“The truly bizarre document that the Vatican released Monday”

Have you been following the reports of Robert Royal about the Synod of Bishops?

Here’s today’s:

Synod Day 8 – A Bizarre Document and Process Print

I have been in Rome, by my rough count, 100 times during my adult life. Some visits had to do with secular matters of culture or politics, most with questions related to the Catholic Church. But I think I can say without the slightest doubt that yesterday was the strangest day I’ve ever passed in the Eternal City.  [This is what I have heard too.  I’ll head over next week, after the close of the Synod, and will get more of the mood.  It is sure to linger.]

By now, almost everyone interested in Catholic matters knows about what can only be called the truly bizarre document that the Vatican released Monday: the relatio summing up the first week of work by the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. I was at the press conference after the release and it, too, was a very strange thing indeed. More on that below. But before you despair – I can tell you that there were some questions from utterly astonished old Vatican reporters in that room and journalists walking around in shock outside for hours after – things are both bad and maybe also not so entirely bad as they might first seem.

First, the bad. For reasons that may only be know to certain figures involved – or to the God who searches the human heart – a document coming from the Vatican now has passages like these:

50. Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony? [Homosexuals do NOT have ”gifts and qualities” for the Church simply because they are homosexuals. They have gifts because they are human beings, not because they want to have sex with people of the same sex.  I made this point yesterday.]
51. The question of homosexuality leads to a serious reflection on how to elaborate realistic paths of affective growth and human and evangelical maturity integrating the sexual dimension: it appears therefore as an important educative challenge. The Church furthermore affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman. Nor is it acceptable that pressure be brought to bear on pastors or that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.
52. Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.  [?!?]

If you find your head spinning at the language italicized above, you aren’t the only one. Several of the journalists in the room put very carefully worded questions to the four members of the press conference panel, trying to elicit clarifications. I’m sorry to say that with the exception of Cardinal Erdö, every one of them engaged in a level of spin unworthy of a Church that seeks to proclaim the truth about the Good News of our redemption by Jesus Christ.

I won’t mention the names of respondents out of respect for the nakedness of our fathers. But let me suggest some of the dynamic in the room. One female reporter for RAI Radio, the Italian state-run broadcast services, asked pointedly in response to the last section above about the rights of children, whether they don’t have a right to be raised by a male father and a female mother (an argument that in Europe, especially in France, has been very prominent)? The reply from an exalted cleric was to enter a thicket of platitudes about parental rights to educate a child, which no one objects to or has ever objected to, insofar as they were intelligible. But the fundamental question of having a real mother and a real father went entirely untouched – by a prince of the Church talking about a burning current question.

Similarly, an American journalist [Michael Voris!] raised a question about the absurd phrase in section 50: “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.” In one way, of course, this is true, since all people have gifts and qualities. The journalist wanted to know, however, whether the Synod fathers were saying that homosexuals have gifts to offer precisely because of their homosexuality? That seemed to be implied.

Sadly, more inconsequential commentary followed. [From Bruno Forte… who, under this Pope, will probably be the next Prefect of CDF if Müller is exiled.] The Synod has been talking a great deal about its respect for the intelligence of the Catholic laity. [Is that why they put a media quarantine around the Synod?] But no Catholic layperson of any intelligence left the press conference yesterday thinking that this subject – and several others – was anything other than more confused than ever and perhaps inclining towards things gay activists have been seeking that cannot be squared with the Gospel.

You can find in the three sections quoted above some nods towards Catholic teaching, of course, but the rest of the summary – which a reliable source close to the process confirmed to me reflected what the bishops actually discussed, even as they “took for granted” Catholic teaching – reads like some hapless running after the small number of people who are pursuing a disordered sex life [The tail isn’t wagging the dog.  The tip of the tail is.] who might still have some vestigial interest in the Church. John Allen has brilliantly formulated this as “lifestyle ecumenism,” a sequel to the ecclesial ecumenism of Vatican II.

There were also more questions, of course, about Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, and how that might be squared with Jesus’ own words. And again, there were words, many words spoken that continued to try the impossible task to square the circle. No statement that has come out of the Vatican – including the scholarly gyrations of Cardinal Kasper – has come close to making this work. And Cardinal Erdö boldly, for this panel, said certain questions present an either/or: either you give Communion or you don’t.

But here’s a slight counterweight to these otherwise alarming developments.

I spoke over dinner yesterday evening with someone involved in the whole process. That person must remain anonymous, of course, and his opinions may or may not be dispositive. But it may just be that the bishops themselves have been surprised by this document. [The release seems to have been carried out in a very strange way.  Also, the media cordon has prevented differing sides from being reported with any serious weight.] A Synod relatio usually is issued only at the end of the event, and is presented to the pope as the working results of the group he’s asked to advise him. The process is clearly different this time out. There’s still almost an entire week ahead, with small language groups meeting the next few days and the whole group of participants coming together again only on Thursday.

But even if those behind the scenes assure us that the bishops are aware of how they are being misperceived [Ooohhh… I doubt that.] and that the final document or the overall process or something somehow is different than what it seems (and I have to say that the person who told me this has my full confidence) the Church has now dug itself into a deep hole. And why, pray tell, issue such a poorly crafted, deeply flawed, and basically misleading text?

The relatio concludes:

58. The reflections put forward, the fruit of the Synodal dialog that took place in great freedom [Is that so?] and a spirit of reciprocal listening, are intended to raise questions and indicate perspectives that will have to be matured and made clearer by the reflection of the local Churches in the year that separates us from the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of bishops planned for October 2015. These are not decisions that have been made nor simply points of view. All the same the collegial path of the bishops and the involvement of all God’s people under the guidance of the Holy Spirit will lead us to find roads of truth and mercy for all. This is the wish that from the beginning of our work Pope Francis has extended to us, inviting us to the courage of the faith and the humble and honest welcome of the truth in charity.

Nice sentiments, but the only thing the world takes away from this – people back home tell me National Public Radio and other outlets are really going to town – is that the Church is cozying up to gays. [The Synod of the MEDIA is what worries me.] That the tone and perhaps the teaching seem to be changing. That divorced and remarried Catholics will soon be able to receive Communion by a process no one can actually explain without sounding like he’s babbling. But it will happen.

