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(LifeSiteNews) — On October 21, 2020, in the documentary Francesco by Evgeny Afineevsky, Pope Francis made a statement on homosexuality that spread very quickly throughout the media and stunned the world. Abbé Janvier Gbénou, a 41-year-old African priest born in Benin and living in Côte d’Ivoire (West Africa), had no idea that this statement would change and mark his life. Ordained a priest of Jesus Christ in Rome in 2012, he holds a master’s degree in Computer Science Applied to Business Management and a Doctorate in Philosophy. As it will soon be the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ declaration, the Abbé wishes to draw attention once again to an event that has already been forgotten by many Catholics but which, for him, constitutes an apparent victory of homosexuality and situation ethics over the papacy. In response, Abbé Janvier Gbénou has decided to take up the pen under the name Father Jesusmary Missigbètò.

Father Jesusmary, a member of Opus Dei, was suspended as a priest in March of this year after last November criticizing Pope Francis’ support of civil unions of homosexual couples and asking him to correct his position or resign. He is not allowed to celebrate public Masses, to preach, or to hear confessions, and he was also told to leave the Opus Dei residence.

Father Jesusmary now lives in a private residence and has written a book about this story to give witness to the truth.

LifeSiteNews reached out to Father Jesusmary, asking him to tell us about what happened to him after Pope Francis publicly endorsed civil unions of homosexual couples and what he intends with his new book.

Father Jesusmary comes from a poor family with nine children. Not long after he was ordained a deacon, he was asked if he were afraid of becoming a priest. Father Jesusmary said that he was not, and among the reasons why not, he stated: “… [O]nce I am ordained a priest, my task will be to transmit grace and Christ’s message. Transmit and not to invent or improvise. What I will give will not be mine but Christ’s, and finally I feel confident because I know I am in the hands of the Virgin Mary, Mother of all priests.”

Father Jesusmary’s loyalty to Christ’s teaching has brought him into a conflict with his superiors he had never before imagined. He bravely stands and suffers for Christ and his truth


Please see here the full interview:

LifeSiteNews: On October 21, 2020, in Evgeny Afineevsky’s documentary Francesco, Pope Francis said, “What we have to do is a civil coexistence law; they have the right to be covered legally. I defended this.” Why is it important for you, Father Jesusmary, to draw attention to this statement a year after it was made public?

J. M.: Beyond Francesco and the homosexual issue it raises, I see an apparent victory of situation ethics over traditional Catholic morality. Since 2016, with the publication of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, several Catholic moral experts (notably the German philosopher Robert Spaemann and the English theologian Aidan Nichols, OP) have warned that the pontificate of Pope Francis seems to be opening the doors of traditional Catholic morality to a certain situation ethics. But the problem is that situation ethics was expressly condemned by St. John Paul II in 1993 in the encyclical Veritatis Splendor (nº 84 and 85). Are these experts right or wrong? It is clear that it is not up to the faithful of the Church to judge this matter but to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Let’s hope that it will do so for the good of the Church and the Pope. Anyway, truth is a sun that no one can hide with his hand, no matter how big that hand is.

LifeSiteNews: Pax Christi Ecclesia: Homosexuality vs Papacy is the title of your book. Why did you decide to speak out instead of remaining silent?

J. M.: It is because there is an apparent victory of homosexuality over the papacy, which is considered the last moral bulwark of humanity. Of the 266 Popes the Catholic Church has had, Pope Francis is the first to have accepted homosexual civil coexistence laws. The problem is that Christians live in civil society and not only in ecclesial society. If homosexuality becomes established in civil law, there will be many negative consequences for the Catholic Church in the short, medium, and long term: the loss of value of the Sacrament of Marriage, the loss of value of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the difficulty of educating children to true love between man and woman as willed by God the Creator, future priestly and religious vocations, the security of Christians against terrorism, the moral coherence of Christian doctrine, the faith of the Christian faithful, the unity of the Church, etc.

