Francis’s Church: Where All The Sinners Are Saints
Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU, said the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year-old teaching on homosexual relationships was wrong and needed to be changed.
In an interview with the German Catholic News Agency KNA, the cardinal was asked, “How do you get around the Church’s teaching that homosexuality [behavior] is sin?”
The Cardinal replied, “I believe that this is false. But I also believe that here we are thinking further about the teaching. So, as the Pope has said in the past, this can lead to a change in teaching.”
“So I believe that the sociological-scientific foundation of this teaching is no longer correct,” said Cardinal Hollerich. “What one formerly condemned was sodomy. One thought at that time that in the sperm of the man, the whole child was kept. And one has simply transferred this to homosexual men.”
“But there is no homosexuality at all in the New Testament,” he said. “There is only discussion of homosexual acts, which were to some extent pagan cultic acts. That was naturally forbidden. I believe it is time for us to make a revision in the foundation of the teaching.”
The Catholic Church does not teach that being homosexual or having homosexual tendencies is sinful. However, it says that to engage in homosexual practices is sinful.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “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.” (2357)
In the KNA interview, Cardinal Hollerich was asked about changes in the church and he replied, “we cannot give the answers of the past to the questions of tomorrow.”
“The change in civilization we are witnessing today is the greatest change since the invention of the wheel,” said the cardinal. “The Church has always moved with the times and has always adapted. But one always had much more time to do that. Today we must be faster. Otherwise, we lose contact and can no more be understood.”
The top Catholic cardinal in Europe openly denies magisterial Catholic teaching, based in clear Scripture. That report, from Catholic News Service, cites this 1986 letter to the world’s Catholic bishops from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, who was at the time head of the Vatican’s chief doctrinal office. It says, in part:
4. An essential dimension of authentic pastoral care is the identification of causes of confusion regarding the Church’s teaching. One is a new exegesis of Sacred Scripture which claims variously that Scripture has nothing to say on the subject of homosexuality, or that it somehow tacitly approves of it, or that all of its moral injunctions are so culture-bound that they are no longer applicable to contemporary life. These views are gravely erroneous and call for particular attention here.
5. It is quite true that the Biblical literature owes to the different epochs in which it was written a good deal of its varied patterns of thought and expression (Dei Verbum 12). The Church today addresses the Gospel to a world which differs in many ways from ancient days. But the world in which the New Testament was written was already quite diverse from the situation in which the Sacred Scriptures of the Hebrew People had been written or compiled, for example.
What should be noticed is that, in the presence of such remarkable diversity, there is nevertheless a clear consistency within the Scriptures themselves on the moral issue of homosexual behaviour. The Church’s doctrine regarding this issue is thus based, not on isolated phrases for facile theological argument, but on the solid foundation of a constant Biblical testimony. The community of faith today, in unbroken continuity with the Jewish and Christian communities within which the ancient Scriptures were written, continues to be nourished by those same Scriptures and by the Spirit of Truth whose Word they are. It is likewise essential to recognize that the Scriptures are not properly understood when they are interpreted in a way which contradicts the Church’s living Tradition. To be correct, the interpretation of Scripture must be in substantial accord with that Tradition.
More from Ratzinger:
In Genesis 3, we find that this truth about persons being an image of God has been obscured by original sin. There inevitably follows a loss of awareness of the covenantal character of the union these persons had with God and with each other. The human body retains its “spousal significance” but this is now clouded by sin. Thus, in Genesis 19:1-11, the deterioration due to sin continues in the story of the men of Sodom. There can be no doubt of the moral judgement made there against homosexual relations. In Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, in the course of describing the conditions necessary for belonging to the Chosen People, the author excludes from the People of God those who behave in a homosexual fashion.
Against the background of this exposition of theocratic law, an eschatological perspective is developed by St. Paul when, in I Cor 6:9, he proposes the same doctrine and lists those who behave in a homosexual fashion among those who shall not enter the Kingdom of God.
In Romans 1:18-32, still building on the moral traditions of his forebears, but in the new context of the confrontation between Christianity and the pagan society of his day, Paul uses homosexual behaviour as an example of the blindness which has overcome humankind. Instead of the original harmony between Creator and creatures, the acute distortion of idolatry has led to all kinds of moral excess. Paul is at a loss to find a clearer example of this disharmony than homosexual relations. Finally, 1 Tim. 1, in full continuity with the Biblical position, singles out those who spread wrong doctrine and in v. 10 explicitly names as sinners those who engage in homosexual acts.
