5-6, Carleton University, Ottawa ON

1988 Invited panelist: “The State of Research on Women and Religion”, Canadian Centre for the Study of Women and Religion, March 10, Department of Religious Studies, University of Ottawa

1986 “Christian Virtues and Recovery From Child Sexual Abuse”. Paper presented to the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, November, Atlanta GA

1986 “The Date of the Fourth Sibylline Oracle”. Paper presented to the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, June, Winnipeg MB

1984 “Pauline Christianity and Millenarian Theory”. Paper presented to the American Academy of Religion, Eastern International Region Annual Meeting, April, MacMaster University, Hamilton, ON

1984 Invited panelist: Feminist Interpretation of the New Testament, November, Department of Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON

University Lectures

1996 Invited guest lecturer: “Non-western religious perspectives and solutions to solving the ecological crisis”. Environments, Technology and Values. Department of Philosophy, Carleton University, Ottawa ON

1994 Invited guest lecturer: “The Impact of Gender Studies on the Study of Religion at the End of the Twentieth Century”. Interpretations of Religion, Department of Religion, Carleton University, Ottawa ON

1991 Invited guest lecturer: “The Origins of a Pedestal: Maria Goretti and Religious Violence”. Women and Religion, Department of Religious Studies, University of Ottawa., Ottawa ON

1989 Invited guest lecturer: “Reinterpretation of Religious Myth: An Exercise in Futility?” Women and Religion, Department of Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON

1988 Invited guest lecturer: “Mary Daly and Eve, the Fallen Woman”. Women and Religion, Department of Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON

1988 Invited guest lecturer: “Religion and Violence: The Christian Roots of Family Violence”. October 31, MSW course, Violence in Relationships, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

1987 Invited guest lecturer: “Christian Virtues and Recovery from Child Sexual Abuse”. Women and Religion, April, Department of Religion, Carleton University, Ottawa ON

Other Presentations

November 14, 2011: “Judaism, Christianity and Islam: A Case of Sibling Rivalry?” Invited speaker to Beyond the Headlines: Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Emmanuel United Church - 5th Annual Speaker’s Series

Resource Person

1989 The Interdisciplinary Project on Domestic Violence, The Other Side of the Mountain: Working Together on Domestic Violence, Phase I (Ottawa: National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, 1989)

1987 Interchurch Thinktank on Patriarchy and Family Violence, Bolton Conference Centre, May 11-13, Toronto, Ontario. Sponsored by the Church Council on Justice and Corrections and the Canadian Council on Social Development

RELATED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Peer Review

2018 Peer Reviewer: McCabe et al, History of Western Society for Bedford/St. Martin

2008 Peer Reviewer: Steckley and Letts. 2007. Elements of Sociology for Oxford University Press

2005 Peer Reviewer: “The Religious Life and the Happiness of Protestants Involved with the Charismatic Movement” for Review of Religious Research

2005 Peer Reviewer. “Religious Doubt and Psychological Well-Being” for Review of Religious Research

2005 Peer reviewer: “Spirituality and the Current Adjustment of Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse” for Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

2004 Peer reviewer: “The Sense of Divine Control and Mental Health” Variations by Race and Socioeconomic Status” for Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

1995 Peer reviewer: Westminster/John Knox Publishing Company

University Community Involvement

2010-present Academic advisor to The Algoma University Drama Club

2010: Director: The Jewish Wife, (Bertolt Brecht)

2012; Director: Scooby Choo: The Play (Dan Weissenberger); Moore’s the Pity (Dan Weissenberger)

2014 -Director: The Bald Soprano (Eugen Ionesco)

2015: Director: Voltaire and the Zombies (Dan Weissenberger)

2010-2011 Member of the President’s Task Force on the Block Plan, Algoma University. Member of the Paedagogical Sub-committee.

1994-1998 President and Chief Grievance Officer: Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3815, Sessional Lecturers Association, Carleton University. CUPE representative on the Employment Equity Committee. Member: negotiating team for second contract. Chair: Negotiating Team for the first collective agreement signed April 1996. Member of CUPE 3815 negotiating team on union amalgamation with research and teaching assistants union. Member of Organizing Committee for the unionization drive at Carleton University Ottawa ON

1995 Debater for the negative: “Is Jesus God?” Debate organized by the Campus Crusade for Christ, Carleton University, Ottawa ON

1990-92 Graduate Students Association Representative to the Sexual Harassment Committee of the University of Ottawa; Chair of the Subcommittee of the Sexual Harassment Committee of the University of Ottawa responsible for the conception, design and implementation of its Sexual Harassment Poster and Brochure Ottawa ON

1985-92 Executive member of the Graduate Students Association, Department of Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON

1988-89 Communications Officer, Canadian Union of Educational Workers, Local 10, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON

1987-88 Member of Organizing Committee for the unionization drive at University of Ottawa ON

Professional Development

1988 Participant: International Colloquium on Pastoral Studies. Saint Paul University, Ottawa, ON

1987 Participant: International Conference on the Mental Health of Children and Youth, Ottawa, ON

1987 Participant: Focus and Achievements on Child Abuse, The Ontario Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse Annual Conference, Toronto, ON

1986 Participant: Knowledge and Controversy in Treatment, Third Annual Conference on Abuse and Victimisation in Life-Span Perspective, Harvard Medical School Department for Continuing Education, Cambridge, MA

RESEARCH AND CONSULTING EXPERIENCE

2004 Telephone survey for the John Rick Campaign. Client liaison, creation of survey instruments and management of survey including data analysis, report writing and presentation.

