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Title: The Synod’s final report is a victory for liberals on homosexuality – here’s why
Source: Life Site News
URL Source: https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/ ... medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba6
Published: Oct 26, 2015
Author: John Henry Westen
Post Date: 2015-10-27 00:12:29 by redleghunter
Ping List: *Religious History and Issues*     Subscribe to *Religious History and Issues*
Keywords: None
Views: 1168
Comments: 5

ROME, October 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- The truth of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality is so far removed from the mainstream media’s debates over same-sex “marriage” it is nearly impossible to achieve an accurate reading of the Synod’s final document (Relazione Finale) without an in depth understanding of the Church’s teaching in this regard.

The most essential and basic teaching is that homosexual acts are gravely sinful, which means they separate the perpetrator from God and can lead to eternal damnation. (Naturally the inclination to commit homosexual acts – popularly called a homosexual orientation – is not sinful, just as the temptation to any other serious sin is not sinful in itself.) Every subsequent understanding of homosexuality in the Catholic Church develops from this truth – and this teaching is missing from the Synod’s only paragraph concerning homosexuality.

The Relazione Finale paragraph on homosexuality speaks first and foremost about respecting and welcoming homosexual persons and avoiding unjust discrimination toward them. It couches the issue in terms of families experiencing homosexual persons within them and calls on the Church to have special care to “accompany” such families.

This can fit into Catholic teaching with a proper understanding of what is meant. There can be no respect or welcome for homosexual acts, there can be no encouragement of the “intrinsically disordered” acts or pride in them. Accompanying of such families must mean a recognition of the grave danger to which the family member is susceptible. Those clarifications come in the Catechism by way of language appropriate to the gravity of the offensiveness of homosexual acts.

“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,” says the Catechism, “tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’" It adds: “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.”

However, all of that language is missing from the Synod’s final document. The war over language in the Synod hall was all about getting rid of clear language condemning homosexuality and other sins, and the liberals have achieved their goal in the final document. Gone are references to even the sinfulness of homosexual acts let alone that they are “intrinsically disordered” and that the inclination even though not sinful is itself “objectively disordered.”

Surprising to many will be the fact that the Catechism never even mentions gay “marriage.” That is simply because the opposition to it flows from those essential teachings about the gravely sinful nature of homosexual acts. Without the basic understanding that such acts are so harmful that they can lead to eternal separation from God, there is no absolute basis for opposing homosexual relationships. And that is exactly what is missing in the Relazione Finale even though it does rule out gay "marriage."

After the language about respecting, welcoming and avoiding unjust discrimination, the Relazione Finale quotes another Church document saying that with regard to treating homosexual unions as equivalent to marriage, "there is no foundation whatsoever to assimilate or establish even remotely analogous between homosexual unions and God's plan for marriage and the family."

The Church document quoted (Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons) contains all sorts of clarifying language to denote the gravity of homosexual acts:

Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law… Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity... (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”.(5) This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries(6) and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.

None of that is quoted in the Relazione Finale.

Of note, another Church document dealing with homosexuality underlines the problem with this omission in the Synod’s final text. The 1986 Letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons recognizes that true mercy consists in lovingly presenting the truth. It stresses the need for “clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral,” and adds, “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.”

Explaining how silence on the immorality of homosexual acts such as that in the Relazione Finale can be seen as “neither caring nor pastoral,” the author, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, wrote, “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.”

The final document’s paragraph ends with a sentence which comes as a nod to the grievances of African bishops who have been pressured by the West to accept gay “marriage”: “The Synod believes that it is completely unacceptable that local churches suffer pressure in this matter and that international bodies make financial aid to poor countries conditioned on the introduction of laws that establish ‘marriage’ between people of the same sex.”

While in the outside world, the battle is about same-sex “marriage,” that has not yet emerged as a battle inside the Catholic Church. Although liberals within the Church may have that as their long-term goal, the first step to achieve it requires stepping away from clarity and toward ambiguity on the sin of homosexuality. That goal is achieved in the Relazione Finale.


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#1. To: redleghunter (#0) (Edited)

Without the basic understanding that such acts are so harmful that they can lead to eternal separation from God, there is no absolute basis for opposing homosexual relationships.

