The Pope is partly right

But Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1986 statement selectively cited
Te Pope on his return flight from Armenia

The Pope on his return flight from Armenia

The following comes from a June 28 story by John-Henry Weston in Crisis magazine.

On June 26, the anniversary of the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in the USA, Pope Francis made controversial comments on his return flight from Armenia. He said that the Catholic Church and all Christians should apologize to homosexuals for failing to protect and accompany them.

In truth, there is likely an apology due to persons experiencing same-sex attraction from the Church, particularly her leadership beginning with Pope Francis himself. Rather than make the needed apology, the Pope in his remarks repeated the very actions for which the Church must repent—failure to point out the immorality of homosexual acts.

For all of his push to be caring and pastoral, the Holy Father missed an opportunity to demonstrate care and pastoral outreach, at least by a truly Catholic definition of those terms. Since homosexual acts, from a Catholic perspective, lead to dire consequences for the soul, the Church has always insisted on informing people about these dangers.

Pope Francis’ predecessor Pope Benedict XVI made that clear while serving under Pope St. John Paul II. In 1986, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger issued a document instructing bishops on the pastoral care of homosexual persons. In it, the Cardinal admonished bishops to ensure they were “clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral.” The instruction adds, “But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church’s position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.”

One could fairly say that Pope Francis misrepresented the Catechism in his response to the reporter on the plane. “I repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that they must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally,” said the Pope. Nowhere in his response did he express any of the Catechism’s many grave warnings about homosexual acts.

The Catechism’s teaching on homosexuality is given in three paragraphs comprising just over 220 words. The Pope’s response references only 20 words from the middle of the second paragraph, ignoring the numerous passages warning against the harmful sexual behavior.

The Catechism warns that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and that they are “intrinsically disordered,” that they are “contrary to the natural law” and that “under no circumstances can they be approved.” The Catechism stresses that same-sex attracted persons are called to chastity, and calls them to approach Christian perfection.

Those truths however are very hard to mention especially today where those who would dare give voice to the harms of gay sex are immediately deemed social outcasts. But are Catholics, especially those in the hierarchy, not called to “preach the truth in season and out of season?” Do the Scriptures not admonish us that to fail to discipline is to “hate” your child?

It is love that compels a parent to remove a child from a dangerous situation, even when that child is complaining about his parents being mean for depriving him of his fun. But if you believe in the eternal consequences for sexual sin, you cannot stay silent.

Even a committed atheist can see that. Penn Jillette, of the famous Christian-bashing show Penn and Teller, said these words back in 2008:

If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and that people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward …—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible, and not tell them that?

So, yes, Catholics and all Christians need to apologize to those with same-sex attractions. We need to apologize for having failed to lovingly point out the harm of homosexual sexual acts for both body and soul. That pastoral activity was the duty of the clergy first and foremost.

Love demands we speak the truth and the future of Christianity depends on it, as Pope Benedict warned. A time of persecution of the Church is near at hand, and indeed, in many parts has already arrived.

In an address given only 18 days prior to his election to the pontificate, and one day prior to the death of Pope John Paul II, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said: “Very soon it will not be possible to state that homosexuality, as the Catholic Church teaches, is an objective disorder in the structuring of human existence.”





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  1. Michael McDermott says:

    LGBT Crowd Eyes Preschool Children
    When enrolling your children in preschool, a curriculum check will now be mandatory.

    “There was once a time when it was unthinkable to even mention the topic of homosexuality in a school setting,” said one pro-family activist.

    A new web series called “Queer Kids Stuff” aimed at preschoolers (yes, you read that right) is now attempting to teach those barely out of diapers what the phrases “gay,” “bisexual,” and “transgender” mean.

    In the opening minutes of the first show, the host tells a teddy bear, as well as innocent viewers, that “gay means love…

  2. Anne T. says:

    Amen, amen and amen. I could not have said it better.

    St. Charles Lwanga and St. Matthias Mulumba Kalemba and their twenty martyred companions, including those martyred from the Anglican Church, pray for us. You who were persecuted and murdered because you refused the sexual advances of King Mwanga of Uganda pray for us — for our truthfulness with charity, for our sacred honor and steadfast loyalty to Jesus Christ and for our unending courage to do that which is right whatever the cost.

  3. drewelow says:

    tort lawyers will be able to capitalize on the admission of harm by the pope when new clients come forth with stories of trauma experienced in church contexts. theres goes another billion out the window.

