Our prelates are playing an extremely dangerous game with the Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Blessed Lord.
Catholics around the world are sitting on pins and needles while bishops and cardinals in Rome play word games with Catholic moral teaching. The supreme irony here is that while the faithful are desperately looking for clearly defined teaching from the supreme authority of the Church, the faithful are being told in press conferences that authority should be deferred to local ordinaries to make decisions on how to deal with issues like homosexuality and divorce.
The most contentious issues being discussed at this synod, as indicated in last year’s Midterm Report, are:
- Positive aspects of civil unions and cohabitation
- Caring for broken families (separated couples, the divorced who have not remarried, the divorced and remarried)
- Providing for homosexual persons
All of this is being discussed, of course, under the guise of “mercy.”
One example of the rationale behind these discussions comes from this statement from Cardinal John Dew of New Zealand, who said:
“When we have documents which talk about intrinsically disordered or being evil, it’s not going to help people. We’ve got to find a way to express what the teaching actually says, but not putting it in ways that people feel that they’re being branded and they’re being told that they’re bad or evil.”
Speaking to Crux Magazine, Synod father Archbishop Coleridge of Australia said, “[We need] a new way of speaking about the situation of those who are same-sex attracted or in a same-sex partnership of some kind.”
And on the one year anniversary of last year’s midterm report, Benedictine Jeremias Schröder, the archabbot president of the Congregation of Sant’Ottilia suggested that the social acceptance of homosexuality was culturally diverse, and so therefore bishops conferences should be allowed to “formulate pastoral responses that are in tune with what can be preached and announced and lived in a different context.”
Let’s try to put this all in perspective. Here, on the ground level, prelates and laity are all scratching their heads about how to molly-coddle adulterers and sodomites while simultaneously maintaining the unchanging teaching of the Catholic Church. We’ll start with the question of “homosexual persons.”
First of all, there is no such thing as a “homosexual person.” The inerrant Word of God in the Book of Genesis says, “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27). Again, Genesis says, “This is the record of the descendants of Adam. When God created human beings, he made them in the likeness of God; he created them male and female.” (Genesis 5:1-2) Our Blessed Lord, in the Gospel of Mark, quoted this line from Genesis, explaining the PURPOSE for which man was created male and female, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. 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.” (Mark 10:6-8) Matthew tells of this same account in the 19th chapter of his Gospel.
Mankind was created by God with two, and ONLY two genders. Male and female. These genders were created with the purpose of marriage. As such, homosexual acts and tendencies are completely contrary to the created order, so there is no such thing as a “homosexual person.”
The sin of sodomy is built around sexual temptation. One chooses to either engage in the act or to resist it. It’s that simple. To speak of “homosexual persons” is to reduce the individual to identity with sin and sinful tendencies. We may as well speak of “murderous persons,” or “cannibalistic persons,” “or pedophilic persons,” or “necrophilic persons” or “bestiphilic persons.” Would it be appropriate for prelates of the Church to discuss whether or not men who notoriously engage in sexual activities with their pets should be integrated into the Catholic community, or if they should be permitted to receive Holy Communion with their abused pet in their arms?
Suppose the press conferences coming from the Synod weren’t discussing how we should integrate “homosexual persons” into the congregation, possibly even giving them Holy Communion, but how to integrate necrophiliacs into the congregation. Suddenly, the conversation takes a different turn. But because modern society has been desensitized to homosexuality through active propaganda campaigns since the late 1980’s, cultural attitudes have shifted. What has not shifted is God’s immutable law.
Here’s the thing … the question about how to handle individuals who struggle with homosexual temptations has already been answered by St. Paul.
“Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
In other words, those whom he says “used to be” adulterers, fornicators, sodomites, etc. have left those sins behind them. St. Paul points out, “you have been purchased at a price,” helping people understand the great need to live chastely and virtuously by putting “to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5) Telling someone that “being a homosexual” is ok, so long as they don’t act upon it is not only false, but extremely dangerous.
If a cardinal or bishop observed a group of children playing in a mine field, should he say to the children, “I’m so happy to see you playing. Don’t stop on my account, but come to the Church when you have finished”? To say such a thing to those children, who are in extreme danger, would be supremely reckless, wicked and hateful. No, the first response should be to exclaim with force and urgency, “STOP what you’re doing! One more step from any of you, and all of you could be killed.”
This is the spiritual reality facing those who are engaging in homosexual activities. In fact, it’s true also for those living in adultery and all others engaged in gravely sinful activities.
And the question of Communion for divorced and “re-married” Catholics? St. Paul very clearly teaches, “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.” (1 Cor. 11:26-27) The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2120 says, “Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist.” If cardinals and bishops adopt a policy of giving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Blessed Lord to Catholics known to be living in a state of adultery, they might as well be handing these individuals cyanide tablets. It is spiritual death to commit sacrilege by receiving Communion unworthily, but for those cardinals and bishops who permit such sacrileges to take place, we need only call to mind the words of Our Blessed Lord to Pontius Pilot, “the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”
It bears remembering here that the Synod has absolutely no teaching or disciplinary authority whatsoever. The Synod Fathers could vote tomorrow to suggest that individuals approaching for Holy Communion must do so in their birthday suits. The Synod could vote to reaffirm 2,000 years of consistent teaching of the Church. Whatever the outcome, for good or ill, for right or wrong, the Synod just doesn’t have the ability to impose any change at all.
So, what’s the point? Why are these things even being discussed? The reason is a simple, but harsh reality. There are unscrupulous men in clerical garb who disbelieve the teachings of the Church and wish to change them. They know that the Synod will not have any authority to enact change, but just as many dissident cardinals, bishops and priests did after the second Vatican council, they intend to enact illicit changes after the Synod is over “in the Spirit” of the Synod. How do we know this? Because Cardinal Marx already said so. In February of this year, Cardinal Marx said:
“The synod cannot prescribe in detail what we have to do in Germany … We are not just a subsidiary of Rome. Each episcopal conference is responsible for the pastoral care in their culture and has to proclaim the Gospel in its own unique way. We cannot wait until a synod states something, as we have to carry out marriage and family ministry here.”
Whatever is decided or reported on at the Synod makes no difference. Church teaching cannot and will not change. Stand firm against illicit and immoral practices when faced with them, and in the meantime, pray, fast, and make reparations for those seeking harmful changes. As St. Padre Pio would say, “Pray, hope and don’t worry.”