From Lesbian Atheist to Stay-at-Home Mother of Six

May 23, 2010

May 20, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – “I was an atheist for as long as I could remember” recalled Brigitte Bedard, a young-looking 41-year-old journalist and stay at home mother of six with cropped tousled brown hair and stylish thick-framed glasses. She was addressing a crowd of 200 participants at the Quebec Life Coalition pro-life conference on May 15 in Quebec City. 

While Bedard is less well known than the conference’s keynote speaker – Cardinal Marc Ouellet – whose staunchly pro-life statements made later that afternoon were seized on by the anti-life Quebec media, she might be the speaker who most touched hearts that Saturday afternoon.  

Ms. Bedard grew up at a time when Quebec society was undergoing what historians call the “Quiet Revolution,” a period of time from the early-sixties to the mid seventies when Quebec society shed its Christian heritage and adopted secular values. “I was born in 1968 — talk about bad luck” she joked.  

Bedard had a typical childhood in a non-religious household, and went to the notoriously leftist Université du Québec à Montréal, where she studied literature, eventually graduating with an MA. “I filled my mind with all the radical feminist literature — I drank it all up” she said.  

She began a series of heterosexual relationships, which all ended badly. “Prodded along by what I was reading, I began thinking that since all my heterosexual relationships were failures, that I might be a lesbian.” And in fact she dove into the lesbian lifestyle, and admitted that she revelled in it for quite some time. “It was actually a very good time, in a way, being with a big gang of girls, tearing up the town, chain-smoking like there was no tomorrow. I was also very sexually active.” 

Despite the fun and the excitement of the lifestyle, she felt broken, she recalls. “I was a mental wreck. I just felt that I was spinning out of control, that I was keeping appearances but I was miserable inside.” Things came to a head when, inexplicably, she broke into tears one night at 3 am and began shouting in her empty apartment in a trendy district of Montreal, imploring God to “take her away.” “Here I was, a militant feminist lesbian atheist lying on my apartment floor crying my head off imploring God. I wasn’t in my right mind, but I was desperate for help.” 

She began seeking help, meandering in and out of countless 12-step type programs, in the hopes of finding some kind of solution for her anxiety and “messed-up life.” To make matters worse, she had just quit smoking: “I was suddenly forced to face life in the raw, without any protection or buffer.” 

At wit’s end, she recounted how someone she knew talked about visiting “the monks” at the famous Saint-Benoît Abbey in Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Quebec. The idea, as bizarre as it seemed to her, intrigued her, and she went, but not without reservations. “I went to the monastery armed with all the contempt and hatred for the patriarchal Church that I had stored up from years of radical feminist studies. For radical feminists the Church is basically enemy #1.”  

She entered the convent and was assigned a room and a monk with whom she could converse twice a day. “For three days in a row, two hours a day, I badgered, screamed at, practically foamed at the mouth in the face of this monk, dredging up basically every insult, cliché, dirty thing that I could think of, or invent about Christianity. I was so mad, so hurt and angry, and I was dishing it all out to this monk, who never said a word the whole time, but instead just looked at me, nodding his head.” 

Then, at the end of those three days, something happened that changed her life forever. “It was the third day, the sixth hour of screaming. We were about to wrap up yet again. I was basically done screaming, there was a pause, and then the monk looked up and said to me “you have no idea, absolutely no idea how much God loves you; He made you out of nothing, he knows you, you have no idea how much he loves you, His daughter. So don’t feel ashamed, let it all go. Give it up, give it all up, give your life up to Him … He loves you so much.” 

Those simple words at that crucial time “absolutely floored her” she recalled. From that moment on, her life had utterly changed. “I am His daughter, there are no two ways about it, and I can’t explain it.” She admits she is at pains to explain exactly what it was that caused her conversion: “I just say that God floored me, staggered me; I didn’t convert myself, he brought me to Him.” 

She now works as an independent journalist and happily married stay-at-home mother of six. Life for her now is not all peaches and cream, however. “When I need quiet, there’s nothing I can do except for one thing: get up at 4 am. Which I do, pretty often, just to get some peace.” Remarking on the differences between her life now and in her lesbian days, she quipped: “Living with a man is definitely a pain, but living with a woman all the time was a living hell.”

 Brigitte Bedard, who writes for the Nouvel Informateur Catholique, was one of four conference participants (plus keynote speaker Cardinal Marc Ouellet) at the annual Quebec Life Coalition conference at Quebec City on May 15. Video recordings of the talks (in original French, or dubbed in English) are available through Quebec Life Coalition.


More Progressivism Toppling – Real Hope!

May 22, 2010

A Pox On ‘Pastoral’

May 22, 2010

Have you ever had one of those experiences wherein you got sick after eating or drinking something and then, even though you know that the sickness was probably not related to that food item, you just cannot stand to look at it or even smell it without getting nauseous?

Well I have.  Nothing against Cracker Barrel, but I can’t go within 1000 yards without needing a barrel myself. Enough about that.

But I have also found that the same thing can happen with words.  When I find words that occur in frequent proximity to things that make me sick, I find that I can no longer stomach the word anymore, even if used appropriately.

Much to my chagrin, I find myself facing this very situation right now.  What is the word that makes me sick every time I hear it or read it?

Pastoral.

Pastoral used to be a fine word but it has been keeping some bad company lately.

A priest decides to give out communion to active and proud homosexuals and has a float in the local gay pride parade.  He says he is being pastoral.

Politicians who openly defy the Church, try to rewrite its history, and openly advocate heresy are welcomed to communion.  Why?  It’s the pastoral thing to do.

