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Veteran's Chaplain

TOM SWANN CATHOLIC PILGRIMAGE - November 2010 - “A Life Changing Journey”

November 2010
“A Life Changing Journey”

I have returned from a Catholic pilgrimage to visit holy shrines in three European countries. Prior to the start of this pilgrimage I made an attempt to prepare myself spiritually. This included church attendance, confession, daily prayer, daily Bible reading, sharing at AA meetings, receiving prayer intentions from others and reciting the rosary. One week before the trip I attended a presentation by Ivanka who is one of the seers from Medjugorje.

I began my trip on Thursday November 4 departing Palm Springs, CA for Newark, New Jersey. In Newark I met some of the other members of the tour which was organized by Regina Tours. There were 24 pilgrims and all but about three were either Filipino or Puerto Rican. The majority of the pilgrims were women from the San Fernando Valley by Los Angeles. I have not been to Europe since I served in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1980.

I spent a total of ten nights and eleven days on the pilgrimage. There were two nights in Fatima Portugal, three nights in Lourdes France, two nights in Madrid Spain and one night each in Burgos Spain and Zaragoza Spain. One night (November 4) was a seven hour flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

This was indeed a pilgrimage. We prayed the rosary almost every day and we began each day with a selection from the Morning Prayer. I attended Mass three times during the eleven days.

Fatima Morning Offering

“O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings, all that this day may bring, be they good or bad: for the love of God, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for all the sins committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary”.

I arrived at Lisbon Airport very early Friday morning November 5. Elaina our tour guide met me at the airport. Our group boarded a bus that would be our “home” as we traveled through Portugal, Spain, France and then back to Spain again. The weather was cool and I saw snow in France. Each day both morning breakfast and dinner were held in the Five-Star hotels that we stayed in during the ten nights. Lunch was often at a roadside cafeteria. I sat in the first row of the bus behind the driver and saw a lot of the countryside.

The other pilgrims called me “Mr. Tom” and I wish to say I was quite well liked by everyone. The tour guide offered me great assistance in walking and going up and down steps. The other pilgrims also helped me a great deal. Meggie was a high school student and she took pictures for me with my camera.

On Friday November 5 we saw the birthplace of St. Anthony of Padua. At this church we held our first Mass. Our priest was from Dearborn Michigan. We also visited another church where St. Anthony was baptized. St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost things.

He died in Italy.

After leaving Lisbon we traveled toward Fatima. On the way we visited the town of Santarem. Here we saw the “bleeding host” in St. Stephen’s Church. Why is this miracle from the 13th century important?

The Catholic Church believes the Priest transforms the bread and wine at every Mass into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Wikipedia shares that Catholics view the bread and wine “as the whole Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity…This actual transformation, change or conversion of the reality, while the appearances remain unaltered – not the process or manner by which the transformation comes about, since all agree that this occurs “in a way surpassing understanding” has been called transubstantiation. The bleeding host sheds some evidence that the bread is the actual body of Christ. Please see this web page:


That afternoon we arrived in Fatima. The name Fatima dates back to when the Moors from North Africa occupied Portugal. Fatima was the name of Moslem prophet Mohammed’s daughter. The message of Our Lady of Fatima is pray the rosary, penance and peace.


The Moors once occupied Portugal. The village of Fatima was given the Islamic name of the well-loved Princess of the nearby Castle of Ourem. She died at an early age after marrying the Count of Ourem and converting to Catholicism. Baptized with the Christian name of Oureana, she was named at birth “Fatima,” like many other Moslem girls, in honor of the daughter of Mohammed. Of his daughter, Fatima, the founder of Islam, Mohammed, said: “She has the highest place in heaven after the Virgin Mary.”


In Fatima I visited the home of Lucia as well as the home of Jacinta and Francisco. I saw the bed where Francisco died. I saw the well where the Angel of Peace appeared to the three children. Here I met the 90 year-old niece of Lucia. I went near the location of the August apparition of Mary. I saw the original graves of Jacinta and Francisco before their bodies were moved to the Basilica. I also saw the church where Lucia received her First Communion.

Lucia’s First Confession: (Said by Priest to Lucia)

“My child, your soul is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Keep it always pure, so that He will be able to carry on His divine action within it”.

Prior to my departure on this trip I received several prayer intentions from friends. These intentions were placed in unmarked sealed envelopes. On Saturday November 6 I attended Mass at the Fatima Chapel. This chapel is built where the Virgin Mary appeared to three children. Prior to Mass I waited for the Priest to come toward the chapel. I gave him the petitions. I believe the petitions were left at the altar.

At Fatima some people pray for healing or the strength to endure suffering. We can offer up our suffering as a sacrifice to God. St. Paul writes in Colossians 1:24

24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church”.

Father Rochelle of EWTN pointed out that Jesus suffered in many ways during his passion. Christ had loss of blood and a pierced heart. He suffocated to death because when your body hangs from a cross (feet or body not firm) you slowly lose the ability to open and close your lungs due to gravity. Christ’s skin was bruised and ripped open. He had broken bones because of the nails in his arms. When he fell while carrying the cross he fractured a knee according to the Holy Shroud of Turin Italy.

Jesus had no disease when he was crucified. So according to St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians we are to offer up as a sacrifice our own illnesses to complete what is lacking so we can be united with Christ’s suffering. Jesus did not die of cancer so it is lacking. So cancer patients can add their affliction as a sacrifice to those suffered by Jesus. I add my blindness, injured hand and other illnesses to the afflictions Christ experienced on the cross. I should do this “for the sake of his body, which is the church” as a testimony or good example for members of the church who may grow in their faith by my witness. Please keep in mind we are not replacing Christ on the cross for salvation. We are adding our afflictions to Jesus act of redemption.

Our Lady of Fatima showed the children a glimpse of souls suffering in hell. She said that God is greatly offended by the indifference people have toward Him. Our Lady asked the children to sacrifice dancing and flute playing and instead pray the rosary for the conversion of lost sinners. Francisco sacrificed for the sake of lost souls by tying a belt tightly around his waist so he would have discomfort in his sleep. Jesus asked his followers to take up their cross and follow him. That meant a rock in the desert would be your pillow since Jesus did not own a home. Each one of us will experience death just like Jesus before we receive eternal life.

After Mass my Medjugorje rosary was blessed by the Priest. I purchased a rosary medal for my grotto to Our Lady of Fatima that is located in my home. I also purchased a rosary requested by Pat Martin.

The message of the Fatima Mass is based on the few words of Mary contained in the Bible. The Priest remarked that at the wedding fest at Cana where Jesus performed his first public miracle Mary told the workers ““Do whatever he tells you”. This statement sheds light on Mary’s role in our salvation. She is always encouraging us to follow and be obedient to the will of Christ.

On Sunday morning November 7 we traveled by bus to Burgos Spain. Burgos has the highest elevation of any Spanish city. This city has an important history because it is on the Medieval pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain. Santiago is the burial place of the Apostle James. James spread the news of Jesus Christ to the Iberian Peninsula. Later James returned to Jerusalem where he was beheaded by King Herod. Wikipedia shares,”After James’ death in Jerusalem his disciples shipped his body to Spain to be buried in what is now Santiago. While James body was on the voyage “off the coast of Spain a heavy storm hit the ship, and the body was lost to the ocean. After some time, however, the body washed ashore undamaged, covered in scallops. The pilgrimage to the burial place of St. James dates back to the “8th century, in the time of the Kingdom of Asturias. The pilgrimage to the shrine became the most renowned medieval pilgrimage”.

My recent Catholic pilgrimage enabled me to see some of the largest shrines where the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared. Many people do not believe in the Marian apparitions. I have believed in them since I first heard about the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1979. Angels appeared and spoke to people during Biblical times and we have Marian apparitions and Angel visitations in our time. It seems that many of the people who do not believe in the Virgin Mary’s apparitions are like the doubting Saint Thomas. Unless they personally are a witness to a Marian apparition they do not believe they are actually taking place.

Perhaps the conclusion penned by Franz Werfel in his popular novel, “Song of Bernadette”, says it best: “For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible. For those who believe, no explanation is necessary”.

I am grateful God has given me sufficient grace to believe in Jesus Christ. The apparitions of Mary seem to indicate that God sent His son to shed his own blood to redeem our souls and now Jesus is sending His Mother so we will believe. It seems God will not give up trying to attract our faith and devotion to His will. There is an endless amount of love and grace God offers to us. Our tour guide shared this phrase of hope:

“Our sins are grains of sand compared to the mountain of God’s grace”.

After one night in Burgos we traveled by bus to France. The weather was cold and I saw snow. We spent three nights in Lourdes (November 8-10). I attended Mass on Tuesday November 9. The Priest commented on Ezekiel 47 because it has to do with healing water of Christ which is part of the Lourdes mystery. In this passage please note the river flows from the right side of the temple. The church is the body of Christ and on Calvary water and blood poured from His right side. Please note the fruit trees in this prophecy of Ezekiel will bear fruit every month when they receive the water flowing from the temple.

Ezekiel 47 (New International Version)

Ezekiel 47

The River from the Temple

1 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.

12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing”.

At Lourdes Mary put her finger in the ground and a small trickle of water began to flow. Eventually this became a river. Mary told Bernadette to bathe in the water. Over the years there have been many miraculous healings when people bathed in the Lourdes water. On Tuesday November 9 I got in the bath. These are tubs filled with Lourdes water in private rooms. There is no fee to use the baths. You completely undress and the attendants place a wet towel around your waist. The water was cold and I sat down in the tub. The water came all the way up to my neck. The temperature in Lourdes was around 50 degrees and the water comes right out of the mountain so I assume the water temperature was around 50 degrees or colder. Amazingly I had no hesitation to get in the tub and I did not think of the cold which is a miracle in itself. I recited the Hail Mary and a Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes. While in the tub I thought about Sister Lucy’s poor health, my late Father, Rod Mendoza, others and my own personal request for healing. After about a minute I stood up and kissed a statue of the Virgin Mary. I got out of the tub and did not need a towel to dry. I felt very warm. The fact that your body dries instantly so you do not need a towel is part of the miracle of the Lourdes water. As I left the bath I shouted I felt like I had a miraculous healing. I expected my pilgrimage to produce a life changing phenomena and it had. As I walked toward the hotel I filled a plastic bottle with Lourdes water for drinking.

On Wednesday November 10 I was in the shower in my hotel room and I slipped and fell with one leg in the tub and one leg on the bathroom floor. My thigh scraped along the glass shower door. I checked to see if I had been cut and if I was bleeding or not. By God’s grace or the help of Our Mother the Virgin Mary I was not injured. I went with the tour guide in the rain to the grotto to touch the walls of the cave where Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette. I prayed for many people and thanked Mary that I was not injured. Later in the afternoon I went to see the home where Bernadette was born and lived. Her home is part of a mill that was powered by water to grind wheat into flour.

Immaculate Mary – Lourdes Hymn

Immaculate Mary, thy praises we sing;
Who reignest in splendor with Jesus our King:

Ave, ave, ava Maria
Ave, ave Maria.

In heaven the blessed thy glory proclaim;
On earth, we, thy children, invoke your sweet name.

Ave, ave, ave Maria.
Ave, ave Maria.

Thy name is our power, thy virtues our light,
Thy love is our comfort, thy pleading our might.

Ave, ave, ave Maria.
Ave, ave Maria.

We pray for our mother, the Church upon earth;
And bless, Holy Mary, the land of our birth.

Ave, ave, ave Maria.
Ave, ave Maria.


On Thursday November 11 (Veteran’s Day) we left Lourdes France and returned to Spain. We stayed one night in Zaragoza which was founded by the Romans. Zaragoza is famous for the apparition of Mary to Saint James. This apparition is called “Our Lady of Pillar”. A pillar is a stone column used to support the roof of buildings.

James was one of the three disciples that was closest to Jesus and went up the mountain for the transfiguration of Jesus. He also prayed with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had a special name for James and John as shown in the New Testament.

Mark 3:17

“And James the [son] of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder”.

James was the first disciple to be killed. (Acts 12) Here below is the story of the pillar:

“The tradition tells us that seven years after the death of Jesus, on January 2, 40 A.D., The Apostle St. James the Elder, brother of St. John, sat tired and disappointed by the bank of the Ebro River in what is now Zaragoza, Spain. The people of the Roman province of Hispania (Spain/Iberian Peninsula) were not open and receptive to the Good News of Jesus and St. James was ready to give up his efforts to evangelize them. On that January day the Blessed Virgin Mary, still living in Palestine, appeared to James atop a column or pillar of stone. With encouraging words, she assured him that the people of Hispania would become Christians and that their faith would be as strong and durable as the pillar on which she stood. To remember the visit and promise of the Virgin Mary, the first Marian shrine was built around the pillar. And James began to convert the pagans of early Spain.

Significant miracle: During the Civil War of the 1930s, two aerial bombs were dropped on the shrine church, but neither exploded. Those bombs now hang on the shrine wall”.

See this web page:


At the back of the pillar you can smell roses. This is a natural smell coming from the pillar and is said to be the perfume of the Virgin Mary. See this video:


It is interesting how roses are part of several Marian apparitions. At Lourdes the Virgin Mary apparition includes three yellow roses which were not supposed to bloom in Winter. The Virgin of Guadalupe apparition in Mexico has the red roses that grow in the Castilian part of Spain. They also miraculously bloomed in December. Our Lady of Pillar has a rose fragrance.

I saw three places where Mary appeared on this pilgrimage. During my military career I traveled to Rome where I was blessed by Pope John Paul II on Sunday December 10, 1978. There I visited another place where Mary appeared to stop a would be assassin of Pope Pius XII in 1947. “Our Lady of the Revelation” appeared at the Three Fountains in Rome. I plan to visit the church where the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico soon.

We spent one night in Zaragoza. On November 12 we traveled by bus to Madrid Spain. We spent two nights in Madrid, Friday November 12 and Saturday November 13. I suggested and the group agreed to attend a performance of Flamenco dancing which has its roots with the Gypsies many years ago.

I have visited Spain in the military and on this Catholic pilgrimage. I have now visited Spain’s five largest cities. They are Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Burgos and Zaragoza.

I departed Madrid on Sunday November 14. I felt a calmness and peace that I have not experienced in a long time while on this Catholic pilgrimage. There were many tests of my faith because I am blind and had no companion with me. I had to trust God that I would have the stamina to take this tour, the money to pay for the trip and safety in foreign countries. My biggest concern was my poor vision and there were a few things like night processions in Fatima and Lourdes that I knew I could not do safely. I did in fact see and do all of the things that were important to me.

I feel closer to God and have a greater appreciation for the church that has maintained these shrines and kept this important history of the apparitions. The pilgrimage has made a life changing phenomena in my life. I feel spiritual growth and a healing. I highly recommend that you participate in a spiritual pilgrimage somewhere soon.

A pilgrimage is different than a vacation tour. I did not consume alcohol on this pilgrimage. This was a trip devoted to learning, spiritual growth and healing. The sacrifices I made in finances, time and energy to participate is penance for my sins and for the conversion of others to Christ and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mary wants to be our Mother and she is the Mother of the church. This is because Christ is the body of the Church and Mary is His Mother.

I can report one miraculous healing thus far from the prayer petitions I submitted in Fatima. Please share with me if you received any special graces or healings or improvements in your soul from this pilgrimage. I feel blessed to offer prayers for your petitions.

I wish to thank you so much for your prayers for the trip’s success. Your prayers were answered. So I suggest we keep praying because it really works.

Thanks for reading and sharing with others.

Tom Swann

DOES THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW REVEAL GOD’S RELATIONSHIP WITH HOMOSEXUALS? - Questions to Dr. Scott Hahn in advance of the West Coast Bible Conference, January 3, 2011


Questions to Dr. Scott Hahn in Advance of the West Coast Bible Conference

January 3, 2011

Dr. Scott Hahn
St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
2228 Sunset Blvd Suite 2A
Steubenville, Ohio 43952

I will be attending the West Coast Bible Conference in Riverside January 14-16, 2011. I enjoyed attending the conference last year and we posed together for a picture. I have listened to many of your lectures and your programs on EWTN. You are my favorite speaker on Christianity.

I am a single gay man who is legally blind due to AIDS. I am celibate and try to go to confession 6 or more times per year. I received a Papal blessing when I was in the Marine Corps and took a USO tour of the Vatican. I have visited Fatima, Lourdes and the Holy Shroud. I have attended the Catholic War Veterans national convention. Like you I am a former Presbyterian who converted to the Catholic Church 10 years ago.

