Mark had this to say about a friend of his who was, according to Mark, a sodomite:
One of the people I admire most in the world, who I regard as an inspiration and, very likely, as a saint was a gay guy who lived here in Seattle named Perry Lorenzo.... Some Catholics (and some of my gay readers) will probably be surprised to hear that I’m not interested in whether or not he was celibate. Not my business. That’s between him and God. ...If Perry was an active homosexual, it’s none of my business and certainly not mine to judge. After all, I also agree with the Church that my own acts of gluttony are sinful and even gravely so. But I don’t believe God has abandoned or rejected me and I trust his grace to help me slowly become conformed to Christ, so why should I believe for a second that somebody like Perry, who manifested such abundant and beautiful fruits of the Spirit was not pleasing to God and was not doing his best to strive for God? On the contrary, I regard him as a role model and greatly admire his deep, generous and true faith. I hope he prays for the Church in Seattle and I think he is (not was, God rest his soul) one of the great ornaments of the Church.Of course, we all must be in accord with Scripture, and Scripture is quite clear on this. "Am I my brother's keeper?" Obviously, no.
I am supposed to imitate Jesus, who never, ever said harsh things to anyone. Not a single soul. Jesus didn't judge anybody and He never will. Not for all eternity! Never!
As Mark implies, it's absolutely possible for someone to engage in homosexuality, adultery, incest, violent rape, but still be very Christ-centered. Heck, he could be a saint, even. Already canonized. In heaven. Praying for us. And for his victims, presumably, which just shows how generous the man is.
As one sterling Christian said, we can commit adultery or murder thousands of times each day, but as long as we have saving faith, we are saved! Of course, that same magnificent Christian was also fine with bigamy, but that's no big deal. Bigamy is a private matter. Not. My. Business.
How many people can identify the theological error Mark Shea engages in?
Deacon Kandra, go ahead and sit on your hands.
You clearly have nothing to contribute to this one.
Mark has confused the grace of charism with the grace of sanctification!
You see, the grace of charism, or charismatic grace, is a grace intended for other people's salvation, not for my own. When God gives a special charismatic grace to someone, He intends that grace to be exercised for someone else's good. And I can exercise that grace for someone else's good even if I am personally in a state of mortal sin.
So, let's say I have a charism of teaching. I can teach you about Christ very effectively, yet be engaged in the most monstrous soul-damning sins myself because the grace of the charism is external to my own salvation. It operates for YOUR salvation, not mine.
Sanctifying grace is quite a different matter. It assures MY salvation.
So, I can appear to be Christ-centered through my charismatic grace, but unless I am actually Christ-centered through sanctifying grace, I still go to hell, even though my teaching was effective enough to get you to renounce your sins and allow you to enter heaven.
Now, when Mark says that this poor sodomite's personal sins are not his business, Mark is, of course, merely echoing Cain, who insisted that his brother's affairs were not his business either.
Jesus didn't tell the adulterous woman that her sins were not His business. He told her that her sins were most definitely His business. And if we are co-workers with Christ, part of His body and sharers in His glory, then we also share in His ability to judge sin. Indeed, on the Last Day, we will even share in His ability to judge angels.
To the extent that we close our eyes to someone else's lifestyle, or lay out the claim that this is Not. My. Business., then we reject our union with Christ and our duty to do Christ's work.
Objectively, it is sinful to hold that someone else's possibly sinful activity is Not. My. Business. I can say that I don't know what to do about helping him past those sins. I can say that, given his attitude, my pointing out the facts of heaven, hell, sin and damnation will likely be counter-productive, so he would be better off if I didn't. I can say I love him, but I hate his sins. But I can't say his sins are Not. My. Business.
Sure, the state of the individual's soul is a matter between that individual and God.
No one but God can judge another person's soul.
But the action itself?
We are REQUIRED to judge the action.
If I know my friend is an alcoholic, and I find out from a friend that he has a bottle of rum in his house, it is my duty to get involved in helping him get away from that situation. If I have a sodomite friend and he has a "partner" in his house, the same would apply.
So, Mark mistakes charism for sanctification, he mistakes judgement of soul for judgement of action, and he (ironically) canonizes someone who the Church herself has not got around to canonizing. I say that last bit is ironical, because he actually does judge this poor sodomite's soul - he judges it sound enough to enter Heaven immediately, even though he himself says that the man's sins are Not. His. Business. I believe that's called "willful blindness."
There was something about the blind leading the blind in Scripture, but I'm sure it's all good.
There's a nice summary of the Vatican II and Thomistic response to Mark here.