There are those who fight with gusto against a decent English translation of the liturgy and insist that your average Catholic is so ineffably dumb that such a translation wouldn’t be pastoral.

Recently, a wonderful Bishop stood up for the faith and backed a pastor who refused an active homosexual couple’s desire to enroll their child in Catholic School.  For this, a prominent member of the Society that purports affiliation with Jesus tut tuts the good Bishop and says that he is not being very pastoral.

Since when did pastoral become the euphemism of choice for woeful prudential decisions (or worse) that are injurious to the faith and faithful?  The word has now become such a red flag for me that I am vexed even hearing it.

Therefore I have come to a hard decision. It is with regret that I declare the word pastoral to be anathema.  No longer will I write or say the word nor will I give credence to anyone who uses the word, even unwittingly.  A pox on pastoral.

Starting now.

I am sorry it came to this, but the word now does too much harm.  I am left with no choice.  Banning it is, well, the pastoral thing to do.

Ok, starting now.  For real this time.

Source: National Catholic Register


May 21, 2010


Et tu, Knights of Columbus?

May 21, 2010

As reported by Catholic World News and other sources, the leadership of the Knights of Columbus is forbidding local and state councils from suspending politicians who support abortion or same-sex marriage. This is a complex issue, so let’s add some details and begin a conversation about their decision. 

The argument from John Marrella, KofC Supreme Advocate, is essentially two-fold. It is not appropriate, he claims, for a local chapter of the Knights to take such a disciplinary action on its own authority – disciplinary proceedings should instead be reserved to the KofC leadership. Second, Marella argues that the KofC leadership ought not to go further in disciplining public dissenters from the Church’s teaching than the American bishops: 

“If the public figure’s bishop has not excommunicated him for his public positions on issues relating to matters of faith and morals, it would be highly inappropriate for the Knights of Columbus to do so…” 

This is a mistake: Marella’s argument confuses the Knights of Columbus with the Church. Being expelled from the Knights of Columbus, after all, is simply not the same as being excommunicated from the Church or being barred from receiving Communion by the local bishop. The Knights are a private, lay organization which operates by its own rules. In fact, membership in the Knights, in some ways, is more demanding than membership in the Church (when viewed in secular terms – Knights owe dues, for instance), so it is reasonable to claim that one can lose membership in the Knights without endangering the prerogative of the bishops. 

Unfortunately, the leadership of the Knights appears to be trying to avoid the thorny issue of dissension within their ranks. It is because of this vacuum of leadership that local and state councils are trying to take matters into their own hands. The Supreme Knight’s recent video message to state conventions, for instance, while over ten minute in duration, makes no mention of same-sex marriage or abortion. There is, furthermore, an ongoing scandal caused by prominent members in the fraternal organization disagreeing and publicly acting against the Church, and of course against the unborn and against the institution of marriage. An example of a pro-abortion public official who the Knights claim as a member is Rep. John Dingell of Michigan

On the other hand, the Knights have taken action recently to sever improper ties with organizations such as NARAL whose mission conflicts with that of the Knights. So why not apply the same high standards to their own membership? 

I love the Knights of Columbus, but in this situation, I believe their leadership needs to seriously rethink this decision, and begin the brave task of holding its membership to the high standards each of them swore to uphold upon entering. Perhaps the Supreme Knight Carl Anderson could consider implementing a charitable process for asking dissenting members to reconsider membership in the Knights. 

The Knights are right to take due pride in their rich history of defending the Church and her clergy. Today, they ought not hide behind the Church they have sworn to protect. They must not fall on a sword that was intended to slay grave falsehoods such as public dissent.

Source: American Papist


We need priests in 3D

May 20, 2010

 

Rome (Agenzia Fides) – “The world needs priests and missionaries in 3D, people who maintain Doctrine, Discipline, Devotion.” This was the appeal made by His Eminence Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, to all priests and missionaries in the world, upon the conclusion of the Year for Priests proclaimed by Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Dias was speaking yesterday afternoon at the General Assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies being held in Rome (see Fides 17/05/2010), and focused on identity and qualities that every priest and missionary must cultivate in his life and ministry, saying: “Every priest, on his path of growth and in his ministry, should safeguard these three dimensions: Doctrine, Discipline, Devotion. Safeguarding Doctrine means being faithful to the Word of God, the Magisterium of the Church, observing the words of the Holy Father. The second, Discipline, is very important nowadays and should be taken more deeply into account. This implies the discipline of mind and body, a sign and fruit of a human and spiritual maturity. This includes formation in chastity and proper relations with the opposite sex; management of discord and conflict in relationships and in the community; management of free time and use of new technologies. As for Devotion, I would emphasize that the priest, in each of his small daily actions, should bear in mind that he is a man of God. He should give primacy to the spirit, keeping in mind that he is in the world, but not of the world.”

“In general – the Cardinal said, addressing all priests and missionaries – be people who ‘breathe the sacred,’ especially in the celebration of Holy Mass and administering the Sacraments, helping others to encounter the living and active person of Jesus Christ.”

Cardinal Dias recalled that every priest, like every Christian, “has the missionary spirit in his DNA,” otherwise he would be “a deformed Christian or at least not yet well-formed…”  As a model of a person and priest who lived these three dimensions to the full and had a missionary spirit, the Prefect of “Propaganda Fide” presented Cardinal John Henry Newman, who is scheduled to be beatified September 19 by Pope Benedict XVI on his upcoming trip to England. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 18/05/2010)