30 September 2009

Relational Mysteries of the Rosary: Who is the god?

30 SEPTEMBER 2009. This post will stretch beyond the more usual examination of the Church's saints and travel through the liturgical calendar. I read a news piece that touched a sense of sadness in me today that I wanted to take a moment to share, for out of sadness can come joy--where the lessons learned are, indeed, learned well.

The news story (found here) reports that a homosexual activist group has designed, and may be in fact promoting, a variant of the Holy Rosary of Our Lady that is centered on what the group calls the "relational mysteries." The most troubling part of the Catholic News Agency (CNA) story is as follows:

According to the California Catholic Daily, [a doctoral student Eugene] McMullan and a Rev. Jim Mitulski taught a two-part class on “Praying the Queer Rosary” at an event for the New Spirit/MCC Church of Berkeley. The announcement for the class said it is “based on stories from the bible [sic] which depict Queer Families or Relationships.”

Another event was hosted at Berkeley’s Newman Hall – Holy Spirit Parish, which announced a Rosary “in solidarity with LGBT Catholics” facilitated by McMullan and Mike Campos, another doctoral student at the Graduate Theological Union.

The “Relational Mysteries” are listed as Fidelity - Ruth’s pledge to Naomi; Grief – The Parting of David and Jonathan; Intercession – Esther intercedes for her people; Restoration – the raising of Lazarus; and Discipleship – the two encounter Christ on the road to Emmaus.

It is scandalous that the Holy Rosary is being used by some to support, nominally through prayer (although the authentic intent of that prayer--true holiness--is questionable), a lifestyle that is at odds with the teachings of the Church. How terrible it is that this group has perverted a revered and ancient form of prayer--relied upon by millions through the centuries to devote themselves in humility to God, through the intercession of the Holy Virgin,--to celebrate themselves and their agenda. Who is the god that these people worship? If it is indeed the one, true, Holy God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, there is no need for such individuals to invent a perversion of the Rosary to make a heartfelt plea to Him.

Even those whose lives are mired in the context of sin can lift themselves to Christ--picking up their crosses each day--through prayer and authentically seek to love and honor God and follow Christ. No one among us is without sin. No one among us is without the need to cry to Christ for compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and love. No one among us does not long for salvation.

So, why has this group made a model for itself a perversion of prayer? Because they are, in my view (and not being any more educated on the matter than what I have read through CNA), praying not to God, but making themselves gods. Who is more important, Christ or the homosexual lifestyle (and its acceptance) to these people? Apparently their own agenda preempts authentic worship.

In my sadness I would ask that any who read this pray for the souls involved in this scandal. They must have at their core some good will and authentic intent. They are due the respect that each of us is due as creatures of our Loving Creator. I do not intend to attack anyone, nor will any comments be permitted that attack anyone, because as Christians we are called to live and love others in a way that recognizes that basic human dignity in all.

Please join your prayers with mine for these souls.


  1. Let’s not focus on those distorting our Faith and the Rosary, but let’s focus on Our Lord and Our Lady. Giving in to anger and fear is what the devil wants. Let’s not be indifferent, but if events such as these move us to pray more, then they will backfire on the devil: he doesn’t want us to pray! Let’s do more reparation, pray the Rosary (it can never be taken from us), and reach out to those who feel alienated by the Bible and by Church teaching.
    Our Lady wants to bring them back to a chaste love for Christ, and our efforts to do so also please her. We can live “charity in the truth,” as Pope Benedict XVI tells us.
    I write about how to do this in my book, “Born to Love,” which shows fidelity to Catholic teaching is truly compassionate.
    Fr. John Waiss

  2. Thanks Father John. Our Lady offers us the exemplary model of Christian living, devoting all of ourselves to Christ ad loving Him with complete devotion. Prayer to Our Mother, in veneration of her and asking for her intercession, is Christ centered prayer. I agree whole heartedly with you. Pray the rosary; it is a wonderful gift of our faith. Pray to Our Lord. But, pray!

  3. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  4. Indeed. To cast a stone against another--that is to condemn another person, in his or her personhood--is the role properly reserved for Our Lord who is our creator. No one of us is the judge of another's heart. However, to criticize the actions of another is appropriate if those actions are manifestly wrong. The rosary is a Christocentric prayer, focused on Christ through the examplar of Christian living, Our Lady. When anyone, for any purpose, uses the rosary, or prayer generally, as a focus on themselves, that action is properly subject to criticism. At the same time, we must have love in our hearts for those whose actions we would criticize--especially for those whose actions we would criticize. Christ's message of love is a radical one--love even your enemy--that is, love those whom we are least likely to love; love even when it is hard to love, but especially when it is hard to love. I offer those who feel the need to gain a connection to faith by praying the relational mysteries the love of my prayer for them. I pray that they will grow in the love of Christ, that the Holy Spirit will guide their hearts, and that a conversion of life, to the truth of the Gospel as proclaimed through the magisterium of the Church, will occur in each of them.