November 10, 2020 (Crisis) — “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable because of it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”
That’s a quote from Pope Francis. Pope Francis — the Bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Christ, the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. And not only has he come out in support of civil unions for same-sex couples: he has also confirmed old rumors that he did so in his native Argentina as early as 2010. For at least a decade, Francis has quietly but actively dissented from Church teaching on human sexuality.
Remarks attributed to Pope Francis (and, not denied by the Vatican) in support of homosexual civil unions have caused grave scandal to the faithful.
Please SIGN this urgent petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify these heterodox and scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions, and which will be delivered both to the Vatican and to the Papal Nuncio of the United States (the Pope's official representative in the U.S.).
As the last guarantor of the Faith, the Pope should clarify and rectify these remarks, which go against the perennial teaching of the Church, even including the teaching of his living predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
"What we have to create is a law of civil coexistence [meaning civil union law, for homosexuals]...," Pope Francis is reported to have remarked, in what is arguably his clearest statement of public support for a practice morally prohibited by official Catholic Church teaching.
In fact, the Church has been crystal clear in Her opposition to homosexual unions.
Just in 2003, Pope Saint John Paul II approved a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, titled 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons' and written by Cardinal Ratzinger (now, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), which concludes with the following:
"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."
It could not be more clear: the Church is calling people to repentance, not to be left to indulge in grave sin.
Since becoming public, several senior prelates as well as other notable Catholic figures have voiced their opposition to these remarks attributed to the Pontiff.
Cardinal Raymond Burke stated: "It is a source of deepest sadness and pressing pastoral concern that the private opinions reported with so much emphasis by the press and attributed to Pope Francis do not correspond to the constant teaching of the Church, as it is expressed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition."
Cardinal Gerhard Müller commented: "Where there is tension between the plain and obvious Word of God and the infallible interpretation on the one hand, and private expressions of opinion even by the highest church authorities on the other, the principle always applies: in dubio pro DEO [When in doubt, be in favor of God]."
And, Catholic theologian and apologist Scott Hahn, without directly quoting Pope Francis, shared on Facebook the 'Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,' published by the CDF in 1986, with the statement: "Holy Father, respectfully and humbly, I beg to differ... if that is indeed what you said. In any case, please clarify and rectify your statement, especially in view of the official teaching of our Lord through the magisterium of His Church."
But, the silence from the Vatican has been deafening, with no clarification forthcoming.
We must, therefore, ask the Pope for clarification in this serious matter.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify remarks attributed to him in support of homosexual civil unions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Cdl. Burke: Pope’s homosexual civil union remarks ‘contrary’ to Scripture, Tradition' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/cardinal-burke-on-popes-homosexual-civil-union-remarks-contrary-to-the-teaching-of-sacred-scripture-and-sacred-tradition
'Cardinal says Catholics ‘can and should’ disagree with Pope’s ‘opinion’ on gay civil unions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/cdl.mueller-popes-words-on-gay-civil-unions-purely-private-expression-of-opinion-which-every-catholic-can-and-should-freely-contradict
'Archbishop Vigano, Bishops Tobin and Strickland respond to Pope’s approval of homosexual civil unions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/archbishop-vigano-and-bishops-tobin-strickland-respond-to-popes-approval-of-homosexual-civil-unions
'Pope’s comments on gay civil unions cause shockwaves around the world' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/deepest-sadness-cardinal-burke-condemns-pope-franciss-remarks-supporting-civil-unions
Lest there be any doubt, in 2003 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — then led by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who was appointed by John Paul II — declared:
The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions…. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.
That is indeed the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church. And the Pope is now on the record dissenting from that teaching, publicly and unambiguously.
Up to this point, I’ve tried very hard to give Francis the benefit of the doubt. No longer. The Pope has made it abundantly clear that his mind is not with the mind of the Church. He doesn’t believe in the sacred deposit of the Magisterium. He doesn’t feel bound to the Church’s traditions.
Some readers will accept that implicitly. Others will not. So, let’s be very clear: One of the first principles of Catholic social teaching is that immoral acts must not be given legal sanction. That’s why the Church plainly teaches that abortion (CCC, 2273) and pornography (CCC, 2354) should be prohibited by law. We as Catholics believe that civil authorities must not condone vice, even implicitly.
For the Pope — or any Catholic — to endorse same-sex civil unions is wicked. It follows the exact same logic that Joe Biden uses to justify his support for abortion: “I’m personally opposed to killing babies in the womb, but I wouldn’t impose that view on women who want to kill their babies.” The Pope has just made that exact same argument for homosexual acts.
