How is the Synod on the Family at odds with the Catholic Church concerning homosexuality?
The English version of DICI #320 was just published this morning [see here in PDF], and from this issue of the SSPX's international news bureau, we offer the following commentary about the problematic Synod on the Family.
The Synod and “shameful affections”
Image above: St. Paul, who provided the theme of this article in his Letter to the Romans.
DICI is a news agency that lays claim to Catholicism. For this reason it is with extreme reluctance that DICI addresses topics that St. Paul told Christians not even to mention:
Be ye therefore followers of God, as most dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odor of sweetness. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints." (Ephesians 5:1-3)
The great Apostle was forming his disciples into alter Christis, and he could not tolerate that any should remain slaves to fleshly passions and to the spirit of covetousness:
For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." (Ibid. 5:5)
Nonetheless the world of today has long since revived the most degrading perversions, forgetting the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. Homosexuality, bestiality and numerous other sexual perversions are spreading throughout modern society while modesty, fidelity, continence and all the virtues that temper concupiscence are on the wane.
Against natural and divine law
Faced with the attack on Christian marriage, and now on natural marriage (the stable union of one man and one woman in a family for the procreation and education of children) the Catholic Church unwearyingly repeats the truth of the morality taught by the Gospels:
Nor the effeminate, nor liars with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:10)
The sin of homosexuality is a grave disorder and acting on it is classed by Holy Scripture among the sins that "cry out to heaven," along with murder and the oppression of widows and orphans. The sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance are those whose malice, and especially whose disturbance of the social order, call for a just vengeance from God even on this earth.
Such is the gravity of sins of homosexuality, banal though they have become, even promoted by all sorts of organizations and all types of propaganda. Think of all the LGTB groups, movies, fashion shows, and "gay pride" parades that flood the streets of the world's metropolises annually.
The Catholic Church has not escaped the pressure from the depraved world and its corrupt morals. Until now, it has recalled the ignominy and the unnatural character of this type of sin. The 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church still wrote, under no. 2357:
Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."
Serious divisions among the synodal Fathers
The preparation of the Synod on the Family has paradoxically provided an opportunity for promoters and supporters of the banalization of homosexuality. On October 13, 2014, the general relator of the Synod, Hungarian cardinal Peter Erdo showed this in a document released before 200 journalists. Under the title Relatio post disceptationem, he spoke of the appreciation for the "gifts and qualities" that homosexual persons had "to offer the Christian community" (Relatio, no. 50).
While the synod opposed any assimilation of homosexual partnerships to marriage between a man and a woman, as well as international lobbying in favor of gender theory (ibid. no. 51), it notes "that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners"! (no. 52).
At this same press conference, Archbishop Bruno Forte, special secretary to the synod and apparently author of the scandalous paragraphs, stated,
I think that this document seeks positive aspects where these elements can be found in such partnerships. It is easy to reject a thing, but to recognize and value what is positive, even amid these experiences, is a matter of intellectual honesty and spiritual charity."
Thus, for the first time in history, the Church in an official venue is promoting the welcome of homosexual persons as such. The challenge is no longer to convert, to call for repentance and to combat such disordered and sinful tendencies, but rather that "of welcoming these people and guaranteeing them a fraternal space in our communities," while, actively and publicly, they pursue a lifestyle of vice.
The scandal was immense and an outcry at this intermediary report was not long in coming. Interviewed on Radio Vatican, October 13th, Bishop Stanislas Gadecki, archbishop of Poznan and president of the Polish bishops' conference, was not afraid to state, "This document is unacceptable."
The African bishops also expressed their profound disagreement on Twitter; Cardinal William Fox Napier, archbishop of Durban, took a position of firm opposition to the articles on homosexuality, to which Cardinal Walter Kasper replied, in an interview with journalists, that African bishops "should not tell us what to do."
A few months later Cardinal Napier fell once again under the condescending scorn of Cardinal Kasper, who thinks
African archbishops are too obedient to taboos and too reticent to face the questions of polygamy and same-sex marriage…"
On October 18th, the final report of the Synod attempted to put out the fire with the art of compromise. It was learned that the paragraph on unnatural perversion was subjected to vote and received 118 votes in favor and 62 against. Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican Press Office, wished to emphasize that even if these paragraphs "did not obtain the required two-thirds majority, they were approved by a majority." So Pope Francis himself had chosen that the rejected paragraphs should also be published, "in order to prolong the debate."
Even if this text, according to Fr. Lombardi, "is neither a magisterial nor a disciplinary document," the problem remains unaltered. How could behavior that is against nature and intrinsically disordered be presented in such a positive light? How has a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance become a "sexual orientation" able to contribute "gifts and qualities" (what gifts and qualities?!) to the Christian community? What does the poorly disguised praise of the sense of sacrifice between homosexual persons mean? Do the authors intend to go so far as to compare this "precious support in the life of the partners" to the fidelity and support of husband and wife in marriage?
This would be one of the "blasphemous comparisons" between the Gospel and the revolution that St. Pius X denounced over a century ago. How can men of God find positive values or matter for edification in such vices, which are so many situations of sin?
