First, for a while now, some theologian friends and I have watched with a measure of distaste and concern a “queering of theology”.
I see today via Corrispondenza Romana a story entitled: “Papa Francesco apre le porte alla “teologia queer”? Is Pope Francis opening the doors to “queer theology”?
A little bit of the initial part in my translation:
Is Pope Francis opening the doors to “queer theology”? The question rises spontaneously after having found out that the Portuguese priest and poet José Tolentino de Mendonça, a known fan of Sr Maria Teresa Forcades i Vila – a theologian known for her “queer” positions and who in recent days was in Italy to present her book, “Siamo tutti diversi! Per una teologia Queer” (Castelvecchi Editore) – has been called to guide the upcoming and by now traditional spiritual exercises undertaken at Ariccia for Pope Bergoglio himself with members of the Roman Curia.
The article goes on to describe how Forcades – a Benedictine nun of Montserrat – travels all over the world to spread a homosexualist agenda in the Church. It also show the link between the priest who will lead the papal and curial retreat with this homosexualist activist nun.
Frankly, I seriously doubt that the Holy Father thinks this stuff up himself. One of his underlings surely came up with this guy and the Holy Father said, “Sure, yeah, fine!”, as he turned his attention to more pressing matters. That’s also probably what happened when they showed him the plans for that horrid and scandalous homosexual-themed Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square for 2017. “Holiness, we have the design for this year’s presepio. As you can see on this side…”. “Yes, yes. That’s fine”, he sighs as he walks to his next audience with an impatient wave of his hand.
Next, La Stampa has an article about how the Diocese of Torino is offering same-sex faux-“marriage” prep, “lezione di fedeltà… course in fidelity”. This course will be offered at a monastery of sisters, the Daughters of Wisdom. The priest in charge, who also teaches theology in Torino, didn’t quite say that there would be double rooms for couples, but he hoped they could all have individual cells. UPDATE: I’ve been told that, because of the uproar, this was suspended.
I wonder: How low does a religious community need to sink, how bad do finances have to be, to host this sort of thing in their house?
Crossing the pond, we turn to Hell’s Bible (aka New York Times) which has a cringe worthy, sycophantic offering about the ubiquitous homosexualist activist Jesuit James Martin entitled, “The Scariest Catholic in America”.
It is to laugh. Scary? This is an old favorite of liberals: they push some agenda that is clearly wrong or immoral or just plain foolish and, whenthey encounter resistance from the right the moral and the sensible, they start throwing out words like “hate” and accusations of “fear”.
“You conservatives fear change! Haters gotta hate!”
These days they are also utilizing “alt-right”, with its connotations of racism, etc. That is reprehensible, of course, but they don’t care. They will use any tactic they can, including lies and character assassination to intimidate their opposition into silence and acquiescence.
No, what we truly fear is “him that can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). In addition, we have a kind of holy fear which is the beginning of wisdom, reverential awe for the God who wrote His image into us and who ordered all nature to reflect His goodness. What we truly hate is sin, which kills souls and plays into the hands of the Enemy.
For all their cant about inclusivity and tolerance, no one bullies like a lib. We conservatives are mere pikers when it comes to organized bullying and abuse of power.
Back to Hell’s Bible.
The author of the smarmy article is Frank Bruni. As the NYT’s food critic, openly homosexual, having won awards from homosexualist groups, he is over-qualified to write in defense of Martin. And defend he does, with references to the most extreme language used by some people on Twitter, in order to tar with the same brush everyone who resists their common agenda.
On that note, however, I must say that I’ve seen some people on Twitter aim really despicable tweets with disgusting sentiments and language at Fr. Martin and other uber-libs, like Massimo “Beans” Faggioli, etc. Some of them are surely Catholics and some of those surely read this blog. I am appalled that Catholics would say some of those things. GO TO CONFESSION and then shut the hell up if you can’t engage with substance. You are doing tremendous damage, as the NYT piece proves.
Let’s be super clear about something.
Good, practicing Catholics do not, must not, hate homosexuals (or anyone else).
Good Catholics do not condemn homosexuals simply on the grounds of their being homosexuals. The Church teaches that homosexual inclinations and acts are disordered inclinations and acts. Again and again the Church clarifies that the people who have the inclinations are not, simply because of those inclinations, bad or evil or sinful, etc.
