Full text of talk by John-Henry Westen to the Fifth Annual World Prayer Congress for Life in Rome on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010
Have you ever noticed that almost the whole of the culture war is centered on sexuality?
Abortion, Same-sex ‘marriage’, contraception, adultery, pornography, promiscuity, sex-education, divorce, homosexuality, in vitro fertilization, even embryonic stem cell research are all related to sexuality.
When I first heard philosopher Peter Kreeft make that observation, it brought to mind the warning of Our Lady of Fatima as related by Blessed Jacinta Marto: "More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.”
Pope John Paul II noted in his Theology of the Body, the sacred union of man and woman in marriage - the conjugal union - is a prime image stamped in mankind of the Trinitarian relationship to which we are called in the life to come. The fathers describe the Trinity as the Father loving the Son completely and the Son the Father completely and that complete giving of Themselves is Itself the Holy Spirit. It is also a key image of Christ’s relationship with His Church.
Now, if you were Satan and had as your primary objective to steer mankind away from heaven and Christ, would that not be your first area of attack – to distort the most prominent image of the Trinitarian relationship and that of Christ with His Church?
It is in this arena that we must therefore concentrate much of our effort in winning souls back to Christ. Unfortunately, the ways in which we have communicated the Church’s truth on sexuality, or failed to communicate it, have for the most part helped us to lose the majority of Catholics.
Where have we lost the battle on communications?
It is precisely in those hard cases where it was believed prudent, or convenient, caring or pastoral, to be silent and appease the prevailing culture.
In the vast majority, bishops and priests in the West have failed to make the argument against contraception, and for openness to life; have failed to make the argument against in vitro fertilization and support respect for God’s ordained method of procreation; failed to make the argument against homosexual acts and thus for chastity in the midst of hard temptations; failed to make the argument against immodesty and for the practice of custody of the eyes.
And what has come of these lapses in teaching? Has the silence of the Church led to cultural peace in these matters? No.
The rampant practice of contraception has inevitably led to the abortion holocaust. Unchecked immodesty and total lack of custody of the eyes has brought us to the near universal addiction to pornography. In vitro fertilization gave us embryonic stem cell research. Homosexual acts by their acceptance have led to homosexual ‘marriage’ and even restrictions on the freedom of religious practice in various nations.
Where can we begin to reverse the cultural tsunami of distortion of sexuality?
We must begin with CARITAS IN VERITATE. It is the answer of Christ, of His Mother and of the Church.
It is not love to allow your children to rampantly misbehave without correcting them. Speaking as a father of seven children I will admit that it is often easier to turn the other way and purposely fail to notice misbehaviour. But out of love parents must correct and discipline their children.
So too the Church, especially Her shepherds – the fathers of souls - must feed the flock, must teach the truths however difficult and politically incorrect. That is true love.
It is rather painfully obvious we are living in times St. Paul warned about in 2 Timothy 4 when he said “they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” But the apostle to the Gentiles strictly directed Bishop Timothy to fulfil his ministry of evangelizing nonetheless.
“I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season and out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.”
For this time let us take up one of the most difficult topics today in the area of sexuality. One very many are loathe to discuss – the topic of homosexuality.
The last decade has seen the erosion of the traditional definition of marriage in many nations mostly in the West but increasingly the threat to the family is felt in the developing world.
Homosexual so-called ‘marriage’ is legal in 10 nations. Homosexual civil unions are legal in another 20 nations, and the matter is under political consideration in another 43 nations.
My country, Canada, was one of the first nations to fall in this regard, accepting so-called homosexual ‘marriage’ first by court order then ratified with federal legislation in 2005.
During the debate leading up to the passage of that law my colleague at LifeSiteNews Steve Jalsevac and I were asked to sit on an advisory board for the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops to discuss ways to approach the matter of homosexual ‘marriage’ in public.
From reporting on the subject every day for many years we knew that the struggle for same-sex “marriage” has very little to do with marriage per se. Homosexual activists debated among themselves the want for ‘marriage’ and most had no interest in the constraints that such a formalized union would entail in terms of exclusive partnership.
