Earlier today, Brian Williams wrote about the Indiana bishops failing to stand firmly for the faith when confronted with the militant homosexual agenda.
But there’s another bishop who is evidently not bothering to stand up at all.
You may be familiar with the story of Patricia Januzzi, a theology teacher at Immaculata High School in Somerville, New Jersey, who was recently placed on administrative leave (and placed under pressure to resign) after a Facebook posting critical of those advocating for same-sex “marriage” and defending traditional families.
Yes, Immaculata is a Catholic High School. “Catholic” in quotes.
In response to an outcry from actual Catholics in defense of Miss Januzzi, Bishop Paul Bootkoski of the Diocese of Metuchen wrote a little note justifying diocesan decision-making in this matter:
We are a compassionate Catholic community committed to treating our students, faculty and parishioners with respect. We have never wavered from our traditional Catholic teachings.
To that end we need to correct some misstatements with regard to the teacher in question.
The teacher’s comments were disturbing and do not reflect the Church’s teachings of acceptance. However, she has never been terminated, as some media outlets have reported. She has been put on administrative leave. There has been no interruption in her pay and benefits.
Pope Francis reminds us that we are to accept all of our brethren. We must ensure that our educators steer away from harsh and judgmental statements that can alienate and divide us.
Not much of an answer, is it?
Michael Chapman at CNSnews.com evidently didn’t think so, either. So he sent some quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church to the Bishop and asked if he agrees with those teachings about homosexuality.
Now, the maxim of the law is that “silence gives consent”; but in this case, silence in the face of being asked simply to affirm what is already definitively taught implies…something else.
In a March 30 e-mail to Bishop Bootkoski and his office of communications, CNSNews.com asked the following three questions:
1) Do you, Bishop Bootkoski, agree with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2357, which says, “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”?
2) Do you agree with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2359, which says, “Homosexual persons are called to chastity”?
3) Do you agree with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1605, which quotes Jesus Christ Himself on the issue of marriage, saying, “’Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.’ The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been ‘in the beginning’: ‘So they are no longer two, but one flesh’”?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the depository of Catholic teaching on theological issues and basic moral questions; it is the book that explains Catholicism from A to Z.
Despite two e-mails, Bishop Bootkoski did not respond and a spokeswoman from his office, by telephone, referred CNSNews.com to the March 20, 2015 statement: “Bishop’s statement on status of teacher at Immaculata High School, Somerville.”
It notes that, “Pope Francis reminds us that we are to accept all of our brethren. We must ensure that our educators steer away from harsh and judgmental statements that can alienate and divide us.”
In explaining the establishment and role of a bishop in the church, the Catechism states (1558), “’Episcopal consecration confers, together with the office of sanctifying, also the offices of teaching and ruling…. In fact … by the imposition of hands and through the words of the consecration, the grace of the Holy Spirit is given, and a sacred character is impressed in such wise that bishops, in an eminent and visible manner, take the place of Christ himself, teacher, shepherd, and priest, and act as his representative (in Eius persona agant).’ ‘By virtue, therefore, of the Holy Spirit who has been given to them, bishops have been constituted true and authentic teachers of the faith and have been made pontiffs and pastors.’”
Here at 1P5, we’re not typically in the business of calling out bishops for their lack of leadership. We prefer to praise the good ones instead. But I’ll share with you a sinking suspicion that I have:
The latest push for our mandatory acceptance of homosexual relationships is truly diabolical, and represents real danger to the faithful. It has moved beyond a request for tolerance into a demand for acceptance and even promotion. Mark my words: it is the mechanism by which our faith will be really and truly persecuted in this country, as it has been elsewhere around the world.
In other words: get ready for the practice of and adherence to your Catholic faith to become a hate crime.
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been awake these past few years. I wrote about the inevitability back in 2013. But now the agenda is accelerating. It appears that, to some of our bishops at least, this means we should politely stand out of the way. Perhaps eve roll over and acquiesce? It wouldn’t surprise me at this point to see a Catholic bishop — even ever-compliant with the spirit of the age USCCB — to propose a new Civil Constitution of the Clergy to separate the sheep from the goats? (Being a goat has its privileges!)
With a few notable exceptions, the faithful are in trouble – and most of us appear to be on our own from here on out.
Oh sheep, where are thy shepherds?
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.
