John-Henry Westen

From the desk of the editor.


Pope Francis misrepresents the Catechism on homosexuality

Cardinal Ratzinger had criticized Pope Francis' approach as 'neither caring nor pastoral.'
Mon Jun 27, 2016 - 1:11 pm EST
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June 27, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – On the return flight from his visit to Armenia yesterday, Pope Francis was asked if the Church should ask forgiveness of the “gay community” for the “hate they experience.”  In response, Pope Francis cherry-picked from the Catechism teaching regarding homosexuality, misrepresenting the Church’s teaching in a manner which Pope Benedict XVI while still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger called “neither caring nor pastoral.”

“I repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that they must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally,” said the Pope. “The problem is a person that has a condition, that has good will and who seeks God, who are we to judge? And we must accompany them well...this is what the catechism says, a clear catechism,” the Pope added.

The pope preached what was 'in season' leaving out the truths that are 'out of season.' Nowhere in his response did he express any of the Catechism’s many grave warnings about homosexual acts. And since those acts lead to dire consequences for body and soul the Church has always insisted on informing people about these dangers.

In 1986, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then-led by Cardinal Ratzinger, issued a document instructing bishops on the pastoral care of homosexual persons. Therein, the congregation admonished bishops to ensure they are “clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral.” The instruction adds, “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 Catechism’s teaching on homosexuality is given in three paragraphs comprising just over 220 words. The Pope’s response references only 20 words from the middle of the second paragraph, ignoring the numerous passages warning against the harmful sexual behaviour.

Here’s the full section on homosexuality from the Catechism:

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 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.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

  catechism of the catholic church, catholic, homosexuality, pope benedict xvi, pope francis

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