German dissent — who’s to blame & what does the Church teach?

Almost a week ago I posted on the present situation in Germany where, following a correction from the CDF on the validity of blessing same sex relationships, there was a huge backlash with many bishops and priests openly flouting Church teaching and flying the "gay pride" flag.

This is simply a symptom of the situation discussed in my post yesterday: as every parent knows well, if you don't teach and explain why something is wrong to your children, you can't be surprised when they go off in the wrong direction. Moreover, the Pope has been sending out strong pro-gay signals since he took office and has done nothing up to now to address the increasingly blatant flouting of this teaching throughout the Church (our own Cardinal has been at it for decades).

Pope Francis himself blessed a gay couple in July 2015 to later have Ciro Benedettini, the Vatican Spokesperson, asserting that in no way is the letter “meant to endorse behaviours and teachings unfit to the Gospel”.

The same year, Pope Francis met with Kim Davis (a county clerk who defied a U.S. federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples), to which later the Vatican clarified that this meeting "does not endorse Davis’s views."


Speaking about gay people in 2013, we had the notorious “free-wheeling” interview on the plane when the Pope said, "the key is for the church to welcome, not exclude, and show mercy, not condemnation." He said, "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?" "The problem," he continued, "is not having this orientation. We must be brothers." The pope has reiterated the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality, including its position on marriage. Those who act on their homosexuality are in direct conflict with Christian teaching. He has also been outspoken on the need to be compassionate towards LGBT+ people, and was named the Person of the Year by the LGBT magazine The Advocate. In 2019, Pope Francis reiterated that Catholic teaching states that homosexual tendencies "are not a sin”, but acting upon it is a sin, which is correct of course.

In the documentary Francesco, which was released in October 2020, Pope Francis expressed support for same-sex civil unions.

Anyway, there are loads of examples, Wikipedia has a good summary and, when you read the comments, with a few slightly confusing exceptions, he does try to be open and compassionate while holding to Church teaching. 

It is vital that Catholics accept every single one of us is made in the image and likeness of God irrespective of sexual orientation. A huge mistake we have made over the centuries is to apply Jesus’ teachings on sexuality to homosexuals while ignoring heterosexual misconduct as if it was somehow of another order. It is not. We need to be equally clear that all forms of sexual sin are equally as damaging for the individual and we all suffer from temptation we must overcome.

I think the problem is he just chooses not to talk about Church teaching, or explain it (which, after all, is his job!). The result is that he is seen as signalling a forward trajectory on the issue which has encouraged elements within the Church who are constantly pushing for a change. Perhaps the most prominent advocate for this change in the Church is the Jesuit Fr James Martin who, despite an alarming reputation for courting controversy, particularly on this issue, was promoted by Pope Francis to a Vatican Communications post & was received in a private audience with the Holy Father, a meeting of which Fr Martin, of course, made great political capital from.

You only have to have a brief scan of the organisations working to subvert Church teaching on human sexuality to assess the impact of Pope Francis’ pontificate in this area. They’re all utterly convinced he wants to endorse homosexuality. In all honesty, who can Catholics blame for giving them that impression if not the Holy Father himself?

Fundamentally the idea that we could change Church teaching on this issue runs up against a number of brick walls.
1. It would existentially mean a separation between the unitive and procreative ends of sexual intercourse. This would mean that acts like masturbation become acceptable. Contraception is impossible to argue against and the warnings of Pope Paul VI in Humanae vitae appear front and centre.
2. It would mean a rejection of the teaching of Our Blessed Lord Himself.
3. The hypocrisy meter among the general public would increase to “off the scale”.
4. If gay sex is OK, what’s wrong with sex outside marriage for everyone?

What the Church teaches in this respect is powerful, beautiful and applies equally to heterosexuals as homosexuals. Yes it is counter to the prevailing culture, but the whole point of being Christian is to be a light and a sign to the culture, not to take our lead from the culture.

In this video, Dr Mary Healy speaks about the situation in Germany and explains Church teaching on this issue:

 

Comments

  1. Don Pietro Leone writing on Vatican Council II and other religions on the web blog Rorate Caeili cites Unitatis Redintigratio,the Decree on Ecumenism, as if they are non hypothetical and objective exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus(EENS) in 1965-2021.This is an error in reasoning. His premise is false. So his conclusion has to be non traditional.
    For me the theoretical and speculative lines from Unitatis Redintigratio or Lumen Gentium which he has quoted was a weak attempt by some of the Council Fathers, to eliminate the dogma EENS and the ecumenism of return, of the Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius IX.
    Why does Leone still have to interpret Vatican Council II with the confusion of the liberals and Lefebvrists ?
    So what if Yves Congar and the others were present at Vatican Council II ? If UR 3 and LG 8, LG 14,LG 16, UR 3, NA 2, GS 22 refer to invisible cases in our reality, then they cannot be practical exceptions to EENS and the exclusivist ecclesiology of the Catholic Church.
    But for Leone they are exceptions.Since he has confused UR 3, LG 8 etc as being objective examples of salvation outside the Catholic Church. Real people saved without faith and baptism and who are known to us.This is irrational. There are no such known people. If any one was saved outside the Church it would only be known to God.Yet for Leone Vatican Council II contradicts the dogma EENS.
    Why don’t the Lefebvrists, like Leone, affirm the strict interpretation of EENS and not the liberal version, which projects UR 3,LG 8 as being practical exceptions to Tradition in general and exclusive salvation in particular ?.
    There are no objective cases of non Catholics saved outside the Catholic Church and so there cannot be practical exceptions to EENS. There cannot be any mentioned in Vatican Council II, unless of course a false premise continues to be employed.
    Why should Catholics use the false premise and interpret Vatican Council II like Don Pietro Leone, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf,Cardinal Raymond Burke and the new Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship ?
    Rorate Caeili and Don Leone are really promoting the liberal version of Vatican Council II. They please the Masons who want the Council to be interpreted as a rupture with Catholic Tradition.It is as if Rorate Caeili has to interpet UR 3 as a rupture with an ecumenism of return or the retired Jewish Left profesor at the Angelicum, Rome, will object once again.
    The big names at Vatican Council II, who thought they could get rid of the dogma EENS, by employing the error in the Letter of the Holy Ofice 1949, which was overlooked by Pope Pius XII and Pope John XXIII,did not know that there was a built in error.The baptism of desire and being saved in invincible ignorance do not refer to objective cases in our time and space.So they never ever were exceptions to EENS or the Athanasius Creed which says outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation.

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