Over at the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) I saw a self-indulgent piece by the new contributor, Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ. He wrote a longish offering called “Sodom, homosexuality, drone strikes and prayer”.
Here is a sample of Reese’s post (with my emphases):
Pope Francis made clear [to reporters on the airplane] that being gay is not an impediment for ordination. For him, the issue is not orientation but whether a person is a good priest. Even if a priest fails in celibacy, one can “then convert, and the Lord both forgives and forgets. We don’t have the right to refuse to forget.” The pope made it clear that there is no room for homophobia either in the church or society. But if I had said what he said 24 hours before he said it, I would have been reported to the archbishop.
First, Reese is playing the drama queen to his base. That’s clear enough, but leave that aside.
Second, how can Reese say that, if in his sermon in Frisco last Sunday, he had he said what Pope Francis said on the plane, he would have been be reported to the archbishop?
For saying what, exactly?
The Pope’s words (my emphases):
QUESTION: I would like to ask permission to pose a rather delicate question. Another image that went around the world is that of Monsignor Ricca and the news about his personal life. I would like to know, your Holiness, what will be done about this question. How should one deal with this question and how does your Holiness wish to deal with the whole question of the gay lobby?
FRANCIS: Regarding the matter of Monsignor Ricca, I did what Canon Law required and did the required investigation. And from the investigation, we did not find anything corresponding to the accusations against him. We found none of that. That is the answer. But I would like to add one more thing to this: I see that so many times in the Church, apart from this case and also in this case, one looks for the “sins of youth,” for example, is it not thus?, And then these things are published. These things are not crimes. The crimes are something else: child abuse is a crime. But sins, if a person, or secular priest or a nun, has committed a sin and then that person experienced conversion, the Lord forgives and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is very important for our lives. When we go to confession and we truly say “I have sinned in this matter,” the Lord forgets and we do not have the right to not forget because we run the risk that the Lord will not forget our sins, eh? This is a danger. This is what is important: a theology of sin. So many times I think of St. Peter: he committed one of the worst sins denying Christ. And with this sin they made him Pope. We must think about fact often.
But returning to your question more concretely: in this case [Ricca] I did the required investigation and we found nothing. That is the first question. Then you spoke of the gay lobby. Agh… so much is written about the gay lobby. I have yet to find on a Vatican identity card the word gay. They say there are some gay people here. I think that when we encounter a gay person, we must make the distinction between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of a lobby, because lobbies are not good. They are bad. If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this point beautifully but says, wait a moment, how does it say, it says, these persons must never be marginalized and “they must be integrated into society.”
The problem is not that one has this tendency; no, we must be brothers, this is the first matter. There is another problem, another one: the problem is to form a lobby of those who have this tendency, a lobby of the greedy people, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of Masons, so many lobbies. This is the most serious problem for me. And thank you so much for doing this question. Thank you very much!
That’s what the Pope said.
Did Francis, in those off-the-cuff comments on an airplane, reverse the Congregation for Catholic Education’s 2005 document restricting men with deeply ingrained, long-standing homosexual histories from priestly ordination?
Corollary: is that how official, dicasterial documents are reversed? In off-the-cuff comments?
What His Holiness said, when broken down, is this:
- there is a gay lobby in the Vatican,
- no one knows for sure who’s in it,
- we need to distinguish between homosexual priests working in the Curia who a) may be part of an insidious power-brokering careerist sham, b) are not part of any such cabal, but who, much like some of their heterosexual counterparts, sin and then seek absolution and want to amend their lives, c) are living chaste lives.
But Reese, and others who promote the homosexualist agenda, teased one clause into a reversal of a document: “The problem is not that one has this tendency…”.
Here is what another document, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 1986 Letter Homosexualitatis Problema 3, says:
“Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder“.
And in paragraph 10:
It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.
But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.
At the end of the CDF’s Letter we find:
During an audience granted to the undersigned Prefect, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, approved this Letter, adopted in an ordinary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and ordered it to be published.
What Reese and others who write agitprop for the MSM do is precisely what the CDF warns against. Moreover, Reese pits one Pope against another (soon to be “Saint” John Paul II) and against two dicasteries of the Holy See.
What Pope Francis said in off the cuff remarks on an airplane to journalists is consistent with what the Church has been officially proposing to the world.
Furthermore, if Pope Francis wants to change something that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or the Congregation for Catholic Education issued (or Cong. of Clergy, which now handles seminaries), he will do it in a way that is unambiguous.
Don’t hold your breath.
Notwithstanding what liberals and homosexualists dish up for for the MSM, Pope Francis is not going to say that strong homosexual inclinations are not ordered to something that is intrinsically evil, nor is he going to say that it’s okay for men to be admitted to holy orders whose homosexuality is deep-seated and long-standing.