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Cardinal Gerhard Muller
Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews
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Identifying as ‘gay’ reduces the whole wealth of man: former Vatican doctrinal chief

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, June 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Gay and gender ideology movements across the globe are working to build a false reality that enslaves men and women with same-sex attraction and robs them of their true identity, the Vatican’s former doctrinal chief has said.

Speaking in Rome at the Italian launch of Daniel Mattson’s book: “Why I don’t call myself gay: How I reclaimed my sexual reality and found peace,” Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), said it is “inherent to the nature of ideologies that they construct a false reality that makes man their slave.” 

“Liberal and socialist governments,” he said, are imposing this agenda “by force, and subjecting the consciences of those who think differently without the slightest scruple.” Müller warned that what’s at stake are not “the rights of a hitherto persecuted minority” but “the original meaning and ultimate goal of human existence.”

A false foundation 

To fashion this false reality, the gay rights movement has taken a “disordered inclination” and created out of it a “third category” alongside men and women, Müller said. It also uses the invented category of “gay” to divide people into two basic groups: homosexuals and heterosexuals. 

Gender ideology, the German cardinal added, has multiplied this category ad infinitum by “fabricating sexual identity” from “any form of sexual preference.” 

Both movements, he said, are working to build an alternative reality on the foundation of a false image of man. This image, the former Vatican doctrinal chief explained, is “based on a social construct” that is divorced from the “created nature of man” and “the revelation of God’s truth and love.” 

Müller said that, fundamentally, these ideologies are rooted in a “radical anti-Christian anthropology” that “reduces man to pure sexual desire.” 

“To identify onself as gay,” he said, “means reducing the whole wealth of the human being ... to mere sexual attraction aroused by persons of the same sex.” 

Alleged ‘papal’ comments

Cardinal Müller’s comments at the May 24 book launch came just days after Pope Francis allegedly told a  victim of clerical sexual abuse, Juan Carlos Cruz, in a private conversation that God made him gay and loves him that way.

“He told me, ‘Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are,’” Cruz told the Spanish newspaper El País.

Headlines were quick to spread across the globe, soaring to the top of Drudge Report and making it into young minds through Teen Vogue — the same popular teen magazine that said the Catholic Church should learn from Rihanna’s 2018 Met Gala look. The Vatican neither confirmed nor denied nor clarified the reports, saying it “does not comment on the Pope’s private conversations.”

The clear contradiction to Catholic doctrine contained in the Pope’s alleged comments led organizations like the Courage apostolate, which serves peope who live with same-sex attraction, to issue a response explaining why the idea that “God made you gay” is fundamentally incompatible with Christianity.

In his memoir, Daniel Mattson opposes this often unchallenged assumption by chronicling his journey to and from a gay identity. He tells the story of how his lifelong search for happiness and peace came full circle in his realization that, above all else, what is true about him is that he is a beloved son of God, loved into existence by God, and created for happiness in this life and the next.

At the launch in Rome — sponsored by Courage International’s Italian affiliate — Cardinal Müller praised Mattson for having the courage to oppose “international pan-sexism” with authentic Catholic teaching on the origin of the difference between the sexes in God’s plan, and for refusing to be taken in by gay rights ideology.    

The power of language

Language also serves as one of the chief building blocks in the work of gay and gender ideology movements to construct a false reality and change people’s perceptions about same-sex attraction.

Cardinal Müller said the term “gay” is a “theoretical invention” meant to turn “the normality of the marriage between man and woman into a variant of human nature.” 

The word “homophobia” was similarly fabricated, he said, in order to “discredit any alternative to gay or gender movement ideologies” and to brand as “traitors” those who suffer from sexual disorientation “but refuse to embrace the movement.”

“With a change in language, terminology and conceptual categories, one’s perception of reality also changes, but reality itself does not change. Man remains man and woman remains woman despite an artificial ‘sex change’,” Cardinal Müller said.

Müller also highlighted how the sin encouraged by gay and gender ideologies casts a shadowy veil across the human mind.

“When man gives into disordered inclinations and becomes trapped in them, it can also happen that he develops a hatred for God and his commandments which reveal him as a sinner,” he said.

Healing, identity, and peace

The German Cardinal lauded Mattson for successfully explaining that “a life according to God’s commandments — as they are explained in the Church’s doctrine — does not make man sick but heals him from within, by giving him hope and enabling him to discover a meaning that directs him beyond what is purely human.”

“It is only through redemptive grace that we are created anew,” he said.

“In the passport the Creator gives us,” Cardinal Müller said, “our identity is not described as gay or something similar, but as what we really are: children and friends of God. To have explained this through the story of his life and a deep reflection is the great merit of the book by Daniel C. Mattson.”

Here below is the lecture delivered by Cardinal Gerhard Müller. It originally appeared here in La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.

***

First of all, I would like to congratulate the author of the book “Why I don’t call myself gay” — which is now also available in Italian — for his truly extraordinary courage. For courage is precisely what is needed to oppose “International pan-sexism” with Catholic doctrine on the origin of the difference between the sexes, expressed in God’s creative will. And as we shall see, the author — not content with contesting the radical anti-Christian anthropology that reduces man to pure sexual desire — also succeeds in putting forward valid arguments that point out its weak points and catastrophic consequences.

But I would also like to thank the author for the help he offers all people who are afflicted by “same-sex-attraction.” For him, the legal recognition of same-sex unions, as these persons were united in marriage, is not an indicator of the success of “Homosexual Liberation” — as John Murphy calls it in his cult book (1971) of the same name — but rather the failure of the real process of liberation for these people, who will thus be deprived of the truth about themselves — the only truth that truly sets them free. With its clear distinction between the inviolable dignity of the person, and right or wrong behavior, the Catholic Church is the true advocate of man — both in terms of his failure and his success in the pursuit of the good.

The book begins as a biography and maintains this quality of personal involvement throughout. It then introduces the reader into a deep theological and philosophical reflection. In this sense, the present book bears remarkable similarity to the Confessions of St. Augustine, to which the author expressly refers. He also draws on his profound knowledge of the Fathers of the Church and St. Thomas, as well as other spiritual authors and moral theologians. This book is not meant to be a self-justification — perhaps pointing the finger at others, at society or even at the Catholic Church, to hold them guilty for his condition or inclination.

In all his frankness, the author remains discreet and respectful of the limits of modesty, never falling (as often happens when an author makes public his homosexuality) into the trap of assigning to the reader the role of “peeping Tom.” After all, it is also part of the dignity of man created in the image and likeness of God that, after original sin, he respects the other, so as not to reduce him to the object of his disordered sensuality or his uncontrolled passions. In fact, the erotic contemplation of nudity is reserved to conjugal love alone (cf. Gen 1:24 ff).

The disintegration of sexus and eros is overcome through Redemption. Sacramental marriage is the place where the inherent orientation of sexus and eros towards their integration in agape takes place. Agape is the love that is realized in the gift of self, and thus also reveals its origin in God, who, in the Trinitarian life, is love itself.

Being attracted to people of the same sex is not in itself a personal sin. Only when one consents to behavior that is contrary to the sacred and salvific divine will does one go down the road of guilt. Since the mere presence of disorder in psychic and physical impulses is not something that makes us guilty before God and men, it should not even develop into guilt complexes. With the help of grace and a little good will, man succeeds in doing good and avoiding evil. With God’s grace, chastity — that is, sexuality ordered to love — is possible both in the bond of marriage and in forms of abstinence as in the case of unmarried or consecrated persons. But original sin has caused a certain disordered desire to be present in all men. It is a morbid sexuality — opposed to the natural inclination to selfless love — that is mastered with difficulty by reason. And this concupiscence does not refer only to sexual impulses but to all inclinations, to all mental, psychic and physical stimuli.

When man gives in to disordered inclinations and becomes trapped in them, it can also happen that he develops a hatred for God and his commandments which reveal him as a sinner. It is only through redemptive grace that we are created anew, even if the inclination to sin remains. It is an inclination to sin, but not sin in itself, as the Council of Trent says, and, as such, it serves as an instrument of investigation and deeper maturation in the obedience of faith to God.

Original sin has wounded human nature, but it has not destroyed it. Man is called to become a sharer in the sonship of God through the grace of justification and spiritual asceticism. The help of the Holy Spirit enables us to overcome the desires of the flesh, namely, a nature that is split into spiritual-bodily and social realities, as well as the equally divided structure of the personality. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.... And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:22-24).