The reality may prove to be something different, but that’s the message the Synod has now sent, whether it intended to or not. We’ll see before too long whether that message now can ever be fixed.

We will have some rocky days ahead, my friends.

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95 Responses to “The truly bizarre document that the Vatican released Monday”

  1. DisturbedMary says:

    According to Rorate Caeli (http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/10/cardinal-on-his-own-reports-paragraphs.html) Cardinal Erdo could not answer questions about the homosexual references. To the reporter who posed a question he said: “Ask him! I didn’t write this, the author must know what he meant!”

    You say, that under this Pope, Bruno Forte (Msgr Forte) may be next to head the CDF?

    Based on RC and what you say: whose manipulations are these?

  2. SimonDodd says:

    “I won’t mention the names of respondents out of respect for the nakedness of our fathers. ” They are counting on that courtesy, even though it is a courtesy they would never dream of extending to anyone else. What do we suppose will happen if we get into an “ultimate fighting” cage match and strictly observe the rules of the Marquess of Queensberry? Hmm? The enemy is fighting to win and we’re so polite that we are more-or-less apologizing for bleeding all over his nice new shoes.

    “We will have some rocky days ahead, my friends.” One again feels obliged to point out that no matter how uncouth or ahead of the facts it was for them to do so, Rorate have been saying this since that man first walked onto the Loggia. I don’t like it, but I think that we have to admit that they have called everything about this pontificate correctly since day one.

  3. Wow. Reporters asking the questions they should ask. The Holy Spirit must really be moving.

  4. markomalley says:

    Where, oh where, is this synod’s St Nicholas?

  5. JPK says:

    Could it be that there are forces inside the Synod who wish to force the Pope’s hand concerning gays? The damage has been done, and if paragraph 50 (the paragraph concerning the pastoral treatment of gays) is revised or removed in the final draft, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth from the usual sources. There will be accusations of treachery and moral cowardice directed at Pope Francis for caving to the pressures of the hateful cabal of right wing, fundamentalist Bishops. The press and different activist groups will now begin to apply pressure on the Synod and the Pope that will only get worse with time.

  6. mrshopey says:

    In the past, I have waited for, with much hope and excitement, these documents.
    I have zero excitement for this one.
    They have said nothing that addresses the struggles of those who are married and are trying to remain faithful.
    Nothing. It has been suggested but NOTHING is being said to us, faithful couples, who are desperately in need of help because of the ravages of porn, etc, on the family.
    This is how we have been freaking treated in the past. If a couple is struggling, well, that’s too bad. They are there to assist divorced couples. Remarried couples.
    I don’t want to read this when it comes out. I don’t care what they have to say anymore. If that is a sin, God forgive me.

  7. Maineman1 says:

    Again I will reference National “Catholic” Reporter when they proclaim that this “relatio” document is the fruit of the Vatican II Spirit.

    That is the demon at the heart of this document.

  8. Dave N. says:

    Very deep hole indeed. Any later document that’s more circumspect will be portrayed as a “reversal” of the Church’s position.

  9. Traductora says:

    I really feel as if the Pope has dropped a bomb on the Church. Yes, there’s the coterie of “progressive” bishops, but he put all of this into place and, judging by the things that he has said over the last couple of years – which I have always tried to assure myself didn’t really mean what they sounded like the meant and were a product of his faulty Italian, etc. – this is exactly hat he wanted.

    The damage is done, the media has proclaimed the new Forte doctrine, the faithful are scandalized, the legal position of the Church in response to civil pressure is vastly weakened, and there’s no putting it together again or even restoring the admittedly fragile situation that existed before.

  10. Jerry says:

    Perhaps the unusual process of releasing this document is a prompt from the Holy Spirit to the faithful to redouble their prayers and sacrifices post haste.

  11. JesusFreak84 says:

    A picture worth a thousand words: http://1drv.ms/1sGQnH3 (Taken from my phone’s news app yesterday afternoon.)

  12. acardnal says:

    What this Synod has demonstrated to me is that there are still bishops and Cardinals operating within the Church who hold the fallacious “spirit of Vatican 2” ideology. . .the so called “church of nice.”

  13. David says:

    Seems more like a relatio post *deceptionem*, no?

  14. Mike says:

    Reading paragraph 50 and the MSM chortlings, one might wonder how much influence New Ways Ministry exercises over the relatio authors’ points of view. One might also wonder how the members and spiritual advisors of the Courage Apostolate, and other ministries that have advocated the Church’s legacy counsels of chastity, are feeling right about now.

  15. jlduskey says:

    Each individual Catholic should write a personal letter to his local (ordinary) bishop, about this problem. The letter should state (in your own words) that if the Church appears soft on birth control, there will be many more people who will give in to the temptation to use birth control. Similarly, if the Church appears soft on issues such as homosexual activity and communion for divorced persons who have attempted remarriage. Picture a world where the Church has a permissive attitude toward divorce: Couples who have a disagreement would be tempted to simply resort to divorce. The Church should offer support to people who are trying to resist temptation. The Church should not offer support to sinful activities, but rather, call for conversion.
    But the answer is to get through to your local bishop, and then let your local bishop try to get through to the higher authorities in Rome.
    And, of course, above all, pray for your bishop.

  16. ChrisRawlings says:

    Is it more harmful for Pope Benedict to stay silent or to say something? It is an honest question that I’ve been pondering. Something has to be done, but I don’t know what.

  17. iteadthomam says:

    @ markomalley

    We may not have a St. Nicholas in the synod, but we sure do have a St. Athanasius! His name is Cardinal Burke. http://consolamini.org/2014/10/14/cardinal-burke-the-modern-st-athanasius/

  18. thomas tucker says:

    mrshopey makes a very good, and very discouraging, point.

  19. CrimsonCatholic says:

    I will follow the advice of HeatherPA (her comment on another blog post) and from Fr. Z. I will stay calm and weather the storm.

  20. iteadthomam says:

    @ mrshopey

    I understand how you feel. I’ve been wondering why those who are in a real marriage and struggling to keep it alive are left with little to no support, either from the Bishops or from many local priests. They shouldn’t be concerned about the half a dozen individuals who are homosexuals who want to receive communion. Rather, they should be concerned about the large amount of people in the Church who are truly married and need resources to keep their marriage alive.