However, the leaders among the activists convinced the movement that they must attain marriage as a societal stamp of approval to homosexual behaviour. For practicing homosexuals as with all those engaged in aberrant sexual behaviour, the conscience speaks uncomfortably.
Many activists in the sexual sphere seek societal approval since they falsely believe that it will quell the voice of the conscience. They are not looking for mere tolerance but outright approval and even to forbid dissent. In addition to those nations like my own where speaking out against homosexuality has led to fines and penalties, there is also a growing movement for pro-homosexual education taught in schools and even to prevent parents from exempting their children from such classes.
At the advisory meeting with the Bishops’ conference the point was raised that the only way to truly engage the debate was to raise the long-ignored subject of homosexuality. To teach about homosexual acts as perilous to body and soul. It was stressed that to do otherwise was to fail to address the heart of the matter.
A doctor at the meeting supported the approach from her understanding of the major health risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle.
However, there were many other voices, particularly academics, who stressed that such an approach was in no way appropriate. Some of these same academics did not accept the fullness of Church teaching on the matter, but were heeded nonetheless.
The whole focus of the Bishops of Canada was to promote heterosexual marriage and other arguments against homosexual ‘marriage’ without ever speaking of homosexual acts being harmful.
The Bishops were thus unable to show their concern for those involved in the destructive lifestyle.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet the new Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, upon his departure from Canada for Rome gave an interview wherein he voiced concerns with the Catholic “intelligentsia” and the “mentality of dissent” which dominates it.
The cardinal called for a “new intellectual dynamism” to “recapture the spirit of Christianity” and “create a new Christian culture.”“We need intellectuals for that, theologians, philosophers, Christians who really believe in the Gospel and share the doctrine of the Church on moral questions,” he said. “We have suffered from this mentality of dissent” that is “still dominating the intelligentsia,” he said.
THE VATICAN’S INSTRUCTION TO BISHOPS FORBIDS ‘SILENCE’
Silence on the hard truths of homosexuality was specifically warned against by the Vatican. The man who is now our Pope, while he headed up the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, made a public statement directed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church that SILENCE about the Church’s teachings regarding the spiritual harm of homosexual acts presents a false charity which is ‘neither caring nor pastoral.’
The 1986 CDF document entitled “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons”, emphasized the necessity of “clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral.”
The instruction to the Bishops of the world on homosexuality added “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.”
THE EXAMPLE OF THE VATICAN AND POPE BENEDICT
In 2005, a few weeks after the election of Pope Benedict XVI, the late Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo who retained his position as the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, gave one of the strongest statements defending the traditional family ever voiced in the Church.
Cardinal Trujillo said parliaments which "open the way for same sex 'marriage' . . . destroy piece by piece the institution of the family the most valuable heritage of peoples and humanity." He called homosexual ‘marriage’ a “crime which represents the destruction of the world." And speaking of adoption of children by homosexual couples he said, “This would destroy the child's future, it would be an act of moral violence against the child."
With those strong words he awoke many to the dangers of the worldwide assault on the family.
Importantly, the Cardinal explained that it was out of love that the Church was pointing out these dangers. Love not only for society at large but also for homosexuals themselves. "As I have said many times,” said the Cardinal, “homosexual peoples must be respected, loved and assisted. We must help them overcome this situation if they seriously want to and help them realise that there is not only life on earth, there is another life ... It is false to say that the Church does not love these people. She loves them and wants to lead them to eternal salvation."
In an address to the Roman Curia on December 22, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI capitalized on the popular ecology trend, calling for a “human ecology”, respecting the Creator’s natural order of relationships between man and woman. In language very similar to that of Cardinal Trujillo, the Holy Father said, the Church must “protect man from self-destruction.”
“If the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected, this is not some antiquated metaphysics,” he said. “What is involved here is faith in the Creator and a readiness to listen to the ‘language’ of creation. To disregard this would be the self-destruction of man himself, and hence the destruction of God’s own work.”
