Belgian Bishop rejects CDF Response about blessing same-sex unions. Fr. Z cites St. Catherine of Siena, Doctrix of the Church

My good friend Fr. Gerald Murray hit for six today at The Catholic Thing.   He tackled the dreadful  reaction of the ultra-liberal Bishop of Antwerp, Johan Bonny to the CDF document which clearly states that the unions of same-sex couples may not, cannot, must not receive a blessing from the Church.    In effect, Bonny rejected the CDF statement.

Fr. Murray gives examples of the shameful things Bonny said in the the secular De Standaard (cited in English here and here).  These include, I am not making this up:

“I feel ashamed for my Church. I mainly feel intellectual and moral incomprehension.”

“I would like to apologise to all for whom this responsum is painful and incomprehensible. Their pain for the Church is mine today.”

Fr. Murray concludes:


Bishop Bonny did not decide to reject Church teaching on the day that the Holy See issued the Responsum. His comments reveal a longtime practical acceptance of homosexual activity as a moral good that should be respected and approved of by the faithful.

At the time of his installation as the Bishop of Antwerp he publicly swore the required Oath of Fidelity that includes the following: “I promise that in my words and actions I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church. . . .I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it. . . .So help me God.”

Bishop Bonny faces a decision if he is to remain true to God and the words he solemnly swore on the Bible: recant his rejection of the Church’s teaching and faithfully proclaim that teaching within his diocese. If he cannot do that, he should immediately resign.

For the good of his soul and of the souls of his flock, I pray he recants. If he refuses and also refuses to resign, he should be removed by Pope Francis as a stumbling block, a true scandal to the faithful.

The rapid rise of the homosexualist agenda in the Church didn’t just accidently happen.  This has been in preparation through decades and decades of infiltration and patient cold-blooded careerism, promotion among their own and persecution of the straight and faithful.

Dear readers, do penance.  Make acts of reparation.

And let’s be clear about the horror of same sex acts.

St. Catherine of Siena, no less than a Doctrix of the Church, says in her Dialogues (ch 124), her conversations with God, that the Enemy, demons, incite people to unnatural sins (homosexual acts) but that they don’t stick around to see it happen, because it is too repulsive even for them.   Those acts are so contrary to nature that they offend their angelic intellect, even though they are fallen and apostate.

Io ti fo a sapere, carissima figliuola, che tanta purità richieggio a voi e a loro in questo sacramento, quanta è possibile a uomo in questa vita; in quanto dalla parte vostra e loro ve ne dovete ingiegniare d’aquistarla continuamente. Voi dovete pensare che, se possibile fusse che la natura angelica si purificasse, a questo misterio sarebbe bisogno che ella si purificasse; ma non è possibile, perché non à bisogno d’essere purificata, perché in loro non può cadere veleno di peccato. Questo ti dico perché tu vegga quanta purità Io richieggio da voi e da loro in questo sacramento, e singularmente da loro. Ma il contrario mi fanno, però che tutti immondi, e non tanto della immondizia e fragilità alla quale sete inchinevoli naturalmente (118v) per fragile natura vostra – bene che la ragione, quando il libero arbitrio vuole, fa stare queta la sua rebellione – ma i miseri, non tanto che raffrenino questa fragilità, ma essi fanno peggio, commettendo quello maladetto peccato contra natura. E come ciechi e stolti, offuscato il lume de l’intelletto loro, non cognoscono la puzza e la miseria nella quale essi sono: che non tanto che ella puta a me che so’ somma eterna purità – ed èmmi tanto abominevole che per questo solo peccato profondaro cinque città (Gn 19,24-25Sg 10,6) per divino mio giudicio, non volendo più sostenere la divina mia giustizia, tanto mi dispiacque, questo abominevole peccato – ma non tanto a me, come detto t’ò, ma alle dimonia, le quali dimonia i miseri s’ànno fatti signori, lo’ dispiace. Non che lo’ dispiaccia il male perché lo’ piaccia alcuno bene, ma perché la natura loro fu natura angelica, e però quella natura schifa di non vedere né di stare a vedere commettere quello enorme peccato attualmente. Àgli bene inanzi gittata la saetta avelenata del veleno della concupiscenzia, ma giognendo a l’atto del peccato egli si va via, per la cagione e per lo modo che detto t’ò.

“I wish thee to know, dearest daughter, that I require in this Sacrament from you and from them as great purity as it is possible for man to have in this life. On your side you ought to endeavour to acquire it continually. You should think that were it possible that the angelic nature should be purified, such purification would be necessary with regard to this mystery, but this is not possible, for angels need no purification, since the poison of sin cannot infect them. I say this to thee in order that thou mayest see how great a purity I require from you and from them in this Sacrament, and particularly from them. But they act in a contrary way, for they come full of impurity to this mystery, and not only of that impurity to which, through the fragility of your weak nature, you are all naturally inclined (although reason when free-will permits, can quiet the rebellion of nature), but these wretches not only do not bridle this fragility, but do worse, committing that accursed sin against nature, and as blind and fools with the light of their intellect darkened, they do not know the stench and misery in which they are. It is not only that this sin stinks before Me, Who am the Supreme and Eternal Truth, it does indeed displease Me so much and I hold it in such abomination that for it alone I buried five cities by a Divine judgment, My Divine justice being no longer able to endure it. This sin not only displeases Me as I have said, [NB:] but also the devils whom these wretches have made their masters. Not that the evil displeases them because they like anything good, but because their nature was originally angelic, and their angelic nature causes them to loathe the sight of the actual commission of this enormous sin. They truly enough hurl the arrow poisoned with the venom of concupiscence, but when their victim proceeds to the actual commission of the sin, they depart for the reason and in the manner that I have said. Thou rememberest that I manifested to thee before the plague how displeasing this sin was to Me, and how deeply the world was corrupted by it; so I lifted thee with holy desire and elevation of mind above thyself, and showed thee the whole world and, as it were, the nations thereof, and thou sawest this terrible sin and the devils fleeing as I have told thee, and thou rememberest that so great was the pain that thou didst receive, and the stench of this sin, that thou didst seem to thyself to see no refuge on this side of death, in which thou and My other servants could hide so as not to be attacked by this leprosy. Thou didst see that thou couldest not remain among men, for neither small nor great, nor old nor young, nor clerics nor religious, nor prelates, nor lords, nor subjects, were uncontaminated in body or mind by this curse.