  4. Linda Maria says:

    I don’t care for the Holy Father’s interviews– especially the last one, on the plane ride home, from Armenia! He simply does not act like a Pope, that’s all! No catechetical teaching– all just “bleeding-heart liberal” mush, all the time! Never a sharp Jesuit mind, to explain something very clearly, and tell all the points involved, exactly! Just a bunch of “hippie-liberal, bleeding-heart,” emotional hype! It is not good! Mankind (Catholics, and others) needs the exact Christian truth, from a good Pope, and clear explanations! Then, RESPECT will follow, for him!! And those who disagree— so what?? That’s life!

    • Linda Maria says:

      I also read the interesting interview, with Abp. Ganswein, who cares for the Papal household, as well as serving Pope Benedict emeritis. He was asked about the two popes. Also, he was asked what he thought, of the famous Prophecy of Malachy, the 12th century archbishop of Armaugh. The prophecy seems to state that Pope Francis may be the final Pope! Interesting— but it is all just for fun, I hope, and not really true!

    • Linda Maria, is it possible that the “bleeding-heart liberal” mush that you don’t like is what the Church has been teaching for thousands of years? Just asking. The Pope’s press conference referred to the Catechism more than once, and taught what the Bible and the Catechism teaches. The meaning of “liberal” and “Conservative” changes over the years. When I was younger, the southern democrats were the conservatives and us New England republicans where the liberals. What we now consider “liberal” is pretty much what the Church has taught for years, except for the Pro-Life issues. Wait a few years and the meanings will change again.:)

      • Linda Maria says:

        Bob One– you misread what I wrote, completely! Do you know the term, “bleeding-heart liberal?” This term means, an IMMATURE liberal (Democrat, usually) who feels sorry for those who are “suffering” (for example, Sandra Fluke, the feminist of Georgetown U., who demanded that Obamacare cover birth control and abortion, and to feel sorry for her and her college friends, because they all needed to sleep around with boys at the school, but needed birth control and abortion, to do so) So– to appease their guilt– the “bleeding-heart liberal” gives “Baby Sandra” what she wants! WITH NO ADULT MORAL MATURITY!! See what I mean??

        • Linda Maria says:

          Bob One- a good religious leader, always gives the true teachings of Christ– and does so, with manly reasoning, point-by-point, logically, and with confidence, and manly dignity– and with kindness, too! He never lets silly emotions overwhelm him, as a teacher and leader– that would be ridiculous! He also is very sharp mentally- and sees through silly, babyish, arguments, especially of the young! He firmly points to the Truth, and encourages all to live up to it! No, it is not easy, and he lets them know, that they must daily pick up their crosses, and pray, and be strong! Faith in God– strong FAITH!– will see us through!

          • Linda Maria says:

            Bob One– The Catholic Church never taught IRRESPONSIBLE “bleeding-heart liberal mush!” Instead– the Church always taught Christ’s hard truths– to love others, but with RESPONSIBILITY!! A good religious leader always must give Christ’s “tough love” for those who are in sin, and help them get out of their sins! Very rational, not “emotional mush!” And you are right– the term of “liberal” has changed, since the irresponsible, immoral, narcissistic, hedonistic 1960’s! The liberal Democrats of today– are just terrible! Not the same, as their forefathers!

          • Linda Maria says:

            Bob One— I am so sorry, but I think I got carried away, with my replies to your post! I don’t mean to sound so emotionally intense– you were simply making good points, in your initial reply, to my first post! Bless you!

  5. Michael McDermott says:

    Homosexuality is a danger to human health
    Although there are many reasons to oppose the normalization of homosexuality, this reason alone would be enough: it represents an enormous risk to human health.
    The National Health Interview Survey,…results are astounding and alarming for anyone who cares about people who are trapped in a sexually abnormal lifestyle.

    The survey … published in JAMA – can’t be dismissed as the product of right wing homophobic bigots.

    The survey found that a sexually non-normative lifestyle takes a particular toll on women and bisexuals…

    The politically-compromised researchers were quick to blame social bias and rejection for these devastating…

  6. Francis’ msg largely schismatic and/or heretical, contrary to the teachings of traditional Catholic doctrine. Re gays/abortion & numerous other issues about which the left has imposed its ideology on Western societies, sadly Catholics have lost that war.

    However that does not remove the obligation of the Church, if it is to approach some semblance of theological credibility again, from using its Magesterial authority to preach the Gospel as it is written.