The Pope did not speak on the subject to be popular, not because he had some vendetta against gays. He was preaching caritas in veritate, speaking the truth out of love; love for God and his Truth, love for mankind as a whole, but specifically love for his fellow human beings who are hurting themselves with destructive sexual lifestyles.
For his remarks he was castigated in the mainstream press. In thousands of news articles and talk shows around the world from Bulgaria to India, Pope Benedict was bashed for daring to say we should care as much for mankind as the tropical rainforests; that the harm caused by going against the Creator's plan for human sexuality is destructive and hurtful.
The homosexual press had the most outrageous headlines on the topic; a Pink News headline in the UK read: "Pope Benedict learnt nothing from his time in the Hitler Youth" and "Pope Benedict's latest outburst 'justifies' homophobic bullying and attacks". But the coverage in the mainstream press was hardly less offensive.
A San Francisco Chronicle headline read, "Pope Benedict at Christmas: Preaching bigotry disguised as compassion", and the Times of London opined: "Christmas was never meant to be about this"
EVEN FROM JUST A MEDICAL PERSPECTIVE IT IS LOVE TO OPPOSE HOMOSEXUAL ACTS
Apart from the numerous medical journals that have pointed out the dangers involved in homosexual acts, at certain times homosexual activist leaders have themselves admitted these dangers.
On Feb 17, 2009 Canada's largest gay paper XTRA reported on a group of homosexual activists who were demanding Canada’s healthcare system pay more attention to the “gay community.”
Gens Hellquist, one of the complainants, was the executive director of the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition a leading homosexual activist group. He explained at length his concerns about the health status of homosexual men and women in Canada.
He observed: "We have one of the poorest health statuses in this country ... Health issues affecting queer Canadians include lower life expectancy than the average Canadian, suicide, higher rates of substance abuse, depression, inadequate access to care and HIV/AIDS."
He continued: "There are all kinds of health issues that are endemic to our community. We have higher rates of anal cancer in the gay male community, lesbians have higher rates of breast cancer ... the reality is there is (sic) more GLBT people in this country who die of suicide each year than die from AIDS, there are more who die early deaths from substance abuse than die of HIV/AIDS. ... “
And powerfully he concluded: “Now that we can get married everyone assumes that we don't have any issues any more. A lot of the deaths that occur in our community are hidden, we don't see them. Those of us who are working on the front lines see them and I'm tired of watching my community die."
Being a homosexual activist he was of course not seeking to halt the destructive lifestyle but to steer more healthcare dollars in their direction. However, it is a fact that those diseases and illnesses are related to the homosexual act.
A good friend of mine, a former practicing homosexual and now a faithful Catholic says of the Catholic position on homosexuality:
“I don't think the Catholic Church's current attitude is abusive, I think it is love. A loving parent sometimes has to tell a child not to play in a bad neighbourhood. The child may take offense and tell all his friends how mean his parents are. Perhaps the child goes to school and tells the teachers and principal that his parents are abusive … The parent sadly accepts this anger, judgment, and threatening calls from teachers, principals. But nevertheless, the parent has to stand firm because the parent loves the child and wants to protect the child from the dangers of the bad neighbourhood. Sometimes being a good parent means being hated by children who make unsafe demands.”
“Like the child in the example above, some people in the gay community think the Catholic Church has been unfair with its position on gay sex and have complained loudly and publicly. The Church has been beat up badly by the press, politicians, and by the courts. Like the parent in the example above, the Catholic Church must stand firm and accept the pain and damage of this bad press in order to protect the souls of Christians who obey and listen to the Church's teaching. It is precisely because the Catholic Church loves gay people (and all people) that it advises against gay sex.”
THE SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE
I sometimes teach my children and youth groups I lead about the meaning of life. I explain by way of a visual example about the eternal realities. Pointing with one arm on an upward path, I have the children imagine that there is a line, starting from my shoulder extended up to the ceiling, and beyond, beyond the sky and even the stars, on and on forever. Then pointing my arm on a downward path I ask them to imagine another line which descends beyond the floor, and the earth, to the other side of the earth and on and on without end. Both these unending lines, I explain begin at one point, a point so small compared to the lines as to be almost invisible - the thickness of a sheet of paper.
