Catholics must not be afraid of speaking the truth even if it means being despised or ‘cancelled’ on social media, Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon told the faithful yesterday as debate rages online and off about attempts to promote gender ideology.
Members of the public have also voiced alarm about machinations by external agencies seeking to promote this agenda.
“The gospel and the pervading western culture are heading in two very different directions and until we can accept that as the fact and foundation of everything that we are living…we are going to be in denial, we are going to be thinking we’re living in a different time…” he said during Mass at the Living Water Community chapel on Sunday, June 25.
The martyrs of the gospel taught there is something more important than physical life. Archbishop Gordon pointed to the debate on what is truth and the culture which does not believe in the afterlife or values that are worth dying for.
What is called free speech today is for those who support the “newer modern mis-values going in other directions”. Persons standing up for biblical values are labelled as haters and promoting hate speech.
Discussing the messages in the Gospel of Matthew 10:26–33, he called on Catholics to be confident in what they believed. He said Jesus speaks on the possibility of martyrdom as more important than preserving life but also of God’s providential love.
Archbishop Gordon stated: “God’s providence reigns over all the ups and downs of our human living…and we don’t get to see the purpose of our suffering or our great times until the other side when we look back at our lives and say ‘Oh! That’s what You were doing’.”
It is God’s providence that helps the faithful to remain unfazed by criticism, being despised and bad treatment. “It’s small stuff,” he commented. Losing sight of God however has consequences: losing sight of the poor, human dignity, truth, and what is good reason in society.
“St Ignatius said the devil is the enemy of human nature. Everything that makes us truly human, the devil is against it. And the first thing that we learnt in the Bible about being truly human was that ‘in the beginning God created them, male and female’”, he reasoned.
Archbishop Gordon cited Genesis 2:24, a man must leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife. Being male or female is the first thing learned about humanity.
“That’s the first thing we learn about ourselves in our own bodies and if you take that away, that most obvious biological fact, then what are you left with? You don’t know anything at all. Cause if you don’t even know who you are in your body, then what do you know?”
Archbishop Gordon stated that human history has entered a new stage, different from a decade ago, and the faithful must be aware the rules of engagement have changed.
He referred to the documentary by political commentator Matt Walsh titled ‘What is a Woman’ in which Walsh interviews professionals in different fields about the question, all of whom could not define what a woman is.
Walsh uploaded it to Twitter on its one-year anniversary and Archbishop Gordon said he was “cancelled”. Billionaire entrepreneur and current Twitter owner Elon Musk put the video on his personal Twitter account and the movie was viewed by millions. “Isn’t God amazing?” Archbishop Gordon said.
He understood the transgender dialogue between older and younger persons would be difficult, but they should not be afraid. Archbishop Gordon reiterated, “Do not be afraid of who can cancel you, on social media or whatever else…fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell …The fear of the Lord is a gift of the Spirit, and it is a gift we need right now.”
He clarified the fear of God is not a feeling of terror but a filial love the child has for the father. It is displayed in seeking to be pleasing to God and “whatever else people say that is their business”.
“These are the tools of the Kingdom of God and as much as we are pushed on every side we have to respond with love, mercy, understanding, fear of the Lord, piety, true devotion then indeed brothers and sisters we will be His children.” There was spontaneous applause as he concluded the homily.
Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly last week had to dismiss news circulating that the Ministry was introducing a book titled ‘I am a Rainbow’, and assure there was no change in the school curriculum.
Prior to this, a June 16 release by the Ministry assured there was no change in the Health and Family Life Education programme in the school system. Despite this, an online petition was circulating against the ministry.
The Catholic Education Board of Management Chief Executive Officer Sharon Mangroo stated under the 1960 Concordat: “In denominational schools, no books or apparatus to which the denominational authority formally objects, will be introduced or imposed.”
The Archbishop’s Homily for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 25, 2023)