To insist that the Church’s teaching be fully explained is not hatred or homophobia. Quite the opposite. It is charity. It’s particularly charity, sacrificial love, today because people who insist that the Church’s teaching be fully taught and respected are now being attacked and made to suffer for the sake of the truth. We have to be willing to suffer for the sake of the true good of another.
The true good of another does not omit something as important as the truth about human sexuality.
An inclination to an evil action isn’t in itself sinful, unless it is purposely fostered. If someone has an inclination or temptation to steal or to commit arson and they resist the inclination, they not only do not sin, they also do something meritorious. In the suffering that comes from resisting the temptations they have, God favors them and gives them graces. Giving in to a temptation results in sin. Resisting it and even suffering by it can be spiritually beneficial and pleasing to God.
Sexual temptations are common to us because of the wounds from original sin. We have a hard time controlling our appetites. However, sexual temptations and inclinations towards members of the same sex are disordered in themselves, while sexual temptations and inclinations towards members of the opposite sex – even though they may be sinfully improper because they are outside of marriage or for selfish reasons, etc. – are at least ordered correctly.
I firmly believe that people with same-sex attraction, if they live chastely and strive to be holy, will have a very high place in heaven. I imagine that the suffering this attraction can cause is truly horrible. Sexual sins are not the worst sins we wounded mortals can commit. There are far graver, far more harmful sins than those of the flesh. The mind and heart are of a higher plane than the body. Hence, sins of the mind and heart are worse than sins of the flesh.
BUT… the Church tends to teach far more often about sins of the flesh than sins of the spirit. Why?
Because even if they are not the worst sins, they are among the easiest to commit. In committing them we still commit mortal sins, and being in the state of sin tends to lead to other, worse sins through a darkening of the intellect and additional weakness of will.
Simply put: sin makes us stupid.
Sexual sins kill the life of grace in the soul. However, there are ways in which some sexual sins can be worse than others. Fornication harms two people. Adultery harms even more people and it violates the sacramental character that married people have. Sexual relations between members of the same sex are graver sins than those committed by members of the opposite sex, because they violate the very image of God gives us as either male or female. However, while sexual acts between members of the opposite sex at least make use of the sexual powers in a natural act according to male-ness and female-ness as God designed, open to life (when not artificially blocked, etc.), sexual acts between members of the same sex are really mutually enabled self-abuse, ordered toward nothing fruitful at all.
It seems to me that homosexual relationships which include sexual acts is a deep twisting of friendship. There is no question that people of the same sex can truly love each other, in the sense of godly friendship, charity. Charity always seeks to the true good of the other, to the point of sacrificing one’s own preferences, or even life. To engage in homosexual acts isn’t love. It is a violation of friendship, not a sign of friendship, because it causes a friend to commit a sin that separates them from the love of God.
The problem with the homosexualist agenda, as it seems to me, is not… NOT... in the affirmation of homosexual people as members of the Church, beloved children of the Father, the dignified subjects of their own actions as images of God, redeemed by Christ’s Blood on the Cross, living temples of the Spirit, living stones of the Church.
The problem with the homosexualist agenda lies in the fact that the impression this movement is spreading is that they think that the Church’s teachings on homosexuality are wrong and that homosexuals don’t have to live chaste lives.
Someone might rush to point out that, yes, some homosexual advocates do, in fact, say that homosexuals should be chaste. “See? It’s right there on page 267 in a footnote!”
In the desire to affirm, I sense a kind of lie, like the deception of the serpent in the garden. “You are wonderful! You don’t really have to avoid that!” The affirmation of homosexual persons as members of the Church without the strong and constant and clear message that they must live chastely, is inadequate.
It is possible to deceive people through understatement of a key aspect of the truth.
Example. A married man by chance runs into an old flame at a coffee shop. He tells his wife later that he ran into X at the coffee shop and they had coffee together and talked for a while. The wife thinks that this is no big deal. What her husband failed to mention is that they had coffee and sat and talked for four hours… in her nearby hotel room. He told her the truth: they ran into each other by chance, at a coffee shop, and they talked. But he didn’t tell her something else that mattered. He omitted an important detail or two.
Example. A penitent confesses that, since her last confession 1 week ago, she lied. What she doesn’t say is that she lied 40 times, including submitting job applications that she knew contained false information and lying during interviews. “I lied”, can mean she lied once or it can mean 40 times. The number becomes really important at a certain point. A person who lies that much has a serious problem with lying. Omitting the detail of the number is a kind of deception through understatement.