  21. iteadthomam says:

    @ mrshopey

    I understand how you feel. I’ve been wondering why those who are in a real marriage and struggling to keep it alive are left with little to no support, either from the Bishops or from many local priests. They shouldn’t be concerned about the half a dozen individuals who are homosexuals who want to receive communion. Rather, they should be concerned about the large amount of people in the Church who are truly married and need resources to keep their marriage alive.

  22. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Glad you linked to this. It is one of Royal’s best.

  23. dschwind says:

    I am surprised that no one has address the statement saying, “accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?” Are we now asked to accept sin as though it no longer existed? How is this pastoral? The goal of us all is to bring Christ’s TRUTH, to others, not to just “accept and value” the sinful state in which one lives and call it love. Love is doing what needs to be done for the salvation of others.

  24. MWindsor says:

    Where do you find a list of SSPX chapels in the US? I was Anglican once. Not goin’ back.

  25. rhhenry says:

    Maybe I’m naive, but I anticipated that a final document would start with a description of, and an affirmation of, the vocation to married life. Then would follow a list of difficulties or obstacles to fulfilling that vocation (contraception, abortion, divorce, pornography, economic troubles, etc.), followed by suggestions on how to overcome these problems, with the end result that married couples would have practical advice on how to live up to the ideal.

    I know the final document is still a long ways off, but it seems as though we married couples, struggling to be faithful, are instead only going to get something along the lines of, “Well, your marriage is good because you are *not* contracepting, you are *not* divorcing, you are *not* doing any number of bad things.” No positive view of marriage, just a picture of marriage that is good only because it isn’t bad.

    I shouldn’t need a pat on the head for trying to do the right thing, but it’s still nice every now and then to get some small kudos . . .

  26. Sixupman says:

    Where does obedience to one’s local ordinary stand in the light of the projected move?

    It will be akin to the CofE, each parish a, de facto, law unto itself!

  27. LarryW2LJ says:

    This Synod, so far, seem to be proving that only the squeaky wheel gets the grease. When are we going to hear about what can be done to bolster the, ahem …… “traditional family”? Or isn’t that important anymore? Do we count, anymore?

  28. Magpie says:

    This is no accident.

    As Fr Z said, everyone calm down and relax. Your faith ought to be in Jesus Christ. Our Lady of Fatima predicted all this, so we ought to be pleased we have such an attentive Mother in Heaven! The wolves are ravaging the Holy Church, but they won’t endure for ever, and right now, a special place is probably warming for them as we speak!

  29. Unwilling says:

    {Mt 14:27-31} “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly…, you will deny me three times.” But he said vehemently, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same. {Lk 22:31-32} “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail [non deficiat fides tua]; and when you have turned again [aliquando conversus], strengthen your brethren.”

    {Apoc 1:17-18} et posuit dexteram suam super me dicens: “Noli timere! ego sum primus et novissimus, et vivus. Et fui mortuus et ecce sum vivens in saecula saeculorum. Et habeo claves mortis et inferni.”
    He laid his right hand upon me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive for evermore And I have the keys of Death and Hades.

  30. Andrew says:

    Allow me a few personal observations:
    1. Having followed much of the news related to this process I perceive some elements that are trying to cast the Pope in a negative light. To which I say: watch out for temptations fueled by discord.
    2. This is a process. This is not a final product. There is a need to be well informed. For example a Summary has been posted on the Vatican website today that is encouraging. One should read also the good news, not just the discouraging stuff.
    3. I can see some positive aspects already coming out of this process, such as many voices are now being heard in defense of the truth about human life and morality, and, we are starting to see where people stand; who is a liberal and who is faithful. That in itself is something that was needed.
    4. There is a need to have faith: “But have confidence. I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33). I remember my parents and how they always spoke of the Pope (Paul VI) with great reverence. I don’t want to lose that disposition. The Pope is a human being capable of making mistakes: but we always have to pull together and we must avoid all bitterness and suspicion.
    5. There are many things that we don’t know. It takes a long time to figure things out. Some things take generations to get fixed.
    6. Not everything is suitable for everyone. These days we all hear about everything, even though some individuals may not be able to handle such indiscriminate dissemination of information. We should try to encourage them and calm their troubled hearts. An excellent antidote is the quite reading of Sacred Scripture.

  31. Bea says:

    Number 48 is the one that really got to me:

    “48. Suggesting limiting themselves to only “spiritual communion” was questioned by more than a few Synodal Fathers: if spiritual communion is possible, why not allow them to partake in the sacrament?”

    How can they compare “spiritual communion” to the actual “Partaking of the Sacrament”?

    Do they not know or believe in THE TRUE PRESENCE?
    # 48 made me weep. All the rest of the errors stem from this lack of belief.

  32. PA mom says:

    “Accepting and VALUING their sexual orientation…”

    Accepting it in the cases where it seems to be genuinely innate, but VALUING?

    I really think that a homosexually inclined person is involved in the writing of such a text…

    What SHOULD be coming out of there? I second rhhenry’s rough outline and would add, intermarriage with other Christian denominations, significant geographical distance between generations and/or siblings, the gaping hole that most youth fall into and away from the faith during high school years which places them in dangerous places at spouse seeking ages, and a call for much more frequent and better quality discussion of matrimonial subjects in sermons and schools.

  33. pseudomodo says:

    Oh, that’s just GREAT!!!

    Bugnini’s Consilium Committee has been resurrected just in time for the Beatification of Ven.Paul VI and given the task of overhauling our understanding of matrimony!

    “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”

  34. donato2 says:

    It is hard to express how deeply disturbing it is to read a Vatican document that speaks positively of mortal sin.

  35. SteelBiretta says:

    “[The Synod of the MEDIA is what worries me.]”

    I’m even more concerned about the Spirit of the Synod of the Media.

  36. Gretchen says:

    The New Gospel according to the Synod. Didn’t we all see this coming from a mile away? I’m tired of standing aghast. I want to know how to live as a Catholic when the new religion takes over. It is coming to a parish near you, if it hasn’t already arrived.