2003 Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR): NGO financial management training. Consultation on proposals to Health Canada, including support in the creation of an organization-wide logic model and workplan, global and mini-budgets and organizational evaluation plan with performance measures and indicators of success.

1997 – 2003 Research Analyst (Public Policy & Research and Evaluation: EKOS Research Associates.

1996-98 Educational Coordinator: Electronic Bytes. Family Treasures on the Internet Project. Production of CBT for intermediate and high schools including creation of curriculum guide and coordination of the pilot projects for an intermediate high school interactive web page development curriculum.

1995-1996 Consultant: Research analysis and discussion paper: The Integration of Psychosocial Perspectives (Models, Theory and Care) into Care, Treatment and Support Programs in order to Facilitate Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Persons Living with HIV Disease. AIDS Care, Treatment, and Support Unit, Health Canada Ottawa ON

1986 Analysis of, and recommendations to The Response of Church Council on Justice and Corrections to The Badgely Commission Report on the Sexual Abuse of Children

1982-91 Research assistant: for The Canadian Centre for the Study of Women and Religion, Dr. Naomi Goldenberg, and Dr. Reinhard Pummer, Department of Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON

OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Film/Multimedia:

2018-present Podcast: Profiling Criminal Minds (https://profilingcriminalminds.podbean.com/)

2017-2018 Producer: The Mummy – Pre-production

2013 Producer/Line Producer: The Professional - Cycle 1: (4 short films)

Statistics Canada:

2011 2011 Census: pre-census, census, clean-up

2006 2006 Census: drop-off; remapping; clean-up

Social Services

2006-2007 Support Services Worker: ACCESS AIDS Network, Sault Ste Marie site

1991-96 HIV/AIDS Counsellor

1987-1995 Counsellor for adult survivors of child sexual assault and family violence

1993-1994 Apartment Support Program Coordinator, AIDS Housing Group (Bruce House) of Ottawa

1991-92 Counsellor and Caregiver, AIDS Housing Group (Bruce House) of Ottawa

Volunteer

2006 Chair: Volunteer Advisory Committee, Access AIDS, Sault Ste Marie ON

2005 Volunteer: Access AIDS, Sault Ste Marie ON

2003-2004 Board of Directors, Social Planning Council of Ottawa. Chair of the Human Resources Committee.

1995-2001 Board of Directors, Social Planning Council of Ottawa-Carleton. Treasurer from 1995-97, 2000-1; President 1997-98. Oversaw financial and structural reorganization of SPC with staff and board 1995-97. Involved in hiring staff, working on funding proposals as well as communications work including design of present SPC brochure.

1994-96 Member: Social Action Committee, MS Society of Ottawa-Carleton

1994 Writing, Editing and Graphic Design production for political campaign of Marian Lothian for Regional Councillor of Ottawa-Carleton

1991-94 Volunteer counselling, peer support counselling, volunteer caregiving, Aids Housing Group of Ottawa

Community Involvement

1994 Interview: CJOH-TV. Short documentary news item on Women and the Church in Ottawa

1994 Workshop panelist: “Alzheimer Case Study”. REACH conference: Death: A Question of Choice

1993 Workshop panelist: “AIDS and the Person”. REACH conference: Aids: The Changing Challenge

1993 Review of HOME SUPPORT CANADA’s Proposal: “Ontario Home Support AIDS Forum” for National Welfare Grants, Health and Welfare Canada

1992-93 AHGO Representative to the Women and Aids Project, Aids Committee of Ottawa

1982-89 Chairperson for the Connaught Community School Parent and Lighthouse Advisory Council. Member of three Ottawa Board of Education Elementary and Secondary School Reorganization Committees

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Told you so!!

Traduzione in lingua inglese

Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to a dubium
regarding the blessing of the unions of persons of the same sex

TO THE QUESTION PROPOSED:
Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?

RESPONSE:
Negative.

Explanatory Note

In some ecclesial contexts, plans and proposals for blessings of unions of persons of the same sex are being advanced. Such projects are not infrequently motivated by a sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons, to whom are proposed paths of growth in faith, “so that those who manifest a homosexual orientation can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives”[1].

On such paths, listening to the word of God, prayer, participation in ecclesial liturgical actions and the exercise of charity can play an important role in sustaining the commitment to read one's own history and to adhere with freedom and responsibility to one's baptismal call, because “God loves every person and the Church does the same”[2], rejecting all unjust discrimination.

Among the liturgical actions of the Church, the sacramentals have a singular importance: “These are sacred signs that resemble the sacraments: they signify effects, particularly of a spiritual kind, which are obtained through the Church’s intercession. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions of life are sanctified”[3]. The Catechism of the Catholic Church specifies, then, that “sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it” (#1670).