Bishop Huonder's colleagues turn on him
On July 31, 2015, a Swiss bishop courageously recalled the moral teaching of the Church on these matters during a conference called "Marriage: gift, sacrament and mission." Bishop Vitus Huonder of Coire was speaking in Fulda, Germany, at the Forum Deutscher Katholiken. Because he was foolish enough to quote Holy Scripture, (Leviticus 18:22, and especially Leviticus 20:13: "If any one lie with a man as with a woman, both have committed an abomination, let them be put to death: their blood be upon them") the bishop of Coire was assaulted by a media firestorm, a lobbying campaign organized by several pro-homosexual groups supported by the media and several public figures.
Bishop Huonder tried to smooth things over, stating that he had quoted another ten passages from Scripture taken from both the Old and the New Testament, that he had only summarized the Catechism's teaching on the matter and that he was obviously not calling for the murder of homosexuals, but it would not do. The president of the Christian Democrat party, Christophe Darbellay, called his words "unacceptable".
Worse yet, the Swiss Bishops’ Conference promptly turned on their confrere in the episcopate, who by now had several court cases lodged against him and received death threats. The president of this conference, Bishop Markus Buchel of St. Gall, stated that he rejoiced "in every relationship where partners accept each other mutually as beloved children of God (sic)." He added,
Our current knowledge on homosexuality as an emotional investment and a sexual orientation that are not freely chosen was not understood in biblical times."
So that today the Church has the duty to accompany homosexual persons along the course of their lives:
A pathway in which they can integrate their particular form of relationships and their sexuality as a gift of God in their lives." (sic)
There could be no better preparation for the recognition and the blessing of this type of union. Particularly since the president of the Bishops Conference added that the Church must "find a new language that is appropriate to situations and persons."
Lastly, Bishop Charles Morerod (in the picture) of Geneva, Fribourg and Lausanne told newspaper Le Temps of August 12, 2015, that "the fact of being homosexual, especially without any personal choice, is neither a crime nor a sin." He continued on to say that the majority of homosexual persons discovered this aspect of themselves without deliberately intending it and thus without any moral responsibility!
History will note that it was only in the 21st century that men of the Church attempted to justify the most ignominious behavior using theology. Bishop Morerod states that Christian morality can only be practiced integrally by those who have the Faith, but he forgets to point out that even without the Faith all men can judge of the rectitude of their inclinations. What has become of the natural law? Does not the virtue of chastity, part of the cardinal virtue of temperance, bind all men capable of reason?
What will happen at the coming synod?
Under the influence of fear or cowardice, encouraged also—unfortunately—by the words of Pope Francis calling for welcome and mercy to be shown to homosexuals ("If a person is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?"), enthralled by the "spirit of the Council" that would proclaim a new humanism founded on the cult of man and the person, the men of the Church no longer know the duties proper to their responsibilities. They seem to have forgotten the existence of the most basic natural morality, as if as long as the Faith is not accepted by our contemporaries, it were useless to preach good morals.
Further, as St. Paul teaches the Romans, without faith in Jesus Christ, all men are in sin and under the shadow of divine punishment. The world we know, which has rejected its Savior, His law of love and His commandments, has relapsed into the most shameful paganism, which the Apostle to the nations was not afraid to describe, speaking of
shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error." (Romans 1:24-27)
But if those who commit these things are guilty, guiltier yet are those "that consent to them that do them." (Ibid. 1:32) For "woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness!" (Isaias 5:20) May the next synod, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff, dissipate the smoke of Satan that obscures the light of faith and reason. It is primarily to the shepherds of the flock that Christ said,
You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house." (Matt. 5:14-15)
Fr. Christian Thouvenot
1 Romans 1:26 (in the picture: statue of St. Paul, St. Peter's Square in Rome).
2 The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is described in the book of Genesis, chapters 18-19.
3 Fr. Dominique Prummer, O.P., Manuel de theologie morale [Manual of Moral Theology], Herder 1961, vol. 1, no. 360.
4 See Genesis 19:1–29; Romans 1:24–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10; 1 Timothy 1:10.
5 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "Persona humana," Dec. 29, 1975, no. 8.
6 Letter on the Sillon, Aug. 25, 1910.
7 Catholic Church—APIC, Aug. 9, 2015.
8 Press conference of July 28, 2013.
9 See Paul VI, closing address of Vatican II, Dec. 7, 1965:
The religion of God made man has encountered the religion (for that is what it is) of man-made God. […] Recognize at least this merit of the Church, you, modern humanists who deny the transcendence of supreme things, and learn to recognize our new humanism: we too, we more than anyone, we have the cult of man."
10 The Catechism of St. Pius X also condemns the malice of impurity:
It is a most grave and abominable sin in the sight of God and man; it lowers man to the condition of the brute; it drags him into many other sins and vices; and it provokes the most terrible chastisements both in this world and in the next." Catechism of St. Pius X, The Commandments of God. Published in English under the title A Compendium of Catechetical Instruction, Rt. Rev. Msgr. John Hagan, ed.
(Source: SSPX/MG—DICI no.320, September 11, 2015)