    The final report may affirm the Church’s teachings on marriage and homosexuality, but somehow I bet it won’t matter much. It is a HV redux. We just seem to keep drawing a line in the sand and then stepping back to draw yet another line. At what point does the Church Militant begin going forward again?

  37. anilwang says:

    I’ve been praying about this and I think that when the dust settles, the end result of all this confusion will be good.

    Let me explain, in the Spirit of the Liturgy, Pope Benedict XVI made the comment that the Church has no authority to manufacture a liturgy. We are custodians of the deposit of faith, not inventors of the deposit of faith. As such, the Church’s hands are tied, and as some Catholic Apologists point out, the Pope is more limited than any Protestant because he is limited by all previous infallible statements from previous Popes and previous ecumenical councils.

    What we’re witnessing here is a much needed clarification of the development of doctrine. It’s what separates Catholics, the Orthodox, the SSPX, sedavacantists, and liberal Catholics. Pope Benedict XVI gave us the hermenuitic of continuity. That’s good as a general principle, but it needs to be made concrete. For instance, doctrines from all previous ecumenical councils and infallible statements are never invalidated by subsequent ecumenical councils and infallible statements.

    In additionally (this I learned from my flirtation with the Eastern Orthodox), all previous canon laws imply a doctrine and are a permanent part of the deposit of faith. Some canon law from the Early Church seem unreasonable by today’s standards (e.g. priests cannot take part in a wedding reception), but there are doctrinal reasons for this (e.g. wedding receptions used to be rowdy, the equivalent of some bachelor parties today) that can be inferred from an analysis of the reasons for the law.

    In essence, we need a solid clarification of how the development of doctrine relates to the Magisterium, Papacy, Ecumenical Councils, the laity, the sensus fidelium, and canon law. The events after Vatican II and particularly this papacy and synod make this obvious.

    My own sense is the this current Pope has made many enemies among supporters of the last two Popes, the pro-life community, traditionalist communities, and also from any Bishop outside the Pope’s close friends in his narrow preferences of countries. While it is true that Italians tended to have been given preferential treatment, there are historical and practical reasons for this that most bishops can accept. So unless things change, there will be a backlash in the next Papal election that will probably swing hard in the opposite direction (to remedy some of the imbalances caused by Pope Francis). When this happens, he will need to face the issues that the last three Popes have dealt with gently, and have to settle once and for all the above issues.

  38. govmatt says:

    I really am a sea of mixed emotions right now: anger, profound sadness, and righteous indignation top the list. However, one emotion I am not feeling: surprise.

    Is this ridiculous document (spoilers, GovMatt’s “obedience” dial is turned down) prepared obviously before this sham of a Synod (that’s not too harsh, because, as has been laid bare: this was a set up) really that surprising to anyone? We know Francis has surrounded himself with folks who are experts in media control. There is no way that the pressers and the speculation leading up to the Synod would do anything but confirm an absolutely nonsensical departure from tradition.

    Folks, let’s look at the sacraments as they exist in the 21st century. “Anointing of the Sick” is offered after every Mass at my NO parish on Sundays. Confession is antiquated and no longer necessary because of the “mercy” when you receive the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a symbol of Our Lord’s love that should be received often and informally. Confirmation is just that thing you do in late middle school/early high school. (Holy Orders? Have you seen the news about those priests?!)

    From the perspective of the enemy of our souls, what remains if one is to dilute the truth to the extent that it is irrecoverable? Well, baptism is tough to get at. So, how do we attack it? Degrade the union by which it comes into existence.

    Will the degradation of marriage lead to the end of the institution of marriage? Probably not… just in the same way that the degradation of the Eucharist has not led to an utter collapse of the Church. But, it has two distinct and terrible consequences: the decay of the sacraments and their abandonment (as so many traditions where burned in the Fahrenheit 451 of the post-concilar razing of beauty) and the demoralization of those who would see glory return to the Church. The combination of these two creates a sad scenario where, in a very small amount of time, the damage will be irreversible.

    So, in sum, any traditional bishop who thought he would have a say in this Synod clearly hasn’t learned from the “Spirit of Vatican II” (aka the Smoke in the Vatican). While I will certainly remember our dear Synod fathers in my prayers, I do have to wonder what judgment awaits those who led “the little ones” astray.

  39. Moral_Hazard says:

    I think we should also pray for members of Courage and others with same-sex attraction desiring and struggling to live by the Church’s teachings. We should also pray for those civilly divorced who believe in the Church’s teaching and with much sacrifice do not remarry or live as brother and sister.

  40. mfm123 says:

    Disgusting!!! If this is the Church, then they have left me! I’m out!

  41. Michael_Thoma says:

    You mean instead of addressing real areas of correction, some of these bishops are going to address what, less than 2% of practicing faithful Catholics?

    While my baptized and confirmed Eastern Catholic children get resistance from some of their own priests on receiving Eucharist, some bishops want give Eucharist to practicing homosexuals and adulterers? What’s wrong with these people?

    Instead of promoting proper examples of sacrificial Catholic family life – like, for example – I dunno – Eastern Catholic priests and their wives and children, the Synod fathers are doing what? Discussing Western European non-Catholic gays and how they can be welcomed?
    How about welcoming my kids and own own married clergy universally, without resistance?

    One wonders what is going on in the minds of some of these so-called ‘Christian’ leaders, some of them are simply politicians pandering their propaganda, despite the reality of the rest of us. I mean, welcoming? After that scandal that most of us paid for? A more understandable, though uncharitable response would be complete lockdown, no homosexuals nor anyone with homosexual inclinations allowed anywhere with children nor in a seminary, instead we get.. ‘welcoming’.. welcome to what exactly?

  42. MikeM says:

    Is there a sentence in the Relatio that has a clear meaning? “These are not decisions that have been made nor simply points of view.” OK, then… what are they?

  43. mfm123 says:

    Do they know what homoz do???!!!

  44. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    I will add another item to the comment I posted yesterday under “Play by Play: Card. Burke’s Video Interview Recap.”