I am a nationally recognized leader in the gay community. The ACLU filed a complaint on my behalf that resulted in the Department of the Navy adding sexual orientation protection for more than 250,000 civilian employees in 1994. I led the effort to dedicate America’s only gay veteran’s memorial. In December I was invited by the White House to be with President Obama when he signed historic legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” about gays in the military. At the 1993 March on Washington for gay civil rights I was introduced on stage before one million people. I hope you are not offended that you have a famous gay admirer.

Dr. Hahn I have two questions about the Gospel of Matthew which of course is the subject of the West Coast Bible Conference this year. The questions are whether or not Matthew is describing homosexuals in two passages. They are contained in chapter 19 when Jesus says some eunuchs are born and in chapter 8 when Jesus heals the servant of the Roman centurion. My other question is why the New American Bible omits the word eunuch in Sirach 30:20. Since I may be the only gay person at the conference and the other participants may not be interested if gays are described in the book of Matthew I thought I should write you privately. I do not wish to distract you and the other lecturers from your lesson plan during the conference.

Dr. Hahn you are the only person in America I trust to share with me the truth about these questions. The answers you give are critical to my salvation. Is it possible that Jesus said gays are born that way? Is it possible that Jesus healed the same sex lover of a Roman centurion? Did the New American Bible revise Sirach 30:20 to conceal the word eunuch in Matthew chapter 19 can mean a homosexual?

In this document I pose the question if the word “pais” in Matthew Chapter 8 has a meaning that has not been considered by most Bible translators. I also question if Paul’s writings have been correctly interpreted to condemn all homosexual acts. I do not wish to be falsely perceived as a belligerent gay activist trying to attack the Catholic Church. I would not listen to your lecture tapes and attend the conference in Riverside if I was on a mission to harm the church. My questions and personal observations about the Bible, Catechism and other church documents are presented to you to improve my knowledge. I am asking for your answers and feedback and not seeking a debate whether Matthew’s Gospel sheds light on God’s relationship with gays.

This relationship between God and gays is important to my diocese because we have a monthly mass for gays as well as an open gay priest. The Vatican in 2005 reaffirmed homosexuals can be ordained priests if they are celibate and do not promote gay culture. So I feel my concern if born eunuchs are gay people that could become Catholic priests is not radical.

I was motivated to question what the Bible says when I attended a lecture at my parish Sacred Heart of Palm Desert CA. A theologian who teaches at Gonzaga University said in her lecture that Bible English translators have changed the meaning of words to justify their political agenda in the past. She revealed a little known fact about this Bible verse “In Rom 16:7 Paul says, “Greet Andronicus and Junia(s), my compatriots and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to [or prominent among] the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.”

The Gonzaga professor said Junia was a woman but sexist male English translators intentionally changed the name to a male person Junis to conceal that women like the Virgin Mary were leaders in the early church and just as prominent as the Apostles. Catholic tradition states that the Virgin Mary was very active in the early church and she encouraged the Apostle James in Zaragoza Spain by appearing in a vision riding on top of a pillar. Thus the Virgin Mary who was living in Palestine at the time demonstrated her power to do miracles. Yet this well known story does not appear in the Book of Acts. The fact that English translators have changed the Bible has led me to ask you if you believe the meaning of the Greek word “pais” in Matthew Chapter 8 and the term “born eunuchs” in Chapter 19 have been misinterpreted by translators.

The New American Bible (NAB) deletes the word “eunuch” from Sirach 30:20 as compared to the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB), Douay-Rheims and Public Domain Bibles. Here is from the NAB”

So it is with the afflicted man who groans at the good things his eyes behold!

Here is from the NJB:

20 He looks and sighs like a eunuch embracing a pretty girl — how he sighs!

Dr. Hahn, do you know why the NAB omits the word ‘eunuch” from Sirach 30:20?

The word eunuch appears in Matthews’s gospel chapter 19. Below I discuss the belief that eunuchs born that way are homosexuals. Please give me your thoughts on this. Is it legitimate for people to say eunuchs born that way are homosexual?

Bible Passage Matthew 19:

11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.
12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men (castrated); and others have renounced marriage[c] because of the kingdom of heaven (entered Priesthood). The one who can accept this should accept it.”

So in Matthew Chapter 19 the disciples ask Jesus about marriage. And Jesus says in his reply “Not everyone can accept this word…”. I think this means the churches debate about marriage laws will continue.

In Matthew 19 Jesus tells his disciples there are three groups of men called Eunuchs who lack the desire to marry. Marriage is by law between a man and a woman. The words of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel are important because they teach about the New Covenant between God and man. They are designed to foster a new understanding of the relationship between God and his creation. Jesus did away with many of the Old Testament laws such as when he healed the sick on the Sabbath. Jesus broke down social norms such as when he went into the homes of tax collectors. So in Matthew 19:12 we need to be alert as to what new understanding Jesus is giving His disciples when he says, “Not everyone can accept this word…”

The Catholic Church believes Matthew 19:12 is when Jesus praises celibacy for priests. Pope John Paul II in a general audience said that Matthew 19:12 is Jesus call for celibacy of priests. The Pope did not mention celibacy for the other two groups of eunuchs.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops does not say who the eunuchs from birth are. Here is what they say about Matthew 19:12

9 [12] Incapable of marriage: literally, “eunuchs.” Three classes are mentioned, eunuchs from birth, eunuchs by castration, and those who have voluntarily renounced marriage (literally, “have made themselves eunuchs”) for the sake of the kingdom, i.e., to devote themselves entirely to its service. Some scholars take the last class to be those who have been divorced by their spouses and have refused to enter another marriage. But it is more likely that it is rather those who have chosen never to marry, since that suits better the optional nature of the decision: whoever can . . . ought to accept it.

I know the first 39 Pope’s were married. In Biblical times priests commonly took vows of celibacy. I believe the Virgin Mary’s parents consecrated her to remain a virgin and live her life in the temple. So the early church must not have felt the new understanding that would be hard for people to accept was celibacy for priests or the first Pope’s would have been celibate. It is true that eunuchs who have “renounced marriage[c]because of the kingdom of heaven (entered priesthood)” is the norm for today’s Catholic priests. The Episcopal Church and Protestant churches do not interpret Matthew 19:12 to mean Jesus is promoting celibacy because their priests and ministers can get married and have children. A priest chooses a lifestyle of celibacy but he may still have some desire for sex.

The below web page contains Pope John Paul II comments on Matthew 19:12

The other two groups of eunuchs do not take a vow of celibacy. The group of eunuchs who make the decision to be castrated still have a sex drive and can have intercourse but typically do not marry because they cannot Father children.

Here below is from a web page:

“If he has his balls removed (like castration of yesteryear) he can still get hard and top, but obviously there will be no payload so to speak”. http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-198137.html

The fact that castrated men still have lust for women and engage in intercourse is found in the Catholic Book of Sirach as follows:

20:2 The lust of an eunuch shall devour a young maiden.


ADDENDUM: Some Bibles cite chapter 20 verse four instead of verse two. For example Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition RSVCE says as follows:

“4 Like a eunuch’s desire to violate a maiden is a man who executes judgments by violence.


So in Matthew 19:12 Jesus is not saying there are three classes or types of eunuchs that are celibate because castrated eunuchs still have lust and still engage in intercourse. So the purpose of Jesus words in Matthew 19:12 is to continue the discussion in the previous verses about marriage and not a new subject of celibacy.

When you look at Matthew 19 it describes the third group of eunuchs. These men do not marry because they were born that way. This natural lack of interest in women by eunuchs is mentioned in the Old Testament. The book of Sirach, found in the Old Testament of the Catholic Bible, says that embracing a girl makes a eunuch groan. (Sirach 30:20) This group of men do not choose to be celibate like a Catholic priest in today’s society. Marriage for them is not natural because of the way they were born. “In the Jewish New Testament, translated by David Stern, Matthew 19:12 tells us “…Jesus says that some males are born into the world “without the desire” to marry a woman. Stern understands a born eunuch to be a man born without the desire to marry a woman”.

Other examples of eunuch in the Book of Sirach include:

He seeth with his eyes, and groaneth, as an eunuch embracing a virgin, and sighing.

Douay Rheims Bible written in response to the Protestant Reformation

Wisdom of Sirach 30:20. The context is about how a rich man who is ill is worse off than a healthy poor man, because his illness makes him turn off to the good things in life like food. “He sees things with his eyes, and groans, like a eunuch embracing a girl groans.” Greek: “Blep?n en ophthalmois kai stenaz?n h?sper eunouchos perilamban?n parthenon kai stenaz?n.”

