I try to shy away from covering religion, not because it’s not important…it is…but because if you are not part of a particular denomination, you can find yourself looking pig-ignorant and ridiculous, things to which no pundit should ever aspire unless they are working for The Bulwark, The Dispatch, or the North American Man-Boy Lincoln Association (h/t to Ace at Ace of Spades for that moniker). For instance, last week, someone named Beth Moore announced she was leaving the Southern Baptist. Convention. I was assured she was a super important person whose exit portended grim times for the SBC. It was probably newsworthy, but I took a pass on it because a) I don’t belong to the SBC, and b) because of that, I didn’t feel comfortable discussing it.
Likewise, as a Catholic, I don’t write a lot about the inside baseball of the Catholic Church unless it has some larger meaning. Sometimes, though, stories run that demand comment—one of those happened today.
When I checked email first thing this morning, I saw this headline for a news alert from the Washington Post:
The actual headline is even better: Pope Francis says priests cannot bless same-sex unions, dashing hopes of gay Catholics.
The “explanatory note,” issued by the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog, carries the weight of a universal ground rule for the Roman Catholic Church — and it regards one of the most controversial inside an institution divided over its stance on sexuality.
Many gay Catholics had been hopeful that Francis would create more openness inside the church, not only by speaking more welcomingly about homosexuality, but by changing church law. In a documentary released last year, the pontiff had called for the creation of civil union laws so that same-sex couples are “legally covered.”
But Monday’s decree suggests that Francis, while interested in outreach to the church’s LGBT followers, does not favor a dramatic overhaul of church teaching. In various nations, the Catholic church has long fought against LGBT rights, and past popes have called same sex unions deviant or a moral evil. Officially, the church teaches that homosexual acts are “disordered.”
The decree, rather than changing official church practice, is an attempt to dissuade priests who might already be considering performing such blessings. Some bishops have spoken out in favor of giving church blessings to same-sex unions, and the issue has become a major topic in countries like Germany, where many leaders feel the church needs to modernize in its social teachings.
This is actually NOT news, breaking or otherwise. It is doctrine.
I hope I don’t get punted by Facebook for saying this, but according to the Catechism, homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
You’ll note that the prohibition is on “acts,” not attraction.
From this alone, even the dimmest bulb should have recognized that “blessing” a depraved lifestyle is not something that any priest should do, but we are beset with Germans who have never found a social fad to which they can’t subscribe.
Combine the previous definition with the definition of marriage, that is, between one man and one woman for life. The calls to “bless” homosexual unions are not only calling for official recognition of a lifestyle that prevents salvation, but it is also blasphemous in that it essentially endorses a mockery of one of the Sacraments of the Church.
A fundamental misunderstanding in the article is an assumption, a pernicious one that some profoundly evil men push, not a few of whom are Jesuits, that somehow these rules are “church law.” They aren’t. Marriage is defined for all Christians by Jesus Christ, Himself.
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.”
So, how did we get to the sad state of affairs where a Pope disappoints the press and [gasp] homosexual Catholics because he upholds 2,000 years of Christian theology? Two reasons.
We’ve had some very awful and sinful Popes over the ages. If they have one, their saving grace is that they debased themselves by attempting to aggrandize wealth and power and sensual pleasures and didn’t muck about with the Deposit of Faith. Pope Francis is the first Pope who gives the impression of being more than willing to change Catholic teaching that he finds distasteful. The operative word there is “impression.” Our current Pope appears to be in love with his own press clippings. To get those favorable mentions, he says ambiguous things that can be picked up by our heretics and pointed to as the Pope approving of whatever heresy they are espousing. He’s careful, mostly, to never put anything heterodox in writing though his pastoral exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), is so close to being overtly heretical that four Cardinals took the unprecedented step of publicly demanding clarification of some highly questionable statements…and for which they have yet to receive an answer. A prime example of his nebulous pronouncements that seem calculated to be misunderstood was his infamous “who am I to judge?” statement. Other public actions have led many Catholics, liberal and faithful alike, to believe that he is seeking some way to legitimize all manner of sexual perversions. For instance, his meeting with a transgender person gave the impression that he endorsed transgenderism. His private meeting with a homosexual and his partner was portrayed as endorsing homosexual unions. His private meeting with our own Apostle to Teh Gheys, the virulently homosexualist Jesuit Father James Martin, that seemed to endorse Martin’s heresy also gave rise to rumors that Martin is being groomed to be a bishop. (Let’s not even get into the times when he’s appeared to deny key Christian teachings.) So it’s no wonder that liberal smells-and-bells Catholics were convinced that the Church was on the cusp of recognizing homosexual marriages.
The second reason is that the Catholic Church is under assault by a heresy, unlike anything it has faced since the Protestant Reformation. It is a heresy that has already declared victory over many Protestant denominations. That heresy is modernism. By the way, if you are a Catholic and not a regular listener to Taylor Marshall, you are doing it all wrong.
So there we are. The Pope has defended Western Civilization, and we have a news story that is literally a Far Side cartoon.