    There are several things that have happened that come straight out of the Fascist/Communist/Liberal manual:
    1. Pre-Synodal appointment of a commission of inexperienced prelates to reform the tribunal processes when whether they needed reform was supposedly an open question for the Synod;
    2. Unprecedented suppression of full information of what is said in the Synod and silencing of the participants with respect to their own statements;
    3. Ad hoc and unprecedented appointment of six liberal prelates to the reporting committee elected by the Synod fathers, thus packing it and creating something very different from what the fathers chose.
    4. Issuance of an official report of the discussions to date with little assurance that it fairly represents the views expressed and creating a new unprecedented benchmark against which future releases will be measured. This is a classic ratcheting operation.

    The work of the Synod is being preempted, suppressed, manipulated, and misrepresented by people who know what they are doing and who are following a well-worn path.

    Just sayin’.

  45. HeatherPA says:

    A millstone still weighs an average of 2 tons.
    Do people think The Lord was kidding?

  46. Quas Primas says:

    Catechism paragraphs 675-77 keep resounding in my ears, about the Church’s “final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.”

    Not to claim that this is the definitive fulfillment of it, but this manipulation of the Synod fits the description of a “religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth,” doesn’t it?

    Cardinal Burke has asked us to pray the Chaplet of the Holy Face for the Synod — something I just saw a few days ago and have neglected to begin. Another part of the spiritual weaponry for our war footing — thanks for the call to arms, Fr. Z!

  47. Traductora says:

    The BBC’s on-line headline: “Vatican Synod: Victory for Pope Francis on Gay Issues.” All the time, I was worried about the marriage/divorce issue, and it really didn’t occur to me that their main focus was going to be on something else entirely. Pretty clever sleight of hand on the part of the “progressives.” But progressives are like that: deceitful and dictatorial.

    I just found out that October 13 was supposedly the day on which the St Michael Prayer was composed. Never more needed than now, I suspect.

  48. Monica says:

    To PAmom’s list as to what should (have been?) addressed in the Synod discussions, I would add: advice to married couples on avoiding the “assisted reproduction” industry and the clarification that same-sex couples often ‘obtain’ children through this buying/selling of human life.
    That the Synod fathers expressed concern for “these precious little ones” without acknowledging the means by which they come to live with their same-sex ‘parents’ is outrageous.

  49. HeatherPA says:

    October 13th is also the 97th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima.
    Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

  50. The Masked Chicken says:

    “and the involvement of all God’s people under the guidance of the Holy Spirit”

    Apparently, all God’s people, except those who prefer orthodoxy.

    If they even think to include these bizzare paragraphs in the Apostolic Exhortation, one should expect the world to end. Good grief, did they every stop to even ask if Christ would be this unclear?

    This is the condition of a schizophrenic Church. I mean that, literally. There has been a split between reason and emotion, such the one no longer guides the other. Either that, or there really is a homosexual Mob in the Vatican. Either way, while the discussion might have been free-wheeling, it, certainly, was not sober nor alert. This is the best that learned men could do? Astonishing. What an insult to 2000 years of saintly suffering for the Truth. I said that there were other agendas at work. Clear, they were not there to do what science demanded.

    Go ahead, Chicken, tell how you really feel.

    The Chicken

  51. ChrisRawlings says:

    Cardinal Muller in an feisty interview in La Repubblica today:

    “I say what I want…I say what I must.”

    http://espresso.repubblica.it/attualita/2014/10/13/news/il-cardinale-gerhard-mueller-in-vaticano-censurate-le-minoranze-1.183885?ref=HEF_RULLO

    Wow.

  52. anilwang says:

    The Masked Chicken says: “and the involvement of all God’s people under the guidance of the Holy Spirit”… Apparently, all God’s people, except those who prefer orthodoxy.

    What we’re seeing these days is a revival of the Montanist Heresy, which basically says the inspirations from the Holy Spirit can overrule past revelation. If you’ve ever witnessed some Pentecostal meetings, you’ll see where this leads….a room full of people prophesying contradictory things “from the Holy Spirit” or prophesying things that directly contradict Jesus’s own words. There is a reason we’re called to discern the spirits, but most people are too spiritually immature to be up to the task.

  53. Maineman1 says:

    Two factors at play:

    – The Spirit of Vatican II, which is not only alive and well, but has guided the Synod.

    – Conservatives Catholics who are so loyal to the notion of the papacy, almost bordering on papalotry, that they will pardon any offense ever committed by an occasionally wayward pontiff.

  54. AvantiBev says:

    Following Fr. Sirico’s delightful admission that he listens to NPR in the morning as penance, I tuned in to NPR while driving back to Chi town from Michigan. The panelists who included Maureen Fiedler were chortling over this. All I could think of was my Jewish and non-practicing Christian friends back in Chicago being bemused and bewildered by all the “change” being touted.

    Then when I heard the phrase about gifts and qualities homosexuals have to offer the Church community, I thought about the outrage over ” clergy pedophilia” and the media claims that out going Cardinal George handled it badly when it would more accurately be called the “homosexual ephebophilia scandal”. Those “gifts” were unwanted by many young pubescent boys some of whom were changed for life or took their life. And those “qualities” cost our diocese millions. To this day we see sites such as Patheos and others in total denial that it WAS an overwhelmingly ephebophile crime within our American dioceses.

  55. William Tighe says:

    As a friend wrote to me:

    “Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions, it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners.”

    What utter nonsense this is. One might just as well say of members of the Mafia “Without denying the moral problems connected to organised crime, it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the mafiosi.” Sin is sin regardless of any collateral good which may come of it.

  56. Michael says:

    “Homosexuals do NOT have ‘gifts and qualities’ for the Church simply because they are homosexuals. They have gifts because they are human beings, not because they want to have sex with people of the same sex. I made this point yesterday.”

    Fr. Z – I respectfully disagree. While I would have said the same not so long ago, the writing of people like Eve Tushnet – who has a homosexual orientation but publicly practices the chastity properly demanded by Christ and the Church – has persuaded me otherwise. I can think of at least three ways that homosexual orientation (without the associated immoral acts) serves a positive end: (1) It joins those burdened with it to Christ in his suffering and it gives those of us who are not so burdened another window into our Lord and his suffering on our behalf. (2) It helps us to better understand the temptation toward all sins against chastity and how to battle it in all its forms. (3) It sheds light on same-sex friendships, which can be sadly twisted in homosexual sexual relationships but which should be celebrated when they are maintained chastely.