LifeSiteNews: How would you explain the situational ethics that seems to be in Pope Francis’ words regarding the acceptance of homosexual civil union laws?

J. M.: That is easy! I do so by referring to the acceptance of the abortion laws by President Joseph Biden. In fact, the current President of the United States is [a member of the] Catholic religion. Yet he accepts the following proposition: I agree with abortion laws but I am against abortion.” Is not there an inconsistency in this sentence? Is that not like saying: I agree with robbery laws but I am against robbery”? How can one be against a sin and at the same time accept a law favoring it? This is why the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, should certainly demand that President Biden live in “Eucharistic coherence,” that is, [either] reject his openness to the possibility of abortion or accept the pain of being denied access to the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In fact, since the time of the early Christians, there has always been incompatibility between the reception of the Eucharist and the public acceptance of serious sins. However, is it not possible to put President Biden’s attitude on abortion in parallel with that of Pope Francis on homosexuality? Indeed, with what Pope Francis said on October 21, 2020, we could summarize his thinking in the following sentence: “I agree with homosexual cohabitation laws but I am against homosexual cohabitation.” But doesn’t this sentence also convey situation ethics? Can one really want to be faithful to Christ and accept a possible situation ethics in the words of a Pope?

LifeSite: What is your aim with this book?

J. M.: Truth and peace. First of all, truth about homosexual civil union laws. In reality, there is a trap we have fallen into: the amalgam between “discrimination against homosexuals” and “LGBTQ ideology.” It is, in fact, the confusion of these two ideas that is the problem. Let me explain. Discrimination is related to protective laws while LGBTQ ideology is related to union laws. We do not make the difference between “protective laws” and “union laws,” but it is very important to make the difference. Otherwise we fall into the trap set by the LGBTQ activists. They talk about discrimination and then ask for union laws. No! What a humane and fair society needs rather is protective laws to protect the basic rights of marginalised people. There are protective laws for children, pregnant women, the disabled, migrants, prisoners, etc. Homosexual union laws proudly contradict God’s will for man, woman, and sexuality as manifested in the Book of Genesis. The second aim of my book is peace in the Church because today we see in the media and social networks a lack of unity. But unity is precisely related to truth (situational ethics is also called ethics of half-truth or ethics of lukewarmness). We could say that there are two types of unity: an objective unity based on truth and a subjective unity based on opinions. When truth is not perceived as a reference, but rather the opinion of one person or of certain people is perceived as being dominant, this creates conflict and instability. The current ecclesiastical war (bishops against bishops, cardinals against cardinals, bishops against Pope and Pope against bishops, priests against Pope and Pope against priests, laity against Pope and Pope against laity) is not an honor for the Catholic Church, as an institution called to evangelize the world. In my humble opinion, the Catholic Church needs to regain its pre-2016 moral coherence and be at peace from a moral, doctrinal, pastoral, and liturgical point of view.

LifeSiteNews: What is your hope regarding the publication of this book?

J.M.: My hope is rather in the Virgin Mary. I remember the beautiful testimony of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra who told us the words that Sister Lucia, the visionary of Fatima, had written to him. I have the text at hand, and I will read it for you now: The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about family and marriage. Don’t be afraid because whoever works for the sanctity of marriage and family will always be fought against and opposed in every way because this is the decisive issue. Nevertheless, Our Lady has already crushed his head.” My book is a modest contribution of meditation and reflection on the danger that the endorsement of homosexual civil cohabitation laws by Pope Francis constitutes for marriage and family. I therefore entrust my book to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mother of the Church and Queen of Families.

LifeSiteNews: Your book is written in the form of meditations; more concretely, it is a set of three meditations framed by a prologue and an epilogue. Why did you adopt this style?

J. M.: In the book, I mention the Blessed Sacrament several times. This is because I want every Christian, and also every bishop, and the Pope as well, to stand before the Blessed Sacrament and meditate deeply on the acceptance of homosexual civil union laws and all that this implies in terms of future negative consequences in the life of the world and of the Church. To draw attention to this fact, I started first with my Facebook page and then with my Twitter page. I hoped that what I was posting would help church leaders to look into the Francesco statement. But instead I found a reluctance to address the issue. I then remembered St. Catherine of Siena and her letter to the Cardinal of Ostia where she said: “Alas, no more silence! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that, due to silence, the world is corrupt, the Bride of Christ has grown pale, stripped of her color, because her blood, that is, the Blood of Christ, has been sucked from her body.”

LifeSiteNews: With regard to homosexuality, what is your personal belief?

J. M.: My position is that of the Church, as recalled by the Holy Pope John Paul II and by the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in the document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dated June 3, 2003, and entitled “Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons.” Therefore, I distinguish between humble homosexual persons and proud homosexual persons (what seem to be the LGBTQ activists who are actively working to impose homosexuality on our humanity). Like all human persons, homosexual persons all have the right not to be mistreated because of their condition. Following Pope Francis’ example of humility, I am ready to descend to kiss their feet because they are all children of God and deserve to be loved. However, towards LGBTQ activists, my words are affectionately hard in order to push them to conversion. First, through Aristotle, who reminds us of the need to act with intelligence and justice in order to excel in humanity: homosexual activity does not honor the human being but dishonors him as a creature of God. Then, like Jesus, John the Baptist, and Paul, I will say: “Woe to the world because of things that cause sin. Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come… And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna” (Matthew 18:7-9). These words of Jesus Our Lord are obviously not to be taken literally but figuratively. In fact, Jesus is speaking in a parable to say that all sin separates us from God and that we must take steps to detach ourselves from it. It is proud and pretentious to glorify sin. It is humble and wise to struggle to separate ourselves from it.

LifeSiteNews: Fr. Jesusmary, can you tell us how Pope Francis’ statement has changed your personal life?

J. M.: It as affected me from an intellectual point of view. In Yamoussoukro [a city in Ivory Coast], I used to give theology courses to groups of Catholic students and professionals. In these courses, I taught, among other things, the serious moral obligation formulated by the Holy Pope John Paul II and by the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and asking every Christian to fight against the establishment of homosexual civil union laws, and to work for marriage and family as willed by God the Creator. But with the declaration of Pope Francis, apparently contradicting his 265 predecessors, I perceived a bug in the matrix of Catholic moral teaching. I then published an open letter on November 21, 2020 to draw attention to this bug. Unfortunately, the title I had hastily chosen for this letter (“Why does Pope Francis have to resign?”) took over and prevented many Christians from reading the arguments I was making. The full title would have been more explicit, but it had the disadvantage of being long: “Why does Pope Francis have to resign, if he will not clarify or rectify his statement because John Paul II and Benedict XVI preserved it as a serious moral principle, clearly based on the Bible and Tradition, that every Christian must struggle against the establishment of homosexual civil union laws?” Indeed, there seems to be an objective incompatibility between the office of Supreme Pastor of the Church and that of universal promoter of homosexual civil union laws.” Unfortunately, I had used the short version.

LifeSiteNews: But did this have any practical consequences on your life?

J. M.: Yes! Francesco has also affected me in practical terms. Since the publication of my open letter, I have been perceived by my spiritual family [Opus Dei] as a priest who is against the Pope. And yet, I never stop saying that I am not against Pope Francis. Moreover, I think it is impossible for a Catholic not to love the Pope (and even more so when that Catholic is called a “traditionalist”). Jesus wanted love of the Pope to be inscribed in our religious DNA. However, as [some say] Aristotle said, “Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas. Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.” For me, it is the first commandment that takes precedence: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). Now, for us Christians, loving God means loving Christ, God’s Eternal Truth. And to love Christ means to defend the truth in our Catholic Church. This does not mean being against someone but being with Jesus. If the nations need truth, the Catholic Church needs it even more. It is a question of honesty, credibility, authenticity, effectiveness, and unity. Truth is the compass so that we do not lose our way to Heaven. Truth is the rock on which to stand when we fall.

LifeSiteNews: Where do you live now?

J. M.: In my natural family. Last January, I asked for a personal spiritual retreat to meditate on Francesco. Unfortunately, my spiritual family demanded that I give up my book project; otherwise I would not be able to live in their formation centres. So I am living with my natural family. But since I have received a death threat on Twitter from a homosexual activist, I am obliged to live hidden while I finish writing my book. On March 4, 2021, I received a letter from the Vicar of Opus Dei in Côte d’Ivoire informing me that I was banned from public Masses, confessions, and preaching due to my activity on Facebook and Twitter, which was perceived as directly attacking the Pope. But I had already publicly apologized to the Pope through these media on February 25. Like Christ who was misunderstood in his time, I too forgive and do not bear a grudge because I believe that everyone acts with good intention. But I cannot help saying that it seems unfair. Look at what happened in Germany last May with the hundred or so priests who blessed homosexual unions with the support of their bishops! Look at what happened with the Superior General of the Jesuits, Father Arturo Sosa, who publicly denied the existence of the Devil and questioned the veracity of the Gospels! All these priests have not been sanctioned! Why should those who speak the truth be silenced and punished?

LifeSiteNews: But is this not more a problem of obedience?

J. M.: Personally, I am not and will never be against obedience, but I think that obedience has a limit: sin. You cannot demand a person obey by keeping silent about the truth. The Church has already paid the price with the pedophilia scandals that have now caught up with us and which are not an honor for us. Due to a misunderstood obedience, how many cardinals did not speak out? How many bishops have kept silent? How many priests? How many fathers and mothers of families? Abandoning the poor seminarians, the poor altar servers, the poor religious men and women, the poor sons and daughters, in the hands of sexual predators who by day proclaimed God but by night contradicted that same God by abusing their own flock.

LifeSiteNews: When is your book coming out? Do you have the necessary authorization, since Opus Dei probably will not give it to you?

J. M.: I would like it to be published on October 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, or on October 13, the anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. And that is because October 21, 2021 will be the first anniversary of the public acceptance of homosexual civil coexistence laws by Pope Francis. I am still looking for a bishop willing to grant me the “Nihil Obstat” and the “Imprimatur.” And also a publisher who agrees to publish it in English, French, Spanish, and Italian. I already have the 4 texts.

LifeSiteNews: Why did you choose “Father Jesusmary Missigbètò” as your pen name?

J. M.: “Jesusmary” is due to my love for Jesus and Mary. Since their hearts were intimately and deeply united, I wished to reflect this by uniting their names. “Missigbètò” is a name of the Goun ethnic group in Benin which literally means “Respect man!” It means that every human being must be respected because he is a child of God.

LifeSiteNews: Would you have a last comment?

J. M.: Thank you very much to LifeSiteNews for giving a voice to unknown people like me. In my humble opinion, the documentary Francesco is problematic, and it would be nice if the Pope and our bishops, looking at Jesus Christ present in the Most Holy Eucharist, would consider this problem. I conclude with three public testimonies that can explain better than I the impact of Francesco. The first expresses exultation, the second permissiveness, and the last desolation. First, Father James Martin, SJ: “What makes Pope Francis’ comments supporting same-sex civil unions today so momentous? First, he is saying them as Pope, not Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Second, he is clearly supporting, not simply tolerating, civil unions. Third, he is saying it on camera, not privately.” Then Harry Roque, spokesman for Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. He said that the [president] has long accepted same-sex civil unions: “With no less than the Pope supporting it, I think even the most conservative of all Catholics in Congress should no longer have a basis for objecting.” And finally, Reverend Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is linked to the largest Protestant denomination in the United States [the Southern Baptist Convention]. For him, Pope Francis’ comments “reveal another sign of the recklessness of this papacy and demonstrates the undermining of the truth, doctrine, and moral logic of his own Church”; for “given the influence of that Church worldwide, it will weaken Christian witness to marriage and sexuality and gender according to God’s will and God’s Word.”

More about Father Jesusmary Missigbètò here.

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Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli,, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana,, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.