That point, that tiny, tiny thickness is our entire lifespan, I explain, even if we lived 100 years. During our lives, this small and insignificant time, we must decide where we will spend all eternity. Seen in light of the eternal realities, the purpose of life becomes more clear. Far beyond any other consideration, life is all about deciding where we will spend eternity – in heaven or hell.
I know that’s something we rarely hear nowadays. That fact that we rarely hear this truth was also stated by Pope Benedict in March 2007. He said: "Jesus came to tell us that He wants us all in heaven and that hell - of which so little is said in our time - exists and is eternal for those who close their hearts to His love."
With such a stark reality, is it not a truly loving act to warn those given to homosexual acts or any other sexual aberration that they imperil their eternal life?
What if Our Lady of Fatima were right, that more souls go to hell for sins of impurity than any other sin?
A fascinating take on this reality came in 2008, from a famous anti-Catholic atheist named Penn Jillette who is co-host of a very popular television show in North America called 'Penn & Teller'. Mr Jillette said these powerful words:
"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?”
The words of this enemy of the Church serve as a reproach to all those Catholic and Christian leaders who, out of fear of being politically incorrect and losing human respect, are silent on the danger of sex outside the plan of God.
SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE THE ANSWER TO MANY DEBATES IN THE CULTURE WAR
Please forgive me this important diversion.
This spiritual perspective – the love of souls which seeks to save the wayward Catholic despite the political incorrectness, the loss of human respect and the social awkwardness it would entail, is the answer to some of the most divisive debates in the hierarchy today. The recognition of the eternal consequences of actions would definitively end the vast disagreement among bishops over the reception of Holy Communion for pro-abortion politicians.
Throughout most of North America and Europe only a small minority of Bishops have agreed to follow the advice of the Vatican, of the Holy Father, and make the difficult but necessary decision to deny Holy Communion to obstinate pro-abortion Catholic politicians. The vast majority choose to ignore the matter and some say publicly that they would never deny anyone Holy Communion.
In truth however, those who refuse to discipline their wayward spiritual children by denying them Communion are lacking in love, lacking in pastoral care.
The Archbishop of the Canadian Capital City of Ottawa once explained to me in an interview that denial of Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians is an act of love for the Catholic politician him or herself - an act meant to call the politician back to the truth.
Archbishop Terrence Prendergast said: "The Church's concern is for anyone who persists in grave sin, hoping that medicinal measures may draw them away from the wrong path to the truth of our faith." He said that "medicinal" remedies such as "denial of communion" are employed to "draw them back to the way of Christ, Our Lord, the Way, the Truth and the Life."
This perspective was repeated by His Eminence Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, in an interview he was gracious enough to grant to LifeSiteNews. Cardinal Canizares explained that the guiding principle for bishops considering withholding Communion from pro-abortion politicians in their dioceses should be "caritas in veritate" or "charity in truth”.
Cardinal Canizares explained that according to Catholic teaching those who insist upon receiving Communion in a state of serious sin are in grave spiritual danger and emphasized that the withholding of Communion is meant for the person's spiritual salvation.
He said, "I think that the strongest words are found in St. Paul: one who goes to the Eucharist and is not properly prepared, duly prepared, 'he eats his own condemnation'. This is the strongest thing that we can say and what is the most truthful statement."
From the earliest days of the Church, receiving Holy Communion unworthily has been forbidden; forbidden out of concern for those who would make such unworthy communions. St. Paul in the eleventh chapter of First Corinthians wrote: "Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh condemnation to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord." (1 Cor. 11:27-29)
Cardinal Canizares's remarks echo those of Archbishop Raymond Burke, the current head of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura. During the 2004 presidential campaign, as the then Archbishop of St. Louis he told Democrat candidate Senator John Kerry, who while professing to be Catholic held a 100 percent approval rating with the country's leading abortion lobbyists, that he could not receive Communion in the St. Louis diocese.
