Do NOT make the call until you see the entire play!

Hope all is well on this gorgeous “Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Antioch” – bold Bishop & Martyr – as we take another look at a very good article on the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops that will be coming to a close on Sunday, October 19th. Yes, it got off to a rough start – only because certain things leaked out of the Vatican that were not supposed to – and the liberal media had a field day with it.

Now, that things have begun to settle down quite a bit, the entire world is beginning to see the “Big Picture” – including myself – of what is actually taking place at the Vatican with Pope Francis and the almost 200 Bishops and Cardinals. I will admit that I was the first to “jump the gun” just a bit on that first day when the negative articles appeared everywhere as my computer went on the blink, with so many readers writing to me asking me “Is the Catholic Church going GAY”?

So, as humbly as I can, if I did get a few people a little rattled at the beginning of this week – that’s a good thing – or should I say a “GOD” thing – I apologize. At least it shows me that we are all paying attention. And, that is the best approach to learning and educating ourselves – paying attention. My entire life is one of learning. That is what I live for – to learn and then to Evangelize…and, speak only about the Truth…The more I learn from our clergy (in this case, Father James Molgano, Monsignor Skindeleski, Deacon Andy Plucinski and last night, Miami’s Monsignor Robert Garza), the more I can share these Truths with our “1,400” readers on our extensive e-mail list (which includes countless clergy – Bishops, Pastors, Priests, Deacons, Educators…and 5 nuns)…

At last night’s event at the St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, with Catholic author, George Weigel as guest speaker, I learned a great deal. Not only from Mr. Weigel (Pope John Paul II’s biographer, who is full of so much information about our “favorite 21st Century Saint”), but also from Monsignor Robert Garza, who I met a couple of years ago down in the Keys, through my older sister, Elena, at their island home on M.M. 26. Long story but hysterical…Anyway, when I said hello to Monsignor Garza last night (who is the Rector at St. John Vianney Seminary in Miami – across the street from where I grew up in Miami as a grade schooler), he told me: “You are lucky that you are here tonight because I was just about to send you a pretty tough e-mail in regards to one of your e-mails concerning the Synod in Rome. But, when I read your other e-mails straightening things out and sharing some terrific information in a more positive vain, I decided to hold on to that e-mail…and forgave you…Thank GOD…Father Garza is a pretty big guy…with a pretty big heart. A terrific teacher…and I learned a great deal from him last night. GOD Bless you, Father Garza.


NBA veteran officials Tom Washington (left), Monty McCutcheon (center) with the author Willy Guardiola (right).

The lesson learned is the following (which I used to apply every day of the year when I was an NCAA Basketball Official with SEC): Do not make the call until you see the entire play!

And, that philosophy is exactly what I taught the hundreds of basketball referees who attended my Referee Camps for so many years. Watch the entire play. Let it unfold entirely. Then, blow the whistle and make the call. Never be in a hurry. You are better off blowing the whistle a second late – but getting the play right – as opposed to blowing the whistle a second early and getting the play wrong.

This same principle applies to what is going on in Rome these two weeks. This entire “play” is going to last two weeks, not one split second. One cannot make the call until one sees the entire play – the entire Synod playing out. And, yes, there appears to be “slow motion” at the Vatican – as two weeks is a lifetime. We want answers right now! And, I do not think there is “Instant Replay”, so we need to get it right this time around. Too many of us don’t have the patience – we want to blow the whistle immediately – point out the culprits, call a “foul” and try to blame somebody. I fell guilty of that to an extent with one of my e-mails that I sent a bit prematurely…Again, I apologize…

I put an eye-opening e-mail out there to get everybody’s undivided attention…and, it worked. I did not blame anybody nor point the finger at any particular person, bishop, cardinal, group, etc. I just put out the information to allow everybody reading it to interpret it the way they each saw fit. I simply called an infraction – not even a foul – because I did not like the way this play was looking. I did not like the way this Synod was unfolding and like millions of Catholics all over the world, we thought the worst of our church leaders: “Here we go again – the Catholic Church making the front cover on every single newspaper with another scandal. We are Going Gay”…Friends, that is the last thing we need in our beloved Church right now. But, that is what the majority of us all felt as I read every e-mail that came into my computer and some people were pissed – rightfully so…but, we jumped the gun…We did not allow the entire play to unfold. We called a foul too quickly on the pope, on the bishops, on the cardinals…I all defense though, certain bishops and cardinals need to go over the rules with the Head Referee, Pope Francis…They need to keep a “balanced floor” and be fair referees, not giving anybody a distinct advantage and sticking to the rules…

Life is all about learning, so let’s try to learn from this lesson. Let’s wait until Sunday, October 19th (the last day of the Synod), to see how this entire play will unfold. And, from here, we still cannot make a call because we have to wait until next year (October, 2015), to see the “official” documentation from Pope Francis, from the Vatican, as to see if there are indeed, any changes to take place in the Catholic Church. I would think that Pope Francis is on top of this as he is in charge of the Holy Catholic Church. He will ultimately make that “final call”, with an assist from the Holy Spirit. But, it is the Holy Father who will blow the whistle, make that final, gutsy call, and share it with the 1.2 billion other Catholic viewers who are watching this game. All we can do right now is pray for our Holy Father; pray for guidance; pray for patience; and pray that when next October rolls around, Pope Francis steps up to the scorer’s table and in view of the entire world, has the courage and conviction to make the “right call” – to abide by the Catholic Church teachings and not utter those famous 5 words ever again that threw the entire world for a loop: WHO AM I TO JUDGE?