Blessings belong to the category of the sacramentals, whereby the Church “calls us to praise God, encourages us to implore his protection, and exhorts us to seek his mercy by our holiness of life”[4]. In addition, they “have been established as a kind of imitation of the sacraments, blessings are signs above all of spiritual effects that are achieved through the Church’s intercession”[5].

Consequently, in order to conform with the nature of sacramentals, when a blessing is invoked on particular human relationships, in addition to the right intention of those who participate, it is necessary that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord. Therefore, only those realities which are in themselves ordered to serve those ends are congruent with the essence of the blessing imparted by the Church.

For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex[6]. The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan.

Furthermore, since blessings on persons are in relationship with the sacraments, the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit. This is because they would constitute a certain imitation or analogue of the nuptial blessing[7] invoked on the man and woman united in the sacrament of Matrimony, while in fact “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”[8].

The declaration of the unlawfulness of blessings of unions between persons of the same sex is not therefore, and is not intended to be, a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite and of the very nature of the sacramentals, as the Church understands them.

The Christian community and its Pastors are called to welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations, and will know how to find the most appropriate ways, consistent with Church teaching, to proclaim to them the Gospel in its fullness. At the same time, they should recognize the genuine nearness of the Church – which prays for them, accompanies them and shares their journey of Christian faith[9] – and receive the teachings with sincere openness.

The answer to the proposed dubium does not preclude the blessings given to individual persons with homosexual inclinations[10], who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching. Rather, it declares illicit any form of blessing that tends to acknowledge their unions as such. In this case, in fact, the blessing would manifest not the intention to entrust such individual persons to the protection and help of God, in the sense mentioned above, but to approve and encourage a choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God[11].

At the same time, the Church recalls that God Himself never ceases to bless each of His pilgrim children in this world, because for Him “we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit”[12]. But he does not and cannot bless sin: he blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him. He in fact “takes us as we are, but never leaves us as we are”[13].

For the above mentioned reasons, the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex in the sense intended above.

The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Secretary of this Congregation, was informed and gave his assent to the publication of the above-mentioned Responsum ad dubium, with the annexed Explanatory Note.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the 22nd of February 2021, Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle.

 

Luis F. Card. Ladaria, S.I.
Prefect

✠ Giacomo Morandi
Archbishop tit. of Cerveteri
Secretary

_______________________

[1] FRANCIS, Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, 250.

[2] SYNOD OF BISHOPS, Final Document of the XV Ordinary General Assembly, 150.

[3] SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, 60.

[4] RITUALE ROMANUM ex Decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Ioannis Pauli PP. Il promulgatum, De bendictionibus, Praenotanda Generalia, n.9.

[5] Ibidem, n. 10.

[6] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357.

[7] In fact, the nuptial blessing refers back to the creation account, in which God's blessing on man and woman is related to their fruitful union (cf. Gen 1:28) and their complementarity (cf. Gen 2:18-24).

[8] FRANCIS, Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, 251.

[9] Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter Homosexualitatis problema On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 15.

[10] De benedictionibus in fact presents an extended list of situations for which to invoke the blessing of the Lord.

[11] CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter Homosexualitatis problema On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 7.

[12] FRANCIS, General Audience of December 2, 2020, Catechesis on Prayer, the blessing.

[13] Ibidem.

[00330-EN.01] [Original text: Italian]

Friday, 8 May 2020

KUDOS to Doug Ford.

A post from my Facebook status:
I never thought that I would utter the following words: KUDOS to Doug Ford.
I live in the "northern region" of Ontario and we have few cases of COVID19. (16 in the Algoma Public Health Unit). However, 3 of the cases registered on May 4th were in one of the city's nursing homes - a lot later than in southern/eastern Ontario. The last thing we need is people moving around. We haven't been told how/where COVID19 got into the nursing home. If the northern regions open up, then people from the closed regions will show up - you know that's true! People being people!! I can just see people start moving around to areas that are opening up, and low and behold our numbers start to rise.
I had a bad case of "cabin fever" yesterday, but I got over it. Lunch with friends will have to wait. Movies with friends will have to wait. The library visits will have to wait. I want my students in a class, not on Zoom. But there it is. On the upside of things, I can watch all the freebies from the National Theatre in London - a new play every week - heaven!
I do not want this virus - even if I don't die of it. I get a flu shot every year; I avoid people with colds like it was the plague. Life is short enough - I have no interest in it being shortened by something avoidable - so "self-isolation" it is: limited movement, masks, social distancing etc. Yes I would like to see my children and grandchildren in person on Sunday - not on a video call. The benefits are being extended for businesses and those unemployed by this disease. I am one of the lucky ones. All my contracts have been or are being honoured, although teaching on-line for the one that continues is rather taxing, but I am getting used to working from home.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-covid-19-end-lockdown-physical-distancing-regional-1.5545600

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Go Listen to our Podcast: "Profiling Criminal Minds" (the TV Show, of course)

Needless to say - if you are a fan of the the show!

Come for the reviews of Criminal Minds, stay for the rambling digressions about child abuse and celebrity culture!

https://profilingcriminalminds.podbean.com/#