    The Church’s influence is at such low point is simply because, the theology no longer has any continuity, i.e., it’s become impossible to define what Catholicism is, one of the reasons why I no longer practice, but still hold a reverence for the faith that is overwhelming…

  7. Catherine says:

    African cardinal rebukes Cardinal Marx’s call for apology to homosexuals

    “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see Cardinals opposing Cardinals, Bishops against other Bishops. The priests who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres (other priests). Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.” Our Lady of Akita, Japan Oct. 13, 1973

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Well then perhaps Cardinal Napier ought to stop taking twitter lessons from Donald Trump.

      • Ann Malley says:

        Well, maybe you should speak with Cardinal Marx who is scandalizing the Faithful via twitter.

        Sorry, YFC, but public scandal calls for public rebuke.

        ….and don’t blame Trump for taking advantage of social media. You’re sure doing your share of engaging and, in truth, promoting all manner of delusional notions.

  8. Joel Fago says:

    Pope Francis is the leading purveyor of half-truths.

    The most dangerous heresies of our time are half-truths. After the Orlando massacre, John Stemberger, an advocate for marriage and family, described the dead as “image bearers of the Creator and worthy of dignity, value and respect.” He urged those who were defending marriage as a union of one man and one woman to be silent for the time being.

    John Stemberger urged them to reflect upon the truth that he had espoused. What he had said about the gays was true. However, without continuing at the same time to speak the truth about marriage, he was hurting the gays by eliciting sympathy for them without urging them to turn away from their perverse lifestyle.

    He and Pope Francis are…

  9. St. Christopher says:

    We need to pray for the Pope and for the lost people upon which he relies. One recent article asked, for example, if Cardinal Marx was a homosexual (which explains his rage). Who knows? However, it is clear that the German episcopate very much desires political relevancy and is willing to merge that into its duty to bring the Gospel to all and preach salvation. Forget apologizing to homosexuals; treat them with civil respect, but also tell them, as Mr. Weston suggests, that what they are doing is not consistent with Catholic teaching, that such teaching cannot change, and that their souls are at grave risk. Then pray for them and let God do the rest.

  10. A Conclave would be nice about now.

  11. The apologia due to those who practice homosexuality is from Catholics who do not love such practitioners and promoters by failing to teach the truth about who we all are as men and women, not showing them how to accept our given sexuality as male or female. We are doing homosexuals, and anyone else with an inclination to sexual deviancy, no favors by affirming their disordered inclinations and actions, but rather a service in charity by revealing to them the full truth of who they are, and who they are called to be, in God’s image.” John Paul Meenan

  12. An Apologia for Deviancy by John Paul Meenan in Crisis magazine

  13. david drewelow says:

    joe, i think the trial run internship is about over and pope benedict will step back in from his retreat -sabbatical…

    • From your lips to God’s ears..

    • David, one can only hope for the sake of Catholics and for the sake of Francis.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Can’t be done, as Benedict fully and voluntarily resigned and holds no office in the Church. and if Benedict tried to take over as Pope again, it would be a dangerous step for the governance of our Church.

  14. Imagine! Gentle kindness, compassion apology for murder, perversion… and the corruption of the innocent… but when it comes to Catholics holding fast to Sacred Scripture and Tradition, and the Truth! btw what the Church has always taught… this prelate then shows his true colors… stern words, threats and condemnation!! Who could have imagined this? Until just a short time ago this all would have been confined to the trashy fiction of cheap novels thought up and published by only the most perverted and tormented minds…

  15. Michael McDermott says:

    Pope Benedict Confronted Gay Lobby

    Pope Emeritus Benedict is admitting he confronted a powerful gay lobby that worked to influence decisions in the Vatican… he discovered a homosexual ring consisting of four or five individuals in the Vatican who worked to push their own agenda, and that he succeeded in breaking up “this power group.”

    Pope Francis has admitted to the existence of a “gay lobby” in the Church, a statement recently corroborated by his closest advisor, Cdl. Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who acknowledged in January that there has been an “infiltration of the gay community in the Vatican.”

    “Not only that,” he added, “also the Pope…

  16. I’ll tell you who should be apologizing: the homosexual “priests” who infiltrated the priesthood to sodomize boys, bringing about the worst abuse scandal on the Church; not to mention the damage done to their innocent, trusting victims. It breaks my heart and angers me at the same time when I think of it. Pope Francis as usual, your comments are misdirected and incomplete. In fact, you’re way off target.

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