    The problem is not the statement itself. The problem is what the mainstream media, homosexual advocacy groups, and others with an agenda will use it for: to excuse homosexual sexual relations. And that is where the relatio goes so horribly wrong. There is nothing wrong with the text when read properly. But no one has any interest in reading it properly. They have every interest in perverting its reading to serve their own ends.

  57. rhhenry says:

    Michael (2:08 p.m.),

    Honest question: how does your statement apply only to homosexuals, as opposed to *anyone* called to the single life?

  58. teejay329 says:

    What I’m wondering is how many Catholics feel betrayed by the Synod? Again, I predict schism. I feel like a conservative who lives in Colorado…or Oregon…greatly outnumbered and not heard.

  59. Michael says:

    rhhenry – I think those with homosexual orientation stand in a slightly different position than those called to the single life without such an orientation. I don’t think it benefits the Church to say simply “We are all human beings” or “They are all called to the single life.” It is indisputably true. But it lacks detail.

    Just as the rich man has a different perspective than the poor man or the man has a different perspective from the woman, so too do those with homosexual orientation have a different perspective. We are all still called to abide the same commandments of our Lord. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need different pastoral care.

    Let me give a concrete example. I have a number of (sadly not chaste) homosexual friends. Applications like Grindr and homosexually-oriented bars play a much larger role in their failures of chastity than for my (again, sadly not chaste) heterosexual friends. It is indisputably correct to say to both types that they should avoid sex outside of marriage. But it is also indisputably correct and more effective to say to the homosexuals that they should avoid hookup apps and bars, while an entirely different counsel should used for the heterosexuals.

  60. rhhenry says:

    Michael,

    I can see that the pressures to live unchastely may be stronger in the homosexual community, but I’m not sure I see how they differ from the single heterosexual community (other than in intensity). This seems to be a cultural issue within the homosexual community (or in certain homosexual communities).

    I’ll mull over it more, but I don’t think you’ve convinced me. Still, thanks for the friendly dialogue (too often missing on the Internet — and in real life — these days).

  61. KateD says:

    Perhaps it is naive to believe that the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church….but that’s what I cling to. And one positive thing from all of this: we know who stands for what. That in itself is a blessing.

  62. Michael says:

    rhhenry – I always appreciate friendly dialogue, particularly with those who respectfully disagree, and I thank you (and our gracious host Fr. Z) for the opportunity. It is too rare.

  63. yatzer says:

    My first reaction to this paper was apparently that of others as well. What about those who have paid a rather difficult price to be Catholic, observe the Commandments, be charitable to those who aren’t and don’t, and done what they could when they failed? What about the right of these precious children to a real mother and a real father? What about betrayed spouses whose ex has gone on to remarry? Chaste people with same sex attraction? All those folks could use a little support and “pastoral” care as well. All this yakking sounds like what I heard in the Episcopal church, which I left thinking that the Catholic church at least had firm beliefs, not acting like a moral weather vane pointing whichever way the cultural wind blows. Disheartening.

  64. ChrisRawlings says:

    TeeJay,

    Your analogy fails on many levels.

    First, a firestorm has erupted in Rome because there are so many Catholics who share your faith. Many bishops at the synod are making lio because of Monday’s problematic report. Take heart and example from that show if courage.

    Second, please, man, please. As a conservative in Colorado, I assure you that we are numerous and in November we will be heard. Our incumbent Democratic senator has run a campaign almost entirely out of the Planned Parenthood playbook and his is trailing in the polls. It is so gratifying, and I literally pray it holds. Stay tuned because Colorado could help make a Republican majority in November. Archbishop Aquila helped defeat a radical abortion bill in the spring, and that helped politically organize Catholics in an unprecedented way.

    Oddly, conservatives fought to take back Colorado as the faithful are fighting to stand for sweet, unapologetic TRUTH in Rome. No, our Church is not some political party or parliament. It is a pretty rough comparison that only serves to make this point: when confusion and error look like they have the stronger hand, it is then that you must dig in, suit up, and fight even harder to build God’s kingdom. Mortify yourself a little more and offer that to our Lord. Truth is, after all, truth.

    You have the truth, right?

  65. donato2 says:

    The bishops who care about preserving the full integrity of the Church’s teachings must organize, and they must organize now. Ad hoc press interviews are not sufficient. The faithful bishops must be ready to make a unified statement if the final document coming out of this session of the Synod contains any material ambiguities. They must also anticipate how to approach next year’s session. No one wants schism. However schism is ultimately the only card the faithful bishops have, and the only card that Pope Francis will respect.

  66. SimonDodd says:

    mfm123 says: “Disgusting!!! If this is the Church, then they have left me! I’m out!”

    That is my concern. More is at stake here than the content of the teaching: If the Church apostasizes on marriage, she will falsify the premise ofher magisterial authority, and the whole house of cards comes down.

    Andrew says: “I perceive some elements that are trying to cast the Pope in a negative light.” He has cast himself in a negative light.

    “This is a process. This is not a final product.” Ah, so we should be reassured that so many of our shepherds are faithless? We should be reassured that those people who have been scandalized by the process were wrong?

    “There is a need to have faith….” Faith operates within the parameters of fact, and our trust in the Holy Ghost has to be framed by our experience. We know that when the Church tried to shipwreck herself by convoking the Second Vatican Council, the Spirit protected the council from teaching formal error. But the Spirit did NOT see fit to protect us from the near-catastrophic fallout from the council. Thus, it seems reasonable to suppose that today, confidence that He will not allow the Synod to teach formal error is warranted, but confidence that He will not allow vast and ruinous confusion and individual apostasy is not.

    “There are many things that we don’t know. It takes a long time to figure things out. Some things take generations to get fixed.” Ah, so we should be sanguine of those who go to hell while we figure it out, because eventually we will figure it out and other people will be saved?

  67. Pat says:

    Let’s try to organize as well and send masses of letters to all bishops, especially those attending the Synod: Dolan, Wuerl, Kurtz and Burke (plus O’Malley) and also send words of encouragement to Muller.. I am pretty sure that they are going to get letters from plenty of homosexuals thanking them. Please, start writing, voicing your concern, briefly and calmly, avoid indignant tones that would make some dismiss the content.