In a recent interview Archbishop Burke told LifeSiteNews that politicians who are persisting in what the Church says is a "grave sin" must be refused Communion for the sake of their own souls. "When you talk to these people, they know," he said. "They know what they're doing is very wrong. They have to answer to God for that, but why through our pastoral negligence add on to that, that they have to answer to God for who knows how many unworthy receptions of Holy Communion?"
But let us return to the topic of sexuality.
THE CARITAS IN VERITATE APPROACH WORKS
The CARITAS IN VERITATE approach works. It has been tested and found successful for hundreds of Catholic men and women who struggle successfully against temptations to homosexual acts. The US-based group Courage, founded by Fr. John Harvey does not shy away from the truth that homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity or hide the truth about the disordered nature of homosexual tendencies.
The group does however, in true love, provide a caring and loving environment where men and women struggling with the same issues can come together and encourage and sustain one another in chastity.
It is a beautiful example of the victory of Christ even in the face of great struggle and temptation. These men and women who battle for chastity in this realm are examples to those of us who struggle with sexual temptations of any kind.
Moreover, the approach rings true to those outside the Church looking in. The falsehood and hypocrisy of approaches to gay ‘marriage’ which advocate for civil unions rather than ‘marriage’ give the lie to any care and concern for those in homosexual lifestyles.
But the approach to speak to the danger of homosexual acts and thus also oppose same sex ‘marriage’ as a societal approval of those dangerous acts is a consistent approach.
Years ago during the Canadian debates leading up to the passage of the homosexual ‘marriage’ legislation, I was host of a weekly radio call in show where the subject was heavily debated. I recall debating the matter frequently with a lawyer who was doggedly in favour of homosexual marriage.
We discussed, over a period of months, for hours about marriage and its benefit to society, its necessity for children, but he always came back with arguments to the contrary. “How will my marriage with my gay partner affect your marriage?” he often said.
Finally, one day I explained to him that Christianity is not about discrimination and prejudice, not about judging and condemning, not about hatred and bigotry, it is about love. Love for God and love for neighbour - meaning all mankind.
I care enough for my brothers and sisters in the gay lifestyle, I told him, to warn that that homosexual sex causes harm to those engaged in such activities. Doctors have indicated the physical harm it causes and psychologists have pointed out the emotional and psychological harm that ensues. But over and above these very serious considerations is the spiritual harm that results from this sexual behaviour.
I told him it was not easy for me to say such things publicly, it did not make me popular. I noted that in it was in fact risky in Canada since several Christians had been fined and taken to court for objectively voicing opposition to homosexuality.
I said however, that I was ready to risk my freedom out of love for these brothers and sisters of mine in the homosexual lifestyle.
At this, the talkative lawyer fell silent. On radio silence can be odd, as people begin to wonder if they have lost reception of the station. When he finally spoke however he said: “I hope that all the Church is coming at it from that altruistic perspective.”
That remark has remained with me for many years. No, he didn’t convert on the spot, but he did see that the position I voiced – that of the Church – stemmed from love. It was a breakthrough, a breakthrough which needs now to be given to the world through the courageous voices of the Shepherds of Christ.
THE TURN AROUND HAS BEGUN
We all must, beginning with the Shepherds, do this.
Some Bishops even in the West have begun. Less than two months ago in the United States, Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted followed the example of Pope Benedict in coming at this problem with love in truth – Caritas in Veritate.
“Love and truth go hand-in-hand” he said. “Everyone who experiences true love knows this — we want those we love to know the truth. As Catholics, we want to love people authentically and not in a mediocre way that would ignore dangers in a person’s life out of a shallow concern for political correctness. We need never worry that speaking the truth clearly and charitably is a violation of love.”
Bishop Olmsted added: “Both Church teaching and the study of reality, the natural law, show that homosexuality is an objective disorder — that is, it does not correspond to the God-given reality of the sexually differentiated human being. Therefore, to condone the homosexual lifestyle is never a move in favor of a person’s true happiness.”
You may rightfully ask who am I, a simple layman, to be telling bishops and priests what to do.