* * *
This may be the most significant moment in papal history since Paul VI published Humanae Vitae. In fact, Francis’s comments are a kind of diabolical inversion of Humanae Vitae.
When he ruled that artificial contraception was always and everywhere immoral, Paul VI was addressing a live debate in the Church that had never been definitively resolved. And not only did he go against popular opinion: he contradicted many of his own leading theologians, including many “conservatives.” As for Francis, nobody was expecting him to weigh in on this matter. This was a spontaneous remark, and on a matter that has long been settled by Church authorities. Only a small handful of “mainstream” theologians and bishops have ever signaled their support for civil unions.
Paul defended the Magisterium against vast legions of Sexual Revolutionaries outside the Vatican walls and their many fifth-columnists within. Francis has raised the white flag to the Sexual Revolution without their firing so much as a peashooter in his direction.
Some Catholics will take this as proof that Francis is consciously working to subvert traditional Church teaching. Others will assume he’s just theologically illiterate and, frankly, not very bright. Still others will conclude that he’s prone to spouting off on topics he neither understands nor really cares to understand. Many think he’s going senile, which might be the most charitable view. But I’ll leave that for the reader to decide.
At some level, it doesn’t matter. Whether the Pope is consciously or accidentally dissenting from the Church, he is dissenting from the Church. There’s no question about that.
Little wonder that progressive Catholics are thrilled by the Pope’s comments. Father James Martin, who has long worked to undermine the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, tweeted: “This is a major step forward in the church’s support for LGBTQ people.” His colleague at the Jesuit-run America Magazine, Michael J. O’Loughlin, likewise wrote: “People downplaying the Pope’s words, on camera, endorsing civil unions for gay couples should ask LGBT Catholics how the remarks make them feel…. I assure you this is big news.” Indeed, it is.
Of course, the Catholic Left will weaponize the Pope’s comments against orthodox believers. Father Daniel Horan, the wayward Franciscan, wonders “what bigoted church leaders who have been firing Catholic school teachers and parish ministers for entering into same-sex unions are thinking right now. Maybe they’re thinking about what their own resignation letters might look like.” No doubt. Progressive bishops and diocesan bureaucrats will use Francis’s endorsement as a cudgel against orthodox Catholics in our schools, colleges, and chanceries.
What’s astonishing is how many “conservative” Catholics can’t see that. Ryan T. Anderson, who gained prominence as a critic of Big Trans and now teaches at the University of Dallas, also took to Twitter in support of Francis. Dr Anderson noted that he himself had also “proposed something like ‘civil unions’ for non-married people.” Again, one tries to give Francis the benefit of the doubt. But that clearly crosses the line into cognitive dissonance.
* * *
Francis may be one of those fifth-columnists that Paul VI opposed. Or maybe he’s one of their useful idiots. But this much is perfectly clear: Pope Francis doesn’t think of himself as pope. Whatever his idea of the papacy is, he’s dead wrong.
The duty of the pope is to safeguard and clarify the Sacred Deposit of the Faith. He’s supposed to think with the mind of the Church and follow the Magisterium; instead, he speaks whatever happens to be on his mind and expects the Magisterium to follow. The papacy hasn’t humbled him, as it did his predecessor. It has emboldened him.
Francis embraces the worst Protestant caricature of his office. He sees himself as a man with universal competence, one given to him directly by God Himself. That competence allows him to opine authoritatively on any matter, sacred or secular, that happens to tickle his fancy. That’s not what a pope is, by any stretch of the Catholic imagination.
But we know that. We also know that, when the Pope flatly contradicts the Magisterium, we may ignore him. Better yet, we can — and we must — contradict him loudly, for the sake of those who might otherwise follow the Holy Father into error. “This isn’t what the Church teaches,” we say. “This isn’t what Catholics believe.”
What a horrible burden this pope has put on the faithful. A good Catholic wants nothing more than to respect, trust, and obey the Successor of Saint Peter. Francis has made that impossible for so many. If he were really as wise and compassionate as he believes himself to be, he would recognize how many of his poor children he’s leading into scandal and disbelief.
Yet sometimes a dutiful son can do nothing but resolve to be a bigger man than his father. And that’s the sad situation we now find ourselves in. Pope Francis is leading our family down a dangerous path, and we can’t “accompany” him on that journey. We have to plant our feet firmly in the Church’s sacred traditions, and encourage our brothers and sisters to do the same.
Pray for our Holy Father, who needs our prayers now more than ever. If you love him, stand your ground. Please God, he’ll turn away from his error someday. Then we, the faithful remnant, may lead him back home.
Published with permission from Crisis.