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.
An authentic pastoral programme will assist homosexual persons at all levels of the spiritual life: through the sacraments, and in particular through the frequent and sincere use of the sacrament of Reconciliation, through prayer, witness, counsel and individual care. In such a way, the entire Christian community can come to recognize its own call to assist its brothers and sisters, without deluding them or isolating them.
Read the entire letter, which was approved for publication by Pope John Paul II. It is deeply wise and authentically compassionate. And now that poor old man, holy Joseph Ratzinger, has to live to see so much of his work dismantled by the current pope and faithless cardinals, bishops, and priests — including this Jesuit Hollerich, raised to the cardinalate by Francis, but first appointed to the episcopacy by, well, Benedict XVI. What an agonizing irony.
Now, take a look at that 1986 letter by Cardinal Ratzinger, which is unambiguous about Scriptural teaching, and is in harmony with the ancient Church’s witness on the subject, and compare it to what Cardinal Hollerich, the Relator General of the October Synod, says. It’s a different religion. Cardinal Hollerich knows that you can’t really finesse the matter, so he says flat out that the Church has been wrong. He says in effect that he knows better than St. Paul. How can a church that flip-flops so spectacularly on a key issue like this be taken seriously as authoritative? It can’t. We are witnessing the destruction of the Catholic Church by its senior leadership.
You hear the latest from Pope Francis? Watch and listen:
Pope Francis: “let’s think about those who have denied the faith, who are apostates, who are the persecutors of the Church, who have denied their baptism: Are these also at home?” Yes, these too. The blasphemers, all of them. We are brothers. This is the Communion of Saints.” pic.twitter.com/c8oxDIbrAO
— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) February 2, 2022
Nobody goes to Hell. Sorry, St. Paul. Sorry, Jesus. You were wrong. Pope Francis knows better.
If he was saying that those who have denied the faith, apostates, and even persecutors are human beings despite that, then of course he is right. If he is saying that they can be forgiven if they repent, and be restored to communion with the Church, then yes, that is absolutely true. But that is not what he said. He said that people who curse God, who deny the faith, who beat, torture, and even murder Christians, are at home in the Church.
This is moral insanity. Adolf Hitler was baptized and confirmed as a Catholic. According to the teaching of the Jesuit pope, he is part of the Communion of Saints. Francis said in this discourse (see the screenshot above) that the communion of saints includes all the sinners on earth. This is not true. Look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s teaching on the Communion of Saints. Besides, if there is no meaningful difference between sinners and saints, what is the purpose of the Church at all?
How is this not diabolical confusion?
I hope I’m wrong, but I believe that I will live to see a schism in the Catholic Church. You might say, “What do you care? You aren’t Catholic.” Leaving aside the many Catholic friends I have, whom I do not want to see grieved by this, I have for many years been clear that the future of Christianity in the West stands or falls with the Catholic Church. We Orthodox are far too small to make a difference. Protestantism is stronger in some precincts, but in my judgment it lacks the fundamentals necessary to withstand the acid bath of modernity. A conservative Evangelical friend confided to me the other day that his denomination is dead, but doesn’t know it yet. We non-Catholics living in the post-Christian West may not be subject to the pontiff’s authority, but I am confident that our own well being depends on Rome’s health. And right now, it looks like Rome is falling apart theologically under its current leadership.
Catholic readers, a serious question: if the Synod and the Pope change Catholic teaching on homosexuality, what are you going to do? Would you go into schism? If you remained in Communion with the Roman see, how would you manage that?
Orthodox Christian readers, this is exactly the kind of thing converts like me are trying to protect our Church from by sounding the alarm about liberal renovationists of our time and place.
Look, there are no ecclesial safe places from this stuff. Some places are safer than others, but if you can go from the Vatican’s doctrinal office writing that binding letter in 1986 to the kind of radical revisionism on homosexuality that we hear today from top cardinals, and that the Pope permits and encourages (e.g., his recently publicized letter praising the radical nun for her pro-LGBT work) in a single generation, then all that is solid melts into air. Who authored that phrase? Marx and Engels — you know, the two bearded Germans who, I have on top authority, are in the Communion of Saints.
This is madness. If you can’t read the signs of the times and prepare yourself, your family, and your parish to endure what is fast coming at all Christians, you are foolish, and will live to regret it.