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December 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic Church continues to be rocked by highly credible allegations, most powerfully voiced by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, of homosexual corruption in the highest echelons of the hierarchy. The rot appears to run from the top down to the level of dioceses and seminaries, where countless adolescents and seminarians have suffered sexual predation at the hands of men who should have been their spiritual fathers. The problem appears to be virtually universal in Europe, Latin America, and the Anglophone world. The Church now finds itself in what may be the most wretched state of moral decadence that it has ever suffered in its long history.

It might seem that the Catholic Church is simply suffering from a particularly virulent infiltration of the clergy by a powerful and extensive fifth column, one that only must be detected and rooted out to eliminate the problem. Indeed such exposure is crucial to winning this battle of Catholic restoration, and that is a work to which LifeSite and many other Catholic journalists and activists are dedicated. However, I would argue that it isn’t remotely enough. The reality is that the crisis is a far more general one, and largely stems from a perverse pact made between a degenerate clergy and a deeply corrupt laity. Until both the laity and the clergy are reformed, we will never extricate ourselves from this terrible crisis.

Most of the Catholic laity are addicted to their own version of sodomy

Any casual observer of the ecclesiastical scene can find countless examples of parishes that are served by a weak and effeminate “Fr. Feelgood” (perhaps accompanied by his assistant, the ever-dissenting “Sister Angrynun”), whom we can easily blame for the compromised moral and spiritual state of the parish. “Fr. Feelgood” tends to create in his parish a watered-down version of the Catholic faith in which notions of sin, sacrifice, and salvation are deemphasized or eliminated in favor of a low-content sentimentalism that tends to affirm the carnal mentality and worldly tendencies of the congregation. “Fr. Feelgood” may be an outright homosexual or merely a “tame” beta male who exhibits a similar mentality, but the effects of his leadership (or lack thereof) will tend to be the same.

However, what is often overlooked is the more silent and passive but equally essential element in this perverse partnership, and that is the laity of the parish who seem untroubled and even grateful for Fr. Feelgood’s weak character and pandering ministry. Underlying this attitude is a troubling fact that is passed over in silence, and that is that virtually all of the sexually-active members of the parish are themselves involved in the sin of sodomy.

Yes, that’s right: sodomy. That’s the term used historically in the Church for a sin that is currently rampant among sexually-active Catholics, even those who attend Mass every Sunday. It’s the use of contraception, which poll after poll since the 1970s have indicated is used by the majority of sexually-active Catholics, even those who attend mass regularly.

Contraception has always been understood in the Catholic Church as a grave sin against nature, a perversion that is similar to other abuses of the sexual act that deny its natural unitive and procreative purposes. Couples that use artificial birth control are seeking the pleasure of sexual intercourse in a way that denies its ultimate end, which is to bring forth life and simultaneously to reinforce their marriage union for the purpose of cooperating in the education of their children. Instead, they are seeking the pleasure of the act as an end in itself, and treating the body of their companion as an object of lust.

A recent Pew Research poll (p. 26) reinforced what previous research has demonstrated repeatedly about the attitudes of Catholic laity regarding contraception. It found that of those Catholics who attend mass weekly only 13% regard contraception as “morally wrong.” Of the rest, 45% say it is morally acceptable, and 42% say it’s “not a moral issue,” in the words of the poll. This is reflective of so many other studies that have found a similar acceptance of contraception. There can be no doubt that the vast majority of sexually-active Catholic couples are engaging in this destructive vice.

The contraceptive mentality, which separates the sexual act from reproduction and reflects a hedonistic and narcissistic ethos, leads easily to other sins. If the ultimate purpose of the sexual act isn’t reproduction, but just selfish pleasure, then why should couples marry at all? Extra-marital sexual activity and cohabitation easily follow from this conclusion, as well as abortion when the “unwanted” unborn child inconveniently enters into the picture – after all, if people have a right to their selfish pleasure without consequences, an unborn baby is seen easily as an intruder in their relationships.

Divorce is also closely associated with the sin of contraception. Various studies comparing married couples who don’t use birth control with those who do have found that the divorce rates of the latter are much higher. A study of users of Natural Family Planning (which is used often by those who reject contraception) found that those who have used NFP have a divorce rate half of that of those who have never used NFP.

At the end of this continuum of perversion are the worst abuses of the sexual act, which themselves follow from the logic of contraception. Among them is the vice of homosexual sodomy, which differs from heterosexual contraception not so much in kind, as in degree.

That’s why St. Peter Damian, the Catholic Church’s greatest defender of sexual morality among all of its canonized saints, regarded the contraceptive sin of Onan in the Old Testament as a type of sodomy. Onan engaged in the most simple and easiest form of contraception, withdrawing from his brother’s wife and “spill[ing] his seed upon the ground” (Gen. 38:6-10). God struck Onan dead for this evil act – even though the penalty for not bringing up offspring for one’s dead brother was not death, but public humiliation – because Onan had perverted the sexual act.

“Certainly, this disgrace (sodomy) is not unworthily believed to be the worst of all offenses,” writes Damian in his Book of Gomorrah, which he wrote to denounce a crisis of sodomy among the clergy and monks of his day. He soon adds: “[God] struck Onan, the son of Jude, with an untimely death because of this nefarious offense, according to the Scripture, which says, ‘Onan … knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother’s wife, he spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother’s name. And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.”