Wisdom of Sirach 20:4. Literally, “A man who exerts justice by force of arms is like the desire of a eunuch to take a girl’s virginity.”

Some Catholic lay leaders speculate that the eunuchs born that way are babies born without sex organs. God is not the creator of physical disability and the rarity of babies born without genitals hardly makes it a “type” or “group” of eunuchs. History tells us in literature where the word eunuch is used that these men were physically capable of procreation. This group of men do not enter the priesthood so they may not have taken a vow of celibacy. Who are the eunuchs who are born that way and why did God make them that way? I have looked at over two dozen Catholic web pages and cannot find the answer.

In Greek literature during the time of Jesus the word eunuch often meant homosexual. The Roman playwright Juvenal (who lived near the time of Christ) stated, “When a soft eunuch takes to matrimony. . . it is hard not to write a satire.” (See note 6.) Lucian, a Greek satirist who lived about one hundred years after Christ, compares a eunuch with a concubine to a deaf man with a flute, a bald man with a comb, and a blind man with a mirror.

Many theologians interpret Sirach 30:20 to mean a homosexual. When Matthew was writing his gospel he was aware the word eunuch in Greek literature often meant homosexuals and he would have been familiar with Sirach 30:20. Yet Matthew makes no attempt to tell his readers his use of the term eunuch does not imply a homosexual.

With this in mind we return to Jesus statement that

“Not everyone can accept this word…”. There has never been a dispute that a priest can choose a lifestyle of celibacy and not get married. No one disputes a man’s right to castrate himself and not get married. The Old Testament Holiness Code only speaks against temple prostitutes who engaged in homosexual acts in a cultic form of idolatry.
See this web page:

The Old Testament has conflicting passages as to whether or not eunuchs are to be welcomed in the temple. (See Dt. 23:1 and Is. 56:4). Some eunuchs display heroism like the one that rescued Jeremiah. Thus the only type of eunuchs that Jewish society found hard to accept was the notion that God created homosexuals. Homosexuals do not fit into the Adam and Eve marriage paradigm. This interpretation places Matthew 19:12 into the context of marriage which follows with the previous verses in Matthew 19.

For more information please see this web page:

Sacred Space web page created by Irish Jesuits shares with us more about people who castrate themselves in the following: “…the theologian Origen was so upset by carnal temptations that he castrated himself. It was not something the church admired in him. God calls us to live with our sexuality and transform it into a vehicle of love, not to root it out”.

In Biblical times Jews, Romans and other cultures did not believe born eunuchs could be healed or cured of their homosexuality. The Book of Wisdom says this:

WISDOM 3:14. And the eunuch, that hath not wrought iniquity with his hands, nor thought wicked things against God for the precious gift of faith shall be given to him, and a most acceptable lot in the temple of God.

I interpret “against God” to mean then desire to have sex with fallen Angels (which took place in Genesis Chapter 6 and was attempted at Sodom). Also “against God” means sex with temple prostitutes who were surrogates for the goddess of love. This latter group were called Sodomites. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit to become like God. The offspring of sex between fallen Angels and women resulted in giants that the children of Israel found when spies crossed the Jordan River after Moses death. God wants us to love him but not have sex with him and we cannot become Gods ourselves.

Kings had great confidence that gay eunuchs could not be cured and behave like a heterosexual. They knew gay eunuchs would not touch the king’s many wives and concubines so they gave all of the keys to the bedrooms of the palace to gay eunuchs. The Book of Acts interestingly provides the job title of an Ethiopian eunuch that was baptized by Phillip. That job title identifies the Ethiopian eunuch as a castrated gay man. The Greek word used in Acts is eunouchos, which means literally “guardian or keeper of the couch.” The term refers to those who were placed in positions of highest trust in royal palaces and wealthy households. Eunuchs served and guarded the women in these households. Because of their intimate access to the royal courts, eunuchs often rose to senior government positions. In this story, the Ethiopian eunuch was Treasurer to the Queen of Ethiopia.
See web page:

Jesus words that gay eunuchs are born that way does not conflict with the Vatican. On December 29, 1975 the Vatican released a document titled: “Persona Humana”. It may have been in response to a decision by the medical community about homosexuality.

In 1973, the weight of empirical data, coupled with changing social norms and the development of a politically active gay community in the United States, led the Board of Directors of the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Some psychiatrists who fiercely opposed their action subsequently circulated a petition calling for a vote on the issue by the Association’s membership. That vote was held in 1974, and the Board’s decision was ratified.

Here is part of the Vatican document:

Dec. 29, 1975 Persona Humana



A distinction is drawn, and it seems with some reason, between homosexuals whose tendency comes from a false education, from a lack of normal sexual development, from habit, from bad example, or from other similar causes, and is transitory or at least not incurable; and homosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution judged to be incurable.

Innate defined as inborn and natural
Pathological defined as compulsive

Please note the Vatican offers no guidance to determine which homosexuals can be cured and which ones are incurable. The Catechism uses terms like inclination, deep seated tendencies and intrinsically (essential nature) which some gay priests compare to sexual orientation.

The Catholic Church views homosexuality as an ailment or birth defect that is morally corrupt. We know all people are born with the stain of original sin. God gives us a free will to make moral choices between right and wrong. It seems strange for the Catechism to say that God creates some people with an ailment that makes them morally corrupt and this ailment is incurable. If God made homosexuals with their bedrock core values system morally corrupt then they are not given a free will to make moral decisions.

The church says homosexuals should be treated with compassion and respect. Also that discrimination should be avoided. The Church does not approve of homosexual acts because they do not unite male and female duality. Also homosexual acts do not lead to procreation.

The Catechism says homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law. This church statement was written before scientists increased their study of same-sex behavior in animals. There are more than 450 species that display same-sex behavior. None of these animals behave in a disordered or depraved manner. Animals do what is instinctive and do not reason so they do not make moral judgments. God created the animals before He created Adam and Eve. Based on this can we say with 100 percent certainty that God did not intend for some people to be gay? Anti-gay clergy reply that God created Adam and Eve but not Steve. No one denies God created two genders but the Bible is silent as to how many sexual orientations God created. God did not create Grandmothers yet we know they exist. So it is possible for Steve to be part of God’s plan. Many gays believe God does in fact have a plan in that the number of homosexuals in the world at any given time depends on world population. If there is world overpopulation nature would create more homosexuals.
Please see this web page:

If the natural law is the duality of men and women to procreate then can God make exceptions? The Holiness Code said a man could not marry his Father’s sister. Moses parents had an unholy marriage yet God blessed Moses in a special way. Can God do something supernatural and lead gays to do God’s will like Moses?

Was King David bisexual and if so did he go against the natural law? 1 Samuel 20:30

“Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse [David] to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness?”

Reference to the nakedness of one’s parents is one of the methods used in the Bible to refer to a sexual relationship. (See Leviticus Chapter 18)

Saul apparently thought David and Jonathan were having sexual intercourse that was confusing and embarrassing to the family. In Leviticus “uncover the nakedness” does not mean “loyal best friend”. Every time “uncover the nakedness” is mentioned in the Bible it is in regard to a sex act. Saul called Jonathan the son of a perverse rebellious woman which means Saul is blaming the genes of his wife (and not himself) that Jonathan is gay. Many Father’s in modern society blame the wife’s side of the family when they discover their child is a queer. If David and Jonathan were only loyal best friends there would be no reason for Saul to blame his wife for Jonathan’s lifestyle. God made David king so He must have made an exception to what the Catechism calls “natural law”.

In Matthew’s gospel chapter 19 gay Christians believe Jesus said (gay) eunuchs are born that way. When Jesus said this He did not go on to say that eunuchs born that way are depraved or disordered. If Jesus believed gays were depraved and disordered it seems that He would have wanted to make this distinction in comparison to the castrated eunuchs and eunuchs who are priests. Instead Jesus makes no statement that any of the three types of eunuchs are created morally corrupt. I personally hope in my lifetime the Catechism will be revised when it discusses homosexuals. This can be done if recently discovered ancient Greek documents enable translators to correct the English translation of many Biblical words.

With so much controversy in the Catholic Church about gay marriage and gay priests you might wonder if the Virgin Mary has ever commented on homosexuality in her apparitions. I have researched the Internet and thus far the only time the Virgin Mary spoke against homosexuality was the Bayside Prophecies. Many of the so-called prophecies did not come true and the Catholic Church does not believe these apparitions are authentic. I find it interesting that the only so-called apparitions of the Virgin Mary condemning homosexuality are those orchestrated by Satan. The Virgin Mary rearranged Juan Diego’s bouquet of red Castilian roses in his cloak or tilma and placed other roses of various colors. Mary said a diversity of roses would be her sign to the Bishop. Mary’s endorsement of diversity gives me hope God created diverse sexual orientations.