Not all deception by understatement is gravely sinful. It is possible to deemphasize or understate something in a matter that isn’t all that important in order to keep the peace or perhaps not to frighten a child. In order to avoid an argument about something that is simply not that critical, it’s okay to understate your own knowledge of the topic by hedging with the response, “Sorry, I don’t know enough about that.”
Example. You are at the Big Game. You are a real fan and have memorized amazing statistics about all the players. Some gigantic fanatic in the enemy team’s jersey, corresponding face paint and crazy, dilated pupil eyes beneath a mascot-shaped hat starts in on you with increasingly foam in the corners of his mouth about the teams’ records and repeatedly – and wrongly – challenges you about some detail. “Sorry, pal. I just don’t know enough about it.” You do, in fact, know, but your understatement here may have helped prevent an assault.
That’s in a matter of low importance, even though being or not being assaulted is pretty important at the time.
It may be that in an effort to compensate for past harshness about homosexuals, and prejudicial treatment (i.e., important), Martin and Co. think they should draw them in, put them at ease, by not saying anything too challenging. But understate the need for chastity? That’s deception of a high order. That’s too important, in a matter of high importance, to leave out.
It seems to me that this is what many conservatives find so troubling about the work of Fr. Martin. The impression he is leaving – by understatement of something very important – is that homosexual acts are – or will be – accepted by the Church, that the Church will change her teaching, that the Church merely has outdated rules which are susceptible to alteration.
Am I wrong about this? Is, in fact, Fr. Martin best known for his work in stressing chastity for homosexual Catholics? It seems to me that that is not the first thing people think these days when he comes up. “Oh yes! Fr. Martin! He’s the one working so hard to help ‘gay’ Catholics live chaste lives.” Please correct me if I am wrong, but my guess is that, if anyone has heard of him at all, they associate him with saying that the Church should change her teaching and that there is nothing wrong with homosexual acts. Didn’t he even advocate homosexuals kissing in church during Mass? Okay, I already know the answer to that. Yes, he did. HERE
Look. There is a movement in the Church that has powerful players who are trying to “queer” not just theology, but, per force, everything. It may be relatively small in numbers, but they are not without influence and useful secular allies. Like the minions I suspect near to the Pope, they are not afraid to use raw power and bullying and secular allies to achieve their ends.
Keep your eyes and ears open to seeming coincidences of stories with similar content appearing online and in print within a short span of each other. Watch for the themes they touch on, the language they use.
For example, we see Fr. Martin, wearing his New catholic Red Guard cap, spout that the opposition should be censored.
It’s time for bishops, priests and lay leaders finally to stand up to the hate-mongering of online groups with no standing whatsoever in the church, who seek to substitute their spurious authority for legitimate church authority, and who seek to run the church by fear and hatred.
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) January 28, 2018
Rich. Fr. Martin, is himself the bully when it comes to opposition. He appeals to the use of raw power rather than to dialogue.
And who is he to say that some people have “no standing” in the Church? Isn’t he the one who advocates that “gays” have “standing”? Would he commit the same sin of hatred that he decries? So it would seem.
Martin’s whine followed days after our old pal Phyllis Zagano of the Fishwrap wrote hysterically that bloggers shouldn’t be allowed to “disrespect the pope (sic)“. Whom could she possibly have in mind? This from a writer for a publication that did nothing but disrespect the moral teachings of last two Popes. She thinks that clerical bloggers should be silenced. Well, of course she would, wouldn’t she. This from a writer for a publication that flipped the proverbial bird at the bishop who told them to remove “Catholic” from their masthead and can barely go a couple days without an article endorsing sodomy.
Remember a while back when well-known libs were whining that converts (i.e., conservatives) were allowed to voice their opinions?
This is what they do, friends. When they know that they aren’t winning, they start whining about everyone “being nice”. Then, as thing go worse, they demand the use of raw power to squelch the opposition.
As Lent approaches you might consider taking on some penance or mortification for Holy Church’s duly appointed pastors. Some of them have succumbed to a horrid agenda and are now themselves agents. Some of them are under pressure and attack for defending the Church’s teachings and laws. Some of them are timid, afraid to take a stand, lest they attract bad press or bullying. They’re only men. They’re overworked, often distracted, tired, men whom the Devil hates with unrelenting malice. They need our prayers and our thanks when they stand up for what’s good, true and beautiful.