The Media Martyrdom of Fr. Scott Nolan
I am subscribed to a “Christian” activism foundation known as “Faithful America.” For the most part, Faithful America’s goal is to spread the word that social injustices are taking place in the Church, and encouraging their followers to sign petitions to end said injustices. Some of my regular readers may be surprised to discover that I remain subscribed, even though I disagree with virtually all their causes. I do for one very important reason: to stay educated on the ever shifting “progressive Christian” mindset that is infecting our country.
The most recent email I received from Faithful America (this morning, in fact) was in regards to Father Scott Nolan of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who recently denied Holy Communion to Judge Sara Smolenski (who is “married” to another woman), as well as implying that her presence at holy Mass was disrespecting the Church. The email finishes by calling out the “discrimination” of Fr. Nolan and Bishop David Walkowiak saying:
“It is Fr. Nolan and Bishop Walkowiak who have created division by turning away LGBTQ Catholics from the heart of church life, rather than loving them as neighbors. Communion, a sacred form of worship started by Jesus Christ himself, should never be turned into a weapon of discrimination.”
This is a situation similar to the Biden incident I wrote about several weeks ago, but hits very close to home for me and I need to address it. I have lived in Grand Rapids for nearly a decade, I have met Fr. Scott Nolan at several events (although I doubt he would remember me), and I have seen the level of misrepresentation that the media has contributed to this particular situation. Nolan is an outstanding and non-judgmental man of the cloth. His community loves and respects him, and he has proven to be an excellent pastor. Why is someone, who has been nothing short of an exemplary priest, being persecuted by the media and progressive Christians? The answer, quite simply, is because all good Christians must suffer for their righteousness. Christ Himself, the Lamb of God, was crucified for the righteousness of His sacred heart. Father Nolan didn’t deny Ms. Smolenski the Eucharist out of hatred or anger, but out of love. The Eucharist is the Body and Blood of our Lord, and to take it in an unworthy manner is both dangerous and unwise.
There are several things that I take away from this situation. For one, I find it terribly ironic that progressive Christians are concerned about people judging their sexual preference when they simultaneously have no hesitations pushing their scandalous sexuality into Church affairs. Faithful America claims to hate the idea of a politicized church, and yet all of their arguments for change are anti-tradition. For another, it seems that progressive “Christians” are more interested in re-writing the rules of morality than being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. As someone who was immersed in a modernized Christian community for four years (my Alma Mater, Calvin College), I have seen the morality-morph take over the minds and souls of my generation. Many Christian homosexuals have come out saying that they prayed and prayed for God to remove the desires they felt, but that God wouldn’t remove them. After years of struggle, they came to the conclusion that they could live how they desired and that God wouldn’t condemn them for their actions since God loves everyone deeply and sincerely. As ideal as this God sounds, it is a golden calf cast as a means for titular Christians to justify the flesh. This is the kind of belief that allows for any sort of sexual deviation—including acts that support sexual violence, bestiality, pedophilia, pornography, rape, pre-marital sex, etc, etc, etc. The Church regulates everyone’s sexuality because everyone is sexually broken in some way and in need of correction and healing. Does God love homosexuals? There’s no question that He does; and yet, He will never ever call someone to act upon a sinful impulse.
If you are reading this and you struggle with homosexual temptations, there is something you should know: the Church loves you very much, so much that it cannot allow the immorality of your desires to be labelled good. There will be some who claim to love you, but no one who truly loves you will allow you to do whatever you please whenever you please. No one will ever love your soul like Christ and His Body. The Church sees you for what you truly are—a beautiful creation with a divine image. Your sexual struggles may be a burden that God will continue to let you bear, but do not see this struggle as an affirmation to live a sinful life. Instead, consider seeking your fulfillment in Christ through prayer, chastity, and obedience. It may be the most difficult undertaking you ever face, but as a Christian, if you are to choose between the desires of your flesh and a holy sacrament, I beg you to choose the one that offers eternal grace, fulfillment and love. If you are struggling to maintain a righteous life, please contact your local priest and seek guidance. As always, you are also welcome to message us with any prayer requests. We pray for all who write to us.
While I am deeply sympathetic toward Fr. Nolan’s situation, we have to understand that it was inevitable that a righteous priest suffer persecution for righteous actions in this world. Fr. Nolan, if you read this, know that our community supports you and your decision. We are praying for you and for all priests who choose to do the righteous thing instead of the easy thing. May God bless you, good and faithful servant!