The Catechism takes Bible verses about homosexual acts as they were performed in Biblical times and in the context of idolatry and states all homosexual acts in today’s society are wrong. Some priests have written to the Vatican indicating that the harsh terms in the Catechism to describe gays are abusive and lead to violence against gays. The Catechism says discrimination should be avoided but since the church teaches that homosexuals are born with the stain of original sin and additionally born morally corrupt then the church is saying gays are inferior and this can lead to discrimination.

The church says it’s views have never changed on these important matters. But we know St. Augustine did not believe an early abortion was murder because he believed ensoulment came later in pregnancy. The current church view when life begins was the result of changes by a new Pope after the American Civil War. For most of the church’s history the Pope was not infallible. The church has in fact changed its pinion on what is God’s truth and eternal word.

Dr. Hahn, if Matthew Chapter 19 is properly translated it could result in the Vatican revising the Catechism. I know you are very influential with Catholics in America. I do not know how much influence you have with the Vatican. Gays like Matthew Shepard have been murdered because churches use derogatory language to describe homosexuals. You may be in a position to suggest the Vatican tone down its’ anti-gay rhetoric. The church can continue to say homosexuality is a sin but make the admission that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, Father Mychal Judge died a hero on September 11, 2001 and St. John Henry Newman and St. Aelred were most likely gay.
(See this web page: http://www.bidstrup.com/phobiahistory.htm)

The Speaker of the California State Assembly is gay and in 2009 the Mayor of my home city was gay. In our Diocese we have an open gay priest who said gays and lesbians of today represent God’s diversity and are examples of “new signs” of the Holy Spirit since the Day of Pentecost. Gays in today’s society do not attempt to have sex with a temple prostitute acting as the surrogate for God as the Sodomites did and the Romans did in Paul’s time. It is my understanding that the Holy Spirit was received by the Gentiles when they were baptized as believers that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Protestants say a person must be “born again” in reference to Paul’s writings to receive the Holy Spirit. There are many gay Christians who are filled with the Holy Spirit and show fruits of the Spirit. These spiritual gifts can be tested and in my opinion they are genuinely from God. The presence of the Holy Spirit with gay Christians proves without any doubt that gays are equally loved by God. If a gay Christian demonstrates that he is filled with the Holy Spirit why would he feel himself lacking or need to be cured? The Bible says if God is for you then who can be against you? In reality no one in the Catholic Church who believes gays need to be healed is comparable to God and thus they cannot interfere with a gay Christian’s salvation.

Gays believe Jesus words that gay eunuchs are born that way does not conflict with Paul’s writings or the Book of Jude. In Romans Paul writes about temple prostitutes in cultic idol worship.
See this web page: http://www.jamesalison.co.uk/texts/eng15.html

Paul’s writings have to be taken in proper context. For example Paul tells the women of Corinth not to wear short hair because in his time short hair was the sign you were a prostitute. This custom does not apply in today’s society. See 1 Corinthians 11:2-6).

Many theologians do not believe Romans 1:26,27 condemns homosexuality in modern times. St. Augustine believed this Bible passage in Romans was saying oral sex between men and women was unnatural and a sin rather than condemning homosexual acts.

The Catholic Bible disagrees with the New International Version if 1 Cor. 6:9 speaks against homosexuality. Four versions of the Catholic Bible do not specifically say homosexual acts. The term “sodomite” is defined as Old Testament temple prostitutes in a cultic form of idolatry and not a loving same-sex relationship.

1 COR. 6:9

New American Bible

Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites

New Jerusalem Bible:

9 Do you not realise that people who do evil will never inherit the kingdom of God? Make no mistake — the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, the self-indulgent, sodomites,

Douay-Rheims Bible

Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,

Catholic Public Domain:

Do you not know that the iniquitous will not possess the kingdom of God? Do not choose to wander astray. For neither fornicators, nor servants of idolatry, nor adulterers,

New International Version

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men


Paul’s writings about homosexuality in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy have been misinterpreted similarly to the Lord’s Prayer “lead us not into temptation” has been misinterpreted (the latter according to your lecture). In these two Bible passages the Greek word Arsenakos has never been defined. The New International Version falsely translated this word to mean homosexual. Here below the US Conference of Catholic Bishops describe Paul’s intent. Please note the Bishops do not believe Paul is condemning loving same-sex relations between adults in today’s society.

USCCB [9] The Greek word translated as boy prostitutes may refer to catamites, i.e., boys or young men who were kept for purposes of prostitution, a practice not uncommon in the Greco-Roman world. In Greek mythology this was the function of Ganymede, the “cupbearer of the gods,” whose Latin name was Catamitus. The term translated Sodomites refers to adult males who indulged in homosexual practices with such boys. http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/1corinthians/1corinthians6.htm

See similar condemnations of such practices in Romans 1:26-271 Tim 1:10.

Here below we continue the discussion from another perspective.

The word arsenokoites in 1 Cor. 6:9 and 1 Tim. 1:10 has been assumed to mean “homosexual”. However, the word does not mean “homosexual”, and its range of meaning includes one who anally penetrates another (female or male), a rapist, a murderer, or an extortionist. When used in the meaning “anal penetrator”, it does not apply exclusively to males as the receptors, as it was also used for women receptors. The word does not appear in any Greek literary source until the poets of the Imperial period. This late occurrence is most significant as the Greeks wrote at length on male-male sexual relationships.

In another example, Romans 1 and Jude have been said to speak against homosexuality. However, the “flesh of different kind” was referring not to homosexuality but to “The Watchers” (angels) coming to earth and “whoring after” human women. This is well documented in the apocryphal literature.

2 Enoch speaks of those who “went against nature” and “who boast of their wicked deeds, stealing, lies, calumnies, envy, rancour, fornication, murder, and who, accursed, steal the souls of men, who, seeing the poor take away their goods and themselves wax rich, injuring them for other men’s goods; who being able to satisfy the empty, made the hungering to die; being able to clothe, stripped the naked; and who knew not their creator, and bowed to the soulless and lifeless gods, who cannot see nor hear, vain gods, who also built hewn images and bow down to unclean handiwork.” In similar language in Romans 1, Paul speaks of those who “exchanged God’s truth for the lie, the idol, and worshipped and served the creation other than the Creator.. the females exchanged natural sex for what is other than nature. And the same goes for males too. The males got rid of natural sex with the female and burned with their mutual yearning – males producing indecency with one another, and as a result got what was coming to them for their mistake. They didn’t think it fit to acknowledge God, so he gave them an unfit mind, to do things that are not appropriate. They have been filled with every kind of wrongdoing, evil, greedy grasping behavior, malice – full to the utmost with jealousy, murder, quarrels, deceit, nasty dispositions. They are people who give out information, whether true or false, which is detrimental to the character or welfare of others. They are slanderers, God haters, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of bad deeds. They are not obedient to parents, they don’t have intelligence, they do not keep covenant, they do not have natural affection, they do not have mercy.”

Jude speaks of angels who did not uphold their own office, and that God has held them with eternal ropes down in the gloom. In the next sentence Jude says that “just like these” Sodom and Gomorrah “who went after different flesh” serve as an example of those who undergo punishment in the eternal fire. Jude quotes 1 Enoch in verses 14-15. 1 Enoch 6-10 states that 200 angels came to earth, lusted after human women causing “defilement” and producing progeny. The Book of Jubilees 5 sets out the punishment by God upon these angels. 2 Enoch 10 states, “And (they)… showed me there a very terrible place, and there were all manner of tortures in that place: cruel darkness and unillumined gloom, and there is no light there, but murky fire constantly flaming aloft, and there is a fiery river coming forth, and that whole place is everywhere fire, and everywhere there is frost and ice, thirst and shivering, while the bonds are very cruel… This place is reserved for those who sin against nature.” Note the words “sin against nature”.

The Testament of Naphtali 3.3.4-5 states that the women of Sodom had sex with angels, who “changed the order of their nature, whom also the Lord cursed at the flood, and for their sakes made desolate the earth, that it should be uninhabited and fruitless.” Note the term “changed the order of their nature” which is similar to Jude’s term, “went after different flesh” and to Paul’s statement, “for the females exchanged natural sex for what is other than nature. And the same goes for males too,” in Romans 1:26.

