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CHICAGO (LifeSiteNews) – The openly pro-homosexual head of the European bishops’ commission has again cast doubt on the perennial Catholic doctrine on homosexuality and appeared to suggest that he thinks the Catholic Church can change its teaching through the worldwide “Synod on Synodality,” and claimed that he knows that he is “in full agreement with Pope Francis” on the issue.
In a 90-second exchange captured on video Sunday at Holy Child Jesus parish in Chicago, Illinois, Jesuit Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, who plays an important role in Pope Francis’ Synod on Synodality as the Relator General, said that “we have to give an interpretation to the Bible teaching” when asked for his thoughts regarding a possible change in the Catholic doctrine on sexual ethics.
It is the constant, unchangeable teaching of the Church that homosexual acts are contrary to the nature of sexual relations, and that all men and women are called to chastity.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2357) states: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ 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.”
Nevertheless Synod documents from dioceses worldwide have already reported calls, apparently from among parishioners, for changes to teachings regarding same-sex unions and priestly celibacy.
During Hollerich’s visit to the U.S., lay Catholic activist Richard Smaglick asked whether the high-ranking cardinal thinks sodomy might no longer be considered a grave sin in Catholic doctrine following the worldwide synodal process.
“I do not know what the synod will bring,” Hollerich answered, “we now listen to the people of the world, what they express.”
“I start getting in reports. As you know, I’m the Relator General of the synod and so, reading all of that, in September we will make a first draft for the continental meetings which will take place,” explained the cardinal, who also serves as Archbishop of Luxembourg, later adding that he “would never consider sexuality separated from love.”
Attempting to draw clarity from Hollerich’s comments, Smaglick noted that the Sacred Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church have “taught for 2,000 years that sodomy is a sin, an abomination that cries out to heaven.”
However, in response to Smaglick’s comment, the cardinal appeared to cast doubt on the clear and ancient Scriptural teaching on homosexual acts as sinful, stating that “the Bible also said we should stone the woman who is adulterous.”
“The Bible said that the sun turns around the earth,” Hollerich continued. “So, the Bible is … [we] have to give an interpretation to the Bible.”
Speaking to LifeSiteNews, Smaglick said that the views expressed by Hollerich “clarified that he and the Pope want to use the synod to normalize and sanctify sin, the sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.”
He argued that the rejection of the traditional Catholic liturgy – for example, in Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich’s recent suppression of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP) – is tied to the rejection of traditional doctrine and morality. “That’s where we are strong, and the Pope and progressives are very weak.”
Across the board, Catholics care about “the culture war and the rejection of woke madness,” Smaglick said, but warned that “most Catholics aren’t aware that those leading a drive in the synod are openly pushing for the normalization and sanctification of homosexual acts and fornication. They also aren’t aware that the leaders of the synod believe they have the input from the faithful they need to move forward with their agenda to redefine sexual morality.”
Explaining the implementation of such an agenda, Smaglick suggested that the synodal process is being used to garner apparent support from the faithful for the introduction of the pro-LGBT views held by some within the Catholic hierarchy, such as Hollerich.
In practice, Smaglick said that synod organizers only have to ask laypeople how they would like to see fundamental tenets of the Faith change and then “listen” to those who “want to abolish the doctrine that sodomy is sinful.”
Those who hold influential position in the synod, such as Hollerich, can then “convene and call those polling results among the selective focus group ‘the voice of the Holy Spirit,’ so you can say God, and not man, is changing divine precepts.”
Analyzing Hollerich’s defense that the Church must never “consider sexuality separated from love,” Smaglick said that the term “sexuality” is used as a way of muddying the waters by refocusing on the person rather than criticizing the nature of homosexual acts.
Pro-LGBT proponents within the Church “use the term sexuality rather than sex to defend the idea that fornication is not a sin, because it’s much easier to justify the sexual orientation or ‘sexuality’ of a homosexual than it is to justify the homosexual acts themselves,” Smaglick told LifeSite.
He added that the pro-LGBT lobby “sell the idea that sexuality should be between people who love each other, replacing the principle that sex must only happen in the context of marriage and leave out Christ’s call to conversion: to go and sin no more.”
In reference to Hollerich’s criticism of the historic understanding of biblical passages condemning homosexual acts, Smaglick said out-of-context scriptural comparisons and a need for interpretation form “the standard talking points” among those who oppose traditional Catholic sexual ethics: “That is the narrative that they use to take the Church out of the mode of having a profound responsibility to defend and preserve the Word of God.”
He also noted that the cardinal did not make any effort to address the fact that there is a 2,000-year teaching tradition on the morality of sex which, “until very recently, has been clear, absolute, and in full continuity with the deposit of faith.”
Hollerich has previously voiced his opposition to the Church’s base in Scripture and Tradition concerning sexual ethics, stating in February that “the sociological-scientific foundation of this teaching is no longer correct.”
“[T]here is no homosexuality at all in the New Testament,” Hollerich claimed, adding that there “is only discussion of homosexual acts, which were to some extent pagan cultic acts.”
“That was naturally forbidden. I believe it is time for us to make a revision in the basic foundation of the teaching,” he said.
Despite the cardinal’s earlier assertions regarding the need for further biblical interpretation, when Smaglick later questioned him on whether the “fundamental scriptural teaching on sin is being changed,” Hollerich repeatedly said “no” before claiming to have full papal endorsement regarding his position.
“I know that I am in full agreement with Pope Francis,” Hollerich said.
Rather than interpreting Hollerich’s claim of papal approval as Francis supporting homosexuality, Smaglick argued that it is a way to attempt to “facilitate a process through which” the Church can “consider a change of doctrine regarding sexual morality.”
“Hollerich is conveying that [the Pope] is fully on board with facilitating this process,” Smaglick said.
As the global “Synod on Synodality” continues, reports have emerged from the diocesan stage of the process calling for changes to basic Catholic teaching on sexual ethics while demanding acceptance of women into the clerical order.
Hollerich’s own Archdiocese of Luxembourg delivered its diocesan-stage results for the synodal meetings last month, which saw calls for homosexual “marriage” and women priests to be incorporated into Catholic teaching.
Luxembourg’s 37-page report represented little more than ten percent of the country’s estimated 439,000 Catholics and called for “a change of view on homosexuality, to open up to marriage for all,” as well as to drop the “obligation of celibacy for priests.”
Meanwhile, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, a former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (now Dicastery), has unequivocally affirmed the impossibility of a change in Church teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual acts.
“This is absolutely clear, and nobody can change the doctrine of our Catholic faith that homosexual behavior is a grave sin,” he told LifeSiteNews editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen in a June 22 interview.
“[It] is absolutely clear that for every priest, cardinal, and the pope, every bishop must be absolutely faithful to the revealed faith and to the natural law which is given to us” without engaging in “personal politics,” he continued.
“Nobody has authority to change or to falsify the revealed Catholic faith according to the Word of God and the doctrine of the Church.”