Bishop: “The teacher’s comments were disturbing…” Obviously one is not really surprised by this sort of thing anymore. But still, one wants to corner him with a microphone and make him answer WHY and IN WHAT WAY they are disturbing. Could he even formulate a logical answer? Does he even know himself?
It may be that Catholic teachers should limit themselves to quoting from the catechism.
Steve is correct. Eventually, and not very far off, Catholicism in and of itself will be criminalized. Cardinal Francis George was so prophetic (pray for him, his cancer is active and the Dr.’s cannot do any more) in his proclamation some years back. ‘I will die in my bed, my predecessors will die in prison, and their predecessors will die in the street via execution.’ I think he may have been a tad behind in the time table though. It seems to be moving along faster than he predicted.
Francis Cardinal George O.M.I., The Wrong Side of History
Yes Leo, I guess I should have gotten the quote verbatim, but it’s the same line of thinking.:) ‘His successor will die a Martyr in the Public Square.’ Regardless the atheistic secularization is moving at a very rapid speed thanks to some of our Prelates that are helping move it along. The day is fast approaching when Catholic teaching will be outlawed as ‘hate speech.’
God is making saints.
“With a few notable exceptions, the faithful are in trouble – and most of us appear to be on our own from here on out.”
To be fair, that describes large swaths of the post-conciliar era. So, if you’re looking for the bleakly ironic: “What else is new?”
Something that never should have been removed from the consecration of bishops:
“Q. Do you also anathematize every heresy that shall arise against this holy Catholic Church?
R. I do anathematize it.”
In 2009 Bishop Bootkoski held a diocesan wide petition against the gay marriage bill then pending in the NJ legislature. When the bill came up again in 2012, not a peep from him or anyone in the diocese. Wonder why?
It could be that several of the the bishops themselves are gay and being blackmailed. I don’t know if a stance of “Publish and be damned” would help such a bishop much, given what happened to Cardinal O’Brien (loud advocate of traditional marriage in Scotland, got outed, got shamed, got banished). If what was said of +O’Brien was true, well, although not criminal, that was no way for a Catholic, let alone a bishop, to behave. But the fact remains that he–the apparently closeted homosexual–was a bishop who spoke out against so-called gay marriage. He had a track record of having been soft on gay issues, incidentally. That didn’t help him much when his enemies went to the papers. So, yeah, we won’t necessarily be looking at clean and tidy martyrdoms here.
If you could, please add the entirety of Ms. Januzzi’s quotes on the subject to this article. It is difficult to evaluate the bishop’s response without knowing what he is critiquing.
I linked to the story in First Things about her, though you may not have seen it. Our links are fainter than I’d like them to be. That’ll be one of the things that gets fixed in the next iteration of the website.
Here it is:
Nonsense. And what makes me mad is that what is supposedly “disturbing” about what Miss Januzzi said will never be specified. It’s easy to write empty words! Not a very compassionate Catholic community after all, at least not towards miss Januzzi.
The teacher made a simple commentary on the contradictory strategy of homosexualist activists. What she said is smart, true, and not anything new. A Bishop should have said it. And then everyone would have yawned.
So she was ‘disturbing’ because she doesn’t agree that SSA is an unchangeable characteristic? Or because she doesn’t like that at the same time activists argue all should be able to be homosexual as a choice? Or because she thinks we need healthy families? Well.., that’s all she said! http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GT9sXqfgldw/VQb2gdwwp1I/AAAAAAAACmI/Vk3ri6jzTf8/s1600/Patricia.png
I guess she’s loosing her job because she is not accepting, yes, not accepting of the homosexualist activists strategies?! And where does the Church and Pope Francis teach that we should accept that? This is so indefensible that any statement to try to give their treatment of the situation cover would have sounded just as ridiculous as the one. I would love another teacher in that school to post the relevant paragraphs of the Cathechism verbatim on facebook! Then share it with the people who did all the complaining this time. And if they go again after the teacher, to see the school’s and the bishop’s reaction. What could they do then?
Real honest statement: We are afraid. We are afraid of the people who have called and threatened us and of seeming intolerant. So we did the easiest and most comfortable thing for us.
“do not reflect the Church’s teachings of acceptance”. This is so lame and weak it’s pathetic. The Church’s teachings of acceptance”. Acceptance of what?