  68. magistercaesar says:

    I could picture all this confusion going on until the Synod ends, then Pope Francis turns everything around and during the Beatification of Pope Paul VI on the 19th, with the presence of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, he extols the importance of Humanae Vitae, Theology of the Body, and other things that uphold doctrine. Maybe, Pope Francis is just giving dissenters the limelight until the end, during which he will ambush them with the truth. Now that will be a sight to see.

  69. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    @donato2, thank you for your very practical comments. I completely agree. Our Lord admonished us to be “wise as serpents, simple as doves,” which I take to mean that we should be simple in our acceptance of the eternal truths of the Faith but wise, prudent, and even shrewd in our way of fighting for those truths and protecting the faithful from being misled.

    The history of the last 100 years is a living textbook of how groups, political parties, and entire nations can be manipulated and seduced for the purposes of evil. The last 50 years show us how even inside the Church “the smoke of Satan” can enter and befoul, giving us liturgical deformations, as Pope Benedict XVI called them, catechetical collapse, and moral abdication. Wake up, people! It is not enough to have Faith, we have to work to defend it. “He who does not gather with me, scatters.”

  70. paladin says:

    markomalley wrote:

    Where, oh where, is this synod’s St Nicholas?

    …or this synod’s St. Athanasius, for that matter…

  71. paladin says:

    iteadthomam: :) Whoops! I didn’t read your comment fast enough, when posting my previous comment! GMTA…

  72. The Cobbler says:

    If I had the money, I’d take mrshopey’s comment, put it on the side of a semi truck, put it on the side of another in Spanish, and another in Italian, and another in Latin… maybe another in German… and then have these trucks driven in a circle around the Vatican for a week. Maybe rhhenry’s comment too.

    Honestly, it’s not like Church teaching isn’t already clear on what sin is or on respecting people even if they’re sinners (which we all are). Why even have a synod if not to discuss how to actually help people in this day and age? Blathering about the nuances of doctrine (glossing over, for the sake of argument, that certain statements can be read as heretical) adds neither to doctrine nor to pastoral care.

  73. The Cobbler says:

    P.S. I’m serious about the semi idea, so if anyone wants to try it, I’d be willing to chip in what I can…

  74. The Masked Chicken says:

    I would like to apologize for my rash words, above. It is very easy to get carried away in the comment box, blaming everybody about everything, often without cause, and seeing things that might not be. It is also very easy to go to the over-the-top language when feeling are hurt. I try to be reasonable in my comments, but I think the one, above, got away from me.

    The Chicken

  75. av8er says:

    Was there really a need for this synod? Why is Rome so afraid of the church shrinking like Pope BXVI said it must. Let’s focus on what is true and those who do not wish to believe, they’ve made their choice. Free will bishops remember? The faith lived faithfully will attract people not a mess of inclusiveness at the expense of Truth.

    I can only cling to a hope that this is a way pope Francis can say to the world “See? We were REALLY serious and heartfelt and sentimental in our discussions in these matters but have concluded that the God’s Church was right all along and blah blah blah things aren’t changing.”

  76. tioedong says:

    uh, most Catholics live in the third world, and a western agenda that is similar to the one that destroyed the family is not going to pass.
    And if it does, well, there are lots of Protestant ministers teaching the ten commandments who will fill in the gap.

  77. StJude says:

    I will wait and see.
    I cant state enough how much I miss Pope Benedict.

  78. Kathleen10 says:

    @Chicken, many of us have been in that spot. Though it’s a trial to poor Fr. Z. at times, blowing off steam can be appropriate, and if not in this type of situation, when? St. Paul would be puffing like a steam engine if he were here, I imagine.
    I think this whole thing is a disaster, start to finish. The upset is awful, what it does to the faithful, and when I think of those in the Courage Apostolate, as someone mentioned, I feel heartsick. Why bother being chaste? That is the takeaway. We can only conclude that liberals are handed victory after victory, while the rest of us stand around grinding our teeth. This must fall in line with the plan of God, it has to. It’s too perfectly awful.
    I agree with the point that after all the homosexual pedophilia, after we know that 81% of the victims of priests were post-adolescent males (John Jay study) this makes no sense. I too have been hoping for a tightening of rules for seminarians to demand a heterosexual orientation, but instead, we see homosexuality getting the green light. This seems far more than just giving in to the culture by some Cardinals. No matter what gets said from here on in, the damage is done. There is no bottle big enough to shove that Genie back in.
    I don’t know how, or if, Pope Francis has any intention of “fixing this”, but has anything occurred thus far to indicate he would be interested in that? Must we pretend we don’t notice the disturbing commentary, the control over the public commentary by the Synod participants, the stacking of the deck for the relatio, and, most egregious to me, although I admit I don’t fully understand it, the exile of Cardinal Burke to Malta. There is a pattern here I am tired of pretending to ignore.

  79. Unwilling says:

    Michael
    (1) All struggles to follow the Lord will be joined to Christ’s suffering
    (2) The notoriety of H activity clouds rather than clarifies human sexual nature
    (3) The presence of H activity in society invites the analogy, but distorts and sullies our conception and expectations of natural same-sex friendships.

    The spiritual life of Gay John is individually unique, but of the same kind as that of Straight Jane. Cases can be used to teach from individual to general, but some cases are more eloquent than others. To communicate an understanding of family life, including conjugal intimacy, unnatural forms are not a good pedagogical model. The notion that homosexual anything has human moral or intellectual value is part of the general culture of death.

  80. GAK says:

    Can’t seem to find the Italian version of the “Relatio,” or any language other than English. Anyone?

  81. Lin says:

    Most of us saw this coming! We were devastated when Pope Benedict resigned, especially since our secular leadership had already taken an extreme turn to the left. We prayed and hoped for the best in spite of feelings of pending doom after Pope Francis became the bishop of Rome. Even if no doctrine is changed (and I don’t believe it will be), the wrong impression has been given to all and this may never get corrected. There are many more progressives in the Church than I ever realized! And they all came out of the closet after Bergolio was elected. I used to think it was an age thing (like those over 60) but I don’t think so anymore. There are plenty of progressive bishops and priests in their 40’s and 50’s . GOD has a plan and it is just what we all need for our salvation! Much prayer and fasting is needed!