Click here to learn about St. Peter Damian’s struggle against an epidemic of sodomy and corruption among the clergy of the eleventh century, a story with great relevance for the Catholic Church today.

A perverse pact between clergy and laity

The resulting situation is a Catholic laity that has a mentality similar to that of practicing homosexuals. In their own relationships, the vast majority of lay Catholics are using artificial birth control. In general, they do this because they have a hedonistic and consumeristic notion of marriage, and indeed of life itself, one that is characteristic of modern neoliberal secularist democracies, where happiness is absurdly sought in the transient pleasures and perishable goods of this world.

Those involved in this heterosexual form of sodomy, will naturally tend to have a deep and implicit sympathy for homosexual sodomites, whose only major difference is the preference of a same-sex partner in their unnatural sin of lust. This is why the vast majority of Catholics seem to be unperturbed by the effeminate and worldly attitudes of their pastors – they resonate with the contraceptive mentality of the laity. If Fr. Feelgood rarely mentions the doctrines of hell, or sin, or repentance and amendment of life, and seems uninterested in prayer or sacrifice, he is little more than a reflection of his own hedonist and consumerist congregation, which would rather not hear about such unpleasantries. Of course, such priests never trouble their parishioners with the Church’s doctrine condemning contraception, despite their obviously small family sizes.

As a result, less than a third of Catholics told the Pew Research Center that homosexual behavior is “morally wrong,” and even among those who attend Mass every Sunday, only 50% held that view (again, p. 26). The Catholic Church’s clear doctrine condemning sodomy, expressed repeatedly in Sacred Scripture, the writings of the Church Fathers, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in the official pronouncements of the popes, is either ignored or rejected outright in most parishes. This attitude is a natural consequence of the embrace of contraception by the laity; although their version of sodomy and hedonism is more bourgeois and conventional than that of homosexuals, their own addiction to sexual lust and perversion entails the same essential reality.

Contraceptive parishes, contraceptive liturgies

The contraceptive mentality that runs through most Catholic parishes is not only facilitated by the false doctrines of wayward priests, but also by the generally degraded state of the Roman Rite liturgy.  It should be unsurprising that the decline of the liturgy occurred at the same time as explosion of contraceptive practice among Catholics.

Although the formal intention of the liturgical reform was to encourage participation by the faithful, the effect has been to facilitate a style of worship that dovetails with the self-centered, narcissistic mentality that underlies contraceptive unions. The priest who faces the people from behind the altar encourages the notion of the “community celebrating itself” in the words of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI. The childish liturgical translations, which were somewhat corrected by Pope Benedict but now appear on their way to being restored by Pope Francis, the trite and breezy hymns, the reception of communion in the hand by the laity, the worldly architecture, all are alien to the traditions of the Church, and all tend to undermine the sense of reverence in the liturgy.

In light of the results of liturgical reform, which the same Cardinal Ratzinger regarded as gravely botched, it hardly seems coincidental that the massive liturgical changes that came about in 1969-1970 followed on the heels of the equally massive rejection of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical letter Humanae vitae in 1968. After years of speculation that the Church might reverse its condemnation of artificial birth control, Paul VI in Humanae vitae reaffirmed the ancient doctrine that contraception is “intrinsically evil” and a mortal sin. However, the vast majority of Catholics rejected the doctrine, and their pastors appeased them by ignoring it and ignoring their own parishioners’ immersion in this sin. Soon after, the liturgy was altered in ways that facilitated the new mentality, and numerous priests departed from the priesthood, which appeared to many to have been deprived of its sacramental meaning. They left behind a largely weak and effeminate clergy that sought to pander to modern sensibilities rather than to exercise manly leadership on behalf of Christ.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the absolute condemnation of contraception reaffirmed by Humanae Vitae is a major focus of the current attack carried out by homosexualist theologians against Catholic sexual morality. The acceptance of contraception is the foundation of the entire sexual revolution, including the acceptance of cohabitation, abortion, and same-sex sodomy. The lavender mafia that currently holds power in the Church depends deeply on this evil pact with contracepting laity, who support them morally and financially.

Catholic pastors are called to a particular sort of courage in the face of pressure from their confused congregations, who are accustomed to regarding the priest as a facilitator of their lifestyles rather than as a prophet who calls upon them to repent. The duty of the priest is to speak the truth to the laity, even at the risk of persecution, as St. Paul notes in his second letter to Timothy, whom he had personally ordained to the priesthood:

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, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry.

Contact the author at [email protected].

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Matthew Cullinan Hoffman is an essayist, journalist, and author whose articles have appeared in numerous publications worldwide, both secular and Catholic, including the Wall Street Journal, London Sunday Times, Detroit News, New York Daily News, LifeSiteNews, Catholic World Report, Crisis Magazine, and the National Catholic Register. He is the translator and author of The Book of Gomorrah and St. Peter Damian's Struggle Against Ecclesiastical Corruption (2015). He holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, where he is certified for academic competency in five foreign languages. He currently resides in Mexico, and does specialized coverage of Latin America for LifeSite and other publications.

He can be contacted at [email protected].


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