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February 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Amongst the most striking claims of French sociologist and openly homosexual Frédéric Martel in his new book on homosexuality in the Vatican is that Pope Francis and his inner circle are actively working to make homosexuality acceptable to the Catholic Church, even if they are not aiming to open the Church to homosexual “marriage”.

First, a caveat: many of Martel’s claims about conservative cardinals’ supposed homosexuality are so outrageous and ill-founded that all he writes is not necessarily true. But his statements regarding Pope Francis are so grave from a doctrinal point of view that they need to be known and, hopefully, officially denied.

Martel quotes — by name — sources that told him of Pope Francis’ personal implication in the rigging of the two synods on the family, adding that these synods and the document that came from them, Amoris laetitia, did not reach their intended goal.

This article is based on the full French text of Sodoma (English title: In the Closet of the Vatican), in which the author accuses mainly conservative authorities in the Church — portrayed as Francis’ opponents — as being all the more probably homosexual, active or repressed, that they are “rigid” and “homophobic” in their expression of Church doctrine. These include Pope Benedict XVI who is described by one source in the book as a (probably chaste) “liturgy queen” or an “opera queen,” who took a rigid stance on homosexuality in the Church.

Quotes are therefore not based on the official English translation although they do reflect the meaning of the original French text, and are presented in italics instead of quotation marks.

Martel presents Pope Francis as “gay-friendly” and (therefore) not gay himself, who surrounds himself by similar “gay-friendly” cardinals such as Blase Cupich, Walter Kasper, Kevin Farrell, Reinhard Marx, Christoph Schönborn, Oscar Maradiaga, Lorenzo Baldisseri… who have a more relaxed approach to homosexuality.

Martel claims Cardinal Baldisseri, who organized both family Synods, told him that during the preparation of the first synod in 2014 every question was open, even burning hot! Everything was on the table: priestly celibacy, homosexuality, communion for the divorced and remarried, women priests… We opened all the debates at the same time.

A small group surrounding Baldisseri is supposed to have led the way: a small team that was sensitive, joyful [the French text uses the feminine adjective “gaie” – deliberately?] and smiling, that included archbishops Bruno Forte, Peter Erdö and Fabio Fabene, all promoted since by the Pope. Martel calls them a true war machine serving Francis.

Working with Kasper, Schönborn and Maradiaga, they were on Kasper’s line (stable and responsible homosexual unions are respectable) but used a different method that involved getting feedback from dioceses the world over.

At the same time, several writers (including at least one homosexual I met with) were mobilized in order to put on paper the first drafts of a text that would become, a year later, the famous apostolic exhortation “Amoris laetitia”, writes Martel, who claims that according to his sources this phrase was deliberately included: Homosexuals have gifts and qualities that they can offer to the Christian community. Mutual support in the case of homosexuals suffering from AIDS was also glorified.

Francis came here every week, Baldisseri told me. He personally presided over the session where we debated propositions, adds Martel, in a bombshell claim.

At this point the author lists a number of rigid cardinals and their conservative, misogynistic or homophobic texts against (Francis’) sexual liberalism: Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, Joachim Meisner, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Walter Brandmüller, Mauro Piacenza, Velasio De Paolis, Tarcisio Bertone, George Pell, Angelo Bagnasco, Antonio Cañizares, Kurt Koch, Paul Josef Cordes, Willem Eijk, Joseph Levada, Marc Ouellet, Antonio Rouco Varela, Juan Luis Cipriani, Juan Sandoval Iñiguez, Norberto Rivera, Javier Errazuriz, Angelo Scola, Camillo Ruini, Robert Sarah and so many others. Francis can only be astounded, Martel writes. How dare they, thinks the holy father who is well-informed by those close to him about this fantastic parish.

The terms “the parish” are used in Sodoma to designate homosexuals in the Vatican, active or repressed.

Martel presents this as the start of Francis’ denunciation of the “diseases of the Curia” and his numerous homilies on “hypocrisy” and “double lies”.

He also says the Pope at that point started to implement a “pedagogical work” aiming at making a distinction at Church level between the “crimes” of paedophilia – abuse of minors under 15 – and acts without consent or performed in within a framework of authority on the one hand, and legal homosexual activity between consulting adults, also lifting the ban on condoms.

Kasper was happy with the situation, Baldisseri is quoted as having told Martel, but “a reaction” took place that hampered the desired reforms. Martel adds that Baldisseri personally ordered the “pamphlet” titled Remaining in the Truth of Christ written by the “usual suspects” (Burke, Müller, Caffarra, Brandmüller and De Paolis) to be “seized” before it could be distributed to all the participants at the first Synod on the family.

Martel describes the Pope’s anger at the situation and his work to counter his opponents: steadily naming new cardinals in order to ensure the election of a similar-minded Pope at the next conclave and putting in motion his friends to further his agenda.

These include theologian Archbishop Victor Manuel “Tucho” Fernandez of La Plata who in April 2015 spoke of Pope Francis’ “irreversible reforms.”

Across the river Plate, in Montevideo, Uruguay, “bergoglian” Cardinal Daniel Sturla (who told Martel that at that point he did not know Francis personally) also deliberately sent up trial balloons in favor of recognizing homosexuals in the Church, according to the author.

Martel credits Oscar Maradiaga with numerous trips to large numbers of dioceses across the world in order to distill Francis’ way of thinking and to obtain support.

Baldisseri’s team also used intellectual influencers such as Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro with whom Martel claims to have lunched or dined six times. He is described as Francis’ pilot fish.

Spadaro is credited with having set in motion like-minded intellectuals on the issue of homosexuality: Maurizio Gronchi and Paolo Gamberini in Italy, Dominican father Jean-Michel Garrigues (a close friend of Cardinal Schönborn) and Antoine Guggenheim in France.

Guggenheim, a diocesan priest in Paris, at this point started advocating the recognition of same-sex unions in the unofficial daily of the French episcopate, La Croix. He wrote: The recognition of faithful and lasting love between two homosexual persons, whatever their degree of chastity, seems to me a hypothesis that deserves to be discussed. It could take the form that the Church habitually gives to its prayer: a benediction.

Even more shockingly, a Dominican friar, Adriano Oliva – an Italian based in Paris credited with being one of the best living specialists of Saint Thomas Aquinas – is credited with having joined the mobilization at the behest of Pope Francis himself.

In Amours (Loves), Oliva purported in 2015 to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Dominican order by demonstrating that Thomas Aquinas recognized the “natural” character of homosexuality, pleading for a new welcoming of homosexual couples in the Church and recognition of their civil unions.

His involved reasoning leads Oliva to say that for true homosexuals, moral virtue consists for them in living out their inclination according to the demands of their humanity: in unique, gratuitous, faithful and “chaste” love. And the Church must accompany them in their love for a person of the same sex in which they “accomplish” themselves. Sexual acts, in this context, are rendered morally legitimate by the criterion of “love” between homosexual persons, in the same way as happens between heterosexuals.

(French philosopher Thibaud Collin demolished this sophistic reasoning in a response quoted by LifeSite at the time.)

According to Frédéric Martel, cardinals, bishops and large numbers of priests told him their vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas changed thanks to Oliva’s work and that the ban on homosexuality had been lifted for once and for all.

Oliva’s editor, the Orthodox Christian theologian Jean-François Colosimo, as well as Baldisseri’s team are quoted by Martel as saying that they commissioned experts including Oliva to work on the issue. I obtained confirmation that Adriano Oliva was indeed received in the Vatican by Baldisseri, Bruno Forte and Fabio Fabene, who were the main persons responsible for the Synod, Martel writes.

Martel then quotes Kasper: Adriano Oliva came to see me here. We talked. He had sent me a letter that I showed to the Pope: Francis was very impressed. And he asked Baldisseri to commission him to write a text to be disseminated among the bishops. I think it is that text that became “Amours.” Adriano did a service to the Church, without being an activist.

According to Martel, Amours was distributed during the 2015 Synod at the Pope’s suggestion: one more weapon in a comprehensive plan willed by the sovereign pontiff himself.

The whole plan would not work, Martel writes: Amoris laetitia would only include three coded references to the acceptance of homosexuality. He says Francis himself decided to backpedal according to Kasper, quoted by the author: He had no choice. But he has always been very clear. He accepted a compromise while trying to stick to his course.

In later parts of Sodoma, In the Closet of the Vatican, Martel writes that Pope Francis had three secret nighty meetings with the then Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in order to negotiate the Church’s silence on proposed same-sex civil unions in Italy in order to avoid the legalization of same-sex “marriage”.