  82. GAK says:

    It’s odd that even on the Italian version of the Vatican website, the “Relatio” appears only once, in English.

    50. Les personnes homosexuelles ont des dons et des qualités à offrir à la communauté chrétienne: sommes-nous en mesure d’accueillir ces personnes en leur garantissant un espace de fraternité dans nos communautés? Souvent elles souhaitent rencontrer une Église qui soit une maison accueillante. Nos communautés peuvent-elles l’être en acceptant et en évaluant leur orientation sexuelle, sans compromettre la doctrine catholique sur la famille et le mariage?

    In French, “évaluer” doesn’t necessarily mean “value.” It means evaluate, assess, judge. It could mean value. I doubt it. I would translate it here as: “accepting and taking into consideration their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on marriage and the family.”

    I smell a craptastic English translation.

    It’s still a bizarre document.

  83. GAK says:

    Ok, so the Italian version is posted on the GERMAN bolletino page. The keystone cops are running the show.

    50 Le persone omosessuali hanno doti e qualità da offrire alla comunità cristiana: siamo in grado di accogliere queste persone, garantendo loro uno spazio di fraternità nelle nostre comunità? Spesso esse desiderano incontrare una Chiesa che sia casa accogliente per loro. Le nostre comunità sono in grado di esserlo accettando e valutando il loro orientamento sessuale, senza compromettere la dottrina cattolica su famiglia e matrimonio?

    “Valutare” in Italian doesn’t necessarily mean “value.” It also (and more principally) means to evaluate, to consider, to assess, to judge.

    I’ll stick with “take into consideration,” given the context.

  84. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I had never before today read Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons” (or ‘Homosexualitatis problema’) which was “adopted in an ordinary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”, then approved by Pope St. John Paul II, and is dated 1 October 1986.

    ChrisRawlings said above, “Is it more harmful for Pope Benedict to stay silent or to say something? It is an honest question that I’ve been pondering. Something has to be done, but I don’t know what.”

    Well, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, he wrote this, the Pope approved it, and it is there on the Vatican site for all to read. I would most warmly recommend reading it. If you are writing to Bishops, Synod Fathers, et al., as variously suggested, it could be commended to their attention.

    A lot of “Relatio” 50-52 reads like a bad – because unclear, and, therefore, misleading – summary of parts of it. (One could even imagine a viciously ironic, deliberately deceptive summary of parts of it ending up sounding not unlike “Relatio” 50-52: but it is there in its full length and depth to refute any such attempt, only supposing that it is read!)

  85. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    GAK,

    It should be possible to work your way around to the Italian text via this:

    http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2014/10/13/0751/03037.html

  86. GAK says:

    Thanks Venerator Sti Lot.

    Problem is that the Italian link has only the English version on it. The German link, on the other hand, has no German version. It has the Italian version. (I discovered that after I asked about the Italian version above.)

    You would think the PTBs could post the correct language version on the correct language site. Invece no.

  87. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    GAK,

    I fear I rushed to reply before seeing your second comment! It is a hoot that the German leads to the Italian text (a sort of mysterious ‘default’?).

    Lori Pieper has an interesting comment (near the bottom) on “valutando” under the earlier post “Be wary…”.

  88. GAK says:

    Again, thank you. I’ve just read Lori Pieper’s comment on “valutando.”

    We translated the phrase nearly identically, which is good news.

    I’d only add that “valutare” could mean “value.” But it’d be figurative if it did.

  89. Gail F says:

    Thank your for posting that, I hadn’t seen it and it’s valuable.

  90. Ferde Rombola says:

    The Pope has raised two red flags for me; the first was the removal of Cardinal Burke from the committee on bishop and installing Wuerl in his place. Donald Wuerl is the engine behind the homosexual flavor of the odious document under discussion. In Pittsburg he was known as ‘Donna.’ His bishops were ‘Wuerl’s Girls.’ He is a snake in the grass, a typical homosexual who doesn’t care what he destroys as long as he gets his way. This appointment by the Pope makes me question his own sexual orientation.

    The number two red flag is the Pope’s stacking the drafting group with known liberals, thus trying to insure his desired outcome. That points to the opinion of some that this whole thing is a sham. It’s up for grabs whether he’ll get away with it. If the Catholic bishops can get together and marginalize Wuerl , they may have a chance to turn this ship around. O’Malley, my bishop, is another one they have to watch. He’s been coddling homosexuals for years.

    There is a lot to be said for an uprising of the laity. They have dragged wayward popes back from the brink in the past and could do so again. The trick is getting enough of them (us) to act. “St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle….”

  91. Pingback: Da Tech Guy Blog » Blog Archive » Is the Vatican finally seeing it?

  92. Rachel K says:

    Michael, I thought your comments were very interesting. I agree that those with a homosexual orientation who keep chaste are carrying a particularly heavy cross which is unlike that of single heterosexual people. I sense that sexual attraction for these people is different and somehow more difficult to order than for heterosexuals.

    It came to my mind that Jesus said he had not come for those who were well but for the sick, the spiritually sick. I do think that the statement has been deliberately distorted to serve an agenda.
    I am sure that homosexual people, those whose marriages have collapsed, whether they remarry or not, feel cut off from the usual charity shown towards those who are “doing it right”.
    And Jesus also told us that the prositutes and tax collectors are running into Heaven ahead of us! How? He doesn’t tell us , but somehow his grace must be getting through to them and they must be converting because they cannot enter Heaven in their sinful state, as none of us can!

  93. Rachel K says:

    “I sense that sexual attraction for these people is different and somehow more difficult to order than for heterosexuals.”
    I wanted to clarify this statement, when I said “difficult to order” I mean of course to live in celibacy within that tendency to same sex attraction.

  94. little women says:

    Everyone has “gifts and qualities” that would benefit Holy Mother Church. Unfortunately, anyone in a state of mortal sin and has thus lost sanctifying grace, cannot use those same “gifts or qualities” efficaciously. Homosexuals are not alone in that camp.