The CDF document, which was a response to a dubium, said, in effect that the Church cannot bless sin.

St. Catherine makes it pretty clear what God thinks of sodomy and all the other unnatural acts that fall into that fell category.   So hideous, so offensive are those sins that even demons who provoke them won’t stick around while they are being committed.  Demons can, however, and will, stick around the places where those acts were committed.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. iamlucky13 says:

    “I mainly feel intellectual and moral incomprehension.”

    The term incomprehension might not be the best translation, but it fits his reaction in a manner he probably did not intend.

    To be fair, a lot of Catholics struggle with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality not because they have considered the teaching carefully and rejected it, but because it has never been taught to them clearly enough to comprehend it accurately. This makes emotional responses much easier than logical responses.

    Personally, I am realizing I really should spend more time studying some of the relevant encyclicals and Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body lectures, because we need to be able to explain the reasoning behind teachings like this very precisely, patiently (it is extremely hard to be patient when your mind is racing to recall logic one is not well versed in), and charitably. I know I could have done better in many conversations I have had with people close to me.

    Of course, fairness only goes so far in the case of a bishop, who should not need to have such things explained.

    “Intellectually, this does not even reach the level of high school. These kind[s] of arguments, the logic, you see right through it.”

    Uh huh…High school logic. He is referring of course, to arguments of the form, “I feel…”

    As Descartes would (not) say, “Sentio ergo est verum.”

  2. TonyO says:

    and as blind and fools with the light of their intellect darkened, they do not know the stench and misery in which they are.

    So important in understanding our times: people are so clouded in their minds that they are unable to grasp the proper meaning of sexuality. Their intellects are so darkened that they see evil as good, leading them to go ahead committing evil as if it were good. Now, nobody but God can tell what is the state of the bishop’s soul, but he himself is testifying that he doesn’t understand.

    And this stuff is actually pretty easy to grasp in its basics: marriage is for children, sex is for children, and sex that is per se, by its very nature empty and fruitless is neither part of marriage nor for children. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. dissertation to get this. For whole centuries at a time, generations of Christians who were illiterate were able to understand this. Sure, more can be said to lay out the issues with greater clarity and development, but that’s all frosting on the cake, not the essential framework. JPII’s theology of the body may help some few who are (at the moment) still not fully clouded by today’s social and moral disorders to even GRASP what that theology is saying, but in my experience there are plenty of others who cannot be helped by better explanations: it seems that grace and grace alone can penetrate their darkened minds. (Perchance, a great explanation now might bear fruit in some later time when grace unwinds their resistance to sound reason.)

  3. JustaSinner says:

    So if Arch Bishop Lefebvre was excommunicated for his acts why isn’t Bishop Bonny for his?
    Also, Father, I see what you did in the opening sentence. Definitely a wicked googly!

  4. JonPatrick says:

    The ground was set for this kind of disobedience by actions such as the Winnipeg Statement after the release of Humanae Vitae. Nothing was done to censure those bishops so a precedent was set. I suspect nothing will happen to this prelate either.

  5. acardnal says:

    It’s pretty clear from sacred scripture that homosexual acts are gravely sinful.
    Cf. 1 Cor 6:9 for starters.

    Either one believes or one doesn’t believe.

  6. donato2 says:

    Add to the criticism blatant careerism. It is obvious that Bishop Bonny is angling to get named Cardinal.

  7. sjoseph371 says:

    It always amazes me that bishops like this continuously deride the Church’s teachings. Nobody is forcing them to remain Catholic and there are (unfortunately, or maybe fortunately?) countless other denominations that he can join and lead as he sees fit where his views are taught, accepted, and celebrated. It is akin to someone in a job that does absolutely nothing but badmouth the company and its policies instead of doing the honorable (and most likely easier) thing and resign and go to another employer who will accommodate such views.

  8. InFormationDiakonia says:

    sjoseph371, I used to be amazed until I realized it is par for the course for many in the hierarchy. Most probably have come to the realization that nothing will be done to them. Given that as most assuredly a truism, then why would a bishop renounce his see with all the trappings that go along with it? They spout off unadulterated claptrap knowing that nothing will happen to them. Meanwhile they continue to fleece the flock and live their hedonistic (and probably homosexual) lifestyles to the full.

    There are certainly heretical denominations in the protest-ant world that would greatly accept him. But, and this is the big but, he will not have the power he has inside the Church. He’d just be another member of a pro-Sodomite, heretical sect of Lutheranism. So this is nothing but money, power, a comfortable lifestyle, basically as of the world as you can get. They get the big house, the big “stipend” even in retirement, a car, and any other “perk” of someone of the world would want.

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  10. Hans says:

    Would that we had a modern-day Hildebrand (later, Pope Saint Gregory VII) to root out corruption, vice, and heresy among those ranging from anti-popes and bishops to (in)famous scholar-monks as the did in the service of many popes from about 1045 to 1073, when he was himself elected pope (while he was yet a deacon).

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