Featured Image
Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of LuxembourgYouTube screenshot

Secure a home for canceled priests: LifeFunder

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-LGBT Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich declared at an August 26 Vatican press conference that he is “not in favor of changing any doctrine of the Church.”  

This contradicts what Hollerich has stated over the past several months regarding Catholic teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual acts. 

At the Vatican’s Friday press conference on the next stage of the “Synod on Synodality,” LifeSiteNews questioned the Cardinal Hollerich, the Relator General of the Synod, on his stance on the sinfulness of homosexual acts.  

“Much has been said about the sensus fidelium, and faith, as we know, must submit to God and His revelation. You recently pushed several times for a changing of the Church’s teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual acts,” said reporter Louis Knuffke.   

“This teaching, however, is contained both in Scripture and in Apostolic Tradition, and fidelity to the deposit of faith, which this would be part of, has been emphasized, in particular, by the Spanish bishops recently. So I ask, is it not necessary, even in this process of the Synod on Synodality, is it not necessary for all Catholics, both faithful and prelates … to believe in the deposit of faith?” 

In response, the cardinal declared, “I fully believe in [the] Tradition of the Church.” 

Hollerich then said that he thought a practical change of attitude was more important than a change of doctrine. “What is important, I think, in this process is not a change of doctrine … And to have not a change of doctrine but a change of attitude … that we are a Church in which everybody can feel at home.” 

For the record, Hollerich expressly stated and emphasized, “I’m not in favor of changing any doctrine.” Instead, he was in favor of “a Church in which everybody can feel welcome.” 

He said that as a Church “if we close the door on some people, we push them to despair.” However, he did not explain what he  meant by “closing the door” and of what such people were despairing.  

The cardinal also claimed that he has “no personal agenda for the Synod,” but that he is “open” and “listening,” “not pushing any agenda.” 

Chastity: ‘I agree that that should be the ideal’

As a follow-up to these remarks, Knuffke asked Hollerich in a one-on-one interview after the press conference whether he was aware of a public letter signed by 500 Irish youth, in which they accused the bishops in Ireland of manipulating the Synodal process and refusing to listen to their voice, pushing instead their own agenda to change Catholic teaching and practice. 

In the letter, the youth of Ireland noted that “during the Synodal Pathway national meeting on June 18th, it was clear that changes to Church teaching and ordained ministry are being emphasised within the emerging synthesis.” The letter stated that the conclusion of the meeting was that “Church teaching needed to be re-formulated or changed. This was based on the false view that there is a divergence between current Church teaching and the Sensus Fidei (the sense of the faithful).” 

In contrast to the bishops’ call for a change in Catholic teaching and practice, the Irish youth stated, “As young faithful Catholics we fully accept and joyfully embrace Church teaching and practice, and do not wish for Church teaching to be changed or reformulated.” Instead, they declared, “we wish to state categorically that we believe there does not exist a conflict between Church teaching and the Sensus Fidei. We humbly suggest that these emerging concerns are instead a call to communicate church teachings better.” 

When Hollerich said he was not informed enough on the case of the Irish youth, Knuffke handed him a hard copy of the letter for him to read. In his general comments on the matter, the cardinal said he thought “people should trust their bishops,” and that he “cannot image bishops with an agenda” because “if you have an agenda in your head, you cannot listen anymore,” while “listening,” he claimed, was the purpose of the Synodal process. The letter of the Irish youth seems to contradict these claims about the apparent “openness” of the Church’s prelates. 

Hollerich was also challenged to reaffirm the Church’s perennial teaching that “God created man male and female and instituted marriage at the beginning of creation between one man and one woman.” He affirmed that this teaching is correct, saying, “I never said that sacramental marriage should be between two women or between two men.”  

The cardinal did not elaborate on whether he thought this left the door open to “civil unions” or “ecclesiastical blessings” for homosexuals. 

Asked whether, “as the Church currently teaches, sexual relations are only morally good between the married,” the cardinal replied, “That’s the idea, yes.” Hollerich pointed out that the married are not always chaste before marriage, saying, “I agree that that [chastity] should be the ideal.” 

He was then asked to affirm that this means that “not only are homosexual acts sinful, but also fornication would be sinful, and adultery as well.” He concurred but went on to say, “I think it would be wrong if you just centered on the sexual act and not [on] the whole aspect of relation. He argued that in adultery it is “the whole relation with your husband, with your wife, which is disturbed. And that is very important, the sacredness of that relation.”  

Hollerich concluded by agreeing that “the sinfulness of these acts has greater ramifications for the relationship.” 

A public record of comments contrary to Church teaching

These statements affirming the sinfulness of all sexual acts outside of marriage stand in contrast with Hollerich’s other public comments calling for a change to the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, and the doubt he recently cast upon the Scriptural foundations of these teachings. 

In February 2022, the U.K.’s Catholic Herald reported the cardinal’s words from an interview with the German Catholic news agency KNA. In the interview, Hollerich, who is also the Cardinal Archbishop of Luxembourg, was asked, “How do you get around the Church’s teaching that homosexuality is sin?” 

The archbishop replied, “I believe that this is false. But I also believe that here we are thinking further about the teaching. So, as the Pope has said in the past, this can lead to a change in teaching.” 

Claiming that the Church’s current condemnation of homosexual acts is based on outdated sociology and outdated science, Hollerich called for a revision in the teaching. “So I believe that the sociological-scientific foundation of this teaching is no longer correct, what one formerly condemned was sodomy,” he said. “… I believe it is time for us to make a revision in the basic foundation of the teaching.” 

In August, in comments made to Catholic layman Richard Smaglick during a visit to a church in Chicago, Hollerich cast doubt upon the Scriptural foundation for the Church’s teaching that homosexual acts are grave sins. 

As LifeSiteNews reported at the time, “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.’” 

 The cardinal’s latest statements raise the question of what concretely he means by a Church in which “everybody feels welcome.” It may also trouble Catholics that the prelate referred to chastity and fidelity within marriage as the “ideal” rather than a moral obligation. It was against just such reasoning that Pope St. John Paul II taught in Veritatis Splendor that “it would be a very serious error to conclude … that the Church’s teaching is essentially only an ‘ideal’ which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man, according to a ‘balancing of the goods in question.’” 

Affirming that man really and truly can keep the Commandments and must do so in order to be saved, John Paul II declared, “But what are the ‘concrete possibilities of man’? And of which man are we speaking? Of man dominated by lust or of man redeemed by Christ? This is what is at stake: the reality of Christ’s redemption. Christ has redeemed us! This means that he has given us the possibility of realizing the entire truth of our being; he has set our freedom free from the domination of concupiscence. And if redeemed man still sins, this is not due to an imperfection of Christ’s redemptive act, but to man’s will not to avail himself of the grace which flows from that act. God’s command is of course proportioned to man’s capabilities; but to the capabilities of the man to whom the Holy Spirit has been given.”

Secure a home for canceled priests: LifeFunder