I am sick of reading articles by various religion reporters who think that spinning discussions by the Pope and the bishops about issues concerning the family and sexuality as progressive–as they define the word–may lead to changes long-desired by liberals.
It is not going to happen. The Catholic Church cannot change her teachings which have been given to us by God. Truth is Truth and, despite the modern attempts to undermine what is true, Truth is immutable. What liberals can achieve–and where they have been successful over the last half-century–is sowing confusion.
The best example is Humanae Vitae, which is the 1968 Church encyclical that clearly and brilliantly explains the Church’s teachings on sexuality and reiterates the Church’s ban on artificial contraception. Prior to issuing the encyclical, the pope had asked for recommendations from the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control (including liberal theologians), the majority of whom foolishly advocated for allowing artificial birth control. The Pope, who on matters of faith and morals is infallible, correctly explained why this was bad for women and the world.
Subsequent events have proven him right.
Unfortunately, between the failure of priests to condemn this sin from the pulpit and society’s escalating sexual revolution, the vast majority of Catholics do not follow the Church’s teaching to their own detriment. In thinking they are free, these people, many of whom identify as practicing Catholics while they violate Church teaching, are actually slaves to their sexual desires. Many of these same Catholics can control their desire to overeat or abuse alcohol and drugs, but every sexual urge must be satisfied! This leads to disease, unwanted pregnancy, heartbreak, abortion and a dissolution of morals that undermines the very fabric of our lives and culture.
This societal deterioration in the name of freedom is not enough for the liberal elites who want to further destroy the family by the continuing attack on marriage through advocating so-called same-sex marriage. They know that the Church will not marry two men but they want to weaken the Church’s clear teaching by making it about individual rights of homosexuals.
The Church, as evidenced by the Catechism, is clear in her teaching: love the sinner, but hate the sin. Every person can be saved and every person is loved by God. We have to repent of our sins, however, and not celebrate them. Whatever discussions theologians and possibly well-intentioned bishops may have about the treatment of homosexuals in the Church, they must make it clear that the teaching is correct and is itself loving.
Telling someone their sin is not a sin only hurts that person because he will not feel the need to repent. Much like the contracepting women who attend Mass each week and receive the Eucharist, they will think that they are making spiritual progress when they are actually condemning themselves.
God does not send us to Hell; we make the choice by committing but then not repenting of mortal sin. We choose our pleasure over His law. To the extent priests and bishops say nothing and let people marinate in their sin, they too will face judgment. All of this is not socially acceptable to say, I know, but that does not make it untrue, only unpopular.
If the Church loves homosexuals, as well as all people, then the Church will continue to preach the truth, ever more loudly, in a world that is openly hostile to anything that deprives it of fleeting pleasures. In addition to having the correct teachings in the Catechism, the Church’s leaders need to proclaim the truth by not being afraid of the liberal elites. They don’t judge us in a meaningful way but God will judge us all when our time comes.
Do we want to be Christians or politically correct? Do we want to be clear and virtuous or confused and led astray? The answer comes down to whether we want to go to Heaven or Hell. Truth doesn’t change so we had better repent–as must our leaders whose silence has contributed to the sorry condition we are in today.