Without a Doubt Tidbits

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin - Without a Doubt

As I survey the horizon and see summer approaching, it seems an appropriate time to offer a few random thoughts on a variety of topics.

By now you’re probably heard about Fr. Alberto Cutie, (“koo-tee-ae”) the dashing young Hispanic priest from the Archdiocese of Miami. Father Cutie is a bona-fide superstar in South Florida, leading a prominent ministry, and hosting his very own popular radio and television programs. “Father Oprah” they call him. His profile changed dramatically, however, when he was photographed fooling around with a young woman, later identified as his longstanding girlfriend, on a Florida beach. Miami Vice meets the Thorn Birds.

Two questions come to mind. First, since he’s such a well-known personality, why did he drag his little love affair onto such a public stage, like a beach? You’d probably need a psychologist to figure it out, but some have suggested that he wanted to get caught. Second, since he’s now left the Catholic Church and joined the Episcopal Church, I wonder if he’ll reimburse the people of the Archdiocese of Miami who paid for his seminary education on the premise that he’d devote a lifetime of faithful service to them? Sounds like a breech of contract to me.

Dr. George Tiller was an evil man, responsible for the death of an estimated 60,000 unborn children, including many taken by the reprehensible practice of late term abortion. Nonetheless, his murder was a sinful, despicable act, contrary to the law of God and inconsistent with the culture of life we try so hard to promote – peacefully and prayerfully. It’s also despicable to link the pro-life movement, and millions of sincere, faithful pro-life people in our country, to the single misguided soul who killed Dr. Tiller.

Someone recently gave me a book entitled “God is Back.” Funny, I didn’t know He was gone. “Only on vacation,” someone suggested. You might think about it though. Has God disappeared from your life? Remember, if you’re not as close to God as you used to be, you can be sure that He’s not the one who moved.

I didn’t offer any public comments about President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame last month for several reasons: Lots of other bishops made excellent public statements that covered everything I would have said; I have no jurisdiction over Notre Dame and my voice would have meant little; and along with Notre Dame, there’s lots of other Catholic colleges and universities across the country that could be challenged for similar situations.

Nonetheless, to say that I was disappointed by the decision of Father Jenkins to invite the President and award him an honorary degree is a huge understatement. The invitation seriously compromised the Catholic identity and integrity of Notre Dame and gave plenty of encouragement to the pro-abortion folks around the country who love to see the Church divided over this issue. Accordingly, even if asked, I won’t be writing any letters of recommendation for anyone applying for Notre Dame any time soon. Or Georgetown either, for that matter.

If you’re in the habit of listening to the radio in the evening, I recommend you check out a program on WARV (1590 AM) at 10:00 p.m. called “Truth for Life.” It features a preacher from Cleveland, Alistair Begg, one of the best radio preachers I’ve heard in a long time. Although not from the Catholic tradition, his teaching of the Scripture is thoroughly Christian. He’s detailed, insightful, engaging and challenging. Listening to his reflections is a very peaceful way to end a hectic day.

I see that President Obama has declared June to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) month. The President has called on all Americans to “turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.” In other words, if you’re opposed to the homosexual sub-culture and behavior, you’re now a presidential bigot. “If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit,” the President said. In that spirit, I can’t wait for the President’s declaration of a month dedicated to pro-life Americans. After all, our Nation was founded on the principle of life – along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Speaking of the gay agenda, the left-leaning columnist of the “Providence Journal” Bob Kerr, who frequently sounds the trumpet on behalf of the gay lobby, has asked why some people feel the need to defend traditional marriage. “What are they protecting it from?” he pleads.

The answer, Bob, is identity theft. From the very beginning of recorded history, marriage has had a very specific identity – the union of one man and one woman, joined together for the dual purpose of mutual love and the creation of new life. Because of its essential contributions, marriage has been afforded special rights and privileges in every culture. Now, in just the last few years, some individuals involved in other forms of immoral sexual liaisons have appeared on the scene to say, “Hey, we want to be married too. We hereby claim your identity, your rights and privileges, for ourselves.” So that’s the answer, Bob. We’re protecting the fundamental institution of marriage from identity theft.

Finally, to end on a more positive note, in just about six weeks the Pittsburgh Steelers will report for training camp. Oops, I’m sorry – the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers!