Thirteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time

June 25, 2016 Column Father De Celles

FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM. St. Raymond’s continues our observance of the “Fortnight for Freedom” this week (see the schedule below), as we pray that Our Lord may shower His grace on our nation, that our religious freedom may be protected from the increasing attacks it continues to face. For example….

In Springfield. At its public meeting on Thursday, June 9, the Fairfax County School Board, escalated its oppression of our religious liberty (as well as a score of other freedoms), by voting, 9 to 3, to add “gender identity” to the school system’s Equal Opportunity policy and so to ban any kind of discrimination against anyone (students, teachers, administration, etc.) who “self-identifies” as a gender different than their biological sex (i.e., boys who think they’re girls). The three votes against: Elizabeth Schultz (our district rep), Thomas Wilson (son of parishioners Dave and Mary Wilson) and Jeanette Hough.

According to Brietbart News: “This “discrimination” language means that a student who speaks out against the “gender identity” ideology can be disciplined, and presumably suspended and even expelled, according to board member Elizabeth Schultz, who opposed the change…. Schultz says the school district … “punishes students all the time for what they say on social media, even outside of the school year. Without a doubt, students will be punished for saying negative things on Facebook and Twitter about transgenderism.” … Schultz tells Breitbart News that the Thursday night rule leaves many questions unanswered, including “who can play on what teams, what bathrooms students will be allowed to use. We keep putting things into practice without even considering the ramifications.” …One of the objections from Schultz and two other board members is how the issue came to be considered on Thursday night. Last year, they were promised a lengthy investigation and a full hearing. Instead, it was foisted upon them with less than 24 hours-notice…On Monday, officials quietly invited people to speak at the event—but all 12 slots were taken in eight minutes by 12 pro-trans witnesses. “How did they know three days in advance, even before the board knew, that this issue would be considered on Thursday night?” Schultz asked.”

As one of our parishioners wrote in circulated email: “No one wants to see gay and transgender students bullied or otherwise treated unfairly in our school system, but these are important issues that many people have strong opinions about.  Rushing through changes to school policy without proper consideration of the issues and the possible unintended consequences is inappropriate.  So is leaving a sizable portion of the public feeling that their opinions don’t matter because a small number of arrogant elected officials think they know best.  I realize this is our system, but it needs fixing.”

I agree. Most of the school-aged children in our parish attend FCP schools, and it’s time for their parents, not to mention other voters and taxpayers, to act. What will you do if your child is told by his teacher or coach that he or she must conform to this irrational mind-bending nonsense, if they are forced to be silent in the face of these lies, or even actively support them? What if they are punished for refusing to conform? You cannot let this stand! Whether it’s on the grounds of your religious liberties, or simply on your fundamental rights as parents, voters and taxpayers—and students! —isn’t it time for you to stand your ground, and fight back?

I will be working with our parish Religious Freedom committee to come up with some ideas to educate and assist in this fight. But in the end it comes down to parents and taxpayers and voters taking a stand. Not with violence, of course, but with resolution and determination. Could the FCPS keep this policy if all of the Catholic students and parents simply refused to cooperate? What would happen if, for example, all the faithful Christians walked out of classrooms, or marched in protest, or staged sit-ins? Or if all the Catholic families simply transferred to Catholic schools or began to home school?

My mind turns especially to all you who have fought in our nation’s military, or whose parents did so. Is this what you/they fought for—to have your values and common sense trampled on by radical social experimenters, who indoctrinate your children or grandchildren with this foolishness?

And you folks who are immigrants to our great country…ask yourself, “why did I come America?” Did you come to provide a better future for your children, or to have strangers with strange ideas warp your children’s minds, and thereby threaten their future happiness?

Stand up for your religious liberty and your freedom of speech! And let me know what I can do to help. And join me and your fellow parishioners during this Fortnight for Freedom in praying for each other and our nation—that Christian values, common sense and religious freedom may once again flourish in America.


Coming Soon? This is in Spain, but the rhetoric sounds all too familiar. Could this happen here?, June 9: “Criminal proceedings under hate speech laws have been initiated against a Spanish cardinal for his commentary on theories styling gender as a personal preference, in which he termed them “the most insidious ideology in the history of humanity,” and for his warnings against a “gay empire.”

            “The Spanish Network of Help to Refugees has filed a complaint against Cardinal Antonio Cañizares of Valencia for his remarks, made on May 13. Under Spanish law, such a charge is required to be investigated.

            ““The family is haunted today, in our culture, by an endless threat of serious difficulties, and this is not hidden from anyone,” Cañizares said in his May homily. “We have legislation contrary to the family, the action of political and social forces, with added movements and actions of the gay empire, of ideas such as radical feminism, or the most insidious of all, gender theory,” he said….

“On Monday, the pro-migrant network initiated criminal proceedings, saying Cañizares’s words against gender theory constitute hate crimes…In a statement, …[they] said that Cañizares “is an ultra-conservative trying to subvert the constitutional order,” accusing him of nostalgia for “times when immigrants, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and women were subjected to the dictates of a society governed by the powers of the Catholic Church.”

“…. The governor of Valencia, Ximo Puig, has denounced Cañizares’ statements, accusing him of “fomenting hatred” and claiming that “the whole world understands that each person can love whom he wants.”

            “…For his part, the cardinal hasn’t relented, issuing an open letter asking for “objective” lawyers and jurists to read the full homily …and to point out what part of his text broke the law. Cañizares also has called for Christians in Valencia to refuse to comply with a bill that would allow minors to have a gender reorientation surgery, financed by the state, even without their parents’ consent… The criminal proceedings, however, are on-going.”


Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles