I’d Like to Expand on Ed’s Excellent Piece at Hotair Concerning Francis, Homosexuality and Sin in the Catholic Church

Posted: January 26, 2023 by datechguy in catholic, catholic devotions
Tags: , , , , ,

I know it’s redundant to say that a piece by Ed Morrissey is excellent but this particular piece at Hotair titled:

Pope Francis: It’s no crime to be gay — but …

is worth expanding on.

Let’s start at the end rather than at the beginning because he brought up an excellent point that a lot of people forgot in the marriage family debate concerning the Church in Africa:

The AP suggests this is more prevalent in Africa, which is also where the Catholic Church is experiencing its most dynamic growth. The bishops from Africa have argued hard for a firm defense of church teachings on family, and have many good reasons for doing so. As at least one told me directly while I covered the Synod on the Family at the Vatican in 2014, any erosion of that position on same-sex relationships would be disastrous in Africa and the efforts to end polygamy among other religious and secular populations.

He quotes John Allen on the subject:

When cardinals from around the world met in Rome last February [2013] to set the table for the October synod on the family, some prelates from non-Western cultures hinted that polygamy may drive them to oppose any change in the ban on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving the sacraments.

Their argument went like this: The Catholic Church has been telling people in polygamous marriages that they have to change because marriage means one man and one woman, for life. If the Church softens that teaching for the divorced and remarried, it might face pressure to cut a deal for polygamists, too. …

“They’ve been telling people that if you come into the church, you’ve got to choose one wife,” DiNardo said. “If you suddenly change that, couldn’t [people in polygamous marriages] say, ‘Why can’t you give me a break, too?’ ”

The thing is Christ when talking about marriage being between one man and women & inviolate was rather explicit on this point:

Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply,

“Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘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, no human being must separate.”

They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss (her)?” He said to them,

“Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.”

[His] disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” He answered,

“Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

Matthew 19:3-13 Underline emphasis mine

That underlined portion I highlighted concerning “some being incapable of marriage because they were born that way “ is key to understanding the Catholic position on Homosexuality and understanding Francis’ distinction between “crime” & “sin”

Being homosexual is not a crime. It’s not a crime. Yes, it’s a sin. Well, yes, but let’s make the distinction first between sin and crime.”

Ed expresses the church’s position on this very plainly

Nothing about this statement is new. To speak in strictly technical terms, Francis errs to the harsh side (clearly inadvertently), as the Catholic Church’s catechism doesn’t make same-sex orientation a sin in itself. Same-sex actions are sinful, as are any sexual relations outside of a marriage based on the traditional model of one-man-one-woman. Sexual activity is blessed within such marriages (if consensual) and are sins in any other context. This is why the catechism urges Catholics to welcome gays as brothers and sisters, so that they can also hear the Word and repent of their sins, the way the rest of us do — and as long as they repent and resolve to sin no more, they can access all of the sacraments. Repenting means either engaging in a sacramental marriage and monogamy, or choosing celibacy … again, just as it does for every other Catholic.

It’s the repent-and-sin-no-more issue that is the sticking point, just as it is for all of us.

Emphasis mine

And that’s where the rubber really meets the road here.

As a person who struggles with habitual sin let me tell you it’s not easy. It’s a fight, and every fall is not only painful but is embarrassing when you have to go back to the priest to confess the same sins that you’ve resolve to avoid again and again. Victory can take years and like a person in AA you’re always subject to relapse.

However some have decided that it’s much easier to redefine sin rather than fighting it. If suddenly something is no longer sinful, you can do it with impunity! (I suspect there are more than a few people who might have considered being catholic clergy when young who left for liberal protestant sects because they have redefined their sins and even celebrated them, even if God has not) Why do all that work to repent when you can by fiat suddenly decide sin isn’t sin.

And let me note that this attitude isn’t just about sexual sin as illustrated by American’s society sudden embrace of theft as not a big deal if done in the right cities by the right people.

How should this be approached: Very simply as Ed notes:

The 2014 synod left many of these issues dangling, at least in the eyes of activists on all sides. It ended with Francis, then in the middle of his second year as Pope, with a declaration of welcome to all regardless of family status, but again clearly on the terms of Church teaching.

Or to put it another way, a person in a state of Mortal Sin, even continual Mortal sin should not skip mass because adding an additional mortal sin to the pile doesn’t help one toward salvation.

So how should the church handle homosexuality or even those in a gay marriage who want to go to church or receive the sacraments? Well for me the answer comes from apply what Fr. John Zuhlsdorf said when asked: In what scenario would you give Holy Communion to the divorced and remarried? Job one is for the priest to educate the people involved:

If a couple who are civilly married, etc. etc., have entered into a process with a priest who has helped them to see what their situation truly is (according to the teaching of Christ and His Church), then they know that what they are doing is wrong.  They know that they are in an adulterous union and that they have committed mortal sins.  Therefore, they know that are not properly disposed to receive Communion.  They also know that Communion is not “the white thing”.

That is what the priest must help them to understand.  That is his duty, at the peril of his own immortal soul and theirs.

That duty of a priest to his own soul is something often ignored but it all comes down to this

If they really get the Eucharist, with the full implications of receiving as Paul describes in 1 Cor 11:27 (“Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.”), and if they really get the Four Last Things, then … would they really want to put at risk their eternal salvation by sacrilegious reception?

If they have been working with a sound priest who helps them to understand what mortal sin is and what matrimony is according to the Church’s teachings – BECAUSE THAT’S HIS JOB! – would they really want to receive Communion in their irregular state?

Or course there may be times when they fail in their determination to live in continence and they have sexual relations.

What then?

Simple.  They go to confession and start over with a firm purpose of amendment.

That’s what we all do when we sin in any way.  We go to confession with a firm purpose of amendment and start over with God’s help.  In some Amoris scenario, they might have to live in a near occasion of sin, but for the sake of care of children, etc., they have to bear their Cross.

However, there is a rock solid principle that cannot be set aside: No firm purpose of amendment, no Communion.

underline emphasis mine

That’s what it really comes down to. Do people want to be seen being at church and getting communion and having sins “accepted” for the sake of their own self esteem or cultural goals? Or do they want to save their souls?

If it’s the later then we should do what we can to help them along this path. If it’s the former, we should walk away to avoid being pulled down the slippery slope and into the pit.

If there is one useful thing that the international movement on Transgenderism has done it’s been to illustrate that the “slippery slope” that we’ve been warning about for decades, it’s as much a slope as it is a Luge track but I digress…

Comments
  1. […] for All This Stuff? CDR Salamander: Riverine: our Stupidity is Ukraine’s Gift Da Tech Guy: I’d Like to Expand on Ed’s Excellent Piece at Hotair Concerning Francis, Homosexuality and Sin i…, also, Did Kamala Harris declare that life is not an Unalienable Right? Don Surber: Ron Or Don? […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s