The context in Romans 1 and Jude is angels having sex with humans, as well as committing other crimes. In fact, the context cannot be more obvious in Jude 6-7, “6 And as for the Messengers who did not uphold their own office but deserted their own places, he (the Lord) has held them firmly in eternal ropes down in the gloom, waiting for the Judgment of the Great Day. 7 Just like these, Sodom and Gomorrah as well as the surrounding cities, which in a similar way committed porneia and went after different flesh, serve as an example of those who undergo punishment in the eternal fire.” 1 Enoch 10 says the main angel who was responsible for abandoning his office in this way was bound hand and foot and cast into in darkness where he would remain until the Great Day of Judgement.

Note the “just like these” in verse 7. Jude is spelling it out very clearly, Messengers (angels) did not uphold their own office, are held with ropes in darkness/gloom, and just like these, Sodom and Gomorrah went after strange flesh (angels having sex with human women). This is most certainly nothing to do with homosexuality: it is not even anything at all to do with sex between human beings.

Definition of PEDERASTY
: anal intercourse especially with a boy as the passive partner
Define arsenokoites. Pseudo-Macarius, mid-fourth-early fifth century, Sermon 49:5-6. As used by Pseudo-Macarius, the word refers to interspecies sex, the attempted rape of angels in Sodom, not homosexuality.

My final question is about the Roman centurion and his servant as written in both Matthew and Luke. Is it possible the servant that Jesus heals is gay?

I know that words in the Bible shown in italicized letters, means that it does not occur in any Greek manuscript but was inserted by translators. Theologians debate the idiomatic expression of the Greek word “Pais” in Matthew 8:6 and Luke 7:2 (see below). The word “pais” describes the servant of the centurion that Jesus heals of illness.

During the time of Jesus the Roman Emperor prohibited Roman soldiers from being married. The Emperor did not want the soldiers thinking about their wife and children while they served in the military in distant lands. In Roman society sexual behavior was different than today’s standards. Many Roman soldiers had gay lovers.

The word “pais” translated to mean servant in most Bibles can also be translated to mean “same sex lover”. Greek authors in Biblical times used the word “pais” often to mean “beloved“ or “same sex lover”. The gospels use a different Greek word other than pais to describe the servants that the centurion gives orders to in Matthew and Luke Chapter 7 verse 8. This indicates the servant who is sick has a different relationship with the centurion than the other servants. The centurion is reluctant to have Jesus come to his home and meet the sick servant in person. There have been times when I had a gay friend visiting my home and I hesitated to have non-gay coworkers come to my home.
For more information please see this web page:

Luke Chapter 7 has the story of the Roman Centurion. The New Jerusalem Bible describes the pais who is sick as “favorite servant”. The Douay-Rheims Bible describes the relationship of the servant to the centurion as “dear to him”.

2 A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death.

3 Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant.

4 When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him saying, ‘He deserves this of you,

5 because he is well disposed towards our people; he built us our synagogue himself.’

6 So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends to say to him, ‘Sir, do not put yourself to any trouble because I am not worthy to have you under my roof;

7 and that is why I did not presume to come to you myself; let my boy be cured by your giving the word.

8 For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man, “Go,” and he goes; to another, “Come here,” and he comes; to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.’

9 When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith as great as this.’

10 And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.

Other Bible translations use various phrases to identify the relationship of the servant to the centurion in a special way. These two Gospels disagree whether or not the Roman Centurion actually meets Jesus in person or communicates to Jesus via messengers. The main focus of this account is that the Centurion had strong faith and Jesus healed the young man.

Young’s Literal Translation (What did Pais mean in Jesus time?)

8:6 and saying, ‘Sir, my young man hath been laid in the house a paralytic, fearfully afflicted,’
Matthew 8:
The Faith of the Centurion

5When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.
6″Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”

Luke 7

The Faith of the Centurion

1When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant.

I look forward to being with you at the West Coast Bible Conference. Thank you.

Tom Swann


I shook hands with Dr. Hahn after his opening talk at the WCBC. This was on Saturday February 15. He said my name after I introduced myself as if he knew who I was and was expecting to see me at the conference. He recognized my name immediately and said he read my letter. He said he did not write me a reply because he wanted to tell me in person. He said he disagreed with my interpretations (plural which means he read at least the introduction). He said I should pray to the Holy Spirit and do all of the Sacraments like the reconciliation sacrament (He said reconciliation twice). He asked me to pray for him.

Reconciliation is the act of confessing your sins and doing penance. In my letter I said I was celibate so Dr. Hahn apparently believes my questions about interpretations of the Bible from gay Christians is a sin. So he does not feel interpretations of the Bible from gay Christians are valid.

He was not angry and I was surrounded by people so he could not explain why he disagreed with my interpretations. He could have written why he disagreed but he chose against doing that so I am left to wonder if he has weak arguments or does not want to be published talking about homosexuality. I did not see him again. Dr. Brant Pitre spoke about Matthew 19 and said it had to do with celibacy. He said the born eunuchs are people born with birth defects (without a penis) or something to that effect. It still does not fit the context of what Jesus is saying because castrated men are not celibate.

Your first gut impression is usually correct.

I returned to the hotel and slept without my usual interruptions for two days. I had a very vivid dream about Jesus Christ. Jesus was driving my old 1979 Chevette. He went into a store like a 7-11 and I noticed Him and realized it was Jesus. Other people did not recognize Him. Jesus was wearing modern clothes but His hair and beard were just like the Divine Mercy portrait. This picture of Jesus and Him being my friend and talking gently to me is the most vivid of my lifetime. I recall in the dream that my mind was so relieved that I had properly recognized Jesus and He recognized and welcomed me to ride in the car with Him. I had fun with Jesus. Jesus asked me to go for a drive in the car. I was not blind in the dream and Jesus spoke to me directly. The topic of gay did not come up in the dream. I did not see the other people in a sexual way. Jesus went to other stores to see if people would recognize Him. People would say He looked familiar but they could not place Him. Some people said they did not know Him. Jesus went to about four stores and interacted with at least a dozen people. The weather was warm and Jesus wore summer clothes. For awhile I was in the front passenger seat. At other times I was in the back seat and Joseph and Mary as infants were in the front passenger seat. After some time Jesus dropped me off some place so I got out of the car and He drove away down a rural country road. In a later scene I saw many of the disciples and Paul before seeing Jesus again on a hillside. This time everyone was wearing a robe like they were in heaven. I believed it to be my arrival in heaven.

I normally have violent dreams so this is very peculiar. I felt just as peaceful as I did on the pilgrimage. Sacred Space web page said this about my vivid dream and the fact that Jesus and I called each other by name:

‘Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine. Should you pass through the waters, I shall be with you’ (Isaiah 43: 1-2).

Saturday night I had a bipolar episode because I slept all day. I could not figure out how to retrieve messages on the hotel phone from Hal Rover. I used the F word and the other guests called a security guard per my request. I thanked the guard and manager for their help so they cancelled a call to police. I am grateful my guardian Angel told me to settle down.

On Sunday I missed Mass. So I told the Rovers that I slept a lot was because I did drugs the Wednesday night before the conference. I said there are no beds available in VA drug rehab. Pat Martin is their God son. They will talk to Pat about rehab options and pray for me. They will not disclose this confidential information to anyone except Pat, Jim Foudy and Father Lincoln. When we returned to my home the Rover’s came inside to see my grotto and acted like they would come to the blessing. The Holy Spirit told me to tell them. I will trust the Holy Spirit that I did the right thing.


What is an “Abomination”?

An abomination is that which God found detestable because it was unclean, disloyal, or unjust. Several Hebrew words were so translated, and the one found in Leviticus, toevah, is usually associated with idolatry, as in Ezekiel, where it occurs numerous times. Given the strong association of toevah with idolatry and the canaanite religious practice of cult prostitution, the use of toevah regarding male same-sex acts in Leviticus calls into question any conclusion that such condemnation also applies to loving, responsible homosexual relationships.

On the other hand, Roman Catholicism, unable to show a continuity of faith and in order to justify new doctrine, erected in the last century, a theory of “doctrinal development.”

Following the philosophical spirit of the time (and the lead of Cardinal Henry Newman), Roman Catholic theologians began to define and teach the idea that Christ only gave us an “original deposit” of faith, a “seed,” which grew and matured through the centuries. The Holy Spirit, they said, amplified the Christian Faith as the Church moved into new circumstances and acquired other needs.

Consequently, Roman Catholicism, pictures its theology as growing in stages, to higher and more clearly defined levels of knowledge. The teachings of the Fathers, as important as they are, belong to a stage or level below the theology of the Latin Middle Ages (Scholasticism), and that theology lower than the new ideas which have come after it, such as Vatican II.

All the stages are useful, all are resources; and the theologian may appeal to the Fathers, for example, but they may also be contradicted by something else, something higher or newer.

On this basis, theories such as the dogmas of “papal infallibility” and “the immaculate conception” of the Virgin Mary (about which we will say more) are justifiably presented to the Faithful as necessary to their salvation.

In any case, the truth of these dogmas have always belonged to the Christian Tradition. They have been present from the beginning of that Tradition as “hints,” seeds that only waited for the right time to bloom. http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/ortho_cath.html

Some Catholics interpret Matthew 19:12 to promote celibacy because sex outside of marriage is a sin. They stress a castrated man does not get married therefore he is not having sex (he is celibate). Many castrated men were sexually active that is why the king would make a gay castrated man the custodian of the keys to all of the rooms. In Biblical times rulers had many wives as well as concubines. Jesus never spoke about sex out of marriage except in terms of adultery. He never commented on premarital sex. Since Jesus never spoke against premarital sex or harems he is not talking about celibacy in Matthew 19:12. In fact Mathew 19;12 is not listed as one of the four times Jesus talks about human sexuality.


Summarizing Jesus’ statements involving human sexuality:

  • Divorce: He may or many not have believed that sexual misconduct was a sufficiently serious ground to justify a divorce.
  • Lust: If Matthew 5:27-28 does refer to lust directed at another man’s wife, then a clearer translation into English of Matthew 5:27-28 might be: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on [another man’s] wife with an obsessive consuming lust hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

    That is, normal feelings of attraction are not sinful.
  • The Samaritan woman: The quotation from John 4 may or may not criticize the woman’s sexual behavior and marital history.
  • The adulteress: The quotation from John 8 appears to be a forgery by an unknown author, which is not part of the original gospel of John. Its authority is questionable.

So, a case can be made that Jesus was totally silent on matters relating to sexual behavior except for the special case involving obsessive feelings of lust towards a married person other than one’s spouse.

If an individual wants to match Jesus’ expectations in inter-personal relationships, then he/she might wish to fall back on his general ethical teachings:

  • To treat and value one’s neighbor as one would wish to be treated.
  • To not be exploitive, dominating, manipulative, controlling, violent, or abusive towards others.
  • To, above all, not abuse children.

See this web page: http://www.religioustolerance.org/sex_jesu.htm

Genesis Chapter Two:

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

Body interpreted as “one flesh” because both fleshes must come together (sperm and egg) to procreate. This is about procreation and not the only form of marriage. Catholic Church assumes this means marriage because sex outside of marriage when you are not attempting to procreate is a sin.

Always Our Children:

Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers

Committee on Marriage and Family, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States of America

Approved by the NCCB Administrative Committee September 10, 1997

Released October 1, 1997

Uses the term “homosexual orientation”

For 1700 years after Sodom was destroyed Moses, the prophet Ezekiel and Jewish Rabbi’s taught that the sin of Sodom was inhospitality and idolatry. At the time of Jesus, the Roman/Jewish historian Josephus offered a new interpretation that Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality. In Matthew 10:15 Jesus Christ responded to this reinterpretation by affirming that Sodom was destroyed because of inhospitality. Apparently, Jesus believed that rejecting His disciples, or refusing to show Hospitality, was a worse sin than anything that went on in Sodom. In the book of Jude we find support for Jesus statement. The Hebrew word for Sodom has no linguistic relationship to the Hebrew word translated “sodomites”.

A summary of the Scriptural support used by Catholics against contraception can be found in Rome Sweet Home, an autobiography by the Catholic apologetics Scott and Kimberly Hahn, both of whom are converts to the Catholic Church from Protestantism.22 They illustrate the results of the research on contraception conducted by Kimberly Hahn as having a pivotal effect on their lives, notably the fact that the Catholic Church is one of the last few Christian groups to take a clear stance on the issue. Among the Scripture included in the book are the following lines from Psalm 127:

Personal Religious Freedom of Conscience (Winipeg statement)

For, the statement asserts, “The unity of the Church does not consist in a bland conformity in all ideas, but rather in a union of faith and heart, in submission to God’s will and a humble but honest and ongoing search for the truth.”[6]

Dignitatis Humanae, the Vatican II Declaration on Religious Freedom.

Family planning proponent Stephen D. Mumford has argued that the primary motivation behind the Church’s continued opposition to contraceptive use is the Church’s fear of losing papal authority if the pope were to contradict the dogma of papal infallibility[34] Mumford gives as an example the citation made by August Bernhard Hasler of a comment by Pope John Paul II prior to his papacy:

If it should be declared that contraception is not evil in itself, then we should have to concede frankly that the Holy Spirit had been on the side of the Protestant churches in 1930 (when the encyclical Casti Connubii was promulgated), in 1951 (Pius XII’s address to the midwives), and in 1958 (the address delivered before the Society of Hematologists in the year the pope died). It should likewise have to be admitted that for a half century the Spirit failed to protect Pius XI, Pius XII, and a large part of the Catholic hierarchy from a very serious error. This would mean that the leaders of the Church, acting with extreme imprudence, had condemned thousands of innocent human acts, forbidding, under pain of eternal damnation, a practice which would now be sanctioned. The fact can neither be denied nor ignored that these same acts would now be declared licit on the grounds of principles cited by the Protestants, which popes and bishops have either condemned or at least not approved.[35]

I am disappointed about my relationship with Dr. Hahn. (See my e mail 2-17-11). However since he wrote a book to oppose the use of contraception should I be surprised by his response? If Hahn said my views were valid he would be asserting the Pope’s infallibility is false. Hahn offered no Biblical evidence to oppose my interpretations of the Bible. From Sacred Space February 17, 2011:

I exist in a web of relationships – links to nature, people, God. I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them.

Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment. I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

Lent 2011 USCCB publish revised Old Testament which shows the Bible could be incorrect about gays.

Only one in four (New Jerusalem Bible) uses the word homosexual.

Early reports have focused on new translations for English words that have changed their popular meaning since 1970. In Judges 8:24-25, where Gideon once asked his troops, “Will each of you give me a ring from his booty?” he now says, “Give me, each of you, a ring from his spoils.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11068/1130584-84.stm#ixzz1G8dVSKUs

Roman Centurion and Pais

1929 Bible Matthew uses words “boy” and “bondservant” to distinguish between lover who was healed and the other servants of the centurion

Luke says “servant who was dear unto him”

Add 1929 Bible information.]

At the WCBC Dr. Hahn advised me to go to Confession. Here is his reply to my follow-up question as to what sin I had to confess.

Dear Tom,

Thank you for your email, and sorry it has taken so long to respond! My name is Katie Staudt, a research assistant to Dr. Hahn. Due to the large amount of emails he receives, he asked me to respond to yours. Dr. Hahn is deeply humbled that you’re seeking his advice.

In regards your question, I have provided some resources that will help ask you prepare and go to the Sacrament of Confession.

This link will give you an examination of conscience to go through before you go to Confession. Basically, it goes through the Ten Commandments and gives you questions that will help you to examine your soul: http://www.ncregister.com/info/confession_guide_for_adults/

This link that help you know what to say and do during the Sacrament of Confession: http://www.bustedhalo.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/how-to-confess.pdf

Also, if you have an Iphone there is a great new application that helps prepare for Confession: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/confession-a-roman-catholic/id416019676?mt=8

Finally, if you haven’t already, I would recommend reading Dr. Hahn’s book Lord Have Mercy:The Healing Power of Confession, which is available here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385501706?ie=UTF8&tag=scotthcom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0385501706

I hope this helps, Tom. Know you will be in our prayers. Thank you for praying for the Hahns, please keep them in prayer! May God bless you abundantly!