I'm disgusted with the centering of argument on whether homosexuality separates someone from a mythical being who has shown no evidence of concern with the lives of man even if he existed. The argument should concern itself with psycopathology and analysis of such things as analysis approach-avoidance gradients. However, we live in a present world where anything is subject to argumenative doubt and verbally mediated self-enclosed counter argument which cannot be disproven on the purely verbal level. This form of reasoning has also been adopted by psychiatry and clinical psychology.

The answer lies not in verbally based public relations campaigns, but in reality, which has become irrelevant according to contemporary standards of analysis. Within this, mankind is in danger of becoming a thoughtless infantile hyperverbal mob hysterically chasing acceptance of everything while in vehement denial of absolutes about anything.

rlk  posted on  2015-10-27   2:14:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: redleghunter (#0)

Pope Francis

The Catholic church has a new Pope -- the man previously known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

There's tons of great stuff out there about the Argentine, who will go by Pope Francis and is the first Jesuit ever to serve as pope. But, we wanted to know what he has said about some of the hot-button political issues of the day. So, here's a rundown of his known political positions:

* Same-sex marriage: Don't expect any change in policy here. Bergoglio opposes gay marriage and thinks gay adoption discriminates against children. He clashed with Argentine President President Cristina Fernández over the country's legalization of same-sex unions, calling it "a move by the father of lies to confuse and deceive the children of God."

However, Francis has preached respect towards homosexuals. "It should be understood that when we express our doctrines around sexual conduct, we do so within the standard truth we believe, but never without an attitude of respect and understanding toward individuals," he said in 2003 after church buildings were vandalized during a gay pride parade.

* Abortion and contraception. See above. "He's as uncompromising as Pope John Paul II, in terms of the principles of the Church -- everything it has defended regarding euthanasia, the death penalty, abortion, the right to life, human rights, celibacy of priests," Monsignor Osvaldo Musto told the BBC in 2005. Francis has criticized church leaders who would not baptize a child born out of wedlock.

* Economics: Francis rejected the "liberation theology" movement in Latin America. But he has a progressive record on economic issues, making poverty a central concern in the church. Wonkblog notes that the Argentinean church fought austerity policies and called for debt restructuring that prioritized social programs over debt payments. Francis' official biographer describes him as a critic of neoloiberalism and the International Monetary Fund. Global economic leaders, he has said, "don't take into account poverty, the lack of education, not even the suffering of the elderly." He has denounced the conditions migrant workers endure as a form of slavery. He lives a modest lifestyle and frequently travels to poor neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.

* Freedom of speech: Francis thinks some art does not deserve to be shown. He successfully helped shut down an exhibit of works by Argentinian artist Leon Ferrari that showed Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and Catholic saints in unusual settings, like a blender and a frying pan. Francis deemed the exhibit "blasphemous" and called for a day of reparation in response.

* Human rights: Some critics allege that Francis was complicit with Argentina's military brutal right-wing dictatorship in the 1970s and 80s. But defenders say he helped many dissidents escape.

This is what was being said about Francis when he was first elected Pope...

Vegetarians eat vegetables. Beware of humanitarians!

CZ82  posted on  2015-10-27   6:57:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: rlk (#1)

"I'm disgusted with the centering of argument on whether homosexuality separates someone from a mythical being who has shown no evidence of concern with the lives of man even if he existed."

This is a religious belief. You don't have to accept it any more than you have to accept the teachings on the Koran.

"The argument should concern itself with psycopathology and analysis of such things as analysis approach-avoidance gradients."

That was done by the church long ago, and they decided that homosexual acts were immoral.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-10-27   10:12:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: misterwhite (#3) (Edited)

"The argument should concern itself with psycopathology and analysis of such things as analysis approach-avoidance gradients."

That was done by the church long ago, and they decided that homosexual acts were immoral.

No it wasn't. Approach-avoidance gradients is a recent psychoanalitic/clinical psychology concept that is not mentioned in theology or in the bible. All the theologians are interested in is "What would Jesus say about that?" They are intellectual primitives.

rlk  posted on  2015-10-27   10:30:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: CZ82 (#2)

Yes I would say buyers remorse but the Catholic flock did not pick him.

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."---Romans 5:6

redleghunter  posted on  2015-10-27   12:55:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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