In Synod-Related Effort, Homosexual-Rights Activists Target Eight U.S. Bishops (9487)

A coalition of well-funded groups is lobbying against prominent bishops in hopes of changing Church doctrine and practice.


ROME — The start of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family has triggered a wave of activism from well-funded LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) activist groups in the U.S., who are targeting “outspoken” Catholic bishops in hopes of changing Catholic practice and moral doctrine.

“Most important is the opportunity to create a precedent for change,” the Human Rights Campaign said in its pamphlet on the synod. The LGBT group has announced an activist effort targeting eight bishops in a pamphlet that labels them as “the best of the worst Catholic bishops across the country.”

Its campaign will target Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore and Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill.

The effort aims to target bishops the activist group claims have been “most outspoken in their rejection of LGBT Catholics, their civil rights and their rightful place in the Church.” The effort will include Rosary events and literature distributions in the bishops’ home cities.

Among the Human Rights Campaign’s corporate partners are large corporations like American Airlines, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Bank of America, Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Lexus, Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

The campaign has also lobbied businesses to push for “LGBT equality” in legislation, to recruit self-identified LGBT employees and to give financial support through LGBT-targeted marketing or advertising and philanthropic support for LGBT organizations.

The Human Rights Campaign’s synod material claims that, after the 2014 and 2015 synods, Pope Francis will release “new doctrine.” It also claims that the Vatican intended to survey lay Catholics on family issues, but the U.S. bishops failed to distribute this survey. The campaign contended that this excluded “the voice of the people.”

Such arguments have been countered, however, by the Vatican. In November 2013, Holy See Press Office spokesman Father Federico Lombardi rejected claims that Pope Francis was surveying Catholics. He said that the reports had misunderstood a preparatory document sent to bishops’ conferences around the world by Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, the secretary general for the Synod of Bishops.

The Human Rights Campaign’s material also cites Pope Francis’ August 2013 interview aboard the papal plane returning from Rio de Janeiro to Rome, in which he stressed the need not to judge someone who is homosexual and “searches for the Lord and has goodwill.”

The Pope’s comments came in the context of a question about a “gay lobby” at the Vatican and included a papal warning about the problem of “a lobby of this tendency.”

Furthermore, the Human Rights Campaign said its synod-related advocacy is an opportunity to “take steps towards greater inclusion,” citing the potential to secure baptism for “children of LGBT Catholic families.”

However, the working document for the synod itself already addresses the issue of baptism of children being raised by same-sex couples. It said bishops’ responses “emphasize that the child must be received with the same care, tenderness and concern which is given to other children,” while also noting the need for careful oversight of baptismal preparation and the need to ensure that the child can be capably instructed in the Christian faith.

Other Groups

Other groups backed by LGBT activists have also weighed in on the synod.

On Oct. 6, Catholics United’s new Pennsylvania affiliate Keystone Catholics launched a petition addressed to Pope Francis regarding the World Meeting of Families 2015, which will be held in Philadelphia.

The petition asks Pope Francis to include an agenda item “aimed at improving the Catholic Church’s pastoral ministry for families which include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.” It claimed they “suffer from the suggestion that their sexual orientation or gender identity is ‘intrinsically disordered.’”

Catholics United’s executive director, James Salt, was far harsher towards Catholic teaching in an August 2014 statement. He claimed that the Catholic Church “perpetuates mental illness by referring to gay and transgender people as ‘intrinsically disordered,’” an apparent reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s description of homosexual acts, not persons.

Salt claimed that the suicide of a self-identified transgender Catholic teen in Pennsylvania underscored a lack of support services for LGBT Catholics. He claimed that Catholic teaching “contributes to lower self-esteem” and “certainly” contributes to a higher suicide rate among “LGBT individuals.”

Signatories to the Oct. 6 petition included U.S. Reps. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., and Michael Doyle, D-Pa.; several Catholic campus ministers, university professors and women religious; and leaders of local affiliates of dissenting Catholic groups like Call to Action, Dignity USA and New Ways Ministry.
Catholics United itself has received at least $100,000 from the Colorado-based Gill Foundation, which has funded LGBT advocacy favored by its founder, the politically sophisticated multimillionaire Tim Gill.

In addition, the Arcus Foundation, founded by Jon Stryker, a billionaire heir to the Stryker Corp., has given a $200,000 grant “to support pro-LGBT faith advocates to influence and counter the narrative of the Catholic Church and its ultra-conservative affiliates.” The support aims to “build advocacy and visibility” in connection with the synod on the family and World Youth Day.

The grant supports the Equally Blessed Coalition through the dissenting Catholic group Dignity USA. The coalition includes other self-identified groups that undermine Catholic teaching, including Call to Action, New Ways Ministry and Fortunate Families.

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