In Jesus and Mary,
Katie Staudt
St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology


From: tom swann
Sent: Monday, January 17, 2011 3:06 PM
To: Dr. Scott Hahn
Subject: Please recommend what I should say at Reconciliation

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and offer advice to me. I have added your name to my daily prayer list as you asked me to pray for you. You twice spoke of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I am celibate. Can you please recommend what I need to say at confession? Your advice is confidential. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Your friend,

Tom Swann


Friday August 12, 2011

The word of God
Matthew 19:3-12

Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning “made them male and female”, and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’ They said to him, ‘Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?’ He said to them, ‘It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but at the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.’ His disciples said to him, ‘If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.’ But he said to them, ‘Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’

Some thoughts on today’s scripture

• Jesus calls us to high ideals and wants us to imitate both his ambition and his understanding. Whether we marry remain single, we are called to live wholeheartedly.
• I pray with thanks for all the people I know who have been able to live out their desires and dreams. I pray with compassion for all who have been disappointed by the changing circumstances of their lives.


The Pharisees ask Jesus about divorce which means this portion of the gospel deals with marriage and not celibacy.

The disciples say it is better that a man and his wife (a woman) not marry. Then Jesus describes three classes of men that do not marry women.



In December 1978 I was blessed by Pope John Paul II. I am a convert to the Roman Catholic Church. In 1994 the ACLU and I won a historic legal case against the Department of the Navy that gained equal employment opportunities for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) civilian workers. In 2001 I led the effort to dedicate America’s first LGBT Veteran’s Memorial. In 2003 I presented an award to late President Gerald Ford. I am openly gay at my church in Palm Desert and have chosen to be celibate. I “came out” at my church to Republican anti-gay presidential candidate Rick Santorum. I am devoted to the Virgin Mary and I regularly recite the Rosary. Even though my church opposes gay marriage I would never leave my church. It is too important to me.

Recently Pope Benedict XVI said he was going to resign as the Pope. He has been a sharp critic of gay marriage and the use of condoms. So who will be the new Pope is a top concern for gay Catholics like me. Will the next Pope be a gay hater or gay-friendly? The church gives structure and meaning to my life. Who is selected as the next Pope directly impacts my life.

One of the cardinals reportedly being considered as the new Pope has supported the proposed “Kill the Gays” law in Uganda. I personally met with the Christians In Commerce leader of Uganda to talk about this law. I feel that if Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana is selected as the next Pope it will be a disaster for gay Catholics. I am hoping a younger person with more tolerance toward gays will be chosen next month.

The Catholic Church opposes homosexuality, anal sex, oral sex, masturbation, contraception, condoms and other things because the church says sexual intercourse should only take place when the couple is attempting to procreate. I feel the church should realize the vast majority of church members have sex for pleasure. It is hypocritical for a sexually-active heterosexual couple past the age of bearing children to condemn gays because in the eyes of the church the couple is living in sin. I became infected with HIV in 1990 because I did not use a condom. I hope the new Pope approves condom use because it saves lives.

I feel that people who oppose equality for gays lack the self assurance that God truly loves them. The love that you show to others is related to how much you feel that God loves you. If you have the love of God in your heart then you can love gays.

Some people believe homosexuality is a sin. They feel the devil tempts people to be gay. Yet we know God is the author of same-sex attraction. According to Wikipedia “Homosexual behavior is found amongst social birds and mammals, particularly the sea mammals and the primates”. Satan cannot tempt animals to be gay because they have no soul. Homosexuality is part of nature. Please see this web page:


The Catholic Church teaches in the document titled: “PERSONA HUMANA DECLARATION ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS CONCERNING SEXUAL ETHICS” that homosexuality is an orientation and not a lifestyle choice. The church states “homosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution judged to be incurable”.

Innate defined as inborn and natural. Pathological defined as compulsive. The Catechism promotes compassion toward gays and that discrimination should not take place. The church permits gays to be priests as long as they are celibate. I have met an openly gay priest in our diocese at a special mass for the LGBT community sponsored by the Bishop.

In Luke chapter three it states that “John the Baptist said, “He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”. In Romans chapter five it states “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us”. Gays like me have been filled with the Holy Spirit. We have witnessed miracles. We know God loves us.

The first time an English-language Bible contained a condemnation of homosexuality is 1958. In the New Testament the Apostle Paul speaks out against cultic homosexual practices with temple prostitutes. The Romans believed if they had sex with a surrogate for God they would be prosperous. Paul did not condemn homosexuality as we know it today. Since Genesis chapter six people have desired to have sex with the divine. In Sodom a crowd gathered outside of Lot’s house wanting to have sex with angels.

At Gay Christian 101 web pages


you will discover that the Bible affirms gay relationships. In Mathew 19:12 Jesus says “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb”. Eunuchs who are born that way are gay.

In the Old Testament (! Samuel 20:30) King Saul accuses Jonathan of having a homosexual relationship with David. In the New Testament (Mathew 8 and Luke 7) Jesus heals the gay lover of a Roman centurion. In Acts chapter 8 an Ethiopian gay man is baptized by the Apostle Phillip. There is much Biblical evidence that God is extending his salvation to gays.

I have travelled to Fatima and Lourdes where the Virgin Mary held apparitions. I follow closely Mary’s statements twice per month at Medjugorje. At no time has Mary ever spoken against gays. The only exception is the Bayside New York prophecies which were determined to be a hoax. In my view this demonstrates that Satan stirs up hatred toward gays.

In my book I mention the importance of diversity to God. In the sixteenth century the Bishop of Mexico City asked Juan Diego for a sign that he was really meeting with the Virgin Mary. He asked Juan Diego to have Mary create some red Castilian roses on the snowy mountain top at the next apparition. The next time Juan Diego saw Mary he found many roses. He began to gather the red roses to show the Bishop. Mary said a diversity of roses will be my sign to the Bishop. Then Mary gathered roses of various colors and placed them inside Juan Diego’s tilma.

Hopefully the next Pope will discontinue the church’s vehement opposition to gay marriage.

The Bible says God created Adam and Eve. It does not mention that God created a gay person called Steve.The Bible also does not say God created grandmothers. Even though the Bible does not give God credit for creating grandmothers we know that they do exist in our society. The Bible does not mention Steve but that does not mean God did not create him.

The Catholic Church has not always opposed marriage equality. Gay Christian 101 web page describes two male saints who were married when it says “in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, St. Serge is openly described as the “sweet companion and lover” of St. Bacchus. Please see this web page:


In Genesis chapter two it says the following: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”. This verse describes the union of a man and woman to procreate. It does not say whether or not a gay man can be the “wife” of another gay man.

The Bible demonstrates God has been willing to bless various kinds of marriages. In Genesis chapter 20 God permits Abraham to marry his sister Sarah. In both Leviticus chapters 18 and 20 this type of marriage was forbidden by God. The children of Israel in the Old Testament asked God to change the laws about marriage several times and each time God approved their request. Gay Christian 101 web page says the following: “The authentic Biblical values of polygamy, marriage with slaves, marriage with virgin prisoners of war and marriage with concubines, are as much a part of family values as the marriage of Adam and Eve”. So God can certainly bless a same-sex marriage.

Please see this web page:


So I hope and pray the new Pope will be receptive to new ideas about LGBT people. I remain a loyal Catholic. I am not trying to disrupt the operation of the church. This article should not be considered a protest against the Catholic Church. The church permits its members to follow their conscience and this is what I believe. I welcome your feedback.

Tom Swann
February 18, 2013


Tom meets with Uganda Leader about the Kill the Gays Law


Photo below is Tom and Aloysius Mugisa in Tempe Arizona October 29

VFP President Tom Swann attended the national Christians inn Commerce conference in Tempe last month. One of the highlights took place when Tom met with the Christians in Commerce leader from Uganda. Tom shared with Aloysius Mugisa that he is a homosexual Christian living with AIDS. Tom said he was against the proposed “kill the gays” law in Uganda where the culture is very much opposed to homosexuality. Aloysius said gay teachers were recruiting their students to become gay. Swann countered there is a difference between homosexuality and pedophilia. Tom shared in the Bible Matthew 19:12 Jesus Christ says eunuchs are born that way. The word eunuch is used to describe gays in the Old Testament Book of Sirach. If God makes people gay why should they be killed? Tom said he opposed the death penalty. Both men agreed to continue their dialogue via e mail. Tom said he might consider going to Uganda as a missionary though his life would be at risk.

To find out more about the “kill the gays” law go to this web page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBq8EFiIFp8


Rev. Joseph Lowery ordaining Tom as a chaplain on Easter Sunday 2006 in Camp Casey, Texas

December 10, 1978 while Sgt. Swann was in the Marine Corps. Papal blessing at the Vatican

Dr. Scott Hahn and Tom
Dr. Hahn is famous author, lecturer and Catholic theologian.

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