Man’s identity comes from his relationship with God, who is the guarantor of our dignity and freedom. We recognize God as the origin and goal of men. The meaning of life cannot consist in satisfying the senses, stimuli, our sexual desires, but only in seeking truth and doing good.

And that is why the author rightly refuses to be taken in — because of his attraction to the same sex — by an ideology that, based on this disordered inclination, invents a third category alongside the category of men and women: that of gay.

In gender ideology this category is amplified ad infinitum by fabricating sexual identity from any form of sexual preference. To identify oneself as gay, or to have onself be identified as such, therefore means reducing the whole wealth of the human being, the development of intellectual and artistic talents, of responsibility for the world as well as openness to transcendence with the vocation to eternal life, to mere sexual attraction aroused by people of the same sex.

This image of man based on a social construction is opposed to Christian anthropology, which is focused on the created nature of man and the revelation of God’s truth and love. The fact that a term such as ‘gay’ was the product of a theoretical invention transforms the normality of the marriage between man and woman into a variant of human nature. The distinction between men and women suddenly gives way to two basic categories of people: homosexuals and heterosexuals.

With a change in language, terminology and conceptual categories, one’s perception of reality also changes but reality itself does not change. Man remains man and woman remains woman despite an artificial “sex change” which, in fact, is not real. The provocative term ‘homophobia’ arose in the same way, with the intention of discrediting a priori any alternative to gay or gender movement ideologies. And those who suffer from problems of sexual disorientation but refuse to embrace this movement are immediately branded as traitors.

It is intrinsic to the nature of ideologies that they build a false reality that makes man their slave. Just think of the brutality with which apparently liberal and socialist governments impose this agenda by force, subjecting the consciences of those who think differently without the slightest scruple. In the context of this global debate, what is at stake are not — as they would have us believe to appease men’s minds — the rights of a hitherto persecuted minority but the original meaning and ultimate goal of human existence!

But what is human nature? What is the meaning and goal of marriage between a man and a woman, which is the germ cell of the Church and society, and the source of their happiness and their path to perfection in God? What is the vocation expressed in the recognition of man as a person, if man is the only creature conceived and willed by God for himself — a creature who “cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” (GS 24) —  and if the unique dignity of every man is recognized by means of Revelation and reason (DP 2)? Can man, despite being an earthly and worldly creature, ever find fulfillment in what is earthly and transitory, given the infinite openness of his spirit? Or is it not precisely because of this openness that he has a divine vocation and finds fulfillment in God in the self-transcendence of his spirit, which occurs through the use of reason and in the exercise of freedom?

These are the questions that have challenged us in every age and still challenge us today. Reducing man to an animal creature — which means taking God away from him by deception, and dividing society into the liars and the deceived — does not constitute any progress towards the perfection of man. Instead, it is an enormous deficit in anthropology, as it abandons man to a meaningless life and despair. The secret paradigm of this reduction is nihilism.

And the ruins of this reduction of man to a creature driven only by instincts leave a truly disconcerting legacy: abortion; exhausting research on embryos; a very large number of people betrayed by their spouse or who themselves are adulterers; children and young people deprived of the security of an environment in which they can live with their own parents; and finally the deceitful re-definition of marriage — robbed of the fundamental union between man and woman in fruitful love — as “sexual complicity.”

Contrary to what they would have us believe, the sexual revolution has not liberated men from a rigorous and prudish bourgeois morality. Rather, it is responsible for the disintegration of sexus, eros and agape, which are based on the substantial unity between body and soul.

The author succeeds in explaining in a convincing way, that a life according to God’s commandments — as they are explained in the Church’s doctrine — does not make man sick but heals him from within, by giving him hope and enabling him to discover a meaning that directs him beyond what is purely human. The divine commandments, because they are not externally imposed norms, do not require a mere formal obedience. Instead, they are an expression of the will of God who loves us, and this is precisely why He wants to heal us from our egocentricity.

Only in love for God and neighbor, whom we must love like ourselves, can all of the commandments be fulfilled in a salvific way: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments [...]. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith” (1 Jn 5:3-4).

In the passport the Creator gives us, our identity is not described as gay or something similar, but as what we really are: children and friends of God. To have explained this through the story of his life and a deep reflection is the great merit of the book by Daniel C. Mattson. Thank you.

Translation by Diane Montagna

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