I am not telling them what to do. I am begging them to do what is right as taught by the Holy Father.
As a father of seven young children I am begging them for the sake of these little ones.
Moreover I am myself a convert from addiction to aberrant sexuality. My cross was not homosexuality but pornography. I was on the other side, living a life far from the Church for many years.
Thankfully I did not have someone tell me it was alright. My late father was a devout and faithful Catholic who attended daily Mass and never let a day pass without saying his rosary. Even when I was a child he would tell me “I’d rather see you die right now than fall into a life of sin.”
He was a man ridiculed for his “extreme” faith both by his colleagues and friends and even his own family. In my turn I too ridiculed him. I recall arriving home from dance clubs sometimes at 3am only to find my father still kneeling in prayer at his bedside – praying no doubt for his wayward son. At times he would be still kneeling but slumped over the bed having fallen asleep still praying. “Silly old man,” I recall saying to myself.
For the seven years I left the practice of the faith I tried to ease my nagging conscience with the thought that God did not exist. But as inevitably happens my life began to crumble. I found myself eventually at the lowest point in my life. In danger of losing my girlfriend, my education and even my freedom as I was in trouble with the law.
I had no where to turn but God. I picked up a book that my father had given me when I first fell away. True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort. In that book I learned that following Christ meant giving my whole life to him without reserve – not just Sunday mornings. It meant a complete change and then my crisis of faith leapt upon me.
I had convinced myself that God didn’t exist, how could I now give up my life for a something imaginary.
I put the book under my arm and made up my mind to talk to my Dad about the matter. At that point I was so confused in my life I knew only one thing – that my Dad loved me. He had put up with so much hardship from me and yet had remained steadfast in care and love for me, never failing to warn me that my eternal life was in danger, but doing so in love.
I was going to tell him “Dad the only thing I know for sure in life was that you love me, and so I want you to tell me the truth. I read this book on True Devotion you gave me and it means giving up my whole life, and I don’t want to do that unless it’s true.”
I mentally prepared this whole little speech as I went to see my Dad. When I got to him, I looked at him, and his life spoke to me. Here was a man who was ridiculed for most of his life for practicing this faith. Whose colleagues mocked him, whose friends teased and whose family was embarrassed by him and at times cruel to him for his practice of faith.
It was mostly this, his endurance of all this persecution, even a joyful endurance, that overcame my self-induced disbelief in God, that broke through my doubt. Obviously God is real, His way is truth. And from that moment on I lived for Christ.
I never did actually ask my father the question. All that was communicated to me as I looked at him that day.
In fact I did not even tell him of the incident till many years later. It was his life that spoke to me, particularly the persecution and ridicule he received for being faithful, for saying those socially awkward truths about the eternal consequences of sin. For loving me enough to tell me the truth even when I mocked him for it.
Therefore I beg you good priests and bishops to speak out with conviction and love the truths of Christ especially in these hard areas of human sexuality. You will be criticized for it, but you must trust that God will see to it that the truth is well received. Perhaps some will, like me, see that persecution you bear patiently never swerving and be convinced.
As the new Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops said in an interview as he readied for departure from my home country of Canada, Bishops “need spiritual discernment and not just political calculation of the risk of the possibility of the message being received.”
“We have to dare to speak to the deep heart, where the Spirit of the Lord is touching people beyond what we can calculate,” he said.
Love demands it and the future of Christianity depends on it.
How can I say the future of Christianity depends on it? We know that Christ will be with His Church till the end of time. However, specifically in this battle of homosexuality a time of persecution of the Church is near at hand.
This again is not my estimation, but that of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI. 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 Josef 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.”
Yes the times may be coming shortly when we are forbidden to state the truths of the Church. Will we then have the courage to proclaim Christ’s truth with the possibility of losing our freedom or perhaps even shedding our blood?
If now we choose silence because of cultural pressures, the loss of human respect and political calculations, how can we imagine that when the penalties are increased to include imprisonment, torment and death we will dare to speak the truth of Christ in the times to come?