“Regarding proposals to equate marriage to unions between homosexual persons, ‘there is no foundation whatsoever to assimilate or establish an even remotely analogous correspondence between homosexual unions and God’s plan for marriage and the family'” , Synod on the Family final statement, October 24, 2015.
“Progressive” culture has lost a battle to advance the homosexual agenda in the Catholic Church. The Final Relatio of the Synod of the Bishops in Rome confirmed their firm opposition to so-called homosexual “marriages” strenuously and with certainty. This flies in the face of the hopes of many lay Catholics, Catholic clergy, Bishops and Cardinals supportive of the Homosexual agenda in the church, some of whom are located in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. The final drafting committee of the Synod in fact has 7 out of 10 of the members that are clearly in favor of non-Catholic views on marriage and homosexuality. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of the 265 Bishops present at the full synod, made clear to the drafting committee that they would not get approval of language that weakened the Church’s position on legitimate marriage – that is sacramental and solely between one man and one woman.
The Final Relatio is still only available in Italian but portions have been translated elsewhere into English. There is only one paragraph out of all 94 relating to homosexuality (see below). However, the Bishops indicated that homosexual “unions” are not even remotely analogous to “God’s plan for Marriage and Family”. The document disparages attempts to “equate marriage to unions between homosexual persons”. The Bishops voted overwhelmingly for the language by a margin of 221 to 37 and pointed out that there should be no attempt to assimilate homosexual “unions” into the Church. In addition, the Synod condemned actions by some international groups that seek to withhold financial aid to countries until they allow so called homosexual “marriage”. Certainly, this would be analogous to practices that boycott businesses here in America for standing firm on their own belief that marriage is only legitimate when it is between a man and a woman.
Those who doubt the presence of homosexual priests and their supporters in the church are ignoring obvious evidence. These include public statements made Cardinals by in positions of power at the Synod in support of homosexuality. An obvious attention-seeking move was the self-outing of a Polish Priest as Homosexual at the opening of the Synod itself. Thankfully he was removed from his positions of authority and from his role as a priest in Poland. Catholic University Notre Dame recently added coursework on “gender theory”. A gay seminarian recently left his quest to become a Catholic Priest, because he was upset at the dishonesty of gay Jesuits refusing to come out in public in Catholic life to advocate the gay agenda. Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago recently indicated there should be a pathway for homosexuals to receive Holy Communion, based on their conscience, but did not indicate if that included ensuring they were actually abstaining from homosexual sex as required by the church. A Catholic parishioner in St. Petersburg actually has advocated that those continuing to sin as homosexuals be able to receive communion. That parishioner offered his own interpretation of theology, and not that of the Catholic Church’s that says those in mortal sin should not receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Locally, Bishop Robert Lynch (St. Petersburg) indicated that homosexual unions could have positive values that can contribute to “the edification of both the church and the wider society”. This obviously conflicts with the Synod’s admonition to avoid anything that even remotely equates homosexual unions to true marriage.
The Synod language does offer a re-affirmation of long standing doctrine that applies to all based on the love of Jesus Christ for each of us. The Bishops state: “The Church has modeled Her attitude on the Lord Jesus in the boundless love He offered to every person without exception”. Based on this Love of Jesus, the Bishops call on the Church to accompany the families of those with homosexuals. Note, this is a call to support the families of those with homosexual members: “Attention should be reserved specifically to the accompaniment of families with homosexual persons.” This is appropriate since the church is truly designed for the salvation of souls. Helping families with homosexuals will certainly include helping them point out the sin of homosexual acts and how those who are gay and lesbian should abstain from disordered sex. Accompanying them will certainly help them understand that they need to master their same sex attraction and stop practicing gay and lesbian sex.
While the Church was clear on its rejection of homosexual unions as legitimate, there will certainly be no end to those within the church – laity and clergy alike – who will keep pushing. They will be seeking to conform the church to modern “realities”. They will continue to talk of going into the “marketplace” to meet people “where they are”. However, will these same people show true compassion and then call them from the places of sin “where they are”? True mercy will be like that of Jesus Christ who sought to call the lost sheep to him. It was Jesus who would call the blind man from begging in the gutter, the prostitute from her depravity, the greedy from their self-obsession, the adulterous from their sin and more. Jesus healed them of their sin and their afflictions and Jesus calls us to repent form our sin and to sin no more. It is this redeeming power of Jesus that all Catholics should seek and to which all Catholic leaders should point. Catholic leaders should work to see that sinners conform their lives to God, not that the Church conform itself to sin. Catholics should say to all sinners – including those engaged in addictions of gay sex – to reject their sin. Then, after meeting them where they are, our church will have led them toward where they need to go: toward salvation.
Unofficial translation from Final Relatio of 2015 Synod of the Family regarding homosexuality.
- The Church has modeled Her attitude on the Lord Jesus in the boundless love He offered to every person without exception (MV, 12). To the families living the experience of having homosexual persons, the Church reaffirms that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, must be respected in their dignity and welcomed with respect, with care to avoid “any brand of unjust discrimination” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, 4). Attention should be reserved specifically to the accompaniment of families with homosexual persons. Regarding proposals to equate marriage to unions between homosexual persons, “there is no foundation whatsoever to assimilate or establish an even remotely analogous correspondence between homosexual unions and God’s plan for marriage and the family” ( ibid). The Synod believes in any case that it is completely unacceptable that local churches suffer pressure in this matter and that international bodies condition financial aid to poor countries on the introduction of laws that establish “marriage” between people of the same sex.