(LifeSiteNews) — Father Gerald Murray said that Pope Francis’ new doctrinal chief “must be resisted” if he attempts to legitimize homosexuality and warned that the Synod on Synodality will be a “moment of crisis for the Church” and an opportunity for “forces of radicalism” to rewrite the Catechism in favor of sodomy.
The New York priest and canon lawyer made his comments in an episode of Raymond Arroyo’s The World Over on Thursday, joined by Robert Royal, the editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing.
Approval of same-sex ‘blessings’ would be ‘open heresy and schism’
Much of the episode focused on Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández, the incoming prefect of the Dicastery (formerly Congregation) for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF). In an interview earlier this month, Fernández opened the door to revising the congregation’s 2021 document that condemned “blessings” for homosexual unions.
“It wouldn’t be bad to rethink it, in light of everything that Francis has taught us,” he told Religión Digital, a left-wing Spanish website.
“Many say that it does not have the flavor of Francis in the way it is drafted and in some of the expressions it uses,” the Argentine archbishop added, citing the document’s statement that God “does not and cannot bless sin.”
Fernández, whom Pope Francis has also named a cardinal, signaled in a previous interview that he could support same-sex “blessings” if they do not lead to “confusion.” The scandal-plagued prelate has also argued in support of condom use, admitted to mishandling sex abuse, and wrote an erotic book about kissing.
Robert Royal stressed that attempting to reverse Catholic teaching against homosexual “blessings” as Fernández suggested would be “open heresy and open schism.”
“We know from dogmatic teaching, and we know this from going back to Saint Paul in Romans, and many other elements in our Tradition and in the Bible itself, that homosexual activity is a sin. It’s simply a sin,” he said. “To bless some sort of relationship that is sinful in and of itself just makes no sense whatever.”
Any implication that “maybe someday down the line it’ll be possible to reverse this teaching, that simply is not true,” he added.
“And if that happens, we are in open heresy and open schism from the pastor of the Church,” Royal warned. “I hope that this confusion does not persist over years now with Archbishop Fernandez in the DDF, but I greatly fear that that’s where we’re headed.”
He noted, moreover, that Juan Carlos Cruz, a homosexual activist and personal friend of Pope Francis, said at a recent pro-LGBT conference organized by heretical Jesuit James Martin that Francis told him that he did not actually sign the 2021 document, which Cruz has attributed to “fanaticism” among Vatican officials.
Father Murray also reaffirmed that Catholic teaching on the disordered nature of homosexuality is unchangeable, while predicting that the issue will “be on the agenda at the Synod” anyway.
“The doctrine of the faith, as Bob pointed out, is consistent and clear: homosexual activity is intrinsically disordered and the homosexual inclination likewise is intrinsically disordered because it’s leading people into actions which in and of themselves are offensive to God apart from any intentionality on the part of the people committing those sins,” he explained.
He further accused Fernández of “playing into the hand” of Martin, who has claimed that the Church’s language about homosexuality is “cruel” and that the Catechism should be revised to no longer state that homosexuality is disordered. A growing number of heterodox bishops, including Cardinals Robert McElroy, Joseph Tobin, and Blase Cupich and most of the German hierarchy, have called for similar changes to the Catechism on homosexuality.
“I have a feeling that this is going to be on the agenda at the Synod, and this is going to be a moment of crisis for the Church,” Father Murray said.
“The Church cannot teach that what is immoral can be blessed and it certainly can’t teach that what is disordered is somehow now simply differently ordered or a variation but not really offensive to God,” he emphasized. “That’s false.”
Attacks on the Catechism must be ‘vigorously opposed’
Fernandez himself has recently hinted at revising the teaching of the Catechism on sodomy, telling Italian newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale on Tuesday that the Catechism’s language allegedly causes “pain” to “people’s hearts.”
Pope Francis “would undoubtedly use different language,” the incoming doctrine chief said.
Father Murray slammed those comments, insisting that any attempts to weaken the Catechism on homosexuality must be “vigorously opposed” and that Fernandez “must be resisted” if he tries to push the Church to accept sodomy.
“Now, if he [Fernandez] is signaling to us that there’s some kind of movement to change the language of the Catechism, this has to be vigorously opposed, because it will only confirm people in sin, and we’ll give the impression the Catholic doctrine is subject to change,” the priest said. “Catholic doctrine is not subject to change. The truth is the truth—it’s handed down by God, it’s witnessed in the Scriptures, in the natural law, the constant teaching of the Church.”
“So, we can’t say that sodomy is good, and if that’s what Fernandez and others are trying to push the Church toward, they must be resisted,” he declared.
‘The Synod on Homosexuality’
“What we have here, and it’s very sad to say, I said this about a year and a half ago, the Synod on Synodality is turning into the Synod on Homosexuality,” Father Murray continued.
“The Catholic Church has a liberating truth about human sexuality which is life-giving and it does not include approving mortal sin,” despite the opposition of “pressure groups, and people who support them in the hierarchy, and priests like Father Martin.”
“It’s hard to believe, Raymond, that here we are, talking about the most vital issue in the life of the Church, [which] is to declare that we’ve been mistaken for 2,000 years about a teaching that is biblical and clear, that sodomy is a sin and should not ever be approved by the Church,” the priest said. “But that’s what’s going on now.”
Arroyo also noted that Pope Francis has personally appointed several people who oppose Catholic teaching on sexuality and other subjects as voting members of the Synod in October.
Francis’ appointments include Martin, Cupich, McElroy, Sister Xiskya Valladares, a Nicaraguan nun in Spain who has defended same-sex “blessings,” and Cynthia Bailey Manns, a left-wing activist from Minnesota.
Manns is the director of adult faith formation at the extremely heterodox Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Community in Minneapolis, which has allowed gender-confused and homosexual individuals to give pre-Mass reflections, including two homosexual men who promoted their “marriage” and acquisition of a baby boy through surrogacy and in-vitro fertilization. The Church teaches that homosexual adoption is gravely immoral and a form of “violence” against children.
“Well, it’s obvious that people who propose doctrinal change, pastoral change, to favor tolerance of sin in the life of the Church, they’re getting favored,” Father Murray commented. “Father James Martin is probably the most shocking appointment, but I shouldn’t be shocked because the pope has favored him up to this point.”
Royal remarked that Pope Francis’ frequently obscure choices of synodal delegates, like Manns, suggest that a “much deeper, much broader coalition in Rome” than Francis is “preparing the sea change in Catholic teaching.”
“How in the world do they find this person from this Saint Joan of Arc Community in Minnesota? There’s got to be a network in Rome or a network via someone like Father James Martin that picks an extremely obscure and extremely radical person,” he said.
“The same with this Nicaraguan nun who ends up in Spain. And I think this reflects that there was a much deeper, much broader coalition in Rome other than simply Francis himself that seems to be preparing the sea change in Catholic teaching” on same-sex “blessings” and “other things,” like “the unicorn of women deaconesses and married priests again,” Royal added.
Divine revelation under assault
The recent synodal appointments ultimately “point to a group of people who don’t believe” in the “binding nature” of divine revelation, Father Murray observed.
“They do not consider revelation to be binding, rather it can be changed. They’ll call it, they always do, they call it a ‘development’; we’re going to develop the teaching,” he said. “Well, development does not mean denying, and if you change a teaching— something is good, and they say now it’s bad, and vice versa—that’s betraying revelation.”
The priest identified faithfulness to revelation as the “most crucial issue” that will be “in the forefront” of the Synod.
“Does divine revelation have a binding force, meaning, what was taught by Christ and has always been taught by the Church, can that change? And the answer, of course, is no, because God is truth. The truth of God revealed is for our salvation,” he noted.
“What’s the center of the whole Catholic Church? It is Christ. We are all servants of the Lord, and His word gives life to us,” he continued. “So, people come along and try to change it—they’re really unfaithful shepherds, and now lay people are agitators who are working with them.”
“We have to pray, we have to pray that this synod does not devolve into this,” Father Murray urged. “We cannot give in to these forces of radicalism.”
Echoing Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Arroyo described the Synod as a “hostile takeover” of the Catholic Church: “I fear Cardinal Müller was right: This is a hostile takeover of the Catholic Church with a freestanding institution that has never happened—in the history of Catholicism, never occurred.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that Juan Carlos Cruz, not Pope Francis, said that the 2021 Vatican document condemning same-sex “blessings” was